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13 Feb 2002 Marilyn Monroe vs Bettie Page (Retro)

Page history last edited by Archer844 9 years ago

 

RETRO BOUT: Ca, 1950's

 

Posted by simguy on 2/13/2002

 

Before: The studio deal for Monroe was simple as it was sweet: we make you champion, you do exactly what you’re told, and you stay the champion. Of all the great fighting celebrities, Marilyn Monroe was perhaps the most manufactured and protected, having little say in who or when she would fight. For the most part, this suited Monroe just fine, but when it came to Bettie Page, Marilyn’s pride would eventually get the better of her. Disobeying strict orders to avoid Page, Marilyn would finally make this fight at her own expense, bringing Bettie to her own house and fighting her before a very select crowd of non-industry heavyweights whose discretion could be counted upon. Page fought in a blue bikini with black polka-dots and black bordering, Monroe in a red one piece tank suit in a ring set up poolside.

 

During R1: Marilyn had entered the fight convinced she could box Bettie, and set about using the jab to keep the brunette well outside. Moments into the fight, Page disproved the theory with a crashing overhand right, followed immediately by a swinging left and a clocking wide right—all to the chin of a startled Marilyn Monroe. Staggered and rocked—Monroe swooned to the ropes, shaking her head to clear it and digging in to withstand the awful charge of Bettie Page. Page ignored the blonde’s well protected head, slashing savagely instead at the waist and buckling Monroe forward under a punishing bombardment. Marilyn Monroe proved a warrior in these moments, punching in between Bettie’s blows, clipping the brunette’s chin with alternating uppercuts in tight and sinking a firm counter hook into Page’s ribs on the left side. At the bell, the girl continued to trade at a bludgeoning pace—Page clearly stronger, but Monroe defiant, refusing to be bullied.

 

R2, 3: Monroe continues to try to use the ring, keep Bettie outside with the stick, but Page’s electrifying rushes would not be denied. Betty showed more skill than posterity has given her credit for, walking Monroe down behind a tight guard, taking Marilyn’s punches on her shoulders and mitts, then hammering back with well timed right hands that routinely caught Monroe over the blonde’s extended left. Page had a knack of stepping in, ducking down and pulling the right over the top to devastating effect—at one point bringing Monroe’s feet shooting forward and nearly depositing the blonde on her rear. Wobbly butt and groggy from damage—Monroe grimly struggled on, pushing punches out with less and less intensity, getting hurt more and more frequently as Page’s right hands slammed home. After 3—Monroe was glassy eyed and forlorn in her corner, unable to deal with the raven-tressed beauty’s power.

 

R4: Page kept coming. Monroe gave ground, poking out a don’t hurt me jab until Bettie rung her up with the counter right hand, and then it was simply the blonde improvising to stay off the ropes. Sucking left/rights across the waist left Marilyn ashen faced, unable to punch, as Page would get off, then shoulder the blonde back to maintain the advance. Strangely, Monroe did very little clinching—one of her best, most important techniques, and it cost her. Reacting sluggishly, the blonde would slip too late and take punches clean off her face, or be stupefied by hurtling leather to her breadbasket. By the final minute of the fourth, Marilyn Monroe slumped up against the ropes, staring distantly at her rampaging foe. Bettie Page would not be denied, helping herself to Marilyn’s cushy midriff with murderous wide lefts and rights, propping the blonde up with palms to the shoulders, then drilling the right cross to the teeth—it was all much too much. Monroe was saved from the ignominy of spilling to the canvas by a concerned referee, who stepped in just in time to catch the insensate blonde on her way down. A brutal KO4 by the unheralded Bettie Page over the undisputed celebrity champion of the day.

 

After: When evidence of the punishing beat down suffered by Monroe came to light, it was only a matter of time before her handler’s discovered the brunette cause of the damage. Marilyn remained strangely unrepentant, telling close associates that she ‘had to know’, and presumably, had received her answers. For Page, personal satisfaction led to little or no recognition as the truth of this fight was not conclusively revealed until the late 1990s. It was Bettie’s misfortune to fight at a time when Studios controlled every aspect of celebrity fighting and the morays of the day would not permit a fetish pinup legend to be a champion.

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