Number 205 – Alex Miteff


Alex Miteff (tied for 205)
Santa Fe, Argentina
March 25, 1935
6’1” / 197½-213lbs
25-13-1-0(15) from 6/8/1956 to 4/27/1967 (10y10m)

1-9-0-0(0) against the top ten
0-1-0-0(0) against linear champions
0-1-0-0(0) against hall-of-famers
no fights for the linear championship

Top Ten Opponents: W-SD-10 Nino Valdes, L-KO-1 Mike DeJohn, L-UD-10 Zora Folley, L-TKO-7, L-SD-10 Billy Hunter, L-UD-10 Eddie Machen, L-UD-10 Henry Cooper, L-TKO-5 Cleveland Williams, L-TKO-7 Bob Cleroux, L-TKO-6 Muhammad Ali

-6 total score (1 + -8 + 0 + 1)

Alex Miteff was a legitimate contender in the late 1950s and early 1960s. He was ranked by the Ring in parts of 1957, ’58, ’59, ’60, and ’61. He only posted one win and one draw against top ten opponents, but most of his nine losses to men who were ranked (or would be as a result of the fight) were competitive. Miteff actually managed to fight no less than twenty total individuals who at one point held a top ten ranking by the Ring. This level of competition contributed to his less-than-stellar final record, but his courage in facing the best of his era should be commended.

Miteff started out with twelve straight wins, including wins over capable fringe contender Willi Besmanoff, and former contender John Holman. His streak ended with a shock 1st round KO to Mike DeJohn. Alex rebounded though, and managed to squeak by Nino Valdes in an exciting brawl, and then earned a hard-fought draw against perennial contender and overall badass George Chuvalo. This would be the peak of his career, as he would soon be stopped after 1 by former victim Besmanoff, then decisioned by Zora Folley. Miteff didn’t immediately disappear, however. Over the next couple years, he would score wins over Wayne Bethea, Alonzo Johnson (twice!), and Monroe Ratliff. However, when stepping up to full contenders, he would lose more than win, dropping fights to Billy Hunter (also twice), Eddie Machen, Henry Cooper, Cleveland Williams, a second against Chuvalo, and one to a rising Cassius Clay. He gave Clay a tough fight, winning a couple early rounds, and keeping the future champion off balance with hard body punches before being stopped by sharp counters.

Miteff eventually retired after a November 1961 stoppage loss against unheralded Ray Batey. He returned for a brief comeback win over a journeyman in 1966, then was knocked out in 3 by Jerry Quarry, ending his career.

Alex wasn’t a great fighter. But his toughness, strength, ferocious body attack, and willingness to brawl made him an exciting contender during a somewhat transitional era for the division.

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