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Charges Against Former Welterweight Champ Saxton Dismissed, Deemed "Legally Insane"

Feb. 7, 1962 - Burglary charges against Johnny Saxton (pictured in 1955 between Tony DeMarco and Carmen Basilio), twice welterweight boxing champion of the world, were dismissed today in Queens County Court after he had been declared “punch-drunk and legally insane” at the time of his arrest. District Attorney Frank D. O’Connor of Queens moved for the dismissal after studying a psychiatrist’s report. Defense counsel had contended that Saxton, 31 years old, had “been left penniless by greedy handlers.” Saxton fought Kid Gavilan in 1954 for the world welterweight championship. He beat Gavilan via a 15-round decision to take the title. He lost the title the following year via technical knockout against Tony DeMarco. In 1956 he won the title again with an upset win over Carmen Basilio, but lost the title in a rematch with Basilio later in the year. He retired in 1958. Saxton was arrested in March 1959, at an apartment house in Jamaica, Queens. He was accused of having broken into an apartment, stolen a $100 fur piece, $5.20 in cash, and a box of cigarettes. While free on $1,000 bail, less than a month later, he was arrested on an attempted-burglary charge in Atlantic City, N.J. He tried to hang himself in his jail cell and was sent to the State Mental Hospital at Ancora, N.J.


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