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The last professional fight to happen on Christmas Day, was in Frankfurt, Germany in1950. Sugar Ray Robinson would meet Hans Stretz for a boxing match on this celebratory day.
It’s not easy digging up, but to revisit this classic event, fight fans would have to go back 69 years in time to 1950, to see the American boxer go toe-to-toe with Stretz.
Historically, there were many notable world and US events that happened in this era. NATO was created, the Korean War was going on and Harry S. Truman was the President.
To cap off a historic year, the world welterweight champion had prepared to step foot into the ring for his fifth time in a month. Two days prior to the Christmas Day showdown, Sugar Ray Robinson won a nine-round fight against the Frenchman, Robert Villemain.
It was reported that Robinson and Hans Stretz performed in front of a crowd of 10,000. Many of those being American troops that were stationed in Germany.
Shortly after the contest got underway, Robinson dropped Stretz with a left hook within 30 seconds in the opening round. For Stretz, it was a long and painful Christmas night. The German found himself on the losing end on the first of seven knockdowns.
Each time Stretz got back up after a knockdown, Robinson would come back even harder to show off his flashiness and power by repeatedly landing punishing rights and lefts on his opponent.
Robinson went on to end the contest in the fifth round by knockout. It was his fourth KO victory from five fights in 29 days. The win over Stretz also added to the champions impressing 91-fight win streak.
For MMA, there have not been any fights on Christmas Day. The only fights around Christmas which have happened for the sport were the replays the UFC has done on Christmas Eve.
In 2016, there was a special airing of UFC 206 on FOX. Not only did it draw in 4,720,000 viewers, it was the third most-watched show in UFC television history.
UFC 206 aired two weeks prior to the replay on Dec. 10. The main card featured Max Holloway vs. Anthony Pettis with a hard-hitting co-main event between Donald Cerrone and Matt Brown.
Originally, the event was set to feature Daniel Cormier vs. Anthony Johnson to main event a stacked card, but Cormier tore an adductor in his groin and would eventually pull out of the year-end event.
In 2017, the company did another Christmas Eve replay for UFC 218. However, the viewership this time was nothing close to the previous year with just 357,000 tuning in.
UFC 218 featured Max Holloway vs. Jose Aldo, Francis Ngannou’s monstrous KO victory over Allistair Overeem and a lightweight battle between Eddie Alvarez and Justin Gaethje.