Tex Cobb was pleading with referee Lou Filippo.
"Just give me a second," he kept saying. "I'll get there."
He never did.
Cobb, who went the distance against such reknowned punchers as Larry Holmes and Ken Norton, couldn't get out of the first round against little-known Dee Collier Tuesday night.
The heavyweight fight, at the Country Club of Reseda, was stopped at 2:33 of that first round after Cobb had gone down four times from a barrage of punches and a fifth time from "a slip."
In his entire career, which now includes 32 professional fights, the 31-year old Cobb had been down only once before--last spring against Eddie Gregg.
While Tuesday night's main event left the sellout crowd of approximately 1,000 stunned, it was no more bizarre than the semi-main event, which left everybody angry.
That fight ended in a rare technical draw when bantamweight Frankie Duarte was ruled the victim of an accidental head butt by Freddie Jackson. That produced a cut on Duarte's right eyelid, which required three stitches.
Referee Marty Denkin stopped the bout at 2:38 of the second round.
Earlier in that round, Duarte had knocked down Jackson, ranked No. 2 in the WBC. But the butt negated the entire round.
That left only the first round, which Jackson, although landing no serious blows, had won, according to all three cards. Since the victim of an accidental butt cannot lose a fight, the only option was the draw.