1968-12-14 Nino Benvenuti w pts 15 Don Fullmer, Ariston Theatre, San Remo, Italy - WORLD

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1968-12-14 Nino Benvenuti w pts 15 Don Fullmer, Ariston Theatre, San Remo, Italy - WORLD. Referee: Piero Brambilla. Scorecards: 73-68, 71-65, 72-69. Right from the start it was clear that Fullmer (159) was finding it difficult to get inside the champion’s left jab, and eventually when he began to charge in it resulted in him being cut over the left eye in the sixth. The first six rounds went very much the way of Benvenuti (160), but in the seventh he was dropped by an overarm right to the head and forced to take the mandatory ‘eight’ count before coming back with steady left jabs and rights to the body. With Fullmer continuing to charge in without success he was cut over the right eye in the 12th. By now both men were tiring, and with Fullmer struggling to land Benvenuti kept his left going to win all the remaining rounds.

After being inactive until meeting Dick Tiger, who won on points over ten rounds at Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, NYC, New York in a non-title contest on 26 May 1969, Benvenuti complained of breaking his right hand in the first round and requiring more time out before a title defence. He then angered the WBA (who were insisting that he must meet the number-one contender, Luis Rodriguez, before any others) in August when negotiating a defence against Fraser Scott for early October. The outcome was that Benvenuti must meet Rodriguez before the end of the year regardless of any arrangements made with Scott, and if the latter won the title he would have to meet the Cuban within the same time frame.