1974-02-16 Ernesto Marcel w pts 15 Alexis Arguello, New City Gym, Panama City, Panama - WBA

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1974-02-16 Ernesto Marcel w pts 15 Alexis Arguello, New City Gym, Panama City, Panama - WBA. Referee: Servio Tulio Ley. Scorecards: 146-140, 146-142, 146-140. An excellent fight saw Marcel (125¾) survive several furious two-fisted attacks, especially in the ninth, tenth and 11th rounds, to pound out a clear-cut points win over the talented Arguello (122¾). The Nicaraguan, who suffered his third defeat in 38 contests, was at his most dangerous during this period, and it took all of the champion’s experience to keep himself together before coming on strong over the remaining third to close the deficit.

When Marcel retired as the undefeated WBA champion in May a match was made between Ruben Olivares and Zensuke Utagawa to decide the vacant WBA title. Since losing his bantam crown to Rafael Herrera, Olivares had beaten Godfrey Stevens, Bobby Chacon and Art Hafey to obtain a number-three ranking by The Ring magazine, while the unranked Utagawa had won 25 of 31 contests, defeating Rudy Alarcon and Berkrerk Chartvanchai, and was the Orient and Pacific champion.