1928-02-10 Tony Canzoneri w pts 15 Benny Bass, Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, NYC, New York, USA - WORLD

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1928-02-10 Tony Canzoneri w pts 15 Benny Bass, Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, NYC, New York, USA - WORLD. Referee: Arthur Donovan. Not favoured prior to the fight due to the boxing public reckoning he was not game enough, Bass (126), despite losing on points, made them eat their words as he finished on his feet after fighting on for 12 rounds with a broken collarbone. Outclassed in most of the first nine rounds, and being on the verge of a kayo in the third when the bell saved him following a terrific left hook on the jaw, Bass fought Canzoneri (125½) to a standstill for the remainder of the fight. In winning the split decision, Canzoneri displayed great ring generalship when staving off the desperate Bass, having earlier produced box-fighting of the highest order.

Canzoneri’s next defence would be against Andre Routis, who had first decided to ply his wares in America in August 1926, having lost his French bantam crown. Following a non-title defeat in a close fight at the hands of Canzoneri at the Broadway Arena, Brooklyn, NYC, New York on 22 November 1926, he mixed with varying success before popping back home to defeat the future bantamweight champion, Panama Al Brown, and draw with England’s Johnny Cuthbert. Postponed due to Canzoneri being ill, Routis beat Sammy Dorfman (twice), Ignacio Fernandez, Carl Duane and Vic Burrone, while biding his time for a crack at the title.

On 10 September, at Shibe Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Bass took on Harry Blitman in what was billed as a battle for the unofficial world title, with the latter the favourite to meet the winner of Canzoneri v Routis. Also involving the Pennsylvanian State title, Blitman, who had earlier outpointed Canzoneri in a non-championship affair, was unbeaten in 38 contests. Although putting an end to Blitman’s immediate aspirations with a sixth-round kayo win, and despite being the number-one challenger, Bass never got a chance to regain his old title before moving up in class to become the junior lightweight champion.