1939-09-28 Joey Archibald w pts 15 Harry Jeffra, Griffith Stadium, Washington DC, USA - WORLD
1939-09-28 Joey Archibald w pts 15 Harry Jeffra, Griffith Stadium, Washington DC, USA - WORLD. Referee: Benny Leonard. Starting fast, Jeffra (124¼) took five of the first seven rounds before Archibald (124¾) got into his stride and from then on the fight see-sawed to and fro, with first one and then the other getting hard punches off. It was always going to be difficult to find a winner and Nat Fleischer of The Ring magazine gave it to Jeffra by one round on the basis of three big rounds in his favour when he carried the champion before him. Regardless, when the split decision was announced it was Archibald who got it.
By this time the top-rated man in the eyes of The Ring magazine was Simon Chavez, who had beaten Freddie Miller (twice) and Archibald (non-title) to go to the top of the pile. After defeating Petey Scalzo, Chavez then lost his number-one spot in December when beaten in a return fight, and it was Al Mancini who took over the mantle on beating Archibald (non-title) before being eliminated after losing his next two contests to Everett Rightmire and Bobby Ruffin.
At the start of 1940 Scalzo was clearly recognised as the leading challenger and it came as no surprise when Archibald forfeited NBA recognition on 29 March 1940 for failing to defend within the six-month ruling against him, having earlier been promised first crack at the winner of Archibald v Leo Rodak.
Prior to that, Scalzo had already been signed up to meet Jeffra, Simon Chavez or Jimmy Perrin if Archibald declined to fight him. In the event, Jeffra failed to take up the invitation due to him as he was already contracted to meet Archibald on 20 May and Chavez asked for too much money, leaving Scalzo v Perrin as the pairing who would meet for the vacant title on neutral territory. However, on 1 May, after Perrin pulled out when the fight was designated for Washington DC, Scalzo was proclaimed NBA champion. Within days of that announcement, Louisiana announced that they recognised Perrin as world champion and that he would be making his first defence against Ruffin, whilst Scalzo was matched to defend the NBA crown against Frankie Covelli.