1940-01-04 Henry Armstrong w co 5 (15) Joe Ghnouly, Municipal Auditorium, St Louis, Missouri, USA - WORLD
1940-01-04 Henry Armstrong w co 5 (15) Joe Ghnouly, Municipal Auditorium, St Louis, Missouri, USA - WORLD. Referee: Harry Cook. Given a crack at the 147lbs championship despite being a lowly-ranked lightweight, Ghnouly (135½) was quickly cut down to size as Armstrong (136¾) swarmed all over him from the opening bell. There was virtually no let up as the punches thudded in from all angles and Ghnouly was dropped three times in the opening round before fighting his way back in summary fashion. Downed again in the fourth he was saved by the bell, and with most of those in attendance thinking that was it for the night he came out for the fifth, showing some resistance, prior to being counted out at 1.34 of the session.
Strange, when you consider the world already had a coloured champion in Armstrong, that a fight between the Cocoa Kid and Holman Williams, won on points over 15 rounds by the former on 11 January at the Coliseum, Baltimore, Maryland, was advertised as being for the vacant ‘black’ title. While the title itself was not taken too seriously, the result elevated the Kid to number two in The Ring Ratings, one above Williams, and would lend him much support in his quest to meet Armstrong.