1940-06-05 Billy Conn w pts 15 Gus Lesnevich, Olympia Stadium, Detroit, Michigan, USA - NY/NBA
1940-06-05 Billy Conn w pts 15 Gus Lesnevich, Olympia Stadium, Detroit, Michigan, USA - NY/NBA. Referee: Sam Hennessey. Scorecards: 8-5, 6-3, 7-6. In a return match, Conn (173½) was again made to fight all the way in order to retain his title in what would be his last contest at the weight. Showing an excellent range of punches, apart from taking the odd breather Conn outboxed the always dangerous Lesnevich (173½) most of the way. Throwing every punch in the book Conn cut Lesnevich over the left eye in the 11th before momentarily dropping him in the final session to run out a clear winner, even though one judge showed just one round between them.
In December 1940, with Conn concentrating on the heavyweight division, the NBA withdrew recognition from him in favour of a match between Anton Christoforidis, who had recently beaten Jimmy Bivins (w pts 10 at The Arena, Cleveland, Ohio on 2 December), and Melio Bettina for their version of the vacant title.
Then, with the likelihood that Conn would remain among the heavyweights, the NYSAC set up an elimination series in which Jimmy Webb, The Ring magazine’s number-one rated light heavy, stopped Tommy Tucker in the ninth round of a scheduled 15 at Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, NYC, New York on 21 February 1941. Ultimately, it would be a long and fruitless wait for Webb as Conn only vacated the NYSAC version of the title on 3 June 1941.