1941-06-16 Lou Salica w pts 15 Tommy Forte, Shibe Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - WORLD
1941-06-16 Lou Salica w pts 15 Tommy Forte, Shibe Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - WORLD. Referee: Irving Kutcher. Defending his title for the fourth time, Salica (117¾) turned back the hard-hitting Forte (117¼) over 15 hard and bitterly fought rounds after all had seemed lost. With his eye closed tight midway during the contest, and behind on points going into the tenth round, he dissuaded the ringside doctor from pulling him out before coming back strongly to take the unanimous decision. In doing so, he went ahead 2-1 in this, the third meeting between the pair.
In The Ring magazine’s ratings for 1941, Fleischer stated that Salica was listed as the number three man after David Kui Kong Young and Manuel Ortiz due to his poor, losing performances against Young and Rush Dalma, and the fact that no amount of persuasion or monetary inducements could get him to place his crown at stake within the sixth month period.
Eventually, following four non-title contests in 1942, 14 months without making a defence and in danger of being stripped by the NBA, Salica finally put his championship on the line against Ortiz.
On 3 August 1942, following a wide ten-round points victory over Salica (119½) at catchweights at The Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii on 3 November 1941, the Hawaiian Territorial Boxing Commission decided to recognise Young (118) as world champion. The decision was taken after the TBC had written to the NBA on numerous occasions without receiving any response and Salica had refused various attempts to make a title match between the pair, even turning down an offer of $8,000. The champion was quoted as saying that he would never stake his belt against the Chinese southpaw.