1941-11-14 Gus Lesnevich w pts 15 Tami Mauriello, Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, NYC, New York, USA - NY/NBA

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1941-11-14 Gus Lesnevich w pts 15 Tami Mauriello, Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, NYC, New York, USA - NY/NBA. Referee: Arthur Donovan. Scorecards: 9-4, 9-6, 10-2. A return fight, this one was nothing like their first encounter as the champion produced his best form to outwit the inexperienced Mauriello (173½), who was well beaten but not disgraced. With straight lefts finding their mark and solid body shots slowing his rival down, Lesnevich (173¾) always seemed to be in control and although Mauriello fought back well on occasion he was well beaten. Three times the challenger was almost dropped by powerful blows to head and body, his great conditioning saving him, but while still in the contest he was unable to halt Lesnevich’s forward march.

With Lesnevich inactive between March 1942 and January 1946 due to military service, Ohio initiated a light heavyweight ‘duration’ title. It was won by Jimmy Bivins, who outscored Anton Christoforidis over 15 rounds at The Arena, Cleveland on 26 February 1943, but not before Ezzard Charles and Joey Maxim had been eliminated in the earlier stages. Bivins’ one and only defence came when he knocked out Lloyd Marshall inside 13 rounds at the Lakefront Stadium, Cleveland on 8 June 1943, but, although he remained unbeaten during the period, he was unable to get a crack at Lesnevich following the latter’s return to the ring.

After forcing Joe Kahut to take the full count in the opening round of his comeback on 11 January 1946, Lesnevich was then forced to retire at the end of the fourth round by Lee Oma in a heavyweight contest before signing up to meet Freddie Mills.