1943-06-08 Willie Pep w pts 15 Sal Bartolo, Braves’ Field, Boston, Massachusetts, USA - NY

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1943-06-08 Willie Pep w pts 15 Sal Bartolo, Braves’ Field, Boston, Massachusetts, USA - NY. Referee: Johnny Martin. This was the pair’s second meeting, Pep having outpointed Bartolo over ten rounds in a catchweight bout on 9 April, and while that scrap was relatively close this one was not as the champion won going away, his left jab and hook routine working to perfection. There were only two rounds where Bartolo (125½) had any joy, the sixth and the tenth, and apart from that he was not at the races as Pep (126) jabbed and moved to a unanimous points win.

Although the Massachusetts Boxing Commission gave their support to what was the New York version of the championship, having just three months earlier allowed an NBA title fight to take place in the State, it was more a matter of backing their own man, Bartolo, than taking sides politically.

From here through to the beginning of April 1944, Pep was inactive due to being called up by the Navy and on getting back in the ring he was allowed the normal six-month period before having to make another defence.