1945-04-18 Ike Williams w co 2 (15) Juan Zurita, City Bullring, Mexico City, Mexico - NBA

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1945-04-18 Ike Williams w co 2 (15) Juan Zurita, City Bullring, Mexico City, Mexico - NBA. Referee: Luis Garcia Mata. Carrying the fight to Zurita (133) from the opening bell, the hard-punching Williams (131), despite being held at bay in the first round, soon began to break the champion down with his two-fisted attacks. He was at full throttle when the former was counted out in the second after being blasted to the canvas.

After taking time out Williams came back to lose on points over ten rounds against Willie Joyce (at Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, NYC, New York on 8 June), before three more wins were followed by him being stopped inside six rounds by Sammy Angott (at Forbes Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on 19 September). Luckily for him, all five bouts were contested above the weight.

On 16 October, with no title defences in sight the NBA ordered Williams to put up his belt against a top man as soon as possible, and although it was announced that he would be meeting Joyce sometime in January that came to nothing. In early December the NBA had lost patience with Williams, warning him that if he had not signed for a championship match by the end of the month they would be stripping him. Realising it was not that easy to pluck opponents out of the air the NBA gave Williams an extension until 15 January 1946, it being reported on 12 January that he would be meeting Bob Montgomery in a unification fight on 22 March. When that contest was postponed until 17 May the NBA demanded that Williams put his title on the line by 30 April at latest, and within days a defence had been arranged against Enrique Bolanos for that date.