1949-09-20 Willie Pep w rtd 7 (15) Eddie Compo, Municipal Stadium, Waterbury, Connecticut, USA - WORLD

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1949-09-20 Willie Pep w rtd 7 (15) Eddie Compo, Municipal Stadium, Waterbury, Connecticut, USA - WORLD. Referee: Bill Conway. Making the weight at the fourth attempt, the champion won as he pleased when outboxing Compo (124½), who although a willing performer had never mixed at this level before. As early as the second round Compo was cut on the right eye, and despite crowding Pep (126) and making life difficult for him the latter opened up in the fifth to drop him for two counts of ‘nine’. In the sixth, Compo’s left eye also began to close and into the seventh, having been dropped for another ‘nine’ count, his corner threw the towel in and the bout was over 41 seconds into the round.

With Pep obviously trying to avoid another fight with Sandy Saddler by signing to defend against the fifth-ranked Charley Riley in January, Saddler fought for and won the re-instigated junior lightweight title by beating Cuba’s Orlando Zulueta on 6 December. Following Pep’s manager announcing that the hold up on Pep v Saddler getting together again was down to terms and conditions, all kinds of questions were being asked of the authorities as the boxing industry looked for better leadership. On the other side of the Atlantic, it was felt that the EBU would certainly support the NBA in setting up an international body to overview championship matches if the spirit was there.

A solid puncher with 64 fights on the clock, 52 of them being wins, Riley had beaten some good men, including former champion, Phil Terranova, challengers in Spider Armstrong and Lou Transparenti, Miguel Acevedo (twice), Jose Baby Gonzalez, Maxie Shapiro, Teddy Davis, Chico Rosa and Elis Ask.