1955-03-09 Raton Macias w rsc 11 (15) Chamroen Songkitrat, Cow Palace, San Francisco, California, USA - NBA

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1955-03-09 Raton Macias w rsc 11 (15) Chamroen Songkitrat, Cow Palace, San Francisco, California, USA - NBA. Referee: Fred Apostoli. Despite the Californian Boxing Commission banning the fight being named as a world title bout and the Thai Boxing authorities accepting the assignment on the basis that Robert Cohen was the recognised champion, it was supported by the NBA and other satellite States as being one. Outscoring Songkitrat (117¼) in all but two of the rounds, the 20-year-old Macias (117¼) showed up well with the left jab-left hook routine and proved that he possessed a heavy right hand wallop, having the Thai down on four legal occasions. Eventually, the referee stopped the action at 2.38 of the 11th round to rescue Songkitrat from taking further punishment. Songkitrat, who was also put down from a punch below the belt, was a game opponent but was out of condition and had relied on his spirit to get through.

Having now won the NBA version of the title, Macias took in some non-title bouts, the third of which proved a disaster, suffering a broken jaw when beaten by Billy Peacock (l co 3 at the Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles, California) on 15 June. Out of action until October it was expected that efforts would be made for him to defend against Peacock, but somehow it never happened and his next defence would be against the number-two rated flyweight, Leo Espinosa, which made a mockery of the NBA.

A young man coming along well at this time was the French bantamweight champion, Hilaire Pratesi, who was now rated at number three by The Ring magazine and being lined up for a title shot after knocking out Nate Brooks inside five rounds on 27 June. Having also beaten Marcel Mathieu, Robert Meunier, Dante Bini, Amleto Falcinelli and Andre Valignat, and drawn with Emile Chemama, Pratesi was unbeaten in 27 contests. Just when things were looking extremely bright for him he was killed in a road accident in August 1955, thus following his brother, Honore Pratesi, to an early grave. Tragically, Chemama would also die in a car crash some seven months later.

Meanwhile, Peacock eliminated Songkitrat (w co 9 at the Rajadamnern Stadium, Bangkok, Thailand) on 16 October prior to getting himself put out of the title picture by Alphonse Halimi (l pts 10 at the Sports Palace, Paris, France) on 16 March 1956.