1956-06-29 Mario D'Agata w rtd 6 (15) Robert Cohen, Olympic Soccer Stadium, Rome, Italy - NY/EBU

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29 June Mario D'Agata w rtd 6 (15) Robert Cohen, Olympic Soccer Stadium, Rome, Italy - NY/EBU. Referee: Teddy Waltham. In command throughout, D’Agata (117¾), a deaf mute, took the fight to the champion, cut him over the left eye in the second, and generally roughed him up on his way to a surprise win. Making himself a difficult target, D’Agata also outsped and outpunched Cohen (116¼) and it came as no surprise when the champion was knocked down in the sixth round by a left hook. Saved by the bell, the French-Algerian was wisely retired by his corner at the end of the session. Having taken in two non-title bouts after this one, there were high hopes of a deal being reached for D’Agata to meet Raton Macias. Indeed, it was reported at the end of December that arrangements for a D’Agata v Macias fight to take place in Los Angeles, California had almost been concluded, with the Mexican camp agreeing to a return in Rome if Macias won. However, with D’Agata being given the choice of the new French star, Alphonse Halimi, Billy Peacock and Macias, it was announced on 8 February 1957 that Halimi was the opponent, Paris, France the venue, and 1 April the date. Halimi was unbeaten in 18 starts and had defeated Peacock and Tanny Campo, both international class fighters, but had yet to be tested.