1957-11-06 Alphonse Halimi w pts 15 Raton Macias, Wrigley Field, Los Angeles, California, USA - WORLD
1957-11-06 Alphonse Halimi w pts 15 Raton Macias, Wrigley Field, Los Angeles, California, USA - WORLD. Referee: Mushy Callahan. Scorecards: 148-141, 147-136, 141-144. Settling down quickly, Halimi (117¼) crowded Macias (118) out, giving him no room to work and generally taking the play away from the crowd favourite. At the end of the sixth round, having achieved what he set out to do, Halimi then set about outboxing Macias, keeping him at bay with an excellent left jab to generally control the contest from there on in to win the split decision and unify the title.
Having agreed time out with the authorities to tour with the Amar Circus, when Halimi got back into action in October 1958 he eventually accepted an offer to meet the winner of Joe Becerra v Mario D'Agata on 5 February 1959 at the Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles. It should have been Piero Rollo meeting Becerra, the Italian having just taken D'Agata’s European title. However, Rollo, who had broken his right hand, was temporarily out of action, leaving the loser to substitute for him in what was effectively a world title eliminator. Becerra beat D’Agata, who retired at the end of the tenth round, and a match against Halimi was made for May 1959 before being put back for a variety of reasons.
Having turned pro in 1953, Becerra had won 58 of 64 contests, beating German Ohm, Manuel Armenteros, Memo Sanchez, Joe Medel (three times), Dwight Hawkins, Gaetano Annaloro, Little Cezar and Billy Peacock, along with D’Agata. A relentless two-handed fighter, Becerra had beaten his last 11 opponents inside the distance.