1957-12-04 Joe Brown w rsc 11 (15) Joey Lopes, The Stadium, Chicago, Illinois, USA - WORLD
1957-12-04 Joe Brown w rsc 11 (15) Joey Lopes, The Stadium, Chicago, Illinois, USA - WORLD. Referee: Joey White. Until the end of the sixth round the contest had been an interesting one without really igniting, with Brown (133½) boxing well on the back foot and content to peck away with the left jab while the challenger looked to get his punches off. That all changed in the seventh when Brown speeded out of his corner to floor Lopes (133½), now carrying cuts over both eyes, with a cracking right to the jaw. Although the Portuguese-born Lopes was up at ‘four’ and immediately back into the fight his blows appeared to lack any real force, and by the end of the tenth he was being battered with lefts and rights to the head. So bewildered was Lopes that he actually sat down in Brown’s corner at the bell. Lopes should have been retired at that point, but having been allowed to come out for the 11th he was soon in trouble again. And after being put down twice with heavy rights and not fighting back the referee came to his rescue on the 1.50 mark.
The number-one contender at the beginning of 1958 was Italy’s Duilio Loi, the European champion, who had been highly placed in The Ring magazine ratings since 1954. His management team had been trying without success to get him a world-title shot since early 1956, but he was continually ignored. However, following a ninth-round stoppage win over Wallace Bud Smith at the Sports Palace, Milan, Italy on 1 March 1958 the Italian Federation finally demanded that he be given an immediate crack at Brown ahead of all others. This statement came after a fabulous purse offer for Brown to defend against Loi was turned down. Although the Federation threatened to stage their own world championship on behalf of Loi it came too late as he was now finding it difficult to make lightweight. By April 1959 Loi was the European welterweight champion.
Towards the end of March 1958 it was reported that Brown‘s next defence would be against Ralph Dupas, 'The Dancing Master' from New Orleans who had turned pro at the age of 14. It was also announced that the winner had to defend against Kenny Lane within 90 days. Prior to meeting Brown, Dupas was rated number two by The Ring magazine after winning 70 of 84 contests and beating the likes of Jesse Underwood, Baby Vasquez, Richie Howard (twice), Armand Savoie (twice), Johnny Gonsalves, Carlos Chavez, Cisco Andrade, Lane, Frankie Ryff, Paddy DeMarco (twice), Hoacine Khalfi (twice), Vince Martinez, Johnny Busso, Joe Miceli, Mickey Crawford, Gaspar Ortega and Ramon Fuentes. In Dupas’ previous 25 fights only Ludwig Lightburn and Lane had managed to defeat him, both men winning by the points route.