1958-06-05 Virgil Akins w rsc 4 (15) Vince Martinez, The Arena, St Louis, Missouri, USA - WORLD

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1958-06-05 Virgil Akins w rsc 4 (15) Vince Martinez, The Arena, St Louis, Missouri, USA - WORLD. Referee: Harry Kessler. Contesting the universally recognised vacant title, Akins (146¾) had Martinez (146¾) on the floor four times in the opening round from heavy rights without reply, and although the latter somehow got through the second he was again smashed down for two more counts in the third before being saved by the bell. Coming out for the fourth in a weakened state, Martinez was punched around the ring prior to being dropped for ‘nine’ after taking some heavy blows to the body, and when back up he was put down for the eighth time by a crunching left hook. The referee never bothered to count, calling it off with 52 seconds on the clock.

Akins’ first defence would come against Don Jordan, The Ring magazine's top-rated welter. Having started 1958 losing to Dave Charnley, Jordan went on to beat Isaac Logart and Gaspar Ortega before repeating his win over the latter (w pts 12 at the Lafayette Hotel, Long Beach, California on 22 October) in what was seen as an eliminator.