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