1961-08-29 Harold Johnson w pts 15 Eddie Cotton, Sicks Stadium, Seattle, Washington, USA - NBA

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1961-08-29 Harold Johnson w pts 15 Eddie Cotton, Sicks Stadium, Seattle, Washington, USA - NBA. Referee: Jimmy Rondeau. Scorecards: 147-145, 147-145, 144-148. While Cotton (170) gave the champion plenty of problems, once his left eye was badly damaged in the seventh and he was cut on the right eye a round later his options became limited. Both men were good defensively and the battle was fought at a fast pace, with Johnson (173) carrying the harder punch of the two. While there were no knockdowns, and little sign of one occurring, the fight was decided by Johnson’s strong finish over the final five rounds.

While Johnson remained idle while waiting to accommodate Archie Moore, following the NYSAC taking the latter’s title away in February 1962 it was announced that the winner of Johnson v Doug Jones would be recognised by them as the champion. Almost immediately, a match was made for May.