1963-06-08 Emile Griffith w pts 15 Luis Rodriguez, Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, NYC, New York, USA - WORLD
1963-06-08 Emile Griffith w pts 15 Luis Rodriguez, Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, NYC, New York, USA - WORLD. Referee: Jimmy Devlin. Scorecards: 8-7, 9-6, 5-10. In gaining the split decision, Griffith (146½) became the first man to win the 147lbs title for the third time, but for long periods of the contest he appeared to have been outboxed by the champion. While he carried the harder punch and hurt Rodriguez (146½) from both hands in the first, eighth and 13th rounds he did not sustain his attacks and in the seventh he was forced back continuously. According to Angelo Dundee, Rodriguez dominated the fight and was at his best when forcing Griffith to lead before leaving him lunging and missing. Press reports generally gave the impression that Rodriguez had landed more blows, but many of them would not have counted as they lacked authority.
Having regained the title, Griffith went in search of the middleweight championship but came a cropper when blitzed in the opening round by Rubin Carter. With both men looking for two further warm-up bouts under their belts, a rubber match was sealed between Griffith and Rodriguez at the end of February 1964 to take place in June.