1966-08-24 Curtis Cokes w pts 15 Manuel Gonzalez, Municipal Auditorium, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA - WBA
1966-08-24 Curtis Cokes w pts 15 Manuel Gonzalez, Municipal Auditorium, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA - WBA. Referee: Pete Giarusso. Scorecards: 8-3, 9-3, 7-5. In contesting the WBA version of the vacant title, with Cokes (145¾) and Gonzalez (147) meeting for the fifth time, at the final bell it was clear that the latter had been beaten for the fourth time. Although Gonzalez gave a good account of himself in the fourth and fifth rounds, he was far too negative, clutching at every opportunity, and did not do nearly enough to convince the judges. With the exception of an explosive 12th round when Cokes blasted Gonzalez to the canvas following a flurry of hard blows from both hands there was not much excitement, and even when the latter got up the man from Dallas could not finish him off.
Brian Curvis was to have been Cokes’ next opponent, but when he was forced to withdraw with an injured foot it was quickly decided that he would be replaced by the unbeaten Ted Whitfield, Percy Manning, Francois Pavilla or Jean Josselin, the European champion. With Manning lined up to contest the Californian version of the title and Pavilla not even ranked, it was the top-rated Josselin who was ultimately selected. Whitfield was now rated in the top three, numbering Gaspar Ortega and Charley Scott among his 23 victims, but any chance of a crack at the winner disappeared when he lost five of his next six contests.