1966-10-21 Sandro Lopopolo w rtd 7 (15) Vicente Rivas, Sports Palace, Rome, Italy - WBA/WBC

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1966-10-21 Sandro Lopopolo w rtd 7 (15) Vicente Rivas, Sports Palace, Rome, Italy - WBA/WBC. Referee: Nello Barroveccio. Making his first defence, Lopopolo (139¾) hardly covered himself in glory against the 32-year-old Rivas (140), who offered very little in terms of aggression before retiring on his stool at the end of the seventh. Prior to that, the technically correct Lopopolo had finally caught up with Rivas in the sixth, with lefts and rights to the head, but had been unable to make his attacks pay off against the speedy Venezuelan. In explaining his retirement, Rivas, who had beaten Lopopolo on points in a ten-round non-title contest on 3 July, claimed that he had first hurt his right in the fourth and by the seventh the pain was too severe for him to continue.

Having ordered Lopopolo to defend against Jose Napoles by 20 November or risk being stripped, the WBC accepted 21 January 1967, but when Lopopolo then requested a postponement following a tonsillectomy operation on 12 December, he was given a final date of 21 February 1967. It was then agreed that he could make a defence against Paul Fujii as long as both men posted a $15,000 bond with the WBC and accepted that whoever won would defend against Napoles next time out. Then, it was announced that Willi Quatuor, the undefeated European champion, would be meeting Napoles in Mexico City on 26 March 1967 to decide the WBC version of the title, but after that fell through when it was realised that the latter could not make the weight, it was agreed that Quatuor would be first in line for the winner of Lopopolo v Fujii.