1968-03-04 Joe Frazier w rsc 11 (15) Buster Mathis, Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, NYC, New York, USA - NY
1968-03-04 Joe Frazier w rsc 11 (15) Buster Mathis, Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, NYC, New York, USA - NY. Referee: Arthur Mercante. Fighting for the vacant NYSAC version of the title, Frazier (204½) picked it up after the sixth, having shared the earlier rounds, and while Mathis (243½) was looking for a winning punch he was by far the busier of the pair. Why Mathis adopted this tactic beggared belief as Frazier took full advantage of the situation by popping away with left hands and in the 11th out of nowhere a left hook sent the bigger man crashing. Although making a supreme effort to rise, Mathis was in no condition to fight on and the referee wisely stopped the contest with 27 seconds of the session remaining. Following the fight, Frazier, the first Olympic heavyweight champion to win the heavyweight title, stated that he knew he had Mathis going in the tenth, having worked his body continuously.
A little later the WBC announced that they would recognise Frazier as champion if a match-up with Muhammad Ali became impossible to make. The next State to recognise Frazier as champion was Pennsylvania, which was hardly surprising as Philadelphia was his hometown, despite being born in South Carolina. They were followed by Illinois, Massachusetts and Maine.