1968-03-04 Nino Benvenuti w pts 15 Emile Griffith, Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, NYC, New York, USA - WORLD
1968-03-04 Nino Benvenuti w pts 15 Emile Griffith, Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, NYC, New York, USA - WORLD. Referee: John LoBianco. Scorecards: 8-6, 8-6, 7-7. In what was a close fight with the champion again starting well, Benvenuti (160) did not make the same mistake as he did last time when allowing his rival to dominate large parts of the fight. Although he was very nearly dropped in the sixth and took some heavy punches in the seventh, Benvenuti came right back into it the ninth when he floored Griffith (154½) with a left-right combination. The Italian shook Griffith up again in the 12th and at the final bell, despite both men being tired it was the latter who was on the receiving end.
Having injured a thumb in a non-title contest against Jimmy Ramos on 5 July, Benvenuti was suspended in Canada until he fulfilled his obligations to meet Art Hernandez, something he did on 17 September. The injury, however, had disturbed his routine but given until the end of the year by the authorities to make a defence, negotiations to meet Don Fullmer began in September.