1968-12-12 Nicolino Locche w rtd 10 (15) Paul Fujii, Kuramae Arena, Tokyo, Japan - WBA

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1968-12-12 Nicolino Locche w rtd 10 (15) Paul Fujii, Kuramae Arena, Tokyo, Japan - WBA. Referee: Nicholas Pope. Springing something of a surprise, the experienced challenger quickly got his left jab going to put points in the bank while Fujii (139¾) seemed lethargic and disappointing after being out of the ring for so long. Maintaining his good start, Locche (138½) continued to pull away, mixing up long left hooks to the body and rights and lefts to the head as Fujii rushed him in a desperate attempt to bring him down. Cut over the right eye in the fourth made Fujii’s job even more difficult. Although he never stopped throwing punches they were often wild, having little effect other than the odd few which landed. After taking the best Fujii could offer Locche opened up in the ninth with hard right and left uppercuts to the jaw, and when the bell rang for the tenth to begin it was clear that the champion had retired, the contest coming to a close after five seconds of the session had elapsed.

The former champion, Carlos Hernandez, who was The Ring magazine’s fifth-rated lightweight contender, would be Locche’s first challenger. Since losing his title to Sandro Lopopolo in April 1966, Hernandez had won 15 of 18 contests, beating the likes of L. C. Morgan, Lennox Beckles, Daniel Guanin, German Gastelbondo, Ray Adigun and Alfredo Urbina.