1969-10-17 Jose Napoles w pts 15 Emile Griffith, Inglewood Forum, Los Angeles, California, USA - WORLD
1969-10-17 Jose Napoles w pts 15 Emile Griffith, Inglewood Forum, Los Angeles, California, USA - WORLD. Referee: Dick Young. Scorecards: 11-4, 11-3, 9-4. Pacing himself expertly, Napoles (144¾) poured in the punches early on against the former champion, always looking for the opportunity to rip in left hooks, and in the opening two sessions he delighted his supporters when hammering in left jabs and hard rights. In the third, with the men at close quarters, Napoles smashed in a vicious right uppercut to drop Griffith (144½), and when the latter got up he was pounded to the body for the remainder of the round. There were no more knockdowns, but with Napoles always dangerous in close Griffith often had to tie him up in order to avoid punishment, which, more often than not, detracted from the attacking side of his game plan. Although Griffith showed up at best in the fifth, when he came again in the 13th with some terrific left-right combinations Napoles held on in the knowledge that he already had the result sewn up.
Napoles’ next challenger would be Ernie Lopez, who had won 38 of 45 contests, beating Jose Stable, Tito Marshall, Gabe Terronez, Hedgemon Lewis (twice) and Raul Soriano. Ranked as the number-two contender by The Ring magazine, Lopez was an aggressive all-action fighter who rarely failed to excite.