1970-01-06 Johnny Famechon w co 14 (15) Fighting Harada, Municipal Gym, Tokyo, Japan - WBC

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1970-01-06 Johnny Famechon w co 14 (15) Fighting Harada, Municipal Gym, Tokyo, Japan - WBC. Referee: Nicholas Pope. In a return by public demand, the champion was a far different proposition this time round, using his speed and countering left jabs to pick up the points and keep Harada (126) at bay. Harada finally got to Famechon (124¾) in the tenth round when a right cross put the latter down for the mandatory ‘eight’ and after going all out for a stoppage in the 11th he was himself knocked down for ‘eight’ by a hard left in the 12th. Now Famechon was on the warpath as he blitzed Harada throughout the 13th and continued where he left off in the 14th, by forcing a standing ‘eight’ count on Harada who was helpless on the ropes. With the bit between the teeth, Famechon would not be denied and solid left-rights battered Harada on to the ring apron where he was counted out at 1.09 of the session.

In the immediate aftermath, the promoter, Mike Barrett, signed up the former champion, Vicente Saldivar, as Famechon’s next challenger. Initially planned to take place in London, the fight eventually ended up in Rome after negotiations with several venues fell through.

At this time the top three contenders were Saldivar, Harada and Cruz Marcano as far as The Ring magazine was concerned, and the latter, unbeaten after 27 contests, was looking for a crack at the winner. Having just won the Venezuelan title from Pedro Gomez, Marcano had also defeated Antonio Cervantes, Antonio Herrera, Bobby Valdez and Alfredo Marcano along the way, and seemed certain to progress. Unfortunately for Marcano he lost his unbeaten record in his next fight and after coming back in winning vein he was killed in a car crash on 22 August.