1973-02-28 Jose Napoles w co 7 (15) Ernie Lopez, Inglewood Forum, Los Angeles, California, USA - WBA/WBC

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1973-02-28 Jose Napoles w co 7 (15) Ernie Lopez, Inglewood Forum, Los Angeles, California, USA - WBA/WBC. Referee: Dick Young. After opening a cut over the champion’s left eye in the second round Lopez (146½) had something to target, but by the third he was being outboxed and hurt with sharp lefts and rights to head and body. Napoles (146½) had Lopez cut over the left eye and rocking in the fifth after upping his work rate, and although the latter came on strong in the sixth the champion was well in control. With the eye injury obviously bothering him, Napoles went on the attack in the seventh, and after sending in a left hook that was followed by a crunching right uppercut to the jaw Lopez crashed down on his back to be counted out at 1.36 of the session.

Ranked number two by The Ring magazine, the European champion, Roger Menetrey, was signed up as Napoles’ next challenger. With 49 wins in 54 contests and having reversed three of his four defeats, the Frenchman was tough, game and a good puncher who had beaten Jean Josselin, Robert Gallois (twice), Fighting Mack, Angel Robinson Garcia, Ralph Charles, Silvano Bertini, Joergen Hansen and Sandro Lopopolo.