1973-08-04 Betulio Gonzalez w pts 15 Miguel Canto, Luis Aparicio Stadium, Caracas, Venezuela - WBC
1973-08-04 Betulio Gonzalez w pts 15 Miguel Canto, Luis Aparicio Stadium, Caracas, Venezuela - WBC. Referee: Moyses Sister. Scorecards: 147-143, 147-145, 147-147. In a slow-paced battle of wits for the WBC title vacated by Venice Borkhorsor, it was the left hand of Gonzalez (112) up against the body-working tactics employed by Canto (111), who picked up eye damage in the second round. There were some good punches landed by both men, but towards the end Gonzalez appeared to have it wrapped up.
Gonzalez’s first defence would be against Alberto Morales, the North American champion, who was rated at number eight by The Ring magazine. Although Morales had lost five of 20 contests - against Lorenzo Gutierrez, Ricardo Delgado, Tarcisio Gomez and Canto (twice), all top men - he had beaten Vicente Pool, Tony Moreno, Ignacio Espinal, Deldado and Lupe Hernandez, and was looking to move up a level.
On 2 September it was reported in the Sydney Morning Herald that Australia’s Commonwealth and national champion, Henry Nissen, had turned down five world title fight offers due to lack of experience at that level. A powerful little fighter who was ranked at number four by The Ring magazine, Nissen had beaten Harry Hayes (twice), John McCluskey and Fernando Atzori, and was unbeaten after 15 fights. However, out of the ring for seven months Nissen came back to lose his Commonwealth title to Big Jim West before retiring after being beaten in the return.