1974-12-14 Jose Napoles w co 3 (15) Horacio Saldano, Sports Palace, Mexico City, Mexico - WORLD
1974-12-14 Jose Napoles w co 3 (15) Horacio Saldano, Sports Palace, Mexico City, Mexico - WORLD. Referee: Ramon Berumen. Despite having difficulties in making 147lbs, when Napoles (146½) came out fast he was soon penetrating the challenger’s defences with left jabs and sparkling combinations. Even then Saldano (143) was catching Napoles with hurtful body blows, and it looked like being a quick and explosive fight. The third round saw Napoles smashing in a left uppercut that knocked Saldano’s gumshield out, leaving him weak and open before a cracking left-right combination sent him down to be counted out on the 1.55 mark.
Another man making his mark in the division at this time was Fausto Rodriguez, the Dominican champion, who had just beaten Harold Weston and Alvin Anderson to be handed a top-three rating by The Ring magazine. Described as having a hypnotic upright stance, Rodriguez had won 16 of 17 recorded fights (29 of 30, with 24 inside the distance wins according to the press hand-outs) and reversed his only loss to Anderson. On the verge of a title shot, after being outpointed by Nick Ortiz ten fights later he was dead, killed in a car crash along with his family.