1975-03-11 John Conteh w rsc 5 (15) Lonnie Bennett, The Arena, Wembley, London, England - WBC
1975-03-11 John Conteh w rsc 5 (15) Lonnie Bennett, The Arena, Wembley, London, England - WBC. Referee: Roland Dakin. Boxing quite brilliantly, Conteh (174) began to get on top of the always dangerous Bennett (172½) in the second round after the American had taken the opener. The third and fourth sessions saw both men matching their skills, but it was Conteh who looked the most likely to finish it when buckling Bennett’s legs on a couple of occasions. Storming out for the fifth, Conteh was pounding Bennett with rights and lefts when the latter suddenly pulled away with a badly cut left eye. There was no way that Bennett could box on with that injury and the referee stopped the fight on the 1.10 mark.
Taking a trip to America, on 16 August Conteh outpointed Willie Taylor over ten rounds of a non-title fight at the Catholic Youth Centre, Scranton, Pennsylvania on 16 August. Although he looked good, the champion unfortunately broke his right hand in the fifth round and was forced to take a long lay-off to allow the bone to knit properly.
At the end of December, the WBC ordered Conteh to defend against a nominated contender and, at the same time, honour his commitment to Mickey Duff. Having settled his argument with Duff, he was then booked to defend against Yaqui Lopez in Kampala, Uganda on 28 March 1976, prior to it being postponed until 11 April. Bad luck then struck again, as Conteh broke his right hand in the same place as before and was sidelined for at least three or four months. Given until October to defend against Lopez or face being stripped, a date of 9 October and a new venue were eventually confirmed.