1978-06-17 Mate Parlov w pts 15 John Conteh, Red Star Stadium, Belgrade, Yugoslavia - WBC
1978-06-17 Mate Parlov w pts 15 John Conteh, Red Star Stadium, Belgrade, Yugoslavia - WBC. Referee: Rudy Ortega. Scorecards: 145-141, 143-140, 141-147. Having come to the ring with both eyes heavily protected with grease, Parlov (175) was allowed to start the fight after a delay of 20 minutes due to pressure being exerted by the TV executives. At that point the champion still had two layers of covering on his eyes, giving him an unfair advantage from the start. Although Parlov was still amateur regarding technique, often flicking out his southpaw jab rather than landing solidly, it took Conteh (173) a fair time to work him out. With Conteh being cautioned throughout when getting to close quarters, in frustration he butted Parlov in the eighth after opening up a cut on the latter’s right eye. From the tenth onwards, however, Conteh was in control, hurting Parlov with all manner of body shots and scoring solidly to the head as well. At the start of the 15th it appeared that Conteh was in total control and despite being deducted a point for use of the elbow he continued to batter away at Parlov. With the referee scoring it for Conteh by a six-point margin, it seemed incredible that the other two judges leant towards the champion.