1982-12-03 Thomas Hearns w pts 15 Wilfred Benitez, The Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA - WBC
1982-12-03 Thomas Hearns w pts 15 Wilfred Benitez, The Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA - WBC. Referee: Octavio Meyran. Scorecards: 144-137, 144-139, 142-142. Using a brilliant left lead and helped by an eight-inch reach advantage, Hearns (153¾) picked his punches with cool precision to outbox the champion in all but the middle rounds and how one judge had them level on points at the end beggared belief. Despite having a point deducted in the fourth for pulling Benitez’s head down and being counted on in the ninth after slipping over, Hearns appeared to win handsomely. Benitez (152), who was dropped in the fifth by a right to the jaw, had great difficulty in catching Hearns, and even when he managed to get to close quarters he was more often than not outpunched. Not an exciting contest by any means, but in Hearns the New York-born Benitez undoubtedly met his match.
Having unfortunately injured his right hand during the contest, Hearns had it placed in a cast before coming back to beat Murray Sutherland in a non-title bout on 10 July 1983. Unfortunately, it was again damaged and placed in a cast, it being seven months before he was fit enough to defend the title against Luigi Minchillo.
Towards the end of 1982, the WBC announced that, as from 1 January 1983, all world title bouts held under their banner would be contested over 12 rounds.