1997-01-11 Terry Norris w rsc 10 Nick Rupa, The Arena, Nashville, Tennessee, USA - WBC/IBF
1997-01-11 Terry Norris w rsc 10 Nick Rupa, The Arena, Nashville, Tennessee, USA - WBC/IBF. Referee: Marty Denkin. Although not really up to championship class, Rupa (152¼) proved to be a real tough guy as he stood in front of the champion virtually from the opening bell and took his best punches unflinchingly for almost ten rounds. Finding his man repeatedly, especially with overarm rights, Norris forced a mandatory count in the fourth when Rupa was adjudged to have touched down. With Rupa being outclassed, by the middle sessions there was little coming back. At that stage of the contest Norris’s much harder shots were beginning to take a toll of Rupa, who was told by the referee before the start of the eighth that he would be given one more round to change things. Strangely, after taking a battering for the next couple of sessions Rupa was still there, and it was only in the tenth after a heavy one-two combination had dropped him that the third man thought fit to rescue him, the finish being timed at 2.34.
After Norris forfeited the IBF version of the title in March when negotiating a fight against Felix Trinidad and refusing to meet Raul Marquez, the mandatory challenger, the latter was matched against Anthony Stephens to find a new champion.