1998-02-13 Johnny Tapia w pts 12 Rodolfo Blanco, University of New Mexico Arena, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA - IBF/WBO
1998-02-13 Johnny Tapia w pts 12 Rodolfo Blanco, University of New Mexico Arena, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA - IBF/WBO. Referee: Tony Rosales. Scorecards: 119-108, 120-107, 120-107. Despite suffering a cut over the left eye from an accidental butt from Blanco (115) in the opening round, Tapia (115) cruised to victory in an occasionally dirty fight where both men were guilty of hitting below the belt. Luckily, the champion’s wound did not deteriorate and he eventually settled down to demonstrate the difference in class between them.
With Tapia undecided on whether to move up a division, Victor Godoi won the WBO ‘interim’ title when outpointing Pedro Morquecho over 12 rounds at the Founding Partners Stadium, Chubut, Argentina on 7 November.
Following his WBA bantamweight title win over Nana Yaw Konadu on 5 December, Tapia relinquished both the IBF and WBO titles, leaving Godoi recognised as the WBO champion and the IBF matching Marc Johnson and Ratanachai Sor Vorapin (Singwancha) to find their new champion.