Kuniaki Shibata vs. Raul Cruz

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1971-06-03 : Kuniaki Shibata 126 lbs beat Raul Cruz 125¾ lbs by KO at 3:04 in round 1 of 15

"Champion Kuniaki Shibata stunned a crowd of 5,000 at the Tokyo Metropolitan gymnasium and retained his WBC featherweight title by decking Mexican challenger Raul Cruz with a hard right uppercut to the jaw at 2:54 of the opening round. Cruz lay prone as referee Ken Morita counted him out after the end of the bell. Cruz was unable to get up for several minutes after receiving the knockout blow. After a slow start Shibata suddenly erupted into action with his two-fisted attack which probably caught the Mexican by surprise." -Associated Press

  • Immediately after this fight, Los Angeles promoter George Parnassus offered Shibata a purse of $80,000 to defend his featherweight title against reigning world bantamweight champion Ruben Olivares in Los Angeles.