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Griffith Wins Controversial TKO Victory Over Fernandez on Low Blow

Dec. 8, 1962 - Emile Griffith retained his welterweight crown last night on a controversial ninth-round TKO over Argentina’s Jorge Fernandez before 4,840 bewildered fans at Las Vegas Convention Hall. Griffith, leading on two scorecards, uncorked a right hand that caught Fernandez well below the belt and squarely on his protective cup. The sound could be heard clear to the last row of the arena. Fernandez (pictured), who had been floored for a mandatory eight-count in the seventh, rolled in agony on the floor and then seemingly passed out. With a national television audience as well as the hooting live crowd waiting a full five minutes, Fernandez was unable to continue. It was a dismal end to a disappointing fight. Griffith, weighing 145, was listless through the first 7 rounds and didn’t put a single combination together during the entire evening. The crowd screamed in disbelief when the official verdict was announced. Papers came flying into the ring, and there appeared to be the makings of a first-class riot. But heavyweight champion Sonny Liston climbed into the ring to referee the next fight, and the crowd quieted.


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