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Nino Benvenuti held off a rallying Emile Griffith to regain the world middleweight boxing championship last night in the first fight in new Madison Square Garden.
The underdog Italian scored a unanimouse 15-round decision over Griffith, flooring him with a left hook in the ninth round.
Griffith's savage comeback in the remaining rounds wobbled Benvenuti, but it came too late to overcome the Italian's big lead.
In the second title bout of the evening favorite Joe Frazier smashed his way to an 11th round technical knockout over giant Buster Mathis. He won recognition as world heavyweight champ in New York, Maine, Illinois and Massachusetts.
The reforce stopped the bout, a scheduled 15 rounded, after Frazier landed a crashing left hook which sent the bloodied Mathis through the ropes.
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