Mike Rossman beltered challenger Aldo Traversaro with a combination of punches that opened a gaping cut on the Italian's forehead and retained his world light heavyweight crown with a technical knockout after 1 minute 15 seconds of the sixth round tonight.
Rossman was defending the World Boxing Association version of the title. Traversaro, of Genoa, is the European champion.
Rossman had just caught the Italian ducking away from a left hook and threw a bolo uppercut that gashed his scalp at the hairline and caused blood to gush.
A hastily applied bandage was so bulky that the Italian's appearance suggested the wounded soldier in "The Spirit of '76" painting.
It was Rossman's first defense of the championship he won Sept. 15 in New Orleans by stopping Victor Galindez on cuts in the 13th round.
Dr. Wallace Davidson of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission gave Traversaro emergency treatment and sent him to nearby Methodist Hospital.
Dr. Ferdie Pacheco of Miami, who was part of a closed-circuit telecast team, said the wound was so deep he could hardly believe it had been caused by a punch and not a head butt. He said the cut was about 3 1/2 inches long and deep like a "V" trench.
Pacheco said an artery was spurting the blood. "If they can close the cut with 12 stitches, they will be doing good."
A television instant replay on a monitor at ringside showed that Traversaro had been hit by a left hook, then a right cross and another hook and another cross. He was attempting to bob under another left when Rossman brought up the uppercut from his waistline.
An erect, slashing puncher, Rossman cut his previous 10 opponents and stopped six of the last eight on cuts. There were no knockdowns tonight.
A crowd of 11,205 in the Spectrum was surprised when Traversaro, a 5-to-2 underdog, appeared to win the third and fourth rounds. He cut Rossman slightly under the left eye in the third and bloodied the champ's nose in the fourth and fifth rounds.
rossman took charge in the fifth after reddening Traversaro's left eye with short punches to the head. A savage left hook followed by an uppercut and another left ti1ted up the Italian's head for the combinations of blows that left him a bloody mess.
It was Rossman's 23rd knockout in 36 victories, five losses and three draws.
In a 10-round cofeature, Bruce Curry, 142, of Los Angeles had too much firepower for "Smokin" Wade Hinnet, 143, of Philadelphia and gained a split decision that was booed. Most fans apparently felt the verdict should have been unanimous.
Jerry Martin, 175 1/4, of Philadelphia pounded out an eight-round decision over Jerry Celestine, 173, of New Orleans, who recently was pardoned from a Louisiana prison here he was serving a term for armed robbery.
Martin used his bullish strength to wear down Celestine in a bloody battle.
Martin was cut inside the mouth in the second round and along the right eyebrow in the fifth. Celestine, 173, was cut above the right eye late in the fourth round.
There were no knockdowns, but both fighters were staggered several times.
The defeat was a big disappointment for Celestine. While still a prisoner, he had lost a 10-round decision to Marvin Johnson on the Muhammad Ali-Leon Spinks card Sept. 15.