"You feel tired?" Steward asked.
"Well, throw the right. I don't know how they got it scored, but the only official I can see is the referee, and that makes me awfully worried."
The 15th round was eventful, with both fighters on the attack. When it was over, Judge Lou Filippo gave it to nobody, 142-142, while the others, Tony Castellano (144-139) and Dick Young (146-136) had Hearns the winner.
Afterward, Gregorio was his usual tactless self. "The judges are a bunch of crooks," he said. "For the last seven or eight rounds the other guy was on a bicycle with his right hand stuck up his behind, and they take the title away from a three-time world champion."
Gregorio also ruled out a rematch. "Who needs it?" he said. "One robbery is enough. One thing Hearns does is run, and if a boxer who runs can beat a triple champion, who needs him? I saw Cassius Clay run, and they give it to him. Maybe everybody just wants to destroy boxing. We fight Marvin Hagler. If not him, then I tell Wilfred to retire."
In the dressing room, Benitez' mother gently wiped the sweat from her son's face. "You have nothing to be ashamed of," she said. Then she kissed him on the cheek. "Un besito para el nene" she said softly. A kiss for a child.
The next morning Steward was asked about Hagler. "Not right now," he said. I think we would like to defend this title first. Then we'll think about Hagler."
It was 10 a.m. and Hearns, who had taken the first flight out, had already arrived home in Detroit to get his right hand X-rayed, although his physician, Dr. Fred Lewerenz, had said he thought the injury was no more than a slight separation between the first knuckle and the thumb, which the X rays confirmed.
Before Hearns left New Orleans he was asked about Hagler. "Who?" he replied. "Oh! Well, if he wants me he knows where he can find me."