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US Boxing
TONEY IN WITH A SHOUT
Holyfield vToneyLas Vegas, USA. 17th August 2003. When Evander 'The Real Deal' Holyfield and James 'Lights Out' Toney meet in the ring on October 4th no belts will be on the line, but with boxing baubles becoming more and more meaningless over the last couple of decades the ticket to a high profile fight with the divisons big-guns is what this is all about. Holyfield, rated as one of the heavyweight greats is amazingly still punching at 40, testament really to his incredible fitness regime and physique over the years. The Real Deal is coming off a disappointing loss to fellow American Chris Byrd for the IBF title last December, a fight which evidently showed a forty year old Evander's limitations against young, mobile fighters. "People asked me why I took this fight," Holyfield said on Toney at a recent press conference. "I took it because this is one guy who refuses to move. I won't have to find you. I'll always know we're you're at." I think you can see Evanders logic here. Toney's certainly looks tailor-made, but if his impressive victory over Vassilly Jirov is anything to go by James Toney certainly has a lot of fizz in his fists. "We are the two best heavyweights in the world," said the younger man, albeit rather unconvincingly "He is a great fighter but you know he's going to sleep," added the IBF Cruiserweight champ. Whether Toney can bring anything up from Cruiserweight to rattle the solid cranium of Holyfield is open to debate, but the ticket to the big league is whats at stake for Toney and watching Roy Jones Jnr come up from 175lbs to handle Puerto Rican heavyweight John Ruiz, James Toney is certainly in with a shout on the night. 
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BRIGGS STOPS SARGENT IN 17 SECONDS
Fort Lauderdale, USA. 20th July 2003. In a complete mismatch, former world title challenger Shannon Briggs stopped journeyman John Sargent in just seventeen seconds of the first round. The end came after Briggs landed with right hooks to the body sending Sargent to the ropes. An ensuing salvo dropped Sargent who was giving away almost 50lbs on the night. It was enough for referee Jorge Alonso to wave the bout off. Briggs, who earned his 32nd KO in 38 starts, picked up the vacant IBU Heavyweight Title with the victory. Also in action at the weekend was US Olympian Calvin Brock who notched his sixteenth pro victory with a two round stoppage of a tubby Marcus Rhode in Reliant Park, Houston. It was knockout number twelve for the man from North Carolina. 
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SHUFFORD RETURNS WITH WIN
Caesars Tahoe, USA. 13th July 2003. American heavyweight, Charles Shufford got back to winning ways last night with a ten round decision over unhearalded Willie Chapman on Cedric Kushners Heavyweight Explosion. Shufford, who lost in a WBO world title bid to Wladimir Klitschko caught the eye of the two of the judges with scores of 98-92, 96-92 with the third judge seeing it even at 95-95. The win saw Shufford rise to 20-4, with Chapman dropping to 16-18-2. On the undercard, prospect Shane Cameron had little trouble blitzing trialhorse Vernon Woodward in one round. Elsewhere at weekend, Alexander Dimitrenko, a stablemate of the Klitschko blew away Nino Fiumana after 1:29 of round one to up his record to nine wins from nine starts. The twenty-one year old is a little shy of 6 foot 7 and tips the scales at over 240lbs. 
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THE LATINO CHAMPIONSHIP
18th June 2003. Well Latino boxing fans can no longer claim a piece of the world heavyweight championship. Roy Jones Jr. has put an exclamatory end the tenure of John Ruiz. The question that may be asked now is this. Where does John Ruiz go from here? Let us put this situation in a better light. In being a former title claimant John still has some marketability. He also has a lot to prove. If John were to retire tomorrow, it is a very good possibility that he would go down in history as one of the worst to ever hold a piece of the crown. He needs to do something to erase the stigma of being forever known as a "Cheese Champion". But what? A rematch with Jones is very doubtful. Who would buy it? Roy was so dominant in their fight that few could envision a Ruiz victory in a return. Lennox Lewis could use John for an easy payday but that would also be another hard sell to the public. How about a rematch with David Tua who expressed interest in meeting John before his loss to Jones ? Chris Byrd would probably box Johnny's ears off. How about Tyson ? This would be a good high profile for Mike against a former champ who many would consider a safe opponent on the way to a Lewis rematch.. FULL ARTICLE (JOE AMATO) 
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LEWIS v KLITSCHKO ON FOR JUNE 21ST
Los Angeles, USA. 9th June 2003. Lennox Lewis rejuvenated his upcoming world title defence bringing forward December's WBC mandatory clash with number one challenger Vitali Klitschko. Both Chris Byrd and Jameel McCline had been considered, but with Klitschko in training for a bout with American Cedrick Boswell on the very same card, there was little in the way. Perhaps the biggest hurdle will be to sell the bout which was expected to be a major pay-per-view event later in the year. Lewis versus Johnson was not a paid-for fight and it is almost inconceivable that there would be enough time to market the Klitschko fight in such a short period of time. As a result, Lewis is likely to settle for a significantly smaller purse than he could have reasonably expected at a later date. Klitschko, who has rumoured to have netted over $1 Million dollars plus the lions share of German TV revenue will go in as underdog on the night .
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McCLINE BOUNCES BACK WITH WIN
Atlantic City, USA. 11th May 2003. Jameel McCline weathered a Charles Shufford storm in the second round to turn the fight around with third round stoppage last night in Atlantic City. McCline coming off an unsuccessful WBO title challenge started cautiously, allowing the faster Shufford to score with sporadic combinations early on. In the second a three punch salvo had McCline staggering into the ropes and looking in trouble but a spirited fightback by the bigger man had the crowd on their feet. McCline continued to come forward and in the third a solid right hook  to the jaw dropped the Las Vegas man to the canvas. After losing his feet on his way up, Shufford did eventually make it up and immediately tried to tie up his opponent. But left hooks and right uppercuts inside from McCline had referee Tony Orlando jumping in to wave the fight off at 2:39 of the 3rd round. On the undercard Ray Austin edged a decision over tricky Sedereck Fields. Fields, who took the fight at late notice had his moments, particularly in the second round when a flurry of punches had Austin holding on for dear life. Austin's jab seemed to be the defining factor however and he took a hairline split decision with scores of 77-75 twice, with one judge seeing it 75-77 to Fields. 
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TUA AND RAHMAN BATTLE TO STALEMATE
Philadelphia, USA. 30th March 2003. The IBF's number one contender is still left undecided this morning as co-challengers David Tua and Hasim 'the Rock' Rahman slugged it out to an inconclusive twelve round draw at the First Union Spectrum in Philadelphia. Two of the judges had it 116-112 for each fighter, with the third unable to split them at 114-114. The New Zealand based Samoan landed clean on a number of occasions but Rahman looking flabby, a little shy of 260lbs, showed remarkable durability to take the shots and fire back. While Tua won a number of rounds big, Rahman a former champion stole many of the close rounds and even dropped Tua after a closing stanza after the bell in the twelfth. "I thought I landed the bigger shots; landed the bigger blows in there" said Tua on the decision "I had him gone, but I looked like I was admiring my work" he added. "Everyone made a big deal about the weight, but I came in an outboxed and outpunched this man" argued Rahman, who said he was "speechless" at the draw. The stalemate mean the duo will likely meet again for the mandatory challenger status for Chris Byrd's IBF title. Elsewhwere last night, former two-time heavyweight champion Michael Moorer dominated, but couldn't put away a stubborn Otis Tisdale at the Seminole Indian Casino. Moorer did drop Tisdale in the third but had to settle for a 98-91, 100-89 and 99-90 verdict on the scorecards. It was Moorers 44th victory in 48 fights.
WEEKEND WINS FOR JOHNSON AND BOSTICE
Dallas, USA. 16th March 2003. Canadian contender Kirk Johnson picked up the WBO intercontinental heavyweight title last night with a fourth round stoppage of Lou Savaresse at the sold out Club Life in Dallas. It was the big left hand that did the damage and in the fourth the man from Nova Scotia landed a solid shot to Saveresse's head dropping the New Yorker. While Saveresse made it to his feet the ref deemed him unfit and waved it off at 1:53 of the round. Also in action on the "Rumble on the Tollway" card was David Bostice who easilly picked up his 29th pro victory with a shutout on all cards over Ron Smith over six rounds. Elsewhere, 7-foot plus, 321 pound, WBA ranked Russian Nicolay Valuev retained his Pan Asian Boxing Association heavyweight title with a unanimous decision over Pedro Franco over 12 rounds at St. Petersburg in Russia. Valuev is now 30-0 with 24 KOs. 
HISTORIC JONES WINS WBA CROWN
Las Vegas, USA. 2nd March 2003. Roy Jones Jnr made history last night by becoming the first former middleweight champion to lift a heavyweight title since Brit, Bob Fitzsimmons in 1897. The 34-year-old put on a masterclass performance in outpointing John Ruiz over twelve rounds at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas. Jones, giving away as much as 33lbs used his speed to draw Ruiz out of his come-forward style and picked him off with left jabs to effectively control the fight. Ruiz, the first ever Puerto Rican heavyweight champion, went for the body early, but switched to playing game, trying to counter Jones on the way in. By the eighth, Jones went into cruise mode and despite a spirited effort by Ruiz in the tenth, the American never looked in any trouble. The judges saw the fight all in favour on Jones by scores of 116-112, 117-111 and 118-110. Jones picked up $10 Million for the fight, by far the highest purse of his career and hinted at a possible heavyweight return in the future."I've got to go back and look at it. I was here just to make history for the fans," said Jones, who also has light-heavyweight responsibilities. Lennox Lewis the current WBC champion was at ringside. "For Roy Jones to move up to heavyweight was a challenge he just couldn't pass up," said Lewis. "He decided to do it and look what happened, he's the heavyweight champion of the world right now. He's definitely going to go back in there with another heavyweight because that was by far the biggest purse of his life" he added. Of the 13 light-heavyweight champions who had previously attempted to make the step up to heavyweight, only Michael Spinks had been successful against an ageing Larry Holmes in 1985.
TYSON STOPS ETIENNE IN 49 SECOND BLITZ
Memphis, USA. 23rd February 2003. Mike Tyson proved he is still amongst the heavyweight elite last night with 49 second demolishion job on Clifford Etienne in Memphis. Etienne, took the fight to Tyson from the opening bell, but after straightening up from an incoming left hand was levelled by a booming right sending him to the canvas for the full count. The former champ blamed last weeks uncertainty on a damaged back, which he sustained from a motorcycle accident. "It is spinal. I had a motorcycle accident and the doctors discovered it. I was doing my sit-ups, 2,500 a day with my 20 pound weights and one day I couldn't move any more." he explained. "I asked the doctor 'what's wrong?' and he said 'believe it or not your back is broken slightly' added Tyson. On the way out of the arena, Etienne was involved in a confrontation with supporters unhappy the fight was over so quickly. "I wasn't ready for this fight but I had obligations. He needed the money and I needed the money. He's a good man." said Iron Mike on Etienne. "I'm just happy to be back in Memphis and give a decent showing and I'm glad Etienne gave me a fight." On asked whether a Lewis rematch was in the works, Tyson indicated a showdown with arch-rival Evander Holyfield was a preferred alternative. 
LAWRENCE AND AUSTIN BATTLE TO STALEMATE
Laughlin, USA. 16th February 2003. Fringe heavyweight, Zuri Lawrence used his fast hands to share the spoils with the harder punching Ray Austin, last night at the Flamingo Laughlin in Laughlin, Nevada. Austin, working his way back after a particularly disappointing showing at Cedric Kushners "Fistful of Dollars" last time out, started the stronger tagging Lawrence with the right hand in the opening two rounds. Down the stretch however, Lawrence wore the bigger man down and did enough to convince two of the three judges he'd earned five of the ten rounds. Also up on the night was unbeaten Canadian prospect, Patrice L'Heureux who lost his 100% record with four round draw with tricky veteran Willie Chapman. Elsewhere former heavyweight contender Oleg Maskaev walked through the hopelessly overmatched Errol Sadikovski at the Multi-Purpose Center in Lewiston, Maine. Referee Mark Landry waved the fight off after 1:05 of the first round after Sadikovski hit the deck three times.
SLICK NOLAN RISES TO 17-0 
Detroit, USA. 13th January 2003. Rising prospect from the Team Cannon stable, Leo Nolan cruised to an eight round unanimous decision at the weekend over Tennessee veteran, Chavez Francisco. The judges all saw it 80-72 to the Mid-Western Federation champ who spent time learning the trade sparing with world class welterweight, Oba Carr. "Oba put a whippin' on me every single day for about six months," remembers Leo, who is trained by uncle Anthony. While Leo has only fought 17th fights in ten years, the Detroit man nicknamed 'Paco' had his career put on hold after four year jail stint. Also in action was team mate, Rydell Booker who had to dig deep to overcome former Cruiserweight champ, Uriah Grant. Booker who represented the US in the World Amateur Championships in Ireland kept Grant at bay with his quick hands throughout but had to weather a spirited comeback in the close of the fight to pick up a unanimous verdict by scores of 96-94 twice and 98-92. Another prospect in action in the US at the weekend was DaVarryl Williamson, who dropped Robert Wiggins in twice en route to a unanimous decision. The judges saw it 94-93, 97-90, 96-91 for Williamson, who rises to 18-1(16). It was only Wiggins' second loss in twenty fights. 
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