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Boxing
Jones pounds Lacy, sets up IBO title shot
Lyle Fitzsimmons


By Lyle Fitzsimmons,
Contributing Boxing Editor


Biloxi, MS (Sports Network) - For one magical evening, it was 1998.

And, after a vintage turn-back-the-clock performance at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum on Saturday night, it seems Roy Jones Jr. may get at least one more chance in boxing's biggest spotlight.

Just a few months away from his 41st birthday and five years removed from his most recent world championship, Jones nonetheless looked the part of a title contender in a punishing 10-round defeat of fellow former belt-holder Jeff Lacy.

Lacy's corner waved off the carnage after the 10th round.

SportsNetwork.com had it 98-92 for Jones -- eight rounds to two -- at the time of the stoppage.

The win boosts Jones to 54-5 in a career that began in 1989, and, more notably, puts him in line for a shot at a belt in the only division he's not conquered between middleweight and heavyweight.


Roy Jones Jr. looked the part of a title contender in a punishing 10-round defeat of fellow former belt-holder
Jeff Lacy.
An agreement in principle has been reached for Jones to challenge new IBO cruiserweight champion Danny Green, who captured that vacant crown with a fifth-round stoppage of Julio Cesar Dominguez on Saturday night's undercard.

The fight is tentatively scheduled for Nov. 21.

"I knew (Lacy) was coming with that sort of style, so I had to get back in the best of shape," Jones said. "And now I'm taking it to the Green."

Jones, who claimed to be buoyed in training camp by the return of his father, Roy Jones Sr., to lead status in his corner, looked the part of a 20-something throughout, continually clowning with the crowd, the ringside TV crew and a small contingent of Lacy fans alongside the St. Petersburg native's corner.

"I was telling them, 'He's a rookie. This is a rookie. I'm a professional. And this is what you do to a rookie, you take him school,'" Jones said.

And all the while, with his back against the ropes or in the center of the ring, he repeatedly strafed Lacy with hooks to the body and head, punctuated by the occasional uppercut.

The beating left Lacy with two badly swollen eyes, a cut alongside the right eyelid and a body that'll no doubt be feeling the effects of the punishment for weeks to come.

"I am the best hooker in the game," Jones said. "I've got the best left hook in the business. Being 40 don't mean a doggone thing to me. I don't have a style. I just do this for a living, This is what I do."

Lacy, the former IBF and IBO champion at 168 pounds, fell to 25-3

"I came here and fought my heart out," Lacy said. "I left it all in the ring and hopefully we'll come back here down the road and do it again."

The fight's start time was delayed several minutes after a controversy with the gloves.

A ringside official said Lacy "couldn't get his hands in" the pair of Grant gloves he'd been assigned, prompting a last-minute change to Everlast for both fighters.

Lacy eventually entered the ring at 11:40 p.m. ET, followed shortly after by Jones at 11:43.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Australian slugger Danny Green became a two-division world champion in violent fashion, winning the vacant IBO cruiserweight belt with a punishing five-round stoppage of Argentine veteran Julio Cesar Dominguez.

Green, who'd held the WBA light heavyweight title in 2007 before a nearly two- year retirement from the ring, drove Dominguez to the floor with a straight left hand with 40 seconds left in the round, then swarmed him along the ropes in the final 10 seconds, prompting the corner to intervene at 2:53.

"I'm so happy, and I want to give a special thank you to all the Australians who came out to support me," Green said. "We're a small contingent, but we're extremely loud."

Now 27-3 with 24 knockouts, Green was in control from the outset and prompted a standing-8 count in the first round when he caught a charging Dominguez with a looping right hand that left him stumbling into the ropes.

Green continued to land solid blows through two, three and four, raising a nasty lump under Dominguez's right eye and drawing loud response from a partisan crowd.

"To the people of Mississippi, I can't thank you enough for the hospitality you've shown," he said. "Dominguez is a big puncher and I felt his shots, but my corner did an amazing job getting me ready.

"I've done my half of the bargain. Now it's time for Roy to take care of Jeff Lacy."

Prior to campaigning at light heavyweight, Green failed in two title challenges at 168 pounds, losing to Markus Beyer in August 2003 and March 2005.

He moved to cruiserweight after the 17-month hiatus and stopped Anthony van Niekerk in two rounds in April in his most recent fight.

Dominguez, now 20-5-1, was making his U.S. debut and fighting for just the third time outside Argentina.

He was the world's No. 61 cruiserweight in the IBO's points-based computerized rankings for August, while Green was ranked sixth. Upon rising to a new weight class, fighters take their existing IBO point totals with them, minus a 25- percent penalty.

Based on his point totals prior to the Lacy fight, Jones would enter the division ranked third.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Cruiserweight BJ Flores stayed unbeaten with a fourth-round stoppage of veteran Epifanio Mendoza when the Colombian retired due to an apparent left shoulder injury.

Mendoza grimaced in pain after missing badly with a jab in the round's first half-minute, prompting Flores to swarm him with punches. Mendoza again indicated an injury after attempting another left later in the round and was rescued by his handlers, who indicated surrender at 1:19 of the session.

Flores, now 24-0-1, was making the first defense of the NABO title he won with a decision over Jose Luis Herrera in Pensacola in four months ago.

He has won 20 in a row since battling to a draw with Semisi Bloomfield in his fifth pro fight six years ago.

"I felt great," Flores said. "He's a rugged guy and he'd only been stopped once, so this is one I'm very proud of."

Mendoza, who's lost four of his last five fights, was beaten in a challenge for Chad Dawson's WBC light heavyweight title in September 2007.

He was subsequently outpointed by Jeff Lacy in July 2008 and ex-Olympian Beibut Shumenov in December 2008, before coming back to stop Diego Castillo in one round in March.

He is 29-8-1.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Recent world title challenger Jason Litzau returned to the spotlight in impressive style, picking up the NABO lightweight title when the ringside doctor stopped his scheduled 10-round fight with Verquan Kimbrough after the third round.

Beaten in eight rounds by then-IBF featherweight champion Robert Guerrero in February 2008, Litzau landed the heavier blows throughout against Kimbrough, who'd been unbeaten in eight fights since his lone career loss in 2006.

"That's what I do," said Litzau, now 25-2 with 21 KOs. "I don't care if I get knocked out or the other guy gets knocked out. I'm going to give the fans the kind of fight they want."

Litzau scored the bout's lone knockdown with a straight right in the final half-minute of the second round, then consistently punished Kimbrough in the third, worsening a gash alongside the Pennsylvanian's right eye.

Kimbrough, a former USBA and NABA title-holder at 135 pounds, fell to 21-2-2. His previous loss had come in 2006, via fourth-round KO, against Mexican Jose Alberto Gonzalez in Chester, W. Va.

Litzau, who was 125 pounds for the loss to Guerrero, weighed in at 131 for a subsequent defeat of Phillip Payne in April. He was 135 pounds against Kimbrough.

"I can still make 126 pounds easily, but I could tell that I was able to take shots at 135 that I wasn't able to take at 126," Litzau said.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

On the untelevised undercard:

Gabriel Pham required only 27 seconds to score a win in his pro debut, stopping Troy Pollock in round one of a scheduled four-round super middleweight bout.

A native of Pleasantville, N.J., Pham dropped Pollock in a neutral corner with what appeared to be an elbow and a shove, though it was ruled a knockdown by referee Keith Hughes.

Pollock, whose nose was bloodied from the shot, rose in time but declined to continue when asked by Hughes.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Super featherweight Yaundale Evans scored a first-round TKO in his first pro fight, dispatching fellow novice Frederick Bowen in 55 seconds.

Evans, of Cleveland, drove Bowen to the ropes with a flurry and scored with a whistling right hand that briefly wobbled him and prompted the quick intervention from referee Randy Phillips.

Bowen, of Jackson, Tenn., was also making his pro debut.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Ghanan-born super featherweight Ray Narh scored his 20th knockout in 23 pro wins with a fifth-round TKO of veteran Marteze Logan in a scheduled eight- rounder.

Logan hit the floor twice in the fifth round, with the latter knockdown prompting the stoppage at 1:21.

Narh, whose lone loss came to former world contender Almazbek Raiymkulov on the De La Hoya-Sturm undercard in 2004, had won every previous round against Logan with incrementally more dominance.

Logan, of Covington, Tenn. is 26-38-2.

He had previous losses to former welterweight champion Paul Williams, former "Contender" winner Steve Forbes and current prospects Lamont and Anthony Peterson.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Tampa-area prospect Lenroy Thomas won his 13th straight since a loss in his pro debut, pitching a unanimous six-round shutout over mammoth heavyweight Gabe Brown.

Thomas was consistently busier and scored clean shots in every round, but never seemed able to hurt Brown, who, at 355 pounds, outweighed him by nearly 100.

Thomas weighed 245 1/2 pounds.

Brown dropped his hands midway through the fourth and took more than a dozen uninterrupted punches, but was never deterred from plodding forward.

Thomas got 60-54 verdicts from all three judges.

Now 18-11-4, Brown is winless in eight fights since 2005 and has won just three times since beginning his career at 15-2-1.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Australian light heavyweight Daniel Baff made his U.S. debut and earned his 11th win in 13 pro fights with a second-round stoppage of Shannon Miller.

Baff, from Sydney, scored his 10th KO and improved to 11-1-1 in a career that began in 2005.

Miller is 24-45-8.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Pensacola super middleweight Isaac Salter was a quick success in his pro debut, dispatching Mississippi-based journeyman Paul Foret in the opening round of a scheduled four.

Foret is 1-14.

Jabs, hooks or knockouts, Lyle Fitzsimmons can be reached at fitzbitz@msn.com.

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