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New champ: Holyfield

Evander Holyfield knocked Buster Douglas unconscious with a single right hand to the jaw in the third round and became the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world Thursday night. The stunning ending also ended the reign of Douglas, which began when he shocked the sports world with a 10th-round knockout of Mike Tyson last Feb. 11.

Douglas had just thrown a right uppercut that missed when Holyfield crashed home a right that dropped the 246-pound champion flat on his back, where he was counted out by referee Mills Lane. Douglas remained on the canvas for several seconds before being helped to a stool where he was examined by a ring physician.

The fight was devoid of any real action for the first two rounds, and the third round was following the same pattern. Suddenly, it ended as a crowd of 16,000 outdoors roared to its feet, as though sensing Douglas wouldn't get up.

The end came at 1:10 of the third round.

Douglas went into the ring a 7-5 underdog, making him the 11th heavyweight champion to be an underdog in a defense. He also became the 17th heavyweight champion to lose the title in his first defense.

Much had been made of Douglas' weight, 14{ pounds more than when he took the title from Tyson, with many observers wondering if he would have the stamina for 12 tough rounds.

The question was never answered.

Holyfield, who weighed 208, had clear edges in the first two rounds, although he wasn't the attacker he had been in earlier fights. He chose to box with Douglas, who appeared to be looking to counterpunch.

Holyfield now has a 25-0 record with 21 knockouts. Douglas is 30-5-1 with 20


In the featured bout of the undercard, Olympic silver medalist Riddick Bowe remained undefeated by stopping Bert Cooper at the end of the second round of their scheduled 10-round heavyweight fight.

Bowe knocked Cooper down late in the second round, then again as the bell sounded, prompting referee Richard Steele to move in and stop the fight at 3:09 of the second round.

Bowe, winning his 20th straight fight as a pro and 18th by knockout, started slowly but began finding the range with right hands in the second round.

With about 20 seconds left in the round, Bowe landed a big overhand right that buckled Cooper's legs, then followed with another right that put him down.

Cooper was up at the count of five, but the 230-pound Bowe, from Brooklyn, N.Y., was on top of him quickly and landed a series of blows that put him down for the second time as the bell sounded to end the second round.

Steele counted to five before waving the fight to a close.

Cooper, a 208-pounder from Philadelphia, fell to 22-7.

It was Cooper's second straight loss to a member of the 1988 Olympic team.

In August, he dropped a 12-round decision to heavyweight gold medalist Ray Mercer. Bowe fought in Seoul as a super-heavyweight.

Another Olympic teammate, light-heavyweight Andrew Maynard, also won Thursday night, scoring a unanimous eight-round decision over Keith McMurray of Las Vegas.

Meanwhile in Phoenix, Michael Carbajal, in his last tuneup before defending his International Boxing Federation light-flyweight title in December, knocked out Luis Monzote in the fifth round of their scheduled 10-round fight here Thursday night.

Carbajal, now 17-0 with 11 KOs, decked Monzote with a left hook to the midsection late in the third round but Monzote got up at the count of eight.

Monzote (21-7) was on his hands and knees in the middle of the ring again after another Carbajal body shot in the fifth round when referee Bobby Ferrara counted him out at the 2:58 mark.