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Crowd boos Jones

Published Sep. 27, 2005

Roy Jones Jr. won another light heavyweight title bout that was booed from start to finish for inactivity. Boxing's only undisputed champion stopped Eric Harding on an 11th-round technical knockout late Saturday.

Harding, a 30-1 underdog, was forced to quit because of a torn muscle in his left arm, which he said occurred in the second round. Harding (19-1-1, 6 KOs) more than held his own before the career-threatening injury.

"He hit me with some shots, but he wasn't hurting me at all," Harding said.

Jones was ahead by three points on all three cards. It was his 43rd victory against a lone loss by disqualification.

"I didn't train like I needed to," said Jones, who spent weeks before the fight hyping the pay-per-view event. "I had too many things to do. Too many promotions and things."

Jones' purse will be determined on the pay-per-view audience.

There were no knockdowns, and except for Harding's muscle pull, neither fighter was hurt.

A crowd of about 13,000 at the 17,000-seat New Orleans Arena showed its displeasure from the start. Boos filled the arena for parts of the first seven rounds.

Hardly a telling blow landed for the first nine minutes.

It was the fourth round before Jones broke through with a combination that bounced off Harding's head, but Harding came out smiling. Then Harding caught Jones on the ropes in Round 5 for his best rally, but much of the pounding was on gloves and shoulders.

By the ninth round the crowd began chanting, "Err-ric, Err-ric."

A big right hand to Harding's head brought the first roar from the crowd and sent Harding into retreat early in Round 10. Jones followed with lightning shots, and Harding began to wilt. By the end of the round, Jones was chasing and Harding was all defense.

Harding said Jones hit his left arm as he threw a blow in the second round and that it hurt the rest of the fight. He said he couldn't use his left arm from that point.

Harding wanted to go back out for the 11th round, but trainer Al Gavin said no. "There was no sense in going on. You can't fight Roy Jones with one hand," he said.

Jones, 31, said little about his lackluster performance, insisting that he was too concerned with the promotion of the fight.

"I wanted to take him to the late rounds," he said. "Why take a chance when he's fresh and dangerous?"

Harding, the No. 1 International Boxing Federation light heavyweight, got his title shot by upsetting Olympian Antonio Tarver in June. Harding's purse was $600,000.

COLLEGE GOLF: Host Auburn won the Tiger Derby Invitational with a 54-hole 894 total, the Florida State women finished seventh and USF finished ninth among 12 teams. Seminole teammates Beth McCumber and Louise Wright tied for 12th. The Bulls were led by Fany Schaeffer, whose 231 tied for 21st place, 14 shots behind winner Lina Thoren of Mississippi State. USF freshman Jameica Duncombe shot 232, tied for 23rd.

COLLEGE SOCCER: Freshman Bjarki Magnussarson had two goals and three assists as Saint Leo (2-1) rolled to an 8-1 win over visiting Newberry (1-3). John Quinn and Ryan Smith also scored two goals each for the Lions, and Mike Zoumberous and David Cuoco scored once. Twins Laura and Ashley West combined to score the winning goal for Miami in a 1-0 win over visiting Providence. Laura West, who leads Miami with five goals and 12 points, headed the ball into the net after a corner kick by her sister. The Florida State women lost 3-2 to visiting Clemson, which is 6-0. Freshman Cindy Schofield and senior Rachael Watkin scored for FSU (4-3). Stine Kloster and Trine Riis Groven scored twice as Jacksonville defeated South Alabama 4-1 to win the Legends Classic. Texas A&M beat host Florida 3-1. Florida's Andi Sellers got her fifth goal of the season.

COLLEGE TENNIS: The NCAA declared Alabama-Huntsville's Roseleena Blair ineligible because she was paid for posing nude. The 19-year-old sophomore from Honolulu did the photo shoot in June for Sexy Girls in Sports, a Playboy publication. "She just made a simple error in judgment," athletic director Jim Harris said. "When I talked to her, she didn't have an idea what she did was a violation of an NCAA rule." Blair said she had done some modeling, but this was the first time she had modeled nude. Harris said Blair will participate in a workshop for student-athletes on rules and regulations and that the school will seek to have her reinstated before the spring semester.

CYCLING: Roberto Heras took the overall lead at the Tour of Spain after finishing third in the 14th stage. Andrei Zintchenko won the 90-mile mountainous leg from Santander to the Covadonga lakes region, finishing in 3 hours, 38 minutes, 7 seconds. Igor Pugaci was 57 seconds behind. Heras was another two seconds back and took the overall lead from Angel Casero by one second at 47:15:52.

HORSES: Gaviola, the odds-on favorite, gave trainer Billy Turner his first Grade I winner in nearly 20 years with a 3-length victory in the $250,000 Garden City Breeders' Cup Handicap at New York's Belmont Park. Ridden by Jerry Bailey, Gaviola earned $150,000 for Twilite Farms. It was the sixth win in seven starts this year for the daughter of Cozzene. Flawly was second in the field of eight 3-year-old fillies, three-quarters of a length in front of Millie's Quest. Caffe Latte, daughter of Seattle Dancer and ridden by Brice Blanc, rallied from nearly last place to win the $400,000 Ramona Handicap by 1\ lengths on turf in record time Saturday at Del Mar, Calif. Tout Charmant, trained by Ron McAnally with Chris McCarron aboard, finished second, three-quarters of a length in front of Alexine and Alex Solis in the race for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up. Riviera won the $1-million Atto Mile at Woodbine in Toronto. The 10-1 shot was sixth with a quarter mile remaining. Jockey John Velazquez got the 6-year-old to take the lead in the stretch and hold off Arkadian Hero. Riviera earned owner Edmond Gann $600,000.

PREP FOOTBALL: Sam Hughes, 17, a star Oviedo defensive back, was in serious but stable condition after a spinal-cord injury making a headfirst tackle Friday in Oviedo's 10-7 victory over Lake Brantley. Relatives said Hughes had a four-hour surgery on his fourth and fifth cervical vertebrae. "He moved his arm," his father, Samuel, but it wasn't known whether Hughes is permanently paralyzed.

_ Compiled from Times wires.