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Champ wins seventh title defense

Published Dec. 3, 2006

Antonio Margarito unanimously outpointed Joshua Clottey on Saturday night to successfully defend his WBO welterweight title.

Margarito (34-4), who was making his seventh defense of the belt he won in 2002, trailed early but gradually wore down Clottey (30-2), who was appearing in his first title fight.

The fight was to be followed by a bout matching Miguel Cotto and Carlos Quintana for the vacant WBA welterweight title.

Clottey, who had outboxed Margarito for most for the first four rounds, appeared to injure his left hand in the fifth round, and pointed to the hand as he went to his corner after the bell. He threw few effective lefts for the next few rounds, though he stayed on his feet until the end.

One judge had the fight 118-109 and two had it 116-112.

Margarito took control in the middle rounds and pummeled Clottey in the eighth and the ninth, cornering him along the ropes in the latter round for a long stretch and landing numerous combinations.

Margarito started slowly and seemed to have difficulty solving Clottey's style, which consisted of covering up his face and waiting for an opening to throw a counterpunch. Clottey landed several hard lefts in the second round, one of which drew a nod and a smile from Margarito.

In the undercard's featured bout, undefeated middleweight Yuri Foreman improved to 22-0 with a 10-round decision over Donny McCrary. Foreman sent McCrary (20-5-2) to the canvas in the third round, but McCrary rallied and made Foreman work to earn the decision.