Sunday, December 9, 2007

who won the fight

Jeff Lacy outpoints Peter Manfredo on Mayweather-Hatton undercard
11 hours ago

LAS VEGAS - Jeff Lacy fought through a cut and a difficult matchup to win a narrow unanimous decision over Peter Manfredo Jr. on Saturday night on the undercard of Floyd Mayweather's welterweight title fight with Ricky Hatton.

Daniel Ponce De Leon also kept his WBO 122-pound title with a lacklustre unanimous decision over Eduardo Escobedo, and lightweight Edner Cherry stopped Wes Ferguson in the sixth round as the MGM Grand Garden Arena gradually filled with thousands of singing, flag-waving Englishmen anticipating the main event.

Lacy (23-1), the former super middleweight champion who tore his rotator cuff in his last fight, earned a win in a fight that was nearly even in every respect.

Manfredo (28-5) was more active and effective than his opponent for much of the night, but an early knockdown turned all three judges' scorecards in favour of "Left Hook" Lacy and his powerful flurries.

Both fighters recently had arm surgery, and both needed several minutes to warm up before Lacy sent Manfredo stumbling into the ropes in the fourth round. Nearly every round was essentially even, and neither fighter seemed particularly optimistic of a win.

Joe Calzaghe claimed Lacy's WBO and IBF super middleweight titles last year along with Lacy's mystique as a fearsome puncher. Manfredo, who gained fame on "The Contender," also took a beating in April from Calzaghe, who travelled to Las Vegas to support Hatton.

Ponce De Leon won his eighth fight in 22 months, but the normally impressive junior featherweight plodded through one of his least impressive efforts on a big stage.

Ponce De Leon, a Mexican who fights out of California, was reduced to a slow tactical game against the resourceful Escobedo, who won seven consecutive fights to earn the title shot. Escobedo repeatedly ducked all of Ponce De Leon's biggest punches, and the challenger hurt Ponce De Leon's left eye with a nasty cut.

"I tried to knock him out, but he was so physical, and he has great boxing skills," Ponce De Leon said. "He connected good shots, but I won the fight easily. I look forward to a big fight next year."

Cherry beat Ferguson for the second time, knocking out the Mayweather family protege with a devastating left to the jaw in the sixth round.

Cherry (23-5-2, 11 KOs) knocked down Ferguson early in the final round, then finished it off with a perfect punch that left Ferguson staggering around the mat. The so-called Cherry Bomb had three disappointing losses over the last three years, but the Bahamas native could be back on track for bigger fights.

Before the pay-per-view portion of the card, Hatton's welterweight younger brother, Matthew, improved to 33-3-1 with a unanimous decision over Frankie Santos, who stormed out of the ring in anger while the early arriving English fans cheered.
PHIL Davies came out fighting after the Scarlets saw their Heineken Cup dream end for another year.

The Scarlets supremo has set his side the target of winning the last three games and to have an impact on who qualifies from the Group of Death.

Davies saw his side win every Pool game last season and they have lost all three games so far in Pool 5, this season.

"We have three games to play and we want to win those games," said Davies.

"We want to keep learning but it is disappointing we haven't got anything out of the three games we have played.

"We aren't going to lie down for anybody and we are still going to go out and play in the rest of our Pool games.

"We are having a difficult run and we aren't get the results. We are doing a lot of learning and that is difficult to take. We want to win but we aren't doing that at the moment. We have a group of tremendous players here and we just aren't getting the rub of the green.

"We won't throw the baby out with the bathwater and will turn this around."

Davies also refused to blame the loss of Stephen Jones, the Scarlets fly-half, with a neck injury before the game for his side's defeat.

"It's always a blow when you lose somebody of Steve's quality and the likes of Dafydd James, for example," said Davies.

"But Priestland is only 19 and Jon Davies is 20 and this experience will be invaluable."

Declan Kidney, the Munster coach, admitted he had never seen a rugby played in such bad weather conditions.

"That was difficult for all 31 people on the field," said Kidney.

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Thursday's finale of HBO's "Mayweather-Hatton 24/7" featured one segment in which Oscar De La Hoya visited Ricky Hatton's training camp, said he had been talking regularly with Floyd Mayweather Sr. about how to attack the fight, and passed along advice he attributed to the trainer.

Only one problem, said Mayweather Sr. "It's not true. I haven't talked to
Oscar since the press conference after he fought my son," in May, he said. "For him to say he has even talked with me once about this fight is a lie. I don't like anybody putting my name out there likethat."

One of Mayweather's chief complaints during his six years training De La Hoya (2000-06) was their lack of direct communication between fights.

"I doubt if Oscar even knows my phone number," he said. The elder Mayweather is in Grand Rapids and will not attend tonight's fight, though he offered a prediction.

"If Little Floyd's hands are OK, there's no way Ricky Hatton wins, even if my son is only one-third of himself," he said.

Mayweather-Hatton is the most important welterweight title fight since Felix Trinidad beat Oscar De La Hoya in 1999. Following is one man's opinion about the most significant welterweight fights in history:

1. Sugar Ray Leonard-Thomas Hearns I, 1981 -- Hearns probably would have won the fight if he had lasted the entire 15 rounds. But after an admonition from trainer Angelo Dundee ("You're blowin' it, son, you're blowin' it."), Leonard's historic 14th-round flurry stopped the "Hit Man."

2. Trinidad-De La Hoya, 1999 -- It had two undefeated fighters, two highly marketable superstars, and rival promoters Don King and Bob Arum working together. De La Hoya, in a historically regrettable decision, coasted through the final rounds, thinking he had a decision in the bag. He didn't, and Trinidad won.

3. Sugar Ray Robinson vs. Tommy Bell, 1946 -- Robinson waited five years for his title shot, because of politics and military commitment. Many people forget he was in severe trouble in his first title fight, knocked down for a seven-count in the second round before rallying for a unanimous decision.

Odds on Hatton continued to slip Friday afternoon, as British money continued to affect the betting line. Mayweather was down to minus-220 (wager $220 to win $100), with Hatton at plus-180 (wager $100 to win $180). Traditionally, favorite money floods in during the last 24 hours.

Hatton almost unquestionably would win his second Boxer of the Year award from The Ring Magazine with a victory. He became the only Brit to win the award in 2005.

"The fact of the matter is, Ricky Hatton doesn't use an American cut man. They use one of their own guys, and in the United Kingdom, all they know how to use is one-one thousandth adrenline mixture, which American cut men shy away from. American guys use avotene and thrombin, which is much better to stop cuts. But Ricky Hatton will not switch to an American cut man. He stays with his own cornermen -- which is ridiculous, because he gives up a lot -- and I think Floyd stops him in eight. Put it this way, I think the doctor stops the fight when they can't stop the bleeding in the eighth round."
-- Harold Lederman, HBO's unofficial judge.

"I think it'll be an exciting fight because Ricky Hatton will make the fight. I just think Floyd is too
quick, and I like him to win by decision."
-- Lennox Lewis, former heavyweight champion.

2 -- Hattons who will fight on the card. Matthew, Ricky's brother, competes on the undercard.

3 -- "Dancing with the Stars" contestants who will carry Mayweather's title belts into the ring (Helio Castroneves, Mark


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