Livingstone Bramble, showing no effects from a year of inactivity, pounded out a 13th-round technical knockout of Tyrone Crawley Sunday at Reno to retain his World Boxing Assn. lightweight title.
Bramble was never in trouble and stalked the top-ranked contender from the start of the bout, which was postponed three times because of injuries to the fighters and a contract dispute with promoters.
In the 13th round, Bramble (23-1-1 with 15 knockouts) chased Crawley (19-2) and caught him late with a combination. The challenger went down, but got to his feet after referee Joey Curtis reached the count of four.
"I knew he was in deep waters," the champion said.
Bramble kept the pressure on Crawley and ended the bout with a flurry at 2:57 of the round, when Curtis stopped the fight.
The champion, who earned $214,000, was ahead on all three of the judges' scorecards when the fight was stopped.
"I fought a very good fight, smart all the way," Bramble said. "I knew Crawley was a good fighter, but I was in the best shape of my life. I ate right, slept right and I did the things a fighter has to do."
Mike Tyson figured he had fought long enough, so he wasted no time getting rid of Jesse Ferguson after dropping him late in the fifth round of a heavyweight fight at Troy, N.Y.
Ferguson went down from a right uppercut and got up with his nose bloodied. Tyson swarmed on him, hammering away with both hands to the head. Ferguson made it through the fifth round but was stopped at 1:19 of the sixth when he refused to stop holding.
"I wanted to knock him cold," said Tyson, who concentrated on a body attack to wear out Ferguson. "I wanted to drive that (nose) bone up into his brain."
Tyson, boxing's 19-year-old rising star, went past five rounds for the first time to improve to 18-0, all knockouts.
He was declared the winner by referee Luis Rivera when Ferguson held Tyson and refused to let go.
Ferguson, 29, who fell to 14-2, said: "I thought I'd hold him so I could get myself together. I wasn't in a daze, stumbling."
In another scheduled 10-round heavyweight fight on the same card at Troy, N.Y., former World Boxing Assn. champion Mike Weaver of Diamond Bar stopped Carl (The Truth) Williams at 2:37 of the second round.
Williams hurt Weaver and had him trapped against the ropes early in the second round, but Weaver landed a left hook that sent Williams sprawling. Williams got up, dazed, and was dropped twice more in the round before Tony Perez stopped the fight.
Weaver, 33, said he would have retired if he lost. Instead he improved to 28-12 and is in line for another title shot.
Williams fell to 17-2.
Chong Ki-yong of South Korea retained his International Boxing Federation featherweight title by stopping previously undefeated American Tyrone Jackson of New York at 2:45 of the sixth round in their scheduled 15-rounder at Seoul, South Korea.
Chong (30-2-4) sent the taller challenger staggering into the ropes with 30 seconds left in the sixth round, then floored him with a crushing left to the body. When the 23-year-old Jackson had trouble getting up, the referee stopped the bout.
It was Chong's first defense of the title he won from Oh Min-keun, also of South Korea, last December. Jackson, ranked No. 4, is 22-1.