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Jones Puts Griffin in No-Win Position

Boxing: A first-round knockout allows him to reclaim title that he lost on disqualification.

August 08, 1997|From Associated Press

LEDYARD, Conn. — Last time, Montell Griffin won the WBC light heavyweight championship while on one knee. This time, Griffin was down on all fours as Roy Jones Jr. won it back Thursday night.

"Take my crown and I'm coming to get it," said Jones, who knocked Griffin out at 2:31 of the first round and regained the title he had lost on a disqualification for twice hitting Griffin while he was down on one knee on March 21 at Atlantic City, N.J.

"I needed something like this to bring out 100 percent of me," said Jones, who came out firing and didn't give Griffin a chance before 4,500 at the Foxwoods Resort and Casino.

Jones burst out of his corner and backed up Griffin with a left hook nine seconds into the fight. Ten seconds later, he sent Griffin reeling into the ropes with a right and left hook to the head. Because the ropes held up Griffin, referee Arthur Mercante ruled it a knockdown and gave him a mandatory 8-count.

Griffin landed a couple of hard punches as he fought to survive the round, but then, at 2:20, Jones landed a left hook that sent Griffin onto his back.

Griffin struggled to get up but was on his hands and knees when counted out, and Jones leaped into the air in victory.

Jones maintained that he shouldn't have been disqualified in the first fight, blaming referee Tony Perez for being too late stepping in after Griffin had dropped to one knee.

"You can beat me, but don't steal it from me," Jones said. "I'm still No. 1."

Jones, 35-1 with 25 knockouts, must make a mandatory defense against Michael Nunn. Griffin is 27-1 with 18 knockouts.

Boxing Note

Felix Trinidad, the IBF welterweight champion, will face Troy Waters of Australia in a 12-round WBC super welterweight bout Aug. 23 at Madison Square Garden.

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