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Casamayor Beats Baek for WBA Title

May 22, 2000

NORTH KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Unbeaten Joel Casamayor stopped Jongkwon Baek in the fifth round Sunday night to win the WBA superfeatherweight title.

A brief scuffle between the two camps broke out after the ring physician, James Webb, advised stopping the fight because of cuts around both of Baek’s eyes.

``I think their camp thought the cuts were caused by a head butt,″ said Casamayor’s trainer, Joe Goosen, ``but they were caused by a lot of knuckles to the head.″

Baek’s camp would not comment.

The 28-year-old Casamayor, a 1992 Olympic gold medalist for Cuba who now lives in Miami, improved to 21-0 with 13 knockouts. It was the first loss of his professional career for Baek (21-1-1), a native of Seoul.

Baek, who had about 400 fans make the trip from South Korea to North Kansas City, lost his title in his second defense. The first ended in a draw.

Casamayor dominated from the outset, and all three judges had him leading 40-36 when the fight was stopped.

Afterward, Casamayor was already thinking about his own defense of the title.

``I’ll fight Floyd Mayweather, (Prince) Naseem Hamed or anyone who wants to step into the ring with me,″ he said through an interpreter.

Sunday’s card, in front of a soldout crowd of 2,400, was the first at Harrah’s North Kansas City Casino since Sept. 12, 1999, when local favorite Randie Carver sustained fatal injuries in a bout against Kabary Salem.

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