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Camacho Wins Unanimous Decision

June 23, 1996

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) _ The clock probably struck midnight for Roberto Duran as a major boxing attraction when he lost a 12-round unanimous decision to Hector Camacho a few minutes after 12 a.m. Sunday at Trump’s Taj Majal.

The 45-year-old Duran tried to pressure the faster Camacho throughout and actually came on in the final rounds to make the fight close in the eyes of some ringsiders. But the three judges gave the match to Camacho by from two to six points.

Duran seemed to land the harder punches throughout the 12-round bout but the left-handed Camacho had more hand speed and scored with counters and right jabs.

``I thought I outboxed him, just like I wanted to,″ the 34-year-old Camacho said. ``He put up a big effort. God bless him.″

When the decision was announced, it was widely booed by many in the crowd of 5,200 in the Mark Etess Arena.

Judge Tim Figley scored it 115-113, judge Dana De Paolo had it 116-113 and Paul Venti had it 117-111, all for Camacho.

The AP card had it 114-114.

The fight followed James ``Buster″ Douglas’ return from a 5 1/2-year absence. The 36-year-old former undisputed heavyweight champion stopped outgunned Tony La Rosa after three rounds of a scheduled 10-round bout. Douglas said he hopes to be back in top shape by the end of the year as he strives to get back into the heavyweight championship picture.

``He didn’t beat me, the judges did,″ Duran said.

``I was outboxing him, I was moving,″ said Camacho, who might have made the fight closer than it should have been by moving less in the final three rounds and allowing Duran to pin him to the ropes with punches to the body.

Duran, who weighed 157 pounds, scored with several hard right leads throughout the fight, but was never able to follow up and he often got countered by Camacho, who weighed 160.

``After the fifth round, I was the only one in the ring,″ Duran said. ``The worst thing that could happen was a draw.″

Duran, however, was never able to control the tempo of the fight until near the end and then it was too late.

Neither man came close to going down but Camacho was marked around both eyes.

The fight was billed as being for the fringe IBC middleweight title. Camacho, a former WBC super featherweight and lightweight champion, earned $600,000 in boosting his record to 59-3-1 with 28 knockouts. It was his 15th consecutive victory.

Duran, a former undisputed lightweight champion and WBC welterweight and middleweight and WBA junior middleweight champion, got $400,000 in losing for the 12th time against 97 victories. He has 67 knockouts.

Douglas, the only man to beat Mike Tyson, dominated from the outset against the much smaller La Rosa, then almost closed his eye in the third round and knocked him down later in the stanza.

The referee stopped the fight after the third round on the advice of a doctor.

The 6-foot-4 Douglas, whose weight ballooned to over 350 pounds during his retirmement and who was seriously ill in a diabetic coma in 1994, weighed 244 pounds, 17 more than the 5-9 La Rosa.

Douglas forced La Rosa to the ropes and landed a six-punch barrage that featured a right uppercut and ended with a right and left hook to the head that dropped La Rosa at 2:36 of the third round. La Rosa got up at referee Wayne Hedgepeth’s count of six. La Rosa managed to last the round but the doctor then suggested the fight be stopped.

Douglas won for the 31st time against five losses and one draw. His 21st KO since his title loss to Holyfield was greeted by mixed boos and cheers. La Rosa, from Chicago, is 24-6 with 16 knockouts.

Douglas earned $100,000, which was $19.8 million less than he got for his third-round knockout loss to Evander Holyfield on Oct. 25, 1990. He weighed 246 pounds in that fight.

Douglas wants to have three fights this year. If he does return to form, he could be back in the big-fight picture and possibly get a rematch with Tyson, from whom he took the undisputed title on a shocking 10-round knockout on Feb. 11, 1990.

Also on the card, Andrea Deshong and Stacy Prestrage had the fans cheering during a six-round bout which Deshong won with a unanimous decision.

Deshong, 136, fighting tough in lavender and pink, came out swinging and dominated the match, although Prestrage, 132, also landed some solid head blows.

Deshong, of Mingo Junction, Ohio, is 11-2 while Prestrage, of Kansas City, is 8-2-2.

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