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Johnston TKOs Ceballos

November 21, 1998

LAS VEGAS (AP) _ Former World Boxing Council lightweight champion Stevie Johnston, in his first outing since being dethroned, stopped Demetrio Ceballos by technical knockout in the sixth round of their main event at The Orleans Hotel and Casino Friday night.

Promotor Bob Arum said after the fight he plans to put Johnston, the WBC’s lightweight contender, in a rematch with current champion Cesar Bazan by April. Bazan took the title from Johnston in June.

The 26-year-old Johnston, now 25-1 with 14 knockouts, halted the taller but slower Ceballos at 2:08 of the sixth. Johnston, who at 5-feet-4 1/2 inches is 4 1/2 inches shorter than Ceballos, won the first five rounds according to all three judges.

A right to the head was the beginning of the end for the 25-year-old Ceballos. The punch hurt Ceballos, of Panama, and after a barrage of blows by Johnston, of Denver, referee Mitch Halpern halted the bout.

``I got him with the right hook,″ Johnston said. ``He was leaning on me and I just caught him. I saw him buckle and I jumped on him. I knew it was over. He couldn’t stand up. His knees buckled.″

Johnston, at 136 pounds, won the WBC lightweight title in March 1997 and successfully defended it three times before being dethroned by Bazan.

Ceballos, also weighing 136 pounds, now has a record of 20-3 with 13 knockouts. It’s his second straight loss; prior to this bout he was stopped by International Boxing Federation lightweight champion Shane Mosley in February.

In an eight-round super welterweight bout, world-ranked welterweight Ova Carr of Detroit took a unanimous decision over journeyman Verdell Smith of Bartlesville, Oklahoma. Carr, ranked No. 2 by World Boxing Association and No. 9 by the WBC, had no problems with Smith.

Carr, at 150 pounds, now has a record of 47-2-1 with 28 knockouts. Smith, who weighs 149 pounds, slips to 24-26 with 14 knockouts.

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