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Tyson Sparring Partner Wins Decision

September 13, 1996

MELVILLE, N.Y. (AP) _ Jesse Ferguson, a 39-year-old sparring partner of Mike Tyson, ended a six-bout losing streak by pounding out a unanimous 10-round decision over previously undefeated Bobby Harris on Thursday night in the feature of an all-heavyweight boxing card.

Ferguson, 234, of Knightdale, N.C., scored knockdowns in the third and fifth rounds in improving his record to 21-16 with 14 knockouts. He had lost nine of his previous 11 bouts.

Harris, 24, never was a threat and went to the canvas after taking a right to the head with 10 seconds left in the third round and a left-right in the fifth. The loss was his first after 18 victories, 12 by knockout.

Ferguson, who lost to Tyson before Iron Mike became champion, said, ``I have to thank Mike for having me in his camp the last seven weeks. That work definitely prepared me for tonight.″

Once-beaten Corrie Sanders of South Africa, ranked third by the IBF, stopped Olian Alexander, 218, of Waukegan, Ill., at 1:03 of the second round of a scheduled 10-rounder when referee Wayne Kelley invoked the three-knockdown rule.

Sanders, 225, improved to 31-1 with 22 knockouts. He also scored a knockdown in the closing seconds of the first round and only the bell saved Alexander, who is 24-9 with 18 knockouts.

Unbeaten Alonzo Highsmith, a former running back with the Houston Oilers, sent outclassed George Clarke to the canvas with a hard right-left combination at 2:30 of the first round and referee Arthur Mercante halted the scheduled four-round bout. Highsmith, 224, of Missouri, Texas, is 14-0-1 with 11 knockdouts. Clarke, 245, of Kansas City, Mo., is 4-3 with four knockouts.

Courage Tshabalala of South Africa, also undefeated, threw seven unanswered punches, the last a hard left to the ribs that sent Nick Kendrick of Louisville, Ky., sprawling to the canvas and ended the bout 39 seconds into the first of a scheduled 10 rounds. Tshabalala, 222, extended his streak to 18 victories, 15 by knockouts. Kendrick, 229, is 17-2.

Oleg Makaev, 229, of Uzbekistan improved to 18-1 with 14 knockouts by using a hard right to the head to stop previously unbeaten Ralph West of Gilbert, W.Va., at 1:03 of the third round of a scheduled 10-round bout. West, 10-1 with eight KOs, took a barrage of body blows before Makaev scored the only knockdown. Mercante stopped the fight without bothering to count.

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