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Prince Naseem Hamed Keeps WBO Title

August 20, 2000

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. (AP) _ Prince Naseem Hamed retained his WBO featherweight title Saturday night, beating Augie Sanchez with a technical knockout 2:34 into the fourth round and sending Sanchez out of the ring on a stretcher.

Sanchez launched a surprising attack in the second and sent Hamed to the canvas three times, though none was ruled a knockdown. Hamed laughed it off, dancing away from Sanchez with his torso before countering in the fourth.

With Sanchez’s right eye swollen, Hamed hit him with a three-punch combination in the fourth that sent him staggering to the floor. Sanchez tried to get up before falling back into the ropes; referee Michael Ortega immediately stopped the fight.

Doctors swarmed the ring and took Sanchez out on a stretcher. Ring announcer Michael Buffer announced to the crowd that Sanchez was wide awake and carried out as a precaution.

``Sanchez was very lethargic and slow to respond to commands,″ chief ringside physician Michael Schwartz said. ``He was talking with slurred speech. His pupils were sluggish.″

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