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Griffin Again Triumphs Over Toney

December 7, 1996

RENO, Nev. (AP) _ James Toney said his revenge would be quick, but he was wrong.

It was neither quick nor revenge. He lost his rematch and his World Boxing Union light heavyweight championship to Montell Griffin on a unanimous decision Friday night.

Neither fighter managed a serious flurry in a 12-round match dominated by jabs and rights that missed.

Toney, who fell to 53-3-2, seemed lethargic in the early rounds and unable to mount a consistent offensive as the fight wore on. Neither fighter went down, and the only visible mark was a cut on Toney’s lower lip in the final two rounds.

Griffin, 26-0, landed some good jabs and enough combinations to prove that his Feb. 18, 1995 decision over Toney was not the fluke Toney claimed it was.

Both judges, John Rupert and Keith Macdonald, scored the fight 116-112 for Griffin. Judge Doug Tucker had it 119-109 for the winner.

``I beat him all out,″ Griffin said.

``I was really surprised by the decision. I felt I won nine out of 12 rounds,″ Toney said. ``He ran the whole fight. How can you give him the fight?″

The bout at Lawlor Events Center was to have been a co-feature with a 10-round tuneup by Julio Cesar Chavez against Irish Mickey Ward, but Chavez pulled out Thursday to nurse a hand injured while sparring.

On the undercard, 1992 Olympian Raul Marquez of Houston ran his record to 24-0 with 17 knockouts, stopping Scotty Smith of Little Rock, Ark., at 2:20 of the second round in a super welterweight bout scheduled for 10. Smith dropped to 25-5-2.

Eric ``Butterbean″ Esch, the self-proclaimed ``King of the Four-Rounders,″ needed just 2:47 of the first to drop Sean Jegen and improve to 25-1 with 21 knockouts. Jegen dropped to 6-3. Esch, of Bay City, Mich., weighed in at 322 pounds, a 121-pound advantage over his opponent from Kansas City, Mo.

Lucia Rijker of the Netherlands ran her record to a 10-0 with 10 knockouts by stopping Kelly Jacobs of Kansas City at 1:43 into the first round of their scheduled 4-rounder. Jacobs is 3-2.

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