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Boxing: Marshall Defends NABF Title

April 1, 1998

BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. (AP) _ Tony Marshall recorded an 11th-round knockout of challenger Anthony Jones on Tuesday night to maintain his NABF junior middleweight title.

The fighters slugged toe to toe for 10 rounds of the scheduled 12-rounder before Marshall, whose 75-inch reach was 6 more than the challenger, unleashed a flurry of punches a minute into the 11th round. A combination highlighted by a series of solid rights stunned Jones.

Jones, of Detroit, managed to withstand that pummelling, but never really recovered.

With about 30 seconds remaining in the 11th round, a hard left by Marshall led to a standing 8-count. After action resumed, it took only a few seconds before Marshall got Jones into the ropes with a right-left-right combination and referee Fred Steinwinder III stopped the fight.

Marshall, 26, of Albany, N.Y., improved to 28-7-6 with his 11th knockout, seven coming in his last 10 fights. Jones, 31, who had won four straight fights since ending a two-year retirement, dropped to 38-8-2.

Also on the card from Casino Magic, Lena Akesson won a unanimous four-round decision over Kathy Long to win the lightweight championship of the USA Network-IBFA tournament. Akesson outpointed Long 40-36 on all three cards.

Akesson, of Hollywood, Fla., improved to 8-0, half of her victories coming by knockout. Long, a stunt woman and former kickboxing champion from Pasadena, Calif., is 1-1.

In what was listed as the main event, Robert Hawkins overcame being knocked down in each of the first two rounds to capture a unanimous 10-round decision over 1989 Golden Gloves champion Boris Powell in a heavyweight bout.

Powell, 33, who weighed 227 pounds, is five years older and 15 pounds lighter than Hawkins, delivered knockdown punches in each of the first two rounds. The left-handed Powell used a straight left midway through the second round for the knockdown and used a nearly identical blow a round later for another.

Hawkins, from St. Louis, improved to 16-2 with his 13th straight victory, outpointing Powell, of Philadelphia, 96-94, 96-94 and 95-94.

After the first two rounds, referee Elmo Adolph had to tell the fighters to quit holding in every round and deducted a point from Powell in the sixth round. By the eighth, the ref was heard pleading ``Come on, please box″ as the crowd booed.

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