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Johnson Retains IBF Title

July 27, 1998

VERONA, N.Y. (AP) _ Mark ``Too Sharp″ Johnson kept his IBF flyweight championship Sunday with a unanimous 12-round decision over Luis Rolon.

It was the 26-year-old Johnson’s sixth straight title defense and his 34th straight win.

``Other than my hand I feel great,″ Johnson said after the unanimous decision. ``My game plan coming into this fight was to just win.″

Johnson, of Washington D.C., took immediate control of the match with a series of jabs and combination punches in the early rounds, frequently forcing Rolon up against the ropes.

Rolon, of Puerto Rico, appeared shaky and bruised in the middle rounds but continued to land an occasional jab or right hook. But most of Rolon’s punches were easily dodged by the smiling champ.

Johnson, who has 24 career knockouts, came out in the 11th round determined to give the crowd of 1,563 another one. But the 30-year-old Rolon, who has 11 knockouts of his own, stayed on his feet.

Johnson, in his eighth year of professional boxing, said after the match he is unsure of his future in the sport.

``I said I wanted to be out of boxing by (age) 27, that is next month,″ Johnson said. ``I have some major decisions to make.″

Johnson improved to 35-1 and Rolon dropped to 18-3.

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