Sun, Sep 26, 2004 - Page 23 News List

Laila Ali takes championship

AP , ATLANTA

Laila Ali, daughter of former heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali, won the International Women's Boxing Federation light heavyweight championship Friday by knocking out Gwendolyn O'Neil at 1:59 of the third round.

Ali knocked O'Neil down twice in the second round, each time with a right hand to the chin, as the crowd estimated at 6,000 chanted "Ali, Ali, Ali" for the 26-year old, who improved to 19-0 with 16 KOs.

The 1.7m, 78.3kg Ali began pounding O'Neil late in the third round and ended the fight with a barrage of punches to the face, knocking O'Neil down in a neutral corner where she sat stunned as she was counted out.

O'Neil, from Guyana, fell to 9-4-1 with six knockouts. She was ranked No. 6 by the IWBF.

Ali used the fight as a tuneup for her Oct. 30 bout against Jacqui Frazier in Kinshasa, Congo, where her father fought in the storied "Rumble in the Jungle.

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