Sun, Feb 20, 2005 - Page 23 News List

Zepeda takes out Bazan


Sebastian Lujan, left, of Santa Fe, Argentina, is hit by Antonio Margarito of Tijuana, Mexico, during the third round of a WBO welterweight championship fight at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey on Friday.


Ernesto Zepeda derailed Cesar Bazan's comeback plans Friday, beating the former WBC lightweight champion on a technical decision when the fight was stopped 13 seconds into the ninth round.

Zepeda (36-8-3), who holds a minor WBC crown, appeared to have lost when Bazan hit him with a left uppercut and a big cut appeared on Zepeda's cheek. But referee Bobby Ferrara ruled the cut came from an accidental head butt, leaving the decision up to the judges. Two had Zepeda ahead 78-73, and the third had him ahead 79-72.

Bazan (44-7-1) had won his last five fights and said the loss sets back his plans to regain a lightweight or super lightweight title.

"I am 30 years old, and it's not easy for me to get a major fight," Bazan said. "I want a rematch. The referee didn't see the punch; he missed it."

Zepeda's only losses in his last 12 bouts came the two times he was stopped by cuts. This time, he won because of one.

An estimated 2,700 fans turned out for the first fight card an outdoor tent arena next to a casino run by the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation.

Most came to watch Jesus Gonzalez, a 20-year-old Phoenix middleweight being groomed by Top Rank Boxing for a title shot next year.

Gonzalez, going eight rounds for the first time, improved to 14-0 with a unanimous decision over Alberto Mercedes, a Dominican who lives in Milwaukee.

Mexico's Antonio Margarito retained his World Boxing Organization welterweight title Friday, stopping Argentina's Sebastian Lujan in the 10th round at Boardwalk Hall.

Referee David Fields stopped the bout at 2:57 of the 10th round after ringside physician Dr. Eric Wurmser noticed that the top half of Lujan's left ear had been torn open and was hanging off.

"The cartilage around the entire rim of his ear came off," Wurmser said.

Lujan (22-2-1) left the ring with a towel draped over his head and was taken to Atlantic City Medical Center to receive stitches.

The win by Margarito (31-4, 22 KOs) set up a bout against highly regarded Kermit Cintron (24-0, 22 KOs), of Reading, Pennsylvania, scheduled for Las Vegas on April 23.

"Cintron is undefeated, so he must be good," Margarito said. "But I've met a lot of undefeated fighters, and they all went home with a defeat. I don't think Cintron will be any exception."

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