Sunday, July 08, 2001

Donald loses by decision

Cincinnati heavyweight loses shot at title bout

By Tim Sullivan
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        NEW YORK — Larry Donald long ago laid claim to the title of “uncrowned” heavyweight champion. Real royalty now is a little further from his reach.

        Cincinnati's long-running, slow-rising contender lost a unanimous decision to undefeated Canadian Kirk Johnson Saturday night, and with it the right to advance to a shot at the World Boxing Association title.

        The elimination bout — ordered by the WBA to identify its next mandatory challenger — went 12 rounds without a knockdown and without many impact punches. Donald relied primarily on his left jab but scored too rarely and feebly with his right to impress the judges.

        Though Johnson said he couldn't see out of his right eye late in the fight — he finished the fight with a face full of bruises — he landed enough blows to carry all three judges' cards: 116-112; 115-113 and 118-110. Donald sustained a cut over his left eye late in the fight, but was otherwise unmarked.

        “I was landing lots of jabs and landed the right hand as well,” Johnson said. “I never really hurt him, but I knew I was scoring.”

        Donald declined comment immediately following the fight.

        For Donald, a 1992 Olympian, the defeat poses a serious setback to his dream of attaining a heavyweight title. At age 34, he has suffered a loss and a draw in his last two bouts, and his record of 38-2-2 includes no victories over ranked contenders.

        Wearing white trunks with a waistband that proclaimed him “The Legend,” Donald was credited with more punches by ringside record-keepers. He threw 548 punches, including 360 jabs, compared to Johnson's 503 punches and 336 jabs.

        Both fighters raised their arms in triumph at the final bell, but only Johnson still was celebrating as the scores were announced.

Fighter's dad would prefer he had day job


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