Sunday, January 19, 2003

Tszyu retains super lightweight titles



The Associated Press

MELBOURNE, Australia - Kostya Tszyu retained his undisputed super lightweight title Sunday when "Jesse" James Leija was unable to start the seventh round because of an injured right ear drum.

Tszyu, the IBF, WBC and WBA champion, improved to 30-1-1.

The Russian-born Australian fought for the first time in Australia since stopping Calvin Grove in May 1998 in Newcastle. In Tszyu's previous fight, he successfully defended his titles by outpointing Ben Tackie in Las Vegas.

Leija, from San Antonio, dropped to 43-6-2.

He said he hurt his ear in the fourth or fifth round and that it hurt his balance.

"I am sure it is busted but to what extent I don't know, I'm not a doctor," Leija said. "He hit me one or two good shots but he never hurt me."

Tszyu said he outpunched the Texan.

"I believe I did hurt him a couple of times," Tszyu said "... off-balance is not from injury problem but from hitting."




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