posted on Apr, 27 2003 @ 12:26 AM
MASHANTUCKET, Conn. (AP) - Antonio Tarver outpointed Montell Griffin to win the vacant IBF and WBC light heavyweight titles on Saturday night.
All three judges scored the fight 120-106 for Tarver, who won the titles that were vacated when Roy Jones Jr. decided to become a heavyweight.
In the main event, Vassiliy Jirov (31-0, 27 KOs) put his IBF cruiserweight title on the line against James Toney (65-4-2, 42 KOs).
Tarver (21-1, 17 KOs), the bronze medalist at 178 pounds in the 1996 Olympics, earned the first belts of his professional career. Griffin (44-4, 29
KOs) is the only man to have beaten Jones, who last month moved up to take the WBA heavyweight belt from John Ruiz.
The boxers did little in the first round until, with just a few seconds left, Griffin rushed Tarver and got hit with a left as he went by. Tarver
cornered him and hit him with another left, putting him on the canvas.
Griffin did land a couple of looping lefts in the fourth, and backed Griffin into the ropes. In the seventh, a cut opened over Griffin's right eye,
but the doctor cleared him to continue.
In the 10th, Griffin backed Tarver into the corner but didn't have enough left to finish the job. Griffin's eye was bleeding badly in the 11th, and
again the doctor was called in; Griffin came out fighting, but it was too late by then.
Tarver knocked him down again in the last 20 seconds of the 12th and final round, but Griffin was able to get back up and finish the fight.
In other fights at the Foxwoods Casino, heavyweight Duncan Dokiwari stopped Carlton Johnson on a KO in the third round. Junior middleweight Yuri
Foreman stopped Charles Clark in the second round.
Junior middleweight Sechew Powell took a six-round decision from Jamal Harris. And light heavyweight Aneudi Santos beat Danny Sheehan on a fifth-round