MANCHESTER, England (AP) -- Sharmba Mitchell knocked down Mike Stewart three times and retained his interim IBF junior welterweight title by unanimous
decision Saturday night.
Mitchell used a stinging right jab and big left hand to dominate the 12-round fight and improve his record to 54-3.
He opened a cut under Stewart's left eye in the second round and floored him with left shots in the fourth, fifth and ninth rounds.
Stewart got up quickly after each knockdown but never gave Mitchell much of a fight. A computer count showed that Mitchell landed 186 of 500 punches,
compared to 87 of 378 for Stewart.
The judges scored the fight 117-109, 120-106 and 120-105 for Mitchell.
"I made easy work tonight," said the 33-year-old Mitchell, of Tacoma Park, Md. "I just wanted to show my fans I have it all together again."
Stewart, the 26-year-old USBA champion from Dover, Del., fell to 35-2-2.
Mitchell has won six straight fights since losing a unification bout to Kosta Tszyu three years ago. A rematch has been postponed twice because of
injuries to Tszyu.
Mitchell won a unanimous 12-round decision against last-minute substitute Lovemore N'Dou on Feb. 7 in Atlantic City, N.J., to capture the interim
Tszyu has a medical exemption to allow him to keep the belt until he recovers.
Pending the Tszyu rematch, Mitchell is being lined up for a possible fight against Britain's Ricky Hatton in Manchester on June 5.
Hatton retained his fringe WBU title for the 12th time later Saturday by stopping Dennis Holbaek Pedersen of Denmark in the sixth round. Pedersen was
a late replacement for Brazil's Kelson Pinto, who pulled out earlier this week from what had been a scheduled fight for the vacant interim WBO
Mitchell's promoter, Gary Shaw, said he had an agreement to fight Hatton next. But Hatton's promoter, Frank Warren, said financial terms had not been
Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved.