Bell knocks out Mormeck for cruiserweight title

9th January 2006, Comments 0 comments

NEW YORK, Jan 7 (AFP) - O'Neil Bell knocked out Jean-Marc Mormeck in the 10th round here Saturday to claim the undisputed world cruiserweight title.

NEW YORK, Jan 7 (AFP) - O'Neil Bell knocked out Jean-Marc Mormeck in the 10th round here Saturday to claim the undisputed world cruiserweight title.

Bell, the Jamaican-born American who came into the fight holding the International Boxing Federation belt, claimed the Frenchman's World Boxing Council and World Boxing Association titles to become just the second fighter — after Evander Holyfield in 1988 — to unify the cruiserweight crown.

Bell, 31, improved to 26-1 with one draw and 24 wins inside the distance.

Mormeck appeared to have the upper hand in the opening rounds of an action-packed fight, landing punishing combinations to Bell's body and head.

But Bell gained strength as the fight went on, appeared to have Mormeck in trouble in the seventh and dominated from the eighth, finally sending Mormeck down for good with a barrage of blows at 2:50 of the 10th.

"He folded in the fifth and sixth rounds," said Bell, who admitted he was surprised Mormeck was able to rally in the seventh.

"I thought I was going to knock him out, he was stronger than I thought," said the Atlanta, Georgia-based fighter.

But Bell said his ability to resist Mormeck's early onslaught had turned the tide.

"I was able to sustain his best shots, which broke his spirits," he said.

Mormeck came into the bout having won 28 straight fights. He captured the WBA belt in 2002 and consolidated the WBA and WBC belts with a 12-round victory over Wayne Braithwaite of Guyana in May.

But the 33-year-old looked weary in the final rounds as he suffered the third defeat of his career against 31 victories.

"I am a bit disappointed because I lost my belts," Mormeck said. "I don't know what changed things, but I realized he was a great champion and winning the fight."

Mormeck said he would welcome a rematch.

"He's the champion, it's for him to decide, but for sure I would like it," he said.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

 

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