Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Vazquez beats Simonyan to retain IBF title

Associated Press
EL CAJON, Calif. -- Israel Vazquez handed top-ranked contender Artyom
Simonyan his first defeat and retained his IBF junior featherweight
championship with a fifth-round knockout Tuesday night.

Making his first defense of the 122-pound title he won nine months ago,
Vazquez ended it with a looping right that snapped back Simonyan's head
and prompted referee James Jen-Kin to halt the bout with 59 seconds gone
in the fifth of 12 scheduled rounds.

The 27-year-old Vazquez of Los Angeles knocked down Simonyan twice early
in the third round with a barrage of blows to the head, and in the
opening seconds of the fifth with a right to the head.

Vazquez, who weighed 121} pounds, won it in the fifth despite Simonyan
receiving an extra 2:20 rest during the fourth when the champion's
gloves had to be replaced because of a rip on the left one.

The 29-year-old Simonyan from Glendale, who weighed 121, was cut under
his left eye in the third round, and was bleeding in the mouth start the
fourth.

Two of the three judges' had Vazquez ahead by five points through four
rounds, The other judge had Vazquez ahead by three.

Vazquez now has a record of 37-3 with 28 knockouts. Simonyan slipped to
14-1-1 with seven KOs.
/This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index
<http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/wire>/