Girard Wins Title in Rematch Against Mitchell, Tiozzo Retains Title Against Vikhor and Bailey Scores TKO Over Martinez On SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING Tripleheader
Sports Editors/Boxing Writers & Columnists
PARIS–(BW SportsWire)–April 8, 2000
World Boxing Association (WBA) Super Middleweight Champion Byron Mitchell lost a unanimous decision to No. 1 Contender Bruno Girard in a hard-fought rematch. WBA Cruiserweight Champion Fabrice Tiozzo defended his title against No. 2 Contender Valery Vikhor by posting a sixth-round TKO and World Boxing Organization (WBO) Junior Welterweight Champion Randall Bailey was successful in the second consecutive defense of his crown as he stopped Ray “Rocky” Martinez with a seventh-round TKO. The fight card, promoted by Don King Productions in association with AB Stars Productions was shown via same day tape delay on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING, Saturday, April 8, 2000 from Palais de Omnisports de Paris – Bercy in Paris, France.
In a mirror image of their first fight, Girard (37-2-1, 5 KOs), from Blois, France, outfought and outworked the champion Mitchell (20-1-1, 16 KOs), from Ozark, Alabama to claim the WBA super middleweight crown. After a traditional slow start, Girard rallied to take the majority of the later rounds from the tiring champion. Though Girard only managed to gain a draw against Mitchell in their first fight on SHOWTIME, December 11, 1999, many experts at ringside thought the French challenger won the fight. In a very similar rematch Girard was able to walk away victorious with a unanimous decision in front of his home-country fans.
Tiozzo ( 42-1, 28 KOs), from St. Denis, France, recorded the fourth successful defense of his title as he stopped Vikhor (23-8-4, 10 KOs), from Lutsk, Ukraine, with a TKO in the sixth round. Vikhor was able to survive a first-round knockdown inflicted on him by a right hand to the jaw, but after six rounds of Tiozzo-dominated action, Vikhor finally succumbed to exhaustion and went down to the canvas for the second time. When Vikhor rose unsteadily to beat the ten count, Referee Joe Cortez waved the fight off.
Bailey (21-0, 21 KOs), from Miami, Florida, recorded his 21st consecutive knockout in as many fights in beating Martinez (32-4-1, 17 KOs), from Chicago, Illinois. Martinez had no answer for Bailey’s precision punching and devastating left-right combinations. The doctor at ringside advised referee Samuel Variet to stop the bout prior to the start of the seventh round due to a severe cut over the left eye of the challenger. The compelling victory further cements Bailey’s position among the elite fighters at the heavily talented 140-pound division. (more) SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING TRIPLEHEADER – APRIL 8, 2000 PAGE 2
SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING’s Steve Albert, “Fight Doctor” Ferdie Pacheco and former world champion Bobby Czyz called the action from ringside. The executive producer of the SHOWTIME telecast was Jay Larkin, with David Dinkins producing and Bob Dunphy directing.
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