Casamayor Stops Korean Champ, Captures Title

Published May 22nd, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Cuban-born challenger Joel Casamayor stopped South Korean Jong Kwon Baek in the fifth round to capture the World Boxing Association super featherweight title in a match-up of unbeaten fighters. 

Casamayor, who defected from his Communist island homeland to the United States, rose to 21-0 in Kansas on Sunday with his 13th early stoppage while Jong lost his crown, falling to 21-1 with one drawn. 

"I just want to tell the world that Cuban fighters can make it as professionals," Casamayor said. "I proved I'm a great champion." 

Referee Mitch Halpern stopped the contest on the advice of ringside doctors after two minutes and 18 seconds of the fifth round due to severe bleeding from cuts over the Korean's eyes. 

"I had a small cut from a head butt," the Asian fighter argued. "I don't know why they stopped the fight. I'm really disappointed. It was a bad judgment. I want another chance." 

Casamayor overpowered Jong from the start, opening a cut over his left eye in the third round and another over his right eye in the fourth. 

Casamayor dedicated the victory to Elian Gonzalez, the Cuban boy whose fate stirred global attention after he was rescued trying to reach the United States and later taken from US relatives and returned to the custody of his father – (AFP) 

 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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