Guzman retains junior featherweight title

Updated: April 23, 2005, 12:59 AM ET
Associated Press

HIDALGO, Texas -- Undefeated Joan Guzman of the Dominican Republic was successful in what his likely his final defense of the WBO junior featherweight title, taking a 12-round unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Fernando Beltran of Mexico on Friday night.

Guzman (23-0, 17 KOs) dominated the first seven rounds and then fought off fatigue and a reinvigorated Beltran, winning on all of the judges' cards 117-111, 116-112, 115-113.

Guzman, 28, weighed 121 pounds

There were no knockdowns during the bout which was fought primarily in middle of the ring. Guzman landed jarring shots to the head and body while Beltran used mainly jabs during the early rounds and started connecting combinations late in the fight.

Beltran, 23, fell to 24-1-1 with 17 knockouts.

Guzman said he must now decide whether he will move up in weight either to the 126-pound featherweight division or the 130-pound superfeatherweight class.

On the undercard, undefeated lightweight Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., the son of the former champion with the same name, knocked out Travis Hartman in the third round. Chavez improved to 18-0 with 13 KOs, while Hartman fell to 5-1-1.

Berrio stops Vanderpool in nine

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. -- Alejandro Berrio withstood an early onslaught from Syd Vanderpool and then knocked out the super-middleweight contender in nine rounds Friday night.

Trailing on all three scorecards, Berrio, of Colombia, landed a solid right-left combination to the head and retreated, expecting a counterattack from Vanderpool. But Vanderpool dropped his hands and fell hard to the canvas and was counted out at 2:13 of the round, one less than the scheduled light-heavyweight bout's distance at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.

Vanderpool, of Kirchner, Ontario, remained on the canvas approximately three minutes as he was treated by ringside physicians and emergency medical personnel. He eventually sat on a corner stool and finally walked out of the ring.

The loss severely damages his bid at another super-middleweight title fight. Last year, 2000 U.S. Olympian Jeff Lacy defeated Vanderpool for the vacant IBF crown.

Midway through the second round, Vanderpool staggered Berrio with a solid right to the head and pinned him on the ropes, where he followed up with combinations to the head.

Vanderpool (35-4) continued to press the action in the third and fourth rounds, with additional lefts to the head.

But in the fifth, Berrio (24-3, 22 KOs) stunned Vanderpool with a left uppercut near the ropes. Berrio landed additional shots to the head during the round, eventually causing bleeding from Vanderpool's nose. Vanderpool continued to bleed from the nose the duration of the fight.

In the seventh, Berrio scored the first of his two knockdowns when he floored Vanderpool with a right to the head. But Vanderpool fought back and connected lefts to the head late in the round.

Berrio weighed 169 pounds, two pounds less than Vanderpool.


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press