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Undefeated Adamek beats Briggs, retains WBC title

10/12/2006 - Boxing

ROSEMONT, Ill. -- Undefeated Tomasz Adamek outpointed No. 1
contender Paul Briggs in another bloody fight to retain the WBC
light-heavyweight title Saturday night.

Adamek (31-0) survived a first-round knockdown, a bloody nose
and left eye, and his own mishap, when he landed two low blows in
the ninth and lost a point.

Judges Ken Morita and Ray Hawkins scored it 114-112 and 115-111
for Adamek, while Mauro DiFiore had it even at 113.

"I'm very happy," said Adamek, who had not fought in about a
year. "It was a very long time not being in the ring. The long
layover, that's why I didn't look so good."

Just like their first encounter at the United Center in May
2005, when Adamek won a majority decision to claim the vacant
title, Briggs (25-3) came up bleeding in the second round -- only it
wasn't the result of a head butt this time. And with Chicago's
large Polish population, Adamek again had the crowd on his side.

"Look at my face and look at his," Briggs said. "I knocked
him down. He had a point deduction for low blows. I blocked many of
his punches. The Polish fans cheered regardless. The only thing I
can guess is the judges were swayed by the Polish fans."

In his second title defense and first fight since a sixth-round
knockout of Thomas Ulrich in October 2005, Adamek found himself on
the canvas after taking a left to the head with just over a minute
left in the first round.

Adamek landed a solid left-right combo in the second, and blood
started to drip from a cut above Briggs' left eye. Fans sang the
Polish national anthem as the third round began, but it was too
soon to celebrate.

Adamek's nose started bleeding in the fourth, and Briggs landed
a solid right to it in the fifth. Adamek landed several solid shots
in the sixth, drawing a "Tomasz!" chant.

Adamek seemed to land more punches, while Briggs' were a little
harder. Adamek started going to the body a little more, and that
helped. He countered a Briggs left with a combo at the end of the
eighth, but Adamek landed two low blows in the ninth -- one early
and one late in the round. Briggs crumbled to the canvas after the
first one, but he stayed on his feet after the second, which cost
Adamek a point.

Briggs opened a cut above Adamek's left eye in the 11th and sent
him staggering to the ropes with a hard right to the face in the
12th. Adamek landed a series of lefts and rights in the final
minute, bringing the crowd to its feet.

Nate Campbell won a unanimous 12-round decision over Matt Zegan
in an IBF lightweight championship elimination bout. Zegan got
knocked down in the first and sixth rounds and bled from a cut
alongside his right eyebrow over the final three.

Mike Mollo of suburban Oak Lawn, Ill., scored a second-round
technical knockout over Kevin McBride, who beat Mike Tyson by a TKO
in June 2005.

Former two-time WBC middleweight champion Keith Holmes won a
unanimous 10-round decision over Cory Cummings in a
light-heavyweight bout. Anges Adjaho won a six-round majority
decision over Edgar Vargas in a super featherweight bout,
middleweight Louis Turner won a unanimous six-round decision over
David Estrada, and featherweight Justin Savi scored a second-round
technical knockout of Terrance Roy.