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BOXING Jones batters Asipeli in TV bout at Packard Hall



Published: Sun, July 14, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The Panamanian won a unanimous 10-round decision to raise his hopes for a title fight soon.

By JOHN KOVACH

VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF

WARREN -- The dressing room of boxer Guillermo Jones was ecstatic after the Panamanian battered Tonga-native Sione Asipeli over 10 rounds to score a unanimous decision Saturday afternoon, in a professional cruiserweight bout televised live by Showtime at Packard Music Hall.

Jones' entourage was celebrating his second straight cruiserweight win on Showtime, and proclaiming the victory to be a stepping stone toward a World Boxing Organization championship bout in the near future.

And in the midst of all the handshakes, hugs and congratulations, Jones' Universal Boxing Team took time out from the festivities to form a ring and offer a prayer of thanks.

"I was able to keep moving -- don't make him touch me -- and avoid his punches. [I was] moving, moving [and] I finished strong. I feel good. I can go 12-15 rounds," said the smiling Jones, 30, who capitalized on his height, longer reach, relentless combinations and strong stamina to emerge without a mark on his face. "I played with him."

Title fight may be near

Co-trainer Sherwin Johnson said it is possible that Jones (29-2-1 with 24 KOs), a native of Panama City now fighting out of New York City, may have a title fight in his next bout in September in Las Vegas.

"We just keep fighting one fight at a time. The prospect is bright that if he keeps winning that we will get a title shot."

Co-trainer Porfirio Betegon said Jones proved for the second time that he can go the distance swinging in a cruiserweight bout, after having moved up from the junior middleweight ranks in which he held the World Boxing Association Latin American championship.

"He might not display power, but he is always throwing punches that are landing," said Porfirio.

In contrast to Jones' post-game party, the shorter and stocky Asipeli was hurting visibly from the pounding he took in an almost empty and very-quiet dressing room.

Asipeli's face battered

Although Asipeli, 30, who now fights out of Phoenix and Las Vegas, battled the entire distance and scored often by burrowing in, his face was all cut up and swelled and his eye-openings narrowed. He suffered a cut below his right eye in the second round and injured his right hand in the fourth round.

Asipeli said he was fighting only with only one hand after injuring his right.

"My right hand hurts. I hurt my right hand in the fourth round. I was using only my left hand. It hampered me after the fourth round," said Asipeli (17-5-2 with eight KOs), who also showed stamina and a lot of courage and determination. "I have to get my hand checked."

Later, he could be seen sitting outside of Packard near the ambulance soaking his hand and nursing his eye and face.

How judges saw it

The numerous punches that Jones threw and that Asipeli absorbed obviously influenced the three judges, who favored Jones by 99-91, 99-91 and 99-92.

The three judges were from the Youngstown area -- John Kikta, Phil Rogers and Tom Miller. The referee was Frank Thompson from Cleveland.

The main event was one of five professional bouts on the card called "ShoBox: The New Generation," that was promoted by Sterling McPherson, a native of Niles, and his company, Sterling Promotions Inc.

In the co-feature and the only other televised bout, Almazbek Raiymkulov, a native of Pakistan and now of Las Vegas, won on a KO in 2:47 of the second round over Douglas Villareal of Miami. Both weighed in about 140 pounds. Raiymkulov stayed undefeated through 10 bouts with six KOs. Villareal fell to 27-10-1 with 26 KOs.

kovach@vindy.com




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