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BOXING Chazz beats Yul in battle of Witherspoons



Published: Fri, January 28, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Chazz Witherspoon hopes to follow in the path of his second cousin, Tim Witherspoon.

GLEN BURNIE, Md. (AP) -- Heavyweight Chazz Witherspoon ran his professional record to 2-0 Thursday night, stopping Yul Witherspoon at 1:26 of the second round in a scheduled four-round bout.

After working the body for much of the fight, Chazz Witherspoon staggered his opponent with an overhead right, then followed with an array of punches before referee Bill Holmes halted the fight.

Yul Witherspoon, a 36-year-old from Lake Charles, La., fell to 1-1.

Chazz Witherspoon, 23, hopes to follow the path of his second cousin, Tim, a former two-time heavyweight champion who went 55-13-1 before retiring in 2001.

Learning experience

"It was definitely a learning experience," Chazz said. "I planned to keep going to the body; I wanted to go for the knockout later in the fight."

Yul Witherspoon opened the bout as the aggressor, landing several strong right hands while wrapping his left arm around his foe's waist.

"I learned that hitting hit with the headgear off is not much different than getting hit with it on," Chazz Witherspoon said.

But the 260-pound Yul Witherspoon quickly tired, and toward the latter stage of the round Chazz Witherspoon began to take charge with several solid blows into the middle of Yul Witherspoon's formidable belly. "He came out ready to fight. I didn't want to rush it," Chazz Witherspoon said.

Tough as an amateur

Chazz Witherspoon went 26-6 as an amateur, won the 2004 National Golden Gloves championship and served as an alternate on the U.S. Olympic team before launching his pro career in December by stopping James Daniels in the opening round.

"Tonight Chazz had a real big guy, next time we'll try to get someone quicker," said his promoter, Gary Shaw. "He really doesn't know his own talent yet."

As an accomplished high school basketball player in Paulsboro, N.J., Witherspoon received a number of athletic scholarship offers. He figured he was good enough to ultimately play pro ball in Europe, but couldn't envision life without his family.

So he accepted a full academic scholarship to Saint Joseph's University and took up the sport that his second cousin already mastered.

In another bout, 21-year-old bronze Olympic medalist Andre Dirrell of Flint, Mich., stopped Carlos Jones (3-5-0) with 10 seconds left in their a four-round super middleweight fight.

Dirrell was cautious for much of the first round, then used his powerful left hand to weaken Jones in the second. He scored a knockdown in the third round and staggered Jones with a left uppercut in the fourth soon before referee John Gradowski ended it.

Dirrell's younger brother, Anthony, also enjoyed a successful pro debut, stopping Henry Dukes (0-5) at 1:20 of the first round in a super middleweight bout. Anthony Dirrell attacked at the opening bell and hammered his opponent from all angles before Duke's corner threw in the towel.

He celebrated the victory with a back-flip in the center of the ring.




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