Romero claims IBF title

April 23, 1995|By Alan Goldstein | Alan Goldstein,Sun Staff Writer

LAS VEGAS -- Handsome and articulate, Danny Romero proved last night that he also is a quite talented flyweight, dominating the closing rounds against champion Francisco Tejedor of Colombia to capture the International Boxing Federation flyweight title by unanimous decision at the MGM Grand Garden.

Romero, 20, from Albuquerque, N.M., raised his record to 24-0 with 21 knockouts in becoming the first American to hold the 112-pound title since Midget Wolgast reigned from 1930 to 1935.

It took more than seven rounds for the heavy-fisted Romero to catch the elusive champion with more than one solid punch. But he staggered Tejedor in the 11th and knocked him through the ropes just before the final bell to take any suspense out of the decision.

Judge Dalby Shirley of Nevada favored Romero, 116-111. Stuart Winston of Florida ruled, 115-112, and Hector Hernandez of Mexico, 116-112.

"I gave him a boxing lesson," Romero said. "He was crafty and quicker than I thought, but I was prepared to go 12 hard rounds."

Now, Romero looks forward to a more lucrative match against either Michael Carbajal or junior-flyweight champion Chiquita Gonzalez.

Both Romero and Tejedor (42-3, 30 KOs) earned $40,000 for their appearance on Home Box Office.

Tejedor, who won the 12-pound title by stopping Jose Zepeda in February, spent the opening round retreating and peppering Romero with light combinations. Romero was looking to deliver a quick knockout punch, but was wide with his hooks to the head.

But Romero began finding the range in the second round, shaking the champion with a looping right to the forehead. Attacking the body, Romero was warned by referee Richard Steele for hitting below the belt.

Tejedor tried keeping Romero at bay with a flicking jab, but Romero again did most of the damage in the third round, landing several hard hooks to the head.

Romero concentrated on scoring to the body in the fourth round while the more slender Colombian was content to counterpunch.

Tejedor chose to go toe-to-toe in the fifth round, creating several lively exchanges in the middle of the ring. In fact, it was the champion who got the better of the flurries with Romero, surprised by Tejedor's sudden change in tactics.

The fight turned into a slugfest in the seventh round. Tejedor rocked his rival early, but Romero closed the round with a solid three-punch combination.

Romero had Tejedor in trouble in the eighth and ninth rounds, trapping him on the ropes and scoring with solid rights. But Tejedor escaped each time.

Romero kept up the pressure in the 10th, catching Tejedor with three thumping lefts, but neither fighter showed signs of fatigue or physical damage.

Just before the bell ended the 12th, Romero landed a short hook that buckled Tejedor's knees, but it was too late to follow his advantage.

Romero tried to finish the job in the 12th, sending Tejedor flying against the ropes with a hard right to the chin. The slender Colombian was now holding on, hoping to end the fight on his feet. A left-right combination sent Tejedor through the ropes, but he regained his feet as the final bell sounded.

In a preliminary bout, Mike Connolly of Houston handed Corey Sanders (3-1) of Mitchellville, Md., has first loss as a pro by winning a unanimous four-round decision.

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