Trinidad wins, keeps his IBF title Welterweight champ runs unbeaten streak to 30

September 08, 1996|By Alan Goldstein | Alan Goldstein,SUN STAFF

LAS VEGAS -- Unbeaten International Boxing Federation welterweight champion Felix Trinidad, of Puerto Rico, continued to dominate his division last night, stopping Ray Lovato, of Sacramento, Calif., at 1.57 of the sixth round.

Trinidad (30-0, 26 KOs), who was making the 10th successful defense of his 147-pound crown and who has offered a challenge to junior-middleweight king Terry Norris, was appearing on the undercard of the Mike Tyson-Bruce Seldon heavyweight championship match at the MGM Grand Garden.

The fact that the game Lovato (21-2) was still standing when referee Mitch Halpern intervened drew a loud protest from the crowd.

But the knockout seemed almost an inevitability for Trinidad, who is rated among professional boxing's elite, possessing boxing skills and stunning power.

He had problems in the early rounds solving Lovato's bobbing and weaving style. Although Lovato is not known for his power, he kept the lanky champion off balance with jabs and unorthodox hook.

Trinidad began to flash his hand speed in the third round. But Lovato continued to crowd the champion, landing several solid punches after forcing his rival to the ropes.

Lovato, who suffered his only previous loss against Derrell Coley in January 1995, continued to take the fight to the champion in round four. But Trinidad slowed his charge with two thumping right hands and closed the round with a thumping hook to the ribs.

Trinidad began putting his combinations together in the fifth round, with a short hook momentarily jarring the challenger. Lovato exhibited the first signs of fatigue as he made his way back to his corner.

In the opening seconds of Round 6, a right hook by Trinidad stopped Lovato in his tracks. But the Californian battled back gamely.

Trinidad followed his advantage with a flurry of solid punches that sent Lovato flying against the ropes. Referee Halpern quickly came to his rescue, signaling an end to the fight.

Scary women's KO

Some scary moments came when women's boxing champion Christy Martin, of Orlando, Fla., stopped Melinda Robinson, of Fairfield, Texas, two minutes into the fourth round of their scheduled six-rounder.

Martin landed a straight right hand flush on Robinson's jaw. The lanky Texan fell flat on her back. Robinson tried to beat referee Carlos Padilla's count, but one look at her glassy eyes prompted Padilla to end the one-sided bout.

Commission physician Flip Homansky rushed into the ring to administer to Robinson, who slumped to the canvas. After several minutes, she managed to sit up and left the ring unaided.

Martin, who has helped popularize women's boxing with her aggressive style, won a six-round decision over Robinson last January in Miami. This time, "the coal miner's daughter" took control quickly and, with a hard combination, floored Robinson in the third round.

Martin, who raised her record to 36-2-2 with 26 knockouts, earned $50,000. Promoter Don King gave her a bonus of a BMW sports car.

Pub Date: 9/08/96

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