Mosley lends Joppy a sparring hand

Welterweight champion gives `world-class' aid in title-bout preparation



November 13, 2001|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

LAS VEGAS - Former middleweight champion William Joppy got a little help from an unexpected friend while training in Big Bear, Calif., for his title bout against Great Britain's Howard Eastman.

Adding some spice to his high-altitude workouts was welterweight champion Shane Mosley, considered the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Mosley showed up at the training sessions and regularly worked out with Joppy.

Joppy (32-2-1, 24 KOs) and Eastman (32-0, 29 KOs) will fight Saturday night for the vacant World Boxing Association title on the undercard of the Hasim Rahman-Lennox Lewis heavyweight championship rematch.

"Shane really stepped up to the plate by giving Joppy world-class sparring in his return to the major leagues of professional boxing," said Steve Nelson, who co-manages Joppy and Rahman with Stan Hoffman.

Joppy, who lost his title to Felix Trinidad in May, worked out "five or six times" with Mosley.

Turnabout unfair?

While Skysports Television, Britain's equivalent of ESPN, was given full access to Rahman two weeks ago while he trained in Big Bear, Lewis was not as hospitable to his compatriots.

The Garden, a leading British national newspaper, reported that members of the ex-champion's camp denied admittance to his training camp in the Poconos to producer Adam Chenery and reporter Adam Smith.

Lewis has denied the reports.

They said it

The heavyweight hype is heating up. Here are two nuggets from the Lewis and Rahman camps.

Emanuel Steward, Lewis' trainer, says his fighter is the greatest.

"Lennox Lewis is the most talented heavyweight fighter I've ever seen," Steward said. "He has more talent than Muhammad Ali."

But Hoffman, Rahman's co-manager, said Lewis is no rocket scientist.

"Let me tell you something, straight out," Hoffman said. "If Lennox Lewis had to match wits with Hasim Rahman, Rock would have to check his wits and his brains at the door, then they'd be starting out even."

Et cetera

Rahman will step into the ring first today, followed by Lewis, but they won't be in the ring at the same time. Rahman will hold a public workout at 12:30 p.m. local time, and Lewis will come in an hour later. Both fighters will work out at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. ... Lewis (5-0) and Rahman (3-0) are both undefeated in bouts in Las Vegas.

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