McCall looks sharp at 40, stopping Saleta in

Veteran wins in Chicago

Rahman fights Barrett in scheduled main event

August 14, 2005|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

CHICAGO - Former world heavyweight champion Oliver McCall, a 40-year-old who once split victories with Lennox Lewis, stopped Polish heavyweight Przemyslaw Saleta in the fourth round of their scheduled 10-round bout at the United Center last night.

McCall's victory came on the undercard of a main event featuring Baltimore native Hasim Rahman (40-5-1, 33 KOs) against Monte Barrett (31-3, 17 KOs) for the World Boxing Council's interim heavyweight title, whose winner will get a shot at WBC champion Vitali Klitschko in December.

"He caused me a little trouble with his jab. It wasn't a hard jab, but I knew I could hit him with uppercuts. I was able to lure him in, and that's when I hit him with the right hand," said McCall, who improved to 45-8 with his 32nd knockout.

"It feels good. I was settting him up, throwing left hooks, right hand. I was able to hit him in the end with the left hooks, right hands, pretty much whatever I threw at him."

Saleta (42-7, 21 KOs) is a popular figure in Poland, where he hosts his radio and television shows and often graces the cover of magazines that cater to women.

Saleta, 37, however, had spent much of the promotion for last night's bout being upstaged not by McCall, but by Saleta's girlfriend, Playboy playmate Kasia Kraszewska. When the heavily tatooed fighter finally took center stage, he succumbed to the pressure of a more seasoned fighter.

Despite accepting the fight only last week, McCall won for the fourth straight time. He was a substitute for Chicago native Andrew Golota, who suffered a cut over his right eye during sparring last week.

McCall, who has overcome drug and alcohol abuse and a stint in jail for assault, was most remembered for having an apparent emotional breakdown in the ring that resulted in a fourth-round stoppage in his 1997 rematch with Lewis.

In other bouts, Ricardo Mayorga (26-5-1, 22 KOs) of Nicaragua met Michele Piccirillo (44-2, 28 KOs) of Italy for the World Boxing Council junior middleweight title.

The winner will defend against the winner of next weekend's WBC elimination bout between Fernando Vargas (25-2, 22 KOs) of Oxnard, Calif., and Javier Castillejo (58-5, 39 KOs) of Spain - a battle between former junior middleweight champions at Chicago's Allstate Arena.

Mayorga, 32, knocked out Andrew "Six Heads" Lewis for the World Boxing Association welterweight (147 pounds) title in July 2001, and twice defeated Vernon Forrest for the WBC welterweight crown in 2003.

Mayorga lost both crowns in December 2003 to Corey Spinks, who was later dethroned by Zab Judah in a rematch of Spinks' earlier win. Piccirillo already had split wins with Spinks, losing his crown in their rematch.

Also known for sticking out his chin and allowing his rivals to whale away as a test of his machismo, Mayorga promised to be a more- polished performer last night, having been co-trained by Yoel Judah, father of Zab, the undisputed welterweight champion.

Yoel Judah has been refining the defensive skills of the hardpunching, wild-swinging Mayorga, who was knocked out by Felix Trinidad in a middleweight (160 pounds) fight in October.

Meanwhile, Vargas' camp yesterday filed a lawsuit against the WBC, charging that the organization stripped Castillejo of his WBC crown only after Vargas had signed to fight him, a move the fighter's representatives claim has caused him monetary damages.

Mayorga was the WBC's No. 1 contender. But Vargas contendshe signed to fight Castillejo only with the idea of winning the crown.

"I don't think [the lawsuit] a rumor anymore. There has been an action filed yesterday against the WBC. This was filed in the New York district court. This will be a federal action," said Rolando Arellanos, a Vargas representative.

"We have taken the position that they have violated their administrative codes and in addition to that, they have violated federal codes, also. As a result of their violation of their code, we have incurred financial damages, the amount of which I cannot disclose. But basically, all of that will be revealed.'

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