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McGuigan Retains WBA Featherweight Title

Barry McGuigan of Ireland, in the first defense of his title, pounded previously unbeaten American Bernard Taylor into submission Saturday to retain the World Boxing Assn. featherweight championship on an eighth-round technical knockout at Belfast.

Taylor controlled the opening rounds of the scheduled 15-rounder by circling the ring and counter-punching, but the persistent McGuigan gradually wore down the 28-year-old challenger.

By the sixth round, the 24-year-old champion was punishing Taylor with body-and-head combinations, and the American resorted to holding as an escape from the constant pressure.

In the eighth, McGuigan landed solid body blows upon a stunned Taylor, who appeared helpless. His corner finally decided he had endured enough punishment and made him quit before the bell sounded for the ninth round.

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It was McGuigan’s first defense of the title he won in London in June from Eusebio Pedroza of Panama.

The win improved McGuigan’s record to 28-1-0, while Taylor’s fell to 33-1-1. McGuigan weighed 125 pounds, Taylor 125 1/2.

Said McGuigan: “I think that’s about the most awkward guy I’ve ever met, and I hope I ever will meet. He’s so slippery and awkward and hard to hit, and so quick and cunning.

“I don’t think I hit him with half the amount of punches I threw at him. It was a wee bit demoralizing early on, but my manager told me to bang to the body, and to switch the punches up and down.

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“I hit him with a sharp right hand to the body in that last round, and it almost broke him in two, and I think that was probably about the only punch that I did really hit him with.”


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