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Breland Wins Title on a Knockout

Associated Press

Mark Breland, a 1984 Olympic champion, won the World Boxing Assn. welterweight title Friday night when he knocked out Harold Volbrecht with a right to the jaw in the seventh round.

Breland chased Volbrecht for most of the first six rounds, then finally cornered him late in the seventh.

Breland pinned Volbrecht near the ropes and hurt him with a right to the face that made Volbrecht lean to the ropes. Breland followed with a right and a left, then landed a chopping right to the jaw that dropped Volbrecht to his left knee in a neutral corner.

Volbrecht then slumped to the canvas, and referee Tony Perez counted him out at 2:07 of the round.

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The unbeaten Breland became the second member of the 1984 U.S. Olympic boxing team to win a world title, joining Evander Holyfield, the light heavyweight bronze medalist who is the WBA junior heavyweight champion.

Before the fight, Breland had said of his 30-year-old opponent: “If he runs a lot, it may stink the fight out. To me, he’s a boxing runner.”

For the first six rounds, Volbrecht continuously moved back and forth and occasionally lunged in with both arms, not giving the 6-foot 2-inch Breland a target.

But although he was unable to land solidly on his 5-6 opponent, the 23-year-old Breland, of New York, was in control of the fight when the end came.

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It was his 17th victory and his 12th knockout as a pro after he posted a 110-1 amateur record.

Breland appeared at a post-fight party with his left hand wrapped and said “I think it might be broken.” He said he would go for X-rays this morning.

Breland got his championship bid before 2,800 fans at the Atlantic City Convention Center ballroom because Lloyd Honeyghan of Britain had relinquished the title, claiming he didn’t want to risk having to make a mandatory defense against Volbrecht, a South African who was ranked as the No. 1 contender.

Honeyghan still holds the World Boxing Council and International Boxing Federation titles, and a fight with Breland is possible later in the year.

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It was the second title bid for the left-handed Volbrecht, who has a 39-5-2 record with 9 knockouts.

Breland weighed 146 pounds to Volbrecht’s 146 1/2.


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