White Turns Back Collier for Title : 7-Foot Fighter Wins Unanimous Decision for State Crown

Times Staff Writer

Mike White used to be known only as a 7-foot-tall boxer.

But on Monday, he added a distinction--California heavyweight champion--by winning an easy 12-round unanimous decision over Dee Collier in front of a sellout crowd of 1,350 at the Irvine Marriott.

The judges ruled, 117-110, 118-109, 117-111, in favor of White (20-6).

White scored a majority of his points keeping Collier (15-6), of Los Angeles, trapped on the ropes for most of the fight. This was the same way White defeated Collier in July in a nontitle fight in Irvine.


“Where’s the belt?” White asked with a smile in his dressing room after the fight. “I can’t take nothing away from Dee. He fought a good hard fight.”

White, of Long Beach, landed his first solid punch early in the third round. Collier, who is 6-feet 3-inches tall, moved toward White trying to throw a right, but White caught Collier on the jaw with a powerful right. The stunned Collier lumbered to the ropes and covered up--something he would do the rest of the fight.

White appeared to have Collier ready to go down in the third, sixth, seventh and ninth rounds but was never able to land the final blow.

Collier’s only flurry came in the eighth. After losing a point for a low punch, Collier attacked White’s body. White had to back off to the ropes for 30 seconds but was able to switch Collier to the ropes for the final 15 seconds of the round.

“My body might look soft, but it can take the punishment,” White said.

In the semi-main event, Don Yonko of Long Beach scored a six-round majority decision, 57-57, 59-56, 58-57, over Don Coats of San Jose.

Yonko (10-4) appeared ready to fall in the fourth and fifth rounds but hung on and finished with a strong sixth round. Coats is 3-2.