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Banke a Winner When Rival Stops Fight : Action by Romero Brings Shower of Debris From Fans at Forum

Times Staff Writer

Paul Banke, hoping to set himself up for a world title bout, won the Forum super-bantamweight tournament championship Tuesday night when opponent Carlos Romero unexpectedly stopped the fight himself 43 seconds into the 11th round.

Banke, who won $75,000 for the bout and $100,000 total during the seven-month tournament, was looking good in the late rounds, especially the 10th. But Romero, who gets $10,000, did not appear to be in bad shape, physically or on the fight cards, with the end of the 12-round bout nearing.

“Romero just quit . . . " said Banke, the Quail Valley, Calif., resident who would like a shot at the bantamweight or super-bantamweight belts. “He said no more. I knew he took some hard body shots, but I didn’t think he would stop. I was ready for the 12th round.

“That guy took a lot of hard shots and gave a lot of hard shots. He hurt me in the fifth and sixth with body shots. I took me two rounds just to recuperate.”

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Banke, 23, improved his record to 15-3 in front of the crowd of 4,393, which noted the sudden ending by throwing debris into the ring. Romero, a 28-year-old from Venezuela, is 22-5 after the matchup of 5-foot-5 left-handers.

In the night’s other bouts:

Freddie Pendleton of Miami advanced in the super-lightweight elimination tournament by defeating Akwei Addo of Ghana, the African lightweight champion, by technical knockout in the sixth round.

Addo (15-2) took a standing-eight count in the sixth after being knocked down. Pendleton came back seconds later with a flurry of punches while Addo was against the ropes that ended the fight at 2:30 of the scheduled 10 rounder.

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Pendleton, who has won 10 of his last 11 bouts, improved to 23-15-3.

Sergio Lopez of Los Angeles won the welterweight preliminary with a second-round knockout over Howard Scott of Los Angeles and improved his record to 2-0.

Andre Smith of Los Angeles, who began the night with a 10-1 record and 8 knockouts, continued his comeback from a year layoff after his first professional loss and the death of his wife with a second-round knockout over Bobby Berna of Las Vegas.

Ernest Curtis of Los Angeles beat Kenny Comer of Huntington Beach with a second-round technical knockout in their scheduled four-rounder in the welterweight class.

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