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Haugen Defeats Mancini : Boxing: Junior-welterweight bout is stopped after knockdown during the seventh round. The loser says he will retire.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Greg Haugen knocked Ray Mancini into retirement with a right to the jaw in the seventh round Friday night of a junior-welterweight bout before 5,967 at the Reno/Sparks Convention Center.

Haugen, well ahead on points, caught Mancini flush on the left side of his jaw after Mancini had missed Haugen completely with a right. Mancini fell forward, his left arm wrapped around Haugen’s head, before landing on the second rope. As he lay there, it appeared that referee Mills Lane would count him out. Mancini struggled to his feet, but Lane, after a look into Mancini’s eyes, stopped the fight.

Afterward, Mancini, sporting a welt below his left eye, said he would retire.

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“Please, don’t anyone ask me if it this is it because . . . yes, this is it,” he said.

“He beat me thoroughly--he proved to me I had no business being in there with a quality fighter. Fighters have to fight, and I haven’t been busy enough.”

When the end came, Mancini was throwing a lot of punches, but little was working for him. After the early rounds, his legs seemed lifeless.

All three judges and The Times card had Haugen ahead at the end, 59-55.

Haugen patiently slipped and blocked most of Mancini’s blows and bothered him continually with an effective jab.

Both appeared to suffer cuts caused by head butts during the first round. The cuts never were a factor, but Mancini was bothered by the swelling under his left eye. The pattern of the fight at the midpoint was that Mancini was expending considerable energy but achieving little.

Neither had been really hurt until Haugen’s countering right ended the fight at 2:27 of the seventh.

They were fighting for a minor title, the North American Boxing Federation junior-welterweight championship. Both weighed 140 pounds.

Mancini, like Haugen a world lightweight champion, has now fought three times since 1985, all in Reno, and he has lost all three. He lost his fight before those, having been knocked out in 1984 by Livingstone Bramble.

Haugen, by contrast, has fought nine times since 1990.

Haugen earned $550,000, which included a $100,000 side bet sanctioned by the Nevada Athletic Commission. Mancini made $450,000. Before the wager, they were to have earned $500,000 each. Both are 31 and went into the bout with a 29-4 record. Haugen also has a draw.

On the undercard, lightweight Rafael Ruelas of Arleta moved to 30-1 with a one-round knockout of Mexican Panchito Lopez. Ruelas’ brother Gabe scored a similar victory here Thursday night.

Rafael Ruelas put Lopez down twice during the round, both times with left hooks to the ribs. On the second knockdown, Lopez remained on his back, clutching his ribs and grimacing when the bout was stopped at 2:02.

Middleweight Roy Jones, victim of the most disputed decision of the 1988 Olympic tournament, knocked out Art Serwano (17-5-1) in 1:40. Jones is 17-0, all by knockout.

Jones knocked Serwano down with a roundhouse right hand that didn’t appear to have much on it, almost more of a slap than a punch.

Former New York Jet defensive end Mark Gastineau improved to 9-0, all knockouts, with a one-round victory over Lon Liebergen (7-6).

Gastineau, fighting at a more measured pace than in previous outings, nonetheless showed few boxing skills. Instead, the 6-5, 256-pounder simply threw long, telegraphed right hands until one of them caught Liebergen on the side of the head.

Referee Vic Drakulich stopped the bout at 2:38 with Liebergen helpless on the ropes.


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