Lalonde Fights for Czyz's Title so He Can Fight Child Abuse

When last spotted in the ring, Donny Lalonde was draped over the bottom ring rope at Caesars Palace, beaten into insensibility by Sugar Ray Leonard.

That was 1988, when Lalonde was traveling across North America, speaking out against child abuse, of which he was a victim. But after Leonard knocked him out and he lost his world light-heavyweight championship, the Canadian fighter retired.

He said at the time that he could not justify fighting for a living and being a spokesman for programs seeking to curb child abuse. So the retired "Winnipeg Bomber" resumed his travels, often telling of the stepfather who beat him so often that he finally left home when he was 15.

So how does he explain his fight tonight for Bobby Czyz's cruiserweight championship at the Riviera Hotel Convention Center?

"A lot of people in child-abuse programs told me I'd be a much stronger voice against child abuse if I had a forum like boxing," he says. "When I retired, I thought it was the other way around.

"If you lose your notoriety in any kind of charity work, you become just another face in the boardroom."

Czyz won the World Boxing Assn. cruiserweight title with a decision over Robert Daniels a year ago and has defended it once.

Czyz has a 39-5 record, Lalonde 35-3.

On tonight's undercard is unbeaten heavyweight Riddick Bowe (29-0), who fights Everett Martin (17-13-1). Tarzana junior-lightweight Hector Lopez (21-1) will fight Puerto Rican Juan LaPorte (37-11).

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