Czyz Makes It Unanimous Over Lalonde


Bobby Czyz cut up, then beat up Donny Lalonde for 12 rounds with punishing left jabs and hooks in a cruiserweight title fight at the Riviera Hotel Friday night.

Czyz, defending his World Boxing Assn. title for the second time, opened several cuts over and under Lalonde's eyes and bloodied his nose in winning a unanimous decision.

In the fourth round, Czyz landed a left hook that caused Lalonde to stumble backward to the ropes where he cracked the back of his head on the ring apron TV cameraman's lens.

On the undercard, top-ranked heavyweight contender Riddick Bowe (30-0) beat Everett Martin (17-14-1) in the fifth round when the bout was stopped because of a cut over one of Martin's eyes. And junior-welterweight Hector Lopez (22-1) of Tarzana won a unanimous decision over Juan LaPorte (37-12) of Brooklyn.

After the heavyweight fight, Bowe's manager, Rock Newman, said he had reached agreement on a two-fight deal for Bowe to earn $10 million by fighting South African Pierre Coetzer and then, if he beats Larry Holmes on June 19, heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield.

It appeared that Lalonde (35-4) did not block more than a half-dozen punches all night. He was once known as a big right-hand puncher in his light-heavyweight days, but the always-charging Czyz never let him get set.

In the matchup of two former light-heavyweight champions, Czyz (40-5) set the tempo in the opening round. He applied pressure on the Winnipeg, Canada, fighter immediately, and knocked Lalonde down with a left hook.

The first two rounds were wild ones, with Czyz, 187, from Morris Township, N.J., landing virtually every left jab, hook, and counter he threw. Lalonde, 184 1/2, threw big right hands, but missed most of them, retreating constantly in the face of Czyz's charge.

But Lalonde had his moments. He rocked Czyz shortly after he got up in the first with a left hand to the champion's chin.

By the end of the first round, Lalonde had two cuts over his left eye. He bled freely throughout, from eye cuts and, beginning in the seventh, from the nose.

Many ringsiders scored 11 or 12 rounds for Czyz. But one of the judges, Rafael Carabano of Venezuela, scored it 116-113 for Czyz. Hector Hernandez of Mexico City had it 117-111 and Jerry Roth of Las Vegas, 116-110. The Times card awarded Czyz every round, 119-108.

Referee Richard Steele deducted a point from Czyz for a 10th-round low blow.

Afterward, Lalonde said: "I thought it was a close fight, I wouldn't have been surprised if they'd given it to me."

"I felt great going in," Lalonde said. "I never felt better in my life before a fight. But I had nothing--no snap, nothing. Bobby's a very strong cruiserweight, he forced me the whole way."

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World