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Toney Makes Short Work of Unprepared Blanco : Boxing: Middleweight wins by knockout in second round after opponent has trouble staying on his feet.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

With his stablemate Terry Norris looking on, middleweight Rodney Toney showed he soon might not be the only boxer from Campo’s First Fighters Squadron to have a world championship belt.

Toney scored his seventh consecutive knockout by disposing of an unprepared Basante Blanco of San Felipe, Venezuela, with 41 seconds left in the second round Thursday night at the Irvine Marriott in front of 1,000 fans.

Blanco (9-10) was knocked down once by Toney in the first round and twice in the second round before referee Larry Rozadilla stopped the fight.

“I tried to work the jab, but I got a little excited,” Toney said. “When I hit him, I knew he was hurt.”

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Toney (16-0-2, eight knockouts) hit Blanco with a left and then a right uppercut that sent Blanco down. Blanco spent the rest of the fight trying to plant his feet. But as he threw his punches, his feet would slide out from beneath him.

Toney was so busy hitting Blanco that he didn’t seem to notice his opponent’s footing problems. A right hand to the side of Blanco’s head sent him down a minute into the second round. Then Toney finished off Blanco with a solid right uppercut.

“They’re helping me with my confidence,” Toney said of his trainers.

Joe Sayatovich, Toney’s trainer, said Toney’s punches are becoming as lethal as those of Norris, the World Boxing Council junior middleweight champion.

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“Nobody wants to fight him,” Sayatovich said. “He’s too strong. We had 12 turndowns for this fight.”

Sayatovich said he might bring Toney back to Irvine next month before matching him with Quincy Taylor for Taylor’s North American Boxing Federation title.

Long Beach heavyweight Dave Yonko’s comeback from a six-year layoff was a short and controversial one. He was knocked out at the end of the second round by San Diego’s Reginald Blackmon. Referee Fritz Werner stopped the bout as the bell was ringing when Yonko took about 10 punches in a row from Blackmon (4-0, four knockouts) in the corner.

A frustrated Yonko (10-5) threw his mouthpiece in the middle of the ring as the crowd booed loudly. Yonko, who weighed 247, was a Marriott favorite back in the late 1980s before spending two years in jail.

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Lightweight Ramon Franco (4-0), also a First Fighter Squadron boxer, won a split six-round decision over Oxnard’s John Ramirez (10-6-2) despite being cut by a head butt in the second round.


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