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Challenger Grey Wins IBF Title

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Holding fast in the last, desperate moments under a frantic attack from the champion, unsung challenger Harold Grey wobbled but won a split decision to take the International Boxing Federation super-flyweight championship before 4,056 at the Forum on Monday night.

Grey, the No. 1-ranked challenger from Columbia, piled up a large lead over champion Julio Cesar Borboa in the early and mid-rounds--and opened up three cuts on Borboa’s face by fight’s end--using his five-inch reach advantage and left jab to keep Borboa off-balance.

But the lanky, 5-foot-7 Grey (17-0) had never been past six rounds in his career and appeared to tire in the seventh. He went down backward to the floor early in the seventh, but referee Robert Byrd ruled it a slip.

Needing at least a knockdown to win the fight, Borboa (23-5) surged at Grey from the 10th round on, twice sending hard shots to Grey’s jaw that buckled him and almost put the challenger to the canvas.

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Somehow, Grey remained standing until the final bell, although he had a cut of his own, and then the fight went to the scorecards.

Judge James Jen-Kin scored it 114-113 for Grey, judge Jim Traylor scored it 116-112 for Grey and judge Fritz Werner scored it 117-111 for Borboa.

“I feel I outboxed him the whole way,” said Grey, who appeared to land far more power punches than Borboa.

Borboa, who said that the large gash over his left eye that opened in the fifth round slowed him, acknowledged that Grey’s outside attack prevented him from using his usual flurry of inside combinations. The bloody cut was ruled to have been caused by an unintentional Grey head butt, and he was not penalized for it.

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Borboa was making the sixth defense of his title, and said he would like to get a rematch.

“It was tough to get inside his reach,” Borboa said. “I thought that I would come on more in the middle rounds, but the cut slowed me down.

“I didn’t feel like I lost, but I give the guy credit.”


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