Reyes Really Knocks Brown Out

Times Staff Writer

In nearly 15 years as a professional fighter, John Brown thought he had seen everything in the ring.

But Saturday night Brown was knocked through the ropes by a right uppercut from Rolando Reyes and was counted out by referee Jack Reese 1:12 into the first round of their scheduled 10-round lightweight fight.

As the Arrowhead Pond crowd of 3,216 looked on, Brown -- after the knockdown -- was outside the ring listening to Reese's count. As it approached 10, Brown tried to scramble back over the ropes, but his left leg slipped. Reese then stopped the fight.

The win improved Reyes' record to 20-2-2 with 13 knockouts. Brown dropped to 23-12.

"I knew there was a chance he'd stop it when he went outside the ropes," said Reyes, who lives in Oxnard. "I thought I hurt him; you could see his legs weren't there."

Brown, of course, disagreed.

"I've been in some controversial fights, but this was ridiculous," said Brown, from Atlantic City, N.J. "I wasn't hurt. I was trying to climb back through the ropes and my leg slipped.

"How can you stop the fight like that? I didn't get a chance to fight. [Reyes] caught me with a shot, but it wasn't that solid."

Brown, 35, has fought four times for a world title, losing twice to Steve Forbes and once to Diego Corrales for the International Boxing Federation super-featherweight belt, and to Shane Mosley for the IBF super-lightweight belt.

But Reyes, 24, came into the bout the hot fighter. Saturday's fight was his eighth this year, and he has now won 13 in a row -- nine by knockout.

Earlier, middleweight Jose Luis Zertuche of Mexico City (12-1-1, 9 KOs) outslugged Carl Cockerham of Las Vegas (12-9-3) for six rounds to earn a unanimous decision.

Unbeaten super-lightweight Dmitriy Salita (16-0, 11 KOs) pounded out a fourth-round technical knockout over Richard Conchas of Aurora, Colo. (4-3).

In a battle of super-lightweights, wild-swinging Jesse Feliciano of Las Vegas (12-1-1, 7 KOs) scored a seventh-round technical knockout over local favorite Raul Franco of Anaheim (22-5).

In the opening six-round mini-flyweight bout, Javier Lagos (15-8-2, 4 KOs) effectively counterpunched Liborio Romero (10-4) to steal a majority decision.

Light-heavyweight Julio Gonzalez was formally presented his World Boxing Organization championship belt. Gonzalez, now a resident of Huntington Beach, won the title on a split decision over former unbeaten champion Dariusz Michalczewki in Germany on Oct. 18. He is the first Mexican fighter to hold a world title above 154 pounds.

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