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Tiozzo wins cruiserweight title on Holyfield-moorer undercard

November 9, 1997

LAS VEGAS (AP) _ Fabrice Tiozzo of France became a two-time champion Saturday night, upsetting Nate Miller to win the WBA cruiserweight title.

Tiozzo, a former light heavyweight champion, simply outworked Miller and was the aggressor in scoring a 12-round decision to win his second title.

Another cruiserweight, Imamu Mayfield of New Jersey, won the IBF version of the title by taking a decision over Uriah Grant in another 12-round fight.

The fights were on the undercard of the heavyweight title unification fight between Evander Holyfield and Michael Moorer at the UNLV campus arena.

Tiozzo won by two points on two ringside scorecards and three on a third in a fight that was widely ignored by the crowd waiting for the delayed heavyweight title fight. Both fighters weighed the class limit of 190 pounds.

About the only thing that got the crowd’s attention in the fight was an exchange in the 12th round and when Miller went down in a heap in the 11th round after slipping while throwing a right hand.

Miller, of Philadelphia, had won his last seven fights by knockouts but never came close to hurting Tiozzo in a fight that had no knockdowns.

Mayfield, 188, used his longer reach and superior boxing skills to frustrate Grant early, then knocked him down with a left hook midway through the fifth round. Grant got back up and took a beating the rest of the round, but was able to survive the round.

Grant was defending for the first time the title he won June 21 from Adolpho Washington in what was his third try for a title in a 13-year pro career.

But Grant was frustrated throughout the fight by the movement of Mayfield, who kept Grant from fighting inside and, when they did, was the stronger puncher.

``It was no surprise,″ Mayfield said of his win. ``It was manifest destiny.″

Mayfield, who had won his seven previous fights by knockout, improved to 17-1. Mayfield, of Freehold, N.J., was paid $20,000. Grant, 190, of Jamaica, fell to 26-13. He earned $80,000.

In a featherweight title fight, Wilfredo Vazquez of Puerto Rico retained his WBA title with a unanimous decision over Genaro Rios of Nicaragua.

Vazquez, a three-time champion, was the better fighter on the inside in a fight that did little to attract the attention of the crowd waiting to see the Holyfield-Moorer fight.

Vazquez, who weighed the class limit of 126 pounds, defended his WBA title for the fourth time and improved to 50-7-3. Rios, the WBA’s No. 8 contender, fell to 16-4. He also weighed 126 pounds.

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