1988-11-07 Sugar Ray Leonard w rsc 9 Donny Lalonde, Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - WBC

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1988-11-07 Sugar Ray Leonard w rsc 9 Donny Lalonde, Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - WBC. Referee: Richard Steele. In a contest for the inaugural WBC title, and with Lalonde’s light heavyweight title also on the line, most of the money was on Leonard (165). But after four rounds he was behind on all the scorecards, having been knocked down by a right in that session. From there on, however, Leonard made it his fight when gradually cutting Lalonde (167) down to size, his combination punching being the main difference between them. Eventually, in the ninth, Leonard backed Lalonde up on the ropes and hammered him with lefts and rights before a left hook sent the latter down, blood coming from his mouth, and brought about an immediate stoppage with 30 seconds of the session remaining.

Lalonde, who entered the ring one pound inside the limit should not have been forced to put his 175lbs crown on the line at the same time, although the situation went some way to righting itself when Leonard relinquished the WBC light heavyweight title following the fight in order to concentrate on defending his lighter belt. Further to that, a match was made between Dennis Andries and Tony Willis, the NABF champion, in order to find a successor.

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