1998-03-14 Vince Phillips w co 1 Alfonso Sanchez, Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort, Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA - IBF

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1998-03-14 Vince Phillips w co 1 Alfonso Sanchez, Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort, Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA - IBF. Referee: Joe Cortez. Given a crack at the title, Sanchez (139), a fast-moving stylist, was expected to make life difficult for the champion but did not get the opportunity. Both men came out fast, immediately getting down to work, and after a couple of good exchanges Phillips (140) suddenly slipped the lead and smashed in a right-left that dropped Sanchez like a log to be counted out with 30 seconds of the opening round still remaining.

Later, with Phillips experiencing weight problems, Zab Judah stopped Wilfredo Negron in the fourth round of an IBF ‘interim’ title fight at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada on 16 January 1999. Given that Phillips was already contracted to defend the title against Terron Millett on 20 February 1999, it was really an official eliminator and Judah would eventually get his opportunity.