George Khalid Jones, 22-2-1 (13 KOs), 173 3/4, Paterson, NJ, captured the USBA light-heavyweight championship winning a controversial nine round technical decision over Freddy Moore, 30-3 (27 KOs) 173, Miami, Fla. in a headline bout aired on ESPN2 from Plymouth, Mass.
The bout was stopped due to a cut above Jones’ right eye that was the result of an accidental headbutt that occurred in round eight. The cut worsened in round nine and the referee sent the fight to the scorecards.
In what is becoming all too common, wildly varying scores led to a decision that was clearly wrong. The scoring was as follows: 88-83 Moore, 88-83 Jones, and 88-83 Jones. At least one judge witnessed a vastly different fight than the others. The Sweet Science scored the bout 88-83 for Moore.
Jones had great difficulty from the outset getting past the long-armed Moore. Moore clearly had more energy and, despite dropping the opening round, continually beat Jones to the punch through much of the fight.
As the bout wore on, Moore demonstrated far more energy as Jones appeared to fade and kept his opponent on the end of his punches. Jones was frustrated throughout by his inability to connect with regularity and was unable to mount any sustained attack at any point.
The cut that led to the stoppage resulted from a desperate Jones, 38, jumping in at his fellow southpaw and clacking heads hard.
As the scoring would indicate, Moore could not have gained a decision without knockdowns in each of the remaining rounds of the fight. For Moore, this represented the third loss in his last 4 fights – but undeservedly so. At 38, he does not have much time to rebound.
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Televised Undercard Bouts:
Local prospect Nick Morganelli, 5-0 (3 KOs), 142, Dorchester, Mass, scored a shutout over Mike Weaver, 2-2-1 (1 KO), 141, Philadelphia, Pa. in a four-rounder. Weaver was intent on surviving as he continually moved as Morganelli chased. Morganelli demonstrated solid skills gained in an extensive amateur career. The 19-year-old has plenty to learn about the pro game but he showed some promise.
Robert Wiggins, 20-4-1 (12 KOs), 227 3/4, Pawtucket, RI, forced Courage Tshabalala, 26-4, 234 (22 KOs), South Africa, to quit at the end of round four of a scheduled eight. Although Tshabalala appeared to get the better of the exchanges in rounds one through three. He was, however, penalized for low blows in round two and four. The southpaw Wiggins began to gain control of an exhausted Tshabalala in the fourth. The Sweet Science had the bout even at 37-37 at the end of the fight on strength of the point deductions.