Next time, maybe Vernon Paris can arrange for his opponent to brand him a needle-using heroin junkie. One wonders what the Detroit boxer would do if that happened, considering how he took care of Tim Coleman on Friday Night Fights.
Paris, who admits that he has failed a postfight urine test and used to smoke pot, was surprised and miffed when during fightweek Coleman alleged that he was a crack smoker.
He bided his time, and got his revenge served a bit cold, with a left hook delivered in round seven. That sent Coleman to the mat at the Chumash Casino, in Santa Ynez, California, not out cold but close enough for the ref Dan Stell. He halted the scrap at 27 seconds elapsed after two knockdowns in the sixth, and one in the seventh and final round. All came via viciously efficient left hooks to the side.
For the record, some of the loudest cheers of the night came when Coleman came over to Paris' corner after the stoppage, and paid him respects.
In a battle of 140 pounders, Paris went down in the second, off a right cross. He was up and clear headed, quickly, with a minute to go. Coleman went to the deck in round six, off a left hook to the body, with 30 seconds remaining, and again from the same shot 20 seconds later. Coleman came out jabbing, moving his legs, looking to get his head straight. No dice; a left hook delivered while Coleman was on the ropes sent him down, and the ref said that was all she wrote, a TKO win went into the books for Paris.
The two men got heated before the bout, and on Thursday mixed it up in the hotel lobby where the fighters were housed. Coleman swung at Paris, and got tossed out of the hotel by management. Oftentimes--hello Klitschko, hello Haye--we've all been impressed by the level of vitriol on display before a bout, and been disappointed when the fight itself turned out to be an underwhelming waltz. The word war was just as heated. "I'd like to be the one to beat him to death in the ring," Coleman said earlier in the week.
Paris, age 23, rose to 25-0 while Coleman, age 27, from Baltimore, living in Vegas, dropped to 19-2-1.
By the way, Roger Mayweather didn't show up to work Coleman's corner, and Floyd Sr prepped Paris, but he didn't say he'd work in his corner, so a Mayweather cornerman faceoff didn't come off.
Many gave Coleman an edge coming in, having been influenced by the Jan. 29 showing by Paris against Emanuel Augustus. The elder slickster impressed everyone but the judges, and most thought Paris didn't deserve a UD.
SPEEDBAG Paris was stabbed and pierced in the lung and kidney in May 2008, and before that, in September 2006, he was shot, and still has a bullet lodged in his back and thigh. Please remember stuff like this and occasionally remind yourself that boxing gives structure and reason for being for some folks who might easily fall in between the cracks.
---Sergio Mora was relaxed and articulate in subbing for Teddy Atlas, who is in Russia training Alex Povetkin for his upcoming fight against Ruslan Chagaev, Aug. 27 in Germany. The WBA belt will be up for grabs there.