Mayweather wins IBF welterweight title

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Floyd Mayweather Jr prides himself on being a gentleman boxer, and the world's best pound-for-pound fighter kept that reputation intact.

Updated: February 25, 2007 11:39 IST
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Las Vegas:

Floyd Mayweather Jr prides himself on being a gentleman boxer, and the world's best pound-for-pound fighter kept that reputation intact while winning the IBF welterweight title on Saturday. Almost everybody else involved in his victory over Zab Judah will have to explain a whole lot of ungentlemanly behavior during a 10th-round melee in the ring that even stretched the limits of belief in an often unbelievable sport. The Nevada Athletic Commission is expected to begin its review this week of a brawl between entourages after Judah hit Mayweather with two illegal blows. Marc Ratner, the NAC's outgoing executive director, will be responsible for yet another distasteful salvage job that might include fines and suspensions, but probably no change in the fight's results. Judah (34-4), the struggling former superstar, was losing the fight soundly when he punched Mayweather in the groin and the back of the head with about 5 seconds left in the 10th. Roger Mayweather, the new champion's trainer and uncle, jumped into the ring to challenge and apparently choke Judah. That's when Yoel Judah, the fighter's father and trainer, punched Roger Mayweather while spurring several more entourage members to charge the ring. Some tried to stop the fight, while others punched anything in sight. Fans threw drinks and food at the stage, and those in the nearest seats crowded around the ring. For a few moments, a full-scale riot seemed possible in the Thomas and Mack Center crowd of 15,170. Police intervention Thanks to quick-thinking police officers and security forces who separated the combatants and stopped a full-scale ring invasion, order was restored during a five-minute rest period. The fighters finished the match without further incident, and Mayweather was crowned a champion in his fourth weight class. Roger Mayweather, the former 140-pound (63-kilogram) champion known as the Black Mamba in his fighting days, will be in line for the stiffest punishment. During the fight, the trainer told Floyd Mayweather that he expected Judah to do something illegal during the late rounds when Mayweather's superior power and precision had him beaten. That's exactly what happened, though Judah claimed he simply missed while trying to work Mayweather's body. Referee Richard Steele called a timeout after the blows, but said he didn't see the rabbit punch that put Mayweather on his knees. Steele also decided not to end the fight when Roger Mayweather illegally charged the ring. The referee said Nevada rules leave that decision to his discretion, instead of the automatic disqualification urged by Don King, Judah's promoter. In all likelihood, officials won't overturn the result of an otherwise dominant, legitimate victory for Mayweather, who had a deservedly comfortable margin on all three judges' scorecards. Judge Dave Moretti favored Mayweather 116-112, and Jerry Roth put Mayweather ahead 117-111. Glen Hamada gave only the final round to Judah, scoring it 119-109 in Mayweather's favor. Mayweather's dominance was obvious in the punch stats: He landed 188 of his 404 punches (47 percent), while Judah managed to hit Mayweather with just 82 of his 444 punches (18 percent). The punishment is likely to be financial, perhaps cutting into Mayweather's $5 million purse and Judah's $1 million earnings, and Roger Mayweather will face a suspension or another fine. But Floyd Mayweather, the former rabble-rouser turned gentleman fighter, stuck up for his uncle - even when asked if he felt robbed of the chance to get the knockout he felt was coming shortly before the melee. (AP)

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