June 8, 2008 / 3:44 AM / in 10 years

Pavlik retains middleweight titles, Mora beats Forrest

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Kelly Pavlik dominated Gary Lockett of Britain to retain his WBC and WBO middleweight titles with a third-round stoppage in Atlantic City on Saturday.

Kelly Pavlik (L) from Youngstown, Ohio lands a punch during third round action against Gary Lockett from Cwmbran, Wales in their WBC and WBO middleweight championship fight in Atlantic City, New Jersey, June 7, 2008. REUTERS/Beverly Schaefer

Pavlik rattled Lockett in the first round with two left-right combinations.

In the second, a right hand to the temple caused Lockett to stagger backwards and drop to one knee. Lockett went down to one knee again shortly afterwards and by the end of the round the challenger’s face was swollen and reddened.

Another right hand in the third sent Lockett (30-2, 21 KOs) to the canvas one more time, prompting trainer Enzo Calzaghe to throw in the towel.

“All he did was try to wait for me to get lazy with the jab,” Pavlik, 34-0 (30 KOs), told reporters. “He did catch me with one right hand in the first, but we took care of it.”

In Uncasville, Connecticut, Sergio Mora took the WBC super welterweight title from Vernon Forrest with a majority points decision. The scores were 114-114, and 115-113 and 116-112 for Mora.

Forrest (40-3, 29 KOs) took an early lead in what began as a tactical bout, working behind a left jab and landing right hands to Mora’s head.

Mora (21-0-1, 5 KOs) started to force his way into the fight in the fourth round, throwing hard punches to Forrest’s body and consistently outworking the defending champion.

A right hand in the sixth rattled Forrest, and in the ninth, Mora pinned Forrest against the ropes in the corner. Over the final few rounds, Mora was increasingly assertive as his 37-year-old opponent visibly tired.

“Once I got to the seventh round, I wasn’t going to let him win any more rounds,” Mora said.

“I was just flat,” said Forrest. “I was flat the whole night.”

On the undercard, Paul Williams regained the WBO welterweight title when he stopped Carlos Quintana in the first round.

Writing by Kieran Mulvaney in Washington. Editing by Ed Osmond

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