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NORRIS KOS MUGABI, TAKES AWAY HIS WBC SUPER WELTERWEIGHT TITLE

SHARE NORRIS KOS MUGABI, TAKES AWAY HIS WBC SUPER WELTERWEIGHT TITLE

Terry Norris knocked down champion John Mugabi in the opening minute and capped a shocking performance with an overhand right that knocked Mugabi out at 2:47 of the first round Saturday in winning the WBC super welterweight title.

The first world title fight staged in Tampa since 1971 ended suddenly before a stunned crowd that entered the University of South Florida Sun Dome to cheer on Mugabi, who was born in Uganda but fights out of Tampa. Instead, they saw the 22-year-old Norris, of Campo, Calif., raise his record to 25-3.

A combination by Norris in the opening 45 seconds sent the 30-year-old Mugabi sprawling to the canvas. Mugabi, 37-3, got up midway through the count and appeared to weather the challenger's barrage.

But late in the round, the 153 3/4-pound challenger set up Mugabi for a crushing right hand that sent the 154-pound champion spinning down from the ropes.

The loss ended a streak of 11 straight knockout victories for Mugabi, who beat France's Rene Jacquot for the WBC title. Norris, who entered the ring ranked No. 5 in the WBC, is the NABF super welterweight champion.

Highlighting the undercard, heavyweight Jesse Ferguson, who beat current heavyweight champion James "Buster" Douglas in 1985, registered a sixth-round TKO over journeyman Terry Armstrong.

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At Atlantic City, N.J., Buddy McGirt retained his second ranking by the International Boxing Federation by stopping Tommy Ayers in the second round of a scheduled 10-round welterweight bout broadcast on national television.

McGirt dropped Ayers with a left-right combination midway through the second. Ayers rose at the count of three but retreated to a corner and could not answer McGirt's flurries.

Referee Steve Smoger halted the contest at 2:11 p.m.

"The better guy won. It's that simple and it's that honest," said Angelo Dundee, Ayer's trainer. "Tommy was ready for everything McGirt was going to throw but he got caught with a beautiful shot."

McGirt, 26, of Long Island, N.Y., improves to 48-2-1 with 38 knockouts. He said he knew the fight "would only be a matter of time.

"A lot of peole thought he would stay outside on me," McGirt said. "But I thought differently. I thought he would try to get inside and overpower me."

McGirt landed his big combination when Ayers was starting to throw a left hook to the body.