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Injured Hearns loses title

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DETROIT -- What was billed as the farewell fight for Thomas Hearns turned on a turned ankle -- and Hearns lost.

Hearns, 41, sprained his right ankle late in the second round of a scheduled 12-round bout with Jamaican left-hander Uriah Grant and couldn't answer the bell for the third round Saturday night at Joe Louis Arena.Grant, 39, was declared the winner by a technical knockout, giving him the fringe International Boxing Organization's cruiserweight title, which had belonged to Hearns.

Hearns limped around the ring, aided by manager Emanuel Steward and supporters. Finally, he sat down on a stool about 10 feet from what had been Grant's corner of the ring.

Fans began to boo and a scuffle broke out on the floor of the arena that left chairs overturned and broken. Hearns got up, grabbed the ring microphone and urged them to swallow their disappointment.

"Let me talk, please," Hearns shouted. "This wasn't the last fight for Detroit. We mean too much to each other. We've got one more. I'm going to bring it back.

"Trust me. Believe me, it won't go three rounds. Trust me. I'll be back."

Hearns (59-5-1) had reportedly trained hard for this fight, which was to have been the last of his illustrious career. Still, he had a hint of excess weight hanging over the waistband of the familiar red and gold trunks.