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Saiz extends Mitchell, who wins by decision; Super-lightweight champ does little damage in D.C.


WASHINGTON -- What was supposed to be little more than a workout for World Boxing Association super lightweight champion Sharmba Mitchell of Washington, turned into an extended 12-round battle with surprisingly stubborn Pedro Saiz of the Dominican Republic in the Showtime co-feature last night at the Washington Convention Center.

Mitchell (44-2), who was dazzling in winning the title last October from France's Khaldi Rahilou, again exhibited a lot of flash and hand speed to gain a unanimous decision. One judge even gave him a 120-105 shutout. But Mitchell never seriously hurt his fellow left-hander, who fought back aggressively every time the champion landed a solid punch.

Mitchell, 29, sporting colorful trunks that were meant to resemble the Maryland flag, dropped Saiz (23-5-3) with a combination in the fifth round, but Saiz claimed it was more slip than punch.

The action stopped in the seventh when Saiz delivered a below-the-belt uppercut, causing Mitchell to take a three-minute respite. In the ninth, a left hook raised a big welt under Saiz's left eye.

Mitchell, who was added to the Bernard Hopkins-Robert Allen middleweight title card following a neck injury to WBA middleweight champion William Joppy, said he may have broken his right hand in the fourth round throwing a hook.

"I had only two weeks to get ready," he said. "I wanted to knock him out but it wasn't to be."

Friday fights

North American Boxing Federation junior welterweight king Reggie Green got over a case of the jitters and moved closer to a world championship bout with an impressive third-round knockout of Mexico's Jesse Rodriguez Friday night before a sellout crowd of 2,200 at the Pikesville Armory.

Referee Bill Holmes did not bother to count over Rodriguez after Green (29-2) sent him crashing to the canvas with a short left hook flush on the chin.

Neurologist Steve Manekin had to be summoned to administer to Rodriguez (33-13), who was unconscious for two minutes.

Green spoke optimistically of a championship match against Washington rival Mitchell or Vincent Phillips, who holds the International Boxing Federation belt.

"Whoever brings the most money," said Green, who recently signed with promoter Harold Weston.

Middleweights Andrew Council, of Lanham, and Michael Ward, of Fort Washington, were once sparring partners, but they fought like enemies in the ESPN2 co-feature before Council was awarded a unanimous 10-round decision.

Pub Date: 2/07/99

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