Daniels is awarded lackluster decision; Win over late substitute Fountain lacks 'intensity'

THE BALTIMORE SUN

His promised state championship fight was changed into a meaningless eight-round bout, but Maryland middleweight Alfonzo Daniels made the best of the situation in winning a unanimous decision over durable Ali Fountain at Michael's Eighth Avenue in Glen Burnie last night.

Originally, Daniels was booked to battle Lloyd "Jabba" Bryan, a one-time title contender. Bryan's handlers claimed their fighter was injured in training and pulled out of the fight. But Bryan reportedly has signed for a more lucrative television bout against Dana Rosenblatt on May 21.

"I was very disappointed," said Daniels. "I prepared myself mentally the past month to fight a guy who was once ranked No. 3 by the International Boxing Federation. Instead, I found myself fighting a crafty veteran with a 4-14-and-5 record. It changed my whole mindset. The intensity just wasn't there tonight."

"This is the third time Bryan has pulled out of a fight with Daniels," said his advisor, Jeff Novotny. "The boxing commission should suspend him unless he can prove he was really hurt."

Two of the judges, Ken Chevalier and Bill Holmes, both gave Daniels a narrow 77-75 margin over Fountain, while Gary Camponeschi awarded the winner all eight rounds (80-74). The sellout crowd of close to 1,800, which had rallied behind Fountain, booed Camponeschi's decision. While still lacking a knockout punch, Daniels (23-4) won on the strength of his superior boxing ability.

Harrisburg light-heavyweight Julian Letterlough knocked Baltimore's Dana Rucker (6-1) from the unbeaten ranks in spectacular fashion, leaving the former amateur champion unconscious 16 seconds into the third round after connecting with a brutal left hook.

The stocky Letterlough, who has now won all five of his pro bouts by knockouts, dropped Rucker with another hook just before the bell ended the second round. Rucker survived this attack, but Letterlough wasted no time finishing the job in the next round.

Flashy Washington junior middleweight Anthony Fields (11-1) also suffered his first defeat, losing a split decision to rugged Eric Mitchell (13-3-1), of Philadelphia.

In other bouts: Baltimore junior middleweight Charles Clark (8-3-1) scored a pair of knockdowns in dominating Jerry Booker (3-11-2), of Washington, in a six-round bout; Washington welterweight Orlando Hollis (16-5) easily outboxed Wade Duncan (11-3-2); promising Virginia welterweight Jimmy Lange (6-1, 6 KOs) flattened Andre Gaskins (0-2-1), of Laurel, at 2: 58 of the fourth round; and Lanham featherweight Ernesto Rodriguez stretched his record to 8-0 by stopping Clifford Watford (1-3) of Philadelphia, at 1: 15 of the fourth round.

Pub Date: 3/26/99

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