Joppy lives up to word in victory; WBA middleweight champ stops Green in 7th round; Holmes retains WBC title


WASHINGTON -- William Joppy did exactly what he said he would do. At times, he boxed and moved. On occasion, he mixed it up. He stood in close, made the challenger miss, even took some shots on the chin.

In the end the World Boxing Association middleweight champ was simply too good for Dominican Julio Cesar Green (25-4, 17 knockouts), whom he stopped in the seventh round. The victory improved his record to 28-1-1 as the main event on a Showtime-aired event at MCI Center before a crowd of 8,212.

It was Joppy's third meeting with Green, with the fighters spliting victories in their previous meetings. It was also the second win in as many comeback fights for Joppy, 29, of Silver Spring, since suffering a neck injury in a January car accident.

Joppy won every round on all three judges' cards. He battered Green's left eye bloody with a hard right, set up by his jab, when ringside doctor Dawne Carroll stopped the fight at 1: 52 of the seventh round after checking Green's eye at the request of the referee.

"Julio Cesar Green is a tough guy. He came to fight," Joppy said. "But I knew I was hurting him. He couldn't keep taking those right hands. I knew sooner or later that I would cut him or knock him out."

In the first of the two middleweight title bouts, World Boxing Council champ Keith Holmes (34-2, 22 KOs) displayed a solid chin, boxing ability and power, including a ninth-round knockdown, during his unanimous decision over Lanham's Andrew Council (30-7-3, 20 KOs).

It was Holmes' second 12-round unanimous decision over Council since a September 1994 victory at Upper Marlboro's Show Place Arena. This time, however, he was far more convincing as he won by five, six and eight points on the three judges' cards.

"I noticed Council was throwing wild shots. I had to pay attention to that and adjust my fight plan to set up what I knew would be a chance to hit him with a good shot," Holmes said. "When I saw him throwing wild shots, it made me fight more on the inside."

In April, Holmes rectified a May 1998 loss to Hacine Cherifi of France, knocking out Cherifi in seven rounds. A 10th-round point deduction for hitting and holding was one of Holmes' few mistakes last night.

In other bouts, former World Boxing Organization middleweight champ Lonnie Bradley (29-0-1, 21 KOs) scored a unanimous decision over Eric Holland of Washington state. It marked Bradley's second comeback fight since missing 27 months recovering from surgery to repair a detached retina.

Baltimore welterweight Mike McFail (6-2-1) and local superwelterweight Charles Clark (11-3-1, five KOs) were victorious.

McFail had one knockout entering his welterweight bout with rising star Norman Smith (5-1, five KOs) of Washington, but wobbled the hometown favorite several times en route to an upset split decision. Clark ground out a majority decision over Mackie Willis of Georgia.

Light heavyweight Lincoln Carter (19-0, 18 KOs) of Miami won a decision over journeyman Fermin Chirino (13-22-1), surviving a seventh-round knockdown.

Super middleweight power-puncher Sammy Retta (13-1, 13 KOs) of Alexandria, Va., was shocked by journeyman Osvaldo Bello (9-5-2, eight KOs), who battered him badly before a ringside physician advised referee Marshall Cunningham to stop the fight after the sixth round.

Nicknamed "The Lion of Judah," Retta, an Ethiopian, was ahead on two of the three cards, but was cut above his right eye, which was badly swollen underneath.

Another upset featured Chantel Stanciel (12-1-1) of St. Louis getting his fifth knockout over Capitol Heights' Vincent White (11-1-1) at 2: 12 of the second round of their welterweight bout.

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