Boxing: Title goes to Dorin in bruising contest

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The Independent Online

Leonard Dorin outpointed Argentina's Raul Balbi to win the World Boxing Association lightweight title in San Antonio, Texas, on Saturday, taking his record to 20 straight wins.

Balbi looked to be in control early in the fight when he cut both of the Romanian's eyes in the fourth round. Both fighters stood toe-to-toe throughout, trading punches to the head and body. "I didn't win the fight?" a surprised Balbi asked when the decision was announced. "I was robbed."

There was controversy in another bout on the bill when "Jesse" James Leija outpointed "Irish" Micky Ward after the fight was stopped in the fifth round by the referee Laurence Coles, who ruled Leija could not continue because of a severe cut sustained by an apparent head butt in the first round.

In technical decisions after the fifth round, the outcome of the fight is determined by the judges' scorecards. "It was an extensive laceration that involved the entire eyebrow," Cordonado said. "I felt James should not go on."

Leija said it was a hollow victory. "I don't feel either of us should be declared the winner," he said. "The fight was just getting started."

The fight was first stopped in the second round as the doctor checked Leija's cut, but allowed him to continue. "I don't think it was right," Ward said. "I had a feeling it might stop. I thought it was a technical draw. I think highly of James. Maybe it should have been no contest."

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