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Jones stops Kelly in seventh round to move to 46-1

Posted: Sunday, February 03, 2002

MIAMI (AP) -- Roy Jones Jr. stopped Glen Kelly in the seventh round Saturday to set up a possible showdown with Bernard Hopkins.

Jones brought his hands out from behind his back, faked twice and nailed Kelly with a hard right to the head at 1:55 of the seventh to knock out the challenger, who survived two previous knockdowns.

Jones, 46-1 with 37 knockouts, successfully defended his WBC, WBA and IBF titles in the 175-pound division.

Jones floored Kelly (28-1-1) with 2:17 elapsed in the third with a left uppercut that snapped back the challenger's head.

He dropped Kelly again in the sixth round with a vicious left to the body that left Kelly gasping for air.

Jones had landed two other crushing body shots in the round.

Kelly, who seemed to be retreating throughout the fight, said before the bout that his only chance was to pound Jones and get inside to neutralize his speed.

But Jones kept his distance and was able to use his speed to measure his shots.

Jones, an inch shorter than Kelly, weighed in at 172 pounds. Kelly weighed 174 1/2.

Jones stunned Kelly several times in the second round. He got to the challenger with a quick right-left combination to the head, and second later buckled Kelly's knees with a roundhouse right and two quick lefts to the head.

Kelly was another in a line of average opponents for Jones, who has rarely been challenged since turning pro after the 1988 Olympics. Kelly, who is half-Australian Aborigine heritage and works full-time as a garbage collector in Sydney's suburbs, was fighting his third bout in the United States.

Jones, who recently released a rap CD, brushed off comments by Kelly that the champion might have been distracted with his activities outside the ring.

The fight was the second half of an HBO television doubleheader. In the opening fight in Reading, Pa., Bernard Hopkins defended his undisputed middleweight title by stopping Carl Daniels in the 10th round.

Hopkins, who upset Felix Trinidad in October to win the titles, could be on the horizon for Jones. They would have to meet somewhere between 160 pounds and 175 pounds. Jones has demanded more money than Hopkins to accept a rematch, while Hopkins wants the money split evenly.

Jones beat Hopkins in 1993 for the then-vacant IBF middleweight title.

Jones, whose promotion company, Square Ring Inc., put together the fight, made $1.5 million, while Kelly made $512,000.

About 10,000 were expected for the fight, the biggest in Miami since Felix Trinidad defeated Mamadou Thiam in July 2000. Sitting near each other at ringside were O.J. Simpson, attorney Johnnie Cochran, baseball players Barry Bonds and Gary Sheffield and Miami Dolphins Zach Thomas and Jason Taylor.



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