Long Island City native Lou Del Valle fought to a draw with Frenchman Bruno Girard Saturday night in Marseille, France in a bout for the vacant light heavyweight championship of the world.
The two, ranked No. 1 and No. 2 by the World Boxing Association, were battling for the vacant title, formerly held by Roy Jones Jr. Jones, though technically still the undisputed light heavyweight champ, is now regarded as a super champion by the WBA, a rule instituted in the past two months.
Had there been a winner, the new champ would have been a mandatory challenger for Jones. Del Valle lost a unanimous decision to Jones three years ago, despite becoming the first professional fighter to deck the boxer considered by many to be the best pound-for-pound in the game.
Girard is the former WBA super middleweight champion of the world.
According to online reports, Del Valle (31-2-1, 21 KO) controlled the early going of the fight, utilizing his stiff right jab and straight left hand, before Girard (39-3-2 6 KO) began to rally in the middle rounds. The two tired pugilists exchanged freely in the final rounds, with neither landing the big shot or holding a decisive edge on the scorecards before the final bell sounded.
Judge Renato Caddero had Del Valle in front by a 115-114 margin, while Jesus Cova had Girard the victor by a score of 116-113. Orlando Slim scored the bout a draw, 115-115.
It was a great fight, said Del Valles promoter, Joe DeGuardia. I thought Lou won the fight, but we were in France. It was close.
A rematch is likely, with the vacant title still on the table. But widespread speculation in the boxing community has Jones relinquishing all of his titles at 175 crowns and moving back down to 168, supposedly to take on Puerto Rican star Felix Trinidad, if the latter is able to unify the middleweight crown when he takes on Bernard Hopkins Sept. 15 at Madison Square Garden.
The Del Valle-Girard rematch, DeGuardia said, will hopefully be held in the United States, sometime in October or November.
Reach Sports Editor Anthony Bosco by e-mail at TimesLedgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 130.
©2001 Community News Group
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