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Briggs returns, Arnaoutis upset

Ringside by Matt Richardson
Photos by Marty Rosengarten / Ringside Photos

In a minor upset in New York City, junior welterweight contender “Mighty” Mike Arnaoutis lost his second fight this year when he dropped a 12-round split decision to Tim Coleman in the main event of a card promoted by Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing. The card was televised live on Versus. A score of 116-112 for Arnaoutis was overruled by two scores of 115-113 for Coleman. In a close fight that could have gone either way Fightnews tabbed Coleman a victor by the same score as the judges. Despite the close scores, however, the fight was dull. Neither fighter seemed to want to engage the other. There were long stretches where neither fighter was effectively aggressive. In the end it was Coleman (17-1-1, 4 KO’s) who had a big round in the 12th (partially due to a head butt that tore open a nasty cut over Arnaoutis’ right eye) to close the show.

Arnaoutis (22-4-2, 10 KO’s) had trouble catching Coleman over the first half of the fight. He chased and chased but usually just got picked apart from the outside.

As the bout progressed, Coleman appeared to tire but Arnaoutis was never effective in cutting off the ring. Still, Coleman’s activity rate (not high to begin with) dropped significantly in the second half of the fight and Arnaoutis was busy enough to win a few rounds. He was not accurate, however, and that likely led to the loss.

Arnaoutis didn’t think the decision was justified; he stormed out of the ring immediately after the scores were announced.

Arnaoutis was knocked out in a challenge of Victor Ortiz in March.

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Briggs returns

Former WBO heavyweight title-holder Shannon Briggs got back into the ring for the first time since losing his title to Sultan Ibragimov in June 2007, when he stopped the very well-worn Marcus McGee in the first round of a scheduled eight in the co-feature to Coleman-Arnaoutis.

A left to the body hurt McGee and a right dropped him for the count, although, to be fair, McGee seemed like he had little interest in fighting. Briggs, 38, will always be able to beat guys like this. It’s when he steps up the level of competition that the results begin to fluctuate. The fight against McGee lasted just two minutes and one second.

Afterwards, Briggs explained that he already has a tentatively busy schedule lined up: a fight January 8, possibly on ESPN in California followed by fights on February 16 at the Hard Rock in Florida and even a fight in March in Prague. Asked why he still wants to fight, Briggs claimed to be “the greatest of all time…with asthma.” He claimed to be “huge” (around 334 pounds) before getting back down to 254 pounds in preparation for this fight. He weighed 272 ¼ against McGee, but he said he hopes to be fighting soon in the 245-pound range.

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Woods KO'd

In a cruiserweight bout, Jaywon Woods saw his unbeaten ledger go up in smoke when he was knocked out in the fourth round of a scheduled six by Josh Harris (5-3-1, 3 KO’s). Woods (7-1-1-1, 5 KO’s) was dominating the action until getting caught with a combination that put him on shaky legs. Hurt and wobbly, the fight was stopped with Woods on his feet. Time of the stoppage was 1:17.

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Solomon decisions Robinson

In a battle of unbeaten welterweights, Brad Solomon won an unexpected eight-round majority decision against Ray Robinson. Scores were 76-76 and 79-73 (twice) for Solomon. Robinson was cut over the left eye from a punch although the blood did not seem to adversely affect him. With the “W,” Solomon moves to 9-0, 3 KO’s. Robinson is now 11-1, 4 KO’s.

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In other action:

Super Middleweights: Hajro Sujak (5-0, 2 KO's) W U 4 Todd Erikksson (0-2-2)

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2009 by Fightnews.com.