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Austin Scores Shutout Over Johnson

JD Vena from Ringside
LAS VEGAS, NV - Defending IBF Bantamweight champion, Tim "The Cincinnati Kid" Austin, easily out-pointed Arthur "Flash" Johnson last night at The Paris Las Vegas Resort Casino.  Johnson won every round on all three judge's scorecards in defending his belt for the fifth time.  Austin, 117 , had an easier time shaking off the cob webs than did Johnson, 117, who were making their first appearances of the new millennium.

    Both 29-year olds had a difficult time establishing a rhythm during the first two rounds, then Austin, who had the better of those frames, took over with a two-fisted exhibition over Johnson.  It was "Flash" Johnson's fourth unsuccessful attempt to capture a world title and probably, his last.  The only flashes seen were slight imitations of Pernell Whitaker by the champion.  Austin even did Whitaker's famous squat sequence, where he shifts his weight from left to right while standing in an almost seated position.

    The elusive Austin moved effectively from Johnson's wide swings and countered well.  Johnson appeared to be sleepwalking and not even legendary
trainer, Angelo Dundee, could summon a flame under Johnson's butt.  Though none of the media section at ringside could hear Dundee in between rounds, you could envision him giving his famous "you're blowing it son" speech to Johnson as he did for Sugar Ray Leonard, who was also in attendance.  The win for Austin improved his record to 21-0-1 with 19 KO's and hopefully moved him closer to possible showdowns with rival champions, Johnny Tapia and Paulie Ayala.  Johnson dropped to 20-5, with 12 KO's and likely out of title contention.

    In the co-feature on the Showtime double-header, former WBC Heavyweight
champion, Oliver McCall won a 10 round split decision over Sedrick "Big Buck" Fields.  The crowd booed throughout the fight as McCall labored through the bout with possible fractured hands and a bruised shoulder.  McCall, 248, was taken to Valley Hospital following his dreadfully dreary bout with Fields.

    Fields, 228, was the aggressor during the bout, though wasn't able to impress judges, Al Siciliano and Paul Smith, who scored the bout 98-92 for the former champion.  Dalby Shirley seemed to have it right with a 96-94 score for Fields after failing to beat a former heavyweight champion in consecutive fights.  Fields was chosen, as McCall's opponent after defeating former lineal champion, Shannon Briggs.

    After the sixth round, the round in which McCall believes he broke his hand, McCall got on his bicycle and gave his best impression of Ali against Leon Spinks in their second bout.  Fields chased, and McCall tip-toed around the ring.  McCall somehow earned two rounds each from Siciliano and Smith, however, it wouldn't have mattered had they not awarded him those rounds. 
Field's record fell under the .500 mark which now stands at 10-11 with 8 KO's
while McCall is now 37-7 with 23 KO's.  Last night's card at the Paris, was an appetizer to tonight's Evander Holyfield-John Ruiz battle for the vacant WBA heavyweight title.



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