Originally created 04/09/00

Overtime: Moraetes goes to 10-1 after knockout win



Denise Moraetes of the Augusta Boxing Club improved her record to 10-1 by knocking out Alecia Sparks Friday night at the Grand Victoria Casino & Resort in Rising Sun, Indiana.

Moraetes is ranked second in the world in the 145-pound women's weight class by both the IFBA and the IBA.

Johnny Nelson retained his WBO cruiserweight title on Saturday when unbeaten Italian challenger Pietro Aurino quit in the seventh round after banging heads with the champ.

The British fighter floored Aurino in the first round but then backed off in a fight that had little action and a disappointing ending.

Nelson, who hopes to move up to the heavyweight division and fight Mike Tyson, was making his fifth defense and never threatened by Aurino, who barely landed a clean punch.

Now unbeaten in his last 12 bouts, Nelson, who lost his first three fights as a pro, improved to 37-12-1. It was Aurino's first loss after 17 victories.

Randall Bailey easily defended his WBO world junior welterweight title by stopping Ray Martinez in the seventh round.

The 25-year-old Miami fighter, 21-0, won every round against Martinez, who finished with blood pouring from a cut above his eye.

Bailey was making the first defense of the WBO title he won last May with a surprise first round knockout of defending champion Carlos Gonzalez in Miami.

Fabrice Tiozzo made another emphatic defense of his WBA cruiserweight title with a sixth-round knockout of Valery Vikhor of Ukraine.

The Frenchman's fourth title defense was one-sided throughout. The only surprise was that Vikhor held on until the second minute of the sixth round.

Tiozzo floored Vikhor in the opening 30 seconds with a powerful right jab, and the Ukrainian ended the first round with blood pouring from lip and eye wounds.

Tiozzo, 30, is 41-1. His only defeat came seven years ago and he has had a series of easy wins since taking the WBA cruiserweight title in November 1997.

STEEPLECHASE:

Papillon, owned by American Betty Moran, won the Grand National steeplechase, giving 20-year-old jockey Ruby Walsh a victory in his first appearance in the grueling race.

The Ted Walsh-trained 9-year-old gelding, backed down from 33-1 to 10-1 in the final hours before the race, was the second Irish-trained winner in a row and made it a second father-son triumph. Last year Bobbyjo won with Paul Carberry on board for his trainer and father, Tommy Carberry.

There were no serious casualties, even though five of the 40 starters fell at the first of the 30 fences and only 17 finished.

Trinitro, the first Norwegian horse to compete in the race, was among the five who fell at the start. Dark Stranger, the 9-1 favorite, tumbled at the third fence, and defending champion Bobbyjo pulled up near the finish.

Five deaths during the first two days of the meet sparked strong calls for the National to be banned and animal rights activists picketed bookmaker shops across the country to persuade people not to bet on the race. But with 40,000 people in attendance and an estimated 500 million worldwide viewing the race live on TV, about $120 million was bet.

CYCLING:

With the name Lance C. Armstrong, why not grab a little attention on a bicycle seat?

The 27-year-old letter carrier -- and amateur cyclist -- doesn't mind being mistaken for the more famous Lance Armstrong.

When Lance C. Armstrong competed recently in a race in Holland, well-wishers assumed he was the Tour de France champ.

"These guys kept coming up and saying, `Great race.' It's tempting just to say, `Gee, thanks,' " said the Napa, Calif., resident who was in Austin, Texas, for the Ride for the Roses.

The event is the biggest fund-raiser for the Lance Armstrong Foundation, which supports cancer survivors and research.

The race was a chance for Lance C. Armstrong to meet the man whose cycling career he has followed since he was 16.

"This is like a dream come true," said the lesser-known Armstrong, who raised $5,000 for the foundation after his own health scare last year.