ORLEANS, France -- Bruno Girard of France stopped a bloodied
Robert Koon of the United States in the 11th round Saturday to win
the vacant WBA light heavyweight title.
The referee ended the bout after Girard hit his opponent with a
left-right combination. Koon had been pinned to the ropes much of
the last four rounds. In the final two, he swayed, with his nose
Girard, a former WBA super middleweight champion, improved his
record to 32-3-2. Koon of Mobile, Ala., is 29-9-1.
Koon was a late replacement for countryman Lou Del Valle, ranked
No. 1 in the WBA. Del Valle drew against Girard in the title bout
last August, but missed the mandatory rematch because of a hand
The light heavyweight title had been vacated because Roy Jones
Jr. was promoted to WBA super world champion. He held the WBA, WBC
and IBF titles in the division.