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Anthony Jones examined before fight

BENTON, Ark. -- A man who died at a hospital after an Arkansas boxing match had been examined by a doctor before he entered the ring, a member of the state Athletic Commission said Monday.

Authorities say Anthony Jones, 28, of El Dorado, Ark., died Sunday morning at University Hospital in Little Rock, where he was taken Saturday night after his fight with Quincy Palmer in Benton was stopped in the second round. Jones, making his professional boxing debut in the heavyweight division, had been scheduled to go four rounds against Palmer.

Athletic Commission member Jason Stuart of Little Rock, a lawyer, said he was the supervising commissioner in charge at ringside in the Fitness Unlimited facility at Benton. He said everything at the event followed proper procedures and Jones had been examined by a physician before getting into the ring with Palmer.

Larry Harris, promoter of the "Benton Beatdown," said referee Martin Tunstall of Sheridan stopped the Jones-Palmer fight after Jones was sent to the mat by a blow to the head.

Emergency medical personnel stationed ringside went into the ring to attend to Jones, Harris said.

"He was talkative, alert, having a few problems," Harris told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Jones was taken to Saline Memorial Hospital before being transferred later Saturday night to the hospital at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock.

Harris said he was told after the fight was stopped that Jones might have suffered from a kidney ailment.

Stuart said that might have been the case.

"Preliminary reports indicate there might have been pre-existing conditions that weren't known to [Jones] and weren't detectable by pre-bout medical examinations," Stuart said.

A news release issued Monday by the Athletic Commission said the agency's "emergency action plan operated as intended and resulted in the most expeditious medical treatment possible under the circumstances."

"No information presently exists to suggest any need for changes to the commission's regulations or emergency action plans," the release said.

Pulaski County Coroner Garland Camper said Jones' body would be sent to the state medical examiner's office for an autopsy to determine a cause of death.

Jones, a 2002 graduate of El Dorado High School, was a football standout for the Wildcats. He was named to The Associated Press Super Team for Arkansas as a defensive back as a senior in 2001 when he helped El Dorado reach the Class 5A state championship game.

As a high school football player, Jones was listed as 5-foot-9, 190 pounds. But Stuart said Jones weighed in Saturday night at 233½ pounds.

"He wasn't fat. He was chiseled." said Jones' high school football coach, Scooter Register, who had kept in touch with Jones.

Register said Jones had been working out at an El Dorado health club and had just recently taken up boxing.

A preliminary report from the Athletic Commission said Jones reported an amateur boxing record of 13-3-0, in elimination tournaments and club fighting.