Lindell Holmes of Detroit won the vacant International Boxing Federation's super middleweight champioship Saturday with a narrow 12-round decision over Frank Tate of Houston in New Orleans.
Two of the three referees gave Tate a narrow decision and the third ruled a draw in the bout to choose a successor to Graciano Rocchigiani, who vacated the title last year to become a light heavyweight.The Holmes-Tate match up was the second title fight on a Super Bowl eve boxing program. In the other, Paul Whitaker of Metairie, La., kept his North American Boxing Federation super middleweight title with a ninth-round TKO over Nicky Walker of Carson City, Nev.
Afterwards, Whitaker said he wanted a title fight next year with the Holmes-Tate winner.
One judge ruled it 116-112 and another saw it 119-112 for Holmes, while the third judge scored it a 114-114 draw.
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At Atlantic City, N.J., Meldrick Taylor cleared the last obstacle for his March 17 junior welterweight title unification bout against Julio Cesar Chavez by stopping Ramon Flores in one round Saturday.
Taylor, the International Boxing Federation champion, decked Flores twice with a left hook. Although Flores rose on three for both knockdowns, referee Ted Pick halted the scheduled 10-round bout.