Michael Rosenthal

Paris stops Coleman with body shot in seventh round

Vernon Paris stopped Tim Coleman with the third of three vicious body shots 27 seconds into the seventh round of a scheduled 10-round junior welterweight bout Friday in Santa Ynez, Calif., on ESPN2.

Paris put Coleman down twice in the sixth round with lefts to the stomach, sending Coleman to his corner in pain at the end of the round. The winner then landed one more left to the gut, which forced Coleman to take a knee. The referee stepped in at that point and ended the fight.

The fighters engaged in unusually vicious trash talking before the fight, which seemed to motivate Paris (25-0, 15 knockouts).

“That just … put it in me more to really want to destroy him and to show that he’s not on my level,” he said.

Paris did exactly that but had his hands full in what turned out to be a very good fight.

The fighters, well-schooled boxers known more for their skills than their ability to hurt their opponents, threw a lot of hard punches in give-and-take action that was difficult to score.

Coleman (19-2-1, 5 KOs) was the first to make a big statement, putting Paris down with a short right in the second round. Paris didn’t appear to be hurt but his gloves touched the canvas.

Paris seemed to gain the advantage in the fourth and fifth rounds, scoring more consistently with hard, accurate combinations that appeared to do damage. He hurt Coleman with several shots to the head in the sixth before setting his sights on Coleman’s body.

All three body blows made Coleman wince and take a knee. After the third knockdown, with his head hanging, it was clear that Coleman was in too much pain to continue fighting.

Paris, from Detroit, is known more for his violent life than his accomplishments in the ring. He suvrived a shooting and stabbing in separate incidents in the past five years.

However, this victory, a sensational one on national television, probably will lift him to contender status in the deep 140-pound division.

Coleman, from Baltimore, had won five consecutive fights.

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