ROUNDUP OF BOXING EVENTS AROUND LAS VEGAS

March 26, 2002 10:03 AM
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COUTURE DEFEATED

Josh Barnett became the first man to defeat Randy Couture and gained the heavyweight title during last Friday’s Ultimate Fighting Championships at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

“I can’t stand to lose, and I relish ­­being the underdog,” said the newly-crowned Barnett. “The key to the fight was my heart and my training.”

Couture said Barnett would make a great champ. “Josh is an underrated fighter. I made a mistake. He’s big and I couldn’t get out from under him.”

BRAMBLE BACK

Former world  champ Livingstone Bramble returns from a long retirement to face Juan Rodriguez this Friday at The Orleans. Bramble, one of the most explosive and popular fighters in the 1980s, gained notoriety for  his wars with  Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini.

The main event features a 12-round 154-pound e bout between Ross ­­Thompson and Ronnie Johnson. Thompson has previously fought highly-regarded Fernando Vargas.

TOUGHMAN AT CAESARS

The 2002 Toughman World Championship will be fought March 29-30 at Caesars Palace.

The event features 16 light heavyweight and 16 heavyweight local champions from 24 cities across the nation.

The contestants will battle for $110,000 in prize money and bragging rights. Reserved seats are priced from $20 to $50 for one night.

“Toughman is grassroots, completely real,” said founder Art Dore. “There is no politics, no staged entertainment. Just real men from all walks of life who punch hard.”

The event begins each night at 7:30 p.m.