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Tan retains NABC crown

By STEVE BUFFERY -- Toronto Sun


  The sun certainly is shining on Rico Tan's boxing career.

On Friday night at Detroit's venerable Cobo Hall, Tan knocked out veteran Jimmie Jo Zeikle with a vicious overhand right at 2:48 of the first round, running his pro record to 10-0-2. Nine of those wins have come via knockout.

With the victory, the Mississauga boxer defended his North American Boxing Council welterweight title and is hoping to next meet Lightning Lonnie Smith, a former WBC champ, in February.

The loss dropped Zeikle's record to 35-6-1. The Kansas City southpaw absorbed three brutal left hooks thrown by Tan early in the fight and responded with a sharp combination. But it was after he let go a left hook that Tan hammered him with the counter, an overhand right.

"The guy was out for at least a minute," John Melich, Tan's trainer, said. "They could have counted to over a hundred. He wasn't getting up."

Tan, 24, is considered a rising star in Canadian pro boxing.



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