Boxing: Eric Morel loses by TKO in IBF bantamweight title fight
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Boxing: Eric Morel loses by TKO in IBF bantamweight title fight

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For the second fight in a row, Madison resident Eric Morel fell short in his bid to win another world boxing title.

The 36-year-old Morel, a former two-time world champion, suffered a fifth-round technical knockout loss to Leo Santa Cruz on Saturday night in Las Vegas in a bout for the IBF Bantamweight (118 pounds) championship that was televised on premium cable network Showtime.

Morel’s corner stopped the fight at the conclusion of the fifth round. It marked the first time in Morel’s professional career he had been stopped.

The 24-year-old Santa Cruz (21-0-1, 12 knockouts) — who was making the first defense of the title he won in June — landed 277 of 509 punches against Morel, according to fight statistics, including 251 of 383 power punches.

Morel, a native of Puerto Rico who fought for the U.S. at the 1996 Olympics, landed 73 of 344 punches, according to fight statistics.

It was the second consecutive defeat for Morel (46-4, 23 KOs), who lost a unanimous decision in April to Abner Mares in a fight for a vacant super bantamweight (122 pounds) title.

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