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LAS VEGAS - Gerald McClellan retained his World Boxing Council middleweight title by knocking out Julian Jackson at 1:23 of the first round Saturday night at the MGM Grand.

McClellan staggered Jackson with an overhand right 20 seconds into the fight. Jackson backpedaled to the ropes. McClellan unleashed a barrage of unanswered punches and knocked Jackson down. After taking the eight count, Jackson only had time to move across the ring before McClellan was pressuring him again.

McClellan finished him with a devastating left hook to the body that crumpled the former champion to the canvas. Just as referee Joe Cortez's count reached 10, Jackson tried unsuccessfully to get back on his feet.
"What separates me from everybody else is I'm mean," McClellan said. "As soon as I hit him, I knew he was going."    

It was McClellan's third straight first-round knockout. After winning the title with a fifth-round technical knockout victory over Jackson on May 8, 1993, he defended it with early KO's against Jeffery Bell and Gilbert Baptist.
     The 26-year-old McClellan, of Freeport, Ill., raised his record to 31-2 with 29 knockouts. The 33-year-old Jackson, of the U.S. Virgin Islands, is 49-3.

     The bout was on the pay-per-view telecast of the "Revenge: The Rematches" card, which was headed by the Frankie Randall-Julio Cesar Chavez WBC super lightweight title fight. The fight was McClellan's farewell to the 160-pound division. "This is my last fight at middleweight," he said. "I'm moving up to super middleweight. Nobody can beat me.

     Jackson had won the WBC middleweight title on a fourth-round knockout over Herol Graham in 1990 and made four successful defenses before losing to McClellan. He also held the World Boxing Association junior middleweight title from 1987 to 1989. He underwent surgery to repair detached retinas on both eyes in 1989 and moved up to middleweight when he returned to boxing.

    McClellan earned $250,000 and Jackson received $175,000.

Copyright 1994, Gannett News Service, a division of Gannett Satelitte Information Network, Inc.