Ruiz's manager collapses after weigh-in brawl


LAS VEGAS: The manager of World Boxing Association (WBA) heavyweight champion John Ruiz was taken to a hospital after passing out following a brawl at the weigh-in for Ruiz’s fight with Roy Jones Jr. 

Norman Stone was cut on the lip during the brawl, which started as he and Jones’ trainer, Alton Merkerson, argued about fight gloves just before the weigh-in on Thursday. 

FREE FOR ALL: Alton Merkeson (right), Roy Jones Jr's trainer, and Norman Stone (bottom left), John Ruiz's manager, exchange blows during the weigh-in ceremony for the WBA heavyweight fight on Thursday.--APpic.

Both men went flying off a temporary stage and were trading punches before order was restored. After the weigh-in, though, Stone collapsed and was taken by stretcher to an ambulance, complaining of pain in his side. 

“One of his guys sucker-punched me,” Stone said after the melee. 

Stone was released from the hospital later in the evening. 

Before his release, Ruiz’s publicist Bob Trieger said Stone was “doing fine. His pinkie may be broken. They were going to give him an X-ray. His neck is still a little tender”. 

The brawl wasn’t the only unexpected event at Caesars Palace on Thursday. Jones stepped on the scale and weighed 193 pounds. 

The undisputed light heavyweight champion said all along he didn’t plan to weigh more than 185 for Saturday night’s fight, and would probably be in the low 180s. 

Still, he’ll be giving away 33 pounds to Ruiz, who weighed 226. 

Ruiz livened up matters himself by appearing in a gaudy outfit, complete with a red and white pillowy velvet hat, platform shoes and a chain with a large fake gold dollar sign on it. 

“I had this for Halloween a couple of years ago,'' Ruiz said. – AP 

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