ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -- Vinny Pazienza decked Lloyd Honeyghan twice and stopped him in a wild finish in the 10th round Saturday night in a middleweight bout between two former champions.
The scheduled 12-round bout was on the undercard of the Evander Holyfield-Alex Stewart heavyweight fight.
Also on the card, John John Molina of Puerto Rico retained his International Boxing Federation 130-pound title with a unanimous 12- round decision over Mexican Manuel Medina.
Pazienza improved to 34-5 with 26 knockouts and Englishman Honeyghan fell to 41-4. Honeyghan's corner threw in the towel 56 seconds into the 10th round. Pazienza slipped as referee Tony Orlando was stepping between the boxers.
Pazienza then got up and chased Honeyghan, promption New Jersey commission chairman Larry Hazzard to jump into the ring and restrain Pazienza. Wrestling promoter Lou Albano then charged into the ring to congratulate Pazienza before being restrained by security.
Pazienza was too strong for Honeyghan, putting him down with a series of rights in the third round. He snapped the Briton's head back with a right uppercut, jolted him with a straight right and put him on all fours with another uppercut. Honeygham survived the round although he was hurt again along the ropes near Pazienza's corner.
Honeygham went down again late in the ninth after taking two big rights in a neutral corner. His manager Mickey Duff asked him after the round if he wanted to continue, and Honeygha said he did.
Pazienza fought for the third time since suffering a broken neck in a car accident Nov. 12, 1991. He was sidelined 13 months by the injury.
Pazienza wants a shot at a middleweight title, but first would like to battle 42-year-old former four-time champion Roberto Duran. Duran and Pazienza, the only boxers ever to hold world titles in the lightweight and junior middleweight divisions, nearly fought on the Saturday night card. Duran and Pazienza's promoter, Dan Duva, failed to reach contract terms and Honeyghan fought instead.
Duran, who fights Jacques LeBlanc Tuesday night, said in a conference call with reporters Friday he was looking forward to fighting Pazienza.
'If Pazienza is man enough to fight Roberto Duran, then tell him to sign a contract once and for all and stop wasting time,' Duran said from his hotel in Biloxi, Miss. 'If Vinny Pazienza wants to fight for a title at 160 pounds he has to beat me first. If he can't beat me, he doesn't deserve to fight for a title.'
Honeyghan became undisputed welterweight champion with a shocking knockout of Donald Curry in September of 1986 at Atlantic City, lost the title to Jorge Vaca on a cut in 1987, won it back in 1988 and lost it again to Marlon Starling Feb. 4, 1989. He won seven straight not long after.
Molina outpunched former featherweight champion Medina the entire 12 rounds although he never hurt the challenger. Medina got busted up in the 11th round. A hard right sent him reeling and cut his nose and his right ear and eye were also bloody by the end of the round. Molina's right ear was also cut in the final round, and he got cut on the top of his head from a butt in the seventh.
Molina improved to 32-3 with 23 knockouts and Medina fell to 47-5 with 22 knockouts.
Molina defended the title he regained Feb. 22 with a fourth-round knockout of South Arican Jackie Gunguluza. Molina first won the crown from Tony Lopez on a 10th-round knockout Oct. 7, 1989 but lost it to Lopez seven months later. He regained the championship after it became vacant.
Medina won the IBF featherweight championship Aug. 12, 1991 with a decision over Troy Dorsey and retained it four times until losing to Thomas 'Boom Boom' Johnson last Feb. 26.