Russell Lamour punished Ahsandi Gibbs for much of their eight-round fight Saturday night, winning a unanimous decision and the IBA North American middleweight championship at the Portland Expo.

The undefeated Lamour (11-0) used his superior hand speed and boxing to repeatedly have Gibbs in trouble. The end seemed near as early as the third round when Gibbs clinched and hung on.

Gibbs was wobbly again in three of the later rounds, leaning heavily on Lamour, who had a height and reach advantage.

The fight was a showcase for Lamour, who hopes to get matched with tougher opponents in pursuit of a world title.

The night was not so kind to light welterweight Brandon Berry of the West Forks, who was dropped twice by Freddie Sanchez of Worcester, Massachusetts. Berry popped back up quickly after the first knockdown. In the fourth round, an injury to his left arm or shoulder curtailed his offense, and Sanchez peppered him with combinations. The referee stopped the fight late in the round.

Jason Quirk and Jimmy Smith won by first-round TKOs. The Portland Boxing Club teammates turned aggressors early. Quirk, making his pro debut, won when Brian Diaz of South Boston, Massachusetts, quit after the first minute.

Moises Rivera of Boston was knocked down early in the first round by Smith but stood up to continue. Seconds later he was sitting on the ring ropes, unconscious. He slowly toppled to the canvas and eventually walked out of the ring.

Casey Kramlich of the Portland Boxing Club had an impressive pro debut, winning a four-round unanimous decision over a more experienced Jesus Cintron of Springfield, Massachusetts.

Steve Solloway can be contacted at 791-6412 or:

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