Buffalo native Ross Thompson won the WBA North American junior middleweight championship Saturday night with a 12-round unanimous decision over Derrick Graham of Newark, N.J., at the Grand Casino in Tunica, Miss.
The IBF rates Thompson as the No. 1 challenger among junior middleweights (154 pounds), which means he will fight IBF champion Fernando Vargas some time in 2000. Thompson is ranked No. 5 by the WBA; Graham was ranked No. 14 by the WBA.
Thompson's next fight will be a title defense in early February, according to his manager, Nick Garone. Thompson is trained by Tommy Parks and promoted by Don King.
BASKETBALL: Teams needed for over-35 men's league on Thursday nights starting Jan. 6, 2000. 'A' and 'B' leagues also need teams Monday and Thursday evenings. Call 839-9330.