Sting-Ray Whitfield takes home a win

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News 12 at 6 o'clock, April 08, 2008 (Updated April 9)

AUGUSTA, Ga.---Augusta native Sting-Ray Whitfield brought home a win Wednesday night in front of a packed Bell Auditorium.

Whitfield beat out Manuel Vargas in front of his home-town fans. 'Sting-Ray' , as he's called, is still holding onto his undefeated record, making him 21 and 0 in his pro fights.

His win makes him one step closer to a shot at a world title.

ESPN 2 broadcast the fight in nearly 95 million homes.

The fight brought worldwide attention to Augusta. Building up to the fight, it was being called a do or die match.

"You're looking at a situation where Ray's gonna be the top dog by winning this match. He's fighting for a world championship," said Tom Moraetes, \Whitfield's chief trainer.

It all took place just hours before the first round of the Masters Tournament.

"Every time I go away people say, 'You from the city where the Masters at', and being a part of this week, bringing ESPN here to my hometown, and performing here means a lot to me," said Whitfield.

It means a lot to him, and to fans like Ronnie Russell. "Oh, it's wonderful. I'm glad he bringing it back to Augusta. I'm just real glad to see him fight," said Ronnie.

The undefeated Augusta native and his top 10 contender weighed in Tuesday. The match will be broadcast to more than 95 million homes.

"Oh yeah, he's got my 100% support," said Ronnie. And just to prove it, Ronnie scooped up at least a dozen tickets with plans of making the night a family affair.

"Yes...cousins, all cousins. We love each other, and we love to do stuff with each other, and this something that we enjoy doing and hopefully we see a win tomorrow night," said Ronnie.

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