Livingstone Bramble battered Tyrone Crawley with body punches, knocked him down with a flurry to the head and stopped him with three seconds left in the 13th round to retain the World Boxing Association lightweight championship yesterday in Reno, Nev.

Bramble scored a flash knockdown 57 seconds into the second round when he nailed Crawley with a right lead to the jaw. Crawley touched the floor with both gloves and took a mandatory eight-count. He did not seem hurt.

But Crawley definitely was hurt when he was knocked down at about 2:25 of the 13th. Crawley had his back to the ropes near his own corner when Bramble nailed him with a short right-left to the head. Bramble followed with a flurry to the head and Crawley crashed to the canvas.

He struggled up but seemed lost. Then, after Bramble charged to attack, referee Joey Curtis quickly stepped in to stop the bout as Crawley fell to the canvas.

Promoter Bob Arum said "it was insane" that Curtis did not stop the fight earlier. "There was no reason to end this on such a brutal note," he said . . .

Mike Tyson (18-0), forced past five rounds for the first time, dropped Jesse Ferguson at the end of the fifth round and won by technical knockout when Ferguson refused to stop holding early in the sixth in Troy, N.Y.

Tyson, 19, was declared the winner by referee Luis Rivera when Ferguson held Tyson and refused to let go. The end came at 1:19 of the sixth round.

Ferguson, 29, fell to 14-2. He went down from a right uppercut to the face, which followed a left to the head and right to the body. Ferguson arose with his nose bloodied and Tyson chased him around the ring, hammering with both hands to the head until the fifth round ended.

Tyson resumed his attack at the start of the sixth. Rivera could not break a clinch for several seconds. When the ref separated them, Ferguson latched on to Tyson again and refused to let go, so Rivera stopped the fight and declared Tyson the winner . . .

In another scheduled 10-round heavyweight fight on the same card, former WBA champion Mike Weaver stopped Carl (The Truth) Williams at 2:37 of the second round.