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ALLAN MALAMUD

Notes on a Scorecard

February 19, 1990|ALLAN MALAMUD

Mike Tyson hasn't learned anything from his defeat to Buster Douglas. . . .

That was the impression I got from watching the HBO special Friday when Tyson dismissed the knockout in Tokyo as simply a "bad night" and refused to admit something was wrong with his training methods or tactics. . . .

Worst of all, he said he would keep his cornermen and not go back to his old trainer, Kevin Rooney. . . .

Two of the wisest men in boxing, Angelo Dundee and Gil Clancy, predicted that Douglas would win a rematch. . . .

Maybe Douglas does have Tyson's number. It could simply be a matter of styles. Muhammad Ali never could figure out Ken Norton, who should have gotten his hand raised after all three fights with Ali. . . .

Actually, Douglas would be doing Tyson a favor by making him wait in line for a title shot behind Evander Holyfield. Douglas might lose to Holyfield. And HBO host Larry Merchant was on the mark when he said Tyson should take some time off, then work hard in the gym and have a tuneup fight or two before trying to regain his championship. . . .

The replay showed that his cornermen did give Tyson some worthwhile advice--they kept telling him to move his head and be more aggressive--but didn't offer it with any sense of urgency. It was as though they were afraid to hurt their buddy's feelings. Clancy, Dundee or Kevin Rooney would have screamed at him. Maybe even slapped him. . . .

My card was the same as when I watched the fight on TV live. I gave Tyson only two rounds, the sixth and the eighth. The eighth was a two-point round, so the margin in favor of Douglas at the time of the knockout was four points. . . .

Too bad the explanations of the Japanese judges who had Tyson ahead and even on their cards couldn't have been recorded and translated after each round as they watched the replay. . . .

So much for the old Jack Dempsey-Gene Tunney long count controversy. Films indicated that Tunney, like Douglas, could have gotten up in time even if the count hadn't been delayed. . . .

The two-hour HBO special was just that. Special. On nights like these, the money we pay for cable television is well-spent. . . .

Sunday's game at the Forum showed that the Boston Celtics can play their best and still not beat the Lakers. . . .

Larry Bird on the Lakers without Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: "They go to (James) Worthy a lot more, but I don't see any big difference. . . . (Vlade) Divac is big and active and he fits right into their system.". . .

The NBA trading deadline is Thursday. If Clipper General Manager Elgin Baylor is smart, he won't make a major deal. Both his first-round draft picks could be lottery selections. . . .

Who would have thought that USC would be playing better basketball than UCLA the month of February? . . .

The best coaching job in the Pac-10 is being done by Lou Campanelli at California. The Golden Bears are 19-6 and 10-4 in conference and headed for the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1960 when they beat Oscar Robertson and Cincinnati in the semifinals at the Cow Palace and lost to Jerry Lucas and John Havlicek of Ohio State in the championship game. . . .

Maybe it's all that weight Campanelli has taken off. He's the Northern California version of Tommy Lasorda. . . .

It's hard to believe that cars with cameras inside them shooting footage for a movie starring Tom Cruise were allowed to run the first 100 miles of the Daytona 500. What if they have been involved in a wreck?. . . .

Thank God for the Quebec Nordiques. . . .

What football team will welcome linemen weighing 295, 285, 282, 275, 275, 265 and 260 pounds into the fold next season? The Raiders? The Cleveland Browns, Washington Redskins or Detroit Lions?? No, the USC Trojans. . . .

Twice in the past two years, star high school football players--Russell White of Crespi and now Jeremy Smith of Bishop Amat--have been turned down for academic reasons by USC, but accepted by California. . . .

Most of USC's spring sports spectacular was rained out Saturday, but not the outdoor swim meet against UCLA. Has a swim meet ever been rained out?. . . .

Those who remember when the Minnesota North Stars used to sell out the Met Center regularly are jolted by reports that the team is headed to Oakland no matter how well it draws the rest of the season. . . .

And what has happened to the appeal of indoor track in Southern California? Only 8,127 watched the Times/Eagle meet Friday at the Forum and a couple of thousand fewer paid to see the Sunkist meet at the Sports Arena a few weeks ago. . . .

I don't know why college basketball rooting sections still chant, "Two points, two points," instead of "Three points, three points."

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