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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Paul Gonzales Stands Firmly in Chavez's Corner

June 07, 1996|EARL GUSTKEY

Julio Cesar Chavez will beat Oscar De La Hoya tonight, predicts the boxer who preceded De La Hoya as an East Los Angeles Olympic boxing champion.

Paul Gonzales, the Olympic light-flyweight champion in 1984, eight years before De La Hoya won the lightweight title at Barcelona, foresees a one-sided match.

"I think Julio will do to Oscar what he did to Greg Haugen--punish him before he puts him to sleep," Gonzales said.

"The people picking Oscar don't understand. . . . Chavez is so much better than anyone he's ever fought. And he's a great technician. . . . He'll get inside, get to Oscar's body, and break him down.

"The other thing is, Julio will be the first guy Oscar's fought who isn't trying to hide. Chavez will be on the attack from the get-go."

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Trivia time: What is the largest paid crowd to see a boxing match?

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Add big fight: The trend toward higher compensation for boxing referees continues tonight at the Chavez-De La Hoya fight.

Referee Joe Cortez's fee of $8,000 pales when compared to the $9 million guaranteed each boxer, but it's far more than referees have been paid in recent years.

In March, Mills Lane was paid $10,000 for refereeing the Mike Tyson-Frank Bruno match, a record.

Judges tonight will make $5,000 each. Tyson-Bruno judges got $7,500, also a record.

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Piracy note: Footnote at the bottom of a news release by Event Entertainment, promoter of the Chavez-De La Hoya closed-circuit telecast:

"No animals were harmed in the preparation of this release . . . a few cable TV pirates, maybe."

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Rowdy time: Once again, it has been shown that England and soccer make a volatile mixture.

The Times of London reports the country's Football Assn. fined an entire British team for damage done to a jumbo jet bringing the team home from Hong Kong last week.

No names have been released, the paper said, but inebriated players were held responsible for smashing two TV sets and a table.

Two members of Parliament got in the act, demanding the players be identified.

"Spineless," "The Great Cover Up" and "England Stars in Pact of Silence" were some of the week's tabloid headlines.

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Not in this league: John Steigerwald in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

"Here's all you need to know about the difference between the NBA and NHL. Mario Lemieux, when asked if he could ever imagine dressing in drag for a book signing, a la Dennis Rodman:

" 'No, that would never happen in our sport. If you did that, the next time you went on the ice, you'd get killed.' "

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Trivia answer: Julio Cesar Chavez and Greg Haugen drew 136,274 to Mexico City's Azteca Stadium, Feb. 20, 1993.

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And finally: That two-out, three-run, ninth-inning home run Tony Gwynn hit Wednesday to beat St. Louis was his first homer in 327 at-bats. He was in a seven-for-38 slump when he came to the plate.

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