Lennox Lewis' manager, Frank Maloney, says they have no respect for Andrew Golota. The only reason they agreed to Saturday night's fight in Atlantic City, Maloney says, is because Golota is white.
"The American media need a white champion," Maloney says.
Maloney is ridiculous, even for a boxing manager.
I haven't told him that to his face, although I would. Emanuel Steward, who is Lewis' trainer, has.
"Frank's so far removed from reality on so many things, I usually don't even get into it with him," Steward said Wednesday. "But on this race stuff, I had to tell him, 'You're crazy, man.' "
I know great white hype. I remember Gerry Cooney.
When Cooney retired, it seemed as if the black-vs.-white talk in boxing went with him.
Now Maloney wants to revive it.
Perhaps he realizes this fight needs a promotional edge. I don't hear many people talking about it. Tony Walker of TVKO, the pay-per-view network that has the rights, calls it "an East Coast fight."
But even the people I do hear talking about it aren't focusing on Golota's color. They're talking about his talent, which could be considerable if he can contain it within Marquess of Queensberry rules.
"I have no question that he's a good fighter," Steward said of Golota. "My only question is whether he can win one."
Golota's trainer, Lou Duva, to Maloney: "If you're not going to tell the truth, at least be accurate." . . .
The debate in Atlantic City is not whether Lewis or Golota will win but whether their fight deserves to be the main event. . . .
The junior-lightweight fight between Arturo Gatti and Gabriel Ruelas is more interesting. . . .
John Wooden and Pete Newell will speak at the UCLA Basketball Coaches Clinic on Nov. 1 at Pauley Pavilion. . . .
You can't put a price on wisdom. Admission is free. . . .
UCLA Coach Steve Lavin re-recruited freshman point guard Earl Watson, persuading him to stay in school instead of returning to Kansas City, Kan., because he was homesick. . . .
Watson might be valuable in recruiting one of his highly sought AAU teammates from Kansas City, Mo., JaRon Rush. . . .
There is no way to spin UCLA's suspensions of Jelani McCoy and Kris Johnson as a good thing for either the players or the basketball program, except for this: Parents of prospective recruits like to know their children will have boundaries. . . .
UCLA's football team is 22nd in the AP poll but 13th in Jeff Sagarin's computer power rankings. . . .
USC's change at fullback was as important as the one at tailback in the improvement of the Trojans' running game against California. . . .
Ted Iacenda did an excellent job blocking for LaVale Woods. . . .
In a rematch of last year's NCAA water polo final, defending champion UCLA meets USC on Friday in Westwood. . . .
The No. 3 Trojans are ranked three places ahead of the Bruins despite injuries to a couple of starters, including driver Stever O'Rourke of Huntington Beach. . . .
Unfortunately, he was a pedestrian when hit by a car on campus. He broke an arm and is out for the season. . . .
The Long Beach Ice Dogs open their International Hockey League season Friday night at Las Vegas with a new tough guy, Shawn Penn, whose attitude isn't much different from actor Sean Penn's. . . .
"I'd rather play with him than against him," says Ice Dog captain Dan Lambert, who suffered a concussion courtesy of Penn last season. . . .
Basketball fans can see the American Basketball League's Long Beach StingRays for the first time tonight, when they scrimmage at Peninsula High in Rolling Hills. . . .
On Tuesday night's "Frasier," artsy Niles Crane fretted that the Seahawks' tickets he bought might not please his father. . . .
"I tried to get something near the one-yard line," Niles said, "but all I could get was something way back on the 50th." . . .
In my favorite line last year from the show, Niles asked his father: "When are you going to learn, Dad, the only thing the Crane boys are skilled at catching is sarcastic nuance and the occasional virus?"
While wondering if the Marlins and Yankees have noticed they didn't earn home-field advantage for the playoffs, I was thinking: All the Astros have to do to even the series is beat John Smoltz and Danny Neagle, the Lakers would rather see Shawn Kemp than Vin Baker in Seattle, Del Harris' week didn't get better when Antonio McDyess was traded to Phoenix.