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The Inside Track

Jones Gets Knocked Down, but He Still Wins Easily

July 19, 1998|From Staff and Wire Reports

Three years ago, Lou Del Valle worked for Roy Jones Jr. as a sparring partner. On Saturday night, at Madison Square Garden in New York, Del Valle found out Jones is still the boss.

Jones pounded Del Valle's face lumpy, hurt him with body shots and found time to showboat too, as he won a clear-cut unanimous 12-round decision.

But before Del Valle lost the World Boxing Assn. light-heavyweight title to Jones, the World Boxing Council 175-pound champion, he brought the crowd to its feet by knocking Jones down in the eighth round.

After Del Valle's brief moment in the spotlight, Jones took control again but stopped the showboating.

Jones simply had too much power and too much speed for Del Valle, who was paid $750 a week when he sparred with Jones in 1995. On Saturday night, Del Valle got $850,000 and he earned it.

Judge Duane Ford scored it 119-108 for Jones and Marty Denkin and Fred Ucci each favored Jones, 118-109.

"He's not the toughest fighter I've fought, it's just that he knows me from all the sparring," Jones said.

Jones, 29, who weighed the class limit of 175 pounds, got $2 million for his 37th victory against one defeat. Del Valle, 30, is 27-2 with 19 knockouts.

On the undercard, Derrick Gainer twice knocked down former WBC featherweight champion Kevin Kelley and won a unanimous 10-round decision.

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Carl Thompson (24-4) became the first fighter to stop former world middleweight and super-middleweight champion Chris Eubank (45-5-2) when he held onto his fringe World Boxing Organization cruiserweight title after the challenger failed to come out for the 10th round at Sheffield, England.

Pro Football

A day before the start of training camp, the St. Louis Rams signed first-round draft pick Grant Wistrom, a defensive end from Nebraska, to a six-year $12.75-million contract. . . . The New England Patriots signed first-round draft pick Tebucky Jones, a cornerback from Syracuse, reportedly to a five-year deal. . . . The Green Bay Packers signed two veteran free agents, cornerback Terry McDaniel and quarterback David Klingler.

Tennis

Steffi Graf of Germany continued her comeback from knee surgery, rallying to defeat Fang Li of China, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2, in the semifinals of the A&P Classic at Mahwah, N.J. Graf will play Amanda Coetzer of South Africa, who beat Wimbledon champion Jana Novotna of the Czech Republic, 6-3, 7-6 (7-5). . . . Top-seeded Conchita Martinez of Spain defeated third-seeded Henrietta Nagyova of Slovakia, 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, to reach the Warsaw Cup final. The other semifinal between seventh-seeded Magdalena Grzybowska of Poland and fourth-seeded Silvia Farina of Italy was interrupted by darkness with the two tied, 6-4, 4-6, 2-2.

Second-seeded Ann Etheridge of Birmingham, Ala., upset defending champion and top-seeded Tina Karwasky of Glendale, 6-4, 6-2, to win the 40 singles title in the USTA National Senior Grass Court Championships at New York.

Motor Sports

Alex Zanardi, who is trying to win a record fourth consecutive CART FedEx Championship Series race, could not hold off Dario Franchitti in the battle for the Toronto Molson-Indy pole position. . . . Winston Cup regular Jimmy Spencer, who started last in the 42-car field, took the lead on lap 56 and led the rest of the way to win the NASCAR Busch North Series Delaware 200 at Dover Downs. . . . Cory McClenathan of Anaheim had a run of 4.868 seconds at 294.88 mph to lead top-fuel qualifying at the NHRA Mopar Parts Mile High Nationals at Morrison, Colo.

Miscellany

Defending champion Jan Ullrich regained the overall lead in the Tour de France by winning a time trial at Correze.

Ullrich's victory came amid the tearful departure of cyclists from the Festina team, who were thrown out of the Tour because of a drug scandal. The team's director, doctor and masseur were being questioned by police about performance-enhancing drugs that the director said was part of Festina's operation.

Ullrich won the 36-mile time trial by more than a minute over Americans Tyler Hamilton and Bobby Julich.

Purdue center Brad Miller paced five players in double figures with 17 points as the USA Basketball Men's World Championship team routed France, 93-63, in an exhibition at Monte Carlo.

Anthony Gobert, a leader in one of the nation's top motorcycle racing series, has been suspended from competition for the rest of the year after testing positive for marijuana.

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J.A. Adande is on vacation

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