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THE INSIDE TRACK | Newswire

Chavez, Gonzalez Fight to a Draw in Mexico City

March 08, 1998|From Staff and Wire Reports

A visibly tired and battered Julio Cesar Chavez fought fellow Mexican Miguel Angel Gonzalez to a draw Saturday at Mexico City for the vacant World Boxing Council super-lightweight title.

It was a very cautious regulation 12-round bout, with Chavez mostly defending himself against Gonzalez. The veteran Chavez ended up bleeding profusely from the nose and with a swollen left cheek.

American judge Terry Smith scored it 115-114 for Chavez, Larry O'Connell of Britain favored Gonzalez 116-114 and American Chuck Hassett saw it as a 115-115 draw.

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Promoter Don King called Mike Tyson's $100-million suit against him "meritless."

"The reason that it was done is because they manipulated and used him [Tyson] as a pawn," King said. "I'm terribly hurt and disappointed that he would allow himself to be used in such a manner to make an assault on me. It's a thinly veiled scheme to try to devise prejudice or influence my prospective jurors in my criminal trial next week with the insurance fraud."

Motor Sports

Finland's Mika Hakkinen was handed his second Grand Prix victory by teammate David Coulthard with two laps to go in the Australian Grand Prix today as McLaren made a stunning start to the 1998 Formula One season.

Coulthard honored a pre-race agreement between the drivers by pulling aside to let Hakkinen through with two laps remaining of the 58 on the 3.274-mile Albert Park circuit at Melbourne.

Team boss Ron Dennis said the team decided that the first racer through the first bend on lap one would be allowed to win if McLaren was well in front.

"Coulthard did pull over," Dennis said. "We made an agreement and David honored it."

The McLarens were so dominant under new Formula One rules that they lapped the rest of the field, including third-place Heinz-Harald Frentzen.

Defending Formula One champion Jacques Villeneuve was fifth in the second Williams after former champion Michael Schumacher lasted only five laps in a Ferrari.

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Todd Bodine will start today's Primestar 500 at Hampton, Ga. in the front row, alongside pole-winner John Andretti. It is the first time Bodine has qualified for a race on the Winston Cup circuit this year. . . . Rain forced postponement of the Mac Tools Gatornationals races at Gainesville Raceway in Florida. Pro qualifying is rescheduled for Friday, with final eliminations Saturday.

Skiing

While sitting at home, Hermann Maier became the first Austrian man in 28 years to win the World Cup overall title.

Nicolas Burtin of France captured his first World Cup downhill, and Andreas Schifferer of Austria skied out on the upper part of the 3,035-meter course at Kvitfjell, Norway.

That mishap by Schifferer, the downhill champion this season, enabled the injured Maier to clinch his first overall title. With only five races left and a maximum of 500 points at stake, Maier leads Schifferer, 1,625 points to 1,034.

The last Austrian male overall champion was Karl Schranz, who won his second title in 1970.

Miscellany

Brazil's Fernando Scherer broke his South American record for the 50-meter butterfly at a World Cup swimming meet in Rio de Janeiro with a time of 23.97 seconds. His previous mark was 24.15, set in March 1995.

Blaine Wilson defended his American Cup men's all-around title and Ukraine's Viktoriya Karpenko took the women's gold with a strong floor exercise at Fort Worth.

Event of the Year led a 1-2-3 sweep for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, winning the El Camino Real Derby by 3 1/2 lengths over Post a Note at Bay Meadows. Clover Hunter finished third.

Australia's Emma George, a former circus performer, regained the world indoor pole vault record, vaulting 14 feet 8 inches on her first attempt at a meet in Adelaide, Australia.

The previous record was 14-7 1/2, set by Czech Daniela Bartova at Berlin the night before.

Four former winners are entered in the 15th Iditarod Sled Dog Race, which starts today in Anchorage.

Latrell Sprewell will appear as Chris Myers' guest on ESPN's "Up Close" program at 3 p.m. Monday.

David Parker, 17, a starting forward for Shaw High in East Cleveland collapsed and died in a game Friday. An autopsy was planned to determine the cause of death.

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