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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Another Reason Not to Trust Boxing Rankings

February 23, 2001|ROBYN NORWOOD

Something doesn't smell right in the world of boxing.

That's not news.

But rarely do you see an error as egregious as this.

For four months, the World Boxing Organization had a dead man ranked in the top 10 of its super-middleweight division.

Darrin Morris died in October of HIV-related meningitis at 32.

In January, he was still No. 5 in the WBO rankings before the error was discovered.

"I met Darrin in 1999 and he was a good fighter," WBO President Francisco Valcarcel told the London Independent.

"It is sometimes hard to get all the information on boxers, and we obviously missed the fact that Darrin was dead. It is regrettable."

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More Morris: He moved up in the rankings several times, even though his last fight was in 1999. He was promoted twice after his death.

However, the comment accompanying Morris' ranking on the WBO Web site in December was accurate:

"No recent activity."

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Trivia time: What NCAA record did UCLA extend with its victory over Arizona last week?

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Chalupa chump: People tend to compare Dallas Maverick owner Mark Cuban to the Washington Redskins' Dan Snyder, another "boy owner."

Snyder looks like Wellington Mara next to Cuban after Cuban's latest escapade.

Cuban drew another $10,000 in NBA fines and a two-game suspension for walking onto the court as if to "protect" 6-foot-8 Gary Trent when a squabble broke out after Trent made a shot in the final seconds of a blowout against the Cleveland Cavaliers to put the Mavericks over 100 points--earning fans a free promotional chalupa.

That stunt earned Cuban a fresh round of ridicule from the press.

"His wardrobe doesn't extend much beyond T-shirts," wrote Tom Knott in the Washington Times. "He shoots around with his players before games. He lives and dies with each call by the referees.

"They say this is an example of his passion. That is what they always say if the person having a meltdown is wealthy. If he were Joe Six-Pack, he would be labeled a crackpot and someone would be calling security to have him removed from the premises."

Most apt comparison making the rounds: Cuban as John Belushi.

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Looking back: On this date in 1985, Indiana Coach Bob Knight was ejected five minutes into the Hoosiers' 72-63 loss to Purdue when he threw a chair across the court, earning the second of his two technical fouls.

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Trivia answer: With their 16th victory, the Bruins clinched their 53rd consecutive winning season, dating to 1948-49.

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And finally: Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Bill Lee on the baseball, from his autobiography: "A common bond forms between you and this white sphere, a bond based on mutual trust. The ball promises not to fly over too many walls after you have politely served it up to enemy hitters, and you assure it that you will not allow those same batters to treat the ball in a harsh or violent manner."

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