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Boxing Champion Branco Arrested in Police Raid

July 09, 2002|From Staff and Wire Reports

Gianluca Branco, the European super-lightweight champion, and his brother, Silvio, a former boxing champion, have been arrested as part of a probe into a loan-sharking ring, Italian police said Monday in Rome.

Eight people--including the boxers' father and manager, Vincenzo--were picked up in a series of predawn raids Monday in Civitavecchia, about 43 miles outside Rome, police said.

The group has been charged with criminal association aimed at loan sharking and extortion, police said.

Gianluca Branco won the European super-lightweight title earlier this year and is ranked No. 2 by the World Boxing Council.

Silvio Branco is a former World Boxing Union middleweight and super-middleweight champion.


Lightweights Alex Trujillo (21-0, 16 knockouts) of Puerto Rico and Juan Valenzuela (15-4, 6 KOs) of Mexico will meet in the main event of a card tonight at the Playboy mansion. Also on the card, super-flyweight Isidro Garcia (22-2-1, 7 KOs) takes on Mauricio Pastrano (28-3, 18 KOs). Attendance is by invitation only, but the show can be seen on ESPN2 at 5 p.m.


Fourth-seeded Jeff Morrison, the last American eliminated at Wimbledon, beat defending champion Neville Godwin, 6-3, 7-6 (7), in the first round of the Hall of Fame Championships at Newport, R.I.

In other matches, fifth-seeded Alexander Popp beat Axel Pretzsch, 6-2, 6-2; No. 6 Cecil Mamiit defeated Robby Ginepri, 6-4, 6-4; Taylor Dent beat Mario Ancic, 6-3, 6-4; Brian Vahaly beat Dick Norman, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4; and Adam Kennedy defeated Jeff Salzenstein, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (6).


Alex Corretja beat Brazil's Fernando Meligeni, 6-1, 6-4, to advance to the second round of the Swiss Open at Gstaad, Switzerland.... Unseeded Myriam Casanova of Switzerland beat No. 3 Cristina Torrens Valero of Spain, 7-6 (7), 6-2, in the first round of the Brussels French Community Championships at Belgium.... Hungary's Petra Mandula beat the Czech Republic's Alena Vaskova, 1-6, 6-4, 6-4, to advance to the second round of the Casablanca Open at Casablanca, Morocco.


Wimbledon champion Serena Williams officially moved up to No. 1 in the WTA Tour rankings, the first time she has been ahead of sister Venus.

In the men's rankings, Wimbledon winner Lleyton Hewitt strengthened his hold on No. 1, and Pete Sampras dropped three spots to 16th.


Defenseman Joe Corvo, who led Manchester of the American Hockey League with 37 assists last season, signed a two-year contract with the Kings.


Ted Donato, who played only five games for three NHL teams last season, signed with the New York Rangers.... Boston agreed to a three-year contract with defenseman Shaone Morrisonn, their first-round pick in last year's NHL draft.... New Jersey signed backup goaltender Corey Schwab to a multiyear contract.... Columbus signed defenseman Jamie Allison to a one-year deal and agreed to a multiyear deal with wing Mike Pandolfo.

Pro Football

Tampa Bay signed 10-year veteran cornerback Terrell Buckley to a one-year contract. Terms were not disclosed.... Denver signed former Green Bay linebacker Jude Waddy.... Indianapolis signed defensive tackle David Pugh and running back Brian Allen.


CART rookie Townsend Bell was fined $10,000 and put on indefinite probation for his part in a crash during the Toronto Molson-Indy on Sunday.


Coco Miller had 17 points, leading the Washington Mystics to a 63-51 victory over the Orlando Miracle in a WNBA game at Orlando, Fla.... Tamika Whitmore scored a career-high 28 points for the host New York Liberty (10-8) in a 77-71 victory over the Phoenix Mercury.... Rookie Tamika Catchings had 24 points to lead the Indiana Fever over the Cleveland Rockers, 68-57, at Indianapolis.... Adrienne Goodson scored 21 points and the Utah Starzz beat the Detroit Shock, 94-76, at Salt Lake City. Detroit is winless in 11 road games.... The Shock acquired guard Elaine Powell and a first-round pick in next year's draft from the Miracle for forward Wendy Palmer and a second-round pick in 2003.

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