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Toney, Holyfield to Fight Oct. 4

June 25, 2003|From Staff and Wire Reports

James Toney couldn't complete a deal with Bernard Hopkins.

Evander Holyfield couldn't complete a deal with Roy Jones.

So instead, in an intense weekend of negotiating, promoter Dan Goossen, representing Toney, and Jim Thomas, Holyfield's attorney, worked out a deal for Toney, the International Boxing Federation cruiserweight champion, and Holyfield, four-time heavyweight champion, to meet in a nontitle heavyweight bout Oct. 4.

Showtime will handle the pay-per-view telecast with the site to be determined. Staples Center, Las Vegas' Mandalay Bay Events Center and East Coast locations are under consideration by Goossen.

Although the match gives Toney a chance to beat a name opponent and establish his credentials as a heavyweight, it is a comedown for Holyfield, who had vowed to pursue only heavyweight titleholders.

With his 41st birthday coming up two weeks after he faces Toney, and his skills and reflexes having diminished considerably in recent fights, Holyfield will do little with this match to deter those calling for his retirement.

"I will not let someone abuse me," Holyfield said of the acrimonious negotiations with Jones. "I'll get back in line [for a heavyweight title fight] and, in the meantime, fight people who want to fight."

-- Steve Springer

Pro Football

In an unprecedented sponsorship deal for the NFL, Chicago's biggest bank has committed to a 12-year agreement that will give it a prominent role when the Bears return to rebuilt Soldier Field this fall.

Among other things, Bank One will have its name on signs throughout the stadium, and "Bears football presented by Bank One" will be a signature phrase for the team.

A source familiar with the contract, who spoke to Associated Press on condition of anonymity, said Bank One is paying the Bears more than $30 million.

Arizona backup fullback Dennis McKinley and three other men were arrested in Phoenix as suspects in an international drug ring.

Police said McKinley, whose contract was terminated by the Cardinals after his arrest, rented a warehouse where marijuana shipments from Mexico were stored.

Quarterback Neil O'Donnell signed a two-year contract with the Tennessee Titans, four months after he was cut in a salary-cap move.

College Basketball

The injuries Brandon Brooks suffered in a January practice were more severe than initially believed and the sophomore point guard's playing career at USC is finished as a result.

Brooks, who broke his left leg and dislocated the ankle, has signed a medical scholarship to continue to attend USC. It will not count toward the program's allotment of athletic scholarships and the Trojans now have two open scholarships, because forward Jerry Dupree was recently disqualified academically.

Jurisprudence

Former Florida State quarterback Adrian McPherson will stand trial July 14 on felony charges that he stole a blank check, filled it out and cashed it, an assistant state attorney in Florida said.

Hockey

Mark Howe and Pat LaFontaine, who enjoyed long and successful NHL careers, were elected to the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame. They were joined by the late John Cunniff, a former player and coach, and 1950s college standout Dick Dougherty. The 1980 U.S. Olympic team, which won the gold medal at Lake Placid, N.Y., was elected in the team category. Inductions will take place in October at Eveleth, Minn.

Goaltender Dominik Hasek, 38, is considering a return to the NHL and has spoken with the Detroit Red Wings about ending his retirement and rejoining the team. Hasek and Red Wing representatives met in Europe recently, Roman Hozak, the player's press representative, told AP from the Czech Republic. Hasek retired after winning the Stanley Cup in 2002 with Detroit.

Miscellany

Swimmer Kicker Vencill, 25, of Aliso Viejo was suspended from competition for four years for testing positive for an anabolic steroid, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency said.

Vencill tested positive for the banned substance Jan. 21. His suspension from national and international sanctioned competition began in January.

Vijay Singh made a three-foot birdie putt worth $50,000 on the fourth playoff hole and won the Telus Skins Game with a total of $140,000 and six skins at Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada. Ian Leggatt of Canada finished second with five skins and $95,000, Sergio Garcia finished third with five skins and $85,000 and John Daly was fourth with two skins and $40,000.

Passings

Former Negro Leagues pitcher Max Manning, who once was offered a major league tryout only to have it rescinded because of his race, died Monday at a New Jersey convalescent center after a long illness. He was 84.

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