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The Inside Track | NEWSWIRE

South African Sanders Knocks Out Klitschko

March 09, 2003|From Staff and Wire Reports

Corrie Sanders of South Africa knocked out Wladimir Klitschko 27 seconds into the second round Saturday to take the World Boxing Organization heavyweight title in a major upset at Hanover, Germany.

Sanders caught the 6-foot-7, 240-pound Klitschko with a short hard left with 33 seconds left in the first round, then sent him down to the canvas three more times.

It was Klitschko's sixth defense of the lightly regarded WBO belt. He was regarded by many as a top contender in the weight class and had just signed a nine-fight deal with HBO.

The outcome drew boos from a crowd of 11,500, angered over the brevity of the fight and the unexpected result.

Klitschko remained confident despite the loss.

"I'm certain I will come back. I'm certain I will be world champion," he said. "All great champions have been beaten, then came back. It happened to Ali, it's happened to Lennox Lewis too."

Klitschko's brother, Vitali, is ranked No. 1 by both the World Boxing Council and World Boxing Assn. and is in limbo waiting for a possible fight with reluctant champion Lennox Lewis.

Klitschko (40-2) went down twice in the last minute of the first round, reeling around the ring as he tried to avoid Sanders' blows and then was dropped twice in the second.

Sanders (39-2, 29 knockouts) had fought only three rounds since being knocked out by Hasim Rahman nearly three years ago.

Tennis

Top-seeded Lleyton Hewitt eliminated Taylor Dent of the United States, 6-2, 6-4, in the semifinals of the Templeton Tennis Classic at Scottsdale, Ariz.

In today's final, Hewitt will play Mark Philippoussis, a 6-3, 7-6 (8) winner over Mariano Zabaleta.

Dent, a winner last month in Memphis, had won eight straight matches and 16 of his last 17 sets before facing Hewitt.

Mardy Fish upset third-seeded Marcelo Rios of Chile, 6-3, 6-4, in the semifinals of the International Tennis Championships at Delray Beach, Fla.

Fish, ranked 66th, will play fourth-seeded Jan-Michael Gambill in today's final. Gambill struggled to a 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (5) win over fellow American Robert Kendrick.

Martina Hingis is coming to terms with the knowledge that her pro tennis career probably is over.

"There should be no illusions. My dreams are over. Tennis will certainly still be part of my life, but not what it was before," Hingis said in an interview in the Zurich, Switzerland daily Tagesanzeiger. "It's sad to have to end everything at 22, but sometimes you have to open your eyes."

Hingis, who won five Grand Slam singles titles, had surgery on her right ankle in October 2001 and on her left ankle in May. She pulled out of the French Open and Wimbledon -- the first majors she had missed since turning pro in 1994.

Winter Sports

History was made in the men's World Cup slalom race at Shigakogen, Japan. Unfortunately for American Bode Miller, he had nothing to do with it.

Finland's Kalle Palander and Austria's Rainer Schoenfelder finished in a dead heat to share first place in the event, the first time a men's World Cup slalom race ended in a tie.

Meanwhile, Miller crashed out on his first run, seriously damaging his bid to capture the overall World Cup title.

As for Palander and Schoenfelder, both finished in a combined 1 minute 41.14 seconds.

Janica Kostelic won her fifth World Cup slalom of the season, beating Anja Paerson by more than half a second at Are, Sweden.

Kostelic had a combined two-run total of 1 minute 45.84 seconds down the Olympia course at the circuit's northernmost venue.

Miscellany

McLaren's David Coulthard took advantage of a spinout by leader Juan Pablo Montoya and an earlier black flag to Michael Schumacher to win Formula One's season-opening Australian Grand Prix today at Melbourne.

Coulthard finished the 58-lap race around the 3.295-mile circuit in 1 hour 34 minutes 42.144 seconds. Kimi Raikkonen of McLaren was third, and Schumacher fourth.

Schumacher was black-flagged by race officials when the barge board from the side of his cockpit was dragged under his Ferrari.

Ricky Carmichael raced to his fourth straight victory at Daytona International Speedway in Dayton Beach, Fla., winning the Daytona Supercross by Honda. The Honda rider tied Jeff Stanton's mark of four straight Daytona Supercross victories set in 1989-92.

Merrimack goalie Joe Exter was in serious condition Saturday night, a day after he was hit in the head in a collision with a Boston College hockey player. His condition had declined to critical but he was restored to serious, according to a Boston hospital spokeswoman. Exter was hurt on a hit by forward Patrick Eaves.

John Kaleo threw five touchdown passes and the Tampa Bay Storm scored the first 26 points of the game to defeat the Buffalo Destroyers, 52-27, in an Arena Football League game at Tampa, Fla.

Parker Bohn III bowled a 300 game as he rallied from near elimination and advanced to the semifinals of the PBA World Championship at Taylor, Mich.

Robert Sorlie of Norway pulled into the Anvik, Alaska, checkpoint at 1:59 p.m. Saturday for an eight-hour stopover and will leave about six hours ahead of Jeff King in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

*

T.J. Simers has the day off.

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