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Kelly Pavlik stops Marco Antonio Rubio to retain his titles

Pavlik remains the world's best middleweight.

February 22, 2009|Staff And Wire Reports

Dominating overmatched Marco Antonio Rubio from the start, Kelly Pavlik emphatically rebounded from his first career loss Saturday night by stopping the Mexican challenger after the ninth round at Youngstown, Ohio.

Pavlik (35-1, 31 KOs), who lost to Bernard Hopkins last October, outclassed and outpunched Rubio (43-5-1) to retain his WBO and WBC middleweight titles.

It was just the second time Pavlik had fought in his hometown since 2001. Rubio had won nine straight since moving up from junior middleweight.

Miguel Cotto won the WBO welterweight championship in New York, stopping Michael Jennings at 2:36 of the fifth round. Cotto (33-1, 27 KOs) dominated, dropping Jennings twice in the fourth round with merciless body shots and once in the fifth before the fight was stopped.



Venus wins, talks about Peer

Venus Williams won her 40th singles title, defeating Virginie Razzano, 6-4, 6-2, in the final of the Dubai Tennis Championship in the United Arab Emirates.

During the trophy presentation, Williams spoke about Shahar Peer, the Israeli player who was denied entry into the United Arab Emirates for the tournament because of what organizers called security concerns.

"I felt like I had to talk about her," Williams said. "I thought it was brave of her to come here and try and play despite knowing that it is not going to be easy for her."

Andy Roddick struggled through two sets against Lleyton Hewitt before pulling out a 2-6, 7-6 (4), 6-4 victory in the semifinals of the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships at Memphis, Tenn.

Roddick will play Czech Radek Stepanek, who breezed past qualifier Dudi Sela of Israel, 6-3, 6-1.



Crede has deal with the Twins

Third baseman Joe Crede has agreed to a one-year deal with Minnesota, filling a major need on the left side of the Twins infield provided he can stay healthy. Crede has had two major back surgeries in the last two seasons.

The Cleveland Indians signed 16-year-old catcher Martin Cervenka of the Czech Republic to a non-drafted minor league contract.



Vonn edged out in downhill race

Lindsey Vonn lost to Gina Stechert of Germany by a slim 0.01 of a second in the World Cup downhill in Tarvisio, Italy.

Briton Nicola Minichiello, with Gillian Cooke tucked behind her, won the women's competition at the bobsled world championships in Lake Placid, N.Y.



Galaxy loses on penalty kicks

The Galaxy lost the Pan-Pacific Championship final at the Home Depot Center when it was defeated by the Suwon Samsung Bluewings of South Korea, 4-2 on penalty kicks, after a 1-1 tie in regulation.

Galaxy defender Sean Franklin scored an own goal, accidentally looping a back-header over goalkeeper Josh Saunders to give Suwon the lead in the 38th minute. Mike Magee tied it up for Los Angeles with a penalty kick in the 89th minute after Edson Buddle was fouled.

-- Grahame L. Jones

AC Milan vice president Adriano Galliani says the club's offer of $3 million for David Beckham was the market rate and it won't be increased.



Emmitt Smith out as ESPN analyst

Former Dallas Cowboys star Emmitt Smith is out as an analyst at ESPN. Spokesmen for the network told the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that Smith's contract, which expired this month, would not be renewed. Smith retired after the 2004 season as the NFL's all-time leading rusher, but he has been criticized for his television work.

Gene Jones, looking for his first Champions Tour victory, shot a 70 to take a one-stroke lead after the second round of the ACE Group Classic at Naples, Fla. . . . U.S. Amateur champion Danny Lee birdied the final two holes for a five-under 67 and a one-stroke victory in the Johnnie Walker Classic at Perth, Australia. The 18-year-old New Zealander is set to turn pro after the Masters. . . . James Stewart raced to his seventh consecutive Monster Energy AMA Supercross victory, beating Chad Reed in Atlanta.

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