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Sports briefs

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 3, 2001


Holyfield fights Ruiz again

It's hard to sell Evander Holyfield's rematch with John Ruiz when the champion is not really a champion and the challenger might not really be a contender. It becomes harder when Holyfield doesn't buy into the story.

"My job isn't to question the ability of my opponent," Holyfield said. "My job is to fight."

Holyfield gets another chance to do his job tonight in Las Vegas when he defends the World Boxing Association heavyweight title he won against Ruiz in August in a 12-round decision.

Few consider Holyfield the true champion. Lennox Lewis unified the titles by beating Holyfield before a judge took away the WBA crown and put it up for grabs.

IBF bantamweight champion Tim Austin defends against No. 1 contender Jesus Perez on the undercard.

MORE BOXING: WBA featherweight champ Derrick Gainer, 28, was free on bond after an innocent plea to a battery charge, which was made when his estranged wife said he grabbed her by the throat and shoved her down.Laila Ali and Jacqui Frazier-Lyde, together for the first time on the same card, scored separate knockouts in Verona, N.Y., to remain undefeated.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: The Big East voted to discontinue Temple's membership effective June 30, 2002. Temple athletic officials had not heard the decision and had no immediate comment, athletic department spokesman Bob Lange said. Big East commissioner Michael Tranghese said Temple, the league's sole football-only member, consistently failed to meet criteria unanimously adopted by the members in 1996, such as attendance and non-conference scheduling. ... An internal investigation at Kentucky uncovered more than three dozen violations of NCAA rules dating to February 1999, school officials said. Athletic director Larry Ivy and assistant for compliance Sandy Bell would not provide specifics. The report cited coach Hal Mumme, who resigned Feb. 6, for "failure to exercise appropriate control of the football program." ... Minnesota officials said they do not believe any "extra benefit" violation occurred, and no player must be declared ineligible, as a result of misuse of a long-distance telephone access code.

DERBY LANE: The 17th Matinee Idol stakes is scheduled for 6 p.m. today with Sprint Classic winner Craigie Whistler and Puppy Preview winner Courageous Nicky competing.

TENNIS: Lindsay Davenport beat Lisa Raymond 1-6, 6-0, 6-3 to set up a semifinal against Jennifer Capriati at the State Farm Classic at Scottsdale, Ariz. Capriati beat Tina Pisnik 6-1, 6-2. ... The women's semifinals were pushed back to today and the final to Sunday at the Mexican Open in Acapulco. ... Marat Safin beat Thomas Johansson at the Dubai (United Arab Emirates) Open. Safin faces No. 7 seed Juan Carlos Ferrero in today's final. ... Andre Agassi beat Michel Kratochvil 6-4, 6-2 and Juan Balcell upset two-time defending champion Mark Philippoussis 6-4, 6-7 (4-7), 7-6 (7-3) late Thursday at the Sybase Open in San Jose, Calif.

SOCCER: The United States faces Brazil today in a men's exhibition at the Rose Bowl. The Brazilians brought much of the first-string team, including Romario, Edilson, Christian, Cafu and Emerson. ... MLS champion Kansas City traded midfielder Preki Radosavljevic to Miami for a 2002 draft pick and future consideration. ... Saint-Etienne was penalized seven points in the standings by the French federation for using players with fake passports.

COLLEGES: Wake Forest defeated Florida 5-2 in men's tennis at Winston-Salem, N.C. ... The USF women's tennis team lost 6-1 at South Alabama. Natalie Schwartz won at No. 3 singles for USF. ... In softball, Florida defeated Florida A&M 6-4 and Georgia Southern 7-6 in 11 innings at the Georgia Southern Eagle Classic. Also, host Florida State beat Central Michigan 3-1. ... In baseball, USF beat Western Michigan 7-2 in the Devil Rays College Invitational at Florida Power Park in St. Petersburg as John Gorham retired 20 of the last 23 batters he faced. Miami beat San Diego State 8-6 at the Hormel Foods Classic at the Metrodome in Minneapolis. Also, Blair Varmes threw seven scoreless innings to lead host FSU past Michigan State 7-4.

FIGURE SKATING: Russian Kristina Oblasova led American Ann Patrice McDonough in the women's short program at the World Junior Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria. Russians Natasha Romaniuta and Danili Barantsev won the ice dance title for the second straight year with Americans Tanith Belbin and Benjamin Agosto second.

SKIING: Daron Rahlves was disqualified for an improperly tied bib following a fourth-place finish in a World Cup downhill at Kvitfjell, Norway. Hermann Maier won.

HORSES: Serena's Tune beat Langoureuse by 13/4 lengths in the $115,100 La Habra Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Santa Anita. ... Tiznow, the 2000 Horse of the Year, highlights a field of 13 for today's Santa Anita Handicap.

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