BOXING—MELDRICK TAYLOR won the IBF junior welterweight title with a TKO of Buddy McGirt in the final round of their 12-round fight, in Atlantic City.
DOG RACING—BB'S OLD YELLOW ($17.80) defeated Oshkosh Tease by 1� lengths to win the Greyhound Race of Champions, the sport's premier event, and $67,500 at Southland Greyhound Park in West Memphis, Ark. The winner ran the 1,740-foot course in 32.17 seconds.
PRO FOOTBALL—In an NFL opening-week matchup of teams expected to contend for the NFC Western Conference title, Joe Montana threw three third-quarter touchdown passes, and the 49er defense forced two crucial Saints turnovers in the fourth quarter as San Francisco held off New Orleans 34-33. The Seahawk defense shut down Bronco quarterback John Elway, who completed only 21 of 45 passes, with two interceptions, while his Seattle counterpart, Dave Krieg, threw for two TDs to lead the Seahawks to a 21-14 triumph over Denver. The Bills defense sacked Viking quarterback Wade Wilson six times as Buffalo defeated Minnesota 13-10 to win a season opener for the first time in six years. The Steelers, who finished last in the league last season in passing, turned the offense over to third-year quarterback Bubby Brister, whose scrambling completions led to 214 yards in the air and a 24-21 Pittsburgh victory over the Cowboys. Running back Earnest Jackson scored on runs of 15 and 29 yards for the Steelers. A goal-line stand in the final minute by the Bengals preserved a 21-14 win for Cincinnati over Phoenix's newly acquired Cardinals, who had a first-and-goal from the one-yard line. In that game Boomer Esiason threw three touchdown passes. The Buccaneers' Vinny Testaverde put up some impressive numbers—passing for 325 yards and two touchdowns—but the Eagles intercepted him five times and romped 41-14. The Philadelphia defense gave up only 43 yards rushing, and Eagle quarterback Randall Cunningham threw two TD passes and ran for another score. The Raiders' Tim Brown, last year's Heisman Trophy winner, returned the first kickoff of his pro career for a 97-yard touchdown as Los Angeles defeated the Chargers 24-13 to give Mike Shanahan a win in his first game as an NFL coach. With 56 seconds gone in the second quarter of the Browns' game against the Chiefs, Cleveland quarterback Bernie Kosar suffered an injury to his right elbow and had to be replaced by Gary Danielson. Matt Bahr's 38-yard field goal with 25 seconds left put the Browns over the top 6-3. The Rams forced seven Packer turnovers and rode the passing of Jim Everett (19 of 28 for 184 yards and two TDs) to a 34-7 rout of Green Bay. In other opening-week games, the Oilers defeated the Colts 17-14 when Tony Zendejas kicked a 35-yard field goal in overtime; the Patriots beat the Jets 28-3, as New England's Steve Grogan threw for 256 yards and two touchdowns; the Lions knocked off the Falcons 31-17 in a game between teams with two of the league's worst records last year; and Jim McMahon, apparently fully recovered from last season's ailments, led the Bears past the Dolphins 34-7 (page 22).
HARNESS RACING—CALL FOR RAIN ($5), driven by Clint Galbraith, beat Jaguar Spur by a neck to win the Breeders Crown Pace for older horses and $158,128 at Scioto Downs, in Columbus, Ohio. The 4-year-old paced the mile in 1:53[2/5] to equal the track record.
HORSE RACING—MILESIUS ($8.60), ridden by Chris Antley, won the Manhattan Handicap at Belmont by 2� lengths over My Big Boy. The 4-year-old colt ran the 1� miles over the main track in 2:04[2/5] to earn the $71,760 winner's purse.
MOTOR SPORTS—BILL ELLIOTT, driving a Ford, defeated Rusty Wallace, in a Pontiac, by .25 of a second to win the NASCAR Southern 500 and $75,800 at Darlington ( S.C.) International Raceway. Elliott averaged 128.297 mph for the 367 laps around the 1.366-mile oval.
At the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, EMERSON FITTIPALDI, in a Lola-Chevrolet, won a CART race by 7.70 seconds over Mario Andretti, also in a Lola-Chevrolet, to collect the $58,160 winner's check. Fittipaldi averaged 89.570 mph in completing the 84 laps of the 2.4-mile, 15-turn road course in 2:14:18.49.
SAILING—CHALLENGE '88, a 40-foot, one-ton Nelson representing the U.S. and skippered by JOHN UZNIS of Grosse Pointe, Mich., beat the Canadian boat Steadfast by 11 seconds in the seventh race of a best-of-seven series to win the Canada's Cup, on Lake Ontario.
TENNIS—In singles play during the first week at the U.S. Open in Flushing Meadow, N.Y., 14 seeded players lost early-round matches. Among the women, Leila Meskhi defeated No. 4 seed Pam Shriver 4-6, 6-1, 6-4; Kim Steinmetz beat No. 8 Natalia Zvereva 4-6, 6-3, 6-4; Judith Wiesner ousted No. 9 Lori McNeil 7-6, 3-6, 6-4; No. 10 Claudia Kohde-Kilsch fell to Stephanie Rehe 6-3, 2-6, 6-3; Elna Reinach eliminated No. 13 Mary Joe Fernandez 7-5, 6-3; and Patty Fendick beat No. 15 Sylvia Hanika 6-7, 6-3, 7-5. In the men's draw, Darren Cahill knocked off No. 5 Boris Becker 6-3, 6-3, 6-2; Jason Stoltenberg advanced after No. 7 Yannick Noah could not finish their match because of sore knees; No. 8 Miloslav Mecir lost to Emilio Sanchez 6-3, 3-6, 7-6, 6-1; John Frawley downed No. 10 Henri Leconte 6-3, 6-4, 6-3; Jaime Yzaga upset No. 11 Brad Gilbert 1-6, 6-0, 6-4, 6-2; Michael Chang beat No. 13 Jonas Svensson 5-7, 6-4, 2-6, 6-1, 6-4; Aaron Krickstein topped No. 14 Andres Gomez 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4; and Mark Woodforde defeated No. 16 John McEnroe 7-5, 4-6, 6-7, 6-3, 6-1.
MILEPOSTS—RULED: By arbitrator George Nicolau, that major league baseball owners were guilty of collusion in restricting free-agent players from changing teams during 1986 (page 60).