By Cory Spinks (above) the IBF junior middleweight title, with a decision over
Russia's Roman Karmazin in St. Louis last Saturday. It was a career-saving win
for the son of former heavyweight champ Leon Spinks-the younger Spinks, 28,
hadn't fought since surrendering his welterweight title in a loss to Zab Judah
in February 2005. Spinks (35-3) prepared for Karmazin (34-2-1) by training in
isolation at the Orwell, Ohio, ranch of promoter Don King (inset, with Spinks),
and the regimen paid off. He danced around Karmazin's punches and landed enough
to win on two cards. "I'm back," Spinks said. "I feel like I'm on
top of the world."
To the ring, former heavyweight champ Joe Frazier ... for a charity bout
against Memphis mayor Willie Herenton. Frazier, 62, and Herenton, 65, will
fight in Memphis on Nov. 30 to raise money for a local drug treatment program.
This will be Frazier's first fight since 1981. Last week Herenton got a head
start on the prefight trash talk. "My hands move so fast, they scare me
sometimes," Hizzoner said. "You're going to see a good senior citizen
who has a great array of skills."
By a Maryland judge, from signing free agents to contracts longer than one
year, the NBA's Hawks and the NHL's Thrashers. Both franchises are owned by the
Atlanta Spirit group, which is embroiled in a court battle with estranged
partner Steve Belkin. Last month Montgomery County (Md.) Circuit Court Judge
Eric Johnson said that Belkin was entitled to buy out his Spirit partners, a
ruling that the group appealed. While the appeal is pending, Johnson ordered
that neither team can "initiate the purchase, sale, trade or negotiation of
any NBA or NHL player contract" unless the deal is for a year or less. The
decision does not apply to draft picks or players with whom negotiations have
already begun-such as guard Speedy Claxton, who was expected to sign a
four-year deal with the Hawks when NBA free agency began on Wednesday.
For contempt of court, Greg Anderson, Barry Bonds's personal trainer. Anderson,
39, served three months in prison last year after pleading guilty to steroid
distribution and money laundering related to the BALCO scandal. In March he was
ordered to testify to a federal grand jury investigating whether Bonds
committed perjury before the BALCO grand jury in 2003. Anderson refused, and
last week U.S. District Court judge William Alsup ordered that Anderson be
jailed until he agrees to testify. He will be released when the grand jury's
term expires, which is expected to be in a few weeks.
That he will join the Target Chip Ganassi Racing team next year, Formula One
star Juan Pablo Montoya (above). The Colombian, 30, who won F/1's Monaco Grand
Prix in 2003, took the CART series championship in 1999 and the 2000
Indianapolis 500 while driving for Ganassi's team, before bolting to Formula
One in '01. He will be the only foreign-born driver on the Nextel Cup circuit,
and his international popularity is expected to bolster NASCAR's effort to draw
a more diverse fan base. Montoya is confident about his chances, even though
few drivers have successfully made the switch from open-wheel to stock car
racing. "Three years down the line," said Montoya, "I'll be a lot
happier doing this."
By Danica Patrick's father and manager, T.J., with several NASCAR teams, the
possibility of his daughter's jumping from the IRL to the Nextel Cup circuit,
according to a report in the Orlando Sentinel. Patrick's contract with Rahal
Letterman Racing expires after this season, and according to the Sentinel, T.J.
and his wife, Bev, were guests of Roush Racing at NASCAR's USG Sheetrock 400 in
Chicago on Sunday. The Patricks are reportedly negotiating with other NASCAR
teams as well: "I'm trying to get her [into NASCAR]," T.J. told the
paper. Patrick has struggled in her second IRL season and has failed to finish
higher than sixth in eight races.
By 900 mourners in a memorial service in Evanston, Ill., last Thursday,
Northwestern football coach Randy Walker (right), who died of a heart attack on
June 29. Walker, who was 52, took over the Wildcats in 1999 and went 37-46 with
three bowl appearances in seven seasons. (He's the first Northwestern coach
with four six-win seasons since 1902.) "He was a father figure, a friend, a
mentor and a spiritual leader of our team," said kicker Joel Howells. Last
Friday, Northwestern promoted assistant coach Pat Fitzgerald to replace Walker;
at 31, Fitzgerald's the youngest coach in Division I. "[It's] the most
bittersweet feeling I've ever had in my life," said Fitzgerald.
At age 86 after a long battle with cancer, Gert Fredriksson, the Olympics' most
successful male canoeist. The Swede won his first gold medals in the 1,000- and
10,000-meter kayak singles at the London Games in 1948-he won the 10,000 by
30.5 seconds, a record margin that still stands-and in three more Olympiads he
added four more golds, a silver and a bronze. Fredriksson's total of eight
canoeing medals is surpassed only by that of Germany's Birgit Fischer, who won
eight gold and four silver medals.
For six months by the Louisiana Racing Commission, Steve Asmussen, North
America's top money-winning thoroughbred trainer in 2004 and '05. In March one
of Asmussen's horses, No End in Sight, tested positive for the banned
anesthetic mepivicaine after a race at Evangeline Downs in Opelousas, La.
Asmussen denied giving the medication to the horse, but he said that a positive
test result is the responsibility of the trainer. "I'm not going to appeal
it," Asmussen, the second-leading trainer with $7,520,468 in purses this
year, told the Daily Racing Form. "I didn't, nor did anyone in my
employment administer mepivicaine to No End in Sight."