By Jermain Taylor (26-0-1), his undisputed middleweight title with a decision over Kassim Ouma (25-3-1). Fighting in his home state of Arkansas for the first time since becoming champ last summer, an overaggressive Taylor (above, left) was nearly his own worst enemy. "I came out tonight and wanted a knockout really bad," Taylor said. "I am in great shape, but I had to take out a loan in those last two rounds." Taylor, who was cut above the left eye in the fifth round, held off the challenger, winning on all three cards.
To play, by the Polk County school board, Lakeland ( Fla.) High's star running back, Chris Rainey. Rainey, who has committed to Florida, told The Miami Herald last week that he was given jerseys, jewelry and money by adoring fans. "When I walk around, people are buying me food, giving me money," Rainey said in a recorded interview. "I'm like, damn, I'm glad I'm Chris Rainey. It's real nice to be me." Rainey's lawyer said that Rainey was joking. The board said there was "no credible evidence" that Rainey accepted gifts. Last Friday, the day after he was cleared, Rainey rushed for 276 yards as Lakeland won its third straight state championship.
For five games for violating terms of the NBA's antidrug program for a third time, Maurice Taylor. The Sacramento Kings' forward served substance-abuse suspensions during the 2002--03 and 2003--04 seasons. The substance involved was not disclosed, but the NBA collective bargaining agreement mandates a five-game suspension for a third positive test for marijuana.
For four games for testing positive for the steroid clenbuterol, Saints defensive tackle Hollis Thomas. His agents have contended that the test is a false positive set off by a mix of asthma medications. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello, however, said that "there's no asthma medication on our banned-substance list." He added that players are free to apply for a medical exemption if they legitimately need to take a banned drug. Thomas will miss the remainder of the regular season.
As interim coach of the U.S. men's soccer team, Bob Bradley. The veteran MLS coach—he led the Chicago Fire to the league title in 1998—got the job after talks broke down with Juergen Klinsmann, who coached Germany to a third-place finish at the 2006 World Cup. Klinsmann, who lives in California, reportedly could not agree with U.S. Soccer over how much control he would have. Bradley's first match is a friendly against Denmark on Jan. 20.
That she will miss the 2007 WNBA season because she is pregnant, Lisa Leslie, 34. The Los Angeles Sparks center, who averaged 20 points and 9.5 rebounds last year, has been the league MVP three times and has won three Olympic gold medals. In 2002 Leslie (above), who married pilot Michael Lockwood in 2005, became the first WNBA player to dunk in a game. The baby is due in June, and Leslie says she plans to be ready to play in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. For now, though, "I will be cheering my teammates on," she says.
At sea, Laura Gainey, daughter of Canadiens general manager Bob Gainey. The 25 year-old was working on the Caribbean-bound Picton Castle—a 180-foot, three-mast ship that takes tourists on holidays—when a wave washed her overboard into the Atlantic during a storm last Friday. She was not wearing a life jacket. On Monday the Coast Guard called off its search; but the Picton Castle was still looking. Bob Gainey, a Hall of Famer who played 16 seasons for the Canadiens, has temporarily turned over his duties to assistant G.M. Pierre Gauthier.
When he fell out of a golf cart, the left wrist of Nextel Cup champion Jimmie Johnson. The 31-year-old, who has walked away uninjured from every crash in six years at NASCAR's highest level, was horsing around when he fell off of the top of the cart. Johnson (right) will miss the Nations Cup, an All Star race in Paris next week, but he expects to be ready for Nextel Cup testing at Daytona in January.
By Titans cornerback Pacman Jones for $48,500 in an online police auction, a candy-apple red, 2004 Cadillac XLR Roadster. The car had his name on it—literally: PAC-MAN is embroidered on the leather seats. The car was seized in an April cocaine bust of rapper Darryl Jerome Moore and is legally registered to him, but Jones said the car was his and that he loaned it to Moore for a video shoot. "I have 12 cars," Jones said in May, "so that is not the first time I let somebody use one of my cars."
At age 47, former Nebraska running back Andra Franklin. The bruising fullback rushed for 1,738 yards and 10 touchdowns for the Huskers and was taken in the second round of the 1981 draft by the Dolphins. Franklin played four seasons in the NFL. He made the Pro Bowl in 1982, when he was third in the NFL in rushing with 701 yards in a nine-game strike-shortened season. He was forced to retire at age 26 due to chronic knee injuries and reportedly had heart problems in recent years.