Checking the merchandise

Sports briefly

June 09, 1991

Foreman offered bout with Tyson by King

George Foreman says boxing promoter Don King has offered him $15 million to fight former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson this fall.

Foreman said King flew to Minneapolis to present him with a contract, then returned to Las Vegas, where Tyson is preparing for his June 28 rematch against Donovan "Razor" Ruddock.

John Solberg, a spokesman for King, said from Las Vegas yesterday that he hadn't heard of the offer, "but it wouldn't surprise me." Solberg said the promoter was not available.

Foreman, who was in Minneapolis Thursday for the high school graduation of his daughter, Michi Foreman, told the St. Paul Pioneer Press that King made the offer because King has been unable to make the right deal for Tyson to fight champion Evander Holyfield.

"He doesn't seem to be able to get any justice with the Holyfield camp about the parity piece of the purse," said Foreman, who lost a 12-round decision to Holyfield on April 19 in Atlantic City, N.J.

* Mark Gastineau's professional debut ended in less time than it takes to get a sack, as the former New York Jets defensive end needed only 12 seconds to knock out Derrick Dukes at Salem, Va. Four seconds into the fight, Gastineau got his range with a left jab that grazed Dukes' nose in the heavyweight bout. Gastineau followed immediately with a solid right cross that PTC knocked his opponent's head back. Then Gastineau landed a crashing left hook to the chin that lifted Dukes off the canvas and flat on his back with his feet in the air.

Track and field

Mount St. Mary's Peter Rono won the 1,500 meters at the Harry Jerome International at Vancouver, British Columbia, in a successful warm-up for the upcoming world championships in Tokyo. Rono cruised to victory in 3 minutes, 38.28 seconds over American Greg Whitely and Doug Consiglio of Canada on a rain-affected track.

In other highlights, Jose Barbosa of Brazil recorded the fastest outdoor 800 meters of 1991 with a time of 1:45.65. American Ocky Clarke was second in 1:46.89.

Pro basketball

Larry Bird was released from a Boston hospital just a day after undergoing surgery to repair back problems that kept him out of 22 games last season.

"I'm surprised to hear that he had been released," Celtics spokesman Jeff Twiss said. "It was my understanding that he was going to stay for two or three days."

Bird, 34, was in surgery at New England Baptist Hospital for two hours Friday morning to repair congenital and playing-aggravated problems.

Twiss said Bird walked out of the hospital about 9:30 a.m. without the aid of a wheelchair or stretcher.

Gymnastics

A select group of top graduating high school seniors from Maryland placed seventh with 116.25 points in the National High School Gymnastics Championships for its best finish at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. Melvin Long of Chesapeake High had the best showing, finishing 23rd in the all-around competition with a 40.35 score.

The Maryland high school girls representatives came in 10th, with a 100.70 score. Caryn Sanders of Old Mill placed sixth in the vault and Jaymi Fallon finished 10th in the all-around with a 35.35 score. Texas won both the boys (162.2 points) and girls (108.95) team titles.

* Chris Waller of UCLA held on through the option routines to win the senior men's title at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships in Cincinnati. Waller outlasted teammate Chainey Umphrey and Nebraska's Patrick Kirksey to win by .14.

Golf

Warren Schutte, a sophomore from UNLV, shot a 5-under-par 67 on to win the NCAA Division I men's championship at Pebble Beach, Calif. Phil Mickelson of Arizona State failed in his bid to join Ben Crenshaw, formerly of Texas, as the only three-time individual champion. Mickelson, one of only three golfers to win a PGA Tour event as an amateur, finished in a five-way tie for fourth at 289.

Tennis

Top-seeded Ivan Lendl defeated Jason Stoltenberg, 6-2, 6-2, to set up a title match with former Wimbledon champion Pat Cash in the Beckenham, England, grass court championship. Cash beat American David Wheaton, 6-3, 6-2, in the other semifinal.

Lendl was on court for only 51 minutes in his semifinal, after finishing off a quarterfinal against seventh seed Jim Grabb. Resuming at 4-4, Lendl beat Grabb, 7-6 (7-4), 6-1.

Hockey

Owners and players begin meetings this week for collective bargaining negotiations that could reshape the NHL.

Since the current deal, which expires Sept. 15, was signed in August 1986, much has changed. Stars' salaries have soared, teams are being added through expansion, players have become more militant and Bob Goodenow has replaced Alan Eagleson as head of the Players' Association.

Eagleson has been accused of being too cozy with NHL president John Ziegler, and Goodenow was hired 16 months ago to succeed him after an unsuccessful attempt by dissidents to have Eagleson dumped.

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