Boxing marathon will go round and round and round

The TV Repairman:

December 11, 1992|By Phil Jackman

* It will be fisticuffs heaven for fight fans Sunday night whe Showtime turns on the cameras at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas and just leaves 'em on until the fuses blow out. The four-hour show, beginning at 10 p.m., features champions galore, all in safe, keep-active bouts.

Julio Cesar Chavez (83-0) checks out Marty Jakubowski (37-0), and his next "serious" opponent, Greg Haugen (31-4), takes on Armando Campas (16-4). Terry Norris (32-3), wondering who his next opponent is going to be now that Simon Brown has undergone eye surgery, will use "Irish" Pat Lawlor (18-3) as a punching bag.

Julian Jackson (45-1) should make short work of durable Eddie Hall (21-9), heavyweight Tony Tucker (47-1) has Anthony Wade (17-3, only 4 KOs) to play with, and the ever-popular Michael Nunn (38-1) will face Tim Johnson (12-4).

The card starts at 3 p.m. Vegas time, Showtime coming on four hours later as the Mirage is advertising 90 rounds of boxing to go along with a full-fledged circus and two regular Siegfried & Roy shows on the grounds.

* WBAL's annual quest for an Orioles play-by-play announcer is rounding third base (with Cal Ripken Sr. signaling the winner to hold up) and Jeff Beauchamp says the station will have an announcement next week (as soon as Jon Miller gives final approval).

* With just cause, the 1992 World Series video is a runaway success, projections being that 500,000 copies will be sold, more than four times the total last year.

Major League Productions was in a dither as to who would be doing the narration, and not wanting to slight either of the contending teams, it decided to go with a neutral party. However, actor Donald Sutherland was busy at the time, so Tony Award-winning actor Len Cariou got the job and he proved an excellent choice.

* Sometimes the fights on USA Network's "Tuesday Night

Fights" aren't much, but the accompanying stories ain't bad. The other night, for example, Michael Dokes pulled out of a bout at the last minute, his explanation being that he was jogging at 1 o'clock in the morning and injured his leg.

A call was placed to Marion Wilson in Washington at 8 a.m., and the career sparring mate with a lackluster 6-4 record said, sure, he would be willing to fly down to Tampa, Fla., for inclusion on the evening's card. Wilson did right well for himself, too, fTC extending the once-highly regarded Tyrell Biggs over 10 rounds before losing.

* Ken Burns, the genius who produced the award-winning Civil War series on PBS and currently working on a nine-part series on baseball due to air in 1994, has a warning for the Grand Old Game: Get back to attracting youth to the sport. "Kids today only hear about players that previously would have been real-life heroes," Burns told USA Today.

* The question is, was the Big Eight Conference suitably embarrassed when its football championship was finally determined in Tokyo last Saturday night with Nebraska's 38-24 victory over Kansas State?

* Tennis' answer to those scandalous free-agent salaries baseball has been tossing around all week, the Grand Slam Cup, is being carried on ESPN, 11:30 a.m. today, 1 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday. John McEnroe is so embarrassed by the payoffs totaling $2 million, he's donating his winnings to charity.

* Before television goes ahead and, with its money and ratings, dictates a national championship playoff system for college football, the NCAA best get off its duff and determine its own format. After all, that's what it's paid to do, plan ahead.

* The ESPN hockey game tonight (7:30) pits the Flyers and Red Wings. But if that's too mild for you, there are always the big guys trading elbows in the NBA with the Cavaliers and Pistons on TNT at 8 and the Bullets visiting the Lakers at 10:30 on Home Team Sports.

* NBC is running the risk of a serious scheduling faux pas tomorrow, its half-hour 3:30 p.m. Heisman Trophy show following a 12:30 game between the Denver Broncos and Buffalo Bills. With lots of passing in the NFL game and maybe even an overtime, the award show could get wiped out. Regardless, the net is going overboard, assigning Jim Lampley, John Dockery, Hannah Storm and O. J. Simpson the task of praising Gino Torretta endlessly.

The other pro game tomorrow (CBS, 4 p.m.) pits the dreary Giants against the drearier Cardinals. Figure skating on NBC, the Senior Golf Tour championship on ABC and Utah vs. Arizona hoops on ESPN at the same time figure to play havoc with the grid rating.

The NFL games Sunday show great promise, the 49ers and Vikings and Steelers and Bears getting it on at 1 p.m., the Cowboys sighting in on the Redskins at 4 p.m. and the Packers and Oilers drawing the non-stop chatter of Joe Theismann at 8 p.m.

* With the networks not involved with college hoops until later on (CBS, Jan. 3), ESPN has a free rein right now and it will cash in with a goodie tomorrow, Kentucky vs. Louisville at 9:30 p.m., plus two other games: Utah vs. Arizona, 4 p.m.; Duke vs. Rutgers, 7:30 p.m.

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