Boxing High-priced tickets for Tyson-Lewis could...

SPORTS DIGEST

April 24, 2002

Boxing

High-priced tickets for Tyson-Lewis could produce richest fight

If ticket sales for the June 8 Mike Tyson-Lennox Lewis heavyweight title bout in Memphis, Tenn., go as expected beginning today, it likely will be the richest fight ever.

With ringside tickets priced at $2,400 and even nosebleed seats going for $250, Tyson's fight with Lewis for the World Boxing Council and International Boxing Federation championships could gross nearly $19 million from the live gate alone.

That would make it the biggest live gate ever, surpassing the $16.8 million that Lewis and Evander Holyfield brought in for their second fight Nov. 13, 1999, in Las Vegas.

The fight originally was announced for April 6 at the MGM Grand hotel-casino in Las Vegas, but Nevada officials denied Tyson a license to box in the state after his profanity-laced tirade at a news conference in January.

Tyson's outburst, however, has created a buzz that is allowing promoters to charge the highest priced ringside seats ever.

"This is the fight that boxing has been waiting for," said Gary Shaw, one of Lewis' promoters. "It got derailed for a while and that derailment brought it more publicity than it would have ever gotten any other way."

Tennis

Gap in prize money increases at Wimbledon

Men's players again will get more money than the women at Wimbledon.

Prize money is increasing 5 percent across the board to $12.7 million overall, the All England Club announced, and that translates into a larger dollar gap between the sexes.

That discrepancy had narrowed the past two years because Wimbledon gave the women higher percentage increases.

The men's champion at the June 24-July 7 Grand Slam tournament will receive $756,000, while the women's champion will get $700,000.

The Women's Tennis Association has campaigned for years for even pay.

Et Cetera

Heidenreich dead at 52; won 2 swim golds in '72

Jerry Heidenreich, who won two gold medals swimming for the United States at the 1972 Olympics, died Thursday at his home in Paris, Texas, of an apparent suicide. He was 52.

Heidenreich won four medals - two gold, one silver, one bronze - at the 1972 Games in Munich, West Germany.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: North Carolina-Wilmington coach Jerry Wainwright has been offered the same position at Richmond. If the takes the job, Wainwright, 55, would replace John Beilein, who resigned Thursday to take the coaching job at West Virginia.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Former Nebraska fullback Sam Francis, a member of the College Football Hall of Fame and the runner-up for the 1936 Heisman Trophy, died at his home in Springfield, Mo. He was 88.

AUTO RACING: NASCAR car owner Jack Roush, 60, is improving but remains in serious condition in a Birmingham, Ala., hospital recovering from injuries suffered after the small plane he was piloting Friday night crashed into a lake.

Roush suffered a head injury and broken left leg when the plane hit a power line and flipped upside down.

GOLF: The U.S. Women's Open Championship in July will have a purse of $3 million, the most ever for an LPGA event.

The quiz

Quality starts:

The Oakland Athletics' Tim Hudson this month earned his 50th career win in his 90th major-league start. That ties him among active pitchers for the fewest starts needed to reach 50. Name the two pitchers he's tied with. Hint: They're on the same American League East team. (Answer in For The Record)

Quiz answer

Roger Clemens and Mike Mussina.

From wire reports

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