Holyfield says he can make Douglas quit


Reading time, two minutes: WHILE HEAVYWEIGHT champ Buster Douglas is going around saying, "I'm for real and I'm here to stay as long as I want," the man who will challenge him Oct. 25, Evander Holyfield, says, "When it comes to the crunch, deep down inside I think I can make Buster quit. I've seen him quit before."

* One of the advantages of managing a lot of teams, in this case six, is when time comes to pen your memoirs, as is the case with Dick Williams, the book will be reviewed in a lot of cities. While the diamond chroniclers in Seattle and Montreal croaked it, I gave "No More Mr. Nice Guy" a strong B.

* Those interested can not only skate for free at the Mount Vernon Recreation Center in Alexandria, Va., Sunday (2 p.m.), they'll also be treated to an exhibition skate by Dorothy Hamill, Christopher Bowman, Kristi Yamiguchi and others as part of NutraSweet's Ice Skating Month promotion.

* Amazingly and with physical evidence all over the place, ESPN commentators Cliff Drysdale and Fred Stolle didn't even mention Michael Chang cramping badly as he was about to close out an inspiring comeback giving the United States a Davis Cup victory over Austria.

* Given the opportunity, I always read the cricket stories in London newspapers. Here's why: "Middlesex went about the task of nailing another championship pennant to the Lord's flagstaff in a typically workmanlike manner, leavened by moments of extreme eccentricity from their batsmen." You don't get that kind of sportswriting hereabouts.

* Think Dwight Evans knows something about disappointment? If the Red Sox don't win the AL East, it will be the 10th time since his rookie season in 1972 that Boston lost out in a near-miss situation.

* Poor Todd Marinovich. Here he's only been playing for a dozen years as a 20-year-old sophomore quarterback for Southern Cal and he lamented after USC's 31-0 waxing by Washington last Saturday, "I've never been shut out in my life."

* Irish journalist Enda O'Coineen was all set for the BOC Challenge, a round-the-world boat race, when first his yacht was lost in transit to Newport. Then, after starting four days after the pack and one day out on the high seas, the main mast came tumbling down. He doesn't want to hear any of that "luck of the Irish" business.

* India, which has never won a gold medal in the Olympics, showed why by sending three lists of competitors to organizers of the Asian Games, currently going on in Beijing, China. Squabbling over sports and their direction have always been a tradition in the country.

* Good thing, for Ben Johnson's sake, Lord Killanin isn't still heading up the International Olympic Committee. Fresh off a two-year suspension for juicing up at the Seoul Olympics, Johnson is rolling in dough again as he aims toward a return to competition in January. Says the former IOC president, "Being guilty, he should have been banned from the Olympics for life." Here, here.

* A terrific anniversary passed almost unnoticed about a month ago: the 50th of Ted Williams' fabled lone appearance as a pitcher in the major leagues. It was against the Detroit Tigers and, speaking of it years later, Teddy Ballgame said, "I toyed with them." He allowed a run on three hits in an inning, but was quick to point out he fanned Rudy York. "I might have been another Babe Ruth," he yelped.

* George Foreman, before last night's first-round knockout of a gent named Terry Anderson in London, predicted he would take out his opponent in 18 seconds. When cable people complained because they had a two-hour show planned, George said it might go longer. It did, but only barely, the KO coming with six seconds left in the round. Foreman's going to be a papa for the ninth time in January after figuring eight was enough. He said, "From now on, I'm going to start sleeping in a skin diver's uniform."

* A public flogging will be too good for the sports information director at Illinois if he even considers erasing Red Grange's legendary five-touchdown performance against Michigan in '24 from the school's record book to be replaced by last Saturday's eight-touchdown blitz by Howie Griffith against Southern Illinois.

* The Blue Jays have drawn 7.25 million fans at grotesque ticket prices the last two years. Remember the Orioles' slogan a few years back, "A Million or More in '74?"

* After hearing some of the behind-the-scenes stories from the Washington Capitals after their visit to the Soviet Union during training camp last year, it was a mild surprise two more NHL clubs agreed to the assignment this year. This from Denis Savard of the Montreal Canadiens: "They put us through hell over there. The 15 days were a waste."

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