Frazier-Ali rivalry hardly down for count; Smokin' Joe's daughter is tough as nails, maybe even willing to break them; Sports Plus


Ready for Ali-Frazier IV?

Heavyweight champions Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier tested the limits of human endurance in three classic matchups in the 1970s, Ali winning twice. Now, like "Star Trek," the rivalry could be extended to the next generation.

"If Laila Ali wants a piece of me, I'll kick her butt," said Jacquelyn Frazier-Lyde, one of former heavyweight champion Joe Frazier's 11 children. "Just let me know when, where and for how much money. I'll be there."

Frazier-Lyde, responding to a question from the Philadelphia Daily News, issued the challenge to the 21-year-old daughter of Muhammad Ali after Laila Ali's pro boxing debut Oct. 8. Laila, fighting as a super middleweight, knocked out April Fowler, who was counted out 31 seconds into the first round in Verona, N.Y.

Frazier-Lyde, 37, was the captain as a forward for American University's basketball team in the early 1980s, and she claims to still pack a mean wallop.

"I've always been an athlete and my office is on the second floor, above [her father's] gym," said Frazier-Lyde, a lawyer. "I studied jujitsu at American. Sometimes I'll go down and hit the heavy bag. Well, I kick it, because I don't want to mess my nails up."

Laila Ali, who didn't respond to the challenge and will make her second pro fight against Shadina Pennybaker on Nov. 10, can, at least, empathize with Frazier-Lyde. Ali, who operates a nail salon in Los Angeles, had to accept a shorter manicure as one of the prerequisites for becoming a boxer.

Too many punches

Former Playboy bunny Mia Rosales St. John, who fought on the Oscar De La Hoya-Ike Quartey undercard earlier this year, says she got into boxing because she became bored with her modeling career.

"My passion for boxing is so great that sometimes at the end of the fight I even forget to pick up my paycheck," she said.

He'd hate to exaggerate

The Ali-Frazier rivalry is known as one of the fiercest in sports -- sort of like the New York Knicks against the Miami Heat in the NBA.

"I hate their guts," said Tim Hardaway, the Heat's point guard. "Hate them with all the hate you can hate. Can you hate more than that? If you can, then I hate them more than that."

Homer goes deep

Another example is the feud between Los Angeles Dodgers owner Rupert Murdoch of Fox and Atlanta Braves owner Ted Turner of Turner.

Sports Business Daily pointed out that on an episode of "The Simpsons" on Fox, a road sign read, 'Welcome to Atlanta -- Home of Ted Turner's Mood Swings.' "

Advantage: youth

The Battle of the Sexes between Billie Jean King and then-55-year-old loud-mouth Bobby Riggs filled 30,472 seats at the Astrodome in 1973.

King won that tennis grudge match, but now she's 55. Asked how she would fare against young stars Martina Hingis, Venus Williams and Lindsay Davenport, she said:

"I'm in better shape than Riggs was, but I wouldn't get a point unless they double-faulted."

Knockouts and a punch line

To mark the 88th birthday of Hall of Fame boxing trainer Eddie Futch, his wife delivered him to Rosales St. John's old haunt, the Playboy mansion.

"I wanted him to be surrounded by goddesses," Eva Futch said.

Wrote Mark Kriegel in the New York Daily News: "A guy I know related this story to his wife. 'Don't get your hopes up,' she says. 'The best you're going to get is pay-per-view.' "

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