Harding to take a whack at it on the other coast

THE BALTIMORE SUN

What would a figure skating championship in Portland, Ore., be without a mention of Tonya Harding, the local legend who put the ax in triple axel?

More specifically a plastic baton wielded by a friend of her then-hubby, Jeff Gillooly, he of wedding night video fame, to kneecap Nancy Kerrigan at the 1994 championships.

Well, Harding, 35, isn't here. She's on her way to a nightclub outside the City of Brotherly Love for a professional boxing match Wednesday against a woman who agreed to a $1,000 paycheck in return for attempting to beat the tar out of Tonya.

As a Sun public service, here are some Harding highlights: She had breast enlargement surgery in 1994, her 100-day marriage to Michael Smith ended in a divorce in 1995 and she began a boxing career in 2003 and has a record of 3-3.

One more thing. Tonya and Jeff's Wedding Night, a Harding-Gillooly production, was not a single, um, event, but a not-so-carefully crafted art film of three separate events with obvious "continuity errors." It is still being sold at "any decent porno store in the U.S.," according to one Tonya Web site.

Next week's fight, at the Lagoon Nightclub in Essington, Pa., is against Brittney Drake, who was selected from a pool of 200 applicants. Drake, 5-6 and 120 pounds, is with the Women's Extreme Wrestling Federation.

It's possible Harding may get a new definition in her glossary for death spiral.

- Candus Thomson

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