The Baltimore Sun

Calzaghe defeats Jones by unanimous decision


Joe Calzaghe overcame a first-round knockdown to beat Roy Jones Jr. in a bloody unanimous decision last night, delighting a raucous crowd at Madison Square Garden in New York in what Calzaghe (46-0) says will be his final bout. There is little left for the undefeated Welshman to prove after reigning as super middleweight champion for more than a decade, unifying the division, defeating Bernard Hopkins and felling Jones - possibly pounding him right into retirement, as well. "I loved his style, loved the way he fights," Calzaghe said, "but I knew I could deal with his speed and combinations."

Elsewhere: : In Bamberg, Germany, Arthur Abraham stopped Raul Marquez after six rounds to defend his International Boxing Federation middleweight title for the eighth time and stay undefeated.

Brewers hire Randolph as bench coach


The Milwaukee Brewers hired former New York Mets manager Willie Randolph as bench coach. "I'm excited, looking forward to this next challenge and getting to work," Randolph said in a conference call. "I love teaching and I'm passionate about being in the game." Randolph, 54, was fired by the Mets on June 17. After being hired for the 2005 season, Randolph led the Mets to within one win of the 2006 World Series. The Mets went 302-253 under his watch, and his .544 winning percentage ranks second to Davey Johnson (.588) in Mets history. Ken Macha was hired Oct. 30 as the Brewers' manager, taking over from Dale Sveum after the team's first postseason appearance since 1982. Randolph was one of three finalists for the job, along with Bob Brenly. Randolph, who is in contention for the manager's job in Seattle, said that he has an agreement with the Brewers that if he gets another managerial offer, he can take it.

Yankees: : On a hushed, rainy day at the old Yankee Stadium, a group of Bronx youths and former stars David Cone, Paul O'Neill, Scott Brosius and Jeff Nelson (Catonsville) used shovels to dig into the soil around home plate and the pitcher's mound, filling dozens of blue and white buckets. Workers then removed the plate and pitcher's rubber, and the group walked across the street to the Yankees' shining new stadium to mix the old dirt with the new. The new $1.3 billion stadium is set to open in April.

NFL rescinds Tuck's $7,500 fine


The NFL has rescinded a $7,500 fine against New York Giants defensive end Justin Tuck for a hit on Dallas Cowboys quarterback Brooks Bollinger last weekend. Ray Anderson, the NFL's vice president of operations, called Tuck on Friday night to inform him of the change, the Giants said in an e-mail yesterday. Tuck had insisted the hit was legal and Giants coach Tom Coughlin agreed with his player Monday. Tuck hit Bollinger in the midsection as the quarterback released a pass and his momentum carried both to the ground on the third-down play in the fourth quarter. Tuck was penalized for roughing the passer. The league originally determined that Tuck had unnecessarily driven Bollinger to the ground and issued the fine Friday.

Steelers: : Pittsburgh released Najeh Davenport, five weeks after the team brought back its former top backup running back after a number of injuries. Davenport's roster spot was taken by linebacker Donovan Woods.

Redskins: : Washington waived cornerback Leigh Torrence to make room for DeAngelo Hall. Hall agreed to a one-year deal with the Redskins on Friday, less than a week after being cut by the Raiders. He signed his contract after passing a physical. Torrence joined the Redskins as a free agent in December 2006. He played in all 16 games last season as well as all nine games this year.

V. Williams tops Jankovic, advances to final

et cetera

No. 8 Venus Williams advanced to the final of the Sony Ericsson Championships with a 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 win over top-ranked Jelena Jankovic in Doha, Qatar. Williams will face Vera Zvonareva, who defeated Olympic champion Elena Dementieva, 7-6 (7), 3-6, 6-3, in the other semifinal at the WTA Tour's season-ending event. Williams saved five break points before winning a grueling service game in the third set to go up 4-2. That game also featured a 26-stroke rally, the longest of the match. She clinched the victory with a backhand crosscourt winner on her first match point.

College basketball: : Tyler Hansbrough (shin) sat out North Carolina's exhibition, the first game - regular season or otherwise - he has missed since arriving in Chapel Hill three years ago. ... Georgia Tech guard Lewis Clinch will miss at least the first seven games of his senior season because he is academically ineligible. The 6-foot-3 guard started 14 games last season and averaged 9.0 points.

NHL: : Brent Johnson had 28 saves, including a pivotal stop on a penalty shot in the third period, and the Washington Capitals beat the New York Rangers, 3-1, to remain unbeaten at home. Starting a third straight game in place of inconsistent regular Jose Theodore, Johnson has turned aside 102 of 107 shots during his three-game run. Alexander Semin scored into an empty net with 5.5 seconds left to clinch it. Brooks Laich and Tom Poti also scored for the Capitals. ... Washington recalled defenseman Tyler Sloan from Hershey of the American Hockey League. ... Flyers center Danny Briere scored in his first game - a 2-1 loss to the visiting Lightning - since abdominal surgery two weeks ago.

Golf: : Steve Marino shot a 6-under-par 66 for a share of the third-round lead with Scott Verplank in the PGA Tour season-ending Children's Miracle Network Classic at Disney World. ... South Korea's Shin Ji-yai shot a bogey-free 6-under 66 at chilly and wet Kinetsu Kashikojima to take a two-stroke lead in the LPGA Mizuno Classic in Shima, Japan. ... 2006 U.S. Open champion Geoff Ogilvy shot a 7-under 65 to finish the second round a stroke behind leaders Sergio Garcia and Henrik Stenson at the HSBC Champions in Shanghai, China.

Horse racing: : Breeders' Cup Classic winner Raven's Pass has been retired from racing and will stand as a stallion at Sheik Mohammed's Kildangan Stud in Ireland. ... Headsandtales won the $50,000 Find Handicap at Laurel Park by 1 1/4 lengths, defending his 2007 title. Headsandtales, with Erick Rodriguez aboard, covered the 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.06. Post-time favorite Baltimore Bob was second, a neck ahead of Dr Rico.

Auto racing: : Carl Edwards improved his bid to win a championship this season, rolling to a dominating win in the Hefty Odor Block 200 at Phoenix International Raceway to stay in mathematical contention for the Nationwide Series title. Clint Bowyer can win the championship next week if he finishes eighth or better.

Soccer: : Heather O'Reilly scored in the 72nd minute and the U.S. women's team beat South Korea, 1-0, in an exhibition match in Tampa, Fla.

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