Pacquiao earns big win after De La Hoya quits



Manny Pacquiao fought a lot bigger than he looked. Oscar De La Hoya simply looked old. Pacquiao dominated his bigger and more famous opponent from the opening bell last night in Las Vegas, giving De La Hoya, 35, a beating and closing his left eye before De La Hoya declined to come out of his corner after the eighth round. The fight was so lopsided and De La Hoya looked so inept that it could spell the end for boxing's richest and most marketable star. It was only the second time in De La Hoya's 16-year pro career that he was stopped in a fight, and it was made even more shocking because it came at the hands of a fighter who fought at just 129 pounds months earlier. De La Hoya's left eye was closed shut as he sat on his stool after the eighth round and the ring doctor, referee and his cornermen discussed his condition. De La Hoya offered no complaints when his corner decided he had enough, getting up from his stool and walking to the center of the ring to congratulate the victor. "You're still my idol," Pacquiao told him. "No, you're my idol," De La Hoya said. Two of the three ringside judges scored all eight rounds for Pacquiao, while a third gave De La Hoya only the first round. De La Hoya not only dropped down to fight for the first time at 147 pounds in seven years, but he actually came into the ring unofficially weighing less than Pacquiao. Both fighters got on scales in their dressing rooms and De La Hoya was 147 while Pacquiao was 148 and a half.

USC aide Sarkisian to coach Washington


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Southern California offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian confirmed after the No. 5 Trojans' 28-7 victory over UCLA at the Rose Bowl that he will become the new head coach at Washington. "I'm excited. It's been a great program in the past, and they're obviously down now. But I'm going to get them back to fighting for a championship," Sarkisian said. An official announcement came from Washington later last night. Word about Sarkisian and the head position at Washington leaked Thursday night after Fresno State's Pat Hill and Texas Tech's Mike Leach pulled their names from consideration for the job. Sarkisian has been an assistant head coach and offensive coordinator at USC for the past two seasons. Washington concluded an 0-12 season with a 48-7 loss to California yesterday. Sarkisian, 34, will become the third-youngest head coach in college football behind Tennessee's Lane Kiffin and Northwestern's Pat Fitzgerald - both 33. He'll inherit a Huskies program in disarray. Tyrone Willingham was fired as coach in late October.

California:: The Golden Bears (8-4, 6-3 Pacific-10) accepted an invitation to the Emerald Bowl, committing to finish the season across the San Francisco Bay against an Atlantic Coast Conference opponent likely to be Miami (7-5, 4-4). The Bears are headed to their school-record sixth straight bowl game under coach Jeff Tedford.

Oklahoma:: Quarterback Sam Bradford will have surgery to repair ligaments in his left thumb today and is not expected to miss any practice time because of the injury leading up to the No. 4 Sooners' bowl game. Bradford hurt his non-throwing hand last weekend against Oklahoma State. He started last night's Big 12 championship game, a 62-21 victory over No. 19 Missouri, with a wrap over his thumb that was hardly noticeable.

Wie poised to earn card; Frazar has Q-school 59


Michelle Wie saved par on three of her final four holes for a 4-under-par 68 that left her one shot behind former NCAA champion Stacy Lewis at the LPGA Tour qualifying tournament in Daytona Beach, Fla. Better than being in second place, Wie was nine shots clear of the cutoff for the top 20 players to earn their cards. Lewis had a 5-under 67 for the lead at 15-under 273. Amy Yang of South Korea, who has won on four tours around the world, shot a 67 and was at 275. Today's round will complete the 90-hole event.

PGA Tour Q-school:: Harrison Frazar shot a 59 in the fourth round of the PGA Tour qualifying tournament in La Quinta, Calif., becoming the first player in eight years to hit golf's magic number at Q-school. Frazar is winless in 300 starts during his PGA Tour career. The last player to shoot 59 at Q-school was David Gossett in 2000, though he failed to earn his PGA Tour card. Frazar was at 24-under 264 and leading by four shots with only two rounds remaining.


A. Rodriguez will play for Dominican in WBC

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Alex Rodriguez is switching sides. The New York Yankees star will play for the Dominican Republic in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, he said. Rodriguez made the announcement while playing at a charity golf tournament hosted by friend David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox. Rodriguez played for the U.S. in the 2006 inaugural Classic and was largely criticized by fans in the Dominican Republic and across Latin America. He at first had announced he would play for the Dominican Republic. Rodriguez's parents are from the Dominican Republic, and although he was born in the U.S., he is allowed to choose for which country he will play.

More baseball:: reported that talks between Oakland and free-agent shortstop Rafael Furcal broke down after Furcal's side rejected a multiyear offer. The Web site reported that the offer was for four years at $35 million to $40 million.

NHL:: Milan Jurcina's third-period goal stood up as the winner and the visiting Washington Capitals beat the sluggish Toronto Maple Leafs, 2-1.

NFL:: Cowboys running back Marion Barber did not make the team's trip to Pittsburgh for today's game against the Steelers, meaning rookie Tashard Choice will make his first NFL start. Barber dislocated his right little toe in the first half against the Seahawks on Nov. 27.


Swimming:: Three-time Olympic gold medalist Ryan Lochte won the 200-yard backstroke in 1 minute, 38.49 seconds at the U.S. Short-Course championships in Atlanta, giving him four titles in three days. Mary DeScenza, who just missed a spot in Beijing, won five titles after taking the 200 backstroke and butterfly.