BOXING—ALFREDO ESCALERA of Puerto Rico successfully defended his WBC junior lightweight crown for the 10th time, gaining a unanimous 15-round decision over Mexico's Sigfrido Rodriguez in San Juan.
PRO FOOTBALL—Remember Ricky Bell? He was the man drafted before Tony Dorsett. The Tampa Bay rookie from USC scored both touchdowns in the Buccaneers' 14-0 upset of Baltimore. One touchdown was an 11-yard dash up the middle, the other came on a seven-yard pass from an obscure rookie, Quarterback Randy Hedberg, the Bucs' eighth-round draft pick from Minot (N. Dak.) State who has taken over for the injured Mike Boryla and Gary Huff. Cincinnati finished the preseason with five straight victories, pasting the Chicago Bears 24-6 as Ken Anderson fired three touchdown passes, including two to Billy Brooks. New Orleans' Chuck Muncie plunged for two one-yard touchdowns and Rick Szaro booted a pair of field goals to lead the Saints past Houston 20-16 for their fifth preseason win. The New Orleans defense held the Oilers to two second-half first downs and picked off three John Hadl passes. Linebacker Randy Gradishar intercepted a Scott Bull pass and returned it 70 yards for a touchdown as Denver embarrassed San Francisco 20-0 to finish with a 5-1 record. Roger Staubach, back after missing two games with a hamstring pull, completed 8 of 13 passes and Efren Herrera booted three field goals as Dallas humiliated Pittsburgh 30-0. Cowboy Running Back Preston Pearson said, "We still have to play the Steelers two more times. Once in the regular season and once in the Super Bowl." Monte Johnson's interception of a Joe Namath pass led to Oakland's first touchdown, Ted Hendricks' blocked punt led to the second and Oakland went on to whip Los Angeles 21-0, giving the Rams a 1-5 exhibition record. Minnesota crushed Buffalo 30-6 as Fran Tarkenton completed 14 of 22 passes and Chuck Foreman scored two touchdowns. O.J. Simpson, of all people, called Foreman "the greatest football player in America today." Washington beat the New York Jets 14-7, both touchdowns following interceptions by reserve Defensive Back Eddie Brown. Detroit nipped Cleveland 24-20 on a four-yard touchdown run by Dexter Bussey with 1:56 left in the game. Green Bay broke a four-game losing streak by beating Philadelphia 24-16. Quarterback Tony Adams replaced starting Quarterback Mike Livingston in the second half and tossed two touchdown passes to power Kansas City past St. Louis 37-20 in the Missouri state championship. New England closed out its exhibition season with a 5-1 record, beating Atlanta 29-10, Miami got two touchdown passes from bespectacled Bob Griese to defeat the Giants 27-21, and Rickey Young scored three touchdowns in San Diego's 38-20 win over Seattle.
GOLF—LANNY WADKINS shot a final-round 65 for a 13-under-par 267 to win the World Series of Golf—and $100,000—by five strokes over Tom Weiskopf and Hale Irwin at the Firestone Country Club in Akron.
Joanne Carner shot a final-round 69 for a total of 210 to win the $50,000 National Jewish Hospital Open in Denver by two strokes over Hollis Stacy.
September 18, 1977
John Fought won the U.S. Amateur Championship, beating Doug Fischesser 9 and 8 in the 36-hole match-play final round at the Aronimink Golf Club in Newton Square, Pa.
Gil Morgan fired a final-round 69 for a 14-under-par 270 to win his first tour event, the $200,000 B.C. Open at Endicott, N.Y. Lee Elder was second, five strokes back.
HORSE RACING—Steve Cauthen rode AFFIRMED ($4.40) to a nose victory over Alydar in the $112,950 Futurity at Belmont Park, covering the seven furlongs in 1:21[3/5]. It was the 17-year-old Cauthen's first win in a $100,000 race.
Stub ($5.60), Ron Turcotte up, scored a 3¾-length victory over Rainy Princess in the $124,715 Arlington-Washington Lassie Stakes at Arlington Park. The winner covered the six furlongs in a record-tying 1:10[2/5].
MOTOR SPORTS—MARIO ANDRETTI drove his Lotus to a 16.9-second victory over Niki Lauda in the Grand Prix of Italy, at Monza. With his second-place finish, Lauda took a 27-point lead over Jody Scheckter in the Formula I world drivers' championship standings. Lauda needs just one more point to clinch the 1977 title.
David Pearson, driving a Mercury, won the $207,000 Southern 500 stock car race at Darlington, S.C. for the second straight year. Pearson averaged 106.797 mph and finished 2.5 seconds ahead of Donnie Allison's Chevrolet.
Neil Bonnett, driving a Dodge, won the $71,735 Capital City 400 at Richmond, Va., averaging 80.644 mph on the ½-mile track. Bonnett finished five seconds ahead of Richard Petty's Dodge.
TENNIS—GUILLERMO VILAS won the U.S. Open men's championship, beating Jimmy Connors 2-6, 6-3, 7-6, 6-0 at Forest Hills (page 12). CHRIS EVERT took her third consecutive women's title, defeating Wendy Turnbull 7-6, 6-2. BOB HEWITT and FREW MACMILLAN beat Raul Ramirez and Brian Gottfried in the men's doubles, 6-4, 6-0. MARTINA NAVRATILOVA and BETTY STOVE won the women's doubles from Renee Richards and Bettyann Stuart 6-1, 7-6.
TRACK & FIELD—KATHY SCHMIDT of Los Angeles set a women's world record in the javelin with a throw of 227'5" in F√ºrth, West Germany. The previous record of 226'9" was held by Ruth Fuchs of East Germany.
VOLLEYBALL—The ORANGE COUNTY STARS, led by Player-Coach Dodge Parker, won the IVA championship in El Paso, defeating the El Paso-Juarez Sol 12-3, 13-15, 10-12, 12-6, 6-4. El Paso's Lino de Melo (Caveman) Gama came off the bench after a disabling knee injury to Spiker Ed Skorek in the second game and made 14 kills in 25 attempts in the second and third games. But in the fifth-game tie-breaker, Bob Stafford led the Stars to the title with four kills. To reach the final, Orange County beat Santa Barbara 11-13, 12-9, 12-4, 8-12, 6-3 and El Paso-Juarez upset Denver 12-4, 12-14, 8-12, 17-15, 6-5.
MILEPOSTS—TO BE PAROLED: From the Rhode Island Adult Correctional Institute, MARVIN BARNES, Detroit Pistons' 6'9" forward, after serving five months of his one-year sentence for probation violation. Barnes will be released Oct. 14, four days before the NBA season opens.
RESTRAINED: By Clark County (Nev.) District Court Judge James Brennan, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas from suspending Basketball Coach JERRY TARKANIAN, pending a Sept. 21 hearing. The NCAA recently placed UNLV on two years' probation for alleged violations in its basketball program.
SOLD: Guard ERNIE DiGREGORIO, by the Buffalo Braves to the Los Angeles Lakers. In 1974 DiGregorio was the NBA Rookie of the Year, the league leader in assists and free-throw percentage, and scored 15.2 points a game. In another NBA deal, the Indiana Pacers sent All-Star Guard DON BUSE, last season's steals and assists champion, to the Phoenix Suns for Guard RICKEY SOBERS.