BOXING—MICHAEL SPINKS scored a 15-round unanimous decision over Larry Holmes in Las Vegas to win the IBF heavyweight title (page 20). On the same card, BERNARD BENTON outpointed Alfonso Ratliff in 12 rounds to take Ratliff's WBC cruiserweight crown, while JULIO CESAR CHAVEZ retained his WBC super featherweight title with a 12-round victory over Dwight Pratchett.
PRO FOOTBALL—Chicago was trailing Minnesota 17-9 in the third quarter when Bears quarterback Jim McMahon asked to be put into the game. McMahon usually starts, but neck and back spasms had landed him in traction a few days earlier. Although his replacement, Steve Fuller, had completed 13 of 18 passes for 124 yards, the Bears hadn't scored a TD. Enter McMahon, whose first two passes were touchdowns: a 70-yarder to Willie Gault and a 25-yarder to Dennis McKinnon. He later hit McKinnon with another TD pass, for 43 yards, and Chicago won 33-24, eclipsing a 436-yard passing performance by Viking quarterback Tommy Kramer. McMahon checked into Lake Forest Hospital outside of Chicago the next day, where he received antibiotics for an infected right leg and treatment for those bothersome spasms. Asked to recall the last time he saw such an inspirational performance, the Bears' Walter Payton said, "In one of those Knute Rockne movies." In a real-life drama at Washington's R.F.K. Stadium, the Eagles, 14-point underdogs, beat the Redskins 19-6. Philadelphia's rookie quarterback, Randall Cunningham, connected with running back Earnest Jackson in the fourth quarter for his team's first TD since last December, while Washington failed to score in double figures for the first time in 58 regular-season games. Tampa Bay's James Wilder ran for 114 yards to increase his NFL-leading season rushing total to 393, but the Saints beat the Buccaneers 20-13. Tampa Bay is winless in three games. St. Louis was looking for win No. 3, but will just have to look again. The Giants held the Cardinals, who had been averaging 34 points per game, to 17 as quarterback Phil Simms threw three TDs and New York won by 10. New England beat Buffalo 17-14 as wide receiver Irving Fryar ran a third-quarter punt back 85 yards for a TD; coach Rod Dowhower got his first win when the Colts beat Detroit 14-6; and Pittsburgh allowed Houston to cross midfield only once during the second half as the Steelers ran over the Oilers 20-0. Cleveland beat Pittsburgh 17-7 on Monday, then lost to Dallas 20-7 six days later; Denver topped Atlanta 44-28; the Jets defeated Green Bay 24-3; San Diego edged Cincinnati 44-41; Miami tamed Kansas City 31-0 (page 40); and the 49ers tallied nine sacks en route to a 34-10 victory over the Raiders (page 58).
GOLF—HAL SUTTON sank a birdie putt on the first hole of sudden death to beat Mike Reid and win the $72,000 top prize at the Southwest Classic in Abilene, Texas. Sutton and Reid finished regulation play with 15-under-par 273s.
Val Skinner sank a 15-foot putt in sudden death to earn her first career victory and $37,500 in the San Jose Classic. She and runner-up Pat Bradley ended regulation play at 209.
September 29, 1985
HARNESS RACING—NIHILATOR ($2.20), Bill O'Donnell driving, defeated stablemate Pershing Square by a head to win the Little Brown Jug in Delaware, Ohio in 1:52[1/5] (page 68).
Sandy Bowl ($3.60), John Campbell in the sulky, won $177,276 and the Breeders Crown Aged Trot, finishing six lengths ahead of Babe Kosmos at Chicago's Sportsman's Park. The time of 1:56[3/5] was a world record for a ‚Öù-mile track. Sandy Bowl has now earned $1,299,199, second only to Savoir's $1,365,145 among North American trotters.
HORSE RACING—NOBLE FIGHTER ($113.40), a 55-1 shot, beat favored Win by 354 lengths to take the $718,500 Turf Classic at Belmont Park. Alain Lequeux rode Noble Fighter to a stakes-record time of 2:24[4/5] for the 1½-mile course.
Creme Fraiche ($2.80), Eddie Maple up, achieved a come-from-behind, 2½-length victory over Encolure in the $500,000 Super Derby VI at Louisiana Downs. The 3-year-old gelding covered the 1¼ miles in 2:02[4/5].
MOTOR SPORTS—BOBBY RAHAL, driving a March 85 Cosworth, edged Rick Mears, also in a March, by .71 of a second to win the $41,700 top prize in the Detroit News 200 at Michigan International Speedway. Rahal averaged 163.647 mph around the two-mile, high-banked oval.
TENNIS—PAUL ANNACONE upset Stefan Edberg 7-6, 6-7, 7-6 for the $50,000 first-place prize at the Volvo tournament held in Los Angeles.
Bonnie Gadusek defeated Kathy Rinaldi 6-1, 6-3 to win the Virginia Slims of Chicago, which was worth $27,000 to her. It was her third victory of the season.
TRACK & FIELD—Three East Germans—ULF TIMMERMANN, SABINE BUSCH and HEIKE DRECHSLER—set world records at the Sport-forum in East Berlin. Timmermann set a mark in the shotput with a throw of 74'1¾", 1'3" better than countryman Udo Beyer's old record; Busch ran the 400-meter hurdles in 53.56, breaking the record of the U.S.S.R.'s Margarita Ponomaryeva by .02; and Drechsler long-jumped 24'5", surpassing the 24'4½" mark of Romania's Anisoara Cusmir.
MILEPOSTS—CONVICTED: On 11 of 14 counts of selling cocaine to major league baseball players, Philadelphia caterer CURTIS STRONG, 39 (page 15).
HIRED: As president and general manager of the San Francisco Giants, AL ROSEN, 61, who recently resigned from the same jobs with the Houston Astros. Rosen replaces Tom Haller, who was dismissed.
RELEASED: By the Minnesota Twins, relief pitcher STEVE HOWE, 27, at his request, after he was AWOL for three games and then admitted that he had again used cocaine. Howe's history of cocaine use led to his suspension from baseball last season when he was with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
RESIGNED: As skipper and sailing manager of the New York Yacht Club's America's Cup syndicate, JOHN KOLIUS, 33 (page 18).
SIGNED: By the New York Knickerbockers, to a contract reportedly worth $17 million over six years, former Georgetown center PATRICK EWING, 23, the top choice in the 1985 NBA draft.
By the Cleveland Cavaliers, to an estimated four-year, $500,000 contract, former Tulane forward JOHN (Hot Rod) WILLIAMS, 24, whose trial on point-shaving charges ended in a mistrial last month in New Orleans.
TRADED: By the Green Bay Packers, wide receiver JOHN JEFFERSON, 29, to the Cleveland Browns for a 1987 draft choice and the NFL rights to offensive tackle TOM ROBISON, 23, who played last season for the USFL's Houston Gamblers.
By the St. Louis Blues, forward MARK JOHNSON, 28, to the New Jersey Devils for defenseman SHAWN EVANS, 20, as well as a future draft pick.