By Laila Ali, her WBC women's super middleweight championship with a convincing defeat of Shelley Burton. Appearing on the undercard to the Wladimir Klitschko--Calvin Brock fight at Madison Square Garden (page 124), Ali (23--0) knocked Burton out at 1:58 of the fourth round. Ali's father, Muhammad Ali (inset), was on hand for the bout; the 64-year-old former champ entered the arena in a golf cart. "It's always great to have him here and have him see me fight," said Laila Ali (above, right), 28, who hit Burton with a right-left combination that broke the challenger's nose. "I wanted to knock her out cold," the younger Ali said, "but unfortunately she turned her back, which meant she didn't want any more."
By a federal district judge, an injunction that allows the University of North Dakota to continue to use its Fighting Sioux nickname without penalty. In August the NCAA banned 18 schools with Native American nicknames from hosting postseason tournament games or using the nicknames on the road in the postseason. Certain schools have been exempted by showing they have the support of local tribes; when North Dakota's appeal to the NCAA was turned down, the school took the NCAA to court. The ruling clears the way for the school's 9--1 football team to play host to a Division II playoff game. A tentative trial date of April 24 has been set.
Of his IBF title four days after he won it, featherweight Orlando Salido. Salido, 26, tested positive for steroids after winning the belt in a decision over Robert Guerrero, in Las Vegas. Salido will have a hearing with the Nevada Athletic Commission to determine whether he will be suspended and fined, and the IBF announced that the title is now vacant. Guerrero and Spend Abazi, the No. 3--ranked contender, have been told to begin negotiations for a title fight.
Plans to build a new stadium in Santa Clara, the 49ers, who have played in San Francisco for 61 years. Last Thursday co-owner John York said that the 49ers, who have been unable to agree to a stadium deal with San Francisco officials, would shift their focus 45 miles south to Santa Clara, citing better parking and public transportation. York said that the team will keep San Francisco in its name—though one local assemblyman has already suggested a measure that would bar the team from using the city's name without authorization from the mayor's office.
In what Miami police have ruled a homicide, University of Miami defensive tackle Bryan Pata (above). The senior, 22, was shot outside of his apartment on the evening of Nov. 7; police have not speculated on a motive, and no arrests have been made. Pata, who was expected to be selected in the NFL draft next year, was one of the most popular players on the team. "He was a great kid. A well-mannered, well-disciplined kid," his high school coach, Anthony Saunders, said. The Hurricanes played last Saturday, losing 14--13 to Maryland. Before the game the Terrapins voted to donate their game-day meal money to a fund for Pata's family.
Last Thursday at the age of 65 from complications from chronic leukemia, journalist Ed Bradley. An avid sports fan, he profiled numerous athletes on 60 Minutes, including Tiger Woods, Derek Jeter, Michael Jordan and Muhammad Ali. In 1996 the retired champ had some fun with Bradley by pretending to doze off during the interview and then throwing jabs from his sleep. One of the last stories the 20-time Emmy winner aired for 60 Minutes was on the Duke lacrosse controversy.
That he is suffering from leukemia, former 49ers coach Bill Walsh, 74. The Hall of Famer said last week that the cancer was diagnosed in 2004. "I'm positive but not evangelistic," Walsh told The (Santa Rosa) Press Democrat. "I'm working my way through it." Walsh, who retired in 1988, lost his 46 year-old son, Steve, to leukemia in 2002.
After seven months in a Gainesville, Fla., prison, Dwight Gooden, 42. Last April, Gooden, who was on probation for fleeing police after a drunken driving stop, failed a drug test and admitted he had used cocaine. The former Cy Young winner was sentenced to 366 days in jail and went through rehab while incarcerated. Last May, Gooden said that he'd "rather get shot than come back here.... If I don't get the message this time, I never will."
By ex-coach Larry Brown, his dispute with the Knicks, who fired him in June with four years and $41 million left on his contract. Brown will receive $18.5 million. The Knicks contended that they didn't have to pay Brown, who went 23--59 in his only season with the team, the entire amount of his deal because he violated team policies by speaking with the media without a public relations rep present.
By Maricopa (Ariz.) County sheriff Joe Arpaio, NASCAR driver Kurt Busch. Last November, Busch (left) had a run-in with Maricopa deputies who pulled him over for reckless driving near Phoenix International Raceway. When an officer tried to give Busch a sobriety test, Busch accused him of being a Jeff Gordon fan. Since the incident Busch, who plea-bargained a reckless driving charge down to a speeding ticket, ramped up his charitable work, including taping a public-service announcement with Arpaio. The sheriff told his honorary deputy that his badge wouldn't get him out of trouble. "Be very careful," Arpaio said. "If you're stopped, I don't expect you to show the badge. Because I'll tell you, if you do, we're going to fire you, and you're going to get two tickets."
Of natural causes at age 87, boxer turned Oscar-winning actor Jack Palance. Palance attended North Carolina on a football scholarship but dropped out to box under the name Jack Brazzo. "Then I thought, You must be nuts to get your head beat in for $200 [a fight]," he said in 1995. "The theater seemed a lot more appealing." So after a brief stint as a sportswriter following World War II (he received a Purple Heart), Palance gave acting a shot. One of his most notable roles was in '56, when he played a washed-up fighter (above) in a TV production of Requiem for a Heavyweight, for which he won an Emmy.
8--0 The Eagles' record in games after a bye week since Andy Reid took over as coach in 1999; Philadelphia beat the Redskins on Sunday after having Week 9 off.
148 Career TD passes by Division II East Stroudsburg QB Jimmy Terwilliger, tying the NCAA record set by Division III Westminster's Justin Peery in 1999.
16 Games the Ducks played before their first loss in regulation, an NHL record.
343 Copies of Ron Artest's album My World that were bought in its first week, according to Soundscan.
6,485 Copies of Kevin Federline's Playing with Fire that sold the same week.
JOHNNY SAIN 1917--2006
THE FIRST time Johnny Sain's first wife saw him pitch in the majors, in 1946, he beat the Reds 5--1. But after the game she had a complaint; she had waved at Sain during the game, and he hadn't noticed. "I think of nothing but pitching when I'm on the rubber," Sain said a few years later. "Pitching is my business." Few were better at that business than Sain, who died last week at age 89. As a pitcher he was a four-time 20-game winner and one half the inspiration for baseball's most famous couplet; as a pitching coach, he mentored some of the game's best staffs.
That Sain even made it to the majors was remarkable. He languished in Class D for four years before his unremarkable 1942 debut, but he was able to experiment with his pitches while playing service ball in the Navy during World War II. He returned to the majors a different pitcher, winning 65 games from '46 to '48 (64 were complete games). In '48 he and Warren Spahn inspired the slogan "Spahn and Sain and pray for rain." Though Spahn had top billling, Sain was the ace; he started Game 1 of the '48 Series and outdueled Bob Feller. After he retired in '55 with a 139--116 record, Sain became the Yankees' pitching coach and turned Whitey Ford into a 20-game winner. He also handled the '65 Twins, who won the AL, and the '68 Tigers, who had 30-game winner Denny McLain. Said one of Sain's students, Orioles pitching coach Leo Mazzone, "I've always considered him the greatest pitching coach in baseball."
Bending It for Becks
A new MLS policy will allow its teams to chase a certain unsettled English star
WITH DAVID BECKHAM struggling to make his way into the Real Madrid lineup, Major League Soccer passed a rule last week that makes it easier to lure the unhappy superstar to the U.S. The Designated Player Rule (also known as the Beckham Rule) will allow each of the league's 13 teams to sign one player whose salary is not limited by the MLS salary cap, now $1.9 million per team. (Other potential targets include Portuguese midfielder Luis Figo and Brazilian striker Ronaldo.)
The league considered the rule in 2005 and didn't adopt it, but the financial landscape has since changed. New owners in Kansas City and New York (Austria's Red Bull) have come on board, and MLS recently signed its first rights-fee national-TV deals with ESPN/ABC, Univision, HDNet and Fox Soccer Channel. "Last year we didn't have the security and long-term financial commitments we have this year," said MLS commissioner Don Garber, who noted that 17 million U.S. viewers watched the World Cup final this year—more than tuned in to any Fox World Series broadcast. "We need to find ways to make the people who watched the World Cup final into fans of Major League Soccer," Garber says, "and one way to do that is to have more internationally recognized players."