National Sports Briefs: Holmes moved to tears
CANASTOTA, N.Y. ó With a precise, powerful left jab, Larry Holmes reigned as heavyweight champion for more than seven years, successfully defending his crown 20 times ó the second longest title run in heavyweight history.
But on Sunday, the “Easton Assassin” needed a moment to compose himself before accepting his induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame along with 11 other champions and ring personalities.
“I’m sorry. I’m choked up a little bit. Why not?” Holmes said, receiving a sustained ovation from the crowd of nearly 1,000.
“When you get to this point, when people come out to salute you like this … it makes you want to cry. So if I cry, cry with me because I feel good,” said Holmes.
Holmes headlined the 2008 induction class, which also included junior welterweight champion Eddie Perkins and late middleweight Holman Williams. All three are in the hall’s modern-era category.
Middleweights Len Harvey and Frank Klaus and welterweight Harry Lewis were honored in the old-timer category, and 19th-century Irish heavyweight Dan Donnelly in the pioneer class.
A seventh-grade dropout who forged his body in eastern Pennsylvania’s steel mills and honed his boxing skills in a Police Athletic League gym, Holmes compiled a record of 69-6, with 44 knockouts.
DETROIT ó Dominik Hasek is expected to announce his retirement, a person in the NHL told The Associated Press on Sunday night.
The Detroit Red Wings scheduled a news conference for Monday morning without revealing details.
Hasek won six Vezina Trophies as the NHL’s top goaltender and two Hart Trophies as the league’s MVP.
The 43-year-old star from the Czech Republic lost his job during Detroit’s run to the Stanley Cup, getting replaced by Chris Osgood in the first round.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. ó Goalkeeper Tim Howard and the United States appear ready for World Cup qualifying.
Howard had four spectacular point-blank saves on Julio Cruz and the United States tied top-ranked Argentina 0-0 on Sunday night.
The match, which ended in driving rain and lightning, drew 78,682 fans, the fourth-largest crowd to watch a soccer game at Giants Stadium and the ninth-biggest to see the U.S. national team at home.
– EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. ó Landon Donovan became the fourth youngest player in the world to make 100 international appearances when the United States’ career goal leader started in an exhibition against Argentina at Giants Stadium on Sunday.
Donovan, who was 26 years, 3 months, 4 days at game time, returned to the lineup after missing recent exhibition games against England and Spain with a strained groin.
– Cedric Benson’s rocky relationship with the Chicago Bears got murkier Saturday after the running back’s arrest on a drunken driving charge in Austin, Texas, his second arrest in little more than a month.
FORT WORTH, Texas ó Scott Dixon regained the lead a lap before a crash between his closest competitors and crossed the finish line under caution to win the IndyCar Series race at Texas Motor Speedway.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. ó Alabama football coach Nick Saban and his wife Terry have pledged $1 million to the university for scholarships.