The last time a heavyweight boxer put an unbeaten record on the line at Reno was 75 years ago. Unlike Larry Holmes, who is defending his title tonight, James J. Jeffries was the challenger in 1910, having come out of retirement as The Great White Hope to fight Jack Johnson.
Jeffries, 35, the same age as Holmes, hadn't fought in six years, and the inactivity showed. Johnson outboxed him from the opening bell and knocked him out in the 15th round.
No, Jeffries didn't almost go the distance. The fight was scheduled for 45 rounds.
Add Holmes: Of tonight's fight against little-known Carl (The Truth) Williams, he told the New York Times: "People say I'm picking on stiffs. After 17 years of boxing, I have a right to."
Add Williams: Says his trainer, Carmine Graziano: "He's got a great release of his punches. He's the Joe Namath of boxing.
Tonight, it's 1 to 8 he gets sacked.
Trivia Time: To win the Triple Crown in baseball you have to lead the league in batting, home runs and RBIs. To win it in horse racing you have to win the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness and the Belmont. Have both Triple Crowns ever been won in the same year? (Answer below.)
Wait a Minute: After snapping a slump with a single in his first at-bat Sunday, Cincinnati's Dave Concepcion said of his 0-for-13 streak: "I was up at 4 a.m. thinking about it. I was getting so down about it. It's never happened to me before. I don't know what it's like to bat .240 for the season."
Bad memory. In 1983, Concepcion batted .233. In 1971 and 1972, he had respective averages of .205 and .209.
The-rich-get-richer dept.: On the same day they watched Tank's Prospect win the Preakness, owner Gene Klein and trainer Wayne Lukas were collecting on another front. At Belmont, another of their charges, Life's Magic, scored her first win of 1985, beating favored Heatherton by two lengths in the $172,000 Shuvee Handicap for fillies and mares. Life's Magic earned $70,000, plus a Breeders' Cup award of $13,500 to increase her career earnings to $1,586,485.
New Indianapolis Colt Coach Rod Dowhower, a former Denver assistant, refused to fence himself in when asked for a 1985 season prediction.
"Dan Reeves came to Denver saying his goal was 10-6," Dowhower said. "We finished 10-6. But then it wasn't enough for the playoffs.
"Why set goals in terms of number of wins? Why limit yourself like that? What I'll be looking for is not tomorrow's results, but what comes farther down the road."
Down the road? Careful, Don.
Trivia Answer: Yes, in 1937. That year, Joe Medwick of the St. Louis Cardinals won the Triple Crown in baseball and War Admiral won it in horse racing. Medwick batted .374 with 31 home runs and 154 RBIs.
Texas Ranger Manager Bobby Valentine, on Saturday night's 7-2 win over the Chicago White Sox in a game that took 3:21 to play: "Watching the Sox play, sometimes I think they get paid by the hour."