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It’s a Thin Line Between Rich, Poor

They say you can never be too rich or too thin, but as far as Michael Spinks is concerned, that should read: You can never be too rich if you’re too thin.

As Spinks, the undefeated and undisputed light-heavyweight champion prepared for tonight’s title defense against Diamond Jim MacDonald for a mere $150,000, he lamented, “When can I have a big payday? When can I get a half-million, million or a million-and-a-half bucks?”

Spinks is 26-0 with 18 knockouts in an eight-year professional career that followed a gold-medal performance at the 1976 Olympics. But he’s still waiting for the big money.

He had a shot at a $1-million payday when he agreed to meet heavyweight champion Larry Holmes in July, but NBC wanted to televise the fight during the May ratings sweeps, giving him just six weeks to put on 15 or 20 pounds. So, he turned it down.

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“It doesn’t look too bright for me to stay and fight as a light-heavyweight,” Spinks said, indicating that he would accept a bout with Holmes if it was scheduled near the end of the year.

Dan Driessen of the Montreal Expos on Houston’s Nolan Ryan: “You still can’t see the fastball. He’s still unreal. He still makes you look silly. For a guy his age (38), he seems like he hasn’t aged at all. When the rest of his body wears out, he should will his arm to someone else.”

Add Ryan: Gene Coleman, who operates the radar gun at the Astrodome, says Ryan’s fastball still averages 95.12 m.p.h. over nine innings. “That’s down two-tenths of a mile from last year,” Coleman said. “But that’s pretty darn good when you figure 87.4 is the major league average. Ryan’s changeup is faster than that.”

Coleman said Ryan’s best fastball has been clocked at 99 m.p.h. “He has never been able to reach 100; we’ve kind of given up hope,” Coleman said.

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Is Chub Feeney thinking about retiring as president of the National League and returning to California? According to Herb Caen of the San Francisco Chronicle, Feeney is shopping for a home on Russian Hill in The City. The National League offices are in New York.

Guess who is pushing his new brand of chocolate chip cookies, “Champ,” with the line, “These cookies are the greatest of all times!”

You guessed it. Former heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali has entered the cookie market, taking on Famous Amos, among others, but he says he’ll win.

“There are a lot of cookies on the market, but I’m the one that’s famous,” Ali said.

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The cookies already are available in Washington and Los Angeles, and will soon be available in Atlanta. Ali said his goal is to distribute the cookies throughout the world--"Nigeria, the Bahamas, Saudi Arabia, even Peking; wherever Muhammad Ali is known.”

Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water, Rich Tosches of United Press International went fishing for thresher sharks from a boat in Santa Monica Bay and wrote:

“As we battled several of the big sharks we could turn and note the colors of bathing suits on the beach. Some sharks were hooked as close as 600 yards to the beach. There has never been a documented attack by a thresher shark, which get as big as 1,000 pounds, on a swimmer. There are, however, documented accounts of threshers attacking large boats. . . .

“If you’re the kind of person who worries a lot, don’t wear a bathing suit that looks like a boat.”

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Quotebook

Bobby Riggs, who will team with Vitas Gerulaitis in a challenge match against Martina Navratilova and Pam Shriver, for prizes of $300,000 for the winners and $200,000 for the losers, said: “Forget the money. It’s the honor and the glory that we’re playing for.”


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