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Foreman Still Has a Punch

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Nobody seems to be taking George Foreman seriously as he attempts a comeback at age 39, and that could be a mistake, according to a man who has sparred with him.

He is Mike Williams, an unbeaten heavyweight who first gained notice by holding his own in sparring sessions with Mike Tyson.

“Foreman is going to do a lot better than people think he is,” Williams told Wallace Matthews of Newsday. “He moves well in the ring and, boy, he can still punch. He hits at least as hard as Tyson.”

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Would-you-believe-it Dept.: Soviet skier Allar Levandi, asked at the Nordic World Championships in West Germany what kind of music he preferred, said: “When I’m in the bathtub and I’m away from everything, I like heavy metal, like Bon Jovi.”

Ouch: From a letter by Sam Geddis of Toronto to The Sporting News: “Al Davis nominated to the Hall of Fame? . . . Who’s next, Moammar Kadafi?”

Murray Chass of the New York Times, on how agent Steve Kauffman helped Ron Darling beat the Mets in arbitration: “As a clincher to their case, Kauffman played a tape on which, among other things, two Met announcers, Ralph Kiner and Tim McCarver, talked on the air before a late September start for Darling about how good a pitcher he had been during the season and how he had suffered bad luck with no-decisions.”

In the 13 starts when he did not get a decision, Darling left games 9 times with a lead or with the score tied.

Trivia Time: Name the only heavyweight boxing champion in history who graduated from college. (Answer below.)

Mississippi basketball Coach Ed Murphy, on why he called a timeout with two minutes left and his team trailing Florida by 20 points: “The last timeout was to take the sandwich orders.”

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From Stan Isle of The Sporting News: “Of the 90 players on the rosters of the New York Giants and the Denver Broncos, only three were consensus All-American selections--quarterback John Elway (Stanford) and linebacker Ricky Hunley (Arizona) of the Broncos and linebacker Lawrence Taylor (North Carolina) of the Giants. Only 10 of the 90 played in New Year’s Day bowl games.”

Remember Brad (The Animal) Lesley? The 6-foot 6-inch, 225-pound reliever, who last worked in the major leagues for the Milwaukee Brewers, is a big name in Japan, where he pitches for the Hankyu Braves.

He was the winning pitcher in Japan’s All-Star game, and he made a video called “The Champion Animal,” in which he sings in Japanese. He also played the American hero in a samurai movie, “The Animal Goes to Japan.”

Lesley: “I killed 12 people and won the girl in the end.”

Trivia Answer: James (Bonecrusher) Smith, current World Boxing Assn. champion. He graduated from Shaw College in Raleigh, N.C.

Quotebook

Joe Gergen of Newsday, claiming there should be a law against the New York Knicks and the New Jersey Nets playing at home on the same night: “Isn’t there enough pollution in the area already?”

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