Stewart Has Punch Line to Silence His Doubters

Alex Stewart's 24 consecutive knockouts may have set a record, but they came against such little-known opponents as Dave Jaco, Arthel Lawhorne, Fernando Montes and Terry Armstrong. Still, the fighter says he has earned his place in boxing history and is tired of people doubting his skills.

When told that Evander Holyfield, the No. 1 heavyweight contender whom Stewart fights tonight in Atlantic City, N.J., was among the disbelievers, Stewart responded: "I don't envision Holyfield dropping me."

Stewart then rephrased his answer. "Maybe he'll hurt me," he said. "If he does drop me, I wouldn't want to be in his shoes when I get up."

Dateline, 1995: Just how far can the Chicago Bulls' Michael Jordan go with endorsements and salaries? The Hartford Courant's Peter May puts the situation in humorous perspective:

"The Sony Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Michael Jordan Inc., bought the struggling Orange County Clippers for the modest sum of $250 million.

"Meanwhile, attempts to reach Jordan on the island of Maui, which he also owns, were unsuccessful. A man answering the phone at Jordan's 25,000 square-foot villa, who identified himself as Jordan's valet, Dean Smith, said the former basketball superstar was unavailable."

Smith went on to say that Jordan was flying his own F-14 to the mainland for yet another business acquisition. "Ever since Michael won the Masters two years ago, he has been dying to play Pine Valley," Smith reported. "He finally did and he liked it so much he's going to buy that, too."

Trivia Time: Who is the NBA's career free-throw percentage leader (based on a minimum 2,000 attempts)?

Odds are . . . When told his team is a 16 1/2-point favorite over the Dallas Cowboys Sunday at RFK Stadium, Washington Redskins Coach Joe Gibbs suggested that everyone keep track of the odds.

"Better yet," he told the Baltimore Evening Sun's Sandra McKee. "I hope you're all betting the line and going broke."

Fact: None of the players taking the field today in the Navy-Notre Dame game at South Bend, Ind., had been born the last time the Midshipmen beat the Irish. That was in 1963.

Jay who?Jim Harrick, UCLA basketball coach, told that freshman Rodney Odom bears a resemblance to comedian Jay Leno because of his jutting jaw: "I don't know the guy. Who does he play for?"

Sultan of silence: Wallace Matthews of Newsday, on trying to get information on Mike Tyson's postponed Nov. 18 bout against Razor Ruddock: "Don't ask Don King's office, the official outlet for Tyson information. Trying to get solid information out of there is like depending on Tass for inside information on the goings-on at the Kremlin. And the folks at Tass are probably politer."

Trivia answer: Rick Barry at 89.3%.

Quotebook: Wayne Fontes, coach of the Detroit Lions, on starting the second half of the season with a 1-7 record: "I keep reiterating that if this were an easy job, the last guy would still be here."

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