He Decides at the Last Minute He’s Not Really Retiring Type

A lot of people say they don’t understand boxing--or boxers.

Why is that?

Vinny Pazienza, former International Boxing Federation lightweight champion, who hinted that he would announce his retirement at a news conference Friday in Cranston, R.I., turned the tables on the media and announced that he will fight on.

The Associated Press reported that Pazienza’s cryptic bobbing and weaving fooled even his family and close associates.


Downplaying his disappointment with manager Lou Duva, who suggested that he retire after his recent loss to Loreto Garza, Pazienza said: “I thought about retiring more after other fights. I’m just too young and too good. . . . I have too much to offer. I’m a good, strong 28 years old. There’s not much time left--the Pazmanian Devil is back.”

Add Pazmanian Devil: Reporters who previewed Pazienza’s farewell, not to mention fight fans, might have become suspicious after reading a Providence Journal-Bulletin story Friday morning that quoted him as saying: “I would never allow myself to be an opponent. I would never allow myself to be a steppingstone. From now until I turn 31, I could rack up 50 wins. But that’s not what I’m all about. . . . “

In the story, Pazienza also remarked on recent losses to Roger Mayweather, Hector Camacho and Garza: “I can fight anybody at the highest level for another two years. I know I’m still one of the best boxers in the world.”

Trivia time: Today, New York’s Patrick Ewing makes his second consecutive start in the NBA All-Star game. Who was the last Knick player to make consecutive starts?


Canceled series: From Stan Isaacs of Newsday: “The new situation comedy on CBS, ‘Good Sports,’ featuring Ryan O’Neal and Farrah Fawcett as bickering co-hosts on an ESPN-like network, is so bad you can’t even recommend it as something to watch just to see how bad a show can be. On one episode, a character talks about what it was like when he played football for Lehigh against Amherst. Lehigh hasn’t played Amherst in 40 years. If the show were crafted by people who cared, they would have had Lehigh playing Lafayette or Amherst playing Wesleyan. But that would have come from people writing a good show.”

Another level: The Newport Harbor High girls’ basketball team is preparing for this week’s Southern Section playoffs. But the timing isn’t the greatest for Coach Shannon Jakosky, who is due to give birth to her first child Feb. 20.

So she has done her best to provide a surrogate coaching staff. When she takes her leave, she will be relieved by her husband, Jack, the Sailors’ assistant coach. She has also called in a new assistant coach--her father, Ralph Miller, the former Oregon State, Wichita State and Iowa coach who ranks seventh in victories on the all-time NCAA Division I list.

Add Miller: He and his wife will arrive Tuesday, a week earlier than expected, so that he can attend some of the Sailors’ practices.

Miller told the AP from his home in Black Butte, Ore.: “I am, I guess, being drafted. You couldn’t turn your daughter down.”

Trivia answer: Walt Frazier, who made seven consecutive starts, 1970-76.

Quotebook: Ted Marchibroda, the Buffalo Bills’ offensive coordinator and apparently a stranger to the works of Mark Twain: “A guy told me one time that if you get a reputation for being an early riser, you can sleep until noon.”