By professional boxing standards the exchange was tame, but a pre-fight media gathering featuring National Boxing Assn. heavyweight champion Mike Weaver and challenger George O’Mara did have an anxious moment.
Weaver, a former world champion, had just finished talking about who he might like to fight later this year, presumably after he defeats O’Mara on June 21 at the Warner Center Marriott.
Mike Tyson was mentioned. So was Oliver McCall.
Even 39-year-old Gerrie Coetzee, promoter of the Weaver-O’Mara bout and himself a former heavyweight champion, was mentioned.
When Weaver was finished, organizer Peter Broudy asked those in attendance if they had any questions.
A voice from the end of the head table piped up.
It was Pat Goossen, O’Mara’s trainer.
“What about this fight?” Goossen asked.
“What about it?” Weaver said.
Goossen said something about O’Mara having his own dreams, dreams that started with a victory over Weaver.
“You can dream it , but that’ll never happen,” Weaver scoffed.
Said Goossen, “Everything is based on dreams,” a response that for some reason seemed to infuriate Weaver.
“You talk,” Weaver said, pointing down at Goossen. “George ain’t talking. [But] you can get George very, very hurt. What you’re saying I’m taking in, and getting hyped to take on George because of what you said. Managers might as well shut their mouths.”
Trainer, not manager, Goossen said wryly.
“Trainer, whatever,” Weaver shot back. “You still should shut your mouth.”
Fan-tastic: In his many years as a baseball coach and player, John Klitsner doesn’t recall ever getting the rush he experienced last week as a spectator at the College World Series at Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha.
Klitsner, now athletic director at Mission College after a successful career as a coach both at Mission and Sylmar High, attended every game of this year’s World Series except the first two.
He was there pulling for USC because Trojan third-base coach Frank Cruz is one of his best friends.
“I always told him that if they ever got there I would go watch,” Klitsner said. “He called me and said, ‘We are in.’ ”
Klitsner said he watched “every inning of every game"--even in the rain during USC’s 7-3 victory over Miami last Friday.
Even though the Trojans lost to Cal State Fullerton, 11-5, in the championship game Saturday, Klitsner said the trip exceeded his expectations.
“It’s got something to do with the atmosphere. It’s just such a great feeling,” Klitsner said. “I’ve never experienced anything like that in baseball. It’s worth it to go there just to enjoy it.”
Circuitous route: As any racer of ovals should, Reseda driver T.K. Karvasek knows what goes around comes around.
After a season-opening victory at Saugus Speedway in March, Karvasek didn’t take another checkered flag until two weeks ago.
Now that’s all he’s taking.
After sweeping oval and Figure 8 competition last Saturday, Karvasek has won four in a row, moving into fifth in the Street Stock division points standings.
Karvasek’s winning ways aren’t the only things that stand out about him. He drives with a skeleton strapped into the passenger seat.
Prime-time player: Canyon High shortstop Crystl Bustos, after hitting a home run, two triples and a single in Wednesday’s San Fernando Valley all-star softball game, said she was spurred on by the estimated crowd of 300 at Cal State Northridge.
Bustos said it was the biggest crowd she had seen for a game.
“I remember when I came to watch my older sister play, not that many people were watching,” she said. “It was boring. Three up, three down.”
Most of the fans had heard how Bustos can dominate a game with her power hitting, baserunning and defense. Bustos said they inspired her to put on a show.
“I don’t like to make it boring,” said the senior bound for Palm Beach Community College in Lake Worth, Fla. “I try to make it exciting.”
Much of the excitement came at the expense of West pitcher Mindy Penrod of Moorpark High. But Penrod said she had a justifiable excuse for allowing a home run and a triple to her friend and teammate in summer ball.
Said Penrod: “She plays at a level above everyone else.”
The Cal Lutheran baseball team, which finished with a 23-15 record, was ranked 13th in the final NCAA Division III national poll.
The Kingsmen placed second in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Assn., behind La Verne, which went on to win the national title.
“I thought I’d retire in ’83, but as you can see I’m, what, about 12 years off schedule?”
--Former world heavyweight champion Mike Weaver, who is scheduled to defend his National Boxing Assn. title against George O’Mara in the main event June 21 at the Warner Center Marriott. Weaver, a former Woodland Hills resident, turned 44 Wednesday. O’Mara is 39.
“I have long hair, tattoos and I’m an outsider. Sometimes it gets a little scary racing up there.”
--Driver Sean Monroe, on why he enjoys racing at Saugus Speedway rather than Mesa Marin Speedway in Bakersfield.
* Compiled by Mike Hiserman. Contributing: Fernando Dominguez, Jeff Fletcher, Bryan Rodgers.