Boxing champion Julio Cesar Chavez landed a blow for the prosecution Tuesday when he testified that he never saw the contract bearing his signature used by promoter Don King to collect insurance money.
The World Boxing Council super-lightweight champion also said in New York that he never saw a two-line statement added to the front page of the contract, stating that training fees were non-refundable.
That two-line typed addition to the contract was required for King to file an insurance claim with Lloyd's of London.
Prosecutors say King faked the contract so he could make the claim for $350,000 in non-refundable training fees.
King allegedly claimed having paid the money to Chavez for a title fight against Harold Brazier scheduled June 28, 1991. The bout was canceled after Chavez cut his nose sparring.
Chavez, speaking through an interpreter, testified that he spent only $50,000-$60,000 training for the fight. He also said he had not seen the language about training expenses on the contract for that fight--or any of his other fights.
Chavez later said, "Sometimes I have signed blank contracts."
King, 63, one of boxing's most powerful promoters, is charged with nine counts of mail fraud. Each is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
World Boxing Organization junior-bantamweight champion Johnny Tapia has pleaded guilty to assault with a deadly weapon, and whether he spends any time in jail for threatening his wife with a gun apparently depends on his progress in a drug-treatment program.
Tapia, 28, will be sentenced on Jan. 19 in Albuquerque, N.M., where the offense occurred. He could receive up to 18 months in jail and a fine of $5,000, but his attorneys said he probably can avoid jail if he continues to do well in the drug-treatment program he is attending in his new hometown, Big Bear.
Steffi Graf's lawyer criticized General Motors subsidiary Opel for ending a sponsorship deal with the tennis star, and said Opel had acted on rumors rather than fact.
Graf's father, Peter, has been under investigative arrest without bail since early August, accused of having failed to report $35.3 million of her income. Though Graf herself has been questioned twice in the case, she does not face immediate arrest and is playing this week in Britain in the Brighton tournament.
"I'm happy to get away from everything," she said in Brighton. "It's just been so crazy at home.
"Tennis right now gives me a break from constantly having to talk with lawyers. Tennis is what I'm living for right now and nothing else."
A 19-year-old Brazilian driver, Marco Campos, died of head injuries suffered Sunday in a crash during a Formula 3000 race in central France, his racing team said.
The accident happened on the last lap at the Magny Cours circuit near Nevers when Campos' Lola Cosworth collided with a car driven by Thomas Biaggi of Italy. Campos' car flipped over several times.
Next year's Tour de France cycling race will start in the Netherlands, visit Belgium, Italy and Spain and wind up as it always does on Paris' Champs Elysees.
The brief excursion into Spain will take the cyclists to Pamplona, near the home of Miguel Indurain, winner of the race the last five years.
Colombian police arrested a member of the national soccer team after finding cocaine hidden in his luggage at an airport, police said. Police found 171 grams of cocaine inside two magazines in a bag belonging to defender Wilson Perez as he boarded a flight in Barranquilla, on the Caribbean coast.
Names in the News
Bobby Valentine, the first man to go from major league baseball to managing a Japanese team, was dismissed by the Chiba Lotte Marines despite having led them to second place in the Pacific League, their best finish in 10 years. . . . Mel Daniels, former Indiana Pacer center and a longtime scout, is recuperating from open heart surgery.