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Notes on a Scorecard

You know you’ve made it big in sports when you’re known by one name--Babe, Pele, Magic. Now there’s Butterbean. . . .

He began life as Eric Esch 29 years ago, but has answered to Butterbean ever since he went on a diet consisting mostly of that staple in order to lose 25 pounds and make the Toughman competition weight limit of 400 pounds. . . .

Butterbean won 45 of 47 Toughman fights before embarking on a professional career that has made him the cult hero of boxing. . . .

“George Foreman gets more fan mail than anybody who fights for us,” Top Rank chairman Bob Arum said. “But Butterbean is second, ahead of even Oscar De La Hoya and Roy Jones.” . . .

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Head shaven and a wearing a grimace, Butterbean, now a svelte 5 feet 11 and 320 pounds, is strictly nonstop in the ring. He is 13-0 with nine knockouts. Eight of those were over his opponents. The other was over referee Terry Woods, who got in the way of a right hand recently. . . .

Arum calls the father of three from Jasper, Ala., the king of the four-rounders. . . . For sure, he is the best paid. For his next bout, against Louis Monaco on Dec. 1, on a pay-per-view card at the Fantasy Springs Casino near Palm Springs that features Gabriel Ruelas vs. Azumah Nelson, Butterbean will be paid $10,000. . . .

The big news, though, is that Peter McNeeley already has signed to fight Butterbean next spring. . . .

The bout will be scheduled for six or eight rounds. . . .

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McNeeley had better not take Butterbean lightly because he throws a lot more punches per minute than Mike Tyson does. . . .

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I never thought SC would beat UCLA in basketball this year. . . .

After Santa Clara’s victory over UCLA in the Maui Invitational, Bruin partisans won’t be able to revive the old complaint that Jim Harrick’s teams peak too early. . . .

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The defeat should humble some Bruins who acted as though the opposition would faint at the mere sight of the defending NCAA champions. . . .

USC will be trying to end a 14-game losing streak, second longest in school history, Friday night in the season opener against Lamar at the Sports Arena. . . .

Northwestern doesn’t play Ohio State in football until Oct. 25, 1997, at Columbus. . . .

USC has beaten UCLA twice in a row in rugby. . . .

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Here’s hoping that New Jersey Net Coach Butch Beard starts Ed O’Bannon in the former Bruin star’s first NBA game in L.A. tonight at the Sports Arena against the Clippers. . . .

It was no surprise that the Clippers, who had been off to their best start in 20 years, played so poorly Monday at Portland. Four games in five nights is too much to ask of any basketball team, even one that Coach Bill Fitch says is made up of “a bunch of blue-collar workers.” . . .

The Miami Dolphins were far worse against the San Francisco 49ers than the Oakland Raiders against the Dallas Cowboys. . . .

Now it is up to the Kansas City Chiefs to earn the AFC some respectability Thanksgiving Day at Dallas, but don’t expect it. . . .

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Somebody ought to give the Dolphins tackling lessons. . . .

New York’s NFL record: 5-17. Bay Area’s record: 15-7. . . .

That was a nice feature on actor Rob Fitzgerald of “I love you, man” TV commercial fame and Vince Ferragamo recently on “Monday Night Live With Todd Donoho,” on Channel 7. . . .

Film clips were shown of Fitzgerald, a defensive back for Missouri, being burned by Ferragamo, a quarterback at Nebraska, during the Cornhuskers’ victory in 1975, and Fitzgerald intercepting a pass by Ferragamo during the Tigers’ triumph in 1976. . . .

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At the end of the segment, Fitzgerald told Ferragamo, “I love you, man,” but didn’t ask him for a beer. . . .

What took the Ottawa Senators so long to fire Coach Rick (39-178-18) Bowness? . . .

Peter Jacobsen will leave the broadcasting booth to make his Skins Game debut Saturday and Sunday at Bighorn in Palm Desert. Also participating in the event that will be televised by ABC are defending champion Tom Watson, Fred Couples and Corey Pavin. . . .

Jamie Storr, sent down recently by the Kings, is expected to be in the nets for Phoenix against the Ice Dogs Sunday afternoon at the Sports Arena. . . .

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The signing of free-agent catcher Joe Girardi, formerly of the Colorado Rockies, means that the New York Yankees won’t re-sign Mike Stanley. Bad decision. . . .

What has happened to the sport of kings? Distinctive Hat, who will run in the $200,000 Hollywood Turf Express on Friday, is owned by the Outlaw Biker Stable.


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