The public didn't buy Mike Tyson against Buster Mathis Jr. four months after Tyson had disposed of Peter McNeeley in 89 seconds. . . .
Ticket sales were lagging badly in Las Vegas before Tyson pulled out, showing X-rays of a broken thumb, and there were acres of empty seats in Philadelphia when Tyson knocked out Mathis in the third round. . . .
But Tyson versus Frank Bruno is different. . . .
The 16,783-seat MGM Grand Garden is nearly sold out for the World Boxing Council heavyweight title bout on Saturday, and a special closed-circuit telecast in a ballroom at the same hotel has been added. . . .
Tyson isn't the only ticket seller. . . .
Approximately 5,000 fans are coming from England to support their favorite heavyweight, even though Bruno was stopped by Tyson in the fifth round the first time they met in Las Vegas on Feb. 25, 1989. . . .
Ticket prices are not exactly bargain basement: $1,000, $800, $600, $500, $400 and $200. . . .
According to contracts filed with the Nevada State Athletic Commission, challenger Tyson will receive $30 million and champion Bruno $6 million. . . .
Most of the purse money will come from pay-per-view telecast sales. . . .
For their first fight, Tyson weighed 218 and Bruno 228. Tyson expects to be 219 and Bruno all the way up to 247 at the weigh-in on Thursday. . . .
Bruno was quoted by a Times of London journalist as saying he is "210% better" than when Tyson beat him. . . .
This will be Tyson's last fight before he turns 30 on June 30. . . .
The only heavyweight champion ever to retire unbeaten, Rocky Marciano, didn't win the title until he was 29. . . .
The best fighter on the card may be the smallest champion. Ricardo Lopez, 40-0, defends his WBC strawweight title, 105-pound limit, against Ala Villamor. . . .
Lopez will be paid $100,000 and Villamor $30,000. . . .
Gabriel Ruelas, who fights Julio Cesar Herrera tonight at the Grand Olympic, has lost twice to World Boxing Council super-featherweight champion Azumah Nelson, but hopes to get a third crack at him this summer. . . .
Speaking of snubs to the UCLA basketball program, Kris Johnson was the champion Bruins' leading scorer in Pacific 10 Conference games when the all-league team was announced Saturday, but didn't even get honorable mention. . . .
Contrary to popular belief, Bobby Knight doesn't dislike all sportswriters. . . .
During Indiana's senior day ceremonies after the Hoosiers' victory over Michigan State on Sunday, Knight presented Bob Hammel, retiring sports editor of the Bloomington (Ind.) Herald-Times, keys to a new car. . . .
Monmouth, which will make its NCAA tournament debut against Marquette, posted a nine-point victory on the road over Princeton, which will play UCLA in the first round Thursday. . . .
Marianne Stanley, the former USC women's coach who is co-coach at Stanford during Tara VanDerveer's stint with the U.S. Olympic team, may get the Nevada Las Vegas job. . . .
Wilt Chamberlain not only holds the NBA single-game scoring record of 100 points, but had five of the six highest-scoring games. He also scored 78, 73 twice and 72. David Thompson scored 73. . . .
Wayne Lukas' Prince of Thieves is robbing Sunday's $250,000 San Felipe Stakes of a large field. Several potential rivals are ducking the last major Santa Anita Derby prep to run in the easier Golden State Derby at Bay Meadows on March 23. . . .
I felt goose bumps when a tape of the late Roger Doucet singing "O Canada" was played on the video board at the Montreal Forum on closing night. . . .
The Dodgers should have traded catcher Carlos Hernandez, who once was considered a good prospect, when he had some value. . . .
Hernandez is having knee trouble again and battling Tom Prince for the second-string job behind Mike Piazza. . . .
USC's baseball team has a collective batting average of .360. . . .
Clyde Wright, Mike Lansford, Mark Wulfemeyer, Don Johnson and Dick Tucker will be inducted into the Orange County Sports Hall of Fame on March 28 at Anaheim Stadium. . . .
The University of Arizona needed an offensive coordinator with some imagination and got one, Homer Smith. . . .
Brian Kelly will be moved from cornerback to safety and Sammy Knight from safety to linebacker when USC opens spring practice next Wednesday. Cornerback Daylon McCutcheon will also get some time at running back. . . .
There is no truth to the rumor that the Seahawks are planning to move to Hawaii because of the possibility of volcanic eruptions in Seattle.