Plans for Sugar Ray Leonard's comeback bout unraveled Thursday in Atlantic City, N.J., when regulators sought to bar his promoter, and the fight's casino and television sponsors pulled out.
The New Jersey Casino Control Commission is being asked to ban New Contenders Inc. from promoting the Feb. 28 fight with Hector Camacho because of alleged ties to the Gambino crime family.
If the commission agrees, the bout will probably be canceled.
But Bernie Dillon, who resigned Wednesday as president of New Contenders, said the fight had not been canceled and that he is seeking new sponsors and a pay-per-view partner.
The allegation centers on New Contenders Chairman Michael Blutrich, a lawyer for Scores, a New York topless club raided last month by federal agents investigating the Gambino link.
With Julio Cesar Chavez unable to fight Irish Mickey Ward because of a hand injury, the light-heavyweight, 12-round match between James Toney (53-2-2, 35 knockouts) and Montell Griffin (24-0, 17 knockouts) will be the main event tonight in Reno.
Oliver McCall, scheduled to fight Lennox Lewis in February for the vacant World Boxing Council heavyweight title, pleaded guilty in Chicago to one count of possession of a controlled substance, cocaine, and was put on 18 months' probation.
Boris Becker sent Jakob Hlasek back into retirement, beating him, 6-4, 6-1, to advance to the semifinals of the Grand Slam Cup at Munich, Germany, where he will face Tim Henman.
Henman defeated MaliVai Washington, 7-6 (7-3), 6-3.
Hlasek, who had retired in November, was only an alternate for this $6-million tournament, but with five players withdrawing, including No. 1 Pete Sampras and No. 2 Michael Chang, Hlasek was asked if he wanted to play.
Sweden's Annika Sorenstam and Jesper Parnevik shot an eight-under-par 63 in the first round of the JCPenney Classic, tying them for the lead with the teams of John Daly-Laura Davies and Mike Hulbert-Donna Andrews in Tarpon Springs, Fla.
Six other teams were two strokes back at 65 in the best-ball format.
Stan Utley, who won the 1989 Chattanooga Classic, shot a four-under 68 to take a one-shot lead over Mike Standly after two rounds of the PGA Tour qualifying tournament in Lompoc, Calif.
Iraq's Husam Naji scored in the 37th minute and Khalid Sabbar in the 76th of a 2-1 victory over Iran in the Asian Cup tournament in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, after which Iraqi fans shouted pledges of loyalty to Saddam Hussein.
Helmeted UAE police, carrying clubs and electric stunners, kept close watch, and police dogs in chains were made to bark in apparent attempts to frighten the Iraqi spectators.
Police issued an arrest warrant for University of Cincinnati basketball player Ruben Patterson in connection with an aggravated burglary in which a woman was attacked in her apartment.
Police were called to a Cincinnati apartment Thursday night, where a woman told them that Patterson kicked in the door to her apartment, hit her in the head and stole her purse.
Mike Cito, a former offensive lineman at St. Pius High in Albuquerque, N.M., who wore a razor-sharp helmet buckle that cut several football players from an opposing team during a game this season, has been banned from competition for a year by the New Mexico Activities Assn., the governing body for high school sports in the state.
Top-seeded USC faces Massachusetts and defending champion UCLA plays UC Davis in the semifinals of the NCAA water polo tournament tonight at UC San Diego.
Names in the News
Lia Oberstar of Fort Wayne, Ind., set a U.S. record in the 200-meter backstroke during the the U.S. Open Swimming Championships at San Antonio with a time of 2 minutes 7.88 seconds. . . . Jim Millender of USC was named Pacific 10 Conference coach of the year in women's soccer, while Erin Martin of Stanford was named player of the year. . . . Cliff Mapes, who wore both Babe Ruth's uniform No. 3 and Mickey Mantle's No. 7 for the New York Yankees, died in Pryor, Okla., at 74. . . . Jim Bush, who coached at Occidental, UCLA and USC, will be inducted into the U.S. Track Coaches Assn. Hall of Fame today.