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De La Hoya Will Retire After Three More Fights

From Associated Press

Five-time world champion Oscar De La Hoya has a simple plan--three fights and out the door.

Now that he has everything he has ever wanted, it’s nearly time to focus on life outside of boxing, he said.

De La Hoya’s personal single-elimination competition begins May 4 in Las Vegas when he defends his World Boxing Council super-welterweight title against Fernando Vargas, a man he said he truly dislikes and believes is bad for the sport he loves.

“I’m not going to go back on my word,” De La Hoya said Thursday from his home in Puerto Rico, referring to a longtime plan to retire from boxing when he turns 30. “I can have three big fights this year and call it quits, that’s actually the plan.

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“Boxing has been really good to me. Why stay in the sport any longer, where I could really get hurt?”

De La Hoya, 34-2 with 27 knockouts, said he also hopes to fight Felix Trinidad and Shane Mosley--the two fighters who’ve beaten him--before he retires.

“That’s very personal for me, I want to avenge my two losses,” De La Hoya said.

But what if he loses to Vargas?

“My retirement plan comes earlier,” De La Hoya said. “Oh yeah, of course, there’s no doubt about it. That’s the easy way out, losing and just retiring. Of course, I don’t want that. That’s a lot of pressure there.”

The fight against Vargas, 22-1 with 20 knockouts, will be the first for De La Hoya since he beat Javier Castillejo in Las Vegas in June, and his first since he reconciled with promoter Bob Arum.

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Mike Tyson, barred from fighting WBC-International Boxing Federation heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis in Nevada, applied for a license to fight in Texas.

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The Nevada Athletic Commission voted 4-1 on Jan. 29 to deny Tyson a license to fight Lewis on April 6 in Las Vegas.

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation will process the request despite a recommendation by the Assn. of Boxing Commissions that states deny Tyson a boxing license, department spokesman Kevin Ketchum said.

Shelly Finkel, Tyson’s advisor, has said seven states have expressed interest in a Tyson challenge to Lewis.

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Football

Oakland Raider defensive tackle Darrell Russell ran the video camera that taped a 27-year-old woman being raped by at least one of his friends, prosecutors alleged in Alameda.

Prosecutors said they were unsure whether Russell had sex with the woman but are charging him as an accomplice. Russell could be found guilty of crimes committed by either friend if it is determined that he did not intervene.

Russell appeared in court Thursday for the alleged drugging and rape of the woman that police say occurred last week at the Alameda home of Raider defensive back Eric Johnson. Alameda County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Allen denied Russell’s request to reduce his $1.2-million bail.

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Russell, the No. 2 overall pick in the 1997 NFL draft, was charged Monday with 25 counts.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers moved closer to making Baltimore defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis their coach, discussing a contract and working to assemble an offensive staff.... Charger Coach Marty Schottenheimer hired four assistants, including his son, Brian, who will coach the quarterbacks. The other additions are Jerry Holmes (defensive backs), Greg Manusky (linebackers) and Dave Redding (strength and conditioning).... Former Pittsburgh Steeler safety Darren Perry was hired Thursday as the Cincinnati Bengals’ safeties coach.... Former NFL and college head coach Dan Henning was hired by the Carolina Panthers as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.... The Green Bay Packers agreed to terms with free agent Josh Heupel, who quarterbacked Oklahoma to the 2000 national championship.

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Soccer

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The U.S. women’s soccer team will play Sweden, England and Norway next month in the Algarve Cup in Portugal. The Americans open against Sweden on March 1, play England on March 3 and Norway on March 5. The tournament also includes Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Portugal, Scotland and Wales.

Defending men’s soccer champion Cameroon advanced to the African Cup of Nations final, beating host nation Mali, 3-0, in Bamako, Mali. Senegal upset Nigeria, 2-1, to reach Sunday’s final.

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Tennis

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Monica Seles and Justine Henin will meet in the quarterfinals of the Gaz de France tournament in France after both won second-round matches.

Seles beat Adriana Serra-Zanetti, 7-5, 6-2, while Henin needed two hours to get past Nathalie Dechy, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (8). Fourth-seeded Jelena Dokic and Elena Dementieva were among those who advanced.

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Miscellany

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A fire destroyed a stable at Evangeline Downs in Carencro, La., killing eight race horses.

The cause of the blaze, which gutted the track’s Stable Q, was under investigation, said track general manager Charles Ashy.

A statue of the late Dale Earnhardt was unveiled outside Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla., where the racing great was killed in last year’s Daytona 500. The statue was unveiled by his widow, Teresa, and NASCAR chairman Bill France Jr.

Martin Sheen, James Worthy and Andy Garcia are among the celebrities scheduled to play Saturday in the Nissan Open Celebrity-Am at Riviera. The $20 fee includes admission to practice rounds Monday and Tuesday, and Wednesday’s pro-am.

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Passings

Former NFL offensive tackle Broderick Thompson died in a motorcycle crash near Las Vegas, the Clark County Coroner’s office said. Thompson was 41.

Thompson, of Cerritos, was killed when his motorcycle collided with a tractor-trailer on U.S. 95 south of Boulder City, according to police and a coroner’s report.

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Thompson played 12 seasons in the NFL with Dallas, San Diego, Philadelphia and Denver.


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