Sports Briefs

Posted: Sunday, March 19, 2000

Parks and Recreation holds shinny hockey

The Kenai Parks and Recreation Department will be putting together a youth shinny hockey program over spring break at the covered ice rink in Kenai. The program, which will run from Monday to March 24 each day from 3 to 4 p.m., is for those ages 12 to 18 and there is no cost to play.

For for information, stop by the recreation center or call 283-3855.

Corrales tops Gainer to retain 130-pound title

LAS VEGA -- Floyd Mayweather Jr. looked like he was trying to have some fun. Diego Corrales was all business.

Both 130-pound champions successfully defended their titles Saturday night, but it was a longer night for Mayweather, who went 12 rounds with game Goyo Vargas to defend the WBC version of the title.

Corrales, meanwhile, needed less than eight minutes to retain his IBF title, stopping Derrick Gainer in the third round to remain unbeaten in 31 fights.

Mayweather mugged and talked to the HBO announcers at ringside during his fight, perhaps trying to prove a point that he is worth the $12 million the network wants to give him for a series of fights.

The crowd at the MGM Grand hotel-casino arena apparently didn't think so, booing Mayweather in the final round as he danced away from Vargas and giving him only polite applause when his lopsided decision victory was announced.

''The layoff affected me,'' said Mayweather, who last fought Sept. 11 and has been inactive since. ''A six-month layoff is too long.''

Mayweather (23-0) dominated most of the fight, and knocked Vargas down with a left hook to the body in the sixth round. But he said he hurt his right hand in that round, and fought cautiously the rest of the way.

''That's why I stayed away from him most of the last part of the fight,'' Mayweather said.

Mayweather won 119-108 on two ringside scorecards and 119-109 on a third, for a fight he earned $750,000 for to defend his WBC title for the fifth time.

He seemed more interested at times in talking to the ringside announcers and mugging for the crowd than fighting Vargas (40-7-1), a former featherweight champion who tried to press the attack but could do little against the quicker Mayweather.

''He has a lack of courage,'' Vargas said. ''He moves well, and that's why I had a hard time.''

Corrales, a possible opponent for Mayweather this fall, looked impressive in disposing of Gainer in the third round in the co-main feature.

Gainer's fight plan against Diego Corrales was perfect for two rounds. It turned out he shouldn't have changed it for the third.

Gainer made the mistake of going inside in the third round against the IBF junior lightweight champion, and it cost him his bid for the 130-pound title.

Corrales knocked Gainer down with a left hook midway through the third round, then put him on the canvas for a second time with a flurry of punches against the ropes seconds later.

Gainer got up at the count of nine, but referee Jay Nady waved the fight to a close at 1:50 of the third round.

''I waited for him to come inside and he did,'' Corrales said. ''I wanted him to fight on the inside. I knew he couldn't take the inside pressure.''

Gainer, who had won 16 straight fights, looked good early, circling the taller Corrales and landing the bigger shots while staying away on the outside.

He changed his fight strategy in the third round, though, coming out and fighting inside against Corrales in the middle of the ring. A left hook suddenly put him down, and Gainer was clearly hurt even though he protested when the fight was stopped.

''I was more hurt after the first time I went down,'' said Gainer, who was the IBF's No. 1 contender.

''I was surprised he went down,'' Corrales said.

It was the second defense of the junior lightweight title for Corrales, who upped his record to 31-0 with 25 knockouts. Gainer, of Pensacola, Fla., fell to 33-5.

All four fighters weighed 130 pounds.

''He was slower than I thought but he hit me with a really good hook in the first round,'' said Corrales, of Sacramento, Calif.



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