Sports Briefs

Posted: Thursday, November 09, 2000

Catchings happy with awards but wants title

Tennessee's Tamika Catchings has won all the honors a basketball player could want. This season, she's interested in something more.

''The awards are great, but they aren't all that I'm after in my career,'' Catchings said. ''I want to win a national championship this year.''

She'll have to wait five months to find out if that happens. In the meantime, more honors came Catchings' way Wednesday, when she became just the second player named to The Associated Press preseason All-America team three straight years.

Catchings, the national player of the year as a junior last season, was the top vote-getter on the team, which also had Svetlana Abrosimova and Shea Ralph of Connecticut, Kelly Miller of Georgia and Katie Douglas of Purdue.

Tennessee's Chamique Holdsclaw was the first player chosen for the preseason team three times, in 1996-97-98.

Tua fights like Tyson, has hair like King

LAS VEGAS -- David Tua fights like Mike Tyson and has hair like Don King. On Saturday night, he plans to look like a heavyweight champion.

The colorful Tua fights heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis in one of the most interesting title fights in recent years.

If styles actually make fights, this one could be a thriller, with the short but powerful Tua matching his thundering power against the boxing skills of a champion who seems to be getting better with age.

Neither fighter was lacking for confidence at Wednesday's final prefight press conference, where Tua drew laughs with his rendition of a ring announcer introducing him as the new heavyweight champion.

Lewis was just as loose, jokingly tearing up a speech prepared by Tua co-trainer Kevin Barry extolling his fighter's attributes.

''Fiction,'' the champion proclaimed. ''I only read reality.''

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