JINXED By light-hitting IBF welterweight champion Cory Spinks,
the heavily favored WBC and WBA king, Ricardo Mayorga, in a
majority decision at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. Following
in the tradition of his father, Leon (who upset Muhammad Ali in
1978), and his uncle Michael (who upset Larry Holmes in '85),
25-year-old Cory (32-2, 11 KOs) gave Nicaragua's chain-smoking,
trash-talking "Matador" (SI, Dec. 8) his first loss in five years
and scuttled plans for a March 13 fight with Sugar Shane Mosley.
Wearing trunks that read SPINKS JINX, the St. Louis southpaw
eluded enough of Mayorga's wild-swinging charges to become the
first undisputed 147-pound champ in 17 years. Until his mother's
death in '99, Spinks hardly knew his dentally challenged dad. But
Leon was at ringside last Saturday and hugged Cory after the win.
"I knew he could do it, if he put his mind to it," Leon said,
weeping openly. "I'm very proud of him."
RETIRED After 31 seasons, Indiana men's soccer coach Jerry
Yeagley, whose 544 wins are the most in Division I history. On
Sunday, Indiana beat St. John's 2-1 for a record sixth national
title. Yeagley announced his retirement at the start of the
season, and it had appeared he was challenging University of San
Francisco coach Stephen Negoesco's record of 544 wins. But
earlier this month four of Negoesco's wins (from the 1978 NCAA
tournament) were vacated because San Francisco had used an
ineligible player. The discovery of the illegal wins was prompted
by questions from reporters covering Yeagley's retirement; word
that Negoesco's record now stood at 540 came the day after
Yeagley won number 541 in Indiana's last home game. "It's been
great," says Yeagley. "I think I've heard from every alum who
ever wore a Hoosier soccer jersey."
SETTLED For $7.5 million, a lawsuit filed by former WBC junior
welterweight champ Terry Norris against boxing promoter Don King.
Norris, 36, who suffers from brain damage related to boxing,
claimed King, 70, had conspired to shortchange him on eight
purses between June 1994 and January '97. "It's now clear that
King can be beaten," says Judd Burstein, Norris's lawyer. "The
reaction in the boxing world has been extraordinary. It's like
how everybody reacted when the house fell on the Wicked Witch."
King settled, Burstein notes, after a New York Supreme Court jury
asked for a calculator, as well as a magnifying glass to examine
the fine print of contracts. "It's nothing but legal extortion,"
King told reporters last Thursday. "Skillful using of the law and
playing the game on something that everybody in the world knows I
had nothing to do with."
STARTED At quarterback in last weekend's Pop Warner national
championships at Disney World, Jasmine Plummer, the first girl to
play the position in the 56-year history of the peewee
tournament. Jasmine, 11, is captain of the Harvey (Ill.) Colts,
who finished third in the 9-to-11-year-old group at the
championships after going 8-1 during the season. The 4'9",
90-pound Plummer, a straight-A student at Angelou Elementary
School who also wrestles competitively (against boys), started
playing football when she was six. "She's the best all-around
player I've coached, next to [current Steelers receiver] Antwaan
Randle El," says Jim Stovall, who has coached the Harvey Colts
since 1974. "She does it all--scramble, throw and she's a true
COLOR PHOTO: TIM SHAFFER/REUTERS (SPINKS) Cory Spinks
COLOR PHOTO: GARY BOGDON (PLUMMER)