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Sports

Report: Hopkins and Jones agree to rematch

| Saturday, Dec. 24, 2005

BRISTOL, Conn. -- Roy Jones Jr. and Bernard Hopkins have agreed to a March 11 fight, representatives of both fighters told ESPN.com on Friday.

The fight would be a rematch of a 1993 bout, which Jones won by unanimous decision.

"I think it's very exciting. Bernard is very happy about it and so is Roy. It's fantastic," said Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy Promotions, which promotes Hopkins.

The 12-round light heavyweight fight is scheduled to be shown on HBO pay-per-view, though no site has been selected.

"We have a deal," Jones' adviser Brad Jacobs said. "I have Richard's word that Hopkins is in. And Roy told me, 'Let's go.' Everybody reviewed what was on the table and were able to agree to it."

Hopkins (46-4-1, 32 KOs), who turns 41 in January, made a middleweight-record 20 title defenses before losing by decision twice to Jermain Taylor this year.

Jones (49-4, 38 KOs), who turns 37 on Jan. 16, is a former middleweight, super middleweight, light heavyweight and heavyweight champion. For a decade he was considered the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, but he has lost three straight, including two by knockout.

College football

Georgia wide receiver Sean Bailey will miss the Sugar Bowl against West Virginia after injuring his right knee during practice. Bailey injured the knee Tuesday night and was evaluated by the school's sports medicine staff Wednesday, the school reported. An MRI confirmed a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Reconstructive surgery is scheduled for January, said Ron Courson, Georgia's director of sports medicine.

Horse racing

A state thoroughbred rules committee has recommended that potential jockeys and trainers be prohibited from applying for licenses before they turn 18. The unanimous decision was in response to the Nov. 16 death of 16-year-old jockey Josh Radosevich, who was thrown during a race at Beulah Park in suburban Grove City. The horse had broken a leg, and a report ruled that the accident was unavoidable.

"Josh was a very qualified young man," said Norman Barron, who co-chairs the rules committee of the Ohio State Racing Commission. "But this was a wake-up call for all of us. Other 16-year-olds might not be so experienced."

Soccer

Italian forward Paolo Di Canio has appealed his one-match ban for giving a fascist salute to fans last week. The 37-year-old raised his outstretched right arm upward when he was substituted in last Saturday's game against Juventus. In Italy, the gesture is associated with the rule of fascist dictator Benito Mussolini. Lawyer Gabriele Bordoni said yesterday the salute was "fascist, not racist," and that "it's a gesture of belonging to his people. It is indisputable that he should be able to continue doing it."

  • Hungary will be England's first opponent at London's Wembley stadium if the 90,000-seat venue is rebuilt in time for the World Cup warmup on May 30.The match will switch to Manchester United's Old Trafford stadium if completion is delayed. Multiplex Group, which is in charge of the project, said this week that the $1.3 billion rebuilding project may not be finished in time for the May 13 F.A. Cup final. Hungary earned the nickname the Magnificent Magyars after becoming the first team to beat England on home soil, in 1963. The 21st meeting between the two countries will help England prepare for matches against Paraguay, Trinidad and Tobago, and Sweden at next year's showpiece in Germany.

    Off the field

    Larry O'Brien, a Canadian broadcaster who became the longtime publicist for Jack Nicklaus, died yesterday at 83. O'Brien died from complications of Parkinson's disease, his family said. O'Brien first met Nicklaus in 1962 when he tried to persuade the new U.S. Open champion to play in the Canadian Open. Ten years later, Nicklaus asked him to work for his company and handle his PGA Tour affairs.

    "Larry was side-by-side with me for the majority of my career and served an important role in my company, as well as for my family," Nicklaus said. "Larry was a good friend to us, someone we considered one of the family."

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