Originally created 02/09/00

Overtime: Lewis puts title on line against Grant



Heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis figures undefeated Michael Grant is the perfect candidate for a first defense of the undisputed heavyweight championship.

"I'd rather get him now, before he gets any better," Lewis said after the pay-per-view fight was set Tuesday for April 29 at Madison Square Garden.

Grant is plenty good already, unbeaten in 31 fights with 22 knockouts, the most recent an impressive recovery against Andrew Golota last November.

Grant will get a $2.5 million payday for the championship shot. Lewis will make $7.5 million, down from the $15 million he earned when he beat Evander Holyfield for the heavyweight championship in Las Vegas a week before the Golota-Grant fight. The pay-per-view price on TVKO is $44.95, down from the usual $49.95.

The junior welterweight fight between Augusta's Denise Moraetes and Hannah Fox scheduled for Friday in East Bay St. Louis will not be held. Fox has backed out with an injury.

Jo-Anne Newman, administrator of the North Augusta PAL Boxing Club, has been invited by USA Boxing to officiate at the Olympic Trials in Tampa, beginning today. Mrs. Newman's selection is based on her recent achievement of becoming the first woman to qualify on an international level as a referee/judge.

Noah Newman will also work the glove table at the Trials.

Lightweight Jacob Hudson of North Augusta is among the competitors at the Trials, a double-elimination tournament leading to a spot on the U.S. Olympic team for the Sydney Games in September. He is scheduled to fight Anthony Mora in a first-round today.

FOOTBALL:

Two Hephzibah football players will sign letters-of-intent today -- wide receiver Godfrey Farmer will sign with Middle Georgia while linebacker Andra' Kittles will sign with Johnson C. Smith.

Farmer had never played football until this season. The senior, who also plays basketball, led the team in receiving with 11 catches for 247 yards and five touchdowns.

Kittles, meanwhile, was one of the team leaders in tackles, recording 80 tackles with three sacks.

Ryan Molony, a quarterback at Wardlaw Academy who was The Augusta Chronicle's Independent School Player of The Year, will sign with Presbyterian College today at 12:30 p.m.

Molony chose Presbyterian over Newberry, North Greenville College, Randolph-Macon, Chowan, East Tennessee State and Guilford.

Bert Williams, Georgia Military College's offensive coordinator the last three seasons and a Westside High School alumnus, was promoted to GMC's head coach Tuesday.

Williams replaces Robert Nunn, who resurrected the junior college program during his eight years in Milledgeville, Ga. Nunn recently assumed an assistant defensive line coaching position with the Miami Dolphins.

AUTO RACING:

The Busch Grand National race at Darlington Raceway, previously called the Diamond Hill Plywood 200, will be sponsored by a wireless phone company next month. The race, scheduled for March 18, will be called the SunCom 200. The company, based in Charleston, is a wireless company affiliated with AT&T Wireless Services, Inc.

The race will be run the day before the TranSouth 400, a Winston Cup event.

COLLEGES:

Michigan athletic director Tom Goss resigned Tuesday, ending a 2 1/2 -year stay marked by a budget deficit, a stadium controversy and the suspension of the basketball team's leading scorer.

Reports of Goss' resignation began surfacing last week, although he said at the time he had no plans to resign.

Goss was said to have angered university president Lee Bollinger by not telling him of an NCAA probe of the eligibility of Wolverines freshman basketball player Jamal Crawford. Bollinger refused to comment on that Tuesday.