Originally created 01/26/01

Overtime



Anthony Simpkins of Gloverville, S.C., will be fighting Ricardo Williams Jr. of Cincinnati at Madison Square Garden in New York, Saturday in a four-round lightweight bout.

The 24-year-old Simpkins (6-0-1), who used to box in the North Augusta Police Athletic League, will box in one of five matches to be televised on HBO.

A 1996 graduate of Midland Valley High School, Simpkins is an eight-time South Carolina Golden Gloves and three-time South Carolina Junior Olympic Champion and is now boxing out of Aiken.

BASEBALL:

Former Atlanta Brave Wally Joyner, who played his first major league seasons in Anaheim, signed a minor league contract with the Angels on Thursday and will attend spring training as a non-roster invitee.

Joyner, 38, is a potential replacement at first base for Mo Vaughn, who will be sidelined for at least six months after undergoing surgery Feb. 6 to repair a ruptured biceps tendon in his left arm.

Joyner backed up Andres Galarraga at first base for the Atlanta Braves last season and hit .281 with five home runs and 32 RBIs. He batted .350 after the All-Star break.

The Braves, who paid Joyner $3,375,000, declined to pick up his option for this year, paying a $350,000 buyout instead.

FOOTBALL:

Marty Mornhinweg didn't waste time. He's already talking about taking the Detroit Lions to the Super Bowl.

"The bar is high. The goal for this organization is to win Super Bowls," Mornhinweg said Thursday after becoming Detroit's third coach in three months.

Mornhinweg, 38, knows that he needs to be successful quickly because patience is in short supply with the Lions. They have won only one playoff game since winning the 1957 NFL title.

Gary Moeller was fired along with his assistants to make room for the Mornhinweg and his new coaching staff.

Cris Carter will return for at least one more season at wide receiver for the Minnesota Vikings.

Carter, No. 2 in NFL history behind Jerry Rice in both receptions and touchdown catches, said Thursday he "had a lot of things pulling me away from football, but I'm going to continue to play."

Business opportunities and the possibility of a broadcasting job might have lured him away from the NFL, Carter said.

Shrine Bowl officials are looking at moving the annual high-school all-star game from North Carolina to Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia.

They contacted the University of South Carolina, which owns the stadium, before Christmas and met with athletic director Mike McGee earlier this month.

The game, with an all-star team from North Carolina against one from South Carolina, has been played in Charlotte, N.C., since 1937. Attendance steadily has declined, however, with 3,000 attending the Dec. 16 game in 20,000-seat Memorial Stadium.

Dennis Miller is not out of there.

ABC Sports has exercised its options to keep Miller, the comedian brought in to spice up "Monday Night Football," and the rest of the program's on-air cast for next season.

Analyst Dan Fouts, sideline reporters Melissa Stark and Eric Dickerson, and veteran play-by-play announcer Al Michaels also are staying with ABC's NFL telecasts. All but Michaels joined the show in 2000.

The program averaged a 12.7 national rating, a drop of 7 percent from the previous record low (each point represents a little more than 1 million TV homes). But the draw among men 18-34 jumped 7 percent - the show's first increase in that demographic in six years.

Former Chicago Bears and New Orleans Saints head coach Mike Ditka has become a part owner of the Chicago Rush of the Arena Football League.

"I am doing this for two reasons: I love Chicago and I love football," Ditka said Thursday.

Ditka, principal owner Fred Smith and managing partner Alan M. Levin will share responsibility in the day-to-day operation of the Rush.