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September 30, 1980 - Image 11

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1980-09-30

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The Michigan Daily-Tuesday, September 30, 1980-Page 11

Muhammad meets the champ

Dy "a l4r WMAIN
Back in the days when he floated
like a butterfly and stung like a bee,
champion Muhammad Ali prepared for
title defenses with his sparring partner
Larry Holmes. But it will be Holmes
who will be trying to defend the crown
when the two meet in Las- Vegas'
Caesar's Palace on Thursday night for
the World Heavyweight Championship.
Only seven months ago it seemed
ridiculous to consider a retired 38 year-
old man making an honest bid for the
heavyweight title. In fact, the Las
Vegas oddsmakers listed Holmes as a 3-
1 favorite over Ali just a few months
ago. Even the great Muhammad had
admitted that he was seriously worried
about his upcoming fight with the
SOME DOCTORS had gone to the ex-
tent of calling Ali washed up, warning
him that he could suffer severe brain
damage if he was to step in the ring
But one must remember that this
isn't any mere mortal. This is Muham-
mad Ali. This is the man shooting for an
unprecedented fourth heavyweight
crown. Once again Ali is performing the
magical comeback that only Ali is
capable of.
Ali has trained extensively at his
camp in Deer Lake, Pa. since March.

He has trimmed down to 220 pounds and
he claims to be in the best shape of his
life; better than when he beat Floyd
Patterson, better than when he
defeated Sonny Liston, and better than
when he knocked out George Foreman.
SO NOW THE odds are approaching
even and Ali is talking like his old self.
He predicts a TKO in the ninth round,
and only laughs at those who say it
can't be done.
But let's not forget Larry Holmes. Af-
ter all, Holmes is the owner of the title
belt. He is also eight years younger
than Ali and he has knocked out 27 of his
35 opponents. Holmes hasn't lost any of
his seven bouts since taking over the
heavyweight crown from Ken Norton in
the summer of 1978. Ali, meanwhile,
remained idle during these two years.
This fact, though, doesn't disturb Ali.
Muhammad has fought 59 professional
fights, 14 of which have gone the distan-
ce. He believes that his ability to pace
himself will prove vital in the outcome
of Thursday night's duel.
HOLMES, ON the other hand, predic-
ts a knock-out victory over Ali. He
thinks Ali is crazy for fighting since he
has long been over the hill.
However, there's a growing concern
among even Holmes supporters that
Holmes will enter the ring slightly in-
timidated. The champ denies the claim

that he will be in awe of Ali's presence
and mystique. But Ali sympathizers
point out that Holmes has yet to fight
contenders in the class comparable to
Patterson, Liston, Archie Moore, and
Cleveland Williams; all of whom Ali
Holmes will have to rely on his superb
combinations, devastating right, and
the punishing jabs, which are possibly
better than Ali's.
Somehow Holmes will have to coun-
ter Ali's unique rope-a-dope, a tactic

accounting for many of Ali's past wins.
Ali's strategy is to win the opening
rounds and then wear down the champ
in the middle of the fight.
It now remains to be seen whether or
not the younger Holmes-once a
student of his opponent and now the
world's champion-will prevail over
the magical Ali who is seeking his four-
th title or will the current champ, as,
Angelo Dundee predicted, allow him-
self to get beat, not physically, but


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FORMER HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION Muhammad Ali clowns around for
the camera at a press luncheon in Las Vegas yesterday. Ali will attempt to
regain the'heavyweight title for an unprecedented fourthtime this Thursday,.
when he fights the current champion Larry Holmes.


Fan-fare coming
Beginning this Friday, and con-
tinuing each Friday thereafter,
you, the fans of the Michigan
Daily's Sports section, will be
able to submit letters to our fan-
fare column.
However, there are a few basic
rules. 1) Letters should not ex-
ceed 250 words. 2) Include your
name, address and phone num-
ber, in case we need to contact
you. 3) Address' your letters to
The Michigan Daily-Sports, 420,
Maynard, Ann Arbor,, MI 48109.
'Twas a dismal week for those who
entered The Daily's Gridde Picks con-
test. What with such upsets as South
Carolina over Michigan and Stanford
over Oklahoma, this week's winner was
James Lombard of Bursley, with a
Wscore "of 16-4.
Hopefully this week will be better. If
you would like to win the free one-item
pizza from Pizza Bob's that goes to the
top forecaster, make your picks and
then get them down to The Daily, 420
Maynard, before midnight Friday.
1. California at MICHIGAN
(Pick score)
2. Notre Dame at Michigan St.
3. UCLA at Ohio St.
4. Miami (O.) at Purdue
5. Duke at Indiana
6. San Diego St. at Wisconsin
7. Arizona at Iowa
8. Mississippi St. at Illinois
9. Minnesota at Northwestern
10. Toledo at Central Mich.
11. Bowling Green at Western Mich.
12. Arizona St. at Southern Cal.
13. Penn St. at Missouri
14. Florida St. at Nebraska
15. Maryland at Pittsburgh
1. SMU at Tulane
17. Houston at Baylor
18. Boston College at Navy
19. Slippery Rock at Dayton
20. Detroit Dust Biters at DAILY LIBELS
lit~ L
a al RIM .. **IT

Heikkinen leads 'M' harriers
to Springbank Road Race ti tle

In 1976
s WI THlo

A superlative performance by senior
Dan Heikkinen and an impressive show
of depth highlighted the Michigan
cross-country team's victory at the
Springback Road Races in Ontario,
Canada, on Sunday. The Wolverines
rolled up a near-perfect tally of 16 in the
team competition to take the title
Heikkinen narrowly lost the 4.3 mile
race (held in conjunction with a 12
miler) to a relatively unknown
Englishman, Mark Scurton, who's
record-breaking time of 19:07.4 bested
Heikkinen's 19:10. Both times are
markedly faster than the old record of
19:28 set by Duncan McDonald in 1977,
a former US record-holder in the 5,000
m. (13:19).
"You would have thought that if the
old record was going to go, it might be
by three or four seconds, but nothing
like that!", commentedi Michigan
coach Ron Warhurst.
Heikkinen's time is particularly
noteworthy in view of the fact that it's

the second fastest time ever run in a
race that has seen many famous com-
petitors; by comparison, 1977 AAU
cross-country champ Nick Rose was
only able to do 19:31 when he won this
race in 1976, '78 NCAA indoor three-
mile champ John Treacy did 19:31
when he won in 1978, Billy Donakowski,
Michigan record-holder for the 10,000,
had a best of 19:45, and '78 AAU cross-
country champ Greg Meyer had a per-
sonal record of 19:48. To surpass the
times of runners as renowned as these
by such a dramatic amount is
The team as a whole did "fantastic,"
according to Warhurst; it's easy to see
why, as Wolverine harriers took six of
the top 16 places, and this was done,
without the services of two of their top
runners, Brian Diemer and Dan Beck,
as both had to skip this race because of
personal reasons. After Heikkinen
came nuclear engineering student John.
Potts in sixth place (20:06), Bill,
O'Reilly in eighth (20:16), Gary Paren-
teau in twelfth (20:23), Bill Weidenbach

in fifteenth (20:27), and Dave Lewis,
one place behind Weidenbach in 20:29.
Liven these fine efforts, the outlook
for this Friday's Notre Dame In-
vitational at South Bend is bright for
Michigan thipelads.
"There'll be some excellent teams
there, like Illinois and Auburn, so it
should be interesting," notes Warhurst.
"The individual race will be good; the
course record might go"; the record for
the 5.0 mile course is 23:23, set by
Meyer in 1977.
The individual race which Warhurst
referred to will indeed be exciting,
given that Heikkinen will be going
against Chris Fox and Tim Graves of
Auburn, two outstanding competitors,
Jim Spivey of Indiana, Big Ten champ
in the 1,500 this year in 3:38.59, a time
equal to a 3:56 mile, and teammate.
Diemer, who is said to be in excellent
shape and finished a strong third in the
national Junior Championships in the
5,000 this past summer.


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