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February 12, 1990 - Image 18

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The Michigan Daily, 1990-02-12

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Page 8 - The Michigan Daily - Sports Monday --February 12, 1990

WRESTLING
Continued from page 1
overall, 3-2 in the Big Ten) upset
highly-regarded Gary McCall, 5-3.
"In the lockerroom before the
match, coach said, Don't wrestle
anybody's name or school,"' Cluff
said. "I wrestled my hardest for seven
minutes. All wins count the same,
but the bigger the win, the better."
"Jason symbolizes the whole
team inT that he just gets better as the
season progresses," Bahr said.
Another surprise victory came at
167 lbs., where Justin Spewock de-

ines had more at stake in Minne-
apolis, where Minnesota loomed as a
staunch Big Ten opponent.
Michigan, coming off a victory
over ninth-ranked Northwestern, was
doing its best to remain unscathed in
the segment of its schedule that feat-
ures four top-ranked conference
opponents.
So when the Wolverine table-
setters, Cluff and 126-pounder Salem
Yaffai, recorded respective wins of 9-
3 and 8-5, Bahr was especially
pleased.
"They set the tempo and gave us
the momentum we needed," Bahr
said. "And again, we lost at 134, but
we were already up by six points by
that time."
Joey Gilbert faced his toughest
Big Ten opponent thus far this sea-
son in Dave Zuniga, ranked second
at 134 lbs. The previously unde-
feated Gilbert fell to 4-1 in the Big
Ten with a 13-8 loss.
"Gilbert needed to make an
adjustment with his shot," Bahr said.
"Zuniga's a tough wrestler; he hangs
in your face a lot. When Gilbert
went for single and double-leg take-
downs, (Zuniga) would just push
down and spin around to his back.
"Mid-way in the match, we had
Joey shoot for high-crotch take-
downs, because then he's shooting at
an angle. Now he's learned how to
wrestle a guy like Zuniga." In
contrast, Larry (iotcher (150) wrest-
led a characteristically low-scoring
match, earning a 2-0 decision over
Willy Short.
"Larry's doing all the things it
takes to win at the end," Bahr said,
referring to the fact that Gotcher has
emerged from an early-season slump.
"He's running, lifting, practicing
real hard, and he's doing a good job
of keeping his weight down. He's
the type of guy who gets better as
the tournaments approach."
In addition, Fritz Lehrke (190),
who settled for a draw against Iowa
State, came back with a 12-3 major
decision over Brad Gibson. Lehrke
(28-6-1 overall) remains the only
Wolverine with a perfect Big Ten
record at 5-0, though 158-pounder
Sam Amine is also undefeated at 4-
0-1 (28-4-1 overall).

D lielM a tes
Cluff keys fast start to
Wolverine victories
by Matt Rennie
Daily Sports Writer
Wrestling fans who were less than punctual may have missed the key
match in both of Michigan's dual meets last week.
Jason Cluff, the Wolverine starter at 118 pounds, set the tone early in
Michigan's victories over Iowa State and Minnesota.
Cluff is wrestling's equivalent to baseball's leadoff man, competing in
the first match of every dual meet. Just as the first batter of a game can be
the key to a rally, the initial wrestling match can often propel a team to
victory. Cluff played the role to perfection in each meet.
Michigan coach Dale Bahr did not expect to get a win from the redshirt
frosh in the Iowa State meet. Cluff's opponent was Gary McCall, last
season's national runner-up at 126. McCall was ranked in the top ten this
season before dropping to the lower weight class.
In a hard-nosed match, Cluff clawed his way to a 5-3 upset victory,
sending the message that the Maize and Blue would not be timid about
taking on the No. 6 Cyclones in their home territory. The Wolverines went
on to win the meet by a 21-16 count, their first victory in Ames during
Bahr's twelve years as head coach.
"I felt real confident after the first takedown," Cluff said. "It makes me
feel good that my freshman year, I'm going head to head with these teams
that everyone knows about."
Cluff then prevented any possibility of an emotional letdown against
Minnesota, thrashing Eric Folkins by a score of 9-3. Again, the team
responded with a victory over a higher-ranked opponent, as it conquered the
No. 11 Golden Gophers, 21-13.
Adding to the importance of both of Cluff's wins was the fact that in
each meet, a top-ranked Wolverine dropped his match. Against Iowa State,
Sam Amine (158) lost to second-ranked Steve Hamilton while in
Minneapolis, Joey Gilbert (134) fell victim to Dave Zuniga, who also is
ranked second in his weight class.
Bahr usually counts on wins from these weight classes, but against such
talented opponents, he must look to other sources to keep his team on top.
Cluff came through by putting points on the board early in what were
anticipated to be very close meets. It is these unexpected contributions that
can make good teams great.
Michigan's last NCAA-qualifier at 118 was Will Waters, who graduated
in 1988. His record during his senior year was 6-2 in the Big Ten, 9-3-0
overall. Cluff's current numbers (3-2 in the Big Ten, 6-3-1 overall) indicate
that he has the potential to fill Waters' shoes.
"I just think that with every match, I get more confidence," Cluff said.
"The team is really pulling together and that helps a lot."
During a match, Cluff is constantly on the attack and keeps up his
intensity for the full seven minutes, always giving the fans their money's
worth.
Provided they get there on time.

Douglas d

I

TOKYO (AP) - Buster
Douglas, a 29-year-old boxer from
Columbus, Ohio, knocked out
Mike Tyson on Saturday in a
world championship heavyweight
bout with no winner, no loser, and
a "long count" controversy.
Hours after underdog Douglas'
10th-round knockout, the result
pending investigation of a "long
count" protest by Tyson's
promoter, Don King.
Tyson, knocked out for the
first time in his pro career, said
he's still the champion. "I
knocked him out before he
knocked me out," Tyson said.
Douglas said he's champ: "Just
call it a victory for the small
man."
Douglas' father, former middle-
weight world contender Bill
"Dyna- mite" Douglas said: "He
pulled the greatest upset in
history."
Because of an error by referee
Octavio Meyran, Douglas was on
the canvas for 12 seconds after
Tyson knocked him down in the
eighth round. Two rounds later,
Douglas knocked out Tyson with
a five-punch combination.
"There is no champion before
Feb. 20," when the WBC meets in
Mexico City to settle the contro-
versy, said WBC president Jose
Sulaiman of Mexico.
Sulaiman suggested what
course the two governing bodies
might take: "When there are
problems, a rematch is absolutely
mandatory," he said.
Only the International Boxing
Federation, which sanctioned the
bout as a championship match,
said Douglas is the winner. The
IBF, however, isn't recognized by
the Japan Boxing Commission.
Douglas' disputed victory has
created a wide-open heavyweight
division that for three years had
been the personal domain of
Tyson. who was 37-0 with 33
knockouts.

ecks Tyson
itroversy
Tyson was scheduled to defend
the title against No.1 contender
Evander Holyfield on June 18 at
Atlantic City, N.J., but Holyfield
has no contractual obligation to
fight Tyson if Tyson is not the
heavyweight champion.
"There's nothing wrong with
losing, I can handle a loss, but I
want to lose fairly ," Tyson said at
the post-fight news conference,
which Douglas did not attend.
Douglas was felled in the
eighth round by a right uppercut
to the jaw. "I wasn't really hurt,"
Douglas said. "When I looked up
he count was at six. I got up
between seven and eight. I clearly
heard eight."
Douglas was upright at nine,
but by then the timekeeper had
tolled 10, although Meyran-who
failed to pick up the timekeeper's
count-didn't know that. He
motioned for the two boxers to
resume fighting, then the bell
rang
Contrary to the old saying, the
bell cannot save a fighter. It isn't
rung if a fighter is down past the
three-minute limit of the round,
but rings if a fighter beats the 10-
count.
Douglas hurt Tyson three or
four times in the ninth round, and
by the end of the round, Tyson's
left eye was closed.
Just past the minute mark of
the 10th round, Douglas landed a
five-punch combination, with the
key blows being a right uppercut,
a left and a right to the jaw-and
Tyson went down and was counted
out.
The most famous long count
in boxing history took place in a
bout between Jack Dempsey and
Gene Tunney on Sept. 22, 1927,
at Chicago's Soldier Field before
nearly 150,000 fans and a radio
audience of 50 million.

Cluff

feated ninth-ranked Matt Johnson, 9-
8. The senior co-captain dropped
down from 177 lbs. last week, after
winning a challenge match with
Lanny Green, who assumed Spe-
wock's previous weight class.
Spewock later notched a major
decision at Minnesota, and Green
lost to second-ranked Marty Morgan.
Each drew praise from Bahr.
"Justin is wrestling real well.
He's made the switch properly,
cutting weight the right way," Bahr
said. "And Lanny turned some heads
against Morgan. They were tied 3-3
after the first period.
"What this indicates is that next
year at 177, Lanny will be tougher
than people think."
Despite all the reasons for want-
ing to beat Iowa State, the Wolver-

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