FORMER WELTERWEIGHT CHAMPION PRYOR DIES AT 60
Aaron Pryor, the relentless junior welterweight who fought two memorable bouts with Alexis Arguello, died Sunday at 60 at his home in Cincinnati after suffering from heart disease for years, his family said in a statement.
Known as "The Hawk," Mr. Pryor was a crowd favorite who fought with a frenetic style, rarely if ever taking a step backward. His fights in the early 1980s with Arguello, the great Nicaraguan champion, were classics that are still talked about in boxing circles. But Mr. Pryor's career unraveled because of a cocaine addiction. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1996.
Mr. Pryor was unbeaten in 31 fights when he and Arguello met in a 140-pound title clash in the Orange Bowl in Miami on Nov. 12, 1982. The two traded punches for the better part of 14 rounds. Mr. Pryor finally wore Arguello down, stopping him in the 14th round with a flurry of punches. Mr. Pryor's win was marred, though, by questions about a bottle wrapped in black tape that his corner man raised to his lips on several occasions between rounds. Many in boxing thought it contained stimulants, but corner man Artie Curley said it was peppermint schnapps. Mr. Pryor beat Arguello again the next September in Las Vegas, stopping him in the 10th round of their scheduled 15-round bout.
Los Angeles takes Game 1 of Finals
Alana Beard hit a jumper from the baseline just before time expired to lift Los Angeles to a 78-76 victory over Minnesota in Game 1 of the WNBA Finals at Minneapolis. "You may not recognize the importance of (Beard) statistically for us a lot of times," Sparks coach Brian Agler said, "but her presence, her leadership … and then for her to hit a shot like that, it was incredible." League MVP Nneka Ogwumike and Kristi Toliver each had 19 points for Los Angeles. Minnesota's Maya Moore scored all 18 of her points in the second half to move into first on the career Finals scoring list. Game 2 of the best-of-five series is Tuesday.
Rowdies' unbeaten streak ends
The Rowdies' seven-game unbeaten streak ended with a 1-0 loss to host Edmonton on a snowy afternoon. With the win, the Eddies joined the New York Cosmos and the Indy Eleven in clinching NASL playoff spots in Week 15 play. The Rowdies (9-9-10) remained one point out of the fourth and final playoff spot with four games left. Edmonton's Ben Fisk scored the only goal in the 13th minute. 2018 World Cup qualifying: Italy kept Spain from opening a significant advantage atop Group G by scoring two late goals for a 3-2 win at Macedonia. Spain eased to a 2-0 win at Albania. Italy and Spain are atop the group with seven points each.
GOLF: When Tiger Woods returns to the PGA Tour on Thursday in Round 1 of the Safeway Open, he'll be paired with rival Phil Mickelson, reports said. In the pro-am the day before the event in Napa, Calif., Woods will be paired with Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry. … Jay Haas birdied the first playoff hole with Bart Bryant in the Toshiba Classic at Newport Beach, Calif., to become the second-oldest winner in Champions Tour history. At 62 years, 10 months, 7 days, Haas trails Mike Fetchick, the 1985 Hilton Head Seniors Invitational winner at 63 years to the day. Haas shot 1-under 70 and Bryant 7-under 64 to finish regulation at 16-under 197.
TENNIS: Top seed Andy Murray won the China Open in Beijing over unseeded Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 7-6 (7-2). No. 3 Agnieszka Radwanska won over No. 11 Johanna Konta 6-4, 6-2.