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Money shortage fells boxing card

"High Noon in Hong Kong," the $13-million program featuring WBO heavyweight champion Herbie Hide of England and Tommy Morrison, was called off Saturday, one day before it was to be held.

At a raucous news conference, Barry Hearn, Hide's manager, said he was withdrawing his group of fighters because they were not paid. He said the eight fighters on the card were owed more than $2-million.

"There was a lot of hot air, a lot of good promises, a lot of warm words, but they don't pay the bills and I'm not in Hong Kong for my health," Hearn said. "We came here to see the fighters get paid."

Bob Arum, one of the show's promoters, said their bankers were unwilling to release money to pay the fighters, leaving no alternative but postponement.

In a statement, Arum said the show would be rescheduled within 60 days at a venue and time to be announced within a week.

"This was my first defense," Hide said. "I was getting over $1-million for it. I've never earned that sort of money before."

Ireland's Steve Collins was to defend the WBO middleweight crown for the first time against American Lonny Beasely, and Rafael Ruelas of the United States was to defend the IBF lightweight title against British champ Billy Schwer.

MORE BOXING: Thailand's Fahlan Sakkririn captured the vacant World Boxing Federation flyweight championship by winning a unanimous decision over Kasimir Tcholakov of Bulgaria in Bangkok, Thailand. Tom "Boom Boom" Johnson kept his IBF featherweight title with a unanimous decision over Pancho Segura in Atlantic City, N.J. Last-minute replacement John Carlo scored a stunning first-round victory over former heavyweight champion Leon Spinks, flooring the 41-year-old twice and stopping him in the first round. Spinks never threw a punch.

TENNIS: Dade City's Jim Courier defeated Andrei Chesnokov 6-3, 6-4 in the semifinals of the Lyon Open. He plays Marc Rosset, who beat top-seeded Andrei Medvedev 6-2, 6-2. Defending champion Richard Krajicek ousted Tampa's Pete Sampras 6-3, 1-6, 6-4 in the semifinals of the Hong Kong Marlboro Championships. Stefan Edberg set up a rematch of last year's final when he beat Todd Martin 6-3, 3-6, 6-4. Andre Agassi beat top-seeded Goran Ivanisevic 6-4, 6-4 at the CA Trophy in Vienna to set up a repeat of his U.S. Open final against Michael Stich, who defeated Thomas Muster 6-3, 6-3. Michael Chang defeated Brett Steven 7-5, 6-3 to advance to the final to defend his Salem Open title in Beijing against Anders Jarryd, who outlasted David Adams 7-6 (11-9), 7-6 (7-4). Defending champion Jana Novotna and Helena Sukova meet in an all-Czech final in the Brighton International in England. Novotna defeated Julie Halard 6-3, 7-5 and Sukova won the battle of unseeded players, defeating Larisa Neiland 6-4, 0-6, 7-5. Top-seeded Vince Spadea and unseeded Kevin Ullyett moved into the title match of the ATP Tour Challenge Cup in Ponte Vedra Beach.

VOLLEYBALL The United States defeated the Czech Republic at the Women's World Championships in Sao Paulo, Brazil, 15-2, 15-1, 15-1. The win assured the Americans a spot in the playoff round. Japan's men's team beat the United States 3-0 (15-11, 16-14, 16-14) in Tenri, Japan, for its second victory in a three-game series.

COLLEGE GOLF: Stanford's Notah Begay birdied the first hole in a playoff to beat Iain Steel of Auburn at the All-American Classic in El Paso, Texas. They both shot 68 for 5-under 208. Second-round leader Daniel Stone of St. Petersburg shot 74 and finished tied for third at 212.

HORSE RACING: Bertrando's co-owners said they will put up $360,000 to enter the 5-year-old in the $3-million Breeders Cup Classic on Nov. 5 at Churchill Downs.

CYCLING: Tony Rominger of Switzerland became the third to set a world record in one-hour cycling by covering 33.46 miles in 60 minutes in Bordeaux, France. Rominger broke Miguel Indurain's record set last month at 32.96 miles, which surpassed Graham Obree's 32.76 set in April.

DEATHS: Eddie Mast, a former New York Knicks forward, died Tuesday of an apparent heart attack while playing basketball in Easton, Pa. He was 46. Mast was a standout at Temple, where he led the Owls to the 1969 National Invitation Tournament title. He appeared in 70 games for New York over two seasons.

_ Compiled from Times wires

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