Tony Zale, who battled boxing legend Rocky Graziano for the world middleweight championship during the 1940s, died Thursday at a Portage nursing home. Zale was 83.
Family members said Zale, who was born in Gary, Ind., as Anthony Florian Zaleski, suffered from Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease.
Zale, middleweight champion from 1940 to '48, fought Graziano three times in the late 1940s. Zale rallied to retain the middleweight title in the first fight in '46, but Graziano won the next year. In '48, Zale knocked out Graziano in the third round. Three months later, Marcel Cerdan of France dethroned Zale, 35, who then retired.
MORE BOXING: Half a year after winning an Olympic gold medal on a one-punch knockout of Cuba's Alfredo Duvergel, David Reid makes his pro debut in Atlantic City, N.J., tonight against Sam Calderon, 10-0 with four knockouts. On the same card, Roy Jones Jr. is a heavy favorite to retain the WBC light heavyweight title, but challenger Montell Griffin is unbeaten. Tommy Morrison was arrested in Fort Scott, Kan., on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, violating the terms of a suspended sentence for carrying a loaded handgun.
COLLEGES: Steve Riggs, who kicked a 58-yard field goal in 1992 as a senior at East Lake High, was given a football scholarship to South Florida, coach Jim Leavitt announced. Florida (22-18) split at the prestigious PONY women's softball tournament, beating Texas 3-0 and losing to Cal State-Northridge 7-1. Five-time defending champion Stanford led the NCAA women's swimming and diving championships. Florida's Dawn Heckman was fourth in the 500 free. Louis Hinshaw, unattached, won the decathlon, and Dee Quarles of Liberty won the heptathlon at the FSU Relays.
SOCCER: The Tampa Bay Mutiny tied Alianza, of El Salvador's First Division, 1-1 in a preseason game at Flor Blanca Stadium in San Salvador. Mutiny rookie Marco Ferruzzi scored in the 28th minute off a pass from Nelson Vargas. The Mutiny, 7-2-4 in preseason, concludes its two-game trip Sunday against Aguila of the First Division.
BOWLING: Larry Laub defeated Earl Anthony 244-212 in the semifinal, then beat Avery LeBlanc 212-180 for the championship of the Showboat PBA Vermont Senior Classic in Burlington. Steve Jaros, who led after the first round, reclaimed the top spot in the PBA Peoria (Ill.) Open.
SKIING: Former Olympic champion Tommy Moe won the downhill in the U.S. Championships at Sugarloaf/USA in Carrabassett Valley, Maine. A.J. Kitt was second and Chris Puckett third. Hilary Lindh won the women's race, with Megan Gerety second and Katie Monahan third.
ET CETERA: Seville, Spain, was selected by the International Amateur Athletic Federation over Stanford, Calif., as the site for the 1999 world track and field championships. IAAF general secretary Istvan Gyulai suggested that Stanford's bid may have been hurt by organizational problems at the Atlanta Olympics.
_ Compiled from Times wires.
DOUBLEHEADER: FC Liverpool's Stig Inge Bjornebye is upended by SK Brann's Erik Skjaelaaen during their European Cup match. Liverpool won 3-0 and advanced to the semifinals on a 4-1 aggregate score.