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House passes bill named for Ali

The proposed Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act, a first step in Congress' attempt to bring financial reform to the sport, passed the House by voice vote Monday.

If President Clinton signs the bill, which passed the Senate last month and is not considered controversial, it would become the second piece of boxing reform legislation in four years to become law.

"What was once a great sport has been taken over by greed and abuse," said Rep. Michael Oxley, R-Ohio, one of the bill's sponsors. "Boxing fans ought to be able to watch a fair fight, and boxers deserve a fair reward for their sport."

The bill's key reforms would:

+ place a one-year limit on a contract between a promoter and boxer;

+ prohibit a promoter from having a financial interest in the management of a boxer, and a financial relationship with a manager;

+ prohibit improper payments from promoters or managers to sanctioning bodies;

+ require sanctioning bodies to establish objective and consistent criteria for ranking boxers.

MORE BOXING: The decision to allow Mike Tyson into Scotland for his June 24 bout against Lou Savarese was defended in Parliament amid charges by actress Glenda Jackson that a visa was granted to a "proven abuser of women."

SAILING: A Swiss billionaire signed an agreement with New Zealand skipper Russell Coutts to form a challenge for the America's Cup in 2002-03. Coutts won the last two America's Cups and created a furor in his native country last week when he and tactician Brad Butterworth announced they were leaving.

SOCCER: The Fusion will keep Ray Hudson as their coach through the rest of the season. He led the team to three straight wins and into a tie for first place in the Eastern Conference after taking over on an interim basis from Ivo Wortmann. Off to its worst start (2-9-1), defending MLS champ D.C. United signed ex-Mutiny forward Pete Marino. He was waived by Tampa Bay in March. Wales hosts Brazil today and has a plan to stop Brazil's fluid and rhythmic attack. The groundskeepers were told to narrow the field and let the grass grow. "Why not?" Wales coach Mark Hughes said. "It's our pitch so I want it to be to our advantage, not to the opposition's advantage." Thomas Haessler, 34, a midfielder who has not played for Germany since the 1998 World Cup, will play for his country at next month's European Championship. Late Sunday, Barbados defeated Cuba in penalty kicks and advanced in World Cup qualifying. Barbados plays in the semifinal group that includes the United States. Elsewhere, Panama beat Nicaragua 4-0 to win its Central American group.

HORSE RACING: Red Bullet's win in the Preakness Stakes drew a 21 percent increase in preliminary ratings for ABC over last year. The second jewel of the Triple Crown got a 4.6 rating and 11 share; last year's preliminary numbers were 3.8 and 10.

TRACK: Gary Osborn, the women's track and cross country coach at Drake and a member of the university's coaching staff for 32 years, died of a heart attack at 56. The former boyfriend of triple jumper Ashia Hansen appeared in court in Birmingham, England, accused of lying to the police that he was the victim of a racial attack. Chris Cotter, who is white, had said he was stabbed by a gang. He and two others were charged with obstructing justice.

OLYMPICS: The Fiji boxing team, in Canberra, Australia, for the Oceania championships and Olympic qualifying tournament, wants refugee status in Australia following a coup in its home country in which the prime minister was taken hostage. The IOC executive board's last meeting until the Sydney Games is in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil this week.

_ Compiled from Times wires.

Italy's Christian Moreni holds his head after crashing during the ninth stage of the Tour of Italy. He was one of several riders to crash on the San Pelligrino pass. Francesco Casagrande took the overall lead in the event by winning the first mountain stage.

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