Ex-champ Griffith dies at 75
Emile Griffith, a Hall of Famer who won welterweight and middleweight titles and fought professionally for 20 years, died Tuesday in Hempstead, N.Y. He was 75.
The causes were kidney failure and complications of dementia, said Ron Ross, the author of “Nine … Ten … and Out! The Two Worlds of Emile Griffith,” published in 2008.
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Griffith was most remembered for a fatal barrage of punches in a 1962 televised welterweight-title fight against Benny Paret, a Cuban known as Kid.
Griffith had knocked Paret out to take his championship in 1961, had lost it back to him and was seeking the belt once more. There was tension after Paret referred to Griffith as gay at the weigh-in.
The 12th round of the scheduled 15-round fight at Madison Square Garden in New York was nearing its close when Griffith pinned Paret into a corner and then unleashed a series of blows to the head.
Griffith delivered 17 punches in about five seconds with no response from Paret, according to Griffith’s trainer, Gil Clancy, who counted them from television replays. Griffith might have punched Paret at least two dozen times in that salvo.
Paret collapsed with blood clots in his brain and died 10 days later at a hospital in New York City.
Griffith, who was born in the Virgin Islands, retired in 1977 with an 85-24-2 record. He had batted away rumors about his sexual orientation for years, survived a beating outside a gay bar in Times Square in 1992 and later acknowledged an attraction to men.
“I will dance with anybody,” Griffith told Sports Illustrated in 2005. “I’ve chased men and women.”
Jagr, 41, signs with Devils
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Jagr split last season with Dallas and Boston, producing 16 goals and 19 assists in 45 games. Jagr, best known as a Pittsburgh Penguin, has 681 goals and 1,007 assists in 1,391 regular-season games. He was the NHL’s most valuable player in the 1998-99 season with Pittsburgh.
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Fox Sports broadcasts the first 13 races of the Cup series. In October, NASCAR signed a $2.4 billion contract extension with Fox, also starting in 2015, that runs through the 2022 season.
Mavericks sign Ellis, Wright
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Ellis, 27, has a three-year contract reportedly worth $25 million to $30 million. Wright’s two-year deal is worth $10 million and could increase with incentives.
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Martino, 50, will get a two-year contract. Tito Vilanova stepped down as Barcelona’s coach last week after a recurrence of throat cancer.
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The Louis Vuitton Cup winner will advance to face defending champion Oracle Team USA in the 34th America’s Cup match starting Sept. 7.
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