Darchinyan, Arce meet in super flyweight bout
Vic Darchinyan, who fights with an unorthodox style and a booming left hand, predicts a difficult fight against Jorge Arce when the two meet tonight in Anaheim, Calif.
That doesn’t mean Darchinyan (31-1-1, 25 knockouts) isn’t planning to put him away.
"I’m not looking to knock him out in the first round," Darchinyan said. "He is a tough fighter, and I know he is going to give me a tough fight. So this might go a couple of rounds.
"But once I hit him, and before he realizes what hit him, the fight will be over."
Darchinyan, a native of Armenia who lives in Sydney, puts his WBA, WBC and IBF super flyweight crowns on the line against Arce (51-4-1, 39 KOs), a scrappy veteran from Los Mochis, Mexico.
Leach, Texas Tech hit snag on new contract
Contentious negotiations on a new contract for Texas Tech coach Mike Leach have stalled largely on questions of what happens if he tries to leave the Red Raiders.
Leach and his agents have taken issue with termination and buyout clauses and a provision that would trigger the coach’s firing and a $1.5 million penalty if he interviewed for another job without permission, according to documents released by the school.
In his current deal, which has two years remaining, Leach has no restrictions on interviewing elsewhere.
Also: Maryland football coach Ralph Friedgen eventually will be replaced by assistant head coach/offensive coordinator James Franklin.
No timeline for the succession was announced by the university in a statement. Friedgen has led the Terrapins for eight seasons.
The NCAA has granted Louisiana State defensive tackle Charles Alexander a sixth year of eligibility.
Alexander, who missed all but one game in 2005 and 11 of the Tigers’ 14 games during the 2007 national championship run, formally applied for an extension of his five-year clock in early January.
The UNLV men’s tennis team improved to 5-0 — its first such perfect start since joining the Mountain West Conference in 1999 — with a 5-2 victory over Cal Poly at the Fertitta Tennis Complex.
The Rebels’ Elliot Wronski, ranked 11th in the country, won his eighth straight singles match in three sets and teamed with Luca Barlocchi for a doubles victory that improved the pair to 9-1 this season.
Kendall Fearn hit a two-run walk-off home run as the UNLV softball team beat Illinois-Chicago 7-5 in the Rebels’ second game of the season-opening Kick-Off Classic at Eller Media Stadium.
Fearn had a solo home run in the Rebels’ opening-game win, 8-0 over Marshall.
Limpright scores twice as Wranglers win again
The Las Vegas Wranglers extended their winning streak to four games with a 4-2 win over the Salmon Kings in Victoria, British Columbia, on Friday night.
Shawn Limpright scored twice as the Wranglers extended their record to a season-best four games over .500. Adam Miller and Mick Lawrence each scored for Las Vegas.
Also: The Dallas Stars and New York Rangers would not comment on a report that the Rangers have had front-office talks about the possibility of bringing back suspended Stars forward Sean Avery.
The New York Post reported Rangers general manager Glen Sather was expected to speak to Stars co-GM Les Jackson about a timetable under which Dallas would place Avery — who left the Rangers in the offseason to sign with the Stars — on waivers.
If the Rangers were to reacquire Avery, they would be responsible for half of the rest of the his four-year, $15.5 million contract. For Avery to be eligible for the playoffs, the Rangers would have to pick him up before the March 4 trade deadline.
Avery’s stay with the Stars ended when he made crude comments to reporters about former girlfriends before a game at Calgary on Dec. 2.
Center Paul Gaustad of the Buffalo Sabres is out indefinitely with an upper body injury, the team said.
Gaustad was hurt during a 5-0 win against Toronto on Wednesday. The versatile forward has 16 points (six goals, 10 assists) in 38 games this season.
A senior league hockey player who died following an on-ice altercation last month, sparking a national debate about fighting’s place in the sport, has had an Ontario Junior A trophy renamed in his honor.
Don Sanderson was in his rookie year with the Whitby Dunlops of the Ontario Hockey Senior A League. The 21-year-old died in January, three weeks after falling to the ice during a fight on Dec. 12.
Rain still hampering NHRA season opener
Rain forced NHRA officials to cancel professional qualifying at the season-opening Kragen O’Reilly NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Calif.
The rain started in the morning and continued into the afternoon, the second straight day it has caused problems. The first round scheduled for Thursday already had been postponed.
Officials now plan to have two rounds of qualifying today, with final eliminations Sunday.
Also: Sebastien Bourdais will drive for Toro Rosso again in the upcoming Formula One season.
The 29-year-old Frenchman, who was overshadowed by teammate Sebastian Vettel last season, will team up with newcomer Sebastien Buemi after Vettel moved to parent team Red Bull.
Bourdais, who won the Champ Car series from 2004-2007, picked up four points in his first F1 season with seventh place finishes in Australia and Belgium.
David Beckham wants to stay with AC Milan because he’s "rediscovered" himself as a soccer player.
The ex-Manchester United and Real Madrid player has expressed a desire to stay with Milan and secure a spot with the England national team rather than return to the Los Angeles Galaxy after his three month loan period expires on March 8.
"At the moment, Milan is more important than money. I want to think about football before everything else. I said in a clear manner what I think, I want to stay at Milan because I’ve rediscovered myself as a football player," he said in editions of Corriere dello Sport.
Beckham is about two years into a $32.5 million, five-year contract with the Galaxy of the MLS.
Teenager Melanie Oudin has been chosen as the No. 2 player for the United States in the first round of its Fed Cup competition against Argentina this weekend in Arizona.
Captain Mary Joe Fernandez picked the 17-year-old from Marietta, Ga., over USTA pro tour veteran Julie Ditty.
Oudin will make her Fed Cup debut against the No. 1 Argentine player, Gisela Dulko, in the second match today. The top U.S. player, Jill Craybas, plays Betina Jozami in the opening match in the best-of-5 competition on the hard court surface at the Surprise Tennis and Racquet Club in suburban Phoenix.
Meryl Davis and Charlie White won the ice dancing title at the ISU Four Continents competition in Vancouver, British Columbia.
The pair from suburban Detroit scored a 192.39 to beat Canada’s Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir in the test event for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics that is the final one before next month’s world championships.
Shauna Rohbock won her fourth medal of the bobsled World Cup season Friday, taking gold on the track where the Winter Olympics will be held in a year.