Larry Holmes and Gerry Cooney are lined up to settle their heavyweight feud for Holmes' championship sometime between November and June, and, they hope, to make the expected record gross for September's Ray Leonard-Thomas Hearns a short-lived record.
"Each fighter will make a minimum of $10 million," said Mike Jones, one of undefeated Cooney's managers, after agreeing with Don King, the promoter who promotes Holmes but insists he doesn't manage him, to set the wheels in motion. Time and place are to be determined.
"Kuhn's been trying to get the owners to expand into Washington for more than 10 years. But we're going to beat him to the punch." So proclaims Charles O. Finley in a grandiose declaration from Chicago that he is "seriously considering" forming a "modern" worldwide baseball league, so there, Commissioner Bowie Kuhn.
Evidently Finely, two-decade A's owner but out of baseball this year, hasn't heard that Kuhn has written off Washington as an adjunct of Baltimore, but all that aside, Charlie O. has begun sounding out millionaire sportsmen. "I've already told Mr. (Ed) DeBartolo he can have his pick -- Chicago or Washington, D.C.," Finley says.
He envisions a league of 12 franchises, the 10 others being Denver, Miami, New Orleans, Honolulu, Vancouver, Tokyo, Caracas, Mexico City, Havanna (!) and East Rutherford. Finley insists he'd been kicking the idea around even before the strike, but declares, "We'd get all the players we need by raiding the hell out of the major league clubs and their farm systems" . . .
Ken Stabler, football retiree of two days standing, remained unheard from in the Houston Oilers' San Angelo, Tex., camp yesterday, leaving Coach Ed Biles to remark, "There's a great cloak of mystery around all this." Asked if he thought offseason trade rumors had left the 11-year-pro passer miffed, Biles rekplied, "Well, if that did, then he's not the competitor I thought he was." And, yes, as to those rumors, Biles had talked trade with the Rams. As for the Oiler players, a bunch formed a circle around his heir apparent at quarterback, Gifford Nielsen, and chanted: "Giff, Giff, Giff!"
William Howton, 51, convicted yesterday in a $7 million swindle and facing a possible 35-year prison sentnece, used to be Billy Howton, receiver of 503 NFL passes (No. 9 on the all-time list), 8,459 yards' worth, for Green Bay, Cleveland and Dallas. A federal jury in Houston returned guilty verdicts against Howton, an all-America at Rice, and two associates for defrauding the University of Pittsburgh, Blue Cross of Florida, banks in West Virginia and Ohio and others to whom the Howton firm, First Financial Group of Texas, sold nonexistent packages of federally guaranteed student loans. Howton, Vining Reynolds and Larry Lee were ordered held without bond until sentencing, about six weeks hence . . .
A. Davey Lopes' B.A. is hung up at .169 . . . Q. On Oct. 21, 1956, Billy Howton gained 257 yards on seven catches for Cleveland vs. L.A. Name the two NFL ends who had 300-yard receiving days.