Washington area middleweight William Joppy, fighting for the first time since he fractured a vertebrae in his neck in a car accident last January, scored a first-round technical knockout over Napoleon Pitt yesterday in a scheduled 10-round bout at the Flamingo Hilton in Las Vegas.

Pitt was not fighting for Joppy's WBA middleweight belt, but had Joppy lost, the title would have become vacant. Joppy raised his record to 27-1-1 with 21 knockouts. Pitt dropped to 14-11-1 with eight KOs.

Pitt, of Richmond, backed up and cowered from the opening bell. Joppy immediately punished his former sparring partner with body shots. But a hard overhand right did the most damage. Pitt was shaken and rolled around the ropes until he nearly fell through them. Referee Mitch Halpern stopped the bout at 2 minutes 38 seconds.

"I wanted some more work," Joppy said. "I think the referee stopped it prematurely. I could have stopped Napoleon Pitt any time I wanted to, but I wanted to go five, six, seven rounds."

Basketball

Wizards' Williams Hurt

Washington Wizards center Lorenzo Williams missed all of last season with two broken feet and has played in only 33 of 214 games in three seasons because of injuries. After two days of the team's free agent and rookie camp, he is injured again.

Williams, 30, is day-to-day after spraining his right knee at the end of practice Friday. He tried to practice yesterday, but it bothered him too much to continue.

"This is just really discouraging because I haven't played in 2 1/2 years and that's a lot of time," Williams said. "I'm not getting any younger. . . . I felt great during the first practice and then twisted it at the second practice, and I mean, that's discouraging. If you follow my history . . . it hasn't been an easy road."

Boating

Four Hurt in Wreck

Four people were injured when two powerboats collided during the Chesapeake Challenge in Baltimore. The two boats were making the final turn of the race near the Francis Scott Key Memorial Bridge on the Patapsco River. Footage from a news helicopter showed one boat making a turn, while a second continued forward, rode over the turning boat's bow and flipped.

Divers jumped into the water to rescue the pilot of the overturned boat. The unidentified racer was taken to University of Maryland Shock Trauma with possible head and back injuries.

Another racer and two rescue workers suffered burns from racing fuel in the water.

Tennis

V. Williams Triumphs

Venus Williams pounded out a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Rita Grande to give the heavily favored United States its first point in a Fed Cup semifinal against host Italy in Ancona. Silvia Farina, Italy's top player, defeated Monica Seles in the other singles match, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4. . . .

Todd Martin has entered the Legg Mason Tennis Classic to be held Aug. 14-22 at the William H.G. FitzGerald Tennis Center. Martin--ranked eighth on the ATP Tour--joins a field that includes defending champion and top-ranked Andre Agassi, Yevgeny Kafelnikov, Tim Henman and Michael Chang.

Hockey

Flyers Player Killed

Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Dmitri Tertyshny was killed when he fell out of a boat and was slashed by the propeller while on a trip to British Columbia.

Colleges

Minnesota Hires Coach

Ex-Gonzaga coach Dan Monson was hired as men's basketball coach at Minnesota, a month after the school bought out the contract of former coach Clem Haskins following an academic fraud scandal. Monson, 37, led Gonzaga to a 52-17 record and consecutive West Coast Conference titles in two seasons.