Washington's Mark Johnson successfully defended his International Boxing Federation junior bantamweight title last night, scoring a unanimous decision in stopping Mexican Jorge Lacierva in the ninth round in Ledyard, Conn.
Referee Steve Smoger stopped the bout at 2 minutes 7 seconds when he decided that Lacierva (14-3-3) could not continue because of a nasty gash over his right eye caused by an accidental head butt in the fourth round.
Under IBF rules, the scorecards are used to determine a fight stopped after four rounds by an accidental head butt. Judges William Hutt and Don O'Neill scored it 79-73. Judge Clark Sammartino scored it 77-75.
Johnson (38-1), who won his 37th straight fight, overcame a sluggish start to dominate the later rounds before Smoger halted the bout in the ninth when Lacierva complained he could no longer see.
Track and Field
Javier Sotomayor, the world record holder and 1992 Olympic champion in the high jump who tested positive for cocaine at the Pan Am Games, has withdrawn from the world track and field championships because of a back injury, Cuban sports officials confirmed yesterday.
His withdrawal means the International Amateur Athletic Federation will not have to decide whether to suspend him from the championships in Seville, Spain, Aug. 21-29.
Sampras in ATP Semis
Pete Sampras advanced to the semifinals of the $2.45 million ATP Championship by defeating Richard Krajicek of the Netherlands, 6-4, 6-2. Sampras's win over Krajicek set up a semifinal match with Andre Agassi, who beat Gustavo Kuerten of Brazil, 6-2, 7-6 (12-10). Defending champion Patrick Rafter advanced past Michael Chang with a 6-2, 6-1 win and will face Yevgeny Kafelnikov of Russia, who defeated Tim Henman, 7-5, 7-5.
Paule Hurt in Collision
Colorado Rapids midfielder Ross Paule was injured in an airborne collision with Tampa Bay's Ritchie Kotschau in the 41st minute of Colorado's 1-0 victory over the Mutiny. Paule was taken off the field on a stretcher and taken to an area hospital for X-rays.
"It's my understanding he has a cut under his eye, a possible fractured, depressed cheekbone and a concussion," Rapids Coach Glenn Myernick said.
Kotschau had entered the match in the 28th minute after Tampa Bay captain Dominic Kinnear hurt his neck after making head-to-head contact with Colorado's Jorge Dely Valdes. A team spokeswoman said Kinnear's injury was not considered serious.
Dely Valdes put in a header after a pass from Kevin Anderson with 30 seconds left. . . .
Dallas traded star midfielder Leonel Alvarez and future considerations to the Revolution for striker Ariel Graziani. New England also acquired midfielder Jeff Baicher from San Jose for midfielder Jair. . . .
The Maryland Pride women's team lost to the host Raleigh Wings, 4-1, in the semifinals of the W-League playoffs. Raleigh led 3-0 at halftime.
Two Caps to Finland
Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Siklenka and center Glen Metropolit left for Finland on Aug. 7 to train with the HIFK Helsinki professional hockey team, according to Capitals assistant coach Tim Hunter, who leaves today to join them. They will return Friday.
"This is for skill development, skating, conditioning," Hunter said. "It gives our guys a jump on the season."
Siklenka was signed to a three-year contract in July after playing with the Seattle Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League last season. Metropolit played the last two seasons with the Grand Rapids Griffins of the International Hockey League.
Irvine Speeds Ahead
Eddie Irvine, seeking to become the first Ferrari driver to win the Hungarian Grand Prix in 20 years, had the fastest time in practice with a lap of 1 minute 19.476 seconds. . . .
Rusty Wallace won the pole for Sunday's Frontier at the Glen in Watkins Glen, N.Y., with a lap of 121.234 mph. His Ford negotiated the 2.45-mile layout in 1:12.752, which broke Dale Earnhardt's three-year-old mark of 120.773 mph. . . .
Dario Franchitti led the first-day qualifying for Sunday's Miller Lite 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington.
Capitol City Advances
Tom Vladeck pitched a complete game two-hit shutout as the Capitol City Little League All-Stars defeated Denton, Md., 2-0, and earned a spot in the Eastern Region quarterfinals Monday. Capitol City will play its final pool play game today against defending World Series champion Toms River, N.J. . . .
The Arlington Senators rallied with five runs in the eighth inning to defeat New Orleans, 5-1, and move within one victory of their second straight national championship at the 55th annual all-American Amateur Baseball Association National World Series.