Undisputed heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis likely will defend his title for the first time against Michael Grant at Madison Square Garden in April, a spokesman for Lewis's U.S. promoter said yesterday.

"They're talking as we speak and hopefully they can wrap the deal up as soon as possible," said Main Events spokesman Donald Tremblay. "Both sides are eager for the fight to be made."

Tremblay said Main Events and Lewis's British-based promoter, Panix Promotions, are negotiating with HBO's pay-per-view arm TVKO for the April 29 fight.

One source close to the talks said the American would receive $3 million to $4 million and Lewis would get $10 million for his first fight since becoming undisputed champion by beating Evander Holyfield on a unanimous decision in November.


Maradona Hospitalized

Argentine soccer star Diego Maradona was admitted to the intensive care unit of a Uruguayan hospital for hypertension and irregular heartbeat, a doctor said.

"The initial prognosis is favorable," said Waldemar Correa, director of the Cantegril Clinic in the South Atlantic resort town of Punta del Este. "He is currently being monitored and observed. Should there be no complications, he should have a short stay."

"One out of 10 people in the world suffers from hypertension," he said, deflecting questions on whether the hypertension was the result of a drug overdose.

Maradona, 39, captained the team that won the 1986 World Cup final against Germany. But his career went into decline after he was suspended for 15 months for testing positive for cocaine while playing for Italy's Napoli in 1991.

Figure Skating

Kwan Wins Another Title

Michelle Kwan won another Honda Odyssey Cup title, skating a clean, conservative program to beat her Russian rival, world champion Maria Butyrskaya, in Tokyo.

Kwan won the world championships in 1996 and in 1998 before placing second to Butyrskaya last year. Russia's other world champion, Alexei Yagudin, won the men's title, defeating U.S. champion Todd Eldredge.

Yagudin and Kwan each earned $40,000.

The pairs and ice dancing titles went to Russians. Olympic gold medalists Oksana Kazakova and Artur Dmitriev of Russia took the pairs title, while Maya Usova and Evgeny Platov won the ice dancing event.


More Indictments

A grand jury invoked an anti-abortion law in indicting former NFL player Rae Carruth and three others on a charge of trying to kill the unborn child of Carruth's girlfriend, whom the four also are accused of conspiring to kill.

Carruth and the other three suspects also were indicted by the Mecklenburg County grand jury on murder and conspiracy charges, which they already face in Cherica Adams's slaying. But no charges previously had been filed regarding her son, born 10 weeks prematurely but steadily improving.


Close Call

Second-seeded Anna Kournikova won her second-round match at the Australian women's hardcourt championships in Adelaide, then nearly had her jacket stolen.

The 18-year-old was signing autographs after her match at Royal Pines Resort when a woman took a white and purple zip-front jacket from her bag at courtside, tournament organizers said.

"It's no big deal, I got it back," Kournikova said.

Tournament director Liz Smylie said the woman would not be prosecuted.

Kournikova, ranked 12th in the world, played German qualifier Jana Kandarr. But Kandarr pulled out with a thigh strain after losing the first set, 6-1. . . .

Former world No. 1 Carlos Moya of Spain withdrew hours before his first-round match at the Gold Flake Open in Madras, India, because of a back injury and might miss the Australian Open this month.


Team USA Loses

Team USA lost its second game in two days, in a penalty shootout with Canada for third place at the World Hockey Junior Championships in Stockholm.

The Czech Republic beat defending champion Russia on penalties in the final. The game ended 0-0 with the teams getting few scoring chances and only two penalties through regulation time and overtime.

The Americans, who were beaten by the Czech Republic, 4-1, in the semifinals Monday, led the Canadians 2-0 early in the second period.

The Americans tied it 3-3 with less than three minutes remaining when defenseman Jordan Leopold of Minnesota scored with 2 minutes 54 seconds left. Brandon Reid then decided the outcome in a penalty shootout following a scoreless overtime period.


Olazabal, Lopez Honored

Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal and LPGA Hall of Famer Nancy Lopez were named winners of a pair of awards given by the Golf Writers Association of America.

Olazabal, 33, won the Ben Hogan Award, given annually to an individual who has continued to thrive in golf despite a physical handicap or serious illness. Lopez, who turns 43 this week, was the recipient of the GWAA's William D. Richardson Award, given to an individual who consistently has made an outstanding contribution to golf.

Lopez and Olazabal will be honored at the annual GWAA Awards dinner April 5 in Augusta, Ga.

Auto Racing

Veterans Spared Test

The Indy Racing League will not require veteran drivers from the rival Championship Auto Racing Teams series to take rookie tests in order to enter the Indianapolis 500.

Normally, all new drivers--no matter how much experience they have had at other tracks--must take a rookie test before their first appearance at Indy. CART has boycotted Indianapolis since Speedway President Tony George founded the IRL in 1996, although a number of CART teams are expected to return for this year's race.

Nineteen of the 36 drivers who competed in at least one CART race in 1999 never have driven at Indianapolis, including series champion Juan Montoya.