Organizers of the Sharmba Mitchell-Kostya Tszyu 140-pound title unification fight finally have settled on Glendale Arena in Phoenix as the site for the Nov. 6 bout.
Nate Peake, Mitchell's manager, said he and Mitchell's longtime adviser, Jeff Fried, wanted the fight on the East Coast, near the Takoma Park fighter's fan base. Fried said they offered Tszyu's promoter, Vlad Warton, more than $500,000 for the gate if the fight was held in Atlantic City. "We're looking at it as Vlad turned down big money because Sharmba would be so close to his fan base," Peak said.
Mitchell (55-3) has won eight consecutive fights since losing to Tszyu (30-1) on Feb. 3, 2001. Mitchell's handlers said torn ligaments in Mitchell's knee contributed to his inability to answer the bell for the eighth round of that bout. . . .
Representatives of WBC champion Vitali Klitschko said he would defend his title against Danny Williams in December. It will be the first defense of the title that Klitschko won against Corrie Sanders in April. Williams moved into the No. 10 ranking by the WBC following his upset win over Mike Tyson on July 30.
* BASKETBALL: On the playgrounds of Houston, a young Clyde Drexler used to pretend he was Julius Erving, flying over defenders with a championship on the line.
Last night, Drexler's idol, "Dr. J," presented him for induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame. "I'm dreaming tonight," Drexler said. "It doesn't get any better than this."
Former coach Bill Sharman, already in the Hall of Fame as a player, also was inducted, along with the late Maurice Stokes, the 1956 NBA rookie of the year; Lynette Woodard, an Olympic gold medalist and the first woman to play for the Harlem Globetrotters; Jerry Colangelo, chairman of the Phoenix Suns; and Drazen Dalipagic, an international star. . . .
Milwaukee Bucks point guard T.J. Ford will not be able to practice when training camp opens Oct. 4 because he has not recovered from surgery on his bruised spinal cord.
* PRO HOCKEY: Darryl Sutter, who coached the Calgary Flames to the Stanley Cup finals last season, had an emergency appendectomy Thursday night and was recovering yesterday, the team said. . . .
Martin Brodeur has a sore wrist, and it will not be decided until game time today if Canada's goaltender can face the Czech Republic in the World Cup of Hockey semifinals.
-- From News Services
and Staff Reports