Veteran boxer Leavander Johnson underwent brain surgery last night in Las Vegas after collapsing in his dressing room following his IBF lightweight title loss against challenger Jesus Chavez.
Johnson's promoter said doctors told him the fighter's brain swelled during surgery and they were inducing a coma to try and control it.
"He's not in good shape," Lou DiBella said.
Johnson left the ring on his own but passed out in his dressing room after being stopped by Chavez in the 11th round of their title fight at the MGM Grand hotel-casino. DiBella said he was revived but passed out again in the ambulance on the way to the hospital after complaining of a bad headache.
DiBella said he was told by doctors that Johnson suffered a hematoma, which is bleeding in the brain area. He said he seemed aware and conscious going into surgery, but said later that doctors described his situation as grave.
The 35-year-old fighter from Atlantic City, who was defending his 135-pound title, took a tremendous beating. The fight was stopped 38 seconds into the 11th round by referee Tony Weeks but not before Johnson took what appeared to be about two dozen unanswered punches to the head while he was up against the ropes.
* BASEBALL: Dany Betancourt gave up four hits in 81/3 innings and Cuba won its eighth straight Baseball World Cup with a 3-0 shutout of South Korea in Rotterdam.
It was the 24th title for Cuba since the competition began in 1938. South Korea was the last team to beat Cuba in the World Cup, in 1982. Cuba, which won the Olympic gold medal last year in Athens, scored on back-to-back singles by Frederich Cepeda and Ariel Pestano with two outs in the fourth. In the fifth, South Korea's Sung Kwui Yun walked two and then gave up a run on a wild pitch before being replaced. Rudy Reyes singled in Cuba's third run in the sixth inning.
Panama finished third in the tournament, with a 7-6 win over host the Netherlands earlier in Haarlem.
* TENNIS: Amelie Mauresmo salvaged the opening day of the Fed Cup final for France with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Russia's Anastasia Myskina, who made one error after another in a match that left the series tied 1-1 in Paris.
Elena Dementieva had given defending champion Russia a 1-0 lead at Roland Garros by beating Mary Pierce, 7-6 (7-1), 2-6, 6-1, in a reprise of their contentious match at the U.S. Open. France, which lost to Russia in last year's final without Pierce and Mauresmo, is trying to win the title a third time.
Mauresmo will play Dementieva in today's reverse singles in the best-of-five final at the home of the French Open. Pierce, who played yesterday with her right thigh bandaged, may be dropped for the second match against Myskina.
"There is a Plan B in place in case we need it," said France captain Georges Goven, who can use Tatiana Golovin or Nathalie Dechy.
* GOLF: Defending champion Annika Sorenstam shot a 3-under 68 to take a one-stroke lead over Michelle Ellis and Maria Hjorth after two rounds of the John Q. Hammons Hotel Classic in Broken Arrow, Okla. . . .
Jason Gore, whose rags-to-riches-to-rags odyssey during the U.S. Open instantly made him into a fan favorite, shot a 5-under 67 to open a two-shot lead over a group of five at the 84 Lumber Classic in Farmington, Pa.
Gore got off to a great start by chipping in for an eagle 2 at the 371-yard, par-4 first, and had six birdies to offset three bogeys for his second round in the 60s in three days. . . .
U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell routed top-seeded Retief Goosen, 7 and 6, to advance to the final of the World Match Play Championship in Virginia Water, England. Campbell will play for the title today against 11th-seeded Paul McGinley of Ireland, who defeated second-seeded Angel Cabrera of Argentina, 4 and 3. . . .
Bob Gilder shot a 5-under-par 67 to maintain a two-stroke lead after two rounds of the Constellation Energy Classic in Hunt Valley, Md.
Gilder birdied the par-4 18th to reach a tournament-record 13-under 131 after 36 holes at Hayfields Country Club. D.A. Weibring and Morris Hatalsky are tied for second at 11 under.
* PRO BASKETBALL: Free agent forward Alan Henderson signed a one-year contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
-- From News Services