■ BoxingVargas overcomes Joval
Former two-time world junior middleweight champion Fernando Vargas (on right in the above photo) won a unanimous 10-round decision Saturday over Raymond Joval of the Netherlands. Judges scored the fight 98-92, 96-94 and 97-93 for Vargas, who fought for the first time in 15 months. The crowd of 9,332, the largest for a boxing card in Corpus Christi, Texas, loudly supported the former champ. Vargas, 27, who had been nursing a lower back problem, hadn't fought since he stopped Tony Marshall in the seventh round in December 2003.
He showed little sign of rust and controlled the fight from the outset.
Asian action heats up
Chris Yule and Kiyoshi Fujita both scored midway through the third period yesterday to lead Kokudo to a 5-2 win over the Nippon Paper Cranes in the inaugural Asia League ice hockey championship. Playing before 1,816 spectators at Higashifushimi Arena in Tokyo. The Nippon Paper Cranes won the first game of the best-of-five series in Sapporo by a score of 2-0 but Kokudo came back to win the second and third games by scores of 6-4 and 2-1. The Asia League is made up of four teams from Japan, two from China and one each from Russia and South Korea.
British do well in US
Victoria Pendleton beat Russia's Tamilia Abassova in two straight rides to win the women's matched sprint and give Britain two of four titles awarded Saturday at the Track Cycling World Championships in Carson, California. Pendleton, who nearly left cycling after a disappointing effort in the 2004 Olympics, gave Britain its third gold and fifth medal of the four-day competition at the ADT Event Center. She had winning runs of 12.184 and 12.284 seconds. Australia's Anna Meares beat older sister Kerrie in the last of three races for third place. Britain's Steven Cummings, Robert Hayes, Paul Manning and Christopher Newton won the men's team pursuit, finishing in 4:05.619, an average speed of 56.62kph. The Netherlands was second in 4:09.971. In the women's pursuit final, Katie Mactier of Australia defeated compatriot Katherine Bates. Mactier led throughout and was timed in 3:38.720, an average speed of 49.371kph.
■ Horse racing
Young jockey gets killed
A 16-year-old apprentice jockey was dragged to his death by a runaway horse at a race meeting at Riverton on New Zealand's South Island on Saturday. Sam McRae, who had been riding for four months, was dragged 900m when he fell from his horse, Queen's Evidence, and his foot became trapped in a stirrup. He died of head and chest injuries, Riverton Racing Club chief stipendiary steward Stewart Ching said. Other jockeys in the 1,100m race were unable to stop McRae's startled mount until the field had entered the finishing straight. "That's the most horrific thing I've ever seen," senior jockey Terry Moseley said. The accident happened in front of thousands of racegoers at the popular Easter holiday weekend meeting.