The debate may be raging in some boxing corners, but as far as Gene Fullmer is concerned, the outcome of the Evander Holyfield-George Foreman heavyweight fight Friday night in Atlantic City is a foregone conclusion.
"If the old guy wins it, there must be something going on we don't know about," says Fullmer, the former middleweight champion of the world. "As quick as Holyfield is, I don't think Foreman will ever hit him. And as slow as Foreman is, I don't see how Holyfield can help but hit him."Fullmer has been impressed with Holyfield since he first saw him in the Olympic Games. "The way we learn things in the gym, that's the way Holyfield does it in the ring," he says.
His only concern is Holyfield's reputation for lapses of concentration during fights. "You don't want to lose concentration against a guy like Foreman," says Fullmer. "Not for very long anyway."
ADD FIGHT: Fullmer was 32 when he retired, 10 years younger than Foreman. He says that, sure, he thought about comebacks after he retired. "I think every fighter does," he says. "Boxing is what you've done all your life, what you've been raised doing. You miss it. The good thing is that usually somebody smarter than you tells you not to do it."
Among those who told Fullmer not to un-retire was his late wife, Delores.
"She hung the gloves on a hook in the garage and told me if I wanted to take them down I had to fight her first," he says. "I knew there was no way I was going to win that fight."
NO TIES: Although he's Catholic, he has a strong following in Indiana (where he coached at Ball State), and his Milwaukee roots are only 200 miles from South Bend, Ind., University of Utah basketball coach Rick Majerus doesn't see himself as a Notre Dame kind of guy.
After denying Monday that he's had any talks with the Notre Dame administration in the wake of coach Digger Phelps' resignation, Majerus said, "I'm the anti-thesis of a Notre Dame guy. I call it spaghetti, they call it pasta. I'm blue-collar, they're Brooks Brothers. I mean, you gotta wear a tie. I don't even own a tie.
"You've got to say serious prayers to get that job," he said. "I have more of a chance of going to BYU than I do to Notre Dame."
SO MUCH GOLF, SO LITTLE TIME: Ron Abegglen, the new head basketball coach at Weber State, was happy to move back to Utah for more reasons than his new job. All three of his sons live in the state, and all are golf professionals. Kirk is the head professional at Palisades Lake near Manti, Kris is the head professional at Carbon Country Club in Helper, and Kent is an assistant professional at Oakridge Country Club in Kaysville.
"It's great to be back close to my sons," says Abegglen, who admits that getting on golf courses doesn't figure to be much of a problem in his future.
But there's a downside. "I love to play golf," says Abegglen, who once coached the Manti High School golf team to a state championship, "but in the profession I'm in, it just seems like it's impossible to find enough time."
SECOND ADD FULLMER: Fullmer is the president of the Utah State Golden Gloves amateur boxing competition, and he says he has an alternative for Friday night, when the Holyfield-Foreman fight will be aired at various local closed-circuit outlets.
"Our regional Golden Gloves competition will be at the Fairgrounds Coliseum Friday and Saturday," he says. "Boxers from Utah, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana will compete to go to the nationals. It won't cost $25 to see them, only $5, and there won't be any old guys. Just young guys . . . and good fights."
IS IT ALMOST OVER?: New York Yankee Hall-of-Famer Yogi Berra hasn't been in Yankee Stadium in seven years, not since he was fired 16 games into the 1985 season by George Steinbrenner.
Berra, who moved on to coach with the Houston Astros, said he would never set foot in Yankee Stadium as long as Steinbrenner - who had promised Berra he would manage the full '85 season - was still around.
Now, with Steinbrenner banned from baseball, the door is open for Berra, 65 and retired from baseball, to return. He hasn't yet returned to the stadium in The Bronx, but recently he told the New York Times, "Gene (Michaels, the Yankees general manager), keeps saying, `come upstairs and sit with me.' But I don't know yet. We'll have to see how it goes. I may go see a game. But if I go and he comes back, then . . . "
Said The Times: "The originator of "It ain't over till it's over," is cautious, as one might expect."