Harris boxingin Chicago
YOUNGSTOWN -- Northsider Josh Harris, a 20-year old Rayen graduate trained by Frank West at the Buckeye Elks, has advanced to the Championships of USA Boxing Region Five in Chicago, which will be held Monday through next Friday.
Harris, a southpaw with a 25-5 record, won a decision in the finals to take the Cleveland USA cruiserweight title.
Harris has been training with West for more than four years, and fighting as a cruiserweight (180-201 pounds) for the past two years.
Harris is the only Youngstown representative on the Akron-Cleveland USA Golden Gloves team.
The winners in Chicago advance to the USA finals in March at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Hockey roundup
*BOARDMAN -- The Cleveland Jr. Barons overcame an early deficit and defeated the Youngstown Phantoms 6-1 in a North American Hockey League game Friday at The Ice Zone.
Brad O'Shell scored Youngstown's only goal, redirecting Chris Smith's slapshot.
The teams play again tonight at The Ice Zone at 7.
*BOARDMAN -- The Youngstown Jr. Phantoms bantam hockey team is 13-0-1 after defeating the Winterhurst Warriors 6-1 earlier this week at The Ice Zone.
Don Super lead the Phantoms with two goals. Ryan Rinko, Steve Cornich, John Vanasdale, and Adam Hogan each added one.
Jay Young had three assists, Ryan Taylor had two, and Devrim Olgun, Super, Rinko, and Jimmy Lacko each had one. Jonathan Welsh had 10 saves in goal.
*Mooney/Ursuline/Boardman High club hockey team fell to Neshanock 9-3 in a Northeast Ohio High School Hockey League game.
E. J. O‚Neill led MUB with two goals and Brady Hankinson added the other. Alex Taylor and Mike Madsen had assists.
John Yuhaniak was in net for MUB, stopping 45 shots.
Pirates hire Brown
PITTSBURGH -- Mets scouting chief Jack Bowen was named special assistant to Pirates general manager Dave Littlefield on Friday.
Bowen, 45, will assist in scouting for Pittsburgh and will work with Littlefield on player development.
Bowen's grandfather, Rex, was the Pirates scouting director from 1959 to 1967 and brought Hall-of-Famer Bill Mazeroski to the team.
Bowen has been the director of scouting for the Mets since 2001.
The Pirates first hired him in 1985 as a scout. He went on to work for the Cincinnati Reds in 1991 and has also worked for the San Francisco Giants.
Agassi blasted
SAN JOSE, Calif. -- With an impressive mix of power and finesse, No. 7 Jurgen Melzer breezed past second-seeded Andre Agassi 6-3, 6-1 Friday night in the quarterfinals of the SAP Open.
Melzer's drop shots left Agassi flat-footed and the Austrian's two-handed backhand matched his opponent power for power throughout the match.
Melzer faces Cyril Saulnier in one of today's semifinal matches. Saulnier beat No. 4 Vincent Spadea 6-2, 6-4 Friday.
Third-seeded Tommy Haas recovered from a first-set loss to remain unbeaten in seven career meetings against No. 8 Max Mirnyi, winning 6-7 (2), 7-6 (3), 6-2. Haas will take on either Andy Roddick or Thomas Enqvist.
Laila Ali retains title
ATLANTA -- Laila Ali retained her WIBA super middleweight title, stopping Cassandra Geiggar in the eighth round Friday night.
Ali, the daughter of former heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali, punched Geiggar into the ropes before referee George Chip stopped the fight at 1:13 of the round.
Ali (20-0, 17 KO) punished Geiggar (6-5, 6 KO) in the early rounds, but couldn't put her away.
Leatitia Robinson (13-0, 9 KO), expected to be Ali's next opponent, retained her WIBA middleweight championship by knocking out Monica Nunez (9-3, 5 KO) at 36 seconds of the first round.
Robinson got Nunez flush on the jaw with a left, and referee Jim Korb halted the fight as Nunez sat on the canvas.
In other bouts, Andre Dirrell (2-0, 2 KO), bronze medalist at the Athens Games, knocked out Walter Coles (1-3, 1 KO) at 2:16 of the first round of a scheduled four-round super middleweight bout.
Welterweight Xavier Tolliver (16-4) stopped Daniel Craycraft (8-15-2) in the first round of a scheduled six-round bout.
Featherweight Jesus Perez (25-9, 19 KO) handed Daniel Maldonado (16-1, 10 KO) his first defeat. The fight was stopped at 1:30 of the first round after Perez knocked Maldonado down three times.
In the only other bout of the evening to last more than one round, super middleweight Anthony Dirrell (2-0, 2 KO) knocked out Dwayne Warren (0-1) at 1:30 in round two of a scheduled four-round match.
Harding winsunanimous decision
UNCASVILLE, Conn. -- Eric Harding returned from a two-year layoff to earn a unanimous decision over David Telesco in a 12-round, USBA light heavyweight title fight at the Mohegan Sun Casino on Friday night.
Harding, who hadn't fought since losing to Glen Johnson in May 2003, won the first six rounds on all three judges' cards. Despite a late push by Telesco, Harding won on all the judges' cards.
Telesco, of Port Chester, N.Y., came on strong late in the bout and won three of the last four rounds.
Harding relied on a right jab to prevent Telesco (29-6-1) from turning the bout into the brawl.
Harding stopped a two-fight losing streak and improved to 22-3-1 with his first victory since beating George Khalid Jones in December 2001.
Vindicator staff/wire reports

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