Sports

Federal court to sentence Vick today

RICHMOND, Va. -- How much, if any, will Michael Vick's role as financier of a brutal dogfighting ring hurt him? What about his use of drugs while awaiting sentencing?

Or will he benefit from his public apology? His cooperation? His voluntary early start on his prison term?

Answers to these questions, among others, will determine how much time the suspended Atlanta Falcons quarterback will serve in prison for his role in a federal dogfighting conspiracy.

And the only man who knows the answers is U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson, who will sentence Vick in a packed courtroom Monday while the disgraced NFL star's supporters and animal-rights activists rally outside.

Vick faces a maximum of five years in prison. Hudson is not bound by sentencing guidelines that suggest a year to 18 months, or prosecutors' recommendation.

Hudson already has sentenced two of Vick's co-defendants to 18 months and 21 months -- slightly more than prosecutors recommended, but still within the guidelines.

Legal experts said Hudson's willingness to stick to the guidelines in those cases is a positive sign for Vick, but by no means a guarantee he will get similar treatment because so many factors could work against him.

• COLLEGE SOCCER -- Finally the best in its city, the Southern California women's soccer team is also now the best in the nation.

Marihelen Tomer and Janessa Currier scored goals as the Trojans beat Florida State 2-0 in the final of the NCAA Women's College Cup.

The Trojans (20-3-2) had never advanced past the second round of the NCAA tournament before this season, their first under Coach Ali Khosroshahin. To make the run even sweeter, USC snapped a nine-game losing streak to top-ranked UCLA, 2-1, in Friday's semifinals, ruining the Bruins' fifth straight appearance in the Final Four of women's soccer.

The Trojans took the title with its fifth shutout of the tournament and 16th in 25 games this season. This one was the most impressive of all -- the Seminoles led the nation with 81 goals this season.

• BOXING -- Floyd Mayweather Jr. didn't need to dance to beat Ricky Hatton. His fists proved a lot more potent than his feet.

Mayweather remained unbeaten Saturday night and retained his claim to being the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world by stopping Hatton in the 10th round of a brawl that featured none of the fancy footwork the American has shown in the ring and on reality TV.

Hatton wouldn't let Mayweather move, but it didn't matter as Mayweather used precision punches to wear down the challenger for his 147-round crown. Hatton kept trying to get inside and score points, but Mayweather had an answer for everything he did.

The end came after Mayweather landed a crushing left hook that dropped Hatton on his back in Mayweather's corner. Hatton got up at the count of eight, but Mayweather almost immediately got him on the ropes and landed another flurry of punches to the head.

Hatton went down almost on a delayed reaction, while at the same time referee Joe Cortez moved in to stop the fight and Hatton's corner threw in the towel at 1:35 of the round.

  Comments