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Around & about

Thompson returns to ring Saturday

Unbeaten Buffalo light heavyweight Lionell Thompson, 26, returns to the ring Saturday, fighting for his own promoter for the first time as a pro.

Thompson (9-0, 6 KOs) will face the 44-year-old Abdullah Ramadan (15-10, 9 KOs) in a six-round fight at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga, Ont. It'll be Thompson's first bout under the representation of Hennessey Sports, which is based out of the United Kingdom, according to his manager Tim Ziccardi. He recently signed a three-year deal with Hennessey, according to Ziccardi.

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WBC gives Hopkins his belt back

The WBC has returned the light heavyweight championship to Bernard Hopkins after declaring his bout with Chad Dawson a technical draw.

Hopkins was stopped for the first time in his career Saturday night in bizarre fashion when Dawson lifted him and tossed him to the canvas late in the second round, leaving the 46-year-old champion with a dislocated joint in his shoulder. Dawson claimed the WBC light heavyweight title from Hopkins on a second-round TKO in Los Angeles. The WBC reviewed video of the fight and unanimously declared Thursday that the action reflects a clear intentional lifting the body followed with a push by Dawson to Hopkins that made him fall on his left side with part of his body out of the ropes.

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NBA labor talks break down, again

The breakdown of NBA labor talks Thursday likely will force more games to be canceled after negotiations failed to yield a deal to end the lockout.

After 30 hours of negotiations over three days, the two sides remained divided over two main issues -- the division of revenues and the structure of the salary cap system.

"Ultimately we were unable to bridge the gap that separates the two parties," NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver said. "We're saddened on behalf of the game."

Union President Derek Fisher also acknowledged the seriousness of the situation.

"This is not in any way about ego," he said. "There are a lot of people's livelihoods at stake separate from us."

Without a deal, NBA Commissioner David Stern must decide soon on the next round of cancellations. The season was supposed to begin Nov. 1, but all games through Nov. 14 -- 100 in total -- have been scrapped, costing players about $170 million in salaries.

Previously each side had proposed receiving 53 percent of basketball-related income after players were guaranteed 57 percent under the previous collective bargaining agreement.

Silver said the league formally proposed a 50-50 revenue split Wednesday, and the union moved from 53 percent to 52.5 percent Thursday. Asked whether the players would drop to 50 percent, labor relations committee chair Peter Holt said he didn't think it was that big of a jump but that obviously the union did.

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Donald aids cause for PGA money title

Luke Donald figured he might have to win at Disney to have his best shot at capturing the PGA Tour money title. He took a good step Thursday in the Children's Miracle Network Classic with a 6-under 66 for a seven-way share of the lead.

Donald is playing the opening two rounds with Webb Simpson, whose runner-up finish last week at Sea Island gave him a $363,029 lead in the money list. Simpson also played bogey-free on the easier Palm course for a 68.

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Funeral arrangements set for Dan Wheldon

Funeral services for two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon will be held Saturday in St. Petersburg, Fla.

The two-time Indianapolis 500 winner was killed in a fiery 15-car crash at Sunday's season-ending IndyCar race in Las Vegas. He was 33. On Thursday, series officials released the funeral arrangements and a statement from Wheldon's widow, Susie. The funeral is scheduled for 10 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church in St. Pete.

NASCAR drivers will honor Wheldon with a special decal at this weekend's race in Talladega, Ala.

Compiled from News staff and wire service reports.

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