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Athens Greased 

The country's top amateur boxers bring Olympic dreams to Cleveland.

Fisticuffs aplenty at the U.S. Olympic Box-Offs.
  • Fisticuffs aplenty at the U.S. Olympic Box-Offs.
2/27-2/28

Nothing can be taken for granted in the world of boxing, and Juan McPherson learned the hard way. The 19-year-old welterweight from Cleveland, one of the nation's best chances to earn Olympic gold, won't even appear at his hometown trials -- the U.S. Olympic Box-Offs taking place this weekend at Cleveland State. A loss followed by a medical disqualification at last week's trials in Mississippi have squelched McPherson's Olympic dreams, at the same time Cleveland friend Mickey Bey moves forward in the competition. This weekend's action, which will determine the 11-man U.S. Olympic Boxing Team for this summer's games in Athens, marks the first time in more than 40 years that Cleveland has hosted a major Olympic boxing event. First punch is thrown at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the CSU Convocation Center, 2000 Prospect Avenue. Tickets are $18 to $250; call 216-241-5555. -- Cris Glaser

Kermit Envy

FRI 2/27

Many of Don C. Forester's stories end up here: "After performing the anuran equivalent of coitus interruptus, I jettisoned the male [frog] and crammed the female into my mouth," he says. "I suddenly became cognizant of the squirming frog pursed between my lips and felt the nauseating sensation of 8,000 newly oviposited eggs slowly filling my oral cavity." There's more ickiness where that came from at "It Costs to Call, but It Pays to Advertise" on Friday. The behavioral ecologist's fascination with frog sex began years ago with orders from a graduate advisor to return from an excursion with six female leopard frogs. "I glance down, and there, to my surprise, were several pairs of leopard frogs, sexually embraced from the previous night," he says. Hear all about it at 7:30 p.m. at Happy Days Visitor Center, 500 West Streetsboro Road in Peninsula. It costs $3-$6; call 216-524-1497. -- Lucy McKernan

Ohno? Oh Yes!
Apolo hits the ice in Cleveland Heights.

2/26-2/29

After winning three medals earlier this month at the World Cup in Prague, former Olympian Apolo Anton Ohno will be one of 300 skaters competing at the U.S. National Short Track Speedskating Championships this weekend. It kicks off with four- and nine-lap time trials and culminates in 1,000- and 3,000-meter finals. On the ladies' side, pre-race favorites include 500- and 1,000-meter whiz Caroline Hallisey and 3,000-meter record holder Brigid Farrell. Action happens at 9 a.m. Thursday, 10 a.m. Friday, 1 p.m. Saturday, and 8 a.m. Sunday at the Cleveland Heights Community Center, 1 Monticello Boulevard in Cleveland Heights. Tickets are $10 to $25; call 440-899-0128. -- Cris Glaser

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