Some people just don't know when it's time to quit. Others should have never begun in the first place.

Many stories have been written over the years about professional sports personalities who have "hung in there" or decided to "stick it out" for another season in hopes of just one more chance for a day in the sun or a shot at a world championship.

Unfortunately, for every athlete who still has the ability to play the game in what some sports reporters refer to as the "twilight of their careers," there are far more who have no business taking up space on a team's roster when that position should go to someone who has a future.

Then you have certain people, (some of whom I'm loathe to even hang the title of athlete on), who continue competing in "individual" sports and end up making a complete mockery of themselves.

Those falling into that particular category know full well they should have put the golf clubs, the tennis racquets and the boxing gloves in the closet a long time ago never to be taken out again, and have become an embarrassment to those of us who remember them as they once were in their glory days.

Immediately coming to mind is Tonya Harding, who got herself "rag-tagged," to borrow a few words from former WWF commentator Dusty Rhodes, in her most recent encounter in the boxing ring last week.

According to an article in The Oregonian, this fight, if everybody's favorite "Bad Girl" could have pulled off a victory, was supposed propel her into a what could have been a big payday for her next appearance in the "squared circle."

A win would have reportedly meant a pay-per-view bout in 2005 that would have earned her at least a $600,000 paycheck.

Yeah, right!

Anyone who'd shell out their hard-earned cash to watch the bulked-up "Trailer Park Cutie" cavort around the ring in an attempt to show off pugilistic skills which she doesn't and never will have, I've got a good buy I'll give them on some ocean-front property - in Nebraska!

Going into the bout, Harding sported an impressive 3-2 record and left the ring at 3-3 after undefeated Amy Johnson proceeded to pound large knobs on her face before the fight was stopped with 1:04 remaining in the third round on a technical knockout.

Harding's manager, Paul Brown, is claiming the fight was "mishandled" and should have gone in favor of the beleaguered ex-figure skater.

Apparently, Johnson was knocked down in the second round - it sure looked like a slip to me and most everyone else who saw the film clip of the fight on the evening sports report - and Brown claims the referee failed to "monitor" Johnson and allowed her to return to her corner to recover.

Brown reported he heard Johnson say, "No more," which might have been kind of hard to do from the opposite side of the ring in front of a crowd of screaming Canadians, but he says he did.

Then, he claims, one of her corner men pushed Johnson back in the ring, which should have resulted in a disqualification.

Brown has reportedly filed a formal complaint with the Edmonton Boxing and Wrestling Commission, which is considering the protest but is likely to let the ruling stand.

No press release has been issued on whether Harding will continue her ring career, but I'm sure she will. Hey, there's a lot of money to be made fighting the "club circuit" or at county fairs in the Pacific Northwest. And if Tom Peterson can ever convince the powers that be to bring back Portland Wrestling - what a drawing card!

Also on the topic of boxing, Mike "The Serial Groper" Tyson is also supposed to be making yet another comeback.

According to reports, he's supposed to have worked out a deal with Don King whereby he is dropping his $100 million lawsuit against the Hair Club for Men's poster boy in exchange for a $14 million payment that will begin to get the IRS off the former heavyweight champion's back.

The deal will also give King the exclusive rights to manage Tyson for seven fights over the next three years.

Under the terms of the contract he won't be making any money to pound on someone in the ring or, like what has happened in his last few bouts, get pounded on. All the proceeds of the fights will allegedly be going to pay back taxes, child support, alimony and whatever else he owes to a string of automobile dealerships, record producers, art dealers and other assorted "vermin" who he has "stiffed" and who have "taken advantage" of his "good nature" over the years.

Seven fights in three years, that's a lot - considering it has been 17 months since the last one and the one before that was the time he gnawed on Evander Hollyfield's ear in Las Vegas.

All the money going to pay off debts, huh? You know doggone good and well Don King is going to get his share first. Right off the top!

I suppose Tyson has to do something with his life. Somehow I can't picture him working at a McDonald's. Would you buy a used car from someone who has his face tattooed like a Maori Tribesman?

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