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Honk! Honk!

MON 7/26

The Florida Marlins have had a great year so far. They led the NL East nearly every day during the first half. It took a really bad losing streak for the Fish (coupled with a fairly decent winning stretch for Philly) to finally relinquish the top spot just days before the All Star break. Then -- ouch! -- the Marlins fell to a season low: fourth place (three and a half games back) in the first week of July. Still, the East has been the closest packed division in baseball. Some days, there's been as little as a two-game difference among the top four teams, which include Atlanta and New York. No one expected the Mets and Braves to vie for a division title this season; the Phils and Fish were pointed to as the teams likely to battle for the title down to the wire, with a four-game series in Philly in September to serve as the season's deciding factor. But first, the teams have a four-game showdown at Pro Player Stadium (2269 Dan Marino Blvd., Miami) starting Monday, July 26. Games start at 7:05 p.m. through Wednesday and at 1:05 p.m. on Thursday. Tickets cost $6 to $75. Call 305-623-6100, or visit www.flamarlins.com. --Russ Evans

More Fights

These bouts at Ovation are sanctioned

SAT 7/24

Who's ready to rumble? The ring bell sounds on 11 excellent bouts Saturday night as Elite Promotions presents World Championship Boxing at Club Ovation (3637 S. Federal Hwy., Boynton Beach). Headlining the night's card is Olympic cruiserweight Ismael Kone of Sweden taking on Bostonian Danny Sheehan. Other fighters in action include Team Elite hometown stars Ray Betancourt of Boca Raton (a nationally rated junior welterweight) and lightweight Jose Roman of Lantana. The evening's docket will also involve an open tryout for Elite's 2005 Knockout Girls calendar. Tickets range from $25 general admission seats to $100 VIP ringside views. Doors open at 6 p.m., and the first fight starts at 7 p.m. And if you can't wait till Saturday to get your pugilistic fix, Elite will hold the prefight weigh-in at Hooters (2020 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd., West Palm Beach) starting at 4 p.m. Friday. Call 561-630-6870, or visit www.clubovation.com. --Russ Evans

Join the Team

The Magic City Bulls need some Bulls

SUN 7/25

The Southern States Football League has plenty of teams (16 of them), owners, and refs. What it needs is athletes. Tryouts happen Sundays through August 29, from noon to 2 p.m., at Gwen Cherry Park (7090 NW 22nd Ave., Miami) for the Miami Magic City Bulls. Head Coach Terrence Page is looking for guys who aren't in the NFL -- yet -- because they "didn't get seen by the pros." His staff keeps good statistics and films all the games -- which helps lure talent scouts and their contracts. Oh yeah, the staff also helps players (most of whom are in their 20s) get GEDs and register to vote. All this for a registration fee of $55. Call 786-315-0469, or visit www.miamimagiccitybulls.org. --Deirdra Funcheon

Calling All Groupies

SUN 7/25

What do pro surfers do when there aren't any waves? They have Billabong send them on the "Right Coast Detour." They party like rock stars and drive around the country, stopping at surf shops -- like Island Water Sports of Deerfield Beach (1985 NE Second St.) -- to sign autographs and give away merch. Meet Brian Hewitson, Peter Mendia, Tommy O'Brien, and a "special guest." We'll let you know afterward whether they allow groupies on the tour bus! Call 954-427-4929. --Deirdra Funcheon

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