- Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports22 hrs ago
Michael Bisping spent several hours on the telephone Monday, doing his unique brand of trash talking prior to his UFC bout on Wednesday against Tim Kennedy at the Pepsi Coliseum in Quebec City.
The guy lives for this stuff, and nobody, no matter how clever he may happen to be, is going to beat him at it.
Kennedy has given it the old college try, taunting Bisping relentlessly for months, but it's as if Kennedy has barely laid a glove on the Englishman.
However, as much as Bisping loves to fight and to talk about fighting, he would have quickly given it up had he not heard what he needed to hear from his doctors last year.
Bisping suffered a detached retina of the right eye during an April 27, 2013 fight against Alan Belcher in Newark, N.J. That was repaired, but problems during his recovery forced him to pull out of an Oct. 26 bout in Manchester, England against Mark Munoz.
Doctors put oil into the eye during the surgery to reattach the retina. According to Bisping, when the retina is reattached properly, the oil is removed.
But in his case, the oil was removed too quickly and the retina became detached again.
- Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports3 days ago
LAS VEGAS – Manny Pacquiao took baby steps toward getting back to the form he displayed in 2008-09, when he might have been the most devastating fighter in boxing since Mike Tyson's prime.
The halcyon days of those two years may be gone forever for Pacquiao, but he will beat plenty of the world's best fighters if he continues to box as he did Saturday before 15,601 crazed fans at the MGM Grand Garden.
He thoroughly out-boxed Timothy Bradley, winning a unanimous decision to regain the WBO welterweight title he'd lost when judges took a fight from him in 2012 that most felt he'd won handily.
Pacquiao expertly used angles and made a mid-fight adjustment to counter an unexpected Bradley strategy. Bradley attacked Pacquiao, winging big punches, turning the fight into a slugfest.
In the fourth round, he cracked Pacquiao with a big overhand right and Pacquiao's knees buckled, but Pacquiao quickly recovered.
"I thought he did pretty well, but we didn't expect that style," Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach said. "It threw us a bit, because we thought he'd box. We didn't think he'd be going for the home run all night."
- Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports3 days ago
LAS VEGAS – Manny Pacquiao once again outboxed Timothy Bradley Jr., but this time, the Filipino superstar got the decision he so richly deserved.
In a solid though not spectacular performance, Pacquiao outboxed Bradley to reclaim the WBO welterweight championship before 15,601 partisan fans at the MGM Grand Garden.
Pacquiao was masterful in giving angles and beating Bradley to the punch. Judges had it 116-112, 118-110 and 116-112 for Pacquiao, who lost a highly disputed decision to Bradley in the same ring nearly two years ago. Yahoo Sports had it 117-111 for Pacquiao.
Bradley, who suffered his first defeat, said he injured his right calf in the first round. But he congratulated Pacquiao after the bout.
"You deserved it," Bradley said to Pacquiao. "You won the fight."
This was most definitely not the 2008-09 vintage Pacquiao, who stopped a series of the greatest fighters in the world in devastating fashion. But Pacquiao boxed smartly, catching Bradley and then spinning away out of danger.
- Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports4 days ago
LAS VEGAS – It was early in his first fight with Manny Pacquiao when Timothy Bradley came to a realization: This is easy.
Athletes often insist they're not impacted by the pregame media hype, but it is clear that Bradley was, at least until a couple of minutes into his June 9, 2012, bout with the Filipino superstar for the WBO welterweight title at the MGM Grand Garden.
As Bradley prepared for that first fight, he heard endless questions about Pacquiao's pulverizing punching power and saw countless videos of Pacquiao knocking elite fighters senseless. Bradley was asked repeatedly about Pacquiao's speed and quickness and his ability to box.
"I believed I was going to win," Bradley told Yahoo Sports, "because that's how I am. I just knew I would. But to be honest with you, I thought it would be harder. All I was hearing was, 'Manny does this, Manny does that.' It was like I was fighting someone who wasn't human. I was prepared to fight this guy who, I don't know, was just on a whole other level."
- Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports6 days ago
LAS VEGAS – Mixed martial arts is a vastly different sport than any other, largely because of the attitudes of the men and women who compete in it professionally.
If T.J. Dillashaw upsets Renan Barao next month in the main event of UFC 173 and wins the bantamweight title, the wider world may finally realize what those on the inside have known for years: As a group, there are no more classy, loyal, dedicated and sincere athletes than MMA fighters. For weeks earlier this year, Dillashaw gave every ounce of himself to help Urijah Faber do what he so desperately wanted to do himself.
Faber, Dillashaw's close friend, training partner and mentor at Team Alpha Male, was fighting Barao for the title in the main event of UFC 169 on Feb. 1 in Newark, N.J.
Dillashaw couldn't have been more committed to the task if he were getting ready for the title himself.
And therein lies the rub.
Dillashaw knew he was closing in on a title shot and that if Faber was beaten by Barao, his time would come much sooner.
- Kevin Iole at Boxing6 days ago
LAS VEGAS -- An oversized photo of superstar boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. is festooned on the side of the MGM Grand and has for several years greeted visitors who are heading East on Tropicana Ave. toward Las Vegas Blvd.
But it is not that smiling visage of boxing's pound-for-pound king which has made Top Rank CEO Bob Arum so irate. That photo is there as a result of a contract, and Arum said he is not bothered by it.
He is, however, extraordinarily irate by the prominent advertising in and around the casino for the May 3 Mayweather fight at the MGM against Marcos Maidana. During Wednesday's news conference to promote Saturday's rematch between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley, and later in a lengthy and explosive interview with Yahoo Sports, Arum unloaded on Richard Sturm, the president and chief operating officer of MGM Resorts Entertainment and Sports, for being responsible for so much Mayweather advertising.
LAS VEGAS – Only three days after being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, James Hellwig, who wrestled professionally as "The Ultimate Warrior," died Tuesday at 54, WWE officials said in a statement.
Saddened to announce the passing of the Ultimate Warrior. Icon and friend. My sympathy to his wife Dana and his daughters
We are all so sad that the Ultimate Warrior has passed away. Our heart is with his wife Dana and his two daughters.
WWE did not give a cause of death for Hellwig.
[Photos: Remembering the Ultimate Warrior]
Hellwig collapsed while walking with his wife, Dana, to their car at the Gainy Suites Hotel in Scottsdale, Ariz., at 5:50 p.m. Tuesday, according to a statement from Sgt. Mark Clark, spokesman for the Scottsdale Police Department. The Scottsdale Fire Department transported Hellwig to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead soon after arrival. At this point in the investigation, it appears as though a catastrophic medical condition caused his death.
For several months after what was supposed to be the landmark victory of his career, Timothy Bradley was miserable.
He was attacked by the media, scorned and vilified by the public. He was, for a long time, miserable and didn't want to see or talk to anyone after he defeated Manny Pacquiao on June 9, 2012.
The vast majority of media felt Pacquiao deserved the victory. Promoter Bob Arum decried the outcome and called for the Nevada attorney general to investigate. The WBO, which sanctioned the fight, appointed a panel to re-judge the bout, which concluded Pacquiao had won.
All of that had an impact upon Bradley, but it was nothing like the invective heaped upon him by outraged Pacquiao fans. They bombarded him with vile, malicious comments and turned his life into a nightmare.
LAS VEGAS – On Jan. 25, when news broke that Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley would rematch for the WBO welterweight title on April 12 at the MGM Grand Garden, a reporter noted to Bradley that it had been more than four years since Pacquiao had scored a knockout.
Bradley was hardly surprised. Pacquiao remained a great fighter, Bradley said repeatedly during the nearly 30-minute conversation, but he wasn't the same fighter he had been.
"He's great, man, and I really, sincerely mean that," Bradley said. "The guy is a great boxer. He has a lot of skills. But he's not destroying guys like he was at one point. He's just happy to go the 12 rounds and box and get his [win] and go home. He's not going out there trying to kill guys any more. He's lost that killer instinct."
Ryan LaFlare heartily laughs off a suggestion that he's a great athlete.
This from a guy who is undefeated as a professional mixed martial arts fighter, who was a high school and collegiate wrestling champion and who briefly considered turning professional as a lacrosse player after starring in college.
Yeah, no doubt, the poor guy was born with no athletic genes whatsoever.
"I wouldn't go so far as saying I'm so athletic, because to me, athleticism comes through hard work," said LaFlare, who will face John Howard in a welterweight bout Friday at UFC Fight Night in Abu Dhabi. "I work as hard as I can and I push my body to the limit.
"God-given talent is only going to take you so far. It's not going to give you that extra push when you need it in the third round."
LaFlare, 30, has been fighting professionally for nearly six years, having turned pro on June 27, 2008, in Atlantic City, N.J., on a Ring of Combat card. But for all of his success, he didn't make it to the UFC until last year.