Kevin Iole at Boxing 20 hrs ago
A key member of Manny Pacquiao's staff told Yahoo Sports on Thursday he is optimistic an agreement can be reached to finalize a bout between the Filipino congressman and Floyd Mayweather Jr., the pound-for-pound top fighter in the world.
After a chance encounter between the fighters Tuesday at the Miami Heat-Milwaukee Bucks NBA game at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Mayweather visited Pacqiuao in his suite at the Trump National Doral hotel later that night.
Pacquiao adviser Michael Koncz called the meeting highly productive and said he is optimistic that the long-awaited fight can finally be made.
Pacquiao said earlier in January that he had agreed to all of Mayweather's terms and conditions. Executives for Showtime, which has an exclusive contract with Mayweather, and HBO, which has a deal with Pacquiao, have worked out many of the issues between them relating to the broadcast.
Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports 20 hrs ago
LAS VEGAS – Nearly four years into a landmark Professional Fighter Brain Health Study being led by neurologist Charles Bernick, research has discovered that repeated blows to the head are linked to smaller brain structure volume and slower processing speed.
Researchers have developed a formula they've dubbed the Fight Exposure Score (FES) that essentially assists doctors in evaluating a fighter's risk of developing cognitive impairment as he or she continues to fight.
The study, being conducted at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas and soon to expand to the clinic's main campus in Cleveland, has nearly 500 participants. That includes currently active and retired boxers and mixed martial arts fighters, as well as a control group.
The athletes were given an MRI scan and were tested for verbal memory, processing speed, fine motor skills and reaction time. The MRI was used to assess the volume of particular areas of the brain, particularly the thalamus and the caudate nucleus.
Some of the athletes have come back to repeat the test multiple times.
The reason for that, Bernick said, isn't so simple to determine at this stage.
Kevin Iole at Boxing 22 hrs ago
Cedric Kushner, a big man who had a knack for promoting the biggest men in boxing, died Thursday in New York after suffering a heart attack, his longtime friend, promoter Lou DiBella, told Yahoo Sports.
He was 66.
DiBella was a health proxy for Kushner and was called to the hospital when the South African was stricken.
"I'm just getting to the hospital now, but I'd spoken to the doctors and they had him on life support," DiBella said. "He was suffering and I was going to the hospital to pull the plug, and he died while I was on the way."
Kushner promoted a number of stars, including Shane Mosley, and major heavyweights, including former champion Hasim Rahman, David Tua and Ike Ibeabuchi. But until Rahman knocked out Lewis in a stunning upset in South Africa in 2001, none of Kushner's heavyweights could win the big one.
But Kushner's joy at finally having a heavyweight champion was short-lived. Shortly after defeating Lewis, Rahman signed with promoter Don King. Kushner sued King under federal racketeering statutes.
Services are pending.
Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports 1 day ago
LAS VEGAS – The last time Anderson Silva was in these parts, he had snapped his lower leg in shocking, gruesome fashion.
As he shrieked in agony and emergency personnel gently lifted him onto a stretcher, it didn't take much to quickly come to the conclusion that Silva's legendary career might be coming to an abrupt and unexpected end.
On Wednesday, a little more than two months from his 40th birthday, Silva was back, entertaining a packed crowd at the MGM Grand in an intense and nearly hour-long public workout.
His opponent in the main event of UFC 183 on Saturday, Nick Diaz, predictably skipped the proceedings, which couldn't have helped the already slow ticket sales.
Diaz finally showed up in Las Vegas late Wednesday afternoon after his luggage arrived on a flight from Sacramento, Calif., earlier in the day without him.
Silva graciously answered questions and did his best to compensate for the mercurial Diaz's unexplained and inexplicable absence.
He's talked of fulfilling a contract that will take him years to complete, and he'll get a chance to fight for the middleweight title he so proudly owned for more than six years if he defeats Diaz.
Kevin Iole at Boxing 2 days ago
Manny Pacquiao happened to have a free day in Miami on Tuesday and decided to go to the Heat-Bucks game at American Airlines Arena. Pacquiao, who is a player/coach in the Philippine Basketball League, is friends with Heat coach Erik Spoelstra.
But Pacquiao wasn't the only prominent boxer to attend Tuesday's NBA game. Pound-for-pound champion Floyd Mayweather Jr., who has a home in Miami, also attended the game.
The Miami Heat put a picture of the two on the scoreboard during the first quarter of the game with the caption, "Coming in 2015?" on top of it.
It gets better.
From the AP's Tim Reynolds:
Pacquiao says Mayweather gave him his cell number and told him it’s time for them to work this fight out themselves. Pac says he got told 1 minute before halftime that Floyd was coming over for a chat. Pacquiao said he never spoke to Floyd in person before tonight. Thank Winter Storm Juno if this fight ever happens. Pac wasn’t supposed to be here tonight — but his flight was canceled.
Koncz told Yahoo Sports he was pleased with their conversation.
Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports 2 days ago
LAS VEGAS – Nick Diaz was just a couple of weeks past his 18th birthday when he turned professional on Aug. 31, 2001. He so devoted his life to his career that it was not until recently that he began to truly appreciate that there is more to life than training and fighting.
Things that others take for granted as a normal part of life were things that Diaz didn't have time to contemplate because he was immersed in being the best fighter he could be.
"I wouldn't say it's things I've neglected, but it's things that I put off until later that most people, in their 20s and 30s, do as a part of normal, everyday life," Diaz said. "When I get home after four hours of training, training the way I train to do this [expletive], man, all I want is food, water and to be able to get my rest.
"There was always another fight I had to get ready for, and so I didn't have time for all that other stuff. But I'm no different than anyone else. I want to do the things everyone else does, but I didn't have the time because it was always just train, fight, train, fight, train, fight."
He has no filter and very bluntly says what he thinks.
Kevin Iole at Boxing 5 days ago
Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado waged a pair of the most memorable bouts of this century, but the rubber match Saturday was nothing of the sort.
A prepared and determined Rios overwhelmed an out-of-shape and clearly at the end of the line Alvarado, stopping him after three one-sided rounds when Alvarado couldn't answer the bell for the fourth in their welterweight bout at the 1stBank Center in Broomfield, Colo.
The loss was Alvarado's third in a row and fourth in his last five fights, and should spell the end of his boxing career, even though he put on a brave front during a post-fight interview with HBO's Jim Lampley.
He was stopped by Rios in a classic battle on Oct. 13, 2012, in Carson, Calif. He avenged that defeat in Las Vegas on March 30, 2013, in yet another spirited brawl. But he quit on his stool after the 10th round against Ruslan Provodnikov on Oct. 19, 2013, and then was beaten up badly by Juan Manuel Marquez on May 17, 2014, in Inglewood, Calif.
That's simply a fighter deluding himself.
"All the instruction, I followed. I did the game plan from camp. I was victorious."
Kevin Iole at Yahoo Sports 5 days ago
It was short, direct and to the point, but Jon Jones' response on social media after watching Anthony Johnson earn a shot at his UFC light heavyweight title by stopping Alexander Gustafsson in the first round Saturday was probably also the best take:
Johnson moved to within one punch of one of the most incredible journeys to the top in UFC history, bludgeoning Gustafsson in front of nearly 30,000 partisan fans at the Tele2 Arena in Stockholm, Sweden, to earn the next crack at the light heavyweight belt.
Jones has run roughshod over the best the UFC has to over, but he was not able to run over Gustafsson when they met in 2013. Gustafsson gave Jones the battle of his professional life and, to this day, there are those who are adamant that it was Gustafsson, not Jones, who earned the decision that night in Toronto.
Nobody has ever done to Gustafsson what Johnson did on Saturday. Johnson hit Gustafsson with a right hand by the ear that badly wobbled the Swede. Gustafsson began to stagger around the cage and it was essentially the beginning of the end.
Kevin Iole at Boxing 6 days ago
Manny Pacquiao is a man of many talents. He's best known, of course, for being one of the greatest boxers in the world. He's an eight-division champion and a surefire bet for induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame upon his retirement.
He's in the midst of talks to line up what would be the richest fight in boxing history, a long-awaited and hoped for match against pound-for-pound champion Floyd Mayweather Jr.
But Pacquiao apparently still has time to ponder a career change. Recently, he worked out with the hope of becoming a professional wrestler. He was even given assistance by legendary comedian Garry Shandling.
So, how did it go? Well, you'll have to watch the video below to find out.
Kevin Iole at Cagewriter 6 days ago
Mixed martial arts remains illegal in New York state, and the reason is as simple as it is disgusting: politics.
The Culinary Workers Union 226 of Las Vegas has done anything it can to harass UFC co-owners Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta because their gaming company, Stations Casinos, is non-union. The union has actively worked against the UFC, which is 90 percent owned by the Fertitta brothers, as retaliation.
The union has lobbied against the legalization of the sport in New York. It has encouraged visitors not to vacation in Las Vegas. It has picketed non-union casinos and harassed its guests. An editorial in the Las Vegas Review-Journal newspaper on Dec. 17 railed against what it called the "union’s reckless and economically harmful political stunts."