Wednesday's Sports in Brief

BOXING

TOKYO (AP) -- Floyd Mayweather has called off his bout with Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa and says he was ''blindsided'' by promoters of the proposed New Year's Eve event.

Mayweather posted a statement on Instagram saying: ''First and foremost, I want it to be clear that I, Floyd Mayweather, never agreed to an official bout with Tenshin Nasukawa.''

Mayweather attended a news conference in Tokyo on Monday, when the Dec. 31 fight against the 20-year-old kickboxer was announced.

''Once I arrived to the press conference, my team and I were completely derailed by the new direction this event was going and we should have put a stop to it immediately,'' Mayweather posted. ''I want to sincerely apologize to my fans for the very misleading information that was announced during this press conference and I can assure you that I too was completely blindsided by the arrangements that were being made without my consent nor approval.''

The 41-year-old Mayweather is 50-0 in his boxing career. He has never fought professionally under MMA rules, although he did have a lucrative win over MMA fighter Conor McGregor last year.

Japanese promoter the RIZIN Fighting Federation announced promotion on Monday but said the rules and the weight class had not been determined.

BASEBALL

TOKYO (AP) - All-Star catcher Yadier Molina hopes to throw out some speedy runners. Don Mattingly looks forward to seeing Japan's national team.

Mattingly and Molina are in Japan as part of a Major League Baseball All-Star tour that features six games against Japan.

The series begins on Friday with three games on consecutive nights at Tokyo Dome followed by one game in Hiroshima on Nov. 13 and two games in Nagoya on Nov. 14 and 15.

Mattingly was a coach with the New York Yankees when Hideki Matsui played there, and got to know Ichiro Suzuki with the Miami Marlins.

But this will be his first experience managing against a Japanese team.

In addition to St. Louis Cardinals' catcher Molina, the MLB squad includes three other 2018 All-Stars; Seattle Mariners outfielder Mitch Haniger, Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto, and infielder Eugenio Suarez of the Cincinnati Reds.

Molina, who won a ninth Gold Glove award this season, is one of three catchers on the tour along with Realmuto and Robinson Chirinos of the Texas Rangers.

SPORTS PERSONALITIES

NEW YORK (AP) - Craig Carton, the former co-host of a sports radio show with ex-NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason, emerged from a courthouse where he was convicted of fraud Wednesday to say he was disappointed with the verdict, though he respected it.

His lawyers said they planned to appeal the Manhattan federal court jury verdict. Sentencing was set for Feb. 27 on charges of conspiracy, wire fraud and securities fraud. Though the charges carry a potential penalty of 45 years in prison, any sentence was likely to be far less than that.

The verdict came after five hours of deliberations that began Tuesday.

Carton, 49, of Manhattan, was Esiason's on-air partner for years on WFAN's ''Boomer and Carton'' show. He left the program after his arrest last year.

He was accused of swindling investors in a ticket reselling business.

Prosecutors said he spent investor money on personal expenses, including gambling debts and landscaping bills.

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said after the verdict that Carton enticed investors by touting his show business contacts and his ability to score seats to live events, including Metallica and Barbara Streisand concerts, saying he could grow their investments by reselling premium tickets.

NFL

METAIRIE, La. (AP) - Dez Bryant has found a new team, agreeing to join the already prolific offense of the surging New Orleans Saints.

The former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver, who has been looking for an NFL home since becoming a free agent in April, will now have a chance to catch passes from one of the most prolific quarterbacks in NFL history in New Orleans' Drew Brees.

The 30-year-old Bryant and the Saints agreed to contract terms on Wednesday, and it remains unclear to what extent Bryant will play when New Orleans visits Cincinnati on Sunday.

Bryant spent his first eight years in the NFL with Dallas and last season caught 69 passes for 838 yards and six touchdowns, including a 50-yard scoring play, for the Cowboys.

However, his professional reputation has been marred at times by public confrontations with coaches and teammates during games and practices.

Veteran Saints tight end Ben Watson said players in New Orleans' locker room must guard against pre-judging Bryant based on superficial observations from old television clips without knowing all the facts or how Bryant has evolved personally since.

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