What you missed this weekend: 7/18 – 7/21

It’s that time of the week already? Man the world moves fast! And the world of sports never sleeps. I hope you found time to get yours while you go on vacations with your family as the kids will be back to school shortly.

But before the vacation time ends, let’s make sure we are all caught up on what we missed this weekend.

Pacquiao in a combat.” by Sunil Grover is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

There aren’t much matchups or games going on with that much importance, but we do have a lot of news to cover about some of the bigger sports. We also have a pair of UFC and Boxing bouts to tell you about.

And don’t forget about the British Open for all you Golf fans. We will also recap some of the biggest MLS games of the weekend with a few FIFA games as well.

This week was quiet for the NBA and NFL for the most part. In the NFL, the biggest news was the decision on Kansas City Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill’s suspension or not. Joel talked about it here.

In the NBA, there hasn’t been much happening besides shooting guard Kyle Korver reuniting with former head coach Mike Budenholzer as he agrees to sign with the Milwaukee Bucks. James Harden and Anthony Davis both not playing for USA basketball and Kawhi Leonard filing a lawsuit against Nike over the “Klaw” image.

In MLB, all the teams are looking for a great second half and finding trades that could help them make the push for the playoffs. Let’s keep an eye on the trade deadline and see if players like San Francisco Giants’ pitcher Madison Bumgarner get moved.

We also might have missed Atlanta Braves’ outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. become the second player in MLB history to get 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases in a season before the age of 22 (Angels’ Mike Trout was the first).

And there were six players inducted into the 2019 MLB Hall of Fame on Sunday afternoon. Players like Harold Baines, Lee Smith, Mike Mussina,  Mariano Rivera, Edgar Martinez, and Roy Halladay.

Rivera became the first player to ever receive a vote on 100 percent of the ballots. Rivera finished his 19-year career with a record 652 saves and a 205 ERA+.  As great as Rivera was, Edgar Martinez had his number. During Martinez career against Rivera, he went 11 for 19 with two homers, six runs batted in, and a .579/.652/1.053 line.

Mussina spent his 18-year major-league career in the American League pitching for the Baltimore Orioles and the New York Yankees. Mussina won 270 games with an average ERA of 3.71 and appeared in the playoffs nine times. But Mussina will not have a logo on his plague.

Let’s not forget about the late Roy Halladay. Halladay died in a plane crash in 2017, but he served as one of the best pitchers in the Majors. He played eight seasons with two Cy Young Awards. Halladay became the sixth player to be voted in by the BBWAA after his death.


Manny Pacquiao defeats Keith Thurman

Pacquiao hands Thurman his 1st career loss
Manny Pacquiao, the all-time boxing legend, aimed to prove he could still take care of business against an elite opponent at age 40.
He did just that, adding yet another enormous victory to his storied, 24-year career by defeating Keith Thurman, a man 10 years his junior, by split decision to take his undefeated record and welterweight world title before 14,356 on Saturday night at the raucous MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Pacquiao, who knocked down Thurman in the first round, won 115-112 on the scorecards from judges Dave Moretti and Tim Cheatham, while judge Glenn Feldman had it 114-113 for Thurman. ESPN also had it for Pacquiao, 117-110.

“It was fun. My opponent is a good fighter and boxer. He was strong,” Pacquiao said. “Even though Thurman lost, he did his best. He’s not an easy opponent. He’s a good boxer, and he’s strong. I was just blessed tonight.”

Pacquiao first arrived from the Philippines to fight in the United States as a relative unknown former flyweight titleholder and, in this same arena, knocked out Lehlo Ledwaba in the sixth round in a big upset to win a junior featherweight world title as a late replacement on an Oscar De La Hoya undercard in 2001. Eighteen years later and 25 pounds heavier, Pacquiao continued to thrill fans in an arena that has become something of a second home to him, as he took down Thurman in an action-packed fight.

Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs), 30, of Clearwater, Florida, who was making his sixth defense against the secondary titleholder Pacquiao, had promised to send Pacquiao into retirement. Thurman, who predicted he would knock Pacquiao out inside of six rounds, said he would make PacMan “disappear.”

Final Punch Stats

FIGHTERTOTALJABSPOWERPacquiao195 of 686 (28%)82 of 346(24%)113 of 340 (33%)Thurman210 of 571 (37%)18 of 128 (14%)192 of 443 (43%)– Courtesy of CompuBox

Thurman mocked Pacquiao’s smaller size by saying he had “little T-rex arms” and claimed that his in-and-out style made him look like a bunny. Thurman said he would do to Pacquiao what Pacquiao had done a decade ago to the aging De La Hoya: give him a savage beating and send him into retirement.

Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs), 40, the iconic senator from the Philippines and the only fighter in boxing history to win world titles in eight weight classes, claimed the trash talk motivated him to work even harder than usual in training camp. True or not, Pacquiao looked sharp. His speed and reflexes were there, as were his stinging power and ability to move in and out and side to side as he hurt “One Time” Thurman several times.

“I’m not that kind of boxer who talks a lot. We were just promoting the fight,” Pacquiao said. “I think he did his best, and I did my best. I think we made the fans happy tonight because it was a good fight.”

According to CompuBox punch statistics, Pacquiao landed 195 of 686 punches (28%) and Thurman connected with 210 of 571 (37%). Thurman’s 192 power shots (anything other than a jab) were the most-landed on Pacquiao in the 43 fights of his that CompuBox has tracked. But Pacquiao had a massive edge in jabs landed, 82-18.

“I knew it was too close,” Thurman said. “He got the knockdown, so he had momentum in Round 1. I wish I had a little bit more output to go toe-to-toe. I felt like he was getting a little bit tired, but he did have experience in the ring. My conditioning and my output was just behind Manny Pacquiao’s. I would love the rematch.”

They went right at each other with heavy punches from the outset. Each landed solid shots in the first round, but it was Pacquiao with a clean straight hand that connected flush and knocked Thurman down in the waning seconds of the round to elicit a massive cheer from the crowd.

Thurman quickly beat referee Kenny Bayless’ count, and the round ended.

Pacquiao rocked Thurman with another straight right hand in the second round, followed by a burst of punches from all angles. Thurman tried to fight back but didn’t land much and could not get away from Pacquiao, who chased him down.

When Thurman forced Pacquiao to the ropes in the third round with a flurry of punches, Pacquiao immediately responded to blunt his success as the crowd began to chant, “Manny! Manny!”

Thurman tried to get his jab going and land to Pacquiao’s body in the fifth round. He has some success, but Pacquiao eventually forced him back and fired combinations. By the end of the round, Thurman looked a bit shaky and was bleeding from his nose.

Thurman bounced back in the sixth round as the pace slowed. He got in a few solid shots and appeared to shade the round.

Thurman continued to come on strong in the seventh round, whacking Pacquiao with right hands and leaving him with swelling by his right temple.

Pacquiao rocked Thurman with a left hand in the eighth round, and Thurman’s nose began to spout blood again.

There was a fierce, toe-to-toe exchange in the ninth round when Thurman forced Pacquiao to the ropes and unloaded, but Pacquiao quickly turned the tables.

Pacquiao had a big 10th round, when he visibly hurt Thurman with a left hand to the body. Thurman winced and was on the run trying to get away as Pacquiao swarmed him and belted him with shots.

Thurman, who missed 22 months because of elbow and hand injuries before returning for a January win, connected with a left-right combination in the 11th round as Pacquiao’s temple area continued to swell, but it appeared like he would need something dramatic in the final round.

Pacquiao did not look to cruise in the final round, however. He cracked Thurman with heavy punches and stood toe-to-toe with him to close out the exciting fight.

Pacquiao drank in the cheers while standing on one of the ring posts with the black belt slung over his shoulder. He bowed the fans and blew them kisses.

Teddy Atlas breaks down how Manny Pacquiao claimed a split-decision victory over Keith Thurman.

“I really love the fans. Thank you so much for coming here and witnessing the fight,” Pacquiao said. “I’m sure they were happy tonight because they saw a good fight.”

Pacquiao said he likely will return to the ring next year. He will return to the Philippines to be in the Senate when it goes back into session and will make his decision in the coming months. But the obvious fight for him would be a title unification match against the winner of the Errol Spence Jr.-Shawn Porter bout, which was announced at a news conference on Saturday hours before the card began.

“I hope to be at that fight on Sept. 28,” Pacquiao said.

The winner surely will want to fight Pacquiao because of the pay-per-view riches he can still bring to the table. Thurman embraced facing Pacquiao. He had never backed down from a top opponent. He has taken on and defeated Danny Garcia and Porter and made this his mantra: “I have an ‘O’ and I’m not afraid to let it go. If you can beat me, beat me.”

When Pacquiao did exactly that, Thurman did not complain about the decision, showing the all-time great the utmost respect.

“You get blessings and lessons. Tonight was a blessing and a lesson,” Thurman said. “Thank you everybody, and thank you Manny Pacquiao.”

Maxim Dadashev had surgery after loss:

Before this loss, Dadashev was undefeated, but this fight was something else for him. After lossing in the 11th-round to Subriel Matias on Friday night, he underwent surgery because of brain swelling. The way Dadashev lost was by his trainer throwing in the towel of International Boxing Federation 140-pound eliminator. Dadashev was having a difficult time leaving the ring and threw up before reaching the dressing room.

But he was tough and grinded out the rounds as they became harder and harder for him. He did take a lot of body shots throughout the fight as Matias had 112 of his 319 punches were body, but this brain swelling had to be from something else. We wish Dadashev a speedy recovery and hopefully we’ll see him in the ring again.


Edwards outclasses dos Anjos, calls out Masvidal

UFC welterweight Leon Edwards has had a tough time getting the top fighters in his division to fight him. They might not have a choice in the matter after this weekend.

Edwards (18-3) extended his win streak to eight Saturday night, as he defeated former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos (29-12) by unanimous decision. The 170-pound bout headlined UFC Fight Night at San Antonio’s AT&T Center.

It was an impressive showing by the English welterweight, who has not lost a fight since December 2015 — to current UFC champion Kamaru Usman. All three judges scored it a blowout victory for Edwards, awarding official scores of 50-45, 49-46 and 49-46.

Immediately after the win, Edwards called for a fight against ranked contender Jorge Masvidal, with whom he got into a brief, backstage altercation at a UFC event in March in London.

“I’m on an eight-fight win streak, in one of the hardest divisions in the sport,” Edwards said. “There’s a little weasel called Jorge Masvidal. Accept the fight. Let’s do it. You’re not on my level. Let’s make the fight happen.”

Edwards, who was born in Jamaica and fights out of Birmingham, England, has certainly done enough to start making demands. His win streak is the second-longest active run in the division, trailing only Usman’s 10 in a row. His eight wins since the start of 2016 is tied for the most in that time frame with Usman and Vicente Luque.

He proved better than dos Anjos in every area of the fight Saturday night. He outstruck the former champion 106 to 88 overall, according to ESPN’s FightCenter data, and stuffed all five of his takedown attempts. He opened a deep cut over dos Anjos’ left eye with an elbow in the second round, which threatened to stop the fight.



Edwards satisfied with win vs. dos Anjos, calls out Masvidal

Leon Edwards summarizes his execution vs. Rafael dos Anjos as perfect, while calling out Jorge Masvidal for a future fight.

Dos Anjos tried everything he could to turn the tide, but there was simply no doing so. He had some success early on with leg kicks, but Edwards’ range and ability to mix things up dictated the standup. Dos Anjos tried hard in the third round to take the fight to the ground, but Edwards used his size and defensive grappling to calmly remain on his feet.

Masvidal hit Edwards at UFC Fight Night in March, after Edwards said something to him as Masvidal was being interviewed backstage. Masvidal’s management has said he does not want to fight anyone other than Usman or Conor McGregor at the moment.

Dos Anjos has now lost three of his past four bouts. His only win during that time came in May, when he defeated Kevin Leefourth-round submission.

Greg Hardy:

Greg Hardy KO’s Juan Adams in 45 seconds

UFC heavyweight Juan Adams spent more than a year calling out Greg Hardy — and it took Hardy less than one minute to silence him.

Hardy (5-1) made quick work of Adams (5-2) at UFC Fight Night on Saturday inside AT&T Center in San Antonio. A former Division I collegiate wrestler, Adams tried to take Hardy down in the opening minute, but Hardy defended the initial shot and landed a string of hammerfists to the side of Adams’ head.

The heavyweight bout was waved off just 45 seconds in, when it became apparent Adams was not responding to the shots. Hardy, 30, improved to 2-1 in the UFC. His only loss came via disqualification for an illegal blow against Allen Crowder in January.

“I want to thank Juan Adams, no matter what he said about me,” Hardy said. “He was a great opponent, but it’s always ‘The Prince of War,’ baby.

“Everybody wants to get me on the ground. I want everybody to know that calling out my name comes with consequences. And taking me down comes with consequences.”

Adams, 27, had repeatedly said he did not think Hardy was UFC-caliber. He also claimed to “hate” the former NFL defensive lineman, and started a hashtag online titled “#F—GregHardy.”

Hardy has been a controversial figure for the UFC, ever since the promotion signed him to a developmental deal last year. Off-field issues including convictions for domestic violence (later expunged from his record) and drug possession contributed to the end of his NFL career.

The former Pro Bowler began training mixed martial arts full-time in 2016, and the results have been good so far. All five of his professional wins have come via first-round knockout. He trains out of American Top Team in South Florida, one of the top MMA camps in the world.

Adams fell to 1-2 in the UFC.



International Champions Cup:

In a friendly, Tottenham Spurs’ Harry Kane outlasted Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus in an International friendly with a goal from halfway. The goal came injury-time as Kane lead the Spurs to a 3-2 win. Kane was a second-half substitute who lifted the Spurs and this was the second time in three months that the Spurs had beaten Juventus, previously Champions League semifinal.

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