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Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Boxing

Look: Kawhi Leonard attends Manny Pacquiao-Keith Thurman fight

Kawhi Leonard

Kawhi Leonard is a man about town.

The reigning NBA Finals MVP attended Saturday night’s fight card at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas that was headlined by the Manny Pacquiao-Keith Thurman bout.

Leonard has been enjoying himself and making public appearances ever since winning the NBA championship with the Toronto Raptors. He attended a Blue Jays game in Toronto. He spent some time on the Vegas scene. He signed with the LA Clippers. And now he’s one of the most recognized celebrities at a boxing match.

Few athletes have raised their profile as much as Kawhi has in the past year. He has catapulted himself into true star status.

Manny Pacquiao thinks he has another five years of fighting left

Manny Pacquiao

Manny Pacquiao may be turning 41 later this year, but he still doesn’t sound like he is planning to retire any time remotely soon.

In an interview with TMZ Sports prior to his welterweight title bout against Keith Thurman on Saturday, the Filipino fighter said that he thinks he has another five years left in his professional boxing career.

“If you ask me about my body condition, I feel good,” said Pacquiao. “I feel young, like late 20s.”

When pressed on if he thought he would be able to fight until 45, the former eight-division champion replied, “My feeling right now, I can say yes … Body condition, my mind, my focus, the way I work hard. I’m still enjoying my training camp, happy doing it. It’s still there.”

While Pacquiao now has 70 professional fights under his belt over his nearly 25-year career, he still has a lot left in the tank having gone 4-1 in his last five bouts (with the only loss being a suspect decision defeat to Jeff Horn in 2017). He has also reinvented himself as a fighter in his advanced age, relying more on his technical skills rather than primarily on the quickness and punching power that characterized his younger years.

We have seen many a boxer still rack up the titles well into their 40s in recent years (Bernard Hopkins, Antonio Tarver, and Roy Jones Jr, to name a few). Pacquiao has flirted heavily with the idea of retirement before, but if Saturday goes well and the body and the heart are still willing, he may have plenty left to offer in the ring.

Boxing world pays tribute to Pernell Whitaker following death

The sport of boxing lost a legend on Sunday night when Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker was hit by a car and killed, and his death has hit the fighting community hard.

Whitaker, who was 55, was struck and killed in a tragic accident in Virginia Beach. Details of the crash were not released as of Monday afternoon with the investigation ongoing, per the City of Virginia Beach.

Several of boxing’s biggest names took to social media to pay tribute to Whitaker after learning the sad news.

Whitaker held numerous titles during his boxing career and had a 40-4-1 record with 17 knockouts. He was one of the best fighters of the 1990s and one of the best defensive boxers of all time. He made a name for himself similar to the way Floyd Mayweather Jr. did, as he was virtually impossible to hit.

Sweat Pea was truly one of the best to do it.

Watch: Floyd Mayweather embarrassed with crossover at charity basketball game

Floyd Mayweather

Floyd Mayweather Jr has some pretty good skills on the basketball court, but he was on the wrong end of the highlight of the night at a charity game on Monday.

Mayweather’s team went up against a team led by Rob Gronkowski at the second annual Monster Energy $50K Charity Challenge Celebrity Basketball game, which was held at UCLA. Unfortunately for the undefeated boxer, one of the most exciting plays in the game was when he was obliterated by a crossover from professional street baller Larry “Bone Collector” Williams.

They don’t call the man “Bone Collector” for nothing. To his credit, Floyd seemed to take it well. He’s not the first person who has had his ankles broken by Williams, hence the nickname.

We’ve shown you some devastating crossovers throughout the years, but that was easily one of the most ruthless. Mayweather is going to be hearing about that for a while.

Tyson Fury promises to knock Deontay Wilder the f— out in rematch

Tyson Fury

Tyson Fury broke news of his scheduled rematch with Deontay Wilder, and he added quite a promise while he was at it.

Fury spoke at Bradford’s Alhambra Theatre for a Q&A with fans on Saturday night. He told the fans that his rematch with Wilder was scheduled for Feb. 22. He also promised that “this time I am going to knock him the f— out.”

Here is video of Fury’s comments to the crowd (with profanity included):

Fury and Wilder fought to a draw in December in an excellent fight full of twists and turns, highlighted by Fury getting up after being knocked down in the 12th round. They have been talking about a rematch ever since, though they had pursued other fights afterwards. Wilder beat Dominic Breazeale in May and is scheduled to face Luis Ortiz in September.

Fury beat Tom Schwarz in June. He also plans to fight again in the fall — possibly September or October in New York, according to his promoter. Jarrell Miller has been mentioned as a possibility, though others say that is unlikely due to his suspension.

The Athletic’s Mike Coppinger says that date is among those in consideration for the rematch. He also expects the fight to take place in Las Vegas.

Fury is 28-0-1 (20 KOs), while Wilder is 41-0-1 (40 KOs).

Floyd Mayweather shows off $2 million in cash on table to celebrate 4th

Floyd Mayweather

Floyd Mayweather Jr. spent his 4th of July by showing off stacks of money, staying true to his nickname.

Mayweather shared videos and photos on social media of some of his wealth. That included what he said was $1.8 million in $100 bills laid out on a table, and an extra $200,000 in $20 bills.

“I was once told that “the loudest person in the room is the weakest person in the room”. Well, that works for the individuals that’s doing something illegal. But in my case, I’m happy to flaunt my legal wealth and brag about being a black man that came from poverty, beat all odds and not give a f— about what anybody thinks. Happy 4th, this is my independence! Now, let the fireworks begin!” he wrote as his caption on Instagram.

This has long been Mayweather’s M.O. By flashing his wealth, he gains attention. Some love it and become fans, while others hate it and then want to see him fail. Either way, he’s made you care about him.

To those who might get jealous, just remember that for all that money, Mayweather doesn’t seem too happy in all his photos and videos, and he’s also alone for many of them too.

Boxer Carlos Adames wears David Ortiz jersey after win

Carlos Adames David Ortiz

Boxer Carlos Adames dedicated his fight on Friday night to his beloved countryman, David Ortiz.

Adames beat Patrick Day via unanimous decision during their super welterweight title fight at Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, Calif. on Friday night. The Dominican fighter wore an Ortiz jersey to the ring and put it on after his victory.

He said in his postfight interview that he was dedicating the win to Ortiz.

Adames said he was friends with Ortiz, that he represents the country with pride, and that they all love Ortiz.

Big Papi was shot while enjoying an evening with friends in the Dominican Republic on June 9. He underwent surgery to remove his gallbladder and part of his large intestine and was later transported to Boston, where he is expected to make a full recovery. Authorities in the Dominican Republic announced Friday that they had made an arrest of the alleged mastermind behind the crime.

As for Adames, the 25-year-old boxer is now 18-0 (14 KOs) in his career.