By Chip Kuehn: In a surprising upset, Felix Sturm (39-3-2, 18 KO’s) was able to defeat IBF middleweight champion Darren Barker (26-2, 16 KO’s) in the 2nd round of his first title defense of his IBF belt on Saturday night at the Porsche Arena in Stuttgart, Germany. Read more
By Chip Kuehn: Former EBU middleweight champion Matthew Macklin (29-5, 20 KO’s) will be trying to claw his way back into the top 15 world rankings when he faces unbeaten Lamar Russ (14-0, 7 KO’s) in a 10 round bout on HBO from the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The 31-year-old Macklin is certainly talented enough to be ranked in the top 15 in the world rankings, but with him losing 3 out of his last 4 fights, it’s knocked him out of the top 15.
Macklin tried his best in his last fight in challenging WBA middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin for his title last June, but Macklin used the wrong game plan by choosing to run from Golovkin rather than exchanging. That made it easy for Sturm to pick Golovkin off with big shots and drop him with a hard body shot in the 3rd round. Macklin too hurt to get back to his feet and the fight was halted. Read more
By Chip Kuehn: Felix Sturm (38-3-2, 17 KO’s) will be in the unusual situation tonight in being in the challenger role in facing IBF middleweight champion Darren Barker (26-1, 16 KO’s) in his first title defense at the Porsche Arena, in Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Sturm, 34, was able to manage to get Barker, the champion, to come over to Germany to fight him in front of his own fans.
This is a place where Sturm has only once in his career lost by a decision. Sturm has a number of fights where he could have arguably lost by decision in Germany, yet the judges sided with him either by giving him a decision win or giving him draws in fights where he appeared to lose them. Read more
By Greg Aspen: It’s now out in the open about Manny Pacquiao’s last fight against Brandon Rios bringing in less than 500,000 pay-per-view buys on HBO. Although Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum is calling the fight a success with the PPV numbers it brought it, many boxing fans feel otherwise. They see it as a failure, caused by Arum’s bad idea to pick Rios, a flawed fighter, and stick the fight outside of the United States in Macao, China.
Since the fight took place, Arum has been talking up a fight between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the media, and started early at the post-fight press conference. Some people feel that Arum is doing this in order to drum up interest in Pacquiao fights against the Top Rank fodder that Arum has been feeding to him. Read more
By Chip Kuehn: The Houston Texans owner Bob McNair pulled the trigger on Texans head coach Gary Kubiak on Friday in firing him due to the team’s 2-11 record this season. The last straw appears to be the Texans 24-20 loss to the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars last night in Jacksonville, Florida. That was the Texans 11th consecutive defeat after starting the season at 2-0.
McNair had seen enough after that game, and he let Kubiak go today in the traditional day for NFL head coaches to get axed. In Kubiak’s place, McNair has Wade Phillips a the interim head coach. Phillips filled in for Kubiak a couple of weeks ago after he suffered a min-stroke during the Texans game against the New England Patriots. It’s unclear whether McNair will keep Phillips as the head coach for the remainder of the season or if he’ll look to go in another direction with a different coach. Read more
By Jay Kilby: With the Houston Texans 24-20 loss last night to the Jacksonville Jaguars last night the Texans now have the worst record in the NFL at 2-11, and they’re just ahead of the 3-9 Jaguars, 3-9 Washington Redskins, 3-9 Atlanta Falcons and the 3-8-1 Minnesota Vikings. If the Texans can continue to play at this terrible pace they could wind up with the #1 overall draft pick in the 2014 draft. Read more
By Greg Stiller: Los Angeles Lakers guard won’t be ready to return for tonight’s Lakers game against the Sacramento Kings, but it’s believed that he’ll be able to return to the lineup this Sunday against the Toronto Raptors at the Stapes Center in Los Angeles, California.
The Lakers are 9-9 in the Pacific division behind the 1st place Los Angeles Clippers, Golden State Warriors and Phoenix Suns. The Raptors are 6-11 and in third place in the Atlantic Division currently, and pretty much in the same trouble that the struggling Lakers are in this season. Read more
By Mike Torney: Boston Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk took a big hit from behind in the 1st period while chasing the puck on Thursday night in the Bruins 2-1 loss to the Montreal Canadians in Montreal, Canada. Boychuk was nailed from behind by Montreal forward Max Pacioretty in a hit that sent Boychuk’s head slamming against the boards twice.
The 29-year-old Boychuk was hit by Pacioretty causing his head to hit the boards, but Pacioretty’s forward momentum flattened Boychuk’s head against the board in a sickening manner where was no give at all. The sound of the impact was like big block of wood hitting the side rail, and you can only imagine how Boychuk felt in getting hit as hard as he was by Pacioretty. It’s not that it was such a huge hit, because it didn’t seem like it, but it was the unexpected nature of it, because Boychuk didn’t seem to notice that Pacioretty was coming in at him full speed from behind so that when Boychuk lowered his head to get his stick in position to get the puck, he wasn’t ready to be slammed into by Pacioretty. Read more
By Chip Kuehn: Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Brian Wilson signed a new 1-year contract worth $10 million for him to stay with the Dodgers in 2014. There’s also talk of the Dodgers having an $8.5 million option in 2015 if they choose to keep Wilson.
That would be literally getting the 31-year-old Wilson for a steal if he plays next season like he did this past season in the limited amount of games he played for the team. Wilson have to pass a physical in order to be signed by the Dodgers, which is mere formality for these types of things. Wilson isn’t the type that would sign with a team if he had a nagging injury that still needed to be rehabbed. Read more
By Greg Aspen: While most NFL fans would probably say that the New York Jets 2013 draft picks have been a general mix of some decent and some talented players, Jets head coach Rex Ryan isn’t one of them. He sees the players that the Jets drafted in 2013 as being an ‘A’ quality bunch from top to bottom. I’m not sure that he’s right, but he does have a few decent players on the team.
Ryan said this about the Jets rookie players last Wednesday: “If this is not an A-plus class, I mean, I don’t know what you’re looking for.”
Here’s the players that the Jets drafted in 2013: Read more
By Carlos Jones: 48-year-old IBF light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins says he wants to face WBO 175 lb. champion Sergey Kovalev and WBC champ Adonis Stevenson in unification matches before he turns 50-years-old. Hopkins turns 49 in January, so if he’s to accomplish his goal of fighting both Stevenson and Kovalev before he turns 50, then he’s going to need to fight them both in 2014 in order to make it happen.
In an interview Hopkins said that the HBO – Showtime rivalry will make it tough for him to unify the belts, because he wants to stay loyal to Golden Boy Promotions in this. Read more
By Luke Penhasi: The Houston Texans (2-11) lost their 11th straight game on Thursday night in getting beaten by the surging Jacksonville Jaguars (4-9) by a 27-20 score at the EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida. The Jaguars have won 4 out of their last 5 games to climb out of last place in the AFC South.
The Jaguars may have saved head coach Gus Bradley his job with this string of wins. However, it also may have hurt their standings in trying to land the #1 overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft. The Jaguars could surely use this pick to lure quarterback desperate teams willing to give up multiple picks in order to acquire the #1 spot in the draft. The team that will likely get that pick is the Texans, who just seem like a very, very lost team right now. Texans head coach Gary Kubiak will likely be fired after the season, as the Texans will probably be looking for a new coach that can be seen as a potential savior. Read more
By Carlos Jones: Amir Khan (28-3, 19 KO’s) sees himself as the global star that Floyd Mayweather Jr. (45-0, 26 KO’s) needs to fight if he himself wants to be global star. Khan points to his large twitter following and his huge fan base in the UK, Dubai, Pakistan and India as reasons for him being the global star that Mayweather must fight if he wants to be recognized in the same class as him.
Khan doesn’t point out that many of these same fans will remain fans of his rather than Mayweather even if he loses to him. In other words, many of the fans are fans that root for him due to him coming from the same geography rather than just their love of him as a boxer. Many fans are homers that root mainly for people that come from their own region. Read more