Sports

When Turkey’s Dogus Balbay took an unsportsmanlike foul from Joe Harris in the final nine seconds of overtime of Team USA’s second FIBA World Cup group stage, it looked like it was over. Turkey led the U.S., 92-91, and Balbaby was awarded two free throws and possession of the ball. He missed them both.

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ST. PETERSBURG, FL (June 26, 2019) - Keith Thurman’s head trainer Dan Birmingham is a man of few words who likes to keep his focus on his job; which is training, coaching and creating world champion boxers. So when Dan speaks, people listen. His Mr. Miyagi message ahead of Keith’s blockbuster PBC on FOX Sports pay-per-view showdown versus Manny Pacquiao?

“Freddie Roach is going to lose a lot of money,” said Birmingham. “When the fight is over Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman’s hands will be raised. Keith is going to win this fight and win it in fine fashion.”

KEITH QUOTE - on his relationship with Dan

Trained by Birmingham since his original coach Ben Getty passed away ten years ago, Thurman continues to hone and develop his boxing prowess at Birmingham’s St Pete Boxing Club gym in St. Petersburg, FL. The Florida Boxing Hall of Famer knows what is needed for his pupil to win this historic fight on Saturday, July 20 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

“This is a very important fight for Florida boxing and for our gym,” said Birmingham “From Winky to Jeff Lacy and all the guys who train and fight for titles, we have a lot of pride in Keith. This fight and holding this title means everything to our gym.

“Manny knows Keith’s a puncher, and that he brings youth and experience like Manny does. But Keith wants to fight, he’s anxious to fight and he’s got someone to fight for besides himself.”

One of the keys to Thurman’s impending victory is very simple, said Birmingham. “It’s been the rest factor. He’s rejuvenated his body and mind, he got married and as I said before, he has someone to fight for.”

Thurman’s over two-year recovery have allowed him to fully heal and its made for a powerful training camp. The undefeated, two-time world champion is operating at his very best – showing glimpses on his Instagram channel (@KeithOneTimeThurman) of his high intensity workouts.

THURMAN QUOTE - on intensity of workouts and how he’s feeling physically

“He has a renewed vigor - more energy - and he’s anxious to fight and anxious to train,” said Birmingham. “His power, ferociousness and tenacity will be a problem for Manny. We’ve only escalated that in this camp. He has two strength and conditioning coaches - NFL great Yo Murphy and leading strength coach Kimberly Doehnert. The core team includes post-workout trainer Eric Wilson for stretching and recovery in addition to myself and Chris Getty for strategy and training.

“We’ve mixed up sparring with some guys who emulate Manny but are tougher, stronger fighters who can take a punch. You’ve got to be tough to box with Keith.

“We’re going to win this fight.”

 

Dwight Howard spent one season with the Los Angeles Lakers resulting in a 45–37 record and a first-round loss in the playoffs. The failure of that season has stuck with him and his reputation, going from a top player in the league to someone who has struggled to find a fit in the NBA.

Howard was asked about this time in his career on "FairGame" with FS1's Kristine Leahy. He recalled an interaction with Kobe Bryant after he was traded from the Lakers to the Houston Rockets where the Lakers legend called him "soft" and challenged Howard saying, "try me".

Any NBA fan who hears Bryant and Howard discussed in the same sentence will most likely immediately think of this interaction, which Howard did not hold back on.

Howard said he hated Bryant for years for his comments saying, "He had a comment about me being soft. And I think for years, I kinda hated him for saying that."

The now Grizzlies center says how he initially took the comments in a different way than Bryant may have intended them. He said, "I think he was more so talking about my mentality. Not my physique, not how I am on the court. Like my edge. And I didn't realize that because of all the noise surrounding him saying I was soft. And I hated it. I hated him for that moment. But I realized what he was talking about."

He is now thankful for the comments saying, "Everybody reaches different levels of maturity at different times. I think at that time I was ignorant to the level that he was at. So I appreciate you, Kobe. Thank you for saying I was soft. I didn't realize what you meant until now."

The 33-year-old eight-time All-Star spent last season with the Washington Wizards, and is now on his fifth different team since leaving the Lakers in the summer of 2013.

LAS VEGAS (July 20, 2019) - An exciting array of undercard attractions will support a blockbuster night of boxing on Saturday, July 20 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas including once-beaten prospects Austin Dulay (13-1, 10 KOs) and Justin Pauldo (12-1, 6 KOs) battling in an eight-round lightweight fight.

Unbeaten rising prospect Rolando “Rollie” Romero (9-0, 8 KOs) will return to action in a six or eight-round lightweight bout, while welterweight Abel Ramos (24-3-2, 18 KOs) steps in for an eight-round fight. Rounding out the card are a trio of Filipino contenders as Genesis Libranza (18-1, 10 KOs) battles in an eight-round flyweight battle, Jayar Inson (18-2, 12 KOs) competes in an eight-round welterweight affair and John Leo Dato (11-0-1, 7 KOs) enters the ring for a six-round featherweight bout.

The event is headlined by boxing’s only eight-division world champion and Philippine Senator Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao taking on undefeated WBA Welterweight World Champion Keith “One Time” Thurman in a powerhouse 147-pound showdown in the main event of a PBC on FOX Sports Pay-Per-View event beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.

Preceding the pay-per-view, FOX PBC Fight Night will feature undefeated IBF Super Middleweight World Champion Caleb “Sweethands” Plant making the first defense of his title against unbeaten contender Mike Lee in the main event, with coverage beginning at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.

ABS-CBN brings to the entire country the much-awaited fight between Filipino boxing pride Sen. Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao and World Boxing Association (WBA) super welterweight champion Keith Thurman on July 21 through its broadcast and digital platforms.

As the official fight broadcaster, ABS-CBN will air the match from the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, USA on ABS-CBN Ch.2 at 10:00 a.m. with immediate replay on ABS-CBN S+A at 3:00 p.m.. Filipinos can catch the fight live, without commercials and in high definition on SKY Sports PPV on cable TV. Fans can also follow the blow-by-blow coverage of DZMM Radyo Patrol 630 with seasoned sports anchor Dyan Castillejo and respected boxing analyst Quinito Henson starting at 9:00 a.m.

The entire fight will also be made available online via ABS-CBN’s popular streaming service iWant on July 22.

Pacquiao (61-7-2; 39 KOs), the WBA regular welterweight champion, is fresh from decisive victories over formidable opponents like Adrien Broner last January and Lucas Mathysse in 2018. Undefeated Thurman (30-0; 22 KOs), meanwhile, will be putting his unblemished record on the line for the first time in two years.

In an interview with Castillejo on S+A’s The Score, the General Santos City native explained why he continues to fight despite his age and the success he has already attained. “I want to prove to people that even at the age of 40, I can still fight. I thank God because he gave me good health and strength that not all boxers continue to enjoy,” she said.

With reports about his unusual drive during his training for the fight he said, “I am motivated for this fight. He’s been trash-talking and I want to bring to him all that he’s saying inside the ring.”

Don’t miss ABS-CBN’s exclusive coverage of the Pacquiao-Thurman welterweight unification fight LIVE on SKY Sports PPV and DZMM Radyo Patrol 630. The fight will also air on ABS-CBN Ch.2 at 10:00 a.m. and on primetime at 7:00 p.m. on S+A, and will be available online on iWant starting July 22.

SANTA MONICA, CA. (July 20, 2019) - Unbeaten super middleweight contender Mike Lee
shared his thoughts on his upcoming title showdown against super middleweight champion
Caleb “Sweethands” Plant from his training camp at Gloveworx in Santa Monica, California
before he steps into the ring Saturday, July 20 in the FOX PBC Fight Night main event from the
MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

FOX PBC Fight Night action begins at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT and features rising unbeaten
heavyweight sensation and 2016 Nigerian Olympian Efe Ajagba squaring off against undefeated
2016 Turkish Olympian Ali Eren Demirezen.

Tickets for the event, which is presented by TGB Promotions and Sweethands Promotions, are
on sale now and can be purchased online through AXS.com, charge by phone at 866-740-7711
or in person at any MGM Resorts International box office.
Lee is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame where he earned a finance degree from the
Mendoza School of Business before embarking on his pro boxing career. Here is what Lee had
to say about his training camp, his journey to fighting for the title and more:

MIKE LEE

"I have strong belief in my power. I think to put yourself out there and drive through adversity,
it's going to be more mental than physical and God knows I've had my ups and downs
especially with my illness and being in and out of hospitals. But I'm here now and I've won
seven fights since I was diagnosed with my auto-immune disease and I'm here doing what
people thought I could not do. Whether it's the boxing media or doctors, I'm defying the odds, so
why should July 20 be any different.

“What's kept me going through the ups and downs is the love for this sport and the love for
moments like this. I always knew this world title shot would come if I kept grinding and grinding
and putting in that work when people weren't watching. Ultimately, I wanted to prove to myself
that I could do it on the days that I doubted myself.

“I've fought on big stages before. I've headlined a card at Notre Dame that had 6,000 people.
I've headlined Chicago fights too, so this is nothing different. It's not like I'm some unknown
challenger coming in to the spotlight. I thrive in the spotlight and have had some big moments
since the beginning of my career. This is just another day in the office.

“I think Caleb Plant is going to see a Mike Lee he's never seen. He's going to feel that power.
He's talking about knockouts, but he hasn't knocked anyone out in his past seven fights. Wait
until he feels my power. It'll only take one and you'll see the doubt that will plant in his head.
“Notre Dame means so much to me. I worked so hard to get into that school and that school
gave back so much to me as well. To be a part of that Notre Dame community and have friends
like Golden Tate and Justin Tuck, who won Super Bowl rings, I want to be a part of that. I want
to be a part of that championship legacy and continue to keep giving back.

“For me I moved from Houston to Los Angeles because for a couple of years when I got sick, I
was back home in Chicago trying to figure out how to become healthier. Ultimately moving to
California has been a phenomenal move for me. I loved my team in Houston but I love being by
the beach and by the water. California has been an awesome training spot. You've got some of
the best fighters and athletes in the world that come here. Being immersed in that type of culture
has been phenomenal."

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