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  • Bradley scores contentious decision over Pacquiao Jun 10, 2012 12:32 AM
    Timothy Bradley won a contested split decision over Manny Pacquiao, ending the Filipino fighter's remarkable run and handing him his first defeat in seven years. It didn't come easy and it wasn't without controversy, with the pro-Pacquiao crowd booing loudly when the decision was announced.

  • Mayweather to trade mansion for Vegas jail cell Jun 1, 2012 3:43 PM
    Floyd Mayweather Jr. surrendered in a courtroom Friday to begin a three-month jail sentence for attacking his ex-girlfriend in September 2010 while two of their children watched.

  • Mayweather wins unanimous decision over Cotto May 6, 2012 4:51 PM
    Floyd Mayweather Jr. used his speed and accuracy Saturday night to take a unanimous decision over a game Miguel Cotto in a bruising bout to win a piece of the 154-pound title. But it wasn't easy, as Cotto landed some hard punches and kept attacking all the way to the final bell.

  • Cary resident launches boxing promotions May 2, 2012 2:49 PM
    Paul Jonas really believes in boxing as a way to build character, especially in young people. The Cary resident has created Poundit Boxing Promotions, which will present its first amateur boxing event Saturday evening at The Lakemoor Banquets.

  • Pride for the pros: Thomas salutes its best Mar 22, 2012 8:06 PM
    Their professional playing careers span five different decades, and on the surface, it may not seem like they have much in common. But on Thursday morning in Arlington Heights, Dave Corzine, Mike Myers, Brian McBride, Tom Zbikowski and Tom Nelson shared one thing: they were all recipients of the Pride of the Wolf Pack Award at Thomas Middle School. Corzine, McBride, Zbikowski and Nelson all spoke to the student body about the importance of hard work and dedication, no matter your walk of life. Although none of them attended Thomas at the same time, they all had a hand in influencing one another.

  • Mayweather says Pacquiao 'not one of the sharpest' Feb 28, 2012 6:56 PM
    A trumpet blared a fanfare to introduce Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Miguel Cotto as fans at the Apollo Theater cheered the start of Tuesday's news conference to promote their May 5 fight in Las Vegas. Still, there appeared to be far more interest in the fight that's not happening — a matchup between Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. Mayweather made clear that whether they meet in the ring is about the money — breaking down the shares in what could be boxing's richest fight ever.

  • WBC suspends Chisora indefinitely after brawl Feb 28, 2012 6:43 PM
    The WBC suspended British boxer Dereck Chisora indefinitely on Tuesday following his brawl with former WBA champion David Haye after a title fight against Vitali Klitschko in Germany. The WBC issued a statement announcing the ban and harshly criticized Chisora's conduct before and after the Feb. 18 fight, saying it "is considered one of the worst behaviors ever by a professional boxer."

  • Angelo Dundee, Ali’s corner man, dies at 90 Feb 1, 2012 9:56 PM
    Angelo Dundee, the brilliant motivator who worked the corner for Muhammad Ali in his greatest fights and willed Sugar Ray Leonard to victory in his biggest bout, died Wednesday in Tampa, Fla. He was 90.

  • Mayweather gets license for May 5 fight vs. Cotto Feb 1, 2012 5:25 PM
    LAS VEGAS — Floyd Mayweather Jr. said Wednesday he will fight Miguel Cotto on May 5 in Las Vegas. Mayweather made the announcement after getting a conditional one-fight license and a lecture from Nevada athletic commissioners, who told the fighter, his manager-promoter and his lawyer they want a prefight report May 1 to ensure Mayweather abides by conditions set by a Nevada judge in a criminal domestic violence case that will have him begin serving 90 days in jail June 1. Commission Chairman Raymond “Skip” Avansino Jr. said it would be a “tragedy” if Mayweather didn’t meet the requirements to make the multimillion-dollar Cinco de Mayo bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. “But we think Mr. Mayweather is certainly going to comply with this,” Avansino said. The commission unanimously granted the one-fight license, after Commissioner Pat Lundvall told Mayweather he can’t postpone or delay serving his jail sentence and must stay out of trouble for the 14-plus weeks he’s training to take on Cotto. “I’m just happy to be fighting May 5,” Mayweather said as he emerged from the hearing room. “They granted me one fight. I need to conduct myself like a gentleman and do everything that the court ordered and then come back in front of them and show them that I deserve to have a license for a whole year.” The undefeated Mayweather, a seven-time world champion in five weight classes, will turn 35 this month. He’ll step up in weight to fight Cotto, 31, a three-division champion from Puerto Rico. The bout will be for the WBA super welterweight belt. “He’s the best at 154,” Mayweather said of Cotto. Mayweather dismissed failed attempts to book the May 5 fight with Manny Pacquiao, a Philippine champion against whom Mayweather is usually measured. “He really doesn’t want to fight,” Mayweather said. Mayweather and Pacquiao are boxing’s top two stars, and they have taunted each other for more than two years — including recent postings on Twitter. They also have a defamation lawsuit pending in federal court in Las Vegas stemming from Mayweather accusations that Pacquiao took performance enhancing drugs. Both say they’re eager to fight, but no deal has been reached for what many believe would be the most lucrative bout in boxing history. Mayweather defeated Victor Ortiz for the WBC welterweight title in September to go to 42-0 with 26 knockouts. Cotto is 36-2 with 29 knockouts. He is coming off of the second defense of his title, a 10th-round technical knockout win over Antonio Margarito in December. In a joint statement announcing the fight, Cotto said he intends to be the first boxer to beat Mayweather. “I am here to fight the biggest names in boxing,” Cotto said. “I’ve never ducked anyone or any challenge in front of me.” Both fighters have agreed to Olympic-style drug testing for the 12-round fight handled by Mayweather Promotions, Golden Boy Promotions and Miguel Cotto Promotions. The May 5 fight date was set before Mayweather pleaded guilty Dec. 21 in Nevada state court to a reduced battery domestic violence charge and no contest to two harassment charges. The plea stemmed from a hair-pulling, punching and arm-twisting argument in October 2010 with Josie Harris, the mother of three of Mayweather’s children. Prosecutors dropped felony and misdemeanor charges that could have gotten Mayweather 34 years in prison. With credit for three days already served, Mayweather faces 87 days in jail but likely will serve about 60 days.

  • Pacquiao-Mayweather has ‘sell-by date,’ HBO excecutive says Jan 31, 2012 3:50 PM
    NEW YORK — The new president of HBO Sports says the long-desired Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather bout has a “sell-by date” of later this year or early next year. Ken Hershman said Tuesday that after then, it becomes “less and less relevant.” Mayweather and Pacquiao are boxing’s top two stars, and they have circled each other warily for more than two years. Both have said they’re eager to fight, yet they still haven’t reached a deal for what’s likely to be the most lucrative bout in boxing history. Hershman says if the two sides asked HBO to mediate, he’d be happy to, but doesn’t expect that request. Otherwise, he says the network will stay out of the discussions. Hershman says “I don’t think the sport needs to be saved or believe all that hyperbole.”

  • Tebow's benediction, Eli's ‘Hail Mary' and Ali's birthday Jan 17, 2012 12:03 PM
    We now can give the benediction for Tim Tebow's season in the religious spotlight, but don't forget the Giants' "Hail Mary" touchdown and Muhammad Ali's 70th birthday.

  • Muhammad Ali cheered at 70th birthday bash in Kentucky Jan 14, 2012 7:23 PM
    LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Muhammad Ali soaked in familiar cheers and chants along with a rendition of “Happy Birthday” on Saturday night as friends and admirers celebrated the boxing champ’s coming 70th birthday at a party in his Kentucky hometown. As partygoers mingled in a lobby of the Muhammad Ali Center before the party, Ali walked to a second-floor balcony overlooking them. The crowd immediately began to clap, then broke into chants of “Ali! Ali!” followed by singing as Ali watched for about two minutes. The three-time world heavyweight champion, who is battling Parkinson’s disease, leaned against a rail and raised his right hand to wave to the crowd. Ali was flanked by his wife, Lonnie, and his sister-in-law. After the brief appearance, Ali went to his party. Former heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis said his boyhood idol is “still the greatest.” “I feel so proud and honored that we’re able to show our feelings and show our support for him,” Lewis said. Lewis said Ali’s strength and influence extended far beyond the boxing ring in his humanitarian efforts. “What he’s done outside the ring — just the bravery, the poise, the feeling, the sacrifice,” Lewis said “ ... He’s truly a great man.” The guest list numbered 350 for the private party, which doubled as a $1,000-per-person fundraiser for the Ali Center, the six-year-old cultural and education complex designed to be a legacy to his social activism. The six-story center also retraces Ali’s career, including his epic bouts against Joe Frazier, George Foreman and Sonny Liston. Guests paid tribute to Ali beforehand. “The reason I loved him is because of his confidence,” University of Kentucky men’s basketball coach John Calipari said. “He would talk and then back it up. He had great courage and who had more fun than him?” The guest list also included Ali’s trainer Angelo Dundee and three American hikers who were imprisoned in Iran. Ali, perhaps the most prominent U.S. Muslim, lobbied for their release. Rocker John Mellencamp headlined the entertainment. Ali turns 70 on Tuesday, and the party in his hometown is the first of five planned in the next few months. Not long after Ali’s appearance without assistance on the balcony, the crowd began filing into a banquet hall for the party, which was closed to the public and reporters. The self-proclaimed “greatest of all time” remains one of the world’s most recognizable figures, even though he’s been largely absent from the public eye recently as he fights Parkinson’s disease. Lonnie Ali said Friday that her husband has mixed feelings about the landmark birthday. “He’s glad he’s here to turn 70, but he wants to be reassured he doesn’t look 70,” she said. Born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. on Jan. 17, 1942, Ali took up boxing at age 12, when his bike was stolen and he wanted to find and whip the culprit. The boy was introduced to Joe Martin, a police officer who coached boxing at a local gym. Ali’s brother, 68-year-old Rahaman Ali, recalled on Saturday night that the champ was cheerful and happy as a youngster. “As a little boy he (said) he would be the world’s greatest fighter and be a great man,” he said. Ali flourished in the ring, becoming a top amateur and Olympic gold medalist. He made his professional debut in Louisville and arranged for a local children’s hospital to receive proceeds from the fight. Lewis said Ali ranks as the greatest of heavyweights, and he said he was inspired by Ali’s fights. “I used to get mad if I didn’t see the Ali shuffle,” Lewis said. “So I was always watching him, expecting some type of antic.” Ali won the heavyweight title in 1964, defeating the heavily favored Sonny Liston. Soon after, Ali — who was raised in a Baptist family — announced his conversion to Islam and changed his name. While in his prime, Ali was stripped of his heavyweight crown in 1967 for refusing to be drafted for military service during the Vietnam War. He cited his religious beliefs as the reason for his refusal. His decision alienated Ali from many across the U.S. and resulted in a draft-evasion conviction. Ali found himself embroiled in a long legal fight that ended in 1971, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in his favor. Ali lost his first bid to regain the heavyweight crown when Frazier knocked him down and took a decision in the “Fight of the Century” at Madison Square Garden in 1971. Ali regained the heavyweight title in 1974, defeating Foreman in the “Rumble in the Jungle.” A year later, he outlasted Frazier in the epic “Thrilla in Manila” bout. Last year, a frail Ali rose from his seat and clapped for his deceased rival at Frazier’s funeral. Ali’s last title came in 1978 when he defeated Leon Spinks. Ali retired from boxing in 1981 and devoted himself to social causes. He traveled the world on humanitarian missions, mingling with the masses and rubbing elbows with world leaders. Ali received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush in 2005.

  • Pacquiao camp: No fight with Mayweather on May 5 Jan 12, 2012 12:33 AM
    Manny Pacquiao’s camp says there is no economic sense in setting up a bout with Floyd Mayweather on May 5 after the unbeaten American publicly challenged the Filipino champion via Twitter.

  • Boxer Mayweather sidesteps jail time until June Jan 6, 2012 11:29 PM
    A judge in Las Vegas on Friday gave Floyd Mayweather Jr. until June 1 to turn himself in to serve a 90-day jail sentence.

  • Boxer Mayweather gets 90 jail days in Vegas case Dec 21, 2011 3:32 PM
    Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. was sentenced Wednesday to 90 days in jail after pleading guilty to reduced battery domestic violence and harassment charges before a Las Vegas judge.

  • Cotto-Margarito rematch takes MSG center stage Dec 2, 2011 10:26 AM
    BC-BOX--Cotto-Margarito, 1st Ld-Writethru,215 Margarito not worried if Cotto aims punches at eye AP Photo NYMA102 Associated Press NEW YORK — Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito didn’t know for sure until less than two weeks before their fight that they were on for Madison Square Garden. Margarito’s surgically repaired right eye could be part of the strategy and the outcome Saturday in their 154-pound title bout. The New York State Athletic Commission ordered another examination of his eye before licensing him Nov. 22. Margarito needed surgery to repair a fractured orbital bone after losing to Manny Pacquiao in November 2010. “He can punch me in the eye,” Margarito said at a news conference earlier this week. “It’s not going to do any damage.” Cotto said he didn’t think Margarito would fight unless he was healthy. “We prepare for anything,” the Puerto Rican star said. “But if we saw some weakness on Margarito,” he and his corner would go after it. Margarito stopped Cotto in the 11th round in a rousing fight in July 2008 to win the WBA welterweight title. Since then, both have been battered by Pacquiao, and Margarito missed more than a year because of a hand-wrapping scandal. In January 2009, Margarito was found to have a plaster-like substance in his wraps before a loss to Shane Mosley. Cotto accuses Margarito of also using an illegal hand wrap during their bout, which the Tijuana Tornado denies.

  • It's a wrap: Remembering a wacky sports year Dec 2, 2011 5:49 AM
    It's that time of year and there are gonna be a gazillion year-end wrap-up shows. And it got me thinking; if there was a show like that for what happened here in sports over the past year, I'm not sure who or what would be the winner, Mike Spellman writes. From Caleb Hanie to Ozzie Guillen, it's been a wacky year in the Windy City.

  • Wheaton boxer Mike Lee ready for Madison Square Garden debut Dec 2, 2011 2:20 PM
    After boxing in Cowboys Stadium, Wheaton native Mike Lee will surely have another one of those big moments Saturday when he steps into the ring for a scheduled six-round fight against Allen Medina at Madison Square Garden.

  • ‘Unique’ Hitz can’t get enough boxing Nov 22, 2011 8:46 PM
    Boxing promoter Bobby Hitz is still sold on his sport and still selling it to the public. Hitz, a former heavyweight who once fought George Foreman, is reviving a Thanksgiving Eve tradition with a card tonight in Elk Grove Village.

  • Former heavyweight champ Frazier remembered Nov 16, 2011 1:34 PM
    BEAUFORT, S.C. — Long before he became Smokin’ Joe, the future heavyweight champion was known in his South Carolina hometown as “Billy Boy” — a stocky farmer’s son who honed his devastating left hook on a punching bag made from a flour sack stuffed with corn cobs, rags and Spanish moss. Joe Frazier would make Philadelphia his adopted home, but his roots ran deep in the sandy soil of the South Carolina coast where he was born in 1944. More than 250 family members and friends gathered Wednesday for a church memorial service near his hometown of Beaufort. “He was Joe Frazier to the world, but he was our Uncle Billy,” said Dannette Frazier, one of about a dozen of Frazier’s nieces and nephews who still live near the 10-acre farm where the boxer was raised. Frazier died Nov. 7 from cancer at age 67. The South Carolina service had none of the celebrity trappings of Frazier’s funeral Monday in Philadelphia, where Jesse Jackson delivered the eulogy to a congregation including Muhammad Ali, former heavyweight champ Larry Holmes and promoter Don King. Also absent from the service at Bethesda Christian Fellowship on St. Helena Island was Frazier’s body. In place of his casket, two large portraits of Frazier stood at the church altar — one of him wearing the Olympic gold medal he won in 1964; the other taken with his massive heavyweight champion belt slung over his shoulder. After the church service, dozens more gathered for an outdoor memorial at a waterfront park overlooking the Beaufort River. Frazier’s daughter, Jacqui Frazier Lyde of Philadelphia, told the crowd she regretted that she was unable to bring his casket back to South Carolina. “I feel like, as the breeze is blowing, my father’s spirit is here,” Lyde said. “Because this is his home.” Lyde said her father was being buried in a blue suit and patent leather shoes. “He looked like one of God’s men.” Frazier spent his first 15 years in Beaufort on a farm where his parents grew corn, watermelon and okra. Frazier’s father was proud that he was not a sharecropper. He owned his land. By age 6, Frazier was in the fields helping his brothers and sisters pick tomatoes and other crops. He began driving his father’s pickup truck when he was 7. His mother would later recall Frazier started to fight around the age of 9. Frazier’s father encouraged the brawling, saying he could grow up to be the next Joe Louis, and Frazier started training with whatever materials he had at hand. The fighter later said he gave daily beatings to his homemade punching bag for several years. Frazier was expelled from school in the ninth-grade when he fought a white student for calling his mother names. He got a job working construction that helped him build his body and earn enough money to leave the South. In 1959, at age 15, Frazier bought a ticket and boarded a bus to New York to begin training as a boxer in earnest. “I left the South as soon as I found out about the North,” Frazier later told a biographer. At the outdoor service, which ended with the traditional boxers’ send off of a ringing bell, Beaufort Mayor Billy Keyserling lamented that Frazier had to leave the segregated South to achieve success. Frazier’s home state made some amends a year ago when he returned to Beaufort to be awarded the Order of the Palmetto, South Carolina’s highest civilian honor. “He showed that with determination, with fight, with discipline and with stamina you can go to the top,” the mayor said. “It is a great honor that somebody who grew up in this town brings that message to all.” Frazier made frequent trips back to South Carolina, where some family members still live along a road named after him in Beaufort. Family and friends said he preferred to drive rather than fly or a take a train, because Fraizer stayed on the move after her arrived. “He’d spend three or four days here because he had to visit everybody,” Danette Frazier said. At the church service, Dannette Frazier recalled how her Uncle Billy rushed home to Beaufort a couple of years ago when her mother, Rebecca Hall Frazier, died. She laughed at the memory of how Frazier drove the 700 miles from Philly to Beaufort, even though “he was legally blind.” Frazier arrived safely nonetheless. “He said, `It was easy. I just looked at the taillights in front of me,”’ Dannette Frazier said. “That’s the loving uncle we knew.”

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