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Olympic boxing greats Lomachenko, Rigondeaux fight as pros

first_imgOSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours MOST READ It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson LATEST STORIES Then Lomachenko will try to cap his year by breaking through Rigondeaux’s often impenetrable defense.At 5-foot-6, the 29-year-old now living in California hardly looks intimidating. Lomachenko arrived for his news conference Thursday in a button-down shirt and thick glasses, a cerebral look for what figures to be a fierce night in the ring.Fitting, because this is a fight he’ll have to win as much with his mind as his muscle.“Of course, it’s going to be a very intelligent fight. Two guys meeting who really knows about boxing,” Lomachenko said through an interpreter. “So it’s an intelligent fight, brain fight.”Both fighters thrive in those, part of the reason they can’t land the bigger fights they want. They’re tough to even look good against, let alone beat, and many opponents want no part of that.So they ended up fighting each other, one of them perhaps headed to a loss that’s been so infrequent dating to their youth.“It’s going to be a great fight for the fans and it’s going to be a great historical fight that fans will forever look back on,” Rigondeaux said.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Coco’s house rules on ‘Probinsyano’ set Jo Koy: My brain always wants to think funny First he has to deal with Rigondeaux (17-0, 11 KOs), the 122-pound champion moving up two weight classes for an ESPN-televised chance to earn the appreciation that his unbeaten pro career hasn’t brought yet.“It’s a very important fight in my career,” Rigondeaux said through an interpreter. “It’s going to be a great show and I hope everybody appreciates the show we’re going to put on Saturday.”The Olympic gold medalist for Cuba at 119 pounds in 2000 and 2004 would have preferred it at a lighter weight, where he wouldn’t be giving up size to a fighter who has the offensive arsenal of Lomachenko. But 130 pounds was where Rigondeaux, 37, had to go to get the opportunity that has eluded him throughout his unbeaten career, even when he toppled Nonito Donaire in 2013 in a fight that gave him another title but not really many more fans.His defensive-minded style was the way to pile up the points as an amateur, where on top of his Olympic golds he also won world titles in 2001 and 2005, and Pan American Games gold medals in 2003 and 2005. But it hasn’t done much to make him marketable as a pro, where Lomachenko’s six straight victories by stoppage demonstrate the kind of aggression casual viewers favor.“Rigo has had a historic, legendary career as an Olympic fighter and now as a professional and this is a fight that he’s been waiting for his entire career, to bring him not just to the top of the pound-for-pound list, where he has always been, to bring him the exposure and the accolades as one of the most popular fighters in the world that he’s so deserving of,” promoter Dino Duva said. “But he’s never had the chance to get there. This is the fight that’s going to bring him over that hump.”The undercard includes American Shakur Stevenson, the 2016 Olympic silver medalist who sparred with Lomachenko during camp, as well as former Irish Olympic bronze medalist Michael Conlan. U.S. women’sOlympian Mikaela Mayer also is in one of the preliminary bouts.ADVERTISEMENT Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ FILE – In this Aug. 23, 2008, file photo, Vasyl Lomachenko, of Ukrain,e reacts after defeating Khedafi Djelkhir, of France, during the men’s featherweight 57 kilogram final boxing match at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Before they became professional champions, Vasyl Lomachenko and Guillermo Rigondeaux were the class of boxing’s amateur ranks. They meet Saturday for Lomachenko’s 130-pound title in the first pro bout between two-time Olympic gold medalists. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)NEW YORK — Vasyl Lomachenko and Guillermo Rigondeaux, both champions and two of boxing’s best, were even more than that as amateurs.They were the gold standard.ADVERTISEMENT Embiid, Simmons lead 76ers from Process to work in progress Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene Phivolcs records 2 ‘discrete weak ash explosions’ at Taal Volcano Kiss-and-tell matinee idol’s conquests: True stories or tall tales? So a fight between them seemed natural, the first professional bout pitting fighters who each won two Olympic gold medals.“It’s obviously a historic fight,” promoter Bob Arum said. “Two great, great fighters with two unbelievable pedigrees facing each other.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSBrian Heruela arrival bolsters Phoenix backcourt, defenseThey fight Saturday at the Theater in Madison Square Garden for Lomachenko’s 130-pound title, a popular pairing for fight fans who marveled at their mastery of the craft back when the prizes were medals around their necks, not belts around their waists.“This fight is very important for me because a lot of people who are fans, a lot of media want this fight,” Lomachenko said. “It’s a very special fight for them. It’s special for me. It will be interesting.”Lomachenko (9-1, 7 KOs) won Olympic gold in 2008 and again four years later in London fighting at a different weight, the highlights of an amateur career in which the Ukrainian compiled a 396-1 record. He won a 126-pound belt in just his third pro fight in 2014, has made three defenses of the 130-pound title he won in 2016, and is likely headed for a move up to lightweight next year.last_img read more

Lillard leads Trail Blazers past Pacers

first_img“In the third quarter, I thought we gave them a lot of opportunities,” Portland coach Terry Stotts said. “In the fourth quarter, it was good to see the lead expand without having very many mistakes.”Portland took control late in the third quarter, when the Blazers held Indiana scoreless for more than five minutes. It was part of Portland’s 21-2 run, during which Shabazz Napier scored eight points to help erase a six-point deficit and give the Blazers an 89-76 lead midway through the fourth quarter.Napier kick-started the rally during the final seconds of the third quarter, when he made a backcourt steal, then hit a corner 3-pointer as time expired to tie the game at 74.Victor Oladipo and Darren Collison scored 23 points each for Indiana (24-21).Indiana coach Nate McMillan had an eye on the stat sheet in assessing what went wrong for the Pacers. Portland outrebounded Indiana 57-46, and scored 24 second-chance points to the Pacers’ 10.ADVERTISEMENT Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard shoots over Indiana Pacers center Domantas Sabonis during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018. The Trail Blazers won 100-86. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland’s home court was once one of the NBA’s toughest for visitors — but was a source of frustration for the Trail Blazers earlier this season.But they appear to have their home mojo back, as the Blazers won their fifth consecutive home game Thursday night, beating the Indiana Pacers 100-86.ADVERTISEMENT Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours LATEST STORIES Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Nonito Donaire vs Naoya Inoue is BWAA 2019 Fight of the Year Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Damian Lillard scored 26 points and Jusuf Nurkic had 19 points and a season-high 17 rebounds to lead Portland (24-21). C.J. McCollum scored 16 points and Shabazz Napier 13 for the Blazers.Just six weeks ago, the Blazers lost six consecutive games during a late-November, early December stretch. But starting Dec. 28 with a victory over Philadelphia, Portland has returned to its winning ways in Moda Center.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folk“Overall our team has just locked in a little bit more,” Lillard said. “We had a rough stretch. We’re not the first team or the last team that’ll have that. The important thing when you have times like that is to stay together and stay with it. I think we’re just in a better place on the floor as a group.”Several wins during this streak looked like Thursday’s, a game in which Portland had most of the answers during the fourth quarter. Tied at 74 after three quarters, the Blazers outscored Indiana 26-12 during the final period to pull out the win. OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacsoncenter_img Almazan vows to comeback stronger after finals heartbreak Embiid drops 26 as Sixers nip Celtics “That’s the hustle game you have to win,” McMillan said. “We have to give help to our bigs down in the paint. They outworked us, and won that game.”Nurkic had one of his most productive games as a Blazer, missing his career high by three rebounds. Nurkic got going early, hitting his first three shots during the first five minutes. Stotts said he didn’t recall running plays for Nurkic, saying he was doing it all on effort.“When he got in the paint, he was finishing early,” Lillard said of Nurkic. “He played strong. Even on the defensive end, he was contesting shots at the rim. . When he plays that way on both ends, we’re a much better team.”Indiana was without forward Myles Turner, the team’s second-leading scorer this season. Turner has missed five consecutive games with a right elbow injury.McCollum sprinted from the floor to the locker room early in the fourth quarter with a brief bout of nausea, but returned a few minutes later.Portland led 52-47 at halftime, and the difference was a pair of buzzer-beaters: McCollum’s 3-pointer at the end of the first quarter, and Lillard’s desperation layup off a drive to finish the second quarter.TIP-INSPacers: The last time Indiana won in Portland was Nov. 28, 2007. … Of the 12 games Turner has missed this season, two came against Portland. … Lance Stephenson missed the team’s morning shootaround with an illness, but played. He finished with no points on 0-of-6 shooting from the floor and missed both of his foul shots. … Indiana is 2-1 on its current five-game road trip, having won at Phoenix and Utah.Trail Blazers: Led by 12 boards from Nurkic, Portland outrebounded Indiana 29-18 in the first half. … Nurkic had a double-double in the first half with 12 points and 12 rebounds. … Portland swept the season series from Indiana for the third time in four seasons. The Blazers won 114-96 over the Pacers on Oct. 20. … Al-Farouq Aminu is averaging 13 points and 10 rebounds in his last four games against Indiana.MAKING UP FOR POOR SHOOTINGPortland won despite shooting just 39.4 percent from the floor (37 of 94), and 31.2 percent from 3-point range (10 of 32). Only once has Portland shot worse and won a game this season.The Blazers made up for it in other ways, like free throw shooting. They were 16 of 16, the third time they’ve been perfect from the line in a game this season, an NBA high. The Blazers also converted 14 offensive rebounds into 24 second-chance points. MOST READ OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Michael Porter Jr. stays patient as playing time increases Newsome sets focus on helping Bolts open new PBA season on right track View commentslast_img read more