Pacquiao vs Mayweather is even fight

Posted by TheSaint On May - 10 - 2009

Manny Pacquiao will love a fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. “Maganda ‘yan,” Pacquiao told the Bulletin when told about the odds for such a matchup as he was having a sumptuous seafood lunch at Harbour View restaurant near the Quirino Grandstand in Manila.

Score KO for Freddie Roach too

Posted by TheSaint On May - 11 - 2009

Even those of us who expected Manny Pacquiao to handle Ricky Hatton last Saturday night were surprised by the ease with which Pac-Man utterly demolished the Englishman, knocking him down three times and out in the space of less than six minutes. It was a particularly satisfying win for Dedham’s Freddie Roach, the trainer who, over the past few years, has turned Pacquiao from a very gifted but left hand-crazy fighter into the world’s best boxer.

Machida overwhelms Evans, claims title

Posted by The Saint On Sunday, May 24, 2009 0 comments
Machida overwhelms Evans, claims title. LAS VEGAS – Lyoto Machida can’t be called dull any longer. “The Dragon” won the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s light heavyweight title with an electrifying flurry that knocked out Rashad Evans on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena at 3:57 of the second round.

The unbeaten Machida, a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Shotokan karate, entered the fight 14-0 but was derided for a cautious, defensive style.

And the first round was fought very tentatively. But Machida, who was the aggressor in the fight, landed a big left hand that hurt Evans and backed him into the cage.

Machida then fired a flurry of punches, with a big left dumping Evans on the seat of his pants. Referee Mario Yamasaki jumped in to save Evans, who clearly was in trouble.

“I want to keep this belt for a long time,” Machida said.

Machida, who shouted “karate is back” after the win, fired a series of hard punches, several of which landed, including a crunching right and a big left.

Evans never was able to connect. He spent the first round circling and looking for an opening that Machida never gave him. In the second, he landed a kick and a couple of punches but essentially had no offense.

“I’m dizzy,” Evans said. “Lyoto came out and was difficult to solve.”

In the co-main event, the grudge match between Matt Hughes and Matt Serra turned out to be a dud, with little action. Serra knocked Hughes down in the first round and Hughes seemed to be in trouble, but Serra was unable to finish.

In the final two rounds, Hughes used his superior strength to take Serra down and hold him on the mat. Hughes did little damage and frequently wasn’t trying to advance his position, but he kept Serra down for long stretches and that was enough to get him the victory.

All three judges had it 29-28 for Hughes, who admitted the prefight trash talk got him fired up.

“It was very much a motivating factor,” Hughes said. “What he said about me [bothered me], just as I’m sure what I said about him [bothered him].”

Hughes asked his corner what had happened when he walked back after the first round. He wasn’t aware he’d been knocked down.

“I didn’t know exactly what hit me,” he said. “A head butt or what punch it was.”

Serra was disappointed and seemed to think he’d won. When ring announcer Bruce Buffer called Hughes’ name, Serra stared at the floor and shook his head.

“I really wanted this win,” Serra said. “I trained really hard for it. I’m a little upset now.”

The two embraced briefly at the end of the fight and then again a few seconds later. Each seemed to indicate the bad blood between them was over.

Hughes, whose contract expired after Saturday’s bout, said he wanted to fight again and planned to talk to UFC president Dana White about making a bout somewhere in the Midwest near his home.

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Katrina Halili and Hayden kho's scandal

Posted by The Saint On Wednesday, May 20, 2009 0 comments
Katrina Halili comes clean on her brief affair with Dr. Hayden Kho..

In an interview with GMA-7's entertainment field reporter Lhar Santiago, the embattled sexy actress affirmed Hayden Kho's confession that they had a brief affair. His revelation reportedly triggered the collapse of Hayden's relationship with girlfriend and popular cosmetic surgeon, Vicki Belo.

"Nagkamali ako. Siyempre tao lang naman po ako, di ba? At least, kaya nga nung nalaman kong nagkamali ako matagal na akong lumayo at matagal ko ng pinagsisihan ‘yon. Kaya ngayon hinarap ko siya, na sinasabi kong hindi ako affected dahil matagal ko na pong pinagsisihan kung ano ‘yong pagkakamali ko," said Katrina.

The interview was conducted over the weekend at the taping of Gagambino where Katrina is part of the cast.

ASKS FOR UNDERSTANDING. Aware of the negative implications of her actions, Katrina asked the public not to judge her outright, based merely on what they heard or read.

"Kung talagang masama akong tao, nanay ko na mismo ‘yong hihila sa 'kin dito, tumigil na ko sa showbiz, pauwiin na ako sa probinsya. Hindi, e, nandiyan ‘yong nanay ko, nandiyan ‘yong family ko, 'yong mga kaibigan ko. Alam nila kung ano 'yong totoong nangyari at alam nila na siyempre nagkamali ako at pinagsisihan ko ‘yon," the lead star of One Night Only reasoned out.

Katrina also dismissed a nagging perception that she single-handedly tore down Hayden and Vicki's relationship. A combination of many factors that snowballed led to the breakup, according to the StarStruck alumna.

"Kung naghiwalay sila, maraming ibang bagay ‘yon. Huwag naman pong ako lang. Maraming ibang bagay, ang baduy naman na hiwalay sila dahil sa ‘kin lang e, ang tagal-tagal nang wala."

Katrina is set to leave the country tomorrow, December 30, together with rumored boyfriend Kris Lawrence for a vacation. She will also celebrate her birthday on January 4 in the U.S.

Explaining her rumored beau's indifference to the third-party issue, Katrina explained: "Nasabi ko na po sa kanya lahat. So, kung napapansin nila ‘yong mga interview ni Kris kasi, dedma na lang siya. Kasi alam naman niya kung ano ‘yong totoong nangyayari."

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Phelps loses in backstroke

Posted by The Saint On Sunday, May 17, 2009 0 comments
Phelps loses in backstroke. Not when he’s going against Aaron Peirsol.

The world-record holder and two-time Olympic champion handed Phelps his first defeat in almost a year, winning the 100-meter backstroke at the Charlotte UltraSwim on Saturday night.

Wearing his new Arena suit, Peirsol got off to a strong start and touched in 53.32 seconds. Phelps was trailing by more than a half-second at the turn and had no chance to make that up against one of the world’s greatest backstrokers, taking second in 53.79.

Phelps will remember this one.

“No matter who I’m racing, I hate to lose,” he said. “Aaron and I have had a number of battles back and forth. … That’s the fun part about racing Aaron—you know he’s always going be there. He’s a racer. He’s a competitor. He’s someone I like to race.”

Phelps’ last defeat in a final? Exactly 364 days ago, when Peirsol beat him in the 200 backstroke at Santa Clara, Calif., during the run-up to the Olympics, according to USA Swimming.

Phelps didn’t swim the backstroke in Beijing—it didn’t fit into the schedule that produced a record eight gold medals and made him the winningest Olympian ever. But he’s changing things up as he looks ahead to this summer’s world championships and the 2012 London Games.

The 100 backstroke is one of his main targets.

Bring it on, Peirsol said.

“By no means is anybody giving anything to anybody,” said Peirsol, who set a world record in the 100 back while winning his second straight Olympic gold in the event at Beijing. “I definitely wanted to win that race.”

Phelps is competing in five events at Charlotte—his first meet since Beijing—but only two were on his Olympic program. He won them both on Friday night, the 200 freestyle and 100 fly.

He swam the 50 free during the Saturday morning prelims and posted the eighth-fastest time, but that was merely a chance to test out the new straight-arm stroke he’ll use in his final event, the 100 free on Sunday. Phelps scratched from the 50 final, which was won by world-record holder Frederick Bousquet of France.

There’s still some work to do in the 100 back, not to mention some stout competition. Ryan Lochte, the Olympic champion in the 200 back, finished fourth Saturday night—not bad considering he was wearing an old-fashioned Speedo brief instead of one of the high-tech suits.

Phelps’ coach ripped off a lengthy to-do list when they get back to Baltimore.

“There’s probably three or four things in that race he can do better,” Bob Bowman said. “His start wasn’t very good; he came up really bad from his start. His turn was not exactly where it should be. And he didn’t have any legs at the end. That’s just conditioning.”

Still, Phelps tried to put the loss in perspective. He’s coming off a nine-month layoff that was by far the longest of his career. He had intended to come back sooner, but had to serve a three-month suspension imposed by USA Swimming after a British tabloid published a photo of him using a marijuana pipe.

The suspension ended May 5.

Now it’s time to chase down Peirsol.

“When Michael gets beat, he remembers the race more,” Bowman said. “When I say, ‘Let’s do some kicking to help with the 100 back,’ it’ll have more credence.”

Phelps was done when he made the turn in 26.64—putting him 0.62 behind Peirsol.

“If he’s going to race Aaron, he’s got to be on even terms one time and see what happens,” Bowman said. “You don’t come back on someone who’s the best finisher ever. You have to push him a little bit.”

Peirsol was surprised by his big lead at the flip.

“I couldn’t see him, so I thought he was probably really far ahead of me,” Peirsol said. “When he wasn’t, that made things a little easier.”

Still, this has the makings of a very juicy rivalry. Phelps said he’s not planning to hang a picture of Peirsol next to his bed as he once did with Ian Crocker when those two were battling in the 100 butterfly.

Not yet, anyway.

“This is going to come back with me,” Phelps said of the loss. “It doesn’t matter what stroke it is or what event it is, I don’t like to lose. Aaron has got the upper hand on me in pretty much all of our races.”

Though she’s been overshadowed by Phelps’ return, 17-year-old high schooler Dagny Knutson has actually won more events in Charlotte than the star attraction.

Knutson, who trains without benefit of a team or world-class facilities in her native North Dakota, picked up her third gold medal of the weekend with another win over Olympian Katie Hoff, this time in the 400 freestyle. Knutson won with a personal-best time of 4 minutes, 9.60 seconds.

Hoff, who changed coaches after a disappointing performance in Beijing, has yet to recapture the form that made her one of the most hyped swimmers not named Phelps going into the Olympics. She was edged at the wall in 4:09.72, after also losing to Knutson in the 200 free.

The North Dakotan’s other win came in the 400 individual medley.

Bousquet only entered the meet on Wednesday, less than a month after becoming the first swimmer to break the 21-second barrier in the 50 free.

He failed to match his 20.94 from the French national championship, but turned in the fastest time ever posted in the U.S.—21.33. Olympian Cullen Jones, who trains in Charlotte, was second in 21.92.

Bousquet, a former college star at Auburn, is eager to take the record even lower, though his main goal is winning a world championship in Rome this summer.

“I can shoot for sub-20 one day,” he said. “I’m trying not to put any limit on it. But right now, it’s more a matter of winning the race than going fast. I really want to win the 50 at the world championships. I know it’s going to be very hard. These guys are bringing it big time.”

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Pro wrestler Lashley destroys Cook in 24 seconds

Posted by The Saint On Sunday, May 17, 2009 0 comments
Pro wrestler Lashley destroys Cook in 24 seconds. Don't make fun of Bobby Lashley and his pro wrestling background. The former WWE star said he was incensed by the fact that his opponent Mike Cook came to the cage in a lucha libre mask a la Nacho Libre.

Lashley is generally a polite, sportsman but he refused to touch gloves with Cook. He charged Cook in the opening seconds and missed with a huge right. Cook made the mistake of dropping his head. Lashley, a big MMA heavyweight at 6-foot-3, 249 pounds, grabbed onto Cook's head with his left arm. From there, he used his bulk to lean on Cook and it took just a few seconds for Cook to wilt under Lashley's weight. Lashley flattened out Cook (7-4) and re-positioned his right arm to cinch on a choke. Cook's legs could be seen quivering and referee John McCarthy had to step in to stop the fight (video). All that in just 24 seconds during Maximum Fighting Championship 21 at the River Cree Resort and Casino just outside Edmonton, Alberta

"I’m here for business," said Lashley (3-0). "I’m here and everyone wants to and tries to make fun of the wrestling thing. I’m real. If they want to play around, I’ll knock them out or choke them out. And that’s what I did. I choked him out and made him pay. Now he can go put the mask back on and have fun with himself."

Lashley, making the conversion from the fake stuff with Vince McMahon, started training mixed martial arts last year. He won his first fight in 41 seconds when Joshua Franklin couldn't continue after a Lashley elbow busted him open. His last time out in March, Lashley won a decision against veteran Jason Guida.

Lashley needed to get through this fight unscathed because he has a stiff test against freakazoid Bob Sapp (pictured below on the right) right around the corner. Sapp, a former NFL player, NCAA All-American at Washington and a huge crossover star in Japan, is 6-4, 345. He doesn't have much stamina but he is dangerous for about 4-5 minutes. Sapp (10-3-1) and Lashley will meet on June 27 in Biloxi, Miss.

Lashley is finished with the WWE but is still dabbling with pro wrestling with TNA. Former WWE champ Brock Lesnar also made a quick transition to MMA. After just three fights, he won the UFC's heavyweight title by downing all-time great Randy Couture. He defends his strap at UFC 100 in July against Frank Mir.

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Final 2 'American Idol' singers selected

Posted by The Saint On Thursday, May 14, 2009 0 comments
Danny Gokey is dancing off "American Idol," leaving showy Adam Lambert and twangy Kris Allen to duke it out in the finale of the popular Fox singing competition next week.

Gokey, the bespectacled 29-year-old church music director and recent widower from Milwaukee, was revealed to have received the fewest viewer votes on Wednesday.

Gokey had continually impressed the judges with his husky voice -- but not his hip shaking -- throughout the contest. "Idol" judge Simon Cowell called his cover of Joe Cocker's version of "You Are So Beautiful" on Tuesday a "vocal master class" but said his dancing during Terence Trent D'Arby's "Dance Little Sister" was "desperate."

Along with Lambert, Gokey had long been considered to be a front-runner of the eighth season, never appearing as one of the show's bottom vote-getters. "Idol" host Ryan Seacrest said more than 88 million votes were received with 1 million votes separating the top two singers, meaning next week's Lambert-Allen showdown may be closer than anticipated.

"Look, none of us would have predicted this, guys," Cowell said at the end of the show.

The episode kicked off with "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian" stars Ben Stiller, Hank Azaria, Bill Hader and Jonah Hill starring in a plug masquerading as a skit about the "Idol" judges' desk being inducted into the Smithsonian. It wasn't a joke. The perch will be on display at the Smithsonian Institution Building in the coming weeks.

Before the results viewers saw Alicia Keys urging fans to support her charity, a 15-year-old Rwandan rapper named Noah, sixth-season champ Jordin Sparks, videos of the final three singers' trips to their hometowns and an over-the-top performance by Katy Perry.

Gokey just wanted to cut to the chase.

"I think we've had enough suspense, enough commercials, just enough playing around," he said. "Let's just get to it."

"I want to see Katy Perry!" Lambert exclaimed in response.

The feeling was apparently mutual. Perry made her love for Lambert no secret. The "I Kissed a Girl" singer crooned her latest single, "Waking Up in Vegas," with a troupe of glittery showgirls while wearing a scantily clad Elvis-inspired ensemble that was initially covered in a cape emblazoned with Lambert's name.

Either Lambert, a 27-year-old theater actor from San Diego, or Allen, a 23-year-old college student from Conway, Ark., will be crowned "Idol" next Wednesday. Cowell said Allen's totally stripped-down version of Kanye West's "Heartless" on Tuesday made him a contender for the finale.
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The Montauk Monster 2.0

Posted by The Saint On Thursday, May 14, 2009 0 comments
The Montauk Monster 2.0. Just when you thought it was safe to take a romantic walk along the beach, another Montauk Monster washes up on the shores of Long Island.

Another, you say? Yes: Last year, the original Monster caused a huge stir across the Web. Nobody knew what it was, but reports indicated it was big, bloated, beaked, and rather gross-looking. Naturally, onlookers couldn't turn away then, and they can't turn away now. (If you're feeling brave and you haven't eaten in a while, check out the story and images from Newsday.)

After Fox News and several other publications reported the latest Monster discovery, queries on the corpulent carcass roared like an angry wildebeest. Within 24 hours, searches on "what is the montauk monster" (a very good question) and "montauk monster pictures" were both red-hot.

Additionally, blogs are now chiming in with their theories on the creature's origin. Was it planted by pranksters? For what it's worth, the urban legend experts at write that there seems to be "no consensus" as to whether the original Monster was real, photoshopped, or just a very large raccoon.

Want to decide for yourself? Beware — even for the Internet, these guys are pretty gross.

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Score KO for Freddie Roach, too

Posted by The Saint On Monday, May 11, 2009 0 comments
Even those of us who expected Manny Pacquiao to handle Ricky Hatton last Saturday night were surprised by the ease with which Pac-Man utterly demolished the Englishman, knocking him down three times and out in the space of less than six minutes. It was a particularly satisfying win for Dedham’s Freddie Roach, the trainer who, over the past few years, has turned Pacquiao from a very gifted but left hand-crazy fighter into the world’s best boxer.

What had begun as good-natured banter conducted primarily for the benefit of HBO’s “Pacquiao-Hatton 24/7” cameras had become a vituperative war of words between Roach and his counterpart in the Hatton corner, Floyd Mayweather Sr., who fancied himself - usually at the expense of Roach - as the world’s best trainer. If you watched the pay-per-view telecast you may have noticed that when the cameras followed Hatton and his entourage on his long, sad walk back to the dressing room, Mayweather was nowhere to be seen. In fact, by the time Hatton revived from the frightening knockout, Mayweather had already abandoned the corner and was mingling with the ringside crowd, posing for pictures and signing autographs while Hatton sat on a stool being examined by ringside doctors.

Roach, incidentally, was somewhat annoyed by the assumption (one that acquired further legs when HBO announcer Jim Lampley repeated it on the telecast) he had hired former heavyweight champion Michael Moorer as an assistant because the Parkinson’s disease that has afflicted him for a decade is worsening.

“I didn’t bring in Michael Moorer because I’m any sicker,” Roach said. “I hired him because he needed a job. I was helping him more than he was helping me.”

In Pacquiao’s training sessions, Roach noted, he was the one in the ring working the mitts, while Moorer watched from the apron and offered pointers. . . .

When he announced a July 18 comeback fight against Juan Manuel Marquez literally hours before Pacquiao and Hatton went into the ring, it appeared that Floyd Mayweather Jr. was trying to upstage the big fight, but in the wake of Pacquiao’s performance the news became a footnote. Mayweather and Marquez will fight as welterweights, with a catch-weight contractual limit of 143 pounds, which would seem to give Mayweather an additional edge. Even though it could produce an autumn opponent for Pacquiao, Roach called the matchup of counterpunchers “a boring fight,” and opined “Who cares?”

Different strokes

What do you suppose might have been going through Lucien Bute’s mind as he watched Jermain Taylor, ahead on two cards, collapse at the finish line to be stopped by Carl Froch with 14 seconds left in their Foxwoods fight April 25?

Froch retained his WBC super middleweight title with the come-from-behind win. Six months earlier in Montreal, Bute kept his IBF version of the title when, under almost identical circumstances, the referee saved him by keeping Librado Andrade at bay until the final bell sounded. Mike Ortega’s stoppage of Taylor-Froch was beyond reproach, but if Marlon Hayes instead of Ortega had been on duty at Foxwoods, Taylor might be the new champion.

Froch said he wants to unify the title, but instead of challenging one of the division’s other champs, he tried his best to coax Joe Calzaghe out of retirement.

Calzaghe doesn’t sound interested: “To be honest, it would be frightening what I would do to him if we fought. (Froch) doesn’t seem to realize that holding your hands up and defending yourself is a pretty vital part of boxing.”

Bute, by the way, was ringside at Foxwoods not in anticipation of a unification fight, but to scout the winner of the Allen Green-Carlos De Leon Jr. co-feature as a next opponent. Green’s two-round destruction of De Leon may have produced second thoughts about that matchup. Matchmaker Don Majeski suggested that the July opponent’s role may instead go to Providence’s Joey Spina.

Spina, who has won five straight since being exposed by Peter Manfredo Jr. three years ago, is scheduled to face Tiwon Taylor in the main event of Jimmy Burchfield’s May 21 card at the Twin River Events Center in Lincoln, R.I. Taylor (27-13) has lost six of his last eight, so it’s not a fight that should imperil a July title fight should that opportunity present itself in the meantime. In the May 21 co-feature, James McGirt Jr. will make his CES promotional debut vs. an as-of-yet undetermined foe. The evening will also renew the rivalry between McGirt’s father/trainer Buddy, and Micky Ward, who last faced down from opposite corners when the former trained Ward’s archrival, Arturo Gatti. Ward will be working the corner of nephew Sean Ecklund, who will fight Jose Guzman in a lightweight prelim. For more information, phone 401-724-2253. . . .

Burchfield could have another of his fighters challenging for a world title in inhospitable surroundings on the same weekend - and maybe even the same night - if things fall into place for Providence’s Matt Godfrey to face Poland’s IBF cruiserweight Tomasz Adamek on July 10. Adamek has drawn large and enthusiastic mostly-Polish crowds to Newark’s Prudential Arena for his last two title fights, and his promoters have booked the building for a July 10 Adamek card.

But reports that WBC junior middleweight champion Vernon Forrest is likely to withdraw from his scheduled Aug. 1 mandatory against Sergio Martinez, which would leave Showtime in search of a replacement bout. Showtime had previously passed on Adamek-Glen Johnson, as had HBO, but Forrest’s impending defection may cause the former to rethink that strategy. If Showtime approves Johnson, that fight would be a go and move to Aug. 1, but if the network nixes it again, then Godfrey looms Adamek’s likely July 10 opponent.

Tony Petronelli, who once held the USBA junior middleweight championship, challenged Wilfred Benitez for the world title in 1976, and later worked the corner of Marvelous Marvin Hagler, will be honored for his 40 years in boxing with a May 20 tribute at Joe Angelo’s Cafe in Brockton on May 20. The son of Hagler co-handler Pasquale Petronelli, Tony was 42-4-1 in a seven-year pro career that began in 1972 and lasted until 1979. Doors open at 5:30, with first bell at 6:30. For more information, phone 508-509-3236. . . .

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