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Usman batters Covington, Volkanovski claims title at UFC 245

By Greg Beacham, Associated Press LAS VEGAS (AP) — Kamaru Usman brutally stopped Colby Covington with 50 seconds left in the fifth round at UFC 245 on Saturday night, retaining his UFC welterweight title with a spectacular finish to their grudge match. Alexander Volkanovski took the UFC featherweight title from Max Holloway and became the second Australian champion in the promotion's history with a tactical unanimous-decision victory. Amanda Nunes defended her bantamweight title with a grinding unanimous-decision victory over Germaine De Randamie at T-Mobile Arena. Usman (16-1) closed out an occasionally slow fight with Covington (15-2) in thrilling fashion, knocking down the challenger twice with precise punches and then finishing him on the ground. Usman and Covington took a personal animus into the cage, and the Nigerian-born Usman made good on his vow to derail the career of the divisive Covington, whose grating personality and eager embrace of President Donald Trump have made him a sharply polarizing figure in mixed martial arts. "This one is not just for me," Usman said. “This is for the whole entire world.” Volkanovski (21-1) picked apart Holloway (21-5) with leg kicks and movement for five frenetic rounds, controlling the bout with style and persistence. The 31-year-old challenger born in a tiny coastal town in New South Wales joins New Zealand-born middleweight Robert Whittaker as UFC’s only Aussie champs. The judges favored Volkanovski 48-47, 48-47 and 50-45. Holloway struggled to land consistent strikes while dodging Volkanovski’s barrage of leg kicks, but the long-reigning champ still appeared surprised and disappointed by the judges’ verdict in just his second loss since 2013. “It means the world,” Volkanovski said. “I have two kids at home. Everything is about my family. Spending time away from them kills me, but this is for them, a little early Christmas present for them.” Volkanovski became just the fourth featherweight champion in UFC history, joining Jose Aldo, Conor McGregor and Holloway, who had reigned since 2016. Volkanovski earned his title shot with 17 straight victories, including seven since joining the UFC, capped by a win over Aldo in May. “Featherweight has always had great, respectful champions who always fight the next contenders in line, and I appreciate that,” Volkanovski said. “There’s a lot of people who have earned their shot and aren’t given it, so I’m going to make sure everyone who earns it, gets it.” Holloway has been one of the UFC's most popular and most durable fighters of the 2010s, winning 13 consecutive bouts before he moved up to lightweight and lost a decision to Dustin Poirier for an interim title last April. He returned in July with a featherweight defense over Frankie Edgar before agreeing to a shot for Volkanovski. Covington and Usman started with two busy rounds of striking in which Covington appeared to be landing more blows, but Covington poked Usman in the eye during the third. Usman responded by bloodying Covington in an impressive third-round flurry, and Covington subsequently told his corner that he thought his jaw was broken. Usman took control from there, gradually finishing Covington in his first defense of the belt he took from Tyron Woodley earlier this year. Covington (15-2) won an interim title last year, but then missed a full year of competition due to injuries. Nunes (19-4) earned her 10th straight win and fifth bantamweight title defense over a half-decade of UFC dominance, but the two-division champion had to rely on her wrestling skills to dominate her 135-pound rematch with De Randamie (9-4), the former 145-pound UFC champion. “My game plan was to go five rounds and work the takedown,” Nunes said. “I almost got two submissions, but I made some mistakes and I have to fix that. Just a little bit of the technique was off, but I will fix it and next time I will get it.” After Nunes nearly finished in a one-sided first round, De Randamie surprised Nunes with several effective strikes in the second. Nunes wisely landed multiple takedowns to control the rest of the bout, keeping De Randamie on the mat and unable to land a home-run strike. The judges favored Nunes 49-46, 49-45 and 49-44. “Honestly, I was a little bit off tonight,” Nunes said. “But I’m the champ. I always have Plan A, B, C and more.” Nunes added the featherweight belt last December with her 51-second thrashing of Cris “Cyborg” Justino, cementing her place among the sport’s greats. Still only 31 years old, Nunes has said she will defend that 145-pound belt in her next fight, which would make her the first UFC fighter to defend two titles simultaneously. De Randamie was the first UFC women’s featherweight champion in 2017, but she moved down to bantamweight after she was stripped of the belt. The Dutch kickboxer was stopped by Nunes in the first round of their first meeting in 2013, but she tested Nunes much more extensively this time out. Earlier on the pay-per-view portion of the show, Aldo (28-6) lost a split decision to fellow Brazilian contender Marlon Moraes (23-6-1). Russian bantamweight contender Petr Yan stopped Urijah Faber with a single head kick in the third round. Yan (14-1) battered and bloodied the 40-year-old veteran with two knockdowns in the second before finishing Faber and then calling out two-division champ Henry Cejudo afterward......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsDec 15th, 2019Related News

Liverpool extends EPL lead as Leicester draws, Chelsea loses

By Mattias Karen, Associated Press LONDON (AP) — Mo Salah and Liverpool are running away with the Premier League. Salah used his blistering pace and a bit of trickery to score both goals in Liverpool's 2-0 win over Watford on Saturday — a result that extended the Reds' lead to 10 points in the table as they move closer to a first Premier League title in 30 years. Closest challenger Leicester was held to a 1-1 draw at home by Norwich, while defending champion Manchester City is a full 17 points behind in third place ahead of its game at Arsenal on Sunday. Fourth-place Chelsea, meanwhile, slumped to a fourth loss in five league games with a 1-0 home defeat to Bournemouth — giving added hope to the handful of teams chasing the final Champions League spot. No one seems able to keep up with Liverpool, though. Jürgen Klopp's team has won 16 of 17 league games so far, with one draw, and are on course for a record-breaking season. “The most important thing that you have to show in this period of the season is resilience, and that's what we showed again,” Klopp said. SURGING SALAH Salah made it four goals in two games as he followed up his Champions League double with another brace at Anfield. Salah finished off a lightning counterattack to give the host the lead in the 38th minute at Anfield and then made sure of the victory with a cheeky backheel from a tight angle in injury time. It wasn't all so easy for Liverpool, though, even against a Watford that is last in the standings. Only poor finishing prevented the visitors from taking at least a point in Nigel Pearson's first game in charge. Striker Troy Deeney, Will Hughes, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Gerard Deulofeu all missed good chances to score for Watford. Salah was as clinical as ever, though, taking his tally to nine league goals this season. The only negative for Liverpool was when Georginio Wijnaldum was forced off with an apparent hamstring problem, meaning he could miss the upcoming Club World Cup in Qatar. LEICESTER FALTERS Leicester saw its eight-game winning streak in the league ended by Norwich. Jamie Vardy's streak of scoring in eight straight league games also ended after his header from a corner was ruled an own-goal by Norwich goalkeeper Tim Krul, who directed the ball into the net with his hand. That goal equalized for Leicester in the 38th minute after Norwich striker Teemu Pukki had given the visitors a surprising lead in the 26th. Vardy had a chance to score early in the second half when he rounded Krul, but rolled the ball onto the outside of the post from a tight angle. “We weren't quite at our level but we managed to get back and get a point,” Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers said. “It was probably the right result, we didn't start so well and our passing was slow.” SLUMPING CHELSEA After surging up the table into the top four, Frank Lampard's Chelsea is in the middle of an alarming slump. Dan Gosling's late goal gave Bournemouth the win, with Chelsea's grip on fourth place suddenly looking shaky. “We need more urgency in our play,” Lampard said. “If you're an attacking player, get at people, do things that are positive, don't play safe. We play generally too safe through the game.” Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers both have a chance to pull within two points of Lampard's team on Sunday. Gosling scored an 84th-minute winner when he flicked the ball over Kepa Arrizabalaga and into the net despite standing with his back to goal, ending Bournemouth's run of five successive league losses. SURPRISING SHEFFIELD John Fleck scored twice as Sheffield United climbed provisionally into fifth place by beating fellow promoted side Aston Villa 2-0. Fleck put the hosts ahead in the 50th minute by steering home an assist by John Lundstram, and added the second in the 73rd. Villa had a chance to get back in the game after VAR awarded a penalty for handball by John Egan, but Jack Grealish belted the resulting spot kick against the crossbar. In a game between midtable teams, Chris Wood scored his seventh goal of the season as Burnley ended a run of three successive losses with a 1-0 win against an injury-hit Newcastle. Wood's 58th-minute header was enough to give Sean Dyche's side its fifth league win at home this season, all without conceding. In the late game, West Ham eased the pressure on manager Manuel Pellegrini with a 1-0 win at Southampton. Sebastian Haller put West Ham ahead in the 37th minute by slotting a low shot in off the post for his fifth goal of the season, which was enough to give the Hammers only their second win in 11 league games......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsDec 15th, 2019Related News

Joshua Pacio, Eduard Folayang banner ONE: FIRE & FURY in Manila on January 31st

ONE Championship will be kicking 2020 off in Manila with a bang, as some of the biggest Filipino mixed martial arts stars are on deck for ONE: FIRE & FURY on Friday, January 31st at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.    Headlining ONE’s first trip to Manila for the year will be a ONE Strawweight World Championship bout between reigning titleholder Joshua “The Passion” Pacio of Team Lakay and the Philippines, and challenger Alex “Little Rock” Silva of Brazil.    Pacio is coming off a banner 2019 that saw the 23-year old prodigy successfully reclaim the title from Yosuke Saruta and then defend it against Rene Catalan, with both fights ending in spectacular stoppages.    The only former champion that Pacio has yet to defeat, Silva is enjoying a resurgence of sorts. Following three straight defeats, the Brazilian grappler has won two straight, both via second-round submission.    Also on the card, Filipino MMA icon and former two-time ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard “Landslide” Folayang makes his return to the cage against Pakistan’s Ahmed “Wolverine” Mujtaba.    Folayang is coming off a bounce-back Technical Decision win against Amarsanaa Tsogookhuu in Manila after sustaining a massive cut following an accidental headbutt. Mujtaba, meanwhile, is looking to bounce back himself after a second-round submission loss to Ma Jia Wen.   Also on the card, ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix finalist Danny “The King” Kingad returns to action against China’s Xie Wei, strawweight sensation Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang takes on Thai veteran Pongsiri Mitsatit, and newly-crowned SEA Games gold medalist Gina “Conviction” Iniong faces India’s Asha “Knockout Queen” Roka, while Jomary “The Zamboanganian Fighter” Torres will try to arrest a four-fight losing skid when she faces former world title challlenger Jenny Huang.    ONE: FIRE & FURY Fight Card:  ONE Strawweight World Championship Joshua Pacio (C) vs Alex Silva Mixed Martial Arts: 56.7kg Eduard Folayang vs Ahmed Mujtaba Mixed Martial Arts: 77.1kg Danny Kingad vs Xie Wei Mixed Martial Arts: 61.2kg Petchdam PetchyindeeAcademy vs Momotaro Muay Thai: 61.2kg Kwon Won Il vs Shoko Sato Mixed Martial Arts: 65.8kg Alma Juniku vs Anne Line Hogstad Muay Thai: 52.2kg Lito Adiwang vs Pongsiri Mitsatit Mixed Martial Arts: 56.7kg Gina Iniong vs Asha Roka Mixed Martial Arts: 52.2kg Rodlek PK.Saenchaimuaythaigym vs Chris Shaw Muay Thai: 65.8kg Jomary Torres vs Jenny Huang Mixed Martial Arts: 52.2kg.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsDec 12th, 2019Related News

2019 setbacks have made Rene Catalan hungry heading into 2020

Rene "The Challenger" Catalan only had one goal when he decided to answer the call to compete in combat sambo at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games in the Philippines – to win a gold medal. While the ONE strawweight division contender looked unstoppable up until the semifinals, he eventually lost to Fajar in the finals, 11-3.  The 40-year-old felt the effects of the heel-hook that Chatchai Ritthidecha applied on him in the semifinals, affecting his mobility against the Indonesian.  It was an unacceptable outcome according to Catalan, but the loss will add fuel to his fire when he makes his return to The Home Of Martial Arts. “I am not satisfied. My main goal was to get the gold medal and I am disappointed. But it’s done. I know I would have gotten that gold medal, but my foot got in the way,” Catalan said.  Catalan last saw action in the Circle when he challenged ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua "The Passion" Pacio at ONE: MASTERS OF FATE last November, losing to the belt holder by submission in round two. But the losses this year keep Catalan hungry heading into 2020, and he promises to turn those frustrations into positive results in ONE Championship. “I’ll do everything to get back to the winning lane. The SEA Games would have started my road to recovery, but I didn’t get it. So now I’m really hungry to get back and I’m excited for my return to ONE Championship,” Catalan said.  “This is an added inspiration. I will work double-time and move my way up for another title shot.” Expecting that things will not get easier moving forward, “The Challenger” promises to stay prepared.  "I am so hungry for that win. I’ll prepare hard for whoever ONE gives to me because I know they will give me someone extraordinary.”.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsDec 12th, 2019Related News

ONE: MARK OF GREATNESS Results: Filipina Denice Zamboanga impressive in ONE debut

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - The largest global sports media property in Asian history, ONE Championship™ (ONE), closed 2019 on a high note, giving fans another thrilling evening of world-class martial arts action. The Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur played host to ONE: MARK OF GREATNESS, featuring the absolute best in global martial arts talent. In the main event, Muay Thai legend Sam-A Gaiyanghadao made history by becoming a two-sport and two-division World Champion by defeating China’s “Golden Boy” Wang Junguang by unanimous decision to become the new ONE Strawweight Kickboxing World Champion. In a five-round back-and-forth bout, Sam-A’s speed and experience shone through as he outstruck and outmaneuvered Wang for the majority of the contest. In the end, it was Sam-A who prevailed, capturing his second World Championship in ONE.  In the co-main event, Alaverdi “Babyface Killer” Ramazanov of Russia survived China’s “Muay Thai Boy” Zhang Chenglong to become the new ONE Bantamweight Kickboxing World Champion. Ramazanov started out strong, using his reach to connect on Zhang, leading to a knockdown in the third round. Zhang came to life in the later rounds, looking to swing the momentum in his favor. After five rounds of striking action, it was Ramazanov who earned the decision and finally realized his dream of becoming a ONE World Champion.  Denice “The Menace Fairtex” Zamboanga of the Philippines was impressive in her ONE Championship debut, edging out hometown favorite Jihin “Shadow Cat” Radzuan by unanimous decision. Zamboanga was relentless in her takedown attempts as she was able to take Radzuan down at will and control her on the ground in the first two rounds. Radzuan tried to bounce back in the final round, throwing up submission attempt after submission attempt, but in the end, it wasn’t enough to sway the judges, as Zamboanga came away victorious. Malaysia’s own Agilan “Alligator” Thani had the hometown crowd on their feet after scoring an exciting split decision win over American newcomer Dante Schiro. Thani was able to control Schiro on the ground in the opening round, but the American rallied in the second and nearly finished the bout with a deep rear naked choke. Thani, however, was more effective with his game plan all throughout the contest. After three rounds of action, it was Thani who walked away with a razor-thin decision win.  Former ONE World Title challenger Reece “Lightning” McLaren of Australia returned to the winner’s circle in spectacular fashion, submitting Indian rising star Gurdarshan “Saint Lion” Mangat in the first round. McLaren put on a grappling clinic as he took Mangat down and imposed his will on the ground early. Towards the closing moments of the first round, McLaren was able to get to the mounted position and seamlessly transitioned into a rear naked choke, forcing Mangat to tap out with just seconds remaining.  Andrei “Mister KO” Stoica of Romania recorded the biggest win of his kickboxing career, knocking out Brazilian star Anderson “Braddock” Silva in just the first round. Stoica did well in keeping his distance from the hard-hitting Silva before uncorking a massive right hook of his own that had the Brazilian on unsteady footing. Stoica put Silva down with a thunderous right jab that spelled the beginning of the end for his opponent, who tried to answer the count but was visibly too rocked to continue.  Highly-touted South African standout Bokang “Little Giant” Masunyane announced his arrival to ONE Championship with a dominant unanimous decision win over ONE Warrior Series contract winner Ryuto “Dragon Boy” Sawada of Japan. Masunyane’s grappling was simply too much to handle, as he was able to take Sawada down and keep him grounded. After three rounds of action, Masunyane walked away with the clear-cut victory.   In a ONE Super Series Muay Thai contest, Elias “The Sniper” Mahmoudi of Algeria authored a masterful performance, trumping Thai legend Lerdsila Phuket Top Team across three tough rounds. Lerdsila was aggressive, showcasing his trademark power kicks from start to finish. Mahmoudi, however, was long and stayed mostly out of range with his reach. From the outside, Mahmoudi sniped Lerdsila with his combinations. Although the bout was close and both men had their moments, it was Mahmoudi who emerged the victor in the end with all three judges scoring the bout in his favor. China’s “The Ghost” Chen Rui came forth with a virtuoso performance against Malaysian hometown bet Muhammad “Jungle Cat” Aiman, bagging a unanimous decision for his efforts across all three judges’ scorecards. Chen stormed out of the gates in round one, pushing the pace with his aggression. Chen had Aiman hurt on the back foot on a couple of occasions, but the Malaysian was able to recover well. Action continued much the same for the rest of the bout, with Chen landing a handful of big shots while Aiman played defense and was a shade behind the majority of the contest. Myanmar’s “The Dragon Leg” Tial Thang came out to a thunderous chorus of cheers, as he made his walk to the ONE Circle with teammates ONE Light Heavyweight and Middleweight World Champion “The Burmese Python” Aung La N Sang, and ONE Featherweight World Champion Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen. Thang certainly did not disappoint, putting together a noteworthy performance against game challenger “The Kid” Kim Woon Kyoum of South Korea. Thang was aggressive all throughout, doing some good damage both on the feet and on the ground. Kim stood right in front of him, but was slightly a step behind for the majority of exchanges. In the end, all three judges scored the bout in favor of Thang to win by unanimous decision. South Korea’s “The Big Heart” Yoon Chang Min turned in another dominant performance, battering Filipino opponent Rodian “The Redeemer” Menchavez on the feet before finishing him with a submission. Yoon picked Menchavez apart methodically in the first round, wearing the Filipino down with pinpoint accurate strikes. In the second round, Yoon continued his dominance, beating Menchavez to the punch on every occasion. Not long after, Yoon locked in a Ninja Choke to force the tap, notching his fourth straight victory in ONE. In a Muay Thai contest, former Shoot Boxing Super Bantamweight Champion Taiki “Silent Sniper” Naito of Japan continued his unbeaten run so far in ONE Super Series, defeating former WKA European Champion Rui Botelho of Portugal by unanimous decision. Naito unleashed a bevy of leg kicks and body attacks to keep Botelho off center for the duration of the bout. Although Botelho would try his best to remain competitive, Naito was far too slick and accurate. In the end, all three judges scored the bout in favor of Naito. ONE Championship newcomer Rayane Bastos of Brazil made a triumphant promotional debut, finishing the highly-regarded Sovannahry Em via first-round submission to kick off the festivities at ONE: MARK OF GREATNESS. After a brief exchange of strikes on the feet, action hit the mat, giving Bastos an opportunity to showcase her ground skills. Not long after, Bastos caught Em in a guillotine choke in full mount, forcing the tap. Official results for ONE: MARK OF GREATNESS ONE Strawweight Kickboxing World Championship: Sam-A Gaiyanghadao defeats Wang Junguang by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 5 rounds ONE Bantamweight Kickboxing World Championship: Alaverdi Ramazanov defeats Zhang Chenglong by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 5 rounds Mixed Martial Arts Atomweight: Denice Zamboanga defeats Jihin Radzuan by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds Mixed Martial Arts Welterweight: Agilan Thani defeats Dante Schiro by Split Decision (SD) after 3 rounds Mixed Martial Arts Flyweight: Reece McLaren defeats Gurdarshan Mangat by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 4:35 minutes of round 1 Kickboxing Light Heavyweight: Andrei Stoica defeats Anderson Silva by Knockout (KO) at 1:57 minutes of round 1 Mixed Martial Arts Strawweight: Bokang Masunyane defeats Ryuto Sawada by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds Muay Thai Flyweight: Elias Mahmoudi defeats Lerdsila Phuket Top Team by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds Mixed Martial Arts Bantamweight: Chen Rui defeats Muhammad Aiman by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds Mixed Martial Arts Bantamweight: Tial Thang defeats Kim Woon Kyoum by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds Mixed Martial Arts Catchweight (77 KG): Yoon Chang Min defeats Rodian Menchavez by Submission (Ninja Choke) at 1:45 minutes of round 2 Muay Thai Flyweight: Taiki Naito defeats Rui Botelho by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds Mixed Martial Arts Atomweight: Rayane Bastos defeats Sovannahry Em by Submission (Guillotine Choke) at 2:40 minutes of round 1.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsDec 9th, 2019Related News

Charlo stops Hogan to retain WBC middleweight title

New York - Unbeaten American Jermall Charlo stopped Irish challenger Dennis Hogan in the seventh round on Saturday to retain his World Boxing Council middleweight.....»»

Source: Manilanews ManilanewsCategory: NewsDec 9th, 2019Related News

Ancajas set to go Full route

IBF superflyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas isn’t taking any chances against Chilean challenger Miguel Gonzalez and manager/trainer Joven Jimenez said he plans to go the distance in their scheduled 12-round title bout at the Auditorio GNP Seguros in Puebla, Mexico, this morning......»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: SportsDec 7th, 2019Related News

Joshua out to regain aura, belts in rematch

By Steve Douglas, Associated Press Anthony Joshua didn't just lose three world heavyweight titles and an undefeated record when he was beaten by Andy Ruiz Jr. in one of boxing's biggest upsets in a generation. He lost his aura, his growing sense of invincibility. So Joshua has had to reinvent himself, strip everything back and, in a sense, start all over. That began by going back to his roots in Nigeria. “Because of boxing, I’ve never had time to go there,” Joshua told The Associated Press of his first return in 17 years to the homeland of his parents and where he briefly went to boarding school at the age of 11. “In Nigeria, the people love you for you, not for what you have.” At the lowest point of his professional career and with people starting to question him for the first time, Joshua needed time to reflect and to have a dose of reality. He visited Makoko, a slum just off mainland Lagos that is largely a floating community of wooden homes on swampland. Joshua is adored there, and they mobbed their icon. “It was good to see hope,” Joshua recalled. “Anyone that can bring hope to you, they appreciate it and they appreciate my journey so far. That’s what I liked. We’re on a journey.” Joshua's journey took an unexpected detour with that loss to Ruiz Jr. in June. But it may well be the making of him. The Briton heads into the rematch in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Saturday as something of a changed man. More humble, more accepting of vicissitudes of his sport, and eager to learn from his mistakes. Joshua accepts there were plenty of them before the first fight in Madison Square Garden. He still won't say exactly what went wrong that night in New York, but he acknowledges he “wasn't prepared” for the challenge of Ruiz Jr. — a portly Mexican with a big heart, fast hands and unexpected power. Ruiz Jr., who stood in as a late replacement after Jarrell Miller failed multiple doping tests, knocked down Joshua four times before the fight was stopped in the seventh round, the defeated champion somewhat dazed and disheveled. Joshua has ignored some calls to dispense with his long-time trainer, Rob McCracken — the pair go way back, to before Joshua won an Olympic gold medal at the 2012 London Games — but has changed his sparring partners, his routines, and his mentality. “Last time when I lost, I understood why,” Joshua told the AP in a phone interview after arriving in Riyadh. "I took it like a man, I'd say. I took it like a champion should. Because I understood my mistakes. And I’ve changed them, I’ve rectified them. “If anything wasn’t to go my way this time, I just have to say the man is better than me. He is a tricky customer but I think I’m a better fighter than him, even though I didn’t get the decision last time. I went straight back in. I didn’t say, ‘Ah, I need a warm-up fight.’ I knew where I went wrong. I know how to improve it, and I’ve done that.” Time will tell, but there's a sense Joshua is more comfortable in Saudi Arabia than he was in the bright lights of New York five months ago, when he was making his U.S. debut and, maybe, took his eye off the ball. While retaining that chiseled physique that could not contrast more with Ruiz Jr.'s, Joshua looked slimmer and lighter during his public workouts in Riyadh this week. And because he is having to prove himself all over again, Joshua said he compares this fight with the first of the 23 in his pro career. “I have erased the old fight from my memory and I’m approaching it like I’m fighting for the heavyweight championship of the world, which I am. I’m not looking at it as a rematch,” Joshua said. “Even though I’ve had a belt around my waist, I’ve always had that challenger mindset because even in my 15th fight, I challenged for the British title. The 16th (was for the) world title, defend, defend, challenge again, so it’s part and parcel of the game now. I’m used to the tough challenges.” Another loss to Ruiz Jr. — in a fight with a reported $70 million purse and being televised by the DAZN streaming service — and there would be serious questions about Joshua, one of Britain's most celebrated sportsmen and someone whose career trajectory was only heading one way until last summer. Fights with the likes of Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury would be further away then ever. But he's not thinking that way. He's embracing taking boxing to a new audience, shrugging off the fact that the fight will take place in a kingdom where there are human-rights concerns, and is desperate to regain his IBF, WBA and WBO belts. “Of course people doubt me,” Joshua said. “But the main thing is I’m still here. I’m not discouraged. That’s all I can say.”.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsDec 5th, 2019Related News

AMLC pushes key laws to avoid sanctions

The Anti-Money Laundering Council is pushing for the passage of key laws to help the Philippines dodge sanctions from the global anti-money laundering watchdog......»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: FinanceDec 4th, 2019Related News

Catalan eyes SEAG gold, this time in Sambo

Rene ‘D’ Challenger’ Catalan may have lost his recent ONE Championship bout against a fellow Filipino, but he is still confident that he can contribute to the five gold medals that the Philippines is projected to deliver in the sambo competitions of the 30th Southeast Asian Games......»»

Source: Thestandard ThestandardCategory: SportsDec 1st, 2019Related News

Catalan eyes SEAG gold, this time in sambo

Rene ‘D’ Challenger’ Catalan may have lost his recent ONE Championship bout against a fellow Filipino, but he is still confident that he can contribute to the five gold medals that the Philippines is projected to deliver in the sambo competitions of the 30th Southeast Asian Games......»»

Source: Thestandard ThestandardCategory: SportsNov 30th, 2019Related News

ONE Championship: Joshua Pacio breaks down masterful performance against Rene Catalan at ONE: Masters of Fate

ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua “The Passion” Pacio cemented his status as ONE Championship’s top strawweight after successfully defending his title against compatriot Rene “D’ Challenger” Catalan in the main event of ONE: Masters of Fate in Manila last November 8th.  In Catalan, Pacio was facing a challenger that was riding a six-fight winning streak that included an impressive demolition of former two-time titleholder Yoshitaka Naito.  Still, the 23-year old Team Lakay star imposed his will against Catalan, dominating the striking aspect before getting the Arm-Triangle submission in the second round. It was a performance that further solidified Pacio’s status as the division’s top dog.  While Pacio was nothing short of dominant against Catalan, he believed that the Pinoy veteran was indeed deserving of a title shot, especially after coming in with an impressive winning streak.  “Para sa akin, oo naman. Siyempre, nakita ko yung improvements niya. Six-fight winning streak, lalo na nung tinalo niya si Naito, dun talaga ako na-impress,” Pacio stated after the fight. “Naimpress ako dun sa pagka-panalo niya kay Naito, masasabi ko worthy talaga siya na challenger.” To his credit, Catalan came prepared to test Pacio - arguably one of Team Lakay’s most talented grapplers - on the mats, as he threatened the defending champion with a couple of submission attempts.  “Nasurprise ako nung nag-heel hook siya,” Pacio admitted. “Sabi niya lumagatok yung paa ko, oo pero baka dahil lang kulang sa stretching, pero hindi talaga ako nakuha doon. Medyo tight yung kneebar, pero sa training, nirereview na namin yun eh. Kunyari nakuha ka sa ganitong posisyon, anong gagawin mo? Wag kang mag-papanic, maghanap ka kung paano ka aalis, so ganun yung ginawa ko, hindi ako nag-panic.” Pacio tried to counter with a submission of his own, but decided to abandon the attempt after deciding that he would not be able to execute it completely. “Mali kasi yung posisyon ko eh. Hindi ko din yun makukuha, kaya ako yung unang bumitaw, tapos roll, roll, roll hanggang matanggal,” Pacio explained. “The Passion” did end up getting the submission later on, which he says was the game plan all along. It was Pacio’s striking however, that got everything going.  “Submission talaga, pero hindi ko ine-expect na siya yung mag-aattempt ng takedown, kasi nung nag-back kick ako nung round one, nginitian ako, tapos biglang nag-takedown,” Pacio detailed.  “Ay, alam ko na 'to. Wrestler ka na ngayon. Na-feel ko eh. 'Yes, dito na.' sabi ko, siya yung nag-takedown, nag-initiate, mas gusto ko yun, kasi dun pupunta yung gameplan ko.” It was indeed a masterful performance on the young Lakay’s part, as he successfully defends his title for the first time, something that he wasn’t able to do during his first run as champion.  “Siyempre, napaka-saya kasi gaya nga nung sabi ko nung sa unang interview, you're not a champion until you defend your belt, so napaka-saya ko kasi na-defend ko successfully.”.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsNov 22nd, 2019Related News

Several world-ranked stars will light up Dubai once again at Rotund aRumble 2 on November 22.

The #MTKFightNight – promoted by D4G Promotions in association with MTK Global and Round 10 Boxing Club – hosts a range of huge names including WBO world super-lightweight No. 1 Jack Catterall, India’s highly-ranked icon Vijender Singh, Pakistani boxing hero Muhammad Waseem, WBO world bantamweight No. 4 Thomas Patrick Ward and many, many more. A busy undercard kicks off with two local debutants in Fahad Al-Bloushi and Sultan Al-Nuaimi – moments of history for the sport in Dubai. Fighters from no fewer than 15 countries make up a lengthy bill ready to delight a packed audience at the luxurious Caesars Palace, Bluewaters as well as those tuning in on ESPN+ in association with Top Rank and on iFL TV. Here’s a sneak preview of what you need to know…   JACK CATTERALL vs. TIMO SCHWARZKOPF (10 rounds) With a stunning undefeated record of 24-0, 13 KOs, Catterall is already seen as a super-lightweight world champion in waiting. Chorley’s ‘El Gato’ has systematically destroyed all put before him since turning professional in 2012; claiming the Central Area, the WBO European, the WBO Inter-Continental and British crowns. As the No. 1 challenger in the world to WBO and WBC world champion Jose Ramirez, Catterall is in line for a career-defining world title shot in 2020 but standing in his way is the high-class Schwarzkopf. Germany’s Schwarzkopf (20-3, 12 KOs) is a former IBF International welterweight and EBU European super-lightweight champion and is likely to push Catterall into producing his very best on the night.   VIJENDER SINGH vs. CHARLES ADAMU (10 rounds) Undefeated Singh (11-0, 8 KOs) is a sporting icon in his home country and regularly rubs shoulders with the likes of Sachin Tendulkar. Having already picked up the WBO super-middleweight Asia Pacific super-middleweight title and the WBO Oriental crown, Singh continues to gather an entire nation behind him on his quest to reach world champion status. In Ghana’s vastly-experience Adamu (33-14, 26 KOs), Singh takes on a man who has been in with the likes of Billy Joe Saunders, Rocky Fielding, George Groves and Carl Froch. Singh said: “For me these fights are going to be a build up to the world title which I am aiming for in 2020. I am sure my debut fight in Dubai is going to be an exciting one and I’m looking forward to a knockout win in the early rounds.”   MUHAMMAD WASEEM vs. GANIGAN LOPEZ (8 rounds) In Pakistan, world-class Waseem (9-1, 7 KOs) is another huge national hero and is supported by compatriots such as Shoaib Akhtar. ‘Falcon’ enjoyed a stellar amateur career that included two Commonwealth Games medals and went on to challenge for the IBF world flyweight title in just his eighth fight as a professional. Although Waseem was narrowly denied the world crown by now MTK Global team-mate Moruti Mthalane, he takes the next step back towards the top against tough Mexican Lopez (36-10, 19 KOs). Waseem, whose last performance was a stunning first-round stoppage on #RotundaRumble, said: “I’m confident of stealing the show once again. I’m very happy to be handed the chance to perform in Dubai for a second time in a row.”   THOMAS PATRICK WARD vs. MARTIN CASILLAS (8 rounds) The fighting pride of the north-east and a super-bantamweight king in waiting, unbeaten Ward (28-0, 4 KOs) is ready to announce himself to Dubai fans in style. The skillful 25-year-old has already made his name in the US by outclassing Jesse Hernandez back in February and is eager to accelerate his march towards world honours having recently signed with MTK Global. Ward said: “I’m very excited to be fighting in Dubai. It’s new for me. I’ve been all around the world but it’s always nice to showcase your skills in front of brand new audience.”   ROHAN DATE vs. JUSTICE ADDY (6 rounds) Dubai-based Irishman Date (10-0-1, 8 KOs) snatched headlines on his last outing on #RotundaRumble when he decimated Pardeep Kharera inside a single round. As he continues to move towards title shots, the 26-year-old will be looking for a similarly spectacular display against Ghana’s heavy hitting Addy (16-6-1, 14 KOs). Having already fought in Dubai four times since turning professional in mid-2016, Date is amassing a substantial following and is looking to charge up the 147lb rankings.   JAYR RAQUINEL vs. JACK AMISA (8 rounds) Raquinel (11-1-1, 8 KOs) is an emerging star of Filipino boxing and has already challenged WBC Silver flyweight honours last year. At the age of just 22, the man from Cauayan has the chance to make a name for himself on the big stage against the experienced Amisa from Indonesia.   HASIBULLAH AHMADI vs. DETNARONG OMKRATHOK (6 rounds) A teen sensational proudly representing Afghanistan, Ahmadi has impressed in blasting his way to 7-0 as a professional. A product of the local Round 10 Boxing Club, Ahmadi recorded an entertaining points win over China’s teak-tough Shidong Cai (10-4-1, 2 KOs) on the last #RotundaRumble show and will look to follow up in front of a growing fanbase.   FAHAD AL-BLOUSHI vs. SANDRO TUGHUSHI (4 rounds) Along with team-mate Sultan Al-Nuaimi, 23-year-old lightweight Al-Bloushi will be making history in joining Majid Al-Naqbi as Dubai’s only professional boxers when he makes his debut in the paid ranks on the night. Al-Bloushi said: “I’m proud to say that this is a stepping stone for us to use our talents further beyond and show the world what the UAE is made of. It’s a blessing to be able to start off the right way, in my home country and to showcase my talent to the boxing community and the community of the UAE.”   SULTAN AL-NUAIMI vs. CHARLES LATUPERISSA (4 rounds) Another man looking to cause a stir on his first outing as a professional is super-flyweight Al-Nuaimi, who won two national titles and represented UAE on numerous occasions. Al-Nuaimi said: “Being a professional boxer representing the UAE is a huge honour that I can’t describe. We can show the world that we are capable of achieving great things and making our nation proud.”.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsNov 18th, 2019Related News

Will ‘Needle’ prick Jerwin?

IBF superflyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas’ next challenger Miguel Gonzalez is called “aguja,” Spanish for needle, and it remains to be seen whether the Chilean can prick the Filipino into losing his crown when they clash at the Auditorio GNP Seguros in Puebla, Mexico, on Dec. 7......»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: SportsNov 17th, 2019Related News

Ancajas new foe Gonzalez fights like original challenger – Jimenez

MANILA, Philippines – For chief trainer Joven Jimenez, Jerwin Ancajas needs no major adjustments in his eighth defense of the International Boxing Federation super flyweight crown against new opponent Miguel Gonzalez on December 7 (December 8, Philippine time) in Puebla, Mexico. According to Jimenez, he has seen the Chilean in action ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsNov 11th, 2019Related News

ONE Championship: Joshua Pacio submits Rene Catalan to retain ONE Straweight World Championship at ONE: Masters of Fate

MANILA, PHILIPPINES - Team Lakay's Joshua "The Passion" Pacio survived an early submission scare to rally back and score a submission of his own, forcing challenger Rene 'D' Challenger' Catalan to tap out to an arm-triangle choke in the second round and retain his ONE Strawweight World Championship in the main event of ONE: Masters of Fate, Friday evening at the Mall of Asia Arena, here.  An early scramble on the ground saw Pacio and Catalan both going for heel-hook submissions, with Catalan holding on longer. Pacio eventually escaped and managed to control the veteran on the ground for the rest of the opening round.  In the second frame, Catalan shot in for a takedown, only to be stuffed and reversed by Pacio, who was abel to transition into mount.  Once in mount, Pacio then locked Catalan in an arm-triangle choke, ultimately forcing the tap.  The official stoppage came at the 2:29 mark of the second round.  Pacio successfully defends his ONE Strawweight World Championship for the first time, and improves to 15-3 in his MMA career.  Catalan sees his six-fight winning streak come to an end, and drops to 6-3 in his MMA career. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsNov 8th, 2019Related News

Huey ready to go all out

Fil-Am tennis star Treat Huey is set to arrive here Nov. 26 and said yesterday he’s “super excited” to play in the coming Southeast Asian Games in a text message during the Knoxville Challenger tournament on the ATP tour in Tennessee......»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: SportsNov 8th, 2019Related News

ONE Championship: Team Lakay seniors Eduard Folayang and Geje Eustaquio proud to see Joshua Pacio in the main event

For the third time in his young career, reigning ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua “The Passion” Pacio finds himself on the top billing of a ONE Championship card.  Pacio will be defending his title against fellow Filipino Rene “D’Challenger” Cataln at ONE: Masters of Fate this coming Friday, November 8th at the Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay City, Manila, Philippines.  What makes this main event quite different for the 23-year old Pacio is the fact that it will be his first headliner at home.  It will also be the first time that he’ll be having two of his Team Lakay seniors and former ONE world champions Eduard Folayang and Geje Eustaquio on the undercard.  For the two elder Lakays, seeing their ‘ading’ Joshua in the main event is simply a testament of the hard work and dedication that they, and the whole of Team Lakay, have put in becoming world-class fighters.  “Ibig-sabihin lang nun tama yung tinatahak namin na landas, kasi nakikita nila and nagpupursige sila na [maka-abot] ng mas-mataas pa sa amin, and they are proving it well,” said former two-time ONE Lightweight World Champion Folayang. He faces Mongolian up-and-comer Amarsanaa “Spear” Tsogookhu in the co-main event.  “Yun naman ang gusto natin, hopefully, mas marami pa sanang susunod na mag-main event na mga upcoming fighters natin,” Folayang added.  The future is indeed bright for the next generation, so to say, of Team Lakay stars, as Pacio, flyweight contender Danny “The King” Kingad, and strawweight newcomer Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang are all poised to fly the Benguet-based MMA stable’s flag high for the forseeable future.  For Eustaquio a former ONE Flyweight World Champion, it doesn’t stop with this batch of Team Lakay’s young guns. As he put it, it continues on as a cycle.  “Ang sa akin, it's really nakaka-proud, because we did our part and they're also doing their part.” Eustaquio shared. “We really dreamed, it's the vision of Coach Mark, to make it a cycle. As much as possible, it will not stop in our generation, on their generation, but it will go on.” “It will go on as a cycle, we will produce world champions that come from the mountains, or that come from the Philippines,” he added.  More from the #ONEChampionship #MastersOfFate Open Workouts: @TeamLakay seniors @efolayang and @lakaygravity101 talking about having their “ading” Joshua Pacio in the main event pic.twitter.com/v8fYCcFrlO — Santino Honasan???? (@honasantino) November 7, 2019 For his part, Pacio is obviously happy to hear such praise from the people that he himself looks up to. After all, Pacio says, they’re definitely a big part of why he’s in the limeline in the first place.  “Nakakataba din ng puso and dagdag motivation. Hindi lang nila alam na isa sila sa mga ladders ko, kung bakit nandito ako ngayon.” Truth be told, Pacio really doesn’t mind if he’s in the main event or if they’re in the main event. The important thing is that he’s fighting alongside his Team Lakay family.  “May mga nagtatanong sa akin ano yung feeling ko na ako na yung main event tapos sila yung nag-uundercard sa akin, ang sa akin, hindi ko iniisip yun, kasi ang importante sa akin ay may makasama ako sa card na lalaban and of course mananalo kami lahat. Yun ang importante.”   Catch ONE: MASTERS OF FATE live on Friday, November 8th LIVE on ABS-CBN S+A channel 23 on LIVESTREAM via the ABS-CBN Sports Facebook Page and on iWant starting at 8:30 PM. ONE: MASTERS OF FATE will also air on Sunday's Best on November 17th, Sunday, at 11:30 PM with local commentatry from Anton Roxas and Theo Castillo.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsNov 7th, 2019Related News

ONE Championship: Rene Catalan steps back from coaching as he prepares for title shot

Catalan Fighting System had to make some sacrifices in training camp as two of its top mixed martial artists will compete on the same night at ONE: MASTERS OF FATE. The team's head coach, Rene "The Challenger" Catalan, is scheduled to compete in his most important bout to date when he challenges ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua "The Passion" Pacio. His younger brother, Robin "The Ilonggo" Catalan is also set to compete on the undercard against Olympic wrestler Gustavo "El Gladiador" Balart this Friday, 8 November at the Mall Of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines. Despite their tight schedule, the elder of the Catalan brothers has been managing his roles well.  “For our preparation, I created a training program then passed it on to our wrestling coach so he can look it over. The same thing for our striking program,” Catalan said.  “Not to be overconfident with Robin, but my coaches take care of his routine so I can focus on my own preparation. It’s basically the same program that I am on.”  Normally, “The Challenger” would want to be in the corner of his younger brother in every match.  But this is not just any night for the 40-year-old. He is one win away from reaching his ultimate goal in mixed martial arts.  “I already delegated the cornering duties in Robin’s fight to our coaches,” Catalan said.  “As much as I want to, I have to focus on the World Title shot. I have full confidence in my coaches and in Robin that they can pull it off.” The younger of the Catalan brothers has no problems with his big brother’s decision, especially with the magnitude of Rene’s match With everything in place now, the pride of Sta. Barbara, Iloilo only requests one thing from his team.  “I’m excited. This is it. The only thing I can ask now from my team is to pray for me in this match.”      Catch ONE: MASTERS OF FATE live on Friday, November 8th LIVE on ABS-CBN S+A channel 23 on LIVESTREAM via the ABS-CBN Sports Facebook Page and on iWant starting at 8:30 PM. ONE: MASTERS OF FATE will also air on Sunday's Best on November 17th, Sunday, at 11:30 PM with local commentatry from Anton Roxas and Theo Castillo.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsNov 6th, 2019Related News

Ancajas back to work

IBF superflyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas said yesterday he plans to resume training tomorrow to stay in shape after a two-day layoff from finding out his eighth title defense against Mexican challenger Jonathan Javier Rodriguez, scheduled at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson City this morning, was cancelled......»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: SportsNov 2nd, 2019Related News