He broke an age record he set himself back in 2011.
Hopkins became the oldest boxer to win a major title on Saturday night, scoring a 12-round unanimous decision over Tavoris Cloud to claim the IBF light heavyweight championship.
“It feels good. It feels real good,” Hopkins said. “I’m going to Junior’s (Restaurant and) I’m going to have cheesecake.”
The 48-year-old Hopkins broke the record he set by beating Jean Pascal for the WBC light heavyweight title on May 21, 2011. When asked which fight meant more, Hopkins said “tonight was better. Because I’m older. (It’s) more gratifying.
“Tonight was one of the bigger fights (in my career).”
And while he reveled in what he accomplished, he was looking toward the future. Hopkins, who was adamant that he will not fight past 50, laid a challenge at the feet of the 175-pound and 168-pound divisions.
“I’m motivated to do it,” Hopkins said. “I don’t believe anybody in the 175(-pound) weight class and possibly the 168(-pound) class can beat me.”
Hopkins, fighting his 19th title bout, improved to 53-6-2 in the main event of an eight-fight card at the Barclays Center. The 30-year-old Cloud fell to 19-1.
“It was great to break (in) the Barclays Center with a (legendary) performance,” Hopkins said.
With Hopkins forcing a patient, technical match, Cloud was unable to press the issue and Hopkins circled him, landing jabs to his face, eventually opening a cut above his left eye.
“I have to throw a lot of substance (into fights). I’m fighting old school in a new world. (I) have to learn to adapt to what (the judges) are looking for,” Hopkins said. “We knew a 30-year-old guy was not going to run from a 48-year-old guy.”
Hopkins connected on 169 of 417 punches. Cloud landed 139 of 650.- ESPN
A 48-year-old can win a boxing title. Is it because of a lack of good fighters in his weight class or that there are too many boxing titles.
Keith Thurman won the WBO intercontinental welterweight title with a 12-round, unanimous decision over Jan Zaveck. Thurman improved to 20-0 and Zaveck fell to 32-3.
Intercontinental and WBO. Not to mention the IBF plus WBA and WBC. Sounds like too much alphabetical soup to me.
The most idiotic labor dispute in sports history appears to have ended. From ESPN-
A tentative agreement has been reached between the NHL and the players’ association.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr stood side by side in the early hours of Sunday morning to announce there was a framework in place for a new collective bargaining agreement.
Bettman and Fehr didn’t join hands and sing Kumbaya together.
The deal still requires majority approval from both the board of governors — as early as Tuesday — and the NHLPA membership before it can become official.
The tentative agreement is a 10-year deal with a mutual opt-out clause after eight years and includes contract term limits at seven years (eight years for a team to re-sign its own players), a source confirmed to ESPNNewYork.com.
“I am happy deal has been reached and excited to get back to playing hockey,” Penguins star Sidney Crosby said in an email.
For the first year, the salary cap is $60 million but teams can spend up to $70.2 million in the transition period, while the floor is $44 million.
Sources said the 2013-14 salary cap, a very divisive issue, will be $64.3 million, while the floor will remain at $44 million.
Contract salary variance is capped at 35 percent from year to year, with the provision that the last year can’t vary more than 50 percent from the highest-salaried year, a source told ESPN.com.
Revenue sharing will spread $200 million, with a $60 million NHLPA-initiated growth fund included.
The players did well after the last CBA was agreed to, and I expect the same result this time around. I think some owners may benefit also but the NHL has at least one team with severe financial problems and a couple more possibly waiting in the wings. This labor dispute cost the team owners millions and I wouldn’t be surprised if there is fallout from it.
Why did this dispute take four months to resolve? It came down to personalities, the owners don’t like Fehr and both sides complained and whined about the other instead of playing hockey. I’m a die hard Florida Panthers fan who can count the televised games involving the cats over the last five years that they have missed watching on one hand. Right now I have very little enthusiasm for a shortened bogus season.
I’ve heard the people in Toronto are nuts about the NHL, now I believe it.
If the NHL decides to flush the rest of the season, Toronto Maple Leafs fan Jim Vigmond is ready.
The Ontario lawyer purchased a toilet from the home dressing room of Maple Leaf Gardens for $5,300 at an auction, according to the Toronto Star.
Vigmond had been trying to score a 1967 Stanley Cup banner but he said the bidding became too steep, so he went for the toilet. And he was willing to go as high as $10,000 on the commode, which his friends thought was a little out there.
“They thought I had money to burn, and surely there was something that I could have better spent my money on,” he said, according to the newspaper.
Maple Leaf Gardens was home to the Leafs from 1931-99. More than 100 items from the arena were up for auction. Vacant for several years after the Leafs left for the Air Canada Centre, the Gardens was recently converted into a small arena for nearby Ryerson University and a grocery store.
Vigmond told the Star that the toilet will go in his sports memorabilia room. He’d like to sit on it, light a Cuban cigar, drink some single-malt scotch and watch a Leafs game, if the season doesn’t go down the drain.- ESPN
As it stands, I don’t expect an NHL game to be played between now and December 31st 2012. The player lockout imposed by team owners is over two months old and no resolution is in sight at present.
The golfer nicknamed the ‘Final Round Queen’ lived up to her nickname today. She won the last LPGA major Championship of 2012 by 9 shots over Inbee Park. Just six days ago Shin defeated Paula Creamer in a sudden death playoff at the Kingsmill Championship.
Shin shot a 71 to open the tournament, then followed it with a course record 64 to open up a five-shot lead going in the day of play. Due to inclement weather on Friday, players who made the tournament cut, had to play 36 holes today.
No South Korean golfer other than Se Ri Pak has won more than one LPGA major. Another tidbit- No South Korean golfer other than Pak has won a double digit amount of LPGA tournaments. As I’ve written a few times, there have been a large number of South Korean golfers who started strongly on the LPGA Tour and then went into decline. Jiyai Shin, winner of the 2008 Women’s British Open, came into today with one LPGA major championship triumph and nine LPGA wins respectively. So she was looking to join Pak.
Karrie Webb shot a third round 68 to pull within 3 shots of Shin with 18 holes to go. The weather turned horrible in the short period of time between Webb and Shin finishing their 3rd rounds and teeing it up for the 4th round. Rain and gusting strong winds. The final round was going to be a matter of survival.
Shin makes a triple bogey on the opening round of her 4th round. Webb made double bogey but Shin’s lead was down to two. That is as close as it came. Shin played the final 17 holes of her 4th round in 2 under par. Webb, Inbee Park, and Mika Miyazato, all faded. The weather was bad for most of the day, in fact there was a 15 minute stoppage as the winds were just gusting too strongly. It was just incredible how Shin played after the 1st hole. She never came close to another disaster. Her final round 73 may have been just as good as Shin’s course record 64 in the second round. Only two golfers, Creamer and Alexis Thompson, shot better rounds than Shin and they each came with 72s.
I think its safe to say Shin is back. The last few weeks look to me look like her making another run at #1 in the world.
An official at an athletics event in the German city of Dusseldorf has died after being speared in the throat with a javelin.
The 74-year-old man was rushed to hospital after the accident on Sunday but died of his injuries.
The official, named locally as Dieter Strack, had gone to measure a throw but was hit by a javelin before it hit the ground, according to local media.
The competition was called off after the incident.
The 15-year-old competitor who threw the javelin is receiving psychological counselling, police spokesman Andre Hartwig told the Associated Press.
A statement on the website of the local athletics association identified the man as Mr Strack and said he was a “much-loved and experienced” sports judge.
Very sad and RIP Mr. Strack.
The article noted that the accidental death of sports officials is rare. Maybe the most famous case was what happened at the 1977 South African Grand Prix when two marshals tried to run across the racetrack to extinguish a fire. The following video is graphic.
The driver of the car that hit the race marshal, Tom Pryce, was also killed.
On the same course Hall of Famer Se Ri Pak won the U.S. Open on in 1998, Na Yeon Choi notched her first major championship triumph. She shot a score of 281 for 72 holes to finish four shots ahead of fellow South Korean Amy Yang.
Choi won the tournament on Saturday when she shot a 65 to take a six-shot lead over into Sunday’s final round. The final round wasn’t without some drama. After playing the first nine holes in par, Choi hooked her tee shot into a hazard on the 10th hole. She finished the hole with a triple bogey and her lead was cut in half from six to three shots. All other golfers other than Choi and Yang weren’t a factor in the final round.
On the 11th hole, Choi bounced back with a birdie. After a good drive on 12, Choi hooked her approach into the deep rough and had such a terrible lie, she was contemplating taking a drop. She didn’t and instead hacked her 3rd shot onto the 20 to 30 feet from the hole which was fantastic considering the circumstances. Choi then made the long putt for par. At the next hole a par 3 with water bordering the green on the right, Choi’s tee shot twice hit inside the hazard line(barely missing the water) before coming to settle just off the back of the green. Choi saved her par again.
After 13, Choi coasted in. She made birdies on 15 and 16 but bogied 18 to finish with a final round 73. With the win, Choi became the 4th South Korean golfer to win the U.S. Women’s Open since 2008. Choi becomes yet again another South Korean golfer with one major championship win. Se Ri Pak is the only Korean to win more than one major. I’ll say this however, either Choi or Jiyai Shin should get a second win before their careers are over.
Choi’s victory comes as no surprise. She was ranked #5 in the world coming into the tournament and was the LPGA Tour’s leading money winner in 2010. She had five previous wins on the LPGA Tour plus six professional wins in South Korea. Either she or Ai Miyazato was the best female golfer in the world without a major championship win. Miyazato now holds the title undeniably.
Se Ri Pak finished a very respectable 9th considering she is likely to have shoulder surgery soon. It was Pak’s success in 1998 that caused Choi and other Koreans to come to the LPGA Tour. Since 2001 South Koreans have won more majors(11) than any other nationality. The United States is 2nd with 10.
#1 player in the world Yani Tseng is in a bit of a slump right now. She won three tournaments early this year but has been struggling of late. To me at least, Tseng in the summer of 2012 is resembling Lorena Ochoa in the summer of 2008. Only months earlier both golfers were invincible and suddenly they were off their games.
The 4th major of the Women’s golf season, The Women’s British Open, won’t be held until September due to the Olympic games in London a few weeks from now. Choi will certainly be one of the favorites.
Sam Gagner took part in every Edmonton goal last night. From AP-
It was a spectacular evening for Sam Gagner, who scored four goals and four assists to tie a club record and lead the Edmonton Oilers over the Chicago Blackhawks 8-4 on Thursday night.
Gagner’s eight-point game tied the club record held by Gretzky and Coffey and fell two points shy of matching the league mark of 10, set by Toronto’s Darryl Sittler on Feb. 7, 1976.
It was also the first eight-point game in the NHL since Pittsburgh’s Mario Lemieux did it on Dec. 31, 1988, against New Jersey.
The 22-year-old Gagner came into the game with five goals on the season.
I had never heard of Gagner before this morning.
The Blackhawks started the scoring six minutes into the game as Mayers fluttered a long shot from above the circle that fooled Oilers goalie Devan Dubnyk.
Chicago kept pouring it on but hit a pair of posts — a long blast from the point by Brent Seabrook and another from in close by Andrew Shaw.
Just 40 seconds into the second period Chicago made it 2-0 when Patrick Kane fed it to Sharp who found a clear lane to beat Dubnyk.
The Oilers responded less than two minutes later as Gagner earned his first point of the night. With a long pass Gagner sprung Hall who chipped in his 18th of the year past Chicago goalie Corey Crawford. Hall has scored in three straight games.
Gagner then tied it just over seven minutes later when he picked up his own rebound, circled behind the net, and scored on the wraparound.
The Oilers took a 3-2 lead with seven minutes remaining in the second as Whitney ripped a shot from the point while on the power play for just his first of the season. Gagner earned the assist.
Chicago tied it two minutes later on a short-handed 2-on-1 as Dubnyk gave up a rebound to Sharp who buried his second of the night.
Gagner made it 4-3 two minutes into the third with his second goal of the night. Whitney’s shot sailed over the net but bounced in front for Gagner to put past Crawford.
The Oilers chased the Chicago goalie two minutes later when Barker fluttered a shot from the point that Crawford waved at as it went into the top corner. Gagner earned his third assist and Ray Emery replaced Crawford.
The Blackhawks got a goal back six minutes into the third as Bolland made a no-look backhand swat at a puck that squirted past Dubnyk.
Gagner completed the hat trick 30 seconds later to make it 6-4, as Hall spun around and found Gagner streaking for his sixth point of the game.
But he wasn’t done yet.
Eberle and Hall did terrific tic-tac-toe passing to get Gagner the puck, and he slapped his fourth of the game into a wide-open net as Emery slid to keep up with the play.
Gagner’s heroics brought a little bit to an otherwise dismal Oilers season. If not for the horrid Columbus Blue Jackets, Edmonton could finish with the worst record in the entire NHL. Just like they have the last two years.
SYDNEY — Fourteen-year-old New Zealand amateur Lydia Ko has become the youngest winner of a professional golf tour event, taking the women’s New South Wales Open by four strokes Sunday.
Ko, the world’s top amateur, broke Japanese star Ryo Ishikawa’s mark of 15 years, 8 months, and Australian Amy Yang’s women’s record of 16 years, 192 days in the Australian Ladies Masters.
The South Korean-born New Zealander shot a 3-under 69 to finish at 14 under for the tournament, four strokes clear of Becky Morgan of Wales. Ko came close to winning the tournament last year, but missed a putt on the last hole to lose by a stroke.
Britain’s Laura Davies closed with a 71 and a 54-hole total of 216, 14 strokes behind.
“To be part of history is like a miracle,” Ko said. “It’s not something you can have by clicking your fingers.”
Ko, a Grade 11 student at North Harbour near Auckland, plans to play about 30 tournaments this year, including professional events over the next two weeks at the Australian Masters at Royal Pines on the Gold Coast and the LPGA’s Australian Open at Royal Melbourne.- Associated Press
I won’t pronounce Ko another up and comer. There is a line forming of top Korean or Asian amateur players who have burned out or are in the process of burning out as professionals. Angela Park, Virada Nirapattpongporn, Sukjin Lee-Wuesthoff, to name a few. Maybe Ko won’t be like them but at this point I’d only be guessing.
Sid the kid played hockey last night like he hadn’t suffered a concussion that sidelined him for nearly a year. From AP-
Sidney Crosby is back.
The superstar center capped his return from concussion-like symptoms with two goals and two assists in his season debut as the Pittsburgh Penguins roared by the New York Islanders 5-0 on Monday night.
Unleashing more than 10 months of frustration in 16 energetic minutes, Crosby put to rest all the questions that had popped up during his lengthy comeback.
Can he still skate? Can he take a hit? Can he play at his nearly peerless level? Can he mix it up?
The answer — for the first night anyway — is an emphatic yes.
“I don’t really have good words for it,” coach Dan Bylsma said. “That was special in a lot of ways.”
For no one more than Crosby, who celebrated his first goal in 328 days in decidedly un-Crosbylike fashion.
After a breathless sprint down the ice in which he weaved through the New York defense and beat rookie Anders Nilsson with a backhand, Crosby raised his arms in triumph and let out a roar punctuated by a hard-to-miss profanity.
He laughed while watching himself on replay and later apologized for his poor choice of words while admitting “I couldn’t hold that in.”
Crosby added assists on goals by Evgeni Malkin and Brooks Orpik and capped his comeback with a second tally, a backhand that fluttered by Nilsson early in the third period to provide the final margin.
Steve Sullivan also scored for the Penguins while Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 29 shots to collect his 21st career shutout, one behind franchise leader Tom Barrasso.
The Islanders aren’t a good team and their goaltending is horrible but still Crosby’s performance last night beat any expectations I had for him in his first game. Pittsburgh had 25 points and was leading the Eastern Conference without Crosby. With him back in strength, the Penguins just became a whole lot scarier.
Reports are still early, but Halman’s brother has been arrested in connection with the murder. A very sad and tragic story. RIP Greg Halman.
Seattle Mariners outfielder Greg Halman was stabbed to death in Rotterdam on Monday and his brother has been arrested in connection with the incident, police said.
Halman, 24, was signed as a free agent by Seattle in 2004 and made his major league debut in 2010.
Police were called to a home in the Dutch port city early Monday and found Halman bleeding from a stab wound. The officers were unable to resuscitate the outfielder.
“A 24-year-old died this morning in a stabbing and we have arrested the 22-year-old brother of the victim,” a Rotterdam police spokesman told Reuters. Officials declined to give the suspect’s name, in line with Dutch privacy rules.
Police spokesman Patricia Wessels told the Associated Press: “He is under arrest and right now he is being questioned. It will take some time to figure out what exactly happened.”
However, Halman’s 22-year-old brother Jason reportedly played at the 2004 World Baseball Championship in Taiwan. According to baseball-reference.com, their father Eddy played professionally in Holland.
NOS-TV said Halman’s family had confirmed his death.
Greg Halman helped the Netherlands win the 2007 European Baseball Championship.
He hit .230 with two home runs and six RBIs in 35 games with the Mariners last season. He batted .299 during a 40-game stint with Tacoma in the Pacific Coast League.
Greg Halman is a .207 career hitter in the big leagues, according to baseball-reference.com.