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AP Source: Warriors star Stephen Curry to be named NBA MVP
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Some called him too small. Others too fragile. Stephen Curry has another label now: NBA MVP. The Golden State point guard has won the league's most coveted individual award, a person familiar with the decision said Sunday. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the league has not released the voting results. An official announcement and news conference are expected Monday, and Curry will be presented with the award on the court before Game 2 of the Warriors' Western Conference semifinal series against Memphis on Tuesday night. Curry had 22 points and seven assists in Golden State's 101-86 victory over the Grizzlies on Sunday. Asked about the MVP award following the game, Curry said he had no idea. "It's obviously just, in the middle of a playoff series, it's hard to kind of separate yourself with other things that may or may not happen," he said. "Obviously, I know what the situation is, and just trying to focus on the game, and if I get a call (Monday), I'll definitely be happy, and there will be a lot of people that can be proud of that moment, as well, and we'll enjoy it." Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, the official television partner of the Warriors, first reported Curry won. He beat out Houston's James Harden, Cleveland's LeBron James and Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook, among others, for MVP honors. Curry carried the top-seeded Warriors to a franchise-record 67 wins, surpassed his own record for most 3-pointers in a season and added to his growing reputation as one of the most entertaining spectacles in sports. He's the franchise's first MVP since Wilt Chamberlain in 1960, when the Warriors played in Philadelphia. Curry, nicknamed the "Baby-Faced Assassin" and a member of the "Splash Brothers" duo with teammate Klay Thompson, has overcome obstacles at every level. He grew up in the shadow of his famous father, former NBA player Dell Curry. Most major colleges didn't offer him a scholarship coming out of high school in Charlotte, North Carolina, believing he was too small. And some professional scouts wondered whether his game could transition to the NBA, where point guards are bigger and defenses are tougher. Instead, Curry has gone from a shooting guard who dazzled at Davidson during the NCAA Tournament to a polished professional point guard who can shoot, dribble and distribute with the best of them. In a game dominated by big men and played by some of the world's greatest athletes, the 6-foot-3, 190-pound Curry controls the flow without physically overpowering defenders. But there were times when it seemed Curry's potential might not be reached. Two surgeries on his right ankle in his first three seasons with Golden State fueled questions about his durability. He even had to prove his worth to the team that drafted him seventh overall in 2009. Curry signed a $44 million, four-year contract extension with the Warriors before the 2012-13 season. Back then, the deal looked like a major risk for the Warriors considering Curry's injury history. Now? Well, Curry is clearly one of basketball's best bargains. Curry eclipsed his own record of 272 3-pointers set two years ago, hitting 286 from beyond the arc this season. He already owns three of the five most prolific 3-point shooting seasons in NBA history. Curry averaged 23.8 points, 7.7 assists, 4.3 rebounds and two steals this season. He shot 48.7 percent from the floor and 44.3 percent from 3-point range. Off the floor, his popularity is also soaring. Curry received more All-Star votes than any player, won his first 3-point contest and joined James and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver at the league's biggest marketing events during All-Star weekend in New York, where his face plastered posters in subway stations and televisions in taxi cabs. With the revitalized Warriors winning at a historic pace, Curry's case for MVP echoed around the league as loud as the nightly chants at rowdy Oracle Arena. He beat out Harden, James - a four-time MVP - and Westbrook despite the incredible seasons they had. --- Antonio Gonzalez can be reached at: www.twitter.com/agonzalezAP Mon, 04 May 2015 03:47:00 +0000
Ducks top Flames 3-0 in Game 2, stay unbeaten in playoffs
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Frederik Andersen made 30 saves in his first career postseason shutout, Matt Beleskey scored in the first period and the Anaheim Ducks remained unbeaten in the Stanley Cup playoffs with a 3-0 victory over the Calgary Flames on Sunday night in Game 2 of their second-round series. Hampus Lindholm scored his first career playoff goal with 8:45 to play for the Ducks, who have followed up their first-round sweep of Winnipeg with two solid victories over the upstart Flames. Nate Thompson added an empty-net goal as Anaheim won six straight playoff games for the first time since 2006. Although Calgary showed more fight after the Ducks' 6-1 win in the opener, the Ducks methodically moved halfway to their first Western Conference finals since 2007, Anaheim's only championship year. Game 3 is Tuesday night in Calgary. Mon, 04 May 2015 04:57:00 +0000
Counsell replaces Roenicke with Brewers after 7-18 start
MILWAUKEE (AP) Former Milwaukee infielder Craig Counsell was hired Monday to manage the Brewers, about 12 hours after the team fired Ron Roenicke. A major league-worst 7-18, the Brewers lost 40 of their final 56 games under Roenicke. The skid included a late-season collapse last year, after they led the NL Central for nearly five months, and a 2-13 start this season. Counsell, a 44-year-old Milwaukee-area native, spent the final five seasons of his 16-year big-league career with the Brewers, retiring after the 2011 season. He has no previous managing or coaching experience. "It's an honor, and it's humbling, but I feel like this is what I was meant to do," Counsell said. "I think I'll be better at this than I was at playing." Counsell was given a contract through the 2017 season. "He played the game with a chip on his shoulder and he played the game to win," general manager Doug Melvin said during a news conference. "He has a real edge for preparation." A two-time World Series champion, Counsell scored the winning run for Florida in the 11th inning of Game 7 of the 1997 World Series and was MVP of the 2001 NLCS for Arizona. Milwaukee is 38-65 since last July 1. The Brewers have won consecutive games on just three occasions since Sept. 1. "You think you could win two games in a row by mistake, where the other team's playing bad," Melvin said. "That's not acceptable, and it's hard to understand why." Counsell became a special assistant to Melvin in 2012 and also was a part-time broadcaster for Milwaukee last season. Counsell was among the candidates last offseason to succeed Joe Maddon as Tampa Bay's manager. "Are we a contending team right now? We're not," Counsell said. "We can't start over. Our record is our record. ... We can start being the team that we want to be." Counsell had a .255 average in the big leagues. He knows something about struggling, going hitless in 45 consecutive at-bats in 2011. The new manager's father, John Counsell, was a former minor league outfielder and worked for the Brewers from 1979-87, running the speaker's bureau and then becoming community relations director. Milwaukee started 20-7 last year and spent 150 of the regular season's 183 days alone in first or tied for the NL Central lead, including every day from April 5 through Aug. 31. The Brewers skidded to a 9-22 finish and wound up third in the division, eight games back of St. Louis and two behind Pittsburgh. Roenicke became the first manager fired 25 games or fewer into a season since 2002, according to STATS. Detroit's Phil Garner (six games), Milwaukee's Davey Lopes (15), Colorado's Buddy Bell (22) and Kansas City's Tony Muser (23) were all let go quickly that year. On March 19, Milwaukee exercised its 2016 option on Roenicke. But Melvin met with team owner Mark Attanasio on the off day last Thursday and discussed a possible change. "It didn't feel good," Melvin said. "Slept on it for a day or so, and then just decided to make the change." In 2011, in his first season as a major league manager, Roenicke led the Brewers to a 96-66 record - the best in team history - and the NL Central title. The Brewers beat Arizona in the first round and lost to St. Louis in the league championship series. Milwaukee was 83-79 in 2012, 74-88 in 2013 and 82-80 last season. "We have good players," Counsell said. "I hear it from other teams that we have good players." Mon, 04 May 2015 16:32:00 +0000
Kane leads Blackhawks past Wild 4-1
CHICAGO (AP) Patrick Kane scored two goals, Corey Crawford made 30 saves and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Minnesota Wild 4-1 on Sunday night to take a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference semifinals. Patrick Sharp had a goal and an assist as Chicago improved to 5-0 at home in this year's playoffs. Jonathan Toews also scored in the second after a big play by Marian Hossa. Game 3 is Tuesday night in Minnesota. Defenseman Matt Dumba scored for the Wild, who are winless in eight postseason games at Chicago. Devan Dubnyk finished with 27 saves. Minnesota trailed 2-0 after two, but got back in the game when Dumba's power-play shot 1:20 into the third went off Crawford's glove and into the top of the goal. Dumba's second playoff goal came with Michal Rozsival in the box for interference. Dubnyk then made a couple of stops on Duncan Keith and Teuvo Teravainen before Sharp scored at 7:39 right after Wild captain Mikko Koivu got out of the box following a tripping penalty. Kane added an empty-netter as Chicago improved to 28-0 when leading after two periods, including three such games in the playoffs. Chicago and Minnesota combined for six goals in the first 29 1/2 minutes of the series opener, and Teravainen sent the Blackhawks to a 4-3 victory with his first career playoff goal in the final minute of the second. Game 2 was a much different story, with shots at a premium and solid work by each goaltender for the first part of the night. Minnesota got its first power-play opportunity when Andrew Shaw was sent off for cross-checking at 10:45 of the second. But it turned into a disaster for the Wild when Hossa stole the puck from defenseman Ryan Suter alone the boards, skated in and fed Toews for his fourth goal of the playoffs. Toews' shot went off Dubnyk, popped up in the air and then went off the goaltender's stick before barely trickling over the goal line. The Wild then made a frantic push for the tying goal, but Crawford made a terrific stop on Kyle Brodziak on a breakaway and a couple of stellar saves on prime opportunities for Zach Parise. Crawford also used his left and then his right pad to make a pair of great saves on Thomas Vanek in the first. Chicago increased its lead to 2-0 when Keith made a long stretch pass right to Kane's stick, and the All-Star winger beat Dubnyk with a perfectly placed shot off the inside of the left post at 19:40. It was Kane's fourth goal of the playoffs. NOTES: Wild RW Chris Stewart was shaken up after he was taken down by Blackhawks D Johnny Oduya midway through the second. He slammed hard into the boards on his right side and went back to the locker room, but returned later in the period. ... Kane's first goal was his 100th career playoff point in 101 career games. ... Wild LW Erik Haula made his first appearance of this postseason, subbing for F Justin Fontaine (lower body). Haula had three goals and two assists in last year's playoff series against Chicago. --- Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap Mon, 04 May 2015 03:33:00 +0000
Beal leads well-rested Wizards past Hawks 104-98 in Game 1
ATLANTA (AP) Bradley Beal shook off a sprained ankle to score 28 points and the Washington Wizards remained unbeaten in the postseason, knocking off the top-seeded Atlanta Hawks 104-98 Sunday in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. Taking advantage of a week off since their sweep of Toronto in the opening round, the Wizards wore down the Hawks in the fourth quarter. Otto Porter scored a couple of big baskets coming down the stretch and Marcin Gortat sealed it with a lay-in off a pass from John Wall with 14.6 seconds remaining. The Hawks needed six games to beat eight-seeded Brooklyn and had to open this best-of-seven series with about a 36-hour turnaround. After racing to a 37-26 lead after the first quarter, Atlanta couldn't make anything in the fourth. Even with plenty of good looks, the Hawks shot just 5 of 28 in the final period. Sun, 03 May 2015 19:37:00 +0000
Espinoza on a Derby roll with 2nd straight wins, 3 overall
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Victor Espinoza is getting pretty good at winning the Kentucky Derby. The jockey who calls himself the "the luckiest Mexican on Earth" won his second straight Derby and third overall on Saturday, guiding favorite American Pharoah to a one-length victory over Firing Line before a record crowd of 170,513 at Churchill Downs. Espinoza won last year's Derby aboard another favorite, California Chrome, and with War Emblem in 2002. Two of his wins came for trainer Bob Baffert, with American Pharoah and War Emblem. The 42-year-old became the seventh jockey to win three Derbies and the sixth to win in back-to-back years - Calvin Borel being the most recent with Super Saver in 2010 and Mine That Bird in 2009. Winning, Espinoza said, "never gets old." "There's been a lot of great trainers that haven't been able to win it because they just didn't have the horse, but every great jockey wins the Kentucky Derby," Baffert said in praising his jockey. American Pharoah was the 3-1 favorite in the 18-horse field. After winning last year's race, Espinoza said Baffert congratulated him with this message: "You and I, next year." "What were the odds?" Espinoza asked Saturday. "We were just joking around." Espinoza, among the nation's leading riders, describes himself as nervous and hyper, yet was calm throughout the week. Even his wife said he seemed unexpectedly relaxed. It's understandable why Espinoza felt strongly entering the Derby: American Pharoah had won four straight stakes races by 22 1/4 lengths combined. "It's all about confidence," he said. "I went into this race with so much confidence in American Pharoah. The way he was running, the way he was winning." American Pharoah cruised to a dominating eight-length win in the Arkansas Derby on April 11 that made him the horse to beat. The horse and Espinoza now prepare for the trip to Baltimore in two weeks for the Preakness, the second leg of the Triple Crown. Espinoza won the Preakness after winning his first two Derbys, but fell short in winning the elusive Triple Crown each time in the Belmont Stakes. Just before the race, the wife of American Pharoah owner Ahmed Zayat promised she'd make Espinoza dinner if he won. After he held up his end, she told the crowd at the post-race news conference, "I owe you dinner." Espinoza answered, "I hope you know how to make Mexican food." Sun, 03 May 2015 01:57:00 +0000
American Pharoah gives trainer a long-awaited 4th Derby win
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Three times in seven years, Bob Baffert left the Kentucky Derby empty-handed. Two seconds and a sixth-place finish by the wagering favorite. After a while, those close calls started taking a toll. Even for a three-time Derby winner. "When you get beat like that, all these seconds, you get to a point in your life, maybe it's not just going to happen for me," said Baffert, 62, who suffered a heart attack in Dubai three years ago. "And then they sent me this horse. And I thought, `Wow, here's my chance. Don't mess it up, Bob."' On this first Saturday in May, Baffert knew he had the best horse in American Pharoah. Still, he needed a dynamic performance and some old-fashioned racing luck. He got it all - and then some - with a horse that even rival trainers suspect could be a threat to win racing's first Triple Crown in 37 years. Sent off as the 5-2 favorite by the record crowd of 170,513, American Pharoah rallied in the stretch to beat Firing Line by a length and deliver Baffert's first Derby since 2002. "There's a certain aura about him, and he has caught everybody's attention," said a joyous Baffert, surrounded by three older sons from a first marriage and his youngest, 10-year-old Bode, who jumped up and down and waved his arms in celebration. Owner Ahmed Zayat grabbed the gold winner's trophy - his first after a trio of second-place finishes in the $2.1 million race. "Finally, no more seconds," he said, laughing. Baffert trained two of Zayat's runners-up: Pioneerof the Nile in 2009, the sire of American Pharoah; and Bodemeister, named for Baffert's son, three years ago. "This is for the Zayats, who have suffered so much running these seconds," Baffert said. "We know what it is to just get punched right in the face." Baffert also saddled third-place Dortmund, the other part of his lethal 1-2 punch in the 141st Derby. Firing Line finished second. "We were ready to rumble," said Baffert, who went 1-3 in 1998, when Real Quiet won and Indian Charlie was third. "I just love what I saw today from both of my boys." Dortmund set a leisurely pace with Firing Line tracking him closely in second. American Pharoah sat comfortably in third down the backstretch. That trio made it a three-horse race in the stretch, with none of the closers able to make up ground. American Pharoah angled outside and fought off a persistent Firing Line as Dortmund tired along the rail, his six-race winning streak about to end. "Coming for home I thought I might get there, but it wasn't to be," said Gary Stevens, who rode Firing Line. Now, the moment of truth. Could American Pharoah justify Baffert's belief that he was an exceptional colt? "I was on pins and needles all week," the white-haired trainer said. "I know I was coming in here with the best horse." American Pharoah proved him right. Still, it was a long road to the winner's circle for the colt with the unusually short tail - having had it chewed off by another horse on the farm - and the misspelled moniker courtesy of a fan contest. American Pharoah missed his first big test last year when he was scratched from the Breeders' Cup with an injury. He returned with two easy wins this year against lesser competition. Dortmund and several other Derby contenders had beaten much tougher fields, raising questions about whether American Pharoah could mix it up in a 20-horse field. Victor Espinoza won his second consecutive Derby a year after being aboard California Chrome, and third overall. He and Baffert teamed to win with War Emblem 18 years ago. "He's been a special horse since I first rode him," Espinoza said. "I feel like the luckiest Mexican on Earth." American Pharoah ran 1 1/4 miles in 2:03.02. Baffert tied D. Wayne Lukas and Herbert "Derby Dick" Thompson for second on the career win list. American Pharoah paid $7.80, $5.80, $4.20. Firing Line returned $8.40 and $5.40 at 10-1 odds, while Dortmund was another two lengths back in third and paid $4.20 to show. Zayat took a pre-Derby blow Friday, when one of his other horses, El Kabeir, was scratched because of a sore foot. Mr. Z, his third entry, finished 13th. Trainer Todd Pletcher's trio of Materiality, Itsaknockout and Carpe Diem finished sixth, ninth and 10th. Frosted was fourth, followed by Danzig Moon, Materiality, Keen Ice and Mubtaahij. Itsaknockout was ninth on the same day Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao fought in Las Vegas. Carpe Diem was 10th, followed by Frammento, Bolo, Mr. Z, Ocho Ocho Ocho, Far Right, War Story, Tencendur and Upstart. Sun, 03 May 2015 01:32:00 +0000
Jets take Baylor QB Petty in 4th round, acquire Rams' Stacy
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) The New York Jets added another quarterback to the mix, and then acquired a versatile running back on the final day of the NFL draft. Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty was selected with the Jets' fourth-round pick after the team moved up one spot Saturday in a trade with the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jets gave up the 104th pick and a seventh-rounder (No. 229) to take Petty. "We felt good about Bryce today, in terms of where he fell," general manager Mike Maccagnan said. "We made a little move just to make sure we got him because in our process we did find that there may have been other teams trying to move up to trade for him." The Jets later dealt their final pick - No. 224 - to St. Louis for running back Zac Stacy, who wrote "yikes" on Twitter shortly after the Rams drafted Georgia running back Todd Gurley in the first round Thursday night. The tweet was later deleted, but it was clear Stacy was not happy and wanted a change of scenery - and the Jets were able to acquire a pass-catching threat out of the backfield. Stacy, who ran for 293 yards last season and caught 18 passes for 152 yards, joins a backfield that includes Chris Ivory, Bilal Powell, Stevan Ridley and Daryl Richardson. Stacy had 973 yards rushing as a rookie in 2013, but took a backseat to Tre Mason last season and figured to see even less action with Gurley on the team. "We thought the idea of bringing Zac in with that kind of investment would be very beneficial and increase the competition at that position," Maccagnan said. In the fifth round, New York selected Texas A&M offensive lineman Jarvis Harrison, who played left guard and left tackle in his senior season. With their final pick, No. 223, the Jets took Northwestern State defensive tackle Deon Simon in the seventh round. New York drafted USC defensive lineman Leonard Williams in the first round Thursday, and selected Ohio State wide receiver Devin Smith in the second and Louisville linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin in the third on Friday. Petty, who threw 61 touchdowns the last two seasons, will work with Geno Smith, the starter the last two seasons, veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick, who is recovering from a broken leg that cut short his season last year, and Matt Simms. Coach Todd Bowles recently said the Jets hoped to add another quarterback - either in the draft or free agency. "That was the longest 48 hours I've ever had in my life," Petty said during a conference call shortly after he was selected. "To get that call was, honestly, unbelievable." The 6-foot-3, 230-pound Petty has an impressive resume: He was the consensus 2013 Big 12 offensive player of the year, led Baylor to a 21-4 record as a starter and consecutive conference championships, and he holds 31 school records. His 1.18 career interception percentage is an NCAA record after throwing for 62 TDs and just 10 INTs in 845 attempts at Baylor. He was the fifth quarterback taken, but felt he might have been a bit underrated heading into the draft. Petty played in a quarterback-friendly offense that had some scouts wondering if he could adjust to the complexities of an NFL system. "It's all about the person," Petty said. "My desire is to be the best, regardless of what system I'm in. What I was asked to do in college, it was different, but it's not because I couldn't do a pro-style offense or West Coast-offense or whatever. It's what I was told to do, and I did it." Petty will not be rushed or be expected to compete for the starting job this season. Bowles reiterated that Smith will enter training camp getting the majority of the first-team snaps and Fitzpatrick the second-team reps, so Petty can sit and learn offensive coordinator Chan Gailey's system and continue to develop. "He has all the parts and pieces we think would make him potentially a good quarterback in the NFL," Maccagnan said, acknowledging that there will be a learning curve for Petty. "Time will tell what level of player he becomes." Petty made a predraft visit to the Jets' facility, and felt comfortable from the moment he walked through the door. "It just kind of felt like home - home away from home, really," said Petty, who's from Midlothian, Texas. He said the Jets went through a little bit of Gailey's spread-style offense during his visit with the team, and saw some similarities to what he ran at Baylor. "As far as being able to relate, being familiar with things, it was great," Petty said. "It's definitely an offense that your guys can have fun with." --- AP NFL websites: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP-NFL Sat, 02 May 2015 23:42:00 +0000
Paul lifts Clippers past Spurs, 111-109 in Game 7
LOS ANGELES (AP) Chris Paul banked in a shot over Tim Duncan with a second left to lift the Los Angeles Clippers to a 111-109 victory over the defending NBA champion San Antonio Spurs in Game 7 on Saturday night for a wild finish to an entertaining first-round series. After Duncan made two free throws to tie it with 8.8 seconds left, Paul drove the right side and put up a one-handed shot over the 39-year Spurs star that went in as he was falling away. Matt Barnes knocked away the inbound pass to seal the victory. The Clippers, who faltered at home in Games 2 and 5, move on to face the Rockets in the Western Conference semifinals starting Monday night in Houston. Paul returned from an early hamstring injury to finish with 27 points. Duncan also had 27 points. Sun, 03 May 2015 03:01:00 +0000
Yankees say they don't plan to pay home run bonus to A-Rod
BOSTON (AP) New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman says the team doesn't plan to pay a $6 million bonus to Alex Rodriguez for his 660th home run. Cashman spoke Saturday before the Yankees played at Boston. On Friday night, Rodriguez hit No. 660, tying Willie Mays for fourth on the career list. "We have the right, but not the obligation to do something, and that's it," Cashman said. "So there is no dispute, from our perspective," he told reporters. Rodriguez missed last season while serving a drug suspension. The Yankees and A-Rod have a marketing agreement that calls for $6 million each for up to five achievements, payable within 15 days of designation by the team. The accomplishments were contemplated to be homers 660, 714, 755, 762 and 763 as he moved up baseball's list. Rodriguez trails only Babe Ruth (714), Hank Aaron (755) and Bonds (762). The Yankees didn't market his pursuit of Mays' mark. "It's not `you do this, you get that.' It's completely different. It's not all of a sudden, we're choosing not to do something," Cashman said. "If we choose to pursue something, we will choose to pursue it. If we choose not to, it's our right not to. In both cases, we're honoring the contract," Cashman said. No payment likely would trigger a grievance on Rodriguez's behalf by the players' union. Without a settlement, the case would be heard by an arbitrator. "The great thing about contracts, if there are any disputes, there's a system in place to determine if there is some misunderstanding," he said. "I don't think there's any misunderstanding." Rodriguez hasn't commented on what legal path he would take. "Those things will take care of themselves," he said Friday night. Sat, 02 May 2015 23:40:00 +0000
Mayweather wins decision in richest fight ever
LAS VEGAS (AP) The pressure of a $180 million payday never got to Floyd Mayweather Jr., even if the richest fight ever wasn't the best. Using his reach and his jab Saturday night, Mayweather frustrated Manny Pacquiao, piling up enough points to win a unanimous decision in their welterweight title bout. Mayweather remained unbeaten in 48 fights, cementing his legacy as the best of his generation. After the fight, it was disclosed that Pacquiao injured his right shoulder in training and that Nevada boxing commissioners denied his request to take an anti-inflammatory shot in his dressing room before the fight. Pacquiao chased Mayweather around the ring most of the fight. But he was never able to land a sustained volume of punches, as Mayweather worked his defensive wizardry again. Two ringside judges scored the fight 116-112, while the third had it 118-110. The Associated Press had Mayweather ahead 115-113. "I take my hat off to Manny Pacquiao. I see now why he is at the pinnacle of boxing," Mayweather said. "I knew he was going to push me, win some rounds. I wasn't being hit with a lot of shots until I sit in a pocket and he landed a lot of shots." The bout wasn't an artistic triumph for either fighter, with long periods where both men fought cautiously. Pacquiao threw far fewer punches than he normally does in a fight, with Mayweather actually throwing more. That was largely because Pacquiao didn't throw his right hand often. Promoter Bob Arum said Pacquiao injured his shoulder sometime after March 11. Arum said Pacquiao's camp thought he would be allowed the anti-inflammatory shot because he had gotten them during training and they had been approved by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. But he said paperwork filed with the commission didn't check the injury box, and the Nevada commission ruled against the request for a shot. "The ruling made tonight affected the outcome of the fight," Arum said. Nevada Athletic Commission chairman Francisco Aguilar said Pacquiao's camp wanted shots that included lidocaine, a drug that numbs the affected area. But he said Pacquiao's representatives didn't check the injury box after the weigh-in Friday, and the commission had no way of knowing how serious the injury was or what it could be treated with. "I have no proof an injury actually exists and I can't make a ruling based on what they're telling me," Aguilar said. Still, Pacquiao thought he had won the bout, largely on the basis of a few left hands that seemed to shake Mayweather. "I thought I won the fight. He didn't do nothing except move outside," Pacquiao said. "I got him many times." There were no knockdowns, and neither fighter seemed terribly hurt at any time. Pacquiao landed probably the biggest punch in the fight in the fourth round - a left hand that sent Mayweather into the ropes - but he wasn't able to consistently land against the elusive champion. The fight was a chess match, with Mayweather using his jab to keep Pacquiao away most of the fight. Pacquiao tried to force the action, but Mayweather was often out of his reach by the time he found his way inside. "He's a very awkward fighter, so I had to take my time and watch him close," Mayweather said. Mayweather fought confidently in the late rounds, winning the last two rounds on all three scorecards. In the final seconds of the fight he raised his right hand in victory and after the bell rang stood on the ropes, pounding his heart with his gloves. "You're tough," he said to Pacquiao, hugging him in the ring. It was vintage Mayweather, even if it didn't please the crowd of 16,507. They cheered every time Pacquiao threw a punch, hoping that he would land a big shot and become the first fighter to beat Mayweather. But a good percentage of what he threw never landed. Mayweather often came back with straight right hands, then moved away before Pacquiao could respond. "I thought we pulled it out," Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach said. "I asked my man to throw more combinations between rounds. I thought he fought flat-footed too many times." Ringside punch stats showed Mayweather landing 148 punches of 435, while Pacquiao landed 81 of 429. The volume for Pacquiao was a lot lower than the 700 or more he usually throws. Five years in the making, the fight unfolded before a glittering crowd of celebrities, high rollers and people who had enough money to pay for ringside seats going for $40,000 and up. Before it did, though, it was delayed about a half hour because cable and satellite systems were having trouble keeping up with the pay-per-view demand. They paid big money to watch two superstars fight for their legacies - and in Pacquiao's case his country - in addition to the staggering paydays for both. Pacquiao had vowed to take the fight to Mayweather and force him into a war. His camp thought Mayweather's 38-year-old legs weren't what they once were. "He is moving around, not easy to throw punches when people moving around," Pacquiao said. "When he stayed, I threw a lot of punches. That's a fight." But Mayweather moved well. His only real moment of trouble came in the fourth round when Pacquiao landed his left hand and then flurried to Mayweather's head on the ropes, but he escaped and shook his head at Pacquiao as if to say he wasn't hurt. In the corner, Mayweather's father, Floyd Sr. kept yelling at his son to do more. But Mayweather was content to stick with what was working and not take a risk that could cost him the fight. "I'm a calculated fighter, he is a tough competitor," Mayweather said. "My dad wanted me to do more but Pacquiao is an awkward fighter." Mayweather said that his fight in September against a yet-to-be-determined opponent would be his last. "I'm almost 40 years old now. I've been in the sport 19 years and have been a champion for 18 years. I'm truly blessed." Mayweather is also very rich, getting 60 percent of the approximately $300 million purse, depending on pay-per-view sales. The live gate alone was more than $70 million, and the bout was expected to easily smash the pay-per-view record of 2.48 million buys set in 2007 when Mayweather fought Oscar De La Hoya. But while the frenzy over the fight pushed up tickets to 3-4 times their retail price the week of the fight, prices dropped dramatically as the fight neared and some tickets were being resold for less than face value. Boxing fans called for the fight to be made five years ago, when both men were in their undisputed prime. But squabbles over promoters, drug testing and a variety of other issues sidelined it until Pacquiao beat Chris Algieri in November and immediately launched a campaign to get the fight made. When they finally got it, it wasn't the fight it might have been five years ago. But it was enough to settle the question that boxing fans had asked for years - who would win the big welterweight matchup of the best fighters of their time. Sun, 03 May 2015 15:24:00 +0000
Cards ace Adam Wainwright out for season with torn Achilles
The St. Louis Cardinals say injured ace Adam Wainwright is out for the season because of a torn left Achilles. General manager John Mozeliak made the announcement Monday at Busch Stadium. Wainwright will have surgery later this week. Wainwright was hurt while batting Saturday in Milwaukee. This is the second major injury of Wainwright's career. The right-hander missed the 2011 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery. The Cardinals have made it to the NL Championship Series in each of the last four seasons. They lead the NL Central this year. Mon, 27 Apr 2015 21:47:00 +0000