Archive for the ‘Money in sport’ Category

Mundine – More Elusive Outside the Ring than In It

Genady Golovkin image:

Anthony Mundine continues to ask for fights he knows he will not get. At the same time he continues to refuse fights he knows he will not win.

And that’s the point.

After his open letter to Floyd Mayweather was deservedly ignored, Mundine has now expressed his wish to fight KO machine Gennady Golovkin.

There is absolutely no incentive for Golovkin to accept the fight. He has knocked out 30 of the 33 fighters he has faced and beaten the other three on points. He destroyed Daniel Geale last year in three rounds of absolute carnage; plus he once offered Mundine a fight – which Mundine turned down!

Granted, the offer from Golovkin was when the young Kazahk was still making his way into the sport.

“He (Mundine) wanted the fight to take place in Australia, under their television (rights) and under his terms; and even after I accepted those terms, it was still the same thing – he refused to take the fight,” said Golovkin.

Golovkin has since rocketed to the very pinnacle of the sport; while Mundine has continued to attract doubts and suspicions about his own fighting pedigree.

In similar news promoters for junior middleweight title-holder Demetrius Andrade claim Mundine is refusing to fight him. Andrade (21-0) had offered Mundine a fight, with both camps negotiating to meet in Australia in August.

“We agreed to terms with Mundine’s promoter, but we’ve heard nothing back since then,” said Andrade. “Mundine calls out Mayweather, but he won’t take a legitimate WBO world title fight at 154 pounds in his own country? Same old story I guess. Everybody wants something until they have a chance to really get it.

“I don’t understand. We offered this guy a chance to win the championship of the world, in his home country, and he looked for a way out instead? What kind of fighter is he? Any real fighter would do anything for that kind of opportunity.”

Mundine’s camp responded with the following statement:” The simple facts remain – we haven’t accepted the terms given by Team Andrade, which lock Mundine into three fights and low dollars.

“At this stage of Anthony’s career we feel we are being smart. We have to be calculated, as every deal we enter affects his legacy. And deals which detract from this strategy are bad deals for Mundine.”

Mundine’s legacy is already written – He’ll be remembered as a fighter who was more elusive outside the ring than in it.

Controversy Surrounds TDF Leader Chris Froome

Chris Froome image:

Tour de France race leader Chris Froome has lashed out at sections of the media, blaming them for whipping up a frenzy of innuendo and speculation about him.

About a third of the way through the beautiful 178km stage 14 (Rodez to Mende) Froome says he saw a fan ‘acting strangely’.

“I saw this guy just peering around and I thought, ‘That looks a bit strange’.”

“As I got there he just sort of launched this cup toward me and said (in French) ‘Doper!’

“No mistake,” said Froome, “it was urine.”

The day should have been a double celebration: South African Stephen Cummings won his first stage victory, coinciding with Nelson Mandela Day.

But the day was marred by the actions of a few.

Chris Froome’s Sky Cycling teammate, Richie Porte, also claimed a spectator hit him during the race with a ‘full-on punch’ during a climb on the Pyrenees.

Both men are laying the blame on over-exuberant journalists ‘whipping up all the rubbish that they are.’

“I certainly wouldn’t blame the public for this,” said Froome. “I would blame some of the reporting on the race that has been very irresponsible.

“It is no longer the riders who are bringing the sport into disrepute now, it’s those individuals, and they know who they are.”

Froome again raised eyebrows with another super-human acceleration on a fiercely steep final climb. He raced away from his competitors, taking one second from Quintana and more from his other rivals.

New UFC Policy Divides MMA Community

IV Rehydration Image:

A controversial new rule change has the UFC community divided.

In its partnership with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) the UFC has announced IV’s containing more than 50ml of saline will now be banned.

Intra-venous (IV) rehydration was a commonly accepted practice for fighters to replace the massive amount of fluid lost through weight-cutting.

But the UFC and USADA drug-testers believe many fighters are misusing the IV rehydration program to blood boost.

This is where blood that has been taken from the fighter on a previous occasion is fed back in intravenously moments before the bout. There are super benefits to this: Blood carries oxygen, so having more blood means more energy fuelling the body.

There are also super risks associated with the practice: The fighter’s blood pressure goes through the roof! They’re vascular system is pushed to the limit as excess blood strains the carrying capacity of the arteries and veins.

The process was first used by competitive cyclists; a sport where a cardiovascular advantage means the difference between winning and being dropped by everyone else in the race.

But not everyone is happy with the ban on 50ml+ saline replacement.

According to an article in Bloody Elbow many influential fighters and trainers believe it will damage the health of competitors. Mike dolce, a famous and well respected nutritionist and weight-cut advisor, believes the IV ban will make fighters more susceptible to brain injuries.

Fluid serves to cushion the brain from impact. Less fluid means less protection.

“Someone will die because of that,” said dolce on Periscope Q&A.

“Let the USADA officials stand there and watch every athlete on a drip, that’s fine.

“I know they’re trying to get rid of drugs, which I think is awesome. But you can’t risk the health of the athlete. It’s just so close-minded. It’s dangerous.”

But not everyone agrees.

George Lockhart, a top MMA nutritionist, believed that when done properly oral rehydration is just as effective as intra-venous rehydration.

“There are a lot of potential downsides to IV rehydration,” he said to Bloody Elbow. “If you have too much fluid or too many electrolytes you can have some backlash, like diarrhoea among other things.”

“If you look at all the studies between oral rehydration and IV rehydration, if they rehydrate properly orally, they’ll gain the same weight back.

“If they don’t know how to rehydrate properly then it’s probably better to use the IV.

“But if they know how to rehydrate properly there’s no advantage to using an IV.”

The UFC fighters have been given until October before the ban will be enforced.

TUF Coaches for Season 22 Announced

Image: Twitter, Ariel Helwani

UFC supremo Dana White stunned the MMA world by announcing the coaches for The Ultimate Fighter season 22: Conor McGregor and Uriah Faber.

Where this differs from previous announcements is that the rival coaches usually face-off at the conclusion of the series. Not so this time. Conor McGregor has booked himself a fight against incumbent (but injury prone) champion Jose Aldo.

Fans seem quite happy with the announcement.

Faber has been an exciting, skilful and popular figheter, but is well past his prime. His recent loss against Frankie Edgar had White considering dropping Faber from the UFC roster – for his own protection.

Installing Faber as a coach without making him fight the lightweight contender appeases fans, gives the show’s contestants the benefit of Faber’s almost unique experience, while protecting the veteran fighter from further damage in the ring.

TUF-22 will feature two teams of lightweights selected along national lines. Faber will coach a team from the United States, while McGregor will coach a team made up of Europeans. Both coaches are articulate, strong-willed, and unafraid to say what they think – it should make great viewing.

The season will include a two-hour special and debut on September 9. It will run for 11 episodes and likely conclude with the title fight sometime in November.

Rumours suggest McGregor may face Aldo for the title as late as January 2. Faber may fight on the same card, but an opponent has not yet been selected.

Mayweather Stripped of Title Belt

Mayweather image:

Floyd Mayweather has been controversially stripped of the welterweight World Boxing Organization title belt, just two months after beating Manny Pacquiao.

Mayweather had until Friday to pay a sanctioning fee off $200,000 to the WBO. When the deadline passed without the money being deposited the belt became vacant.

WBO rules require boxers to pay up to 3 per cent of their world title fight purse (up to a maximum of $200,000) to the organisation.

And it’s not like ‘Money’ Mayweather couldn’t afford it. The fight in Las Vegas on May 2 earned him a reported $220 million!

WBO rules also prohibit champions from holding any belts in any other weight divisions.

Such a rule is a farce, showing just how out of touch the organisation is from the athletes and fans of the sport they govern.

Mayweather currently holds WBC and WBA titles at middlewiehgt (154lb) and welterweight (147lb).

A statement on the Puerto Rico-based sanctioning body’s website confirmed the embarrassment: Mayweather is no longer the WBO champion.

“Mr Mayweather, Jr. failed to pay the $200,000 fee required of him as a participant of a WBO World championship Contest.

“Despite affording Mr Mayweather, Jr. the courtesy of an extension to advise us of his position within the WBO Welterwight division and to vacate the two 154-pound world titles he holds, the WBO World Championship Committee received no response from him or his legal representatives on this matter.

“The WBO World Championship Committee is allowed no other alternative but to cease to recognise Mr. Floyd Mayweather, Jr. as the WBO Welterweight Champion of the World and vacate his title.”

One has to ask why Mayweather would pay $200,000 just to be recognised for a belt he already has? The WBO may have stripped him of his title, but the rest of the world still recognises him as the champion.

McGregor Tries to Bet $3 Million on Himself!

Image: Twitter, Ariel Helwani

Now this is confidence:

Conor McGregor has suggested a bet with the top executives of the UFC on the outcome of his fight against Chad Mendes, on Saturday, July 11.

So confident is the Irishman he is willing to lay a bet of $3 million on himself to win.

Ariel Helwani posted on Twitter on the 8th: Dana White on Jim Rome just now. McGregor offeed to bet White and Fertitta 3 million dollars that he will finish Mendes early.

So not only does McGregor believe he’ll win, but that Mendes won’t even be able to go the full distance with him.

White was understandably flabbergasted.

He first mentioned the suggested bet on The Jim Rome Show.

But perhaps it wouldn’t be such a bad bet for the promotions executives?

Rumours close to the McGregor camp are saying the Irishman is facing a particularly brutal weight cut. He needs to lose close to 27 pounds in the few days before the weigh-in.

Many normal people spend years trying to lose that amount of weight. McGregor, however, has much, much less time.

Would the executives win their bet if McGregor did not make weight?

Will the drastic weight cut affect McGregor’s normally explosive, aggressive style?

The world awaits one of the most anticipated UFC fights since Jon Jones fought Daniel Cormier.

McGregor Eyes Fight Against Mayweather


UFC featherweight contender Conor McGregor has spoken openly of his wish to fight Floyd Mayweather.

McGregor was on the set of the Conan O’Brien show spruiking his upcoming fight against Chad Mendes at UFC 189. But before the interview drew to a close McGregor threw out his challenge.

The two men fight in approximate weight division and there would certainly be an enormous interest in the fight from supporters of both sports.

McGreegor realised there would be no way to entice Mayweather into MMA, so instead he said he would box against Mayweather.

“If you’re asking would I like to fight Floyd Mayweather, “said McGregor to O’Brien, “I mean, who wouldn’t like to dance around the ring for $180 million?

“I certainly know he would not want to step into my world. The world of pure unarmed combat where there’re no limitations, but I most certainly would step into his world. I would certainly box him if the opportunity arose; most certainly.”

McGregor has made no secret of the fact he is chasing big-money fights. And he understands Mayweather is looking for one last lucrative fight before finishing his career. To that end he added:

“There’re no real fights in boxing left for Floyd anyway. After the Manny fight happened, there’s no more real draws. If you’re looking for a fight that would generate interest, it must be a cross and match up of different styles.”

McGregor believes there are plenty of weaknesses in Mayweather’s arsenal he could exploit to win.

He believes that if Mayweather were foolish enough to attempt to fight him in an MMA format the fight would end very quickly and violently.

“I’ve said it before, I don’t think boxing is the style of fighting that can beat Floyd; but saying that, there are many, many forms of fighting that can beat him. If we were to get it on, I would most certainly dismantle him.”

Aussie Zac Dunn Claims IBO Super-Middleweight Belt


Zac Dunn, from Melbourne, has outpointed Ukrainian tough-guy Max Bursak to claim the vacant IBO super-middleweight belt on Sunday.

Dunn extended his flawless record to 18-0 after all three judges put him four points clear of his rival.

Barry Michael, Dunn’s promoter, was on the phone within hours of his client’s victory trying to negotiate fights with German veterans Arthur Abraham and Robert Stieglitz.

Bursak publicly proclaimed he was all but guaranteed a shot at the German powerhouses if he beat Dunn. Now , in the wake of Dunn’s victory, Michael is hoping for the same opportunity.

Dunn certainly had to work for his win.

He was knocked down in the third with a blow that Dunn later admitted ‘hurt’ him.

Bursak was also penalised for head butting during several early clinches.

Dunn recovered from the dirty tactics but appeared to noticeably tire by round 12.

His lack of endurance is not surprising, Dunn has never had a fight go the distance. He has 15 knockouts to his credit, with two victories coming by way of stoppages.

Bursak 31-4 congratulated the Aussie on his performance. He also advised Dunn to tighten his defence before facing the German duo.

Dunn finished the fight with a cut to his forehead. “It was harder work than I thought,” he said at a post-fight interview. “Not my best fight, but certainly my toughest.”

He’ll need to be more than tough if he is to fight either Abraham or Steiglitz next month. But for now he can celebrate a fine victory and a world title belt.

Armstrong Vows to Ride Two Tour de France Stages


Lance Armstrong has confirmed he will ride two stages of this year’s Tour de France.

Armstrong says he will ride each stage the day before the peloton race it. He will ride with former English footballer and fellow cancer survivor Geoff Thomas. The pair hope to raise $2 million for the Cure Leukaemia foundation.

But the pair met with fierce rivalry from ICU president Brian Cookson.

“We know Lance’s involvement in Le Tour has split opinion,” said Cookson, “so we’ve tried to be as respectful as possible to the Tour de France itself in terms of the stages he will be riding.

“The stages Lance will be riding come towards the end of week two, when I know all riders will need some support.

“I know his arrival will give them the encouragement they will need to carry on with this gruelling challenge and in turn raise as much money as possible for blood cancer patients.”

Armstrong appears to have his sight set on riding the 198.5 kilometre 13th stage from Muret to Rodez on the 16th of July. This will be followed by the 198.5 kilometre stage from Rodez to Mende the following day.

Armstrong was controversially stripped of his seven Tour de France victories and banned from most competitive sports for life by the US Anti-Doping Agency in 2012.

These penalties came after he admitted in an interview on the Oprah Winfrey talkback program that he had used performance enhancing drugs throughout his cycling career.

For this reason Tour organisers are embarrassed to have him ride in their race.

Danny Green Announces Comeback


Boxer Danny Green announced his return to the ring on Wednesday and made it clear he wants another shot at Anthony Mundine.

The two haven’t fought since 2006 when Mundine outpointed Green for an unconvincing win in Sydney. At the time it was the most lucrative fight in Australian history.

The decision has been talked about ever since it was made.

When he learned of Green’s comeback Mundine laughed. He described Green as an ‘irrelevance’.

But with both men in the twighlight of their careers it is likely the big payday will lure them into one final showdown.

Mundine is 40, Green 42, so their high earning days are running out.

Green said, at his return announcement, that he had never stopped training and felt he was still in great shape.

But he’ll have to work his way back up to compete against Mundine.

The first step will be defeating the dangerous Slovakian Tamas Kovacs, at Hisense Arena on August 19. Kovacs is 20 15 years Green’s junior (27) and will be no push-over for The Green Machine.

Green is well-spoken, outgoing, and a devoted family man. Since his retirement from competitive boxing he has worked tirelessly against street violence and has become a respected community figure.