Category: US sports


Jordan Spieth’s steady start at Tour Championship in pursuit of $10m bonus

• Texan not fully at ease with his game but finishes with 67
• Fellow American Kyle Stanley leads after first-round 64

Jordan Spieth can afford to ignore the multitude of arithmetic when calculating who will be the FedEx Cup winner. The Texan’s equation is simple; win the Tour Championship on Sunday and he will also leave Atlanta with the $10m (£7.35m) bonus pot for the second time in his career. It is about as straightforward as this complex play-off series ever gets.

Spieth made a solid start with this dual target in mind. His opening round of 67, three under par, was produced against the backdrop of the Open champion not looking particularly at ease with any aspect of his game. This was classic Spieth; he can score well in all scenarios. He is three behind the 18-hole lead.

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Jake LaMotta was not a great champion but one of the toughest, a boxing beast | Kevin Mitchell

The fine details of his brief reign as world middleweight champion are not always absorbed in recollections of his career, mainly because one of the greatest films of all time painted him in classically Shakespearean mode

Jake LaMotta should have been in Las Vegas to watch Gennady Golovkin and Saul “Canelo” Álvarez, two distinguished middleweights pitched together to echo the deeds of the division’s glorious past, a fight reckoned to restore boxing’s faltering image. LaMotta, who knew a lot about the game’s sullied reputation, would have given it a wry smile.

The fight did not quite do its job. It was a terrific rather than a truly great contest and dreadful misjudgment by one of the officials overwhelmingly in favour of Álvarez returned a split draw, drowning out all other post-fight sentiments. So, unfairly but inevitably, Golovkin-Álvarez will be remembered only slightly more fondly than the theatrical crossover fight in the same ring three weeks earlier between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor.

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The London Monarchs, weigh-in shenanigans and underarm serves | Classic YouTube

This week’s roundup also features pre-Sky Jeff Stelling, Kasper Schmeichel as a toddler and a dog stealing the show

1) Now in its 10th season, the NFL International Series bandwagon rolls back into London for the first of its four-game run on Sunday. Before the annual helping of Jacksonville Jaguars, UK gridiron fans had to make do with NFL Europe and its predecessor the World League of American Football. The Union Jags have a long way to go before they are afforded the affection of the UK’s original franchise, the 1991 World Bowl champions London Monarchs. It is hard to understand why they were such a monumental flop based on their wonderfully 1990s series of TV ads. The Monarchs also provided Jeff Stelling a break as a jobbing sports reporter for Channel 4 and played host to the American football career of outspoken NBA dad Lavar Ball. Perhaps the biggest success story of NFL Europe is former Amsterdam Admirals quarterback, and collector of bizarre weaponry, Kurt Warner. A year later he was Superbowl XXXIV MVP and the star of the Greatest Show on Turf but Classic YouTube is sure the 1998 season, where Warner led NFL Europe in passing yards and touchdowns as the Admirals fell short of the World Bowl, is what he dreams about at night. Meanwhile, from more recent times in the NFL, this from Tod Gurley is quite the hurdle, and here is an example of the peril that cheerleaders subject themselves to.

2) Billy Joe Saunders defended his WBO middleweight belt against Wille Monroe Jnr last weekend but it was Saunders’ son who got in the first dig at the weigh-in, delivering a low blow to Willie. Pre-fight shenanigans are nothing new of course and back when he was still fighting other boxers Floyd Mayweather Jr was a master. This clip from before his 2007 superfight with Oscar de la Hoya makes you wonder how Conor McGregor would have reacted to a live chicken. MMA’s creep into boxing’s territory is partially fuelled by its ability for pre-fight promotion. If Sean O’Connell was half as good a fighter as he is an entertainer he’d be a superstar. Sadly, with a UFC record of 2-5, he’s not.

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Jake LaMotta – a life in pictures

Jake LaMotta, widely acknowledged as one of the toughest men to have entered a professional boxing ring, has died aged 95. The former world middleweight champion was best remembered for having fought the great Sugar Ray Robinson on six occasions. He fought a total of 106 fights, 83 professional, with a record of 83Wins, 30 by KO, 19 losses and four draws.

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How boxing won the lottery but lost the ticket once again

The sport took a step forward with Saturday’s gripping fight between Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Álvarez – and two steps back with more dubious judging

George Foreman once said boxing is the sport to which all other sports aspire, and for 47 electrifying minutes on Saturday night that maxim rang as true as the middleweights Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Álvarez, two of the finest pure fighters of their generation, met in a contest of extreme physical and psychological intensity, holding a sold-out arena and a worldwide audience of millions in their thrall. It was that rarest of unicorns: a main event that managed to exceed the years of hype that preceded it. The sport could have scarcely dreamt of a better advertisement. Until, that is, the decision.

Whenever boxing asks the broader public to lean forward and pay attention, it seems a self-defeating blow is never too far ahead, reminding everyone why they abandoned the sport in the first place.

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Alex Morgan scores twice as USA hit five past New Zealand in friendly

  • Alex Morgan double powers US in 5-0 win over New Zealand in friendly
  • United States women improve to 9-3-0 this year with four games to go
  • Lindsey Horan, Mallory Pugh and Lynne Williams added goals for the US

Alex Morgan scored twice and the US women’s national team concluded a two-game series against New Zealand with a 5-0 victory at Nippert Stadium on Tuesday night.

The Americans improved to 9-3-0 this year. There are four more games left on the team’s 2017 schedule.

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Alex Morgan scores twice as USA hit five past New Zealand in friendly

  • Alex Morgan double powers US in 5-0 win over New Zealand in friendly
  • United States women improve to 9-3-0 this year with four games to go
  • Lindsey Horan, Mallory Pugh and Lynne Williams added goals for the US

Alex Morgan scored twice and the US women’s national team concluded a two-game series against New Zealand with a 5-0 victory at Nippert Stadium on Tuesday night.

The Americans improved to 9-3-0 this year. There are four more games left on the team’s 2017 schedule.

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Kevin Durant admits to ‘childish’ and ‘idiotic’ tweets ripping former team

  • Warriors star confesses to Twitter misstep on Tuesday at tech conference
  • Durant had ripped his former team in third person from official account

Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant admitted on Tuesday to posting comments on Twitter that were critical of his former team and coach.

The eight-time NBA All-Star sent the tweets on Sunday in response to a fan who asked for “one legitimate reason” for Durant’s decision to league the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Warriors in July 2016. Writing in the third person, Durant responded by saying “he didn’t like the organization or playing for Billy Donovan” and that “his roster wasn’t that good, it was just him and [Russell Westbrook].”

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NFL: Tom Brady lifts up Patriots and Ravens beat Browns – video highlights

Watch the highlights from the second round of the NFL season in which the Baltimore Ravens overcome the Cleveland Browns 24-10 and the Kansas City Chiefs defeat the Philadelphia Eagles 27-20, thanks to the rookie Kareem Hunt. Meanwhile, Tom Brady throw…


Tom Brady’s masterclass lifts Patriots while Panthers’ Olsen breaks foot in win

  • New England quarterback passes for 447 yards, three TDs and no INTs
  • Chiefs defeat Eagles behind rookie Kareem Hunts two rushing scores
  • Cardinals, Steelers, Buccaneers, Ravens, Titans and Panthers also win

Bouncing back with a vengeance from a season-opening loss, Tom Brady threw three touchdown passes in the first quarter for the first time in his career, eclipsed 300 yards passing in the first half for only the second time, and New England scored 30 first-half points Sunday en route to a 36-20 victory over the winless Saints.

Brady’s maiden Super Bowl triumph in the Superdome back in February 2002 is bound to be one of his fondest memories. But the 18-year veteran looked like a superior QB in his latest visit. He finished 30 of 39 for 447 yards without an interception — at least not one that counted. Saints defenders caught Brady’s passes twice, but both plays were wiped out by New Orleans penalties.

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Damp squib in Philadelphia exposes distance of American rugby dream

Only just over 6,000 turned up to watch Saracens and Newcastle to illustrate that the Premiership’s American adventure still has a long way to go

The Premiership Rugby chief executive, Mark McCafferty, put a brave face on a poor crowd for Newcastle v Saracens in Philadelphia, saying: “Obviously we know the size of the task, and it’s a big one.”

The Talen Energy Stadium – actually in Chester, down the Delaware from Philly – contained only 6,271 fans, 12,000 short of its modest Major League Soccer capacity. McCafferty said the challenge of filling such a ground, quite likely, although not certainly, to be the Talen, for the three years left of the American Series deal, was “exciting, in a way”.

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Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Álvarez fight to controversial split draw

  • Rematch looms after Golovkin and Álvarez fight to split draw in Las Vegas
  • Ringside judge Adalaide Byrd found only two rounds to award Golovkin
  • Nicola Adams’ US debut scuppered after opponent fails pre-fight blood test
  • Canelo Álvarez v Gennady Golovkin – in pictures

The two best fighters in the world are still the two best fighters in the world, and there ought not be much argument over the drawn 12-rounder between Gennady Golovkin and Saul ‘Canelo’ Álvarez, although the manner of getting there on the scorecards was bizarre.

The sometimes eccentric Adalaide Byrd gave a palpably closer fight 118-110 to the Mexican, Dave Moretti had it a more sensible 115-113 and Don Trella had enough evidence to justify a 114-114 draw. And that glow of satisfaction at ringside might have been the smiles of the TV executives and casino heavyweights who know they will now do it all over again.

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Owen Farrell seals Saracens’ American dream with win over Newcastle

• Newcastle 7-29 Saracens
• Farrell kicks five penalties and a conversion in Philadelphia

On a hot evening at the home of Philadelphia’s soccer team, a Saracens side featuring six 2017 Lions won “away” against Newcastle, with a try by Chris Wyles, a penalty try at the death and 17 points from Owen Farrell’s boot, to end the two teams’ week in Pennsylvania.

Mark McCall’s double European champions are back on track after a defeat at Bath. Dean Richards’ Falcons, who had a breakaway Vereniki Goneva try converted by Sonatene Takulua, will regroup, deal with jet lag and prepare for their own trip to the Rec.

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Gennady Golovkin and Saul Álvarez can help boxing claw back its integrity

Three world middleweight titles are at stake in the long-awaited meeting between the 35-year-old Kazakh and the 27-year-old Mexican, two of the most marketable fighters in boxing

Oscar De La Hoya is not the most impartial party involved in the middleweight super-fight between his compatriot and client, Saul “Canelo” Álvarez, and the unbeaten Gennady Golovkin, but the promoter struck a note of authenticity when he predicted unprecedented suffering for both fighters here on Saturday night.

“I’m going to call this fight eight to nine rounds of hell for both guys,” the six-weight former world champion said. “It’s going to be difficult for both guys.”

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Julie Ertz double powers USA women past New Zealand in friendly

  • USA win 3-1 over New Zealand in first of back-to-back friendly series
  • Ertz scores twice in eight minutes in first half to spark United States
  • Alex Morgan adds second-half tally to move up on USWNT goals list

Julie Ertz scored twice in an eight-minute span in the first half, Alex Morgan added a goal in the 79th minute and the United States women beat New Zealand 3-1 on Friday night at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

Morgan tied Cindy Parlow for seventh on the US national team goals list with 75.

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USA’s World Cup qualifer at Trinidad to be held at tiny Ato Boldon Stadium

  • USA will face Trinidad on 10 October at 10,000-seat Ato Boldon Stadium
  • Americans could enter uncertain of qualifying for first time since 1989

The United States’ final World Cup qualifying match against Trinidad and Tobago will take place at 10,000-seat Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva rather than 27,000-capacity Hasely Crawford Stadium in the capital of Port-of-Spain.

Fifa confirmed the 10 October match at the smaller-than-usual venue will kick off at 8pm ET, at the same time as the other two matches on the final day of Concacaf’s qualifying hexagonal: Mexico at Honduras and Costa Rica at Panama.

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Canelo Álvarez, Gennady Golovkin both make weight ahead of title showdown

Canelo Álvarez and Gennady Golovkin have both made weight ahead of their hotly anticipated middleweight title fight on Saturday night in Las Vegas.

Golovkin was first on the scales on Friday afternoon at the MGM Grand Garden Arena and came in exactly at the division limit of 160lbs. Álvarez, sporting a thin red beard, also tipped the scales at 160lbs before an estimated crowd of 9,000.

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Sports quiz of the week: Dwight, slights, big fights and Champions League nights

Who hammered Celtic? Where did Yorke score? And which boxer is unbeaten?

Frank de Boer was Crystal Palace manager for 77 days. How many days did he last in his previous job at Inter?





Palace are not the only Premier League club to have lost their first four games of the season. Which other side still have no points on the board?



Leicester City

West Ham

Canelo Álvarez and Gennady Golovkin will fight in Las Vegas on Saturday. Which of the two boxers is unbeaten in his professional career?



Anthony Joshua’s next opponent, Kubrat Pulev, has only lost one of his 26 professional fights. Who beat him?

Dereck Chisora

Tyson Fury

Wladmir Klitschko

Anthony Joshua

What age was Pulev when he made his professional debut?





Celtic’s 5-0 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain was their worst at home since 1895. Which team hammered them that day?

Donegal Celtic




In which country will the Giro d’Italia begin next year?





Tomas Rosicky scored for Sparta Prague last Sunday for the first time since signing for the club last summer. Before Sunday, when had he last started a game for the club?

Four months ago

Seven months ago

Eleven months ago

Seventeen years ago

Chris Froome’s victory at the Vuelta a España last weekend means he has now won five Grand Tours. Which cyclist has won a record 11 Grand Tours?

Alberto Contador

Fausto Coppi

Vincenzo Nibali

Eddy Merckx

The White House has suggested that ESPN should sack their presenter Jemele Hill because she called Donald Trump …

“A small-handed scrote”

“Donald Dump”

“A white supremacist”

“A big, brash, boring braggart”

Sergio Agüero scored his 124th goal in the Premier League on Saturday to overtake Dwight Yorke as the competition’s highest scoring non-European. For which of his five Premier League clubs did Yorke score most of those 123 league goals?

Aston Villa

Manchester United

Blackburn Rovers

Birmingham City


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Nicola Adams in jackpot mode as she prepares for Las Vegas debut

Great Britain’s two-times Olympic gold medallist cannot stop smiling as she prepares to take on Alexandra Vlaik of Hungary on the Gennady Golovkin undercard

Professional boxing is not a business that encourages much levity, but Nicola Adams is so unrelentingly content and smilingly happy that it is tempting to wonder if she realises what she has got herself into.

Adams, the double Olympic gold medallist, makes her Las Vegas debut on Saturday night on the undercard of Gennady Golovkin’s showdown with Saul Álvarez, and she is taking the assignment seriously.

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USA World Cup winners Rapinoe and Morgan join Mata’s charity wage project

• Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan will give 1% of their salaries to charity
• They join Mats Hummels and are the first female players in Common Goal

Two members of the World Cup-winning USA women’s team of 2015 have signed up to Juan Mata’s initiative for footballers to donate 1% of their wages to charity.

Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan have joined Manchester United’s Mata and the Bayern Munich defender Mats Hummels in pledging money to Common Goal, which supports global football initiatives for disadvantaged children.

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