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Listen to Go4i! Guest: Cavs F Dean Wade

Listen to Go4it! Guest: Cavs F Dean Wade on Wednesday at 7 pm ET.

We discussed many topics, including:

-The acquisition of Donovan Mitchell

-Upcoming season

-Wade’s role in Cleveland

-Being title contenders

-Evan Mobley

-Kevin Love

According to Wade, the Cavs are one of the top teams in the NBA. 

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Eagles OC Steichen has no issues with Hurts lowering shoulder near goal line

The Philadelphia Eagles got off to a slow start on Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Andre Cisco intercepted Jalen Hurts and returned it 59 yards for a touchdown, and later, Trevor Lawrence threw a four-yard touchdown pass to Jamal Agnew, and just like that, Jacksonville led the Eagles 14-0 in the first quarter.

In the second quarter, Philadelphia had a huge fourth and goal from the three-yard line, and the team needed a play, and Hurts made that play. The third-year quarterback scrambled and smelled the goal line, but Jags LB Devin Lloyd met him there, and Hurts lowered his shoulder and got into the endzone. Ultimately, Philly would score 29 straight points and defeat the Jaguars 29-21 at Lincoln Financial Field.

Obviously, you don’t want to see your quarterback take those types of hits. However, Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen is not concerned.

“Yeah, I think there’s a happy medium there, but I think when it’s fourth down, and we’ve got to go get it, he ain’t going to back down, and he’s going to go get it, and that’s what he did,” Steichen said.

“We had the third-and-goal at the 16, and he took off and got us down to fourth-and-goal at the 4, called the pass play there, they zoned everything off, and he saw a lane, and he went and got it.

“I think he knows the situation that we’re in. When we need to go get it, he’ll go get it, and he needs to be smart when it doesn’t call for that situation.”

After four games, Hurts has 53 carries for 253 yards and four rushing touchdowns. Hurts is an excellent runner and that part of his game makes him a weapon. For the most part, he does a decent job of not taking big hits. You get why Hurts lowered his shoulder in that situation, but again, it’s not something you want to see your starting quarterback make a habit of doing.

Below is “The Great, Not So Great, and Bottom Line” of Eagles’ win over Jaguars:

Adames: ‘I will become the new king at middleweight soon’

Exciting middleweight contender Carlos Adames shared insight into his training camp before he battles Mexico’s Juan Macias Montiel for the Interim WBC Middleweight Title this Saturday, October 8 in the co-main event of action live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT) from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif., in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

After coming up just short of winning a 154-pound world title in 2019, the Dominican Republic’s Adames (21-1, 16 KOs) moved up to the full middleweight limit in December 2021 as he scored an impressive decision victory over top contender Sergiy Derevyanchenko. Now he looks to move one step closer to a middleweight world championship against the rugged power-puncher Montiel.

Here is what Adames had to say about his training camp in Las Vegas, facing Montiel and more:

On his upcoming matchup with Montiel:

“This is not an easy fight because I know Montiel is a proven veteran who has fought at the championship level. He’s gone twelve rounds with Jermall Charlo, so I know he’s tough. I’m expecting Montiel to come into this fight very determined, so I must be ready for anything he brings. I’m the hungriest I’ve ever been going into a fight. My plan is to knock him out and leave no doubt who the winner is.”

On his recent training camp:

“This camp has been challenging because of all the hard work I’ve put in each day. I’m going hard daily with my strength and conditioning, and the sparring I’ve been getting has been with elite fighters, so it’s been a grueling training camp, but one that has me in the best shape of my life. Bob Santos is my head coach, and we did most of our training in Las Vegas before finishing off in Mexico City at [WBC Featherweight World Champion] Rey Vargas’ gym. On fight night, all the fans are going to see an explosive version of me. I’m ready to go!”

On what a win will do for his career:

“This fight is for the interim title, so a victory puts me in position to fight for the championship in my next fight. Everything is on the line in this fight and I’m not going to let this opportunity pass me by. I have one thing on my mind and that is to come out victorious by any means necessary. I will become the new king at middleweight soon.”

On being motivated by fellow Dominican countrymen, WBA Super Lightweight World Champion Alberto Puello and WBA Super Featherweight World Champion Héctor García, winning world titles:

“Hector Garcia and Alberto Puello are my brothers, I love them very much, and for the first time in the history of boxing, the Dominican Republic has more current world champions than Cuba and Puerto Rico. Them both winning world titles on the same night was a great moment for our country. My motivation to become a world champion is burning in my heart and is the reason I’ve taken my training to the next level. I’m going to follow in their footsteps and together we will make history.”

On fighting in co-main event on SHOWTIME:

“Fighting on this stage is every fighter’s dream, and I’m going to bring a great performance to all the fans tuning in. I want all those watching to realize that I’m not a boring fighter that just likes to win on points. I’m coming to make a statement with a vicious knockout, putting the entire middleweight division on notice. Everyone watching this fight is going to love my style, because I bring excitement to the ring.”

Ali Izmailov-Radivoje Kalajdzic headline SHOBOX card in Atlantic City

Blue chip prospect and top-ten ranked light heavyweight Ali Izmailov will face the toughest test of his young career when he takes on former world title challenger Radivoje “Hot Rod” Kalajdzic on Friday, October 21 live on SHOWTIME at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT in the latest edition of SHOBOX: The New Generation. The telecast features five undefeated prospects and six fighters with a combined record of 88-2 and returns to Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel & Casino, site of the first SHOBOX® 21 years ago for the second show in as many months.

The John David Jackson-trained Izmailov (9-0, 6 KOs) and veteran power-puncher Kalajdzic (27-2, 19 KOs) will square off in a 10-round light heavyweight bout. The co-feature matches a pair of undefeated, aggressive prospects in Isaiah Steen (16-0, 12 KOs) clashing with Elvis Figueroa (11-0, 7 KOs) in an eight-round super middleweight contest. The telecast opens with Sean Hemphill (14-0, 8 KOs) taking on David Stevens (11-0, 8 KOs) in another intriguing eight-round super middleweight matchup between undefeated American prospects. Included in the telecast will be highlights of perennial spoiler and SHOBOX alum Marquis Taylor (12-1-2, 1 KO) taking on undefeated Marlon Harrington (8-0, 7 KOs) in an eight-round super welterweight attraction.

 Here is a closer look at the matchups:

 Izmailov vs. Kalajdzic – 10-Round Light Heavyweihgt Main Event Bout

Ranked No. 7 by the WBC, No. 9 by the IBF and No. 11 by the WBO after just nine fights, Izmailov is a fast-rising force in the light heavyweight division. A former amateur standout having won multiple elite international tournaments, Izmailov, economical and efficient in the ring, has been matched tough throughout his professional career. In his second fight, he cruised to a six-round unanimous decision over 30-fight veteran Dmitry Sukhotskiy and followed that up with a dominant performance against once-beaten Sergei Ekimov. Since making his U.S. debut in October 2021, Izmailov is 4-0 with 3 KOs against competition with a combined record of 51-10. He has back-to-back wins over undefeated opponents, including most recently a unanimous decision over Eric Murguia in August. Originally from Malgobek, Russia, the 29-year-old Izmailov works and resides with trainer Jackson in Florida.

“I am excited to make my debut on SHOBOX against a very experienced and proven fighter like Kalajdzic,” said the Salita-promoted Izmailov. “I will bring my toolbox and put it to work on October 21 and show the world why I’m the future of the light heavyweight division.”

Kalajdzic, currently ranked No. 7 by the WBO, has proven throughout his 29-fight career that he’s a player in the 175-pound division, unafraid to test himself against the very best. A 6-foot-2 native of Bosnia and Herzegovina, “Hot Rod” turned pro in 2011 and won his first 21 fights before meeting 2012 U.S. Olympian and then-undefeated Marcus Browne in 2016. Kalajdzic, 31, lost a controversial eight-round split decision but rebounded with three straight stoppage victories to earn a world title shot against Artur Beterbiev in 2019. Among those three victories was a 2016 SHOBOX main event fifth-round TKO victory over former amateur standout Travis Peterkin. Against Beterbiev, Kalajdzic suffered a fifth-round loss but has again rebounded with three straight victories as he seeks a shot at redemption and world title glory.

“Not to overlook Ali Izmailov, as he’s a good fighter, but I can affirm that I’m one of the best light heavyweights in the world,” said Kalajdzic, who lives and trains in St. Petersburg, Fla. “This fight will put me in contention for a world title and I’m confident everyone will see that I belong in the conversation with Dmitry Bivol, Gilberto Ramirez, Anthony Yarde, and those guys. I’m grateful for the opportunity DiBella Entertainment and my management were able to put together with this fight. Expect my best performance come October 21.”

“Hot Rod’s only true loss was to Artur Beterbiev. Everyone saw him get robbed against Marcus Browne,” said Lou DiBella, Kalajdzic’s promoter and President of DiBella Entertainment. “He’s a genuine top contender and will prove it against Ali Izmailov on October 21.”

Steen vs. Figueroa – Eight-Round Super Middleweight Bout

Steen returns to SHOBOX after recording the biggest win of his career against the previously undefeated Kalvin Henderson on July 2021 on SHOBOX (Highlights HERE). An aggressive, come-forward fighter who likes to dig to the body, Steen is the half-brother of super welterweight contender and former U.S. Olympian Charles Conwell. The two shared the same card in August 2020 when Steen of Cleveland, Ohio showed off his power with a first-round TKO of tough Kenneth Council. That was the seventh time Steen stopped his opponent in the first round. Like his half-brother, the 6-2 Steen was a decorated amateur, going 85-15 in the unpaid ranks before he turned pro in 2016. Born in Detroit, Mich., Steen started boxing when he was seven.

“Fighting on SHOWTIME is a huge milestone in my career,” Steen said. “I have stayed in the gym since my last fight on July 23, 2021. My team has made sure that my weight and nutrition are on point. I know I can defeat anyone placed in front of me. Teamwork definitely makes the dream work.”

Figueroa will enter the ring for the third time this year after stopping tough veteran Fidel Monterrosa Munoz in two rounds on August 20. The six-foot New Haven, Conn. product has stopped five of his last six opponents, employing a poised, patient, and hard-punching style. The lone decision was against Ryan Adams on the undercard of a January 7, 2022, edition of SHOBOX in Orlando, Fla. Figueroa, 25, started boxing when he was eight to lose weight and began his amateur career four years later. He is a three-time New England Golden Gloves champion and 2015 USA National Championship silver medalist. Among his amateur victories, he owns a decision win over undefeated super middleweight contender Edgar Berlanga.

Hemphill vs. Stevens – Eight-Round Super Middleweight Bout

 Trained by Hall of Famer James “Buddy” McGirt, Hemphill made his pro debut in 2019 and has already reeled off 14 consecutive wins after a standout amateur career. In his last bout, Hemphill scored an eight-round unanimous decision over Jeyson Minda in front of his hometown New Orleans fans in January. The 26-year-old known as “Silky” fought three times in 2021, four times in 2020 and six times in 2019. Stevens will be the first undefeated opponent of Hemphill’s career with multiple wins.

“This fight means a lot to me,” Hemphill said. “I understand how big of an opportunity fighting on SHOWTIME is for my team and me. This is something I’ve been working towards since I was a kid. I feel like I was born to do this, and I’m ready to show the world why I belong on this stage! Camp is going well with coach Buddy McGirt. He has a lot of knowledge and wisdom that I can use and soak up to help improve my game and skill set.”

Added McGirt, “Sean is a great prospect and a pleasure to work with. He has all the tools to succeed, and I believe, one day, he will become a world champion.”

Stevens, trained by Shields, will enter the ring for the fourth time this year on October 21 when he makes his SHOBOX debut. His busy schedule includes a second-round stoppage of Loris Barberio on July 23 and a first-round TKO of veteran Colby Courter on May 28. The 22-year-old Stevens of Reading, Pa., has stopped four of his last five opponents, relying on a polished skillset and aggressive, hard-punching style. He started boxing when he was 11 and went 60-8 in the amateurs. Among his amateur highlights, he is a two-time Junior Olympic gold medalist, a Silver Gloves champion, Ringside champion, USA Boxing Youth national champion and a Youth World Championships qualifier.

“I am excited and thrilled to be on SHOBOX in my 12th fight,” Stevens said. “Since training with Ronnie Shields, I have learned so much and will show it on October 21.”

Added Shields, “The thing about David is we don’t know how strong he is yet. I know he’s strong, but I’ve been getting him to focus more on technique than he used to. That makes him very hard to beat. He’s one of those kids who wants to learn everything in the gym. When a kid like him wants to learn everything, every day, I like it because I know I have to bring my A game to the gym all the time. He will go a long way.”

Taylor vs. Harrington – Eight-Round Super Welterweight Bout (Highlights Only)

The 28-year-old Taylor is a nine-year veteran whose toughness and smooth boxing skills have proven to be a puzzle for everyone he’s faced. Taylor fought the undefeated former amateur star Paul Kroll to a controversial split draw on SHOBOX on February 18. He also owns victories over three then-undefeated fighters including Jimmy Williams (14-0-1) and Sanjarbek Rakhmanov (10-0-1), who have both appeared on SHOBOX, and Oscar Torres (8-0). Taylor refined his boxing tools in the amateurs, where he went 130-20.

After turning pro in 2019, Detroit’s Harrington has proven to be a quick study in the ring, knocking out seven of his eight opponents and making quick work with no one advancing past the fourth round. Harrington, who started boxing when he was 19, has worked on his trade through sparring with former champions like Tony Harrison and Cornelius “K9” Bundrage. An aggressive, fan-friendly fighter, Harrington will see action for the fourth time this year on October 21 after last fighting on May 26, knocking out Azael Cosio in the fourth round.

Official: Pelicans extend Larry Nance Jr.

The New Orleans Pelicans have signed forward Larry Nance Jr. to a multi-year contract extension, the team announced Monday.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, it’s a two-year, $21.6 million contract extension, and Nance’s total deal ties him to the franchise for three years and $31.3 million.

Nance Jr. was acquired by New Orleans in a mid-season trade with the Portland Trail Blazers and appeared in 46 games (11 starts) during the 2021-22 season, averaging 7.0 points and 5.4 rebounds in 22.6 minutes per game.

The 6-7 forward gave the Pels a spark in the playoffs against the Suns and gave the team some solid minutes. The 29-year-old averaged 9.2 points and 5.8 rebounds in 21.7 minutes per contest in the playoffs.

Drafted 27th overall by the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2015 NBA Draft, the seven-year veteran has appeared in 396 games (134 starts) with the L.A. Lakers, Cleveland, Portland, and New Orleans.

Nance Jr. is a great role player, a tremendous defender, and gives New Orleans great depth in their frontcourt.

Cavs’ Mobley to miss 1-2 weeks with ankle injury

Cavaliers forward Evan Mobley will miss Wednesday night’s game at Philadelphia due to a right ankle sprain and will remain out approximately 1-2 weeks, the team announced Monday.

According to the team, imaging taken at Cleveland Clinic Sports Health confirmed the injury.

The second-year forward will undergo a period of treatment and rehabilitation, and his status will be updated as appropriate.

Last season, Mobley, who was the Rookie of the Year runner-up last season, averaged 15.0 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks per contest.

Alimkhanuly-Bentley, Estrada-Villarino set for November 12 in Vegas

WBO middleweight world champion Janibek “Qazaq Style” Alimkhanuly, a southpaw power puncher from Kazakhstan, will make the first defense of his title against two-time British champion Denzel Bentley on Saturday, Nov. 12 at Pearl Concert Theater at Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.

In the co-feature, undefeated pound-for-pound queen Seniesa “Super Bad” Estrada will defend her WBA minimumweight world title against Jazmin Gala Villarino.

Janibek-Bentley, Estrada-Villarino, and undercard bouts will stream live and exclusively in the U.S. on ESPN+.

“Janibek is the top middleweight in the world, and this fight will be the start of a long and accomplished championship reign,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “I am thrilled to see Seniesa Estrada make her Top Rank debut. She is an exceptionally talented fighter and is poised to be a superstar in the sport for years to come.”

“Denzel Bentley is backing himself and completely believes he has got what it takes to win the WBO world middleweight championship from a formidable champion in Janibek Alimkhanuly,” said Hall of Fame promoter Frank Warren. “It is a golden opportunity for Denzel to step up from being a respected British champion to starring on the world stage in Las Vegas.”

Janibek (12-0, 8 KOs), a 2016 Olympian from Zhilandy, Kazakhstan, took the express route to a world title. He fought in his first scheduled 10-rounder in his sixth pro fight, winning a pair of regional titles in a dominant showing over Cristian Olivas. Janibek’s last four bouts have been in Las Vegas, a quartet of knockouts that propelled him to the top of the middleweight heap. In 2021, he knocked out former world champions Rob Brant and Hassan N’Dam to earn a shot at the WBO interim middleweight title. Janibek knocked out Danny Dignum in two devastating rounds to earn a shot at then-champion Demetrius Andrade. Janibek was elevated to world champion after Andrade elected to move up in weight rather than defend his middleweight title.

“I give Denzel Bentley credit for accepting the challenge when so many fighters ran the other way,” Janibek said. “It is a great honor to defend my world title in Las Vegas at The Palms, and I will once again show the world what ‘Qazaq Style’ is about.”

Bentley (17-1-1, 14 KOs) makes his American debut following a recent run that saw him become king of the British middleweights for a second time. Last April, he suffered a stoppage loss to Felix Cash in a “Bubble” setting in front of limited spectators. Following a comeback victory over Sam Evans, he regained the British middleweight title with a 12-round split decision over the previously unbeaten Linus Udofia. “The Battersea Bomber” earned the shot at Janibek with a fourth-round TKO over Marcus Morrison last month. Bentley rebounded from being stunned in the opening round to bust up Morrison’s nose and open a cut over his right eye, forcing a corner stoppage. After perhaps his most dramatic victory, Bentley readies for the Las Vegas main event stage.

“It will be a good and exciting fight, and I think it is a fight I can win,” Bentley said. “So why not go out there and enjoy the theatrics of Las Vegas and come back with a world title? I genuinely believe I can beat him, and he is beatable. Everybody says he is scary, but I don’t see it. Maybe I am missing something. We will find out when we get in the ring.”

Estrada (22-0, 9 KOs), the latest fighting sensation from East Los Angeles, hopes to flash the two-handed power that has made her one of the sport’s must-see action stars. A two-weight world champion who has also won an interim world title at flyweight, Estrada returns from a nearly 11-month layoff to defend her minimumweight title for a second time. She won that title last March with one-sided decision over Anabel Ortiz, then captured the WBO light flyweight title less than four months later with a decision over Japan’s Tenaki Tsunami. Estrada moved back down to minimumweight last December and defended her title with a fourth-round stoppage over Maria Micheo Santizo. A women’s boxing pioneer who has been grinding in Southern California gyms since taking up the sport more than two decades ago, Estrada is set to resume her career with the backing of Top Rank and “The Worldwide Leader in Sports.”

Estrada said, “This is an exciting time for women’s boxing, and I am thrilled to be making my Top Rank on ESPN debut in Las Vegas against a worthy challenger in Villarino. I am entering the prime of my career and looking forward to unifying the championships in three weight classes. The newest chapter in my career begins November 12, and I can’t wait to get in the ring.”

Villarino (6-1-2, 1 KO) enters her first world title opportunity having not tasted defeat since her 2016 pro debut. Last November, she traveled to Colombia and knocked out Venezuelan former world title challenger Yenifer Leon via seventh-round TKO. Leon also was stopped in five rounds by Estrada back in 2019. Villarino followed up the Leon triumph in March with a unanimous decision over Judith Vivanco in Vivanco’s home country of Mexico. She now enters enemy territory for a third straight fight in hopes of riding her road warrior mentality to a world title.

“This is the opportunity I have been waiting for, to fight for a world title against a fellow warrior like Seniesa Estrada,” Villarino said. “I am thankful to Top Rank for the opportunity, and I am coming to Las Vegas to shock the boxing world. On November 12, a new champion will be crowned.”

In undercard action, undefeated lightweight prospect Raymond “Danger” Muratalla (15-0, 12 KOs) will fight in an eight-rounder. Muratalla is coming off a one-sided decision over Jair Valtierra.

Antonio “El Gigante” Mireles (5-0, 5 KOs), a 6’9 heavyweight, will fight in his first scheduled six-rounder. Mireles has three consecutive second-round knockouts after scoring a pair of first-round stoppages to start his career.

Junior welterweight Lindolfo Delgado (16-0, 13 KOs), who is coming off an epic decision victory over the previously undefeated Omar Aguilar in August, hopes to inch closer to title contention in an eight-rounder.

2016 U.S. Olympian Karlos Balderas (13-1, 11 KOs) looks to make it five wins in a row in an eight-round lightweight bout.

Former U.S. amateur superstar Javier “Milwaukee Made” Martinez (7-0, 2 KOs) returns in a six-rounder at super middleweight.

Lightweight Charlie Sheehy (4-0, 3 KOs), a fearsome puncher from the Bay Area, makes his fourth appearance of 2022 in a four-rounder.

Jets’ Saleh on Wilson: ‘He doesn’t flinch’

Two things the New York Jets(2-2) know how to do: win on the road and do it in comeback fashion, and they did that on Sunday against the Steelers(1-3).

New York, who won their first game of the season on the road against the Browns in comeback fashion in Week 2, did the same things against the Steelers. The Jets trailed 20-10 in the fourth quarter but scored 14 points in the final stanza to defeat Pittsburgh 24-20 at Acrisure Stadium.

Jets quarterback Zach Wilson made his 2022 debut Sunday and led the Jets on two scoring drives in the fourth. It wasn’t all good for Wilson as he threw two picks, but he got the job done when the Jets needed him the most.

The second-year quarterback was 10/12 for 128 yards and a touchdown in the fourth and ended the day 18/36 for 252 yards, a touchdown, and two picks. Also, he had a two-yard touchdown reception in the first half.

“He doesn’t flinch,” Jets head coach Robert Saleh said about Wilson after the win. “There was a couple plays that I’m sure he wishes he had back. The young man doesn’t flinch. He got us out of a lot of bad situations with his mobility. I thought he played a pretty good game for his first game back.”

On the final drive for the Jets, the team traveled 65 yards on 10 plays, which ended with a two-yard Breece Hall touchdown. According to Wilson, he knew the offense would score on that drive.

“From the beginning, I think there was no doubt in my mind, especially when we hit a couple quick passes and stuff there, too, and we were running the ball well,” Wilson said about scoring on the final drive. “I feel like as an offense, you can just feel it.”

The Jets finished 3-14 last season and did not win their second game until Week 8 in 2021, and after four weeks, Saleh is really proud of his team.

“It was just a really cool NFL game,” he said. “And for as young as we are, to have the mindset to stay in it, go 60 minutes, again, really proud of the group with the mindset and just exchanging blows with another opponent being 2-2 right now, it’s pretty good. We’ve got a really good chance. But you never know.”

The Jets probably don’t get this win in 2021, but credit the team for fighting hard and getting another tough win on the road.

Notes:

Wilson caught the first touchdown pass of his career as Braxton Berrios connected with him on a two-yard touchdown pass.

‘Yeah, first I hand it, and I see everyone flowing, and I’m like, oh, thank goodness,” Wilson said about the play. “I’ve got the best hands on the team.”

Giants’ Daboll: ‘I think the players played good when it counted the most’

The New York Giants are now 3-1 after defeating the Chicago Bears(2-2) 20-12 at MetLife Stadium on Sunday. The Giants used a stout defense; Saquon Barkley and Daniel Jones did the job on the ground. In addition, New York overcame injuries to Jones and backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor.

Jones, who ended the game 8/13 for 71 yards, left with an ankle injury late in the third quarter after being sacked by Jaquan Brisker, while Taylor left in the fourth quarter with a concussion. However, the man that has been doing it all for the Giants, Barkley, became the wildcat quarterback and continued his strong rushing performance. Jones did return, but Barkley did some heavy lifting.

“It’s something that we practiced,” Barkley said about the wildcat formation after the win. “I think we did it; we showed it against Carolina. It was a package that we had in. You don’t want to be in that situation, but the way that the coaches reacted, brought us all in and started drawing it up. It felt like you’re back again as a little kid in the backyard playing football. But like I said, we had some of those packages already. We worked at it, and we have some really talented (running) backs and a great offensive line, and we were able to have a little bit of success on it.”

Giants head coach Brian Daboll added: “I just thought those were the right thing to use at that particular time based on where (quarterback) Daniel (Jones) was, limping around a little bit. And then we put a couple of other ones in on the sideline – ones that (offensive line coach) Bobby (Johnson) and I have run in the past. So I didn’t have to get to all of them but got to a couple of them that I thought helped us, particularly the edge plays with (running back Matt) Breida there at the end. And Barkley’s been ballhandling since training camp, not for this necessary (reason that) both quarterbacks go down – just because it’s part of our package that we have. Just thought that was the best thing to do.” 

Barkley had his second 100-yard game of the season as he finished with a career-high 31 carries for 146 yards. Jones also carried the load as he had 68 yards on the ground, including rushing touchdowns of 21 and eight yards. New York rushed for 262 yards on 44 carries. It was their highest rushing yardage total since 2008.

“I thought our line did a good job,’ Daboll said. “We ran the ball inside; we ran the ball outside; had a couple of scheme runs in there that we liked this particular week. And then 26 (Saquon Barkley) – I’ve said it since OTAs – is a really good football player. So, that along with Daniel’s, what did he have – about 70 or something around there? That’s the way we wanted to play this game, and it worked out.”

New York is now 3-1 for the first time since 2011, and “Big Blue” is winning with defense and a strong running game; Daboll gave all the credit to the players.

“I think the players played good when it counted the most,” Daboll said. “Give all the credit to the players. I think the assistant coaches and coordinators are doing a good job of putting them in position, and those guys are playing hard for 60 minutes. So, I’d say give the players, first-and-foremost, all the credit. And give the assistant coaches and coordinators the second part of it.”

New York will have to see if Jones will be healthy next week as they travel to London to face the Packers. Jones did say he was feeling good following the game.

“I feel good. I feel good,” he said. “A little sore but all good. Listen to the trainers and doctors and go from there but feeling good.”

Notes:

-In addition to Jones and Taylor, several Giants left the game with injuries. Cornerback Aaron Robinson (knee), safety Julian Love (concussion), tackle Evan Neal (neck), wide receiver Kenny Golladay (knee) and defensive tackle Henry Mondeaux (ankle) did not return. Guard Mark Glowinski (ankle) did.

-Love and fellow safety Xavier McKinney were the only players on the Giants’ defense to play every snap in the first three games.

Daboll, Pederson talk Tua Tagovailoa

On Thursday night, a scary incident happened with Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.

In the second quarter of the Dolphins’ 27-15 loss to the Bengals, Tagovailoa was sacked by Bengals’ Josh Tupou and was on the ground for a few minutes before he was taken off on a stretcher and sent to a local hospital with head and neck injuries.

Ultimately, Tagovailoa was released from the hospital and flew back with the team to Miami.

Tua, who left the game against the Bills last Sunday and returned with what was initially reported as a head injury, which the Dolphins later said was a back injury, was listed as questionable for Thursday’s game due to the back injury.

On Friday, Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson and Giants head coach Brian Daboll gave their thoughts on the situation.

Doug Pederson:

“First of all, just want to [give] my thoughts and prayers obviously to [Dolphins QB] Tua [Tagovailoa] and his family at this time,” Pederson said. “What I saw on television last night, it was obviously a violent head injury, severe, and to the ground. Listen, those things are going to happen in this league, and it’s no fault of anybody’s, but we have to keep player safety first number one. I know the league is doing an outstanding job with [it]. You look at the guardian caps that we wore in training camp this year, and they’re doing everything they can with technology and helmets and things of that nature. But these instances are going to keep popping up; it’s inevitable with our game and the speed of the game, and the violent nature of our game. We try to minimize them, and we try to protect our players best we can, but sometimes in the course of the heat of the battle, they happen. It’s unfortunate, and again, my thoughts and prayers are with him and his family and, of course, the Dolphins at this time.”

Daboll, Tagovailoa’s offensive coordinator at Alabama, says he will reach out to him soon.

“He means a lot to me,” Daboll said. “Special kid, great family, and it was tough…

“Yeah, I think every decision is different. I don’t really think about them as players. I know I’m a coach, but I try to think about them; they’re not too far off from my kids. Anytime a guy gets hurt, I saw it and just prayers for him, his family, and the people around him.”

It was an unfortunate situation, and hopefully, Tagovailoa’s career won’t be impacted going forward.

 

Fundora: ‘I fight for the fans’

Unbeaten super welterweight sensation Sebastian “The Towering Inferno’’ Fundora offered a clear warning to the rest of the 154-pound division as he prepares to defend his interim WBC title against former title challenger Carlos Ocampo live on SHOWTIME on Saturday, October 8 from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California headlining a Premier Boxing Champions event.

“Everyone in the division has to watch out,” said Fundora. “Because I’m coming. I’m definitely not overlooking this opponent, but whenever I get that title chance, I’m ready for it.”

Already considered perhaps the most exciting fighter in the sport at just 24-years-old, Fundora explained the mentality that has allowed him to thrill fight fans time and time again.

“A lot of people who come out to these fights are working class and they spend their hard-earned money to go watch a good fight, and that’s what I want to deliver,” said Fundora. “I fight for the fans. Without the fans, boxing is not the same.”

Photo: Jose Montañez/Team Fundora

For this fight, Coachella, California’s Fundora will share the stage with his younger sister, 20-year-old rising flyweight Gabriela Fundora, who competes in an undercard bout at Dignity Health Sports Park. Although it will be the first time they share a card, Sebastian is confident that the training from their father Freddy will allow each to focus on their individual tasks.

“We always train together, so preparing to fight on the same date didn’t require any adjustments or changes really,” said Fundora. “My sister is going to fight before me and I’ll be focused on my fight, even while watching her. We’ve trained all camp so that I know what I’m supposed to be doing at that moment. I’ll definitely be ready by the time it’s my moment to get in the ring.

“This opportunity shows that the hard work me and my sister have been putting in, is really paying off. I’m already in a comfortable spot in my career, but it really shows how her hard work has gotten her to this platform.”

Fundora’s stock skyrocketed after his most recent outing, which saw him claim the vacant Interim WBC Super Welterweight Title by stopping Erickson Lubin after nine rounds, in a memorable bout on SHOWTIME in April that is a certain contender for 2022 Fight of the Year. Despite the career-best victory, Fundora saw the outcome as him simply proving what he already believed about himself.

“I feel like I didn’t learn anything in my last fight, I just went out there and proved what I already knew to everyone,” said Fundora. “In that camp we were focused on showing everyone that I’m an elite fighter at 154 pounds.”

The 6-foot-6 Fundora also showed an ability to overcome adversity in the duel against Lubin, and wisdom beyond his years. After dropping his opponent in round two and racing out to an early lead, Fundora was on the receiving end of a vicious onslaught from Lubin in round seven and elected to take a knee to recuperate. Between rounds nine and 10, Lubin’s corner was forced to throw in the towel after Fundora rose to his feet and regained control of the action.

“I never had a doubt in my mind during the Lubin fight,” said Fundora. “If I doubted myself, I would not be here right now. I had the composure to use my brain and take a knee during that fight. I got hit with a good punch and I was like, ‘let me take a little breather’, instead of getting hit like that again. I used my intelligence.”

On October 8, Fundora makes the first defense of his interim title against the rising Mexican contender Ocampo, who enters the fight on a 12-bout winning streak. Since a 2018 loss to unified welterweight world champion Errol Spence Jr., Ocampo has moved up in weight and reeled off win after win to earn another shot at a top fighter. Fundora expects that motivation, combined with the Baja Californian’s aggressive style, to equal memorable action for everyone watching.

“Ocampo is a big, Mexican 154-pounder,” said Fundora. “He’s been at this weight for a while now and I know he’s coming in hungry. It’s his second chance on the big stage and I’m eager to see what he brings to the ring. I’m ready for him to bring his best. He’s going to be an aggressive fighter with a classic Mexican style. This is a perfect fight for Southern California. What more could you want?”