Hurd: ‘I look back at my fights, and it kind of scares me all the hits I was taking’

Former unified 154-pound champion Jarrett Hurd(23-1, 16 KOs) is back, and he comes with a new trainer. Hurd fired his trainer Ernesto Rodriguez after his loss to Julian Williams last May and hired trainer Kay Koroma.

Now, Hurd is focused and ready to battle Francisco Santana(25-7-1, 12 KOs) on January 25 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. 

“I’m so focused on taking care of Francisco Santana; I can’t look past him,” Hurd said at a media workout on Wednesday. “He’s a guy who comes forward. This is a fight where I want to see how things work out with my new trainer Kay Koroma, but Santana comes to fight just like Jeison Rosario did. I have to be on my toes.

“People say this is the new Jarrett, but I feel like it’s the old me, and I’m just getting back to it. I used my defense and my height against Frank Galarza and other earlier fights. But when I was training for Erislandy Lara, I was developing this pressure style, and we didn’t have enough of the fundamentals set behind it.

Hurd has had some tough fights in his career, including battles with Williams and Erislandy Lara. In those fights, Hurd took a lot of punishment, something he believes needs to change.

“I look back at my fights, and it kind of scares me all the hits I was taking,” Hurd said. “I had back to back Fight of the Year battles. Those were back and forth fights. I don’t want those each and every year. I want to win in one-sided fashion.

 The Accokeek, Maryland native wants to get back to the top, and he hopes to become the undisputed champion at 154. 

“I was close to becoming undisputed champion at 154-pounds, and that’s still a goal of mine,” he said. “I want to accomplish that feat in this division before we move up. I know I had a bad night against Julian Williams, but it was just a small hiccup. I’m coming back for my number one spot.”

 Photo: Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME

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Accorsi on Eli: ‘He won championships, and he was always there giving us a chance to win’

Eli Manning is ready to write the final chapter of his historic career.

One of the best, most popular and most decorated players in Giants history, Manning, a two-time Super Bowl winner and most valuable player, will announce his retirement Friday, ending a 16-year career spent entirely with the team he joined in a draft-day trade in 2004.

“For 16 seasons, Eli Manning defined what it is to be a New York Giant both on and off the field,” said John Mara, the Giants’ president and chief executive officer. “Eli is our only two-time Super Bowl MVP and one of the very best players in our franchise’s history. He represented our franchise as a consummate professional with dignity and accountability. It meant something to Eli to be the Giants quarterback, and it meant even more to us. We are beyond grateful for his contributions to our organization and look forward to celebrating his induction into the Giants Ring of Honor in the near future.”

“We are proud to have called Eli Manning our quarterback for so many years,” said Steve Tisch, Giants chairman and executive vice president. “Eli was driven to always do what was best for the team. Eli leaves a timeless legacy with two Super Bowl titles on the field and his philanthropic work off the field, which has inspired and impacted so many people. We are sincerely thankful for everything Eli has given our team and community. He will always be a Giant among Giants.”

Ernie Accorsi was the general manager who traded for Manning. Though he retired after the 2006 season, Accorsi has remained a member of the Giants family and has followed Manning’s career closely.

“I learned very early that you evaluate quarterbacks on their ability to win championships, and to do it late in a game when the game is on the line, that they’re able to take a team down the field and into the end zone to win a title,” Accorsi said. “The second thing is to know that over a period of years, he’s always going to be there. Those kinds of quarterbacks always give you a chance to win, and for 16 years, he did that for this franchise. He won championships and he was always there giving us a chance to win. I don’t know how you can ask more from a quarterback.”

Manning’s first 183 regular-season and 11 postseason starts were for Tom Coughlin, the Giants’ head coach from 2004-15.

“It was an honor and privilege to coach Eli, and to go through the wonderful and magnificent moments that he and his teammates provided for all of us in the world championship ‘07-‘08 and ’11-’12 seasons,” Coughlin said. “The New York Giants, flagship franchise of the National Football League, have four world championships You have four trophies sitting there. You have (Phil) Simms, you have (Jeff) Hostetler, and you have Eli for two. Eli Manning not only is the quarterback on those great teams, but he is the MVP of the Super Bowls. He’s an incredible big- game performer. You talk about a guy that’s great to coach, focused every day, took tremendous pride in preparing, practice, had a great sense of humor, was a cynic in the locker room. But the guys loved him and they loved him for it, and they played for him. The guys that had the opportunity to play with him know what it’s like to be with a guy with as much talent, as much grit, as much determination.

“Here goes the retirement of a great, great football Giant. I and my coaching staff and our teams from 2004 right through 2015, for me at least, my part, hold Eli in the highest respect and congratulate him and his family, and his mom and dad, for all of the wonderful, wonderful experiences he’s had, and the happiness and pride that he has brought to the entire Giants family, the fanfare, the fans, the family and everyone that’s taken so much pride from his performances and for what he’s meant. He’s always been there to make the call, to stand up and represent the Giants in the best possible way.”

Manning is one of the most accomplished players in the 95 seasons of Giants football. He is the only player in franchise history to suit up for 16 seasons and his 236 regular-season games (234 starts) and 248 total games are both Giants records.

From Nov. 21, 2004 through Nov. 23, 2017, Manning started 210 consecutive regular-season games, then the second-longest streak by a quarterback in NFL history (to Brett Favre’s 297). After sitting out one game, he started the next 22 in a row, giving him 232 starts in 233 games – plus 12 postseason games. Manning never missed a game because of injury.

“I can’t tell you what that means to a coach, to be able to prepare every week knowing your starter is going to be there,” Coughlin said. “It’s almost impossible today to be able to do that. Some teams are fortunate. Many teams it doesn’t happen to. You get a guy nicked, you get him hurt. I remember once he was hurt with a shoulder. He didn’t practice all week. We didn’t know if he’d be alright. He started and played the whole game and played well. It meant a great deal to us to be able to prepare knowing he was going to be on the field and be the starting quarterback for all of those games.”

Manning led the Giants to victories against the New England Patriots in Super Bowls XLII (when they defeated a Patriots team that was 18-0) and XLVI. In each game, he led the Giants on a long fourth-quarter drive to erase a fourth-quarter deficit. On Feb. 3, 2008, it was a 12-play, 83-yard march highlighted by Dave Tyree’s famous helmet catch and the 13-yard touchdown pass to Plaxico Burress with 35 seconds remaining that gave the Giants a 17-14 victory. Four years later, the decisive series covered 88 yards in nine plays, most memorably a 38-yard sideline throw to Mario Manningham and Ahmad Bradshaw’s seat-of-his-pants one-yard touchdown run for a 21-17 triumph.

Manning won the Rozelle Trophy as the game’s most valuable player each time. He is the only Giants player to win the award twice and is one of just five players in NFL history to win multiple Super Bowl MVP awards. All of them are quarterbacks (Tom Brady, 4; Joe Montana, 3; Terry Bradshaw and Bart Starr, 2 apiece).

Manning is one of 21 quarterbacks to win a Super Bowl without losing one and one of 12 to win at least two Super Bowls.

In 2016, Manning was the co-recipient (with Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, a fellow member of the 2004 draft class) of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award. He is the only Giants player to be so honored in the award’s 49-year history.

Manning owns every significant Giants career passing record. He is sixth in NFL history with 8,119 attempts and seventh with 4,895 completions, 57,023 yards and 366 touchdown passes. Manning also has the franchise’s highest career completion percentage (60.29). Manning holds the seven highest single-season completion totals and the four highest yardage totals (he threw for more than 4,000 yards seven times) and completion percentages. He was selected to four Pro Bowls.

Manning also excelled in the postseason, when he had an 8-4 record. He set Giants career playoff records with 400 passes, 242 completions, 2,815 yards and 18 touchdown passes.

In the recently-concluded 2019 season, Manning played four games. He started the first two games before being replaced by Daniel Jones, the sixth overall selection in the draft last year.  Jones sprained his ankle against Green Bay on Dec. 1 and Manning started the next two games, a Monday night game in Philadelphia and the following Sunday at home vs. Miami. Manning threw for 283 yards and two touchdowns in a 36-20 victory over the Dolphins and left the game to a long and loud ovation with 1:54 remaining. The victory evened his regular-season record at 117-117.

Off the field, Manning has been one of the most giving Giants, donating his time and money to numerous civic and charitable causes. He heads the Tackle Kids Cancer Initiative at Hackensack UMC and he launched “Eli’s Challenge” by pledging to match grassroots donations from local organizations dollar-for-dollar up to $100,000. He and his family built “The Eli Manning Children’s Clinics” at the Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children in Jackson, Miss. Manning supports numerous other charities, including Children’s of Mississippi Capital Campaign, March of Dimes, New York March for Babies, Guiding Eyes for the Blind, American Red Cross, Scholastic’s Classroom Care Program and the PeyBack Foundation.

Fittingly, one of the many awards he has received for his work in the community is the Ernie Accorsi Humanitarian Award at the National Football Foundation.

“That’s what it’s all about – it’s about giving back,” Coughlin said. “You think that the good Lord gave you these tools for you to hold inside you and be selfish about it? No chance. He goes out in the community, he’s himself when he’s out there. He’s done a tremendous amount of work for the Jay Fund (Coughlin’s charity foundation, which benefits the families of children with cancer). He goes to see cancer kids over in Hackensack and throughout New York City. His heart is in the right place.”

Next week in Hollywood, Fla., Manning will be presented with the 2020 Athletes in Action/Bart Starr Award. The award, bearing the name of Pro Football Hall of Famer Bart Starr, honors Starr’s lifelong commitment to serving as a positive role model to his family, teammates and community. Manning was selected by his peers in the NFL, making it the only award – other than the Pro Bowl – voted on by all the players.

Coughlin was three months into his 12-year tenure as the Giants’ coach when Manning joined the team roughly an hour after the San Diego Chargers selected him first in the 2004 NFL Draft. Picking fourth, the Giants selected another quarterback, Philip Rivers. Accorsi then engineered a trade that brought Manning to the team he had hoped to play for all along. The Giants sent Rivers, their third-round choice in 2004 (No. 65 overall), and first and fifth-round picks in the 2005 draft to the Chargers for Manning.

“(The late Beano) Cook told me once, ‘You could be on the first civilian flight to Mars, and the first line of your obituary is going to be that you traded for Eli Manning,’” Accorsi said. “No question about that. I’m honored to be associated with Eli Manning in every way possible, as a person and as a player.”

So is everyone else who had the privilege of working with Manning for 16 years.

49ers’ Kyle Shanahan discusses his regrets from Super Bowl LI

For 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan, Super Bowl 54 provides an opportunity for redemption. The last time Shanahan coached in a Super Bowl was when he was the offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI.

In that game, the Falcons were dominating the Patriots and were up 28-3 in the third quarter. Unfortunately for the Falcons and Shanahan, the Patriots would score the final 31 points and would defeat the Falcons 34-28 in overtime. This was the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history.

Losing in the Super Bowl was very difficult for Shanahan, and on Monday, he discussed how he felt after the loss to the Patriots.

“The days after were real tough,” Shanahan said. “Losing a Super Bowl is extremely tough for everybody, especially when you lose one when you have a 28-3 lead going into the fourth. The way it came down on me personally, I didn’t react to that, I think, the way people would expect because there were definitely parts in that Super Bowl that I would love to have back and stuff I was very hard on myself, but the whole narrative of if I would’ve just ran it, we would’ve won. I know that wasn’t the case. 

“I know what went into that game and all the stuff that happened, so that stuff didn’t bother me. You’ve got to deal with that and listen to other people, but it was nice to be able to move on and move out here and just keep working. I’m glad I’m going to get the chance to go back.”

With the Falcons leading 28-20 late in the fourth quarter, the Falcons moved the ball all the way down to the Patriots’ 22-yard line. However, Falcons QB Matt Ryan was sacked, and then, the Falcons were called for a holding the penalty, which pushed the Falcons out of field goal range.

Shanahan discussed what he did wrong.

“Yeah, the play I regretted the most was when we got down there,” Shanahan said. “We haven’t converted a third down, really the entire second half, I think we were averaging one yard a carry rushing. So, when you do that, the formula to keep giving the ball back to someone is to go run-run-pass. You’re going to make a third-and-seven at best every single time. If you’re not converting third downs, that makes it tough. We did mix it up a little bit. I think we actually ran it more in the second half than we did in the first half.

“The other team was I think 34 of 38, converted all their third downs, couldn’t get the ball. Finally they got it within a score, we got it back and got pretty aggressive to get it down there. It was a second-and-10, called a pass on the last time down there. On second-and-10 I called a run. We got a two-yard loss and a holding call that put us out of field goal range. This time I went the opposite. Tried to get a play to [Atlanta Falcons WR] Julio [Jones]. They played a different coverage, didn’t get the call I wanted, so I didn’t like the call. I was hoping we could just get rid of it, but they had a pretty good rush and got a sack. Once that happened, I knew we had to throw because now we were out of field goal range. Threw it the next down to [Atlanta Falcons WR Mohamed] Sanu, ran a choice-route breaking out and moved the chains, but they called a holding call on our left tackle so that put us way back and we had to throw again to get back into it and we missed it. I wish I didn’t call that play on second-and-11 that led to that sack.”

Obviously, the Falcons should have won that football game, but Bill Belichick and Tom Brady made magic happen, and the rest is history.

Hopefully, for Shanahan, he can get vindication in Super Bowl 54. 

Warren, Truax make their return on February 15

Former bantamweight world champion Rau’shee Warren will battle Mexico’s Gilberto Mendoza in a 10-round attraction, while former super middleweight champion Caleb “Golden” Truax takes on Ghana’s Ernest Amuzu in a 10-round showdown, highlighting the non-televised undercard lineup on Saturday, February 15 from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee.

The event is headlined by undefeated IBF Super Middleweight World Champion Caleb “Sweethands” Plant making a homecoming world title defense against mandatory challenger Vincent Feigenbutz in the FOX PBC Fight Night main event and on FOX Deportes. Coverage begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and features welterweight contenders Bryant Perrella and Abel Ramos battling in the co-main event, plus lightweight contender and Nashville native Austin Dulay facing former title challenger Diego Magdaleno in the televised opener.

The undercard will also see Chicago’s Vernon Brown (12-1-1, 8 KOs) battling Augusta, Georgia’s Justin DeLoach (18-4, 9 KOs) in an eight-round super welterweight fight, plus unbeaten Cuban Maidel Sando (9-0, 7 KOs), who now lives in Nashville, taking on Mexico’s Sergio Gonzalez (6-7-1, 2 KOs) in a six-round super middleweight attraction.

Rounding out the lineup is unbeaten Ashland City, Tennessee native Tyler Tomlin in a lightweight fight, and the pro debut of Cincinnati’s Duke Reagan in a four-round super featherweight contest against North Carolina’s Da’jour Burney.

Warren (16-3, 4 KOs) will return to action for the first time since a close decision loss in a world title fight against unbeaten champion Nordine Oubaali in January 2019. A southpaw from Cincinnati, Ohio, Warren won the WBA Bantamweight World Championship with a majority decision over Juan Carlos Payano in 2016 and lost the title the next year to Zhanat Zhakiyanov by split-decision. The 32-year-old became the first three-time Olympic boxer from the U.S. when he qualified for consecutive Olympic teams in 2004, 2008 and 2012. He will be opposed by the 30-year-old Mendoza (15-7-3, 7 KOs), who is from Mexicali, Mexico and now lives in Modesto, California. Mendoza has won eight of his last 10 fights, including a draw in his last fight against Oscar Vasquez in October 2019.

A native of Osseo, Minnesota, Truax (30-4-2, 19 KOs) will step back into the ring after being forced to withdraw from a scheduled title eliminator against Peter Quillin in August 2019. The 30-year-old had previously faced Quillin in April in a fight that was ruled a no contest because of a cut he suffered due to an accidental head butt. Truax became world champion in 2017 when he went to the U.K. and upset James DeGale to capture the IBF 168-pound crown. Truax lost a narrow decision in the rematch to DeGale but bounced back to stop Fabiano Soares in August 2018. He will take on the Hohoe, Ghana native Amuzu (25-5, 22 KOs), who now fights out of Prichard, Alabama. Amuzu will look to rebound from a November 2019 defeat against Ievgen Khytrov.

Photo: Cynthia Vance / SHOWTIME

 

Paul: ‘I have a list of targets of people that keep talking sh**, Antonio Brown, Dillon Danis’

Jake Paul has vowed to keep boxing as he prepares to make his professional debut against fellow YouTube star AnEsonGib at the Meridian at Island Gardens in Miami on Thursday, January 30, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK. 

After a fiery press conference in Los Angeles, Paul and Gib are in the process of completing their training camps in Big Bear, California and Las Vegas respectively, and Paul says he has fallen in love with the sport and wants to prove he is taking it seriously by not just beating Gib, but using victory to launch a boxing career.

 “I see how big this is becoming,” said Paul. “It’s just the start of what we’re going to see, and that’s why I am so excited by it, I want to be the pioneer of this space.     

“This is not a one-off stunt for me. I want to keep fighting, and I have a list of targets of people that keep talking shit, Antonio Brown, Dillon Danis, other YouTubers – the potential for this is massive, and I know that I will be the best ‘influencer-boxer’. I’ve fallen in love with boxing; I was watching my sparring back and just thinking, ‘I love fighting.’ It takes me back to why roots of being competitive playing football and wrestling.

“This is new; it is an untapped vertical for me. I look at myself as an innovator and a pioneer. I came into YouTube at a time when a lot of change needed to happen, and I was that change along with my brother. We went so big and viral and became the biggest. 

“Boxing is making a huge comeback, and there’s a huge lane for ‘celebrities’ or whatever you want to call us to make huge noise. It’s a business. If we can see the most tickets, we’re going to make the most money and draw the most fans, and no-one can really hate on that. That’s why I want to be the best and most technically skilled ‘influencer-boxer.’”

Paul and Gib clash on a massive night of action in Super Bowl week with WBO World Middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade (28-0 17 KOs) defending his crown against Irish challenger Luke Keeler (17-2-1 5 KOs), Tevin Farmer (30-4-1, 6 KOs) defending his IBF World Super Featherweight title against JoJo Diaz (30-1, 15 KOs), and unified World Super Bantamweight champion Daniel Roman (27-2-1, 10 KOs) defending his titles against Murodjon Akhmadaliev (7-0, 6 KOs).

Photo: Matchroom Boxing

Marial Shayok scores 29 points in Blue Coats’ 119-109 victory over Lakers

The Delaware Blue Coats (14-10), the NBA G League affiliate of the Philadelphia 76ers, defeated the South Bay Lakers (10-17), 119-109, on Monday afternoon at 76ers Fieldhouse. Seven Blue Coats players scored at least 10 points for the third time this season, improving to 2-1 in such games.

76ers two-way contract player Marial Shayok tallied a game-high 29 points (12-21 fg, 5-9 3fg) with six rebounds and three assists in 31 minutes for the Blue Coats. Xavier Munford scored 17 of his 21 points (6-13 fg, 3-7 3fg, 4-4 ft) in the first half for Delaware, while Doral Moore registered 17 points (7-12 fg, 2-2 ft), seven rebounds and three blocked shots in 29 minutes off the bench.

Zhaire Smith, on assignment from the 76ers, finished the game with 14 points (5-12 fg, 4-8 3fg), three rebounds and two assists in 27 minutes of action for the home team. Smith matched his career-high mark with four 3-point field goals made. Julian Washburn notched his first double-double of the season for the Blue Coats with 10 points (3-4 fg, 2-3 3fg, 2-2 ft) and 10 rebounds in 25 minutes, while Christ Koumadje neared a double-double with 10 points (4-7 fg, 1-2 ft), nine rebounds and five blocked shots in just 16 minutes of work.

The Blue Coats led 75-54 at halftime and by as many as 34 points in the third quarter. Delaware outrebounded the visitors 54-50, marking the team’s sixteenth game with at least 50 total rebounds.

Zach Norvell Jr. paced South Bay with 22 points (6-10 fg, 3-6 3fg, 4-5 ft), six rebounds and a pair of assists in 35 minutes as a starter. Los Angeles Lakers two-way contract player Kostas Antetokounmpo secured his third-straight double-double with 21 points (9-18 fg, 1-4 3fg, 1-2 ft) and 13 rebounds in 33 minutes for South Bay. Marcus Allen and Javan Felix each finished with 18 points in reserve roles for the visitors, with the duo combining for 16 points in the third quarter.

The Blue Coats will hit the road to take on the Memphis Hustle on Wednesday night at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN+.

Andy Reid on Mahomes: ‘For a young guy, he’s a special kid’

Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes is the best quarterback in football, and that has been on full display in these playoffs, including yesterday when he threw for 294 yards and three touchdowns, and he also led the Chiefs in rushing against the Titans, when he ran for 53 yards and added another touchdown on the ground, as Kansas City defeated Tennessee 35-24 in the AFC title game to advance to play the 49ers in Super Bowl 54 in Miami.

The third-year quarterback, just like he did against the Texans in the Divisional round, started slow, but picked it up as the game went along. Kansas City trailed 17-7 in the second quarter; however, the Chiefs would score the next 28 points to gain complete control of the game.

Mahomes, 24, always seems to play under control and made all the plays needed for Kansas City to beat Tennessee, and according to Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, Mahomes is a special player.

“He’s great to be around every day because he brings energy every day,” Reid said on Monday. “You respect that. Everybody has their ups and downs because there is life outside of football. When he’s in that building it’s all football; it’s all team. He’s never said it’s about me.

“I’ve never heard that from him. It’s all 100% about the team and how we’re doing and what can we do better, where can I help. Then, he buckles down to get the game plan down and he studies. For the young guys out there, what a great example. He’s not the fastest guy out there, but you see him know when to run when to get down, know when to throw it. For a young guy, he’s a special kid. The city is lucky to have him. It’s a nice match up having great fans and a great quarterback like that.”

When they get it going, Kansas City’s offense has been unstoppable in these playoffs, and no matter how great of a year Lamar Jackson had in Baltimore, Mahomes, who threw 50 touchdowns last season, has proven in these playoffs that he is the best quarterback in the NFL.

 

76ers’ Ben Simmons named Eastern Conference Player of the Week

The NBA announced today that Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week for play during the week of Monday, Jan. 13 through Sunday, Jan. 19. This marks Simmons’ third career Player of the Week honor, earning the award in each of his first three seasons in the NBA (April 9, 2018 and March 4, 201

Simmons’ award marks Philadelphia’s second consecutive winner after Josh Richardson earned Player of the Week honors on Jan. 13. The last time the 76ers were awarded back-to-back Player of the Week honors was the 2002-03 season when Hall of Famer Allen Iverson earned the honor in consecutive weeks. The last time two different 76ers earned the award in back-to-back weeks was when Aaron McKie and Iverson did so in 2000-01.

 For the week, the 76ers played in four games, earning a 3-1 record. Simmons recorded a total of 85 points through four games, averaging 21.3 points on the week. The 2019 NBA All-Star notched 20-or-more points in a career-high four straight games. Simmons also averaged 9.5 rebounds and 7.3 assists per game, the only Eastern Conference player to record such averages last week and one of three in the NBA.

 Simmons registered a double-double in three of the four games, with all three coming in the form of 20-10 games (two point-rebound double-doubles and one point-assist double-double). The NBA steals leader recorded at least one swipe in each of the four games, sending his season total to 88. Overall, the third-year NBA player has upped his streak of double-digit scoring to 18-consecutive games, the fourth-longest streak of his career.

 On Wednesday, Jan. 17 against Brooklyn at home, Simmons played in his 200th career game. Through those 200 contests, Simmons scored 3,228 points, collected 1,660 rebounds and dished out 1,608 assists. Simmons joined Hall of Famers Magic Johnson and Oscar Robertson as the only three players in NBA history to reach at least 3,000 points, 1,500 rebounds and 1,500 assists in 200 career games.

 In the team’s matchup against the Chicago Bulls on Friday, Jan. 17, Simmons scored 12 of his 20 points in the first half, marking the fourth game in a row that he scored 10-plus in the first half. Against New York on Jan. 18, Simmons locked in his fourth consecutive 20-plus ppoint game, along with his 18th-straight double-digit scoring game, helping the 76ers snap a six-game road losing streak. Philadelphia sealed the season series against the Knicks on Saturday, owning a 3-0 record this season. Simmons is 11-0 in his career against New York.

At Indiana on Monday, Jan. 13, Simmons led the team in scoring (24) and rebounding (14).

 Simmons currently leads the league in steals (88), steals per game (2.1) and loose balls recovered (77), and is averaging 15.5 points, 7.7 rebounds and 8.4 assists (fifth in NBA) per game. Simmons is the only Eastern Conference player this season averaging at least 15 points, seven rebounds and eight assists per contest and the only other players in the league doing so are Lakers’ LeBron James and Dallas’ Luka Dončić.

Sims-Angulo set for January 30

Anthony Sims Jr will fight for his first pro title as he meets Roamer Alexis Angulo for the WBO Latino Super-Middleweight title on Thursday January 30 at the Meridian in Island Gardens in Miami, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK.

Sims Jr (20-0 18 KOs) secured three wins in 2019 to further underline his credentials for landing major clashes in 2020, finishing the year with a stoppage win in Chicago in October after going the ten-round distance for the first time in April in California.

WBO #9 Angulo (25-1 22 KOs) represents a stiff test for Sims Jr’s aspirations with the Miami-based Colombian KO artist only having one blemish on his record, coming against Gilberto Ramirez when he challenged the Mexican for his WBO World title in June 2018.

“I’m delighted to be fighting for my first belt in Miami – I plan to make it the first of many,” said Sims Jr. “I’ve been ready for this step up for some time and I will prove that I am ready to mix it with the best with a devastating performance on January 30 – it’s time to bring the funk!”

“I am always well prepared when I step in the ring,” said Angulo. “On January 30, my opponent will be facing the most difficult test of his young career. I will do everything I can so that he fails. I hope many of my fans and fellow Colombians living in Miami will come out to see me give my all.”

Sims Jr and Angulo clash on an action-packed night of World championship boxing in Miami, topped by WBO World Middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade (28-0 17 KOs) defending his crown against Irish challenger Luke Keeler (17-2-1 5 KOs).

Tevin Farmer (30-4-1, 6 KOs) defends his IBF World Super Featherweight title against JoJo Diaz (30-1, 15 KOs), unified World Super Bantamweight champion Daniel Roman (27-2-1, 10 KOs) defending his titles against Murodjon Akhmadaliev (7-0, 6 KOs) and YouTube stars Jake Paul and AnEsonGib clashing on their pro debuts.

Photo: Matchroom Boxing

Kawhi Leonard named Western Conference Player of the Week

The NBA today announced that L.A. Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard has been named Western Conference Player of the Week for Week 13 (games played Monday, January 13 through Sunday, January 19). This is Leonard’s seventh career Player of the Week Award – first since Week 13 in 2019 (January 7-13, 2019).

Leonard, who is on a five-game streak of 30+ points, helped lead the Clippers to a 3-0 week averaging 38.0 points, 5.0 assists, and 4.7 rebounds, in addition to shooting splits of 58.6% from the field and 52.4% from three-point range. Against the Cleveland Cavaliers on January 14, Leonard became the third player in the shot-clock era to score 43+ points in under 29 minutes played.

On January 16 against the Orlando Magic, Leonard became the fourth player in franchise history to have 35+ points, 5+ rebounds, 5+ assists and 5+ steals and joined World B. Free and Bob McAdoo as the only players in franchise history to score 30+ points in five or more consecutive games.

In his ninth NBA season, Leonard is averaging career-highs in points (26.9) and assists (5.1). The Clippers currently rank second in the Western Conference with a 30-13 record and have won seven of their last nine games.