For all NFL teams, each game is a collision of good and bad, of highlights to be savored and lowlights to endure. It is a tussle to maximize the positive while striving to eliminate the negative.
So it was for the Giants in their season opener Monday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers. They had plenty of moments to build on offensively and defensively, players who performed impressively and plays that would have brought cheering fans out of their seats – had there actually been fans in the seats.
But plenty of disappointing plays also punctuated the Giants’ 26-16 loss in Joe Judge’s coaching debut in empty and silent MetLife Stadium.
Indeed, all the good and the bad were on display in one third-quarter possession, when the Giants traveled 87 yards – from their own nine-yard line to the Pittsburgh four – yet inexplicably and hauntingly scored zero points because Daniel Jones – under pressure from linebacker Bud Dupree – floated a pass to Darius Slayton that was intercepted by defensive tackle Cameron Heyward – the first pick of his 10-year career.
T.J. Watt had intercepted a Jones’ pass in the second quarter and those two turnovers led to nine Steelers points, a not insignificant number in a game decided by 10 points.
“He had two throws I know he wants back. Down at the goal line, that’s something we can’t have happen,” Judge said. “Look, I’ll talk to Daniel a little bit more about it, I’ll watch the tape and make sure we clean up everything involved. That’s definitely something you can’t have, 19-play drive and come away with no points, especially down there in the low red (zone). That’s not acceptable, but I’m proud of the way he played aggressive, I’m proud of the way this team stuck together.”
Jones completed numerous pinpoint passes despite absorbing three sacks and constant pressure from Pittsburgh’s ravenous defense. The numbers were 26-of-41 for 279 yards.
Fellow second-year pro Darius Slayton caught six of those throws for 102 yards and scored both of the Giants’ touchdowns, from 41 and seven yards (the latter with 1:52 remaining and the Giants in catch-up mode). Sterling Shepard and Saquon Barkley also had six catches each.
But Barkley and the running game couldn’t gain traction behind the Giants’ new-look offensive line. He rushed for only six yards on 15 carries. Jones led the team with 22 yards on four attempts.
“I’m not really too concerned with the stats,” Barkley said. “You have to give credit where credit is due. They have a great defense, especially their defensive front. They made some plays and we weren’t able to win the game today.”
Defensively, new middle linebacker and captain Blake Martinez tallied a team-high 12 tackles (eight solo) and linemen Leonard Williams and Dexter Lawrence registered sacks. But the unit did not force a turnover and Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger completed 21 of 32 passes for 229 yards and three touchdowns, two to JuJu Smith-Schuster.
“This is a team that makes a lot of explosive plays,” Judge said. “I think [defensive coordinator] Pat [Graham] was able to limit some of the production early on, really do a good job against the run game early on, forced them to be one-dimensional, put a lot of pressure on Ben. That was good for our defense, that limited some of the exposure the guys had. They made adjustments, they’re a good team, they’re going to take some shots down the field. That’s a very talented team, very talented offensive skill group. When you play the Steelers, you have to understand they’re going to make plays.”
The Giants are convinced they should have made more. On the game’s eighth snap, Pittsburgh’s Diontae Johnson muffed a Riley Dixon punt and Devante Downs recovered the ball for the Giants at the Pittsburgh three. Barkley gained one yard before Jones threw a pair of incompletions, forcing Graham Gano to kick his first Giants field goal, a 21-yarder.
After the Steelers tied the score on Chris Boswell’s 41-yard field goal, Slayton beat cornerback Steven Nelson and caught Jones’ perfect strike to put the Giants back on top. The defense forced a three-and-out, but Watt intercepted Jones on the Giants’ first play, leading to Roethlisberger’s 10-yard touchdown pass to Smith-Schuster. Boswell’s extra point try bounced off the right upright and the Giants still held the lead at 10-9.
But they couldn’t hold it until halftime. The Steelers took possession at their own 22 with 1:32 remaining in the second quarter. They never faced a third down as Roethlisberger directed an eight-play, 78-yard drive that ended with a 13-yard touchdown pass to James Washington with seven seconds left that gave Pittsburgh a 16-10 lead it never relinquished.
“We have to do better at the end of the half, we have to finish ourselves in the red area, so those are the big things that stuck out right there,” Judge said.
The Giants seemed poised to jump back ahead in the third quarter, when they executed their longest drive in six years. The Giants converted five third downs on the series, the first when Jones hit Slayton for 18 yards on third-and-14 before gaining 15, four and six yards on successive third downs, concluding with a five-yard pass to Sterling Shepard that kept the march moving. Barkley’s longest run of the night, a seven-yarder, left the Giants just four yards from the goal line. But Dupree’s pressure forced Jones to throw while he was falling backwards and Heyward’s interception proved to be a gut punch to the Giants.
“Obviously a play I’d like to have back,” Jones said. “I’d like to have a chance to look at it with the coaches tomorrow and we’ll look into it. That’s a costly mistake there after a long drive, so… you know, something I got to work on and improve on. … We can’t afford those mistakes in those situations.”
After the pick, the Steelers ran 20 plays and scored 10 points while the Giants ran three and punted. The Giants did not score again until the game was virtually out of reach.
“I think as an offense, I thought we did some good things and some not so good things,” Jones said, “and I certainly feel like I played good at times and bad at times.”
He wasn’t alone.
Unbeaten WBC Middleweight World Champion Jermall Charlo brought fans and media into his training camp Monday with a virtual media workout as he prepares to face top contender Sergiy Derevyanchenko to headline part one of a first-of-its-kind SHOWTIME PPV doubleheader Saturday, September 26 in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
Charlo was joined Monday by his longtime trainer Ronnie Shields as he showed off a variety of skills while training for the toughest opponent of his pro career. Charlo vs. Derevyanchenko will headline the first part of the special PPV doubleheader that begins at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT, before his twin brother and WBC Super Welterweight Champion Jermell Charlo steps in for the main event of part two against WBA and IBF 154-pound champion Jeison Rosario.
Here is what Charlo had to say:
“I know that it’s my time to shine and my time to give everyone the best that I can give. I’m striving to be one of the best to ever lace up a pair of gloves.
“The fans that love me can expect me to do what I do. The fans who don’t know about me, they’re going to see a smart, strong and athletic fighter. You’re going to see all of it in the ring on September 26.
“I came from nothing, so I want to put everyone on. I want to make sure Ronnie Shields gets into the Hall of Fame. We’re looking to do something in boxing that no one has ever done.
“When I look outside this gym, I say there’s no way I’m losing. I’m carrying my whole family on my back. Houston, we have another one. I’m doing it for everybody here.
“I’m telling those other middleweights to buckle your seatbelts. It’s lift off. Everyone that doubted me, everyone who wants a chance, you’ll get your turn. I’m running the show. You just stay locked in.
“My power is growing along with me. With some fights you need to add more power and sometimes your power just naturally increases. I’ve gotten a lot stronger and a lot smarter, so I’ve been able to use my skills to go along with my power heading into this fight.
“Derevyanchenko is a come forward fighter. He’s going to bring a lot of power and speed with good technical skills. He calls himself ‘The Technician’ but we’ll see how technical he is once I start putting my jab in his face. I’m going to use all my natural skills in this fight.
“After I win this fight the sky is the limit. I know people will respect me a lot more after this, but I’m focused on only this fight. This fight is another big stepping stone toward even bigger fights to come.
“A lot of people don’t really know where the Charlos came from and they’re getting the chance to learn it throughout this time. It’s taken to this point for everyone to see that we belong on this big stage. I’m grateful for everyone around me who’s embraced me with love.
“We don’t have too much longer to be doing this. Where are the rest of the belts at? I’m ready. Watch next Saturday night, because I’m making this statement loud for everyone who doubted me.”
Photo: Andrew Hemingway/SHOWTIME
Eagles QB Carson Wentz started fast against Washington and had Philadelphia up 17-0 in the second quarter. However, near the end of the first half, he threw an interception that set up Washington’s first touchdown. In the third quarter, with the Eagles up 17-7, Wentz threw his second pick, which set up another Washington touchdown.
Wentz(24-42, 270 yards, 2 TDs, 2 ints) and the Eagles would not score another point and would fall to Washington 27-17 at FedEx Field on Sunday. On Monday, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson talked Wentz’s interception before the half.
“After looking at the tape, it’s kind of how I felt and what I saw, live and in-person yesterday in the game,” Pederson said. “We just missed. We missed on a throw. The throw was — came out of his hand after watching the tape kind of slowing things down. Looked like it came out of his hand, ball could have slipped a little bit coming out of his hand. It was left inside. So it happens. Those are things that are going to happen. Especially when it’s warm, and it just is part of the game. It’s just going to take place.”
Many felt the Eagles were too aggressive against Washington, especially right before halftime when Wentz’s pick helped Washington score their first points of the game, but according to Pederson, Philadelphia will continue to stay aggressive.
“As far as the aggressiveness goes, I’m still going to maintain the aggressiveness,” Pederson said. “Look, as I said this morning, a 17-0 lead or a 27-10 lead, in any football game in this league is not enough, and you have to continue to maintain aggressiveness. You have to — especially when you have momentum, right, and it’s kind of on your side. You’ve got to use that to your advantage, and my thinking at that time, too, was to try to get points before half with the ball to start the third quarter. We’ve done that many times here where we’ve scored and then come out and scored touchdowns to start the third quarter. That’s a lot of my mindset in these games.”
Another issue in Philadelphia’s 27-17 loss to Washington was the offensive line, which surrendered eight sacks. At times, Wentz did not have a lot of time, and sometimes, Wentz held the ball too long, which Pederson addressed.
“We still have to continue to address him(Wentz) and to address those issues,” he said. “It’s part of the football game. We just have to keep talking that it’s okay to throw the ball away. It’s okay to dirt the ball on a screen pass or something of that nature and look; it’s something that we’ve just got to continue working through. There is a fine line, obviously, as we know, between the aggressiveness, but at the same time, we want to be smart.”
The Eagles’ offensive line has to play better. Hopefully, they can get RT Lane Johnson back next week against the Rams, and Wentz has to get the ball out quicker if he wants to last for the whole season. If those things don’t happen, it could be a long season for the Eagles.
Jessica McCaskill will defend her undisputed World Welterweight title against Cecilia Brækhus in early 2021 after former champion Brækhus activated the rematch clause.
McCaskill ripped the titles from Brækhus in a tightly fought contest on the streets of downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma in August as Matchroom returned to action in the US, with one judge unable to split the pair but challenger McCaskill getting the nod on the other cards, 97-94 and 97-93.
The win meant that McCaskill (9-2 3 KOs) became a two-weight World champion in just her 11th pro outing, and was another chapter of a phenomenal rise for the Chicago ace, from traveling to London, England in her seventh pro fight in December 2017 and giving Lightweight champion and Irish sensation Katie Taylor a run for her money in McCaskill’s first World title fight, before picking up the WBA World Super-Lightweight title in her next fight on home turf against Erica Farias in October 2018 and then unifying the 140lbs division against Anahi Sanchez in May 2019.
Brækhus (36-1 9 KOs) suffered her first career defeat in Tulsa and that loss prevented the Norwegian from making history by breaking Joe Louis’ 72 year record of 25 consecutive World title defenses, but ‘The First Lady’ of boxing was denied by the Chicagoan – and hinted at retirement in her post-fight interview. Now both former champion and defending ruler are ready to lock horns once again, with an early 2021 date and venue to be announced later in the year.
“That’s the fastest retirement I’ve ever seen in boxing history – she’s back!” said McCaskill. “We knew she would be back and that it would only be a matter of time. Usually those types of conversations straight after a fight to direct the audience’s eyes away from the loss. In this sport, so many people have said that they are retired and then come back to have fights.
“I gave her the belts back and just wanted to be the one to do that. There’s never been any bad blood, I could have had my team send the belts back but there was no reason not to give the belts back myself so we went over to her room and she was on the phone to her family, when she got off the phone, she made comments to passing the torch and with her being beaten for the first time I think she expects someone else to carry on her legacy and I have my own legacy to fulfill and that’s where my focus is.
“Tulsa is over with and now I have to get up for the rematch which is part of being professional and part of the gameplay. The only rematch I’ve had in my pro career was with Erica Farias so it’s part of it and you cannot expect anything to motivate, you can’t expect your team to hype you up for a workout, what if they are not there that day? You can’t expect the fans to get you hyped for the fight because what if there are no fans? I am a very mentally strong person, I can control how to get from point a to point b so I will be ready for it.”
“It was the weakest performance in my whole career,” said Brækhus. “I still feel I won, or could have got a draw, and when I thought about that, I knew I could beat her in a rematch. I didn’t want to go out with a career-worst performance either, I definitely owe that to my fans. If this was a fight where I lost to a better fighter, had been in my best shape and had given it my all, then fine, I could retire, but that was not the case here.
“She gave her everything in the ring and I wanted to give her props for that, I knew what I was going through and what I was struggling with, for everyone this was just a tough time. But we need to meet again under different circumstances.
“It’s hard to explain exactly how I was in the ring that night for everyone that has watched my other fights and been following me for a while they saw that something was very wrong. So for me to come back after getting some time in Norway with my friends and family, spending time on my other projects and gaining my strength back and going back to training camp, I don’t need to do anything different to get the win.
“I learnt how good I am! I was in bad shape and I still feel like I beat a great fighter like Jessica, so my self-esteem is very high right now. A win or a draw would be OK but I also understand the emotional aspect of giving Jessica the win because she fought her heart out, if you were a judge and saw this I can understand that.
“We never underestimated Jessica at all, these are unprecedented times and there’s no blueprint here, I didn’t have anyone that I could call and ask ‘what do I do in this situation?’ This had never happened before so I just had to try my luck, there’s no-one to blame it just didn’t work out for us.
“The situation with no crowd didn’t bother me so much, it’s good in a way because it’s completely neutral! But it would be good to have fans for the rematch, it gives us more energy and a little extra, we don’t want three American judges next time that’s for sure! I think if it’s in America I will have to get the KO for sure, after meeting Jessica in the ring, I was never near getting KO’d so I’m definitely not worried about that.”
Coming into the 2020 NFL season, the Indianapolis Colts had high hopes. The team added QB Philip Rivers, and many had Indianapolis as one of the favorites to win the AFC South, but against the team that many thought would be one of the worst teams in football, the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Colts would lose on the road 27-20 on Sunday.
“I’m frustrated because you know what type of team we are, you know what type of team we have, you know the type of players we have in this locker room,” Colts LB Darius Leonard said after the game. “Like I said, it doesn’t matter what you have on paper; you have to find a way to get the job done. I know, especially defensively, we had too many miscues, too many mistakes, especially by me. I’m a leader on this team, and there were a couple times I messed up on. One run I was playing for the slant, and they run the ball for 10 yards. It’s just things like that that we can’t have. We’ve got to go to the film, got have a quick turnaround on Sunday, got to stop the run, and got to do everything we have to do to get a win.”
Colts quarterback Philip Rivers added: “It’s a frustrated locker room because we expected to win the game, but it’s also a very motivated and looking-forward locker room that we know what we’re capable of and it’s just a matter of keeping your head down and moving forward.”
In his Colts’ debut, Rivers was okay. He threw for 365 yards with one touchdown, but two costly interceptions. Indianapolis out-gained the Jaguars by over 200 yards(445-241), but that does not matter when you don’t win.
“I think us as players, just from my time with [Head Coach] Frank [Reich], he’s always going to do his best to shield us from the blame when he can,” Rivers said. “But, shoot, ultimately the ball’s in my hand…
“I know we went for a couple of fourth downs, but we didn’t punt today and [had] 500 and something yards of offense. But the name of the game is to score more points than the other team. We didn’t get that done. It’s early in the season. Obviously, we have a long way to go and a lot of areas we can improve in, but I think we’ll get that done. So a lot of positives today, but ultimately, it wasn’t enough.”
It’s early in the season, but seeing Rivers, who threw 20 interceptions last season, turning the ball over, is not a good sign for Indianapolis. However, Colts head coach Frank Reich is not concerned.
“I don’t have any concern,” Reich said. “Obviously, the first interception, that was on me. It was a bad call. It was the wrong call. We set the formation the wrong way, and it was on me. They played a two-man trap which they haven’t shown. It was not on tape, and obviously, we watched a lot of tape on them. Good job by them on mixing it up. I made it even harder by putting the formation in the boundary and made it easier for them to make that play. It was just bad by me. Philip made some unbelievable plays on third down, some plays to keep drives alive. For us to score the points that we scored, I have no concerns about Philip. We have to play better on offense.”
This was a bad loss for the Colts, but they have 15 more games to get it right, and that starts next week in the home-opener against Minnesota.
Jacksonville Jaguars QB Gardner Minshew was almost perfect against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. The second-year quarterback was 19/20 with 173 yards and three touchdowns as the Jaguars defeated the Colts 27-20 at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville.
Minshew became the fourth player in NFL history to throw at least three TD passes and complete at least 95.0 percent of his passes in a single game.
“I’m just super grateful,” Minshew said about his near-perfect performance. “My mindset today was just to play one play at a time. I have got an offensive coordinator that is calling good plays, receivers that caught the ball, an offensive line that is giving me time, and a running game that really got us ahead of the chains. I’m just trying to do my job one play at a time, and I’m very grateful for the opportunities and the people around me.”
For Minshew to perform at a high level, he needed help from his young core, including rookie WR Laviska Shenault Jr., who had three receptions for 37 yards and a touchdown.
“Laviska [Shenault Jr.] is awesome,” Minshew said. “He’s one of those guys that plays receiver, but he runs the ball like a running back, and we just find ways to get the ball into his hands. Even the touchdown to DJ [Chark Jr.] worked because they were worried about Laviska catching the ball when we were pumping it down to him. I’m very excited for him, and I think he’s going to continue to work and stay humble, and I think he’s going to do really good things for us.”
Also, rookie free agent RB James Robinson was huge for Jacksonville on Sunday. He ran for 62 yards and had one reception for 28 yards.
“All week, really all camp, we knew what we had in James, and we knew he could do it,” Minshew said. “I’m so happy for him, a guy who really got overlooked in the whole process. He is a guy that I identify with. Coming out of high school, a very productive player, but didn’t get recruited like he should. Super productive in college, but didn’t get scouted like he should. He’s a great football player, and I’m super glad he got the opportunity to get out there, and he made the most of it.”
Winning helps young players and young teams, and Minshew discussed how vital wins are for a young team.
“It’s huge,” he said. “Until you actually do it, there’s a part of it. You have to prove it to yourself. We had a lot of rookies and second-year players step up and make huge plays for us today. When they are playing with confidence, you love a young team that plays with confidence. They have the energy. They got that swag about them. I’m very excited for our young guys who really stepped up and made some huge plays for us today.”
Not many expected the Jaguars to win on Sunday, including Las Vegas, who had Jacksonville as 8-point underdogs against the Colts. However, Minshew played well, the young players stepped up, and the Jaguars start the season on a positive note.
Egidijus “Mean Machine” Kavaliauskas is a top welterweight contender once again. In his first fight since losing to pound-for-pound king Terence Crawford last December, Kavaliauskas knocked out Canadian veteran Mikael Zewski in the eighth round.
Kavaliauskas (22-1-1, 18 KOs) knocked down Zewski (34-2, 23 KOs) with a combination to close out the seventh round, then charged out of his corner to finish things off in the eighth. Following the second knockdown of the fight, referee Kenny Bayless immediately waved off the bout.
Zewski was leading on two of the judges’ scorecards at the time of the stoppage.
Kavaliauskas said, “I was controlling the fight. I was never in danger. I was never hurt.
“I wanted to knock him out faster, but it happened this way. You can never count on the knockout. I was working. I was putting pressure on him. I saw him slowing down round by round. I saw him getting weaker and weaker. I was just blocking his punches and not feeling his power.
“Mean Machine,” who was stopped by Terence Crawford in December, would like a rematch with Crawford in near future.
“I don’t think Crawford has any other choices at welterweight. I can ask his team, with all due respect, to give me a rematch because these guys have no opponents yet.”
Gonzalez Topples Marriaga
In the featherweight co-feature, Joet Gonzalez picked up the WBO Intercontinental belt with a one-sided unanimous decision (99-91 2x and 97-93) over three-time world title challenger Miguel Marriaga (29-4, 25 KOs). Gonzalez (24-1, 14 KOs) had not fought since losing a one-sided decision to Shakur Stevenson last October for the vacant WBO featherweight world title.
Gonzalez said, “This puts me back in the position I want to be. I wanted to be back in with tough guys. I told my manager, Frank Espinoza, and my team at Golden Boy that I didn’t want no tune-up fights. I wanted to show people that I could compete with the top guys and be in with heavy hitters and boxers and compete for another title real soon.
“I want another world title shot. I think I’ve earned it.”
In undercard bouts:
Featherweight: Aleem Jumakhonov (9-3-2, 5 KOs) KO 3 Jorge Ramos (7-3-1, 4 KOs). Jumakhonov rebounded from a July decision defeat inside the “Bubble” to notch his first stoppage win since 2018.
Bantamweight: Manuel Flores (9-0, 6 KOs) TKO 5 Jonathan Rodriguez (8-1, 3 KOs). In a battle of unbeatens, Flores staggered Rodriguez with a combination in the fifth, forcing referee Robert Hoyle to stop the bout. Flores scored a knockdown in the third round and was leading on two of the judges’ cards.
Junior Lightweight: Anthony Chavez (9-1, 3 KOs) UD 6 Adan Gonzales (5-4-2, 2 KOs). Scores: 58-55 3X. Chavez came back from his first career defeat, knocking down Gonzales in round three and sweeping the last four rounds on two of the judges’ cards.
Lightweight: Eric Puente (4-0) UD 4 Luis Norambuena (4-6-1).
Scores: 40-36, 40-36 and 39-37. Puente, from San Diego, prevailed in his second “Bubble” appearance in three months.
Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank Boxing
The Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook has signed a multi-year contract extension with the club, the Vikings announced on Saturday.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, it’s a five-year contract extension worth $62.5 million that ties him to Minnesota for the next six seasons.
The four-year veteran rushed 1,135 yards in 14 games played last season, becoming the eighth player in Vikings history to rush for 1,000 yards in a single season and the first since Adrian Peterson did so in 2015. Cook is also just the fourth player in franchise history to score 13 or more rushing touchdowns in a single season.
Cook, 25, finished the 2019 season with 519 receiving yards, ranking sixth among all NFL running backs. Averaging 11.2 yards after catch per reception, Cook led the NFL among all qualifying players last season. The Florida State product, who ranked seventh in the NFL with 1,654 yards from scrimmage in 2019.
Cook had struggled with injuries earlier in his career, including tearing his ACL as a rookie, but now with this extension, he has security, and the Vikings have a big-play running back for years to come.
SHOWTIME Sports announced today the price and programming lineup for the first-of-its-kind pay-per-view doubleheader on Saturday, September 26, featuring two stacked fight cards each headlined by one of the world champion Charlo twins in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
The SHOWTIME PPV® event, CHARLO DOUBLEHEADER, is available for purchase at a suggested retail price (SRP) of $74.95 and includes six compelling fights, five of which are world championship bouts.
The CHARLO DOUBLEHEADER, which begins at a special time of 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT, can be purchased for live streaming and via cable and satellite pay-per-view providers. Viewers can purchase the CHARLO DOUBLEHEADER in the SHOWTIME app on Apple tvOS and iOS devices, FireTV, Android Mobile, Android TV, Chromecast, Xbox One and contemporary Roku players and Roku TVs. The event is also available for purchase online at SHOWTIME.com and through cable and satellite pay-per-view distributors.
The first card of the SHOWTIME PPV telecast will be headlined by undefeated WBC Middleweight World Champion Jermall Charlo defending his title against Sergiy Derevyanchenko. WBA Super Bantamweight Champion Brandon Figueroa will defend his title against Damien Vázquez in the co-featured bout, while WBO Bantamweight World Champion John Riel Casimero faces off against Duke Micah in the pay-per-view opener.
Following the main event and a 30-minute intermission, the second three-fight card headlined by WBC Super Welterweight World Champion Jermell Charlo facing unified 154-pound World Champion Jeison Rosario will begin.
Luis Nery will battle Aaron Alameda for the vacant WBC Super Bantamweight World Championship in the co-feature, while former unified champion Danny Román faces former champion Juan Carlos Payano in a WBC Super Bantamweight title eliminator bout to open the second three-fight card of the pay-per-view.
The announce team for the SHOWTIME PPV telecast is comprised of the most experienced and decorated boxing team on television. Veteran sportscaster Brian Custer is the host.
Versatile combat sports voice Mauro Ranallo handles blow-by-blow action alongside Hall of Fame analyst Al Bernstein and four-time world champion Abner Mares.
Two Hall of Famers round out the telecast team: boxing historian Steve Farhood as unofficial scorer, and world-renowned ring announcer Jimmy Lennon Jr.
The executive producer of the SHOWTIME PPV telecast is four-time Emmy award winner David Dinkins, Jr. The director is Bob Dunphy, son of legendary Hall of Famer Don Dunphy. The pair has been guiding SHOWTIME Sports’ flagship series SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® since its inception in 1986 and has produced the three highest-grossing pay-per-view events of all time (Mayweather-Pacquiao, Mayweather-McGregor, Mayweather-Canelo).
THE JOURNEY: CHARLO DOUBLEHEADER and DIGITAL PROGRAMMING LINEUP
In the leadup to the unprecedented two-event pay-per-view, SHOWTIME Sports will produce and premiere THE JOURNEY: CHARLO DOUBLEHEADER, a 30-minute show that chronicles the unique story of Jermall and Jermell, twins born one minute apart in Houston, Texas, as they rise through the ranks and put themselves in position to become global boxing stars. Voiced by SHOWTIME boxing host Brian Custer, THE JOURNEY: CHARLO DOUBLEHEADER features rarely seen footage and gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look at their most pivotal career moments, motivations, and life outside of the ring.
THE JOURNEY will premiere on SHOWTIME on Sunday, September 13 at 11:30 p.m. ET/PT and will be available for free on the SHOWTIME Sports YouTube channel and all SHOWTIME On Demand platforms.
SHOWTIME Sports® will also release new episodes of the original, digital franchise RING RESUME which examines the career progressions of boxing’s top stars, available on the SHOWTIME Sports YouTube channel. Beginning Monday, September 21, the SHOWTIME Boxing Snapchat page will focus on high-energy fight and training camp highlights featuring the Charlos. In addition, the Snapchat page will feature the Charlos’ RING RESUMES and THE JOURNEY to expand reach to young audiences with short-form, fast-paced storytelling. Plus, Brendan Schaub and Kenny Florian will preview the keys to the fights on BELOW THE BELT BREAKDOWN, available on the BELOW THE BELT YouTube channel.
MORNING KOMBAT INTERMISSION
Combat sports aficionados Luke Thomas and Brian Campbell will host a 30-minute intermission show after the conclusion of the Charlo vs. Derevyanchenko main event and the start of the second three-fight card. The duo, hosts of the popular live combat sports talk show and podcast MORNING KOMBAT, will also host live streams of the main events press conference and official weigh-in in addition to providing in-depth coverage on MORNING KOMBAT throughout the week. The official weigh-in and main events press conference will stream live on the SHOWTIME Sports YouTube channel and SHOWTIME Boxing Facebook page.
Eagles Pro Bowl TE Zach Ertz is not happy with his contract situation, and he made that very clear on Thursday.
‘I don’t know if for sure that feeling is mutual. I’m going to play this year like it’s my last year.”
The three-time Pro Bowler has two years left on his contract and is hoping to get paid like tight ends George Kittle(five-year, $75 million) and Travis Kelce(four-year, $57 million) did this offseason. According to reports, Ertz turned down a contract extension during the season and has shut down negotiations at this point.
The 29-year-old Ertz is scheduled to make $6.6 million this season and $8.5 million in 2021, which is bargain when you consider his production. Ertz has led Philadelphia in receptions each of the last three seasons and holds the NFL record for most receptions(116) by a tight end in a season.
No matter the contract situation, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson is happy to have Ertz on his roster.
“Look, I’m not going to get into a ton of this because my expertise is not necessarily the contract stuff and those types of issues,” Pederson said via a video call on Friday. “All I know is Zach Ertz is a tremendous football player; he’s a great person, love having him on this football team. He is a leader, and he’s helped us, gosh, he’s helped us win a lot of games around here. He led our team in receptions, and he’s a big part, he’s a valuable part of what we do offensively, but also as a team.
“I’m excited that he’s here. I’m excited that he’s an Eagle. He and I, we get along extremely well. I love having him. We game plan for him. I just hope we can put all that behind us and move on to football.”
Ertz is one of the best tight ends in football, and he happens to be Carson Wentz’s go-to guy. Regarding his contract, he has earned a raise but based on his reaction, he’s clearly not happy with the Eagles’ offer.
Let’s see how this one plays out.