Raiders to be featured on “Hard Knocks”

HBO Sports, NFL Films and the Raiders team up for an unfiltered all-access look at what it takes to make it in the National Football League when HARD KNOCKS: TRAINING CAMP WITH THE OAKLAND RAIDERS kicks off its five-episode season this summer. Spotlighting this AFC West franchise that has an intriguing mix of established veterans, highly regarded rookie hopefuls and free-agent acquisitions under head coach Jon Gruden, the 14th edition of the 18-time Sports Emmy® Award-winning series debuts TUESDAY, AUG. 6 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT). Other hour-long episodes of the first sports-based reality series – and one of the fastest-turnaround programs on TV – debut subsequent Tuesdays at the same time, with encore plays Wednesday nights, culminating in the Sept. 3 season finale.

HARD KNOCKS will also be available on HBO on Demand, HBO NOW, HBO GO and HBO partners’ streaming platforms.

“If you’re a fan of football or great storytelling, HARD KNOCKS with the Oakland Raiders is going to be must-see television,” says Peter Nelson, executive vice president, HBO Sports. “We are so grateful to this storied franchise for opening up its doors and allowing HBO and NFL Films to spend the summer with the Raiders in what promises to be a compelling and engaging training camp.

“Since the AFL-NFL merger, the Raiders have been a part of some of the most iconic moments in League history,” says NFL Films senior executive Ross Ketover.  “We at NFL Films have been thrilled and honored to showcase the mythology of the Raiders from the Holy Roller, Sea of Hands, Ghost to the Post all the way to today with Coach Gruden and this unbelievable cast of players and coaches. Needless to say, we’re very much looking forward to this season of Hard Knocks.”

Camera crews will head to the Bay area in the next few weeks to begin filming, with the action heating up in August when the cinema verité show focuses on the daily lives and routines of players and coaches. HARD KNOCKS: TRAINING CAMP WITH THE OAKLAND RAIDERS will chronicle head coach Jon Gruden entering his second season leading the team, assistant coaches and players throughout training camp and the preseason.

The Raiders compete in the highly-competitive AFC West, where they maintain an intense rivalry with each of their opponents and have their sights set on ascending in the standings. Each week, viewers will get an inside look as players experience the daily rigors of an NFL training camp. Cameras will document hours of conditioning practices and meetings, while chronicling players as they compete for a roster spot and bond off the field.

“Everybody wants to be a Raider. Now they’ll find out what it takes to become one,” said Raiders owner Mark Davis.

A 30-person NFL Films crew will be in Raiders’ training camp in Napa Valley, shooting more than 1,750 hours of footage over the course of the series. Camera and sound crews will have unencumbered access to players’ and coaches’ meeting rooms, training rooms, living quarters and practice fields.

No other sports reality series can match the production excellence, critical acclaim, awards and audience numbers posted by HARD KNOCKS, which has produced 67 memorable episodes and one anniversary special in its first 13 seasons. Episodes have averaged 3.9 million viewers over the past four seasons.

Winner of 18 Sports Emmy® Awards to date, HARD KNOCKS launched with the Baltimore Ravens in 2001, followed by the Dallas Cowboys in 2002, and resumed in 2007 with the Kansas City Chiefs, subsequently spotlighting the Cowboys (2008), Cincinnati Bengals (2009), New York Jets (2010), Miami Dolphins (2012), Bengals (2013), Atlanta Falcons (2014), Houston Texans (2015) and Los Angeles Rams (2016). The 2017 edition chronicled the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and captured the Sports Emmy® for Outstanding Serialized Documentary. The widely acclaimed series on the Cleveland Browns in 2018 earned two Sports Emmy® Awards for production excellence. HARD KNOCKS has won a Sports Emmy®every year it has aired since 2008.

Seven of the last nine teams featured on HARD KNOCKS have equaled or improved their win-loss record in the regular season. The Cleveland Browns launched the transformation of their organization last summer on HBO and went from a winless season to coming within half a game (7-8-1) of a .500 campaign.

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Wentz, Eagles agree on four-year contract extension

The Philadelphia Eagles and QB Carson Wentz have agreed to terms on a four-year contract extension through the 2024 season, the team announced today.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Eagles are giving Carson Wentz a four-year, $128 million contract extension that include guarantees over $107 million, per source. Wentz’s total deal is now six years for $154 million, per source.

 Originally selected by Philadelphia with the second overall pick of the 2016 NFL Draft, Wentz has completed 923 of 1,448 attempts (63.7%) for 10,152 yards, 70 touchdowns, 28 interceptions and a 92.5 passer rating in 40 career games. Since his record-breaking season in 2017, Wentz ranks third in the NFL in passing touchdowns per game (2.3), trailing onlyPatrick Mahomes (3.1) and Andrew Luck (2.4), and fifth in passer rating (102.0), behind Mahomes (111.7), Drew Brees (109.5), Deshaun Watson(103.1) and Russell Wilson (102.1) (min. 500 attempts).

Last season, Wentz ranked third in the NFL with a franchise-record 69.6% completion percentage and finished seventh with a career-high 102.2 passer rating (min. 250 attempts). The 26-year-old also became just the third quarterback in NFL history to register a 100-plus passer rating in two of their first three seasons, joining Jared Goff (2017-18) and Russell Wilson (2012-13).

 In 2017, Wentz led the Super Bowl LII-winning Eagles to an 11-2 record in games that he started and established a single-season team record with 33 passing touchdowns, breaking the previous mark of 32 set by Pro Football Hall of Famer Sonny Jurgensen in 1961. Wentz ranked first in the NFL in passing touchdowns per game (2.5), second in passing touchdowns, trailing only Russell Wilson (34), and fourth in passer rating (101.9) (min. 250 attempts). He collected second-team All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors and finished third in MVP voting, behind Tom Brady and Todd Gurley II.

 

Listen to Go4it! Guest: NFL Draft Prospect University of Miami DT Tito Odenigbo

We will be talking sports and having fun doing it! We will be joined by University of Miami DT Tito Odenigbo, who will discuss his prep for the NFL Draft, playing at Miami, Manny Diaz, why he belongs in the NFL and so much more!

Show starts Thursday at 7pmest.

Listen below:

(WATCH)Spurs’ Gay on playoff seeding: ‘I like to say it doesn’t matter, but obviously there are teams we match up with better’

The San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Clippers, and Oklahoma City Thunder have all clinched playoff spots in the Western Conference. However, where they will be seeded in the playoffs is still a mystery.

Every team wants to avoid the number one seed in the West, the Golden State Warriors. Currently, San Antonio(47-34) is tied with the Clippers(47-34) for the 7th seed(Spurs hold the tiebreaker), and are a 1/2 game behind the Thunder(47-33) for the 6th seed. If the playoffs started today, the Spurs would play the Nuggets in the first round.

According to Spurs F Rudy Gay, who San Antonio plays in the first round does matter.

“I like to say it doesn’t matter,” Gay said on Friday after the Spurs routed the Wizards 129-112 in D.C. “But, obviously there are teams we match up with better. Going into the playoffs, you have to give it your all, so no matter what we want to be in there and actually compete. So, we have to be ready no matter who it is.”

This season, the Spurs are 2-1 against the Warriors, 2-2 against the Nuggets, and 1-3 against the Rockets. If I’m San Antonio, I would want to take my chances against the Nuggets. While Denver has a lot of talent, this team has a young core that has not tasted the playoffs, which could be an advantage for the more experienced Spurs.

Listen below as Gay talks victory over Wizards, playing in D.C, playoffs, and the “Rodeo Road Trip.”:

Granados on fight with Garcia: ‘I have enough controversial losses that I know that I can’t leave it up to the judges’

Welterweight contender Adrian Granados(20-6-2, 14 KOs) has six losses in 28 pro fights, but those losses don’t tell the complete story. You see, Granados has been in with some fierce opposition over the years and easily could have gotten his hand raised in many of his losses.

Now, Granados will face former two-division world champion Danny “Swift” Garcia(34-2, 20 KOs) in a 12-round welterweight bout on April 20 from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California(FOX).

Just like in most of his fights, Granados will be the ‘B’ side when he faces Garcia, so he knows he has to win convincingly if he wants to get the victory.

“This is my chance to show the boxing world that I’m elite and get my title shot,” Granados said at his media workout on Thursday. “I’ve always wanted to become a world champion, and I haven’t got my opportunity at 140 where I beat the number-one contender. I’m not afraid to fight anyone, so I’m here to get a big win.

“I think I need a stoppage or a dominating win. It has to be one-sided. I have enough controversial losses that I know that I can’t leave it up to the judges. I’m training hard to dominate the fight.”

In 2017, Granados suffered losses to Adrien Broner and WBC welterweight champion Shawn Porter, but according to Granados, those losses have prepared him to beat Garcia.

“My fights against Shawn Porter and Adrien Broner were good preparation for this,” Granados said. “I think against Broner I should have gotten the decision, but I didn’t. Against Porter, I fought the wrong fight and missed the chance I did have. I’ve got a chip on my shoulder from both experiences.”

Ultimately, Granados believes he is the hungrier guy, and he thinks that will be the difference in the fight on April 20.

“I think I have more dog in me than Danny does. He complains a lot and also gets away with a lot. He does what he has to do to win. I’ve never been given anything, and I think I have a lot more to prove than he does.”

Photo: Luis Mejia/TGB Promotions

Shields: ‘I already told Christina(Hammer) I’m going to beat her and mess her up’

WBC, IBF and WBA Middleweight World Champion Claressa Shields arrived in Miami yesterday to hold the final portion of her training camp at the Fifth Street Gym as she prepares to take on WBO Middleweight World Champion Christina Hammer in the main event of a SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION triple-header Saturday, April 13 live on SHOWTIME (9 p.m. ET/PT) from Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.

Shields spent the last five weeks training at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., following a two-week pre-camp in her hometown of Flint, Mich.

“We’ve been going twice a day every day except Sunday for five-straight weeks,” said Shields. “We put in lots of rounds sparring, tons of sprinting, pad work, push-ups, crunches and drills to help with my head movement.

“I’ve put my body through so much on this camp, and now it’s time to start cutting it down a bit. I’m in great shape and my weight is on point. I’m also in a great place mentally and very happy with this camp overall.”

In Florida, Shields is looking to prime herself for her showdown for the undisputed middleweight women’s world championship, in what is considered by many as the biggest fight in women’s boxing history.

“My main focus now is trying to relieve my body while keeping my conditioning,” said Shields. “I’m making sure that I go into fight week with no injuries or soreness. I’ve been in Colorado for over a month and it was time for some new scenery.

“I’m still going to be training very hard in Florida. I just need a little more sunshine and the additional space that’s provided for me down here. We did what we had to do in Colorado. Florida is just an ideal environment all-around and a happy place for me to be these last couple weeks.”

As Shields and trainer John David Jackson near fight night, the two-time Olympic Gold Medalist has a message for her fellow unbeaten opponent. “I know what I can and will do on April 13,” said Shields. “I already told Christina I’m going to beat her and mess her up. I’m taking this fight 100 percent seriously. I’m going to go out there and dominate her.

“I don’t want these belts handed to me. I’m coming to win every round on April 13. I’m a different kind of animal and Christina is going to see that on fight night. I’m ready. That’s it.”

Photo: Stephanie Trapp

Photos: Kubrat Pulev stops Bogdan Dinu

Kubrat Pulev wanted to send a resounding message to the big names of the heavyweight division, and he did so by scoring an emphatic knockout victory in front of a sold-out crowd at The Hangar.

After recovering from a flurry of punches that caused a dangerous cut on his left eyebrow in the fourth episode, the Bulgarian contender blasted Bogdan Dinu by technical knockout at 2:40 of the seventh round.

“This is just part of being in a fight. The cut was not such a big problem. Sometimes blood makes me very hungry”, said Pulev. “I was very well prepared. I was ready for anything. At this moment I feel I can do anything inside the ring. I showed very good boxing skills. I also showed that I have good punching power and a good strategy”.

Photos/Top Rank/Mikey Williams:

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Lamont Peterson: ‘I never felt like I was done fighting after my last fight, but you have to be smart’

Former two-division world champion Lamont Peterson and former 140-pound champion Sergey Lipinets went face-to-face Friday at the final press conference before they meet in the main event of Premier Boxing Champions on FS1 and FOX Deportes this Sunday from MGM National Harbor in Maryland.

Once-beaten contender Anthony Peterson also faced off against his opponent, former world champion Argenis Mendez, as the Peterson brothers prepare to fight in front of their hometown fans as the main and co-main event in a nationally televised event for the first time since 2006.

Here is what the Peterson Brothers had to say as they prepare for their fights on Sunday night:

Lamont Peterson:

“I know how to keep the pressure off of myself before a fight. I know we’re at the top level and I’m facing a top guy. I’m looking to capitalize on the opportunity and move forward.

“Lipinets is a tough guy. He only has about 15 pro fights, but he was able to move through the ranks pretty fast. That got my attention and lets you know that he’s definitely coming to win.

“Anthony and I have fought on cards together but not on this stage for a while. I used to be nervous for him, but at this point we’re veterans and we’re just going to enjoy it.

“From day one we’ve treated every opponent like a champion. We always had that mindset that we had to go out there and take care of business, and that’s not going to change on Sunday night.

“Any time I fight at home, there’s a little bit more on it. It makes things easier when I’m getting through the whole progress of training camp. There’s a type of home court advantage. I knew when they opened this venue, that eventually I’d fight here. I’m going to enjoy it.

“I never felt like I was done fighting after my last fight, but you have to be smart. After each fight I assess the whole situation before I move on. That’s what I did before this one and I’m happy to be in this position.”

Anthony Peterson:

“My brother and I are at a point in our career where we’re having fun. It’s like a family event. We’re going to have fun and take care of business. I’m ready to put on a big performance. Don’t blink.

“I love the rush of getting into the ring in front of my hometown, that’s why I do it. The other stuff is cool, but I just love to see people excited and telling me I put on a great performance. It’s an amazing thing.

“It’s been a minute since I’ve been in the ring, but I’ve been fighting and working with guys like Shawn Porter, Jarrett Hurd, Robert Easter, Adrien Broner, Gervonta Davis and my brother. I’ve been in there with all the top fighters.

“My fire is still burning. I study boxing history and I look at guys who have gotten their breaks late in their careers, and I know I’m one of those guys.

Photo: Kent Green

Breazeale on Wilder: ‘He looks like a circus act; all he does is talk’

WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder(40-0-1, 39 KOs) will defend his title against Dominic Breazeale(20-1, 18 KOs) on May 18 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn(Showtime).

This will be a grudge match! There is a lot of bad blood between Wilder and Breazeale. The two were involved in an altercation in February 2017 in Alabama after they both fought separate bouts on the same card. In April 2017, Breazeale filed a lawsuit against Wilder, but that case was later dismissed.

Now, Breazeale has put himself into position to challenge for the WBC world title by ripping off three straight knockout victories following the only loss in his career, a seventh-round TKO to Anthony Joshua in a heavyweight world title match in 2016. In December he scored a knockout victory in Brooklyn over Carlos Negron for his second-straight win at Barclays Center.

“I’m sick of seeing this guy walking around with his belt,” Breazeale said about Wilder at a press conference in Brooklyn to announce the fight. “I’m going to put him down. People are going to be rising to their feet when I knock him down.

“I’m so excited to get this fight. I’ve been on Deontay’s undercards, and I steal the show every time. Deontay does nothing right in the ring. He looks like a circus act. All he does is talk. But there’s nothing he can say on May 18.

“Deontay loves to hear his own voice. All he does is talk and talk. It’s time to get in the ring. Nobody can get in there and save him. It’s just me and him — leather on leather. We’ll see who lands first. Hopefully, he gets off the canvas.”

Wilder should win this fight, but what makes this fight intriguing is the animosity between the two fighters. It should be interesting to see what that looks like on fight night.

Photo: Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME