Lubin: ‘I respect him as a fighter, but I don’t think Gausha is on my level’

Top super welterweight contender Erickson “Hammer” Lubin knows that a convincing victory over Terrell Gausha will put him back in position to capture a world title, as he nears their WBC Super Welterweight title eliminator showdown this Saturday, September 19 headlining action live on SHOWTIME in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

“I respect him as a fighter, but I don’t think Gausha is on my level,” said Lubin. “He’s standing in my way of becoming a world champion, so I need to take care of business Saturday night, and look good doing it. I have to make a statement in this fight.”

Lubin and Gausha were set to meet on SHOWTIME last October, before Gausha was forced to withdraw due to a hand injury. Gausha presents the biggest test for Lubin in his pro career since his only defeat against WBC Super Welterweight Champion Jermell Charlo.

“Gausha is a U.S. Olympian who’s fought at the championship level, so I know he’s going to bring that experience to the table,” said Lubin. “This is a chance for me to show my growth in the ring and really separate myself as one of the elite fighters in this division.”

The 24-year-old Lubin has won four-straight fights since his 2017 defeat to Charlo, with three coming by stoppage. The winning streak has coincided with him bringing in renowned trainer Kevin Cunningham, who was also the head trainer for former world champions Devon Alexander and Cory Spinks, amongst others.

“We’re out here in West Palm Beach, Fla. and training camp has been going as planned,” said Lubin. “It’s just hard work and dedication day after day. Coach Cunningham and I are working great together. Everyone knows that he’s a no-nonsense type of trainer, so that mindset is contagious. I’ve done everything that’s been demanded of me so far in training. I’m in great shape and will be ready to go into deep waters if the fight goes the distance.”

Lubin returns to fight on a SHOWTIME platform for the fourth-straight bout and his second consecutive headlining appearance after his October 2019 unanimous decision victory over Nathaniel Gallimore in the main event.

“It’s always a great feeling to be fighting on the big stage on SHOWTIME,” said Lubin. “This is a title eliminator, so everything is on the line for me. I have to bring the heat from the opening bell. We are in the business of entertaining the fans, so I’m coming with everything I’ve got. Fans can expect to see an explosive fight on Saturday night.”

Luka Doncic named to All-NBA First Team

Mavericks guard Luka Dončić was named to the 2019-20 All-NBA First Team, the league announced on Wednesday. Dončić was joined on the All-NBA First Team by LeBron James(unanimous), Giannis Antetokounmpo(unanimous), James Harden, and Anthony Davis.

Dončić, who was 21 years, 168 days old on the final day of the 2019-20 regular season (Aug. 14), becomes the sixth player to earn All-NBA First Team honors at age 21-or-younger, along with LeBron James (2006), Max Zaslofsky (1947), Kevin Durant (2010), Tim Duncan (1998) and Rick Barry (1966). James (21 years, 110 days) and Zaslofsky (21 years, 114 days) are the only players to achieve the feat at a younger age than Dončić. In fact, if the season would have ended on its originally scheduled date (April 15), Dončić would have been the youngest to ever do it.

The second-year guard becomes the first player named to the All-NBA First Team in either his first or second season since Duncan in 1998-99 (Duncan made the First Team in each of his first eight seasons from 1997-98 to 2004-05).

Dončić averaged 28.7 points, 9.3 rebounds and 8.7 assists in 54 games before to the restart (through March 11). The 2018-19 Kia NBA Rookie of the Year saw his numbers increase in the bubble, as he nearly averaged a 30-point triple-double (30.0 ppg, 10.7 rpg, 9.7 apg) in Orlando en route to being named a unanimous Kia NBA All-Seeding Games First Team selection. Dončić finished the regular season with averages of 28.8 points, 9.4 rebounds and 8.8 assists in 61 games (all starts), becoming just the third player in NBA history to average at least 28-9-8 for a full season (Oscar Robertson, Russell Westbrook).

The 21-year-old recorded a league-high 17 triple-doubles in 2019-20, becoming the youngest player in NBA history to lead the league outright in the category. Dončić not only broke Jason Kidd’s Mavericks single-season triple-double record (nine in 1995-96), but he became the franchise’s all-time leader in the category as well (25). Twelve of his triple-doubles were of the 30-point variety, and he again joined Robertson and Westbrook as one of three players to record at least 12 30-point triple-doubles in a single season.

Dončić also finished the season as the league leader in 25-point, 10-rebound, 15-assist games (five), 30-10-7 efforts (18) and 20-5-5 games (50).

Dončić ranked sixth in scoring (28.8 ppg), 17th in rebounding (9.4 rpg) and third in assists (8.8 apg). He became the seventh player since the ABA/NBA merger (1976-77) to finish a season ranked in the top-20 among qualifiers in scoring, rebounding and assists (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Larry Bird, Grant Hill, Kevin Garnett, James, Westbrook).

Voting for the 2019-20 All-NBA Teams was based on games played through March 11 (prior to the hiatus).

 

2019-20 NBA All-NBA Second Team:

Kawhi Leonard (L.A. Clippers)

Nikola Jokić (Denver Nuggets)

Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers)

Chris Paul (Oklahoma City Thunder)

Pascal Siakam (Toronto Raptors)

 

2019-20 NBA All-NBA Third Team:

Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics)

Jimmy Butler (Miami Heat)

Rudy Gobert (Utah Jazz)

Ben Simmons (Philadelphia 76ers)

Russell Westbrook (Houston Rockets)

Whyte on Povetkin: ‘I’m coming to win and knock him out’

Dillian Whyte has an immediate opportunity to exact revenge over Alexander Povetkin on Saturday November 21 as the Heavyweight rivals collide in a blockbuster rematch, live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK.

Whyte (27-2, 18 KOs) was sensationally knocked out by Povetkin (36-2-1, 25 KOs) as the Russian viciously halted ‘The Body Snatcher’s’ World Title ambitions in the finale of Matchroom Fight Camp in Brentwood, Essex, last month.

Brixton’s Whyte had completely controlled the fight, flooring his opponent twice in the fourth round, but was smashed by a perfect left uppercut 30 seconds into the fifth that ended his hopes in a flash.

The 32-year-old will be hoping to regain his Mandatory position for the WBC Heavyweight World Title by levelling the score with Povetkin in what is the most important fight of his career to date.

“I’ve rested well, spent time with my family, and now that the date of the rematch is known, I will soon return to my training camp and prepare as thoroughly as I did for the first fight,” said Povetkin. “As I said before the first fight and after it too, Dillian Whyte is a good, strong boxer. I will be ready to enter the ring on November 21. I hope it will be another beautiful fight for the fans.”

“I’m over the moon to have the rematch,” said Whyte. “As soon as I got out of the ring, I was looking for confirmation that the fight would be on. I can’t wait to get back in the ring and get back what is rightfully mine. I’m looking to do what I said I would the first time and that’s beat Alexander Povetkin.

“There won’t be any major adjustments, but I just need to be more switched on and not get distracted. He was able to use his experience against me. I will be a lot more focused and sharper in the rematch. I’m coming to win and knock him out. I’m coming to even the score and the only way to do that is by knocking him out.”

Charlo: ‘When I’m at my best, I don’t see anyone that can compete with me’

WBC Super Welterweight World Champion Jermell Charlo showed off his skills for fans and media Tuesday during a virtual media workout as he nears the historic unification showdown against WBA and IBF 154-pound champion Jeison Rosario that headlines part two of a first-of-its-kind SHOWTIME PPV doubleheader Saturday, September 26 in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

Here is what Charlo had to say at today’s media workout:

“I’m excited and I’m ready for September 26. This is the time to prevail and for me and my brother to be the Charlo Twins. It’s time to be the best Jermell Charlo.  

“Me and my brother have come so far together. It’s not just in boxing, but everything in our lives. We’re proof that all you have to do is keep pushing and trying. September 26 is the day that I have to make all of the time I put into this sport worth it.

“Fighting on SHOWTIME PPV is amazing. This is the one. We have a hard fight and that’s all we ever wanted. This is a great challenge for us to overcome.

“This is a different kind of media day, but the real fight will be different also. When you’re a real champion, you make those adjustments. I’m used to fighting in front of a massive crowd, so it’s really important to show that we’re giving our all every day for our fans.

“I used the pandemic to invest in myself and created a gym in my home. I’ve been getting in shape since it started. For this fight to be here in a week, I’m just more than prepared for it. I’m on weight and I’m hitting hard.

“I bounced back from that loss in 2018 last year, but there were still things I needed to learn and develop. We’re going to end 2020 with a bang. This is the Charlo show on SHOWTIME.

“All I’m doing is continuing to grow as an individual every day. We have to set our minds the right way and know how to roll with the punches. I’ve taken it upon myself to be even more dedicated and focused. Every time I feel pain, I think about all the other boxers out there pushing through pain. Now you see where we’re at because of it.

“I ended my last fight in the 11th round, so I’ve been able to finish in the later rounds. Everyone knows I can end the fight early too. Rosario got his chance and won the titles, but I always felt I was the best fighter in the division. When I’m at my best, I don’t see anyone that can compete with me. I always wanted all the belts, and I knew I was going to have to take them from somebody.

“After I lost in 2018, I told everyone that it just gave me jet fuel, and that when I come back, I’m coming back full throttle. That’s what I’m about. I have nothing to lose. I’m not letting him take anything from me.

“I’m even more dangerous than I was before. I’m an old school fighter right here. I’ve been dedicated to this game and I’m not going anywhere. Stay out of my way, because I’m the man trucking things.”

Photo: Andrew Hemingway/SHOWTIME

Giants’ Barkley: ‘I have to be better’

With Giants RB Saquon Barkley fully healthy, many believe he could have a big season for New York in 2020. However, on Monday night, he struggled, and ultimately the Giants would fall to the Steelers 26-16 in the team’s season-opener at MetLife Stadium.

The third-year running back, who struggled with an ankle injury last season, did not have many holes against Pittsburgh’s defense and had 15 carries for only six yards.

“We just have to go back and watch the film and learn,” Barkley said after the game. “Something I’m proud about with the team today is the way we fought, especially when we were hit with adversity. We just have to go back and watch film, continue to believe in each and come ready to work next week and get ready for Chicago.”

Many can blame the offensive line for Barkley’s subpar stats, but according to Barkley, he has to be better.

 “I have to be better, I have to be better for the team,” he said. “We have to find a way to get the run game going. That’s how I truly believe. I have to go back and watch film to give you an honest answer. I can’t just talk off of emotions. One thing that just pops in my mind is find a way to get the run game going for this team. I know that’s going to be a key part of our success. I truly believe, and I still believe in it. Keep grinding at it, keep working at it, and find a way.”

While the Giants struggled on the ground against Pittsburgh, head coach Joe Judge believes the team needs to stay aggressive with the run game.

“You know, every week is going to be a little bit of a different challenge based on the scheme we’re going to see, that’s obviously a very talented front we played tonight,” Judge said after the game. “But look, we’re going to stay aggressive with the run game. Saquon is a key part of our team, he’s going to be a difference-maker in how successful this team is going to be, so we’re going to stay with him. We have a lot of confidence in him, I have a tremendous amount of confidence in our offensive line.”

If the Giants want to have a successful season, Barkley and the offensive line will have to play better, but fortunately for New York, it’s only one game. so they have time to clean things up. 

Giants’ Jones: ‘I certainly feel like I played good at times and bad at times’

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.

Charlo: ‘I’m telling those other middleweights to buckle your seatbelts’

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:

JERMALL CHARLO

“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’ Pederson: ‘I’m still going to maintain the aggressiveness’

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.

 

 

McCaskill on Brækhus wanting rematch: ‘That’s the fastest retirement I’ve ever seen in boxing history’

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.”
 

Colts’ Rivers on loss to Jaguars: ‘It’s a frustrated locker room because we expected to win the game’

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.