Montana Love headlines show in hometown

Montana Love will headline at home in Cleveland, Ohio for the first time in his career as he defends his IBF North American Super-Lightweight title against Stevie Spark at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on November 12(DAZN).

Love (18-0-1 9 KOs) boxes in his backyard for the fourth time in his career but first time as the star attraction and does so making the first defense of the strap he landed in his last outing, outpointing Gabriel Valenzuela in Las Vegas on May 7, on the undercard of Canelo Alvarez’s clash with Dmitry Bivol.

The 27 year old is ranked at #7 in the IBF and will be looking to put on a statement performance ahead of the vacant IBF World title being claimed by either Jeremiah Ponce or Subriel Matias this fall – and the man Love will need to impress against is Australian puncher Spark, who has plenty at stake himself.

‘The Viking’ (15-2 14 KOs) penned a promotional pact with Matchroom and Eddie Hearn, and his first bout under the deal sees him straight into the Lion’s den on his US debut.

The 25 year old from Toowoomba in Queensland has ended 14 of his 15 wins inside the distance, and the former IBF and WBC Australasia Champion will be out to ruin Love’s homecoming and leap into World title contention.

“From neighborhood hero to superstar – Cleveland we did it baby!” said Love. “I am happy to announce I will be defending my title here in my hometown.

“This is something I dreamed of as a kid. I’m looking forward to putting on a superstar performance. I need everybody in my city to come out – let’s defend the land!”

“I’ve been working very hard for a lot of years for this moment,” said Spark. “I have the best team in the world who I can’t thank enough for making this possible. I’m looking forward to exploding into the international boxing scene with a spectacular win. The American boxing fans are in for a treat, as I believe they will love my all-action style.

“We respect the fighter Montana Love is, he is highly credentialed but that’s why we took this fight. We are coming prepared, and we are coming to win. Come November 12, there will be no Love!”

Early undercard news will be released soon.

Cavs’ Jarrett Allen named to 2022 NBA All-Star Game

Cleveland Cavaliers center Jarrett Allen has been named by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to replace injured Philadelphia 76ers guard James Harden on Team LeBron in the 2022 NBA All-Star Game, the league announced Monday.

Due to a left hamstring injury, Harden is unable to play in the game.

The 23-year-old Allen is the second Cleveland player to be named a first-time NBA All-Star this season, joining guard Darius Garland, who was drafted by Team LeBron. Behind Allen and Garland, the Cavaliers (35-22) have the third-best record in the Eastern Conference.

Allen has earned his first NBA All-Star selection. He is averaging a career-high 16.2 points, a career-high 11.1 rebounds, and 1.35 blocked shots in 49 games this season. A five-year NBA veteran, Allen ranks ninth in the league in rebounds per game and 13th in blocks per game. He also ranks second in the NBA in field goal percentage at a career-high 66.5 percent and tied for sixth in double-doubles with 30.

The matchup between Team LeBron and Team Durant in the 71st NBA All-Star Game will be played on Sunday, February 20, at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland.

Cavs’ Darius Garland named NBA All-Star reserve

When LeBron James left the Cavs after the 2018 season, Cleveland began to rebuild, and four seasons later, things are starting to turn around for the Cavaliers as they are 31-21 and the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference, and a big reason for the turnaround, is now an All-Star.

Darius Garland has been selected as a reserve for the 2022 NBA All-Star Game in Cleveland, the league announced Thursday night.

This marks the first NBA All-Star selection for Garland, as well as the first for a Cavaliers player since Kevin Love and LeBron James in 2018.

The 71st annual NBA All-Star Game will be played on Sunday, February 20 at familiar place for Garland, Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

The 22-year-old Garland has recorded career highs in points (19.8), rebounds (3.3), assists (8.2, seventh-best in NBA), steals (1.23), minutes (34.7), field goal percentage (.467) and free throw percentage (.907, fifth-best in NBA) over his 44 appearances (all starts) this season. The third-year guard is one of only two NBA players averaging at least 19.0 points on .460 shooting or better and 7.0 assists (Nikola Jokić) and leads the entire Eastern Conference in plus/minus at +317. Garland has eight games of at least 20 points and 10 assists (third-most in East) and his 16 double-doubles are more than twice as many as his first two NBA seasons combined (seven).

Additionally, he became the fourth-youngest player in Cavaliers history to notch a triple-double in a win at Utah on Jan. 12 (LeBron James, Brad Daugherty, Kyrie Irving) and just the third player in NBA history to have a game of at least 27 points, 18 assists and five rebounds before age 22 during Cleveland’s victory at Oklahoma City on Jan. 15 (Trae Young, Luka Dončić).

An NBA All-Star Draft to determine team rosters will be announced on February 10 as team captains LeBron James and Kevin Durant will draft from the pool of 22 players voted as starters and reserves in each conference.

Jake Paul-Tyron Woodley set for August 29 in Cleveland

Global superstar and professional boxer Jake “The Problem Child” Paul will take on the toughest test of his burgeoning boxing career when he squares off against former UFC champion Tyron “The Chosen One” Woodley in the main event of a professional boxing event on Sunday, August 29 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, Ohio, live on SHOWTIME PPV.

After dominating the first three opponents of his professional boxing career, Paul continues to step-up the caliber of his competition against Woodley, a decorated mixed martial arts champion and striking specialist who held the UFC title from 2016 to 2019. On Sunday, August 29, Paul will look to thrill his legions of fans and silence his critics in front of his hometown Cleveland crowd in the eight-round cruiserweight main event, which will be contested at a 190-pound catchweight.

Paul and Woodley will go face-to-face at a press conference in Los Angeles on Tuesday to preview their highly anticipated showdown. The press conference will stream live on the SHOWTIME Sports YouTube channel and Jake Paul’s YouTube channel.

The special Sunday night event is produced and presented by Most Valuable Promotions and SHOWTIME PPV. The pay-per-view telecast, which begins live at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT is produced and distributed by SHOWTIME PPV. It will feature an undercard complete with high-stakes, professional boxing showdowns including Puerto Rican star and WBC/WBO Featherweight World Champion Amanda “The Real Deal” Serrano defending her titles against super bantamweight world champion Yamileth Mercado.

The 24-year-old Paul (3-0, 3 KOs) is a world-renowned content creator. He began his professional boxing journey in January 2020 and has proven to be an influential participant in the sport’s landscape with his outsized personality and quickly developing skill set. The Cleveland-native is fighting out of Puerto Rico under the eye of former pro boxing contender B.J. Flores, who has been training Jake from his first professional fight. After knocking out YouTube star AnEsonGib and former NBA star Nate Robinson in his first two outings, Paul made quick work of former MMA champion Ben Askren in April with a first-round knockout. With the win over Askren, Paul notched his first victory over a seasoned professional fighter and now takes on an even bigger challenge in Woodley.

“I grew up going to Cavs, Browns and Indians games on the weekends, dreaming as a little kid of one day being in a position to put on a show for my hometown like they did,” said Paul. “On August 29, that dream comes true. My biggest challenge to date, in front of the city that made me, on pay per view for the world to see me knockout a UFC champion. I’m also thrilled to have Amanda Serrano on this card. She stands out as the most prolific KO artist in women’s boxing. What a night this is going to be!”

Fighting out of St. Louis, Missouri, Woodley (19-7-1 MMA record) has a storied career in combat sports. He became UFC champion in July 2016, defeating Robbie Lawler in the first round, and went on to defend his title successfully four times. Before competing in the UFC, Woodley fought in the Strikeforce MMA promotion on SHOWTIME and compiled an 8-1 record from 2009 through 2012. Widely considered one of the most dangerous punchers in UFC history, Woodley earned 14 of his 19 wins by way of TKO or submission.

“I’m a grown ass man,” said Woodley. “I don’t play games with kids. They brought me in to take the trash out. You’re welcome!”

Serrano is the most decorated fighter in women’s boxing history with a professional record of 40-1-1 with 30 knockouts. She was born in Puerto Rico and raised in Brooklyn, New York, where she trains alongside her sister, former featherweight champion Cindy Serrano. The 32-year-old has won titles in every division between 115 and 140 pounds, earning belts in those two divisions just four months apart with fights in September 2018 and January 2019. Serrano won her WBC and WBO featherweight world championship belts in a high-profile showdown against Heather Hardy in 2019 and most recently she defended her titles with a knockout win over three-division world champion Daniela Bermudez in March.

Chihuaha, Mexico’s Mercado (18-2, 5 KOs) has held the super bantamweight title since November 2019 and will look to become a two-division champion on August 29 when she challenges Serrano. The 23-year-old won the title via unanimous decision over Fatuma Zarika, avenging a previous defeat to Zarika in Mercado’s first attempt at the championship. Mercado rides a six-fight winning streak into this showdown, including victories over Julissa Guzman and previously unbeaten Angelica Rascon in 2021.

This is the first live sporting event co-produced by Jake Paul’s Most Valuable Promotions. Jake Paul and Nakisa Bidarian will be Executive Producers of the event.

Larry Drew will not return to Cavaliers next season

The Cleveland Cavaliers and head coach Larry Drew announced today they have mutually agreed that he will not return as the team’s head coach next season. Drew’s current contract expired with the conclusion of the 2018-19 Cavaliers season.

“We have great respect and appreciation for Larry and the job that he did as the head coach of the Cavaliers for nearly the entire 2018-19 campaign. He brought professionalism, class and steady leadership both this past season and prior four years,” said Altman. “Larry and I had a productive discussion about this past season, the future of the franchise and the search process that we will shortly launch regarding the head coaching role. Larry respectfully declined to participate in the search process and will not be returning to coach the Cavaliers. All of us in Cleveland wish Larry nothing but the best going forward.”

Drew was named head coach of the Cavaliers on November 5 and guided the team to an overall record of 19-63, with all 19 wins coming after Drew took over following the team’s 0-6 start to the 2018-19 season. Prior to his arrival to Cleveland, Drew held head coaching stints in Atlanta and Milwaukee before joining the Cavaliers first as an Assistant Coach and later as the Associate Head Coach, which includes the 2015-16 campaign when Cleveland won its first-ever NBA Championship.

“I want to thank Dan Gilbert, Koby Altman, the entire organization, and especially our fans, for what has been a very special and rewarding time here in Cleveland. Koby and I had a good discussion following the season and have both decided that the best decision for each of us was that I would not return to coach the team,” said Drew. “I am very proud of what we accomplished over the last several years together and will always cherish our Championship. I also want to commend our players this season for the bond that they established, the way they approached their jobs and the hard work and growth they had every day. I am very proud of them and wish them the best as they continue to develop for the future.”

Cleveland to host 2022 NBA All-Star Game

The NBA announced today that Cleveland has been selected to host NBA All-Star 2022, when the league will be commemorating its 75thanniversary.  The 71st NBA All-Star Game will take place at Quicken Loans Arena, home of the Cleveland Cavaliers, on Sunday, Feb. 20, 2022.  The Cavaliers previously hosted NBA All-Star in 1997, when the NBA celebrated its 50th anniversary, and in 1981.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver made the announcement today during a press conference at Quicken Loans Arena, where he was joined by Cavaliers Chairman Dan Gilbert, Cavaliers and Quicken Loans Arena CEO Len Komoroski, Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson, Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish and U.S. Representative, Eleventh Congressional District of Ohio, Marcia Fudge.

“Cleveland is a passionate sports city with a proven track record of hosting large-scale, global events,” said Silver.  “We thank Dan Gilbert, Len Komoroski and the civic leaders for their commitment, and we look forward to a weeklong celebration of our game.”

With the current, large-scale arena renovations underway that will be completed in advance of NBA All-Star 2022, the game and extended activities in the transformed Quicken Loans Arena will offer fans an enhanced experience.

“We are proud to host NBA All-Star weekend in Cleveland in 2022,” said Gilbert.  “We have been working with the NBA, the City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County to deliver this iconic event to Northeast Ohio for the last couple of years.  The transformation and new state-of-the-art Quicken Loans Arena was an important factor in the NBA’s decision to choose Cleveland for this exciting classic broadcast across the globe. The world will get to see the modern Cleveland and all of its diversity, innovation and promise for the future.”

“Along with the excitement and appreciation for the NBA selecting Cleveland and Quicken Loans Arena to host NBA All-Star 2022, we want to extend a big ‘thanks’ to our local partners at Destination Cleveland and the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission, and our City, County and Civic leaders,” said Komoroski.  “Their support and energy to always demonstrate what we as a community do best is at the core of bringing these major events to our city.  We have a great partnership that will deliver an experience fitting for the NBA All-Star global spotlight.  We thank the NBA for their confidence in this collective group, and we will put forth the focus and commitment to ensure that the players, fans, corporate partners, media and all who visit have an extraordinary experience in Cleveland and at the transformed Q in 2022.”

 “The City of Cleveland is pleased to host NBA All-Star 2022,” said Mayor Jackson.  “Our city is no stranger to hosting successful, large, global events.  It is a good opportunity, once again, for visitors to come to Cleveland and experience all we have to offer.” 

“This is great news for Cleveland and Cuyahoga County,” said Budish.  “When we made the decision to invest in the transformation of the Q, we were aiming for exactly this kind of result.  I am thrilled to see the NBA All-Star Game coming in 2022 with an expected $100 million economic impact to our region. Once again, our city and county will shine on the national and international stage and our businesses and residents will reap the rewards.”

NBA All-Star on court events will tip off on Friday, Feb. 18 at Quicken Loans Arena with MTN DEW ICE Rising Stars, an annual showcase for top rookies and second-year NBA players.  On Feb. 19, State Farm All-Star Saturday Night will feature the Taco Bell Skills Challenge and the Three-Point and Slam Dunk contests.  NBA All-Star 2022 will culminate with the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, Feb. 20.

The NBA will host several events for fans of all ages at venues throughout the city, including The Wolstein Center at Cleveland State University and Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland.  These events, including NBA All-Star Practice and the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game presented by Ruffles, will feature basketball programming and entertainment for fans as well as up-close access to NBA players, legends and celebrities.

The league will also continue to celebrate its tradition and commitment to social responsibility with a full schedule of NBA Cares events during NBA All-Star 2022.  Through partnerships with schools, government and local nonprofit organizations in Cleveland and surrounding areas, the league will reach thousands of children and families and provide critical resources to community-based programs.

In 2022, the NBA All-Star Game will be televised in prime time on TNT for the 20th consecutive year, marking Turner Sports’ 37th year of NBA All-Star coverage.  The game will be broadcast worldwide in 215 countries and territories and in 50 languages.

NBA ALL-STAR HISTORY IN CLEVELAND

Cleveland last hosted NBA All-Star in 1997, when the league celebrated its 50th anniversary season.  The NBA’s 50 Greatest Players were honored during a ceremony at halftime of the All-Star Game.

The 1997 NBA All-Star Game featured a historic performance from Charlotte Hornets forward Glen Rice, who set an All-Star record for points in a quarter with 20 in the third period.  Rice finished with 26 points to lead the Eastern Conference past the Western Conference 132-120, earning MVP honors.

Also at NBA All-Star 1997, Los Angeles Lakers rookie guard Kobe Bryant won the Slam Dunk Contest, Chicago Bulls guard Steve Kerr triumphed in the Three-Point Contest and Philadelphia 76ers rookie guard Allen Iverson was named MVP of Rising Stars.

The Cavaliers also hosted NBA All-Star 1981, at Richfield Coliseum, the team’s home from 1974-94.  Behind MVP Tiny Archibald of the Boston Celtics, the East defeated the West 123-120.

Ex-Steeler Woodley: ‘The Browns could be a dangerous team’

The NFL is buzzing after Browns rookie QB Baker Mayfield’s performance in his first preseason action on Thursday night. Mayfield, who was the number one overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, threw for 212 yards and two touchdowns as the Browns defeated the Giants 20-10.

However, former Bills QB Tyrod Taylor is expected to start the season for the Browns. He was solid(5-5, 99 yards, 1 td) as well in his Browns’ debut on Thursday. Furthermore, Cleveland added a big-time weapon in WR Jarvis Landry, who they acquired from the Dolphins, and talented WR Josh Gordon is supposed to be back with the team at some point in 2018.

Will it be the same old Browns in 2018? Maybe not, according to former Steelers LB LaMarr Woodley. He believes the Browns could be a “dangerous team.”

“The Browns could be a dangerous team, man.  They can definitely be a dangerous team,” Woodley told TMZ Sports. “They made some good moves in the offseason with coaches, players. They get Dez Bryant, they going to be a tough team. You would hate to go in Cleveland and play in the playoffs because it’s cold as hell.”

The Browns have been 1-31 in the last two years, so they can’t help but to be better in 2018. No matter how you feel about Taylor, he is an upgrade at the QB position, and Landry helps, too.  Cleveland does need to get better on the defensive side of the ball. They were 31st in points allowed last season, so that has to improve.

Concerning free agent WR Dez Bryant, he will reportedly meet with the Browns next week. The 29- year-old numbers have dipped in the past few years, but he should be very motivated to play well, so if the money is right, maybe Bryant to Cleveland could be a good thing.

Do the Browns make the playoffs? I don’t think so, but things should be better in Cleveland in 2018.

Gareon Conley rape case goes to grand jury; no charges filed!

UPDATE: No charges filed against Conley

 

According to the Cleveland Police Department, the rape allegation against Oakland Raiders CB Gareon Conley is headed to a grand jury to determine whether to indict the 22-year-old rookie.

Conley, who recently signed his rookie deal with the Raiders, was accused of rape by a woman in Cleveland shortly before the NFL Draft in April.

According to NFL.COM:

Conley told Cleveland police in May he had a consensual sexual encounter with the woman who accused him of rape and denied assaulting her, his attorney, Kevin Spellacy, told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport. Spellacy added that Conley has cooperated “100 percent” with the investigation.

Conley was expected to be drafted in the top 10, but after the rape allegation, he ended up falling to the Raiders at 24.

 

Report: Dan Gilbert did not talk to LeBron before parting ways with GM David Griffin

According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert did not talk to LeBron James before parting ways with former GM David Griffin on Monday. Obviously, this is an interesting development. In April, LeBron came out in support of Griffin. Furthermore, you would think LeBron would know about any and everything that goes on within the Cavs’ organization. Is this the beginning of the end of LeBron in Cleveland?  James can opt out of his contract in 2018. Plus, there has been a lot of speculation about LeBron and Los Angeles. Also, according to reports, LeBron’s wife wants to live in Los Angeles.

Dan Gilbert must not like prosperity! This is a very pivotal summer for the Cavs. Whatever happens, Gilbert better not mess this up!

Here is David Griffin’s statement about his situation with the Cavs:

LeBron’s family did not want him to return to Cleveland

Last year, LeBron James fulfilled his promise to Cleveland and won a championship. However, if it were up to the family of “King James,” LeBron still might be in Miami. In an episode of Uninterrupted’s The Shop, James talked about his mom and his wife’s initial reaction when LeBron talked to them about possibly returning to Cleveland in 2014.

“My mama and my wife was like, ‘fu__ that. I ain’t with that.’ My mom was definitely like, ‘fu– that. We ain’t going back,’ explained James.

LeBron’s family did not want him to return to Cleveland because of the nasty letter written by Cavs owner Dan Gilbert when LeBron left Cleveland to go to Miami in 2010. James talked about what he had to do to convince his family why a return to Cleveland was a good thing:

“I had to finally be just like, ‘you know what mom it ain’t even really about that.’ Me going back is more of a bigger picture, and it’s more of all these kids, all these people that need inspiration, and need a way to get out, and I believe I’m that way out. And so, I had to be like as much as like my mom mean everything to me, and my wife mean everything, my kids, my mama she was so like ‘if you go back, I ain’t going back with you.’ she was like, ‘I’m staying in Miami or I’m going somewhere else, send me somewhere else.’ I had to be like, let’s not worry about the small sh–, and let’s worry about us trying to build something bigger than our name.”

Based off what happened last year, LeBron made the right move!