Monday, October 31, 2022

Boxing Challenge

   A rare Tuesday card in the challenge with three fights consisting of a title unification, a title defense, and two former champions fighting at a new weight with a title shot for the winner in Saitama, Japan, a suburb of Tokyo early Tuesday morning on ESPN Plus.

The main event will unify the WBA and WBC light flyweight titles with the best fighters in the division determining which is the best in the world as countrymen Hiroto Kyoguchi (WBA) and Kenshiro Teraji (WBC) square off in what is almost certain to be an action battle.

The undefeated Kyoguchi held the  IBF mini flyweight title before grabbing the WBA light flyweight title on New Years' Eve 2018 with a tenth-round stoppage over the highly respected Hekkie Budler and has defended the title on four occasions.

Teraji won his title in 2017 with a majority decision over Ganigan Lopez and defended it eight times until a shocking upset loss to Masamichi Yabuki via tenth-round knockout in September 2021, costing Teraji his title and his undefeated record.

Teraji crushed Yabuki in three rounds in their rematch with a one-punch knockout to regain the title.

Both fighters can punch and I think that a knockout has a better-than-average chance of happening.

If one decides to box a bit more than expected, I think it may be Teraji but this fight is very close and it is difficult to decide the winner.

The co-feature will see a third champion in the light flyweight division defend his title as Puerto Rico's Jonathan Gonzalez defends his WBO championship against Japan's Shokichi Iwata.

Gonzalez upset Elwin Soto to win the title in October 2021 and defended it against mandatory challenger Mark Anthony Barriga in June via decision.

Iwata is undefeated in nine fights and is second-ranked in the WBO ratings.

Unless the Teraji-Kyoguchi winner would decide to move to flyweight, I would suspect that Gonzalez-Iwata as the co-feature could lead to a three-belt unification between the two victors next year.

Junto Nakatani vacated his WBO flyweight title last week in order to move into the powerhouse junior bantamweight division and the aggressive Nakatani appears to be an exciting addition to the 115-pound division.

Nakatani makes his debut in the division in a ten-rounder against former WBA and IBF mini flyweight champion Francisco Rodriguez, who has won two straight since losing a unanimous decision to WBO junior bantamweight champion Kazuto Ioka.

Nakatani will face the winner of a New Year's Eve unification match between Ioka and WBA champion Joshua Franco due to the WBO's rule that a champion of theirs that vacates their title will automatically move into the mandatory slot in their new division.

Boxing Challenge

Unification WBA and WBC Light Flyweight Titles. 12 Rds
Hiroto Kyoguchi vs Kenshiro Teraji.
Ramon Malpica: Kyoguchi Unanimous Decision
TRS: Teraji KO 10
Vince Samano: Teraji Unanimous Decision

WBO Light Flyweight Title. 12 Rds
Jonathan Gonzalez vs Shokichi Iwata
R.L and TRS: Iwata Unanimous Decision
V.S: Gonzalez Unanimous Decision

Junior Bantamweights 10 Rds
Junto Nakatani vs Francisco Rodriguez
R.L and V.S: Rodriguez Unanimous Decision
TRS: Nakatani Unanimous Decision


Boxing Challenge: Lomachenko wins in return

  Vasyl Lomachenko's return to the ring against Jamaine Ortiz was expected to be a mere formality on his way to a 2023 title shot against Devin Haney but after eight rounds, Ortiz was ahead on my scorecard and appeared to have a chance of a seismic change to the boxing landscape in New York City.

That would be the high point of the evening for Ortiz as the legendary stamina of Lomachenko kicked in as he dominated the final four rounds, sweeping them on all scorecards and earning the unanimous decision with the likely invite to face Haney for all four world championships next year.

Lomachenko finished the first round with some swelling below the right eye, which his corner claimed was due to the abrasive tape on the gloves of Ortiz.

The swelling didn't become worse throughout the fight but it was an annoyance throughout.

I scored Lomachenko a 115-113 winner, which equaled one judge's card with the other two tabbing Loma the winner by scores of 116-112 and 117-111, which seemed to be wider than the fight indicated in my opinion.

Lomachenko hadn't fought in eleven months since his win over Richard Commey and between the layoff and the war in Ukraine, it would be understandable if he wasn't razor sharp but going back to his loss to Teofimo Lopez where he started slowly and collected many rounds down the stretch, Lomachenko, like Gennady Golovkin, may be showing his age through the amount of time (and rounds that he gives away) that it takes for him to be revved up and at top speed.

Lomachenko has always been a small lightweight in stature and he gave height and strength away to Ortiz and in the post-fight interview when Devin Haney was called into the ring to discuss a fight with Lomachenko, the size difference was startling.

Considering the size advantage, activity, and youth, I'd rate Haney as a slight favorite against Lomachenko, who I wouldn't say has lost a step as much as has been hampered by nagging injuries and a lack of consistent ring time.

In San Diego, undefeated lightweight William Zepeda placed himself directly in position to fight for any potential vacated titles next year with a dominant unanimous decision over former IBF junior lightweight champion Joseph Diaz.

Zepeda hammered Diaz from the opening bell and simply outworked and overpowered the veteran, who hung in the fight enough to occasionally keep Zepeda honest but never enough to truly concern him either.

Zepeda won on two cards 119-109 and the other 118-110 with my card agreeing with the latter.

Diaz, who lost a featherweight championship attempt to Gary Russell in 2018, lost his second in three fights at 135 pounds (losing to Devin Haney last year), lacks the power to hurt top lightweights and cuts are becoming a major problem for Diaz, who lost his 130-pound title on the scales but would be better suited to try to return to the junior lightweight division.

As for Zepeda, he is non-stop aggression and his beating of Diaz was much more comprehensive than the fighters that also hold wins over Diaz ( Haney and Russell) and in a lightweight division with lots of strong fighters even if Devin Haney moves up, Zepeda is going to be a tough out for any of them.

In London, boxing's version of the unsinkable Molly Brown emerged again with an upset that could once again result in a championship attempt as former IBF junior featherweight and featherweight champion battered favored Jordan Gill and forced his corner to throw in the towel in the middle of round four.

The win gave Martinez the European title and since the fight was an IBF eliminator, Martinez could be one win again from a second shot at the title that he both won (over Kid Galahad) and lost (to Josh Warrington) in the last twelve months by knockout.

Gill was favored after his ninth-round knockout of Karim Guerfi in his last fight in the biggest win over his career and a Gill-Warrington or Gill-Leigh Wood pairing would have drawn a nice crowd in the UK but Martinez was having none of that from the start as every punch from the 36-year-old Spaniard seemed crash hard against Gill.

Martinez dropped Gill twice in the third and two more times in the fourth and with Gill's nose streaming blood and his face puffing with swelling, his corner waved the fight off after the fourth knockdown of the fight in round four.

Kiko Martinez truly is amazing and there may have not been a better world-class level gatekeeper than Martinez in years, and once again Martinez will be an underdog against Josh Warrington or Leigh Wood next time out as he keeps earning that one more payday after a surprising win.

Just don't sleep on him even if the odds seem to be all against him. 

Boxing Challenge

TRS: 177 Pts  (2)
Ramon Malpica: 154 Pts (3)
Vince Samano: 145 Pts  (5)


Sunday, October 30, 2022

Tuimoloau Takes Command! OSU holds off Penn State!

 The Ohio State offense woke up in the final quarter with some help from the Buckeye defense as Ohio State polished off a game foe in Penn State by a 44-31 total in State College on Saturday.

C.J. Stroud threw for 353 yards but threw only one touchdown and not until the fourth quarter scoring barrage.

Marvin Harrison Jr. caught ten passes for 178 yards and Cade Stover finished with six catches for 78 yards and the only Ohio State passing score.

TreVeyon Henderson rushed for 78 yards with two fourth-quarter scores, one of those a forty-one-yard gallop.

J.T.Tuimoloau was the star of the game with a stat of line that included two interceptions, one forced fumble, two fumble recoveries, two sacks, three tackles for loss, and taking one of the interceptions into the end zone for a score.

Ohio State improves to 8-0 overall (5-0 Big Ten) with the biggest conference win of the season to date as the Buckeyes move towards a pairing with fellow undefeated Michigan with what appears to be the game of the year in the Big Ten and perhaps the nation (Tennessee vs Georgia may argue that point) this season.

Until then, three opponents await to be dispatched, with 1-7 Northwestern next on the road in Evanston.

Olentangy Offerings

1) J.T.Tuimoloau was more than the defensive star, he was the overall star and he just may receive the player of the week of all of the nation for his play Saturday.

Tuimoloau was a five-star recruit in the 2021 class, so his ability to deliver such a performance isn't a surprise but it was very welcomed by Ohio State for Tuimoloau to select a close game against a semi-rival to step out of the shadows and establish himself as a player that opposing offenses will need to begin to plan for.

2) Tuimoloau's stat line (noted above) was downright incredible against a team ranked thirteenth entering the game.

Consider this, if Tuimoloau was on my fantasy football team, his day would have been worth a stunning thirty-three points (by the scoring in my league).

I'm not sure in my twenty-one years of playing fantasy, I've ever seen a defender with a thirty-three-point game.

Just nothing left to say about the play of Tuimoloau.

3) Defensive line Larry Johnson is occasionally criticized for consistently rotating his linemen and as a result, the best linemen don't see as many snaps as those of other squads.

Perhaps Johnson won this battle for at least this Saturday as J.T.Tuimoloau was out of this world in the fourth quarter and let us say that maybe the rotation helped his domination.

4) Many are directing their barbs at Ryan Day for his playcalling that may have allowed Penn State to stay closer for longer than they should have.

The OSU fan base is an entitled and spoiled one, even me as they are the only consistent winner that I root for but they may not be wrong about the playcalling issues although I find even mentioning the future of Ryan Day's employment to be utterly ridiculous and mindless to even consider.

5) That said, Day's out-and-out love affair with the screen to the wide receiver in this (and other) games is not only hurting the Heisman hopes of C.J. Stroud, it almost played a key part in a potential Penn State upset.

6) Day loves to get the ball in the hands of his talented receivers and allow them to work on yards after the catch.

However, Penn State played tight press coverage and didn't allow the receivers to gain more than a yard after the catch, yet Day stuck with the tactic.

7) This became very clear in the fourth quarter when Penn State took a 21-16 lead with under ten minutes remaining and Day began to throw the ball down the field and the Buckeyes began gaining yardage in huge chunks as the Penn State defensive backs couldn't stay with the likes of Marvin Harrison Jr and suddenly Emeka Egbuka, who had been quiet for much of the game, grabbed a forty-two-yard pass.

8) Still, Penn State isn't noted for their defensive line but yet stayed in C.J. Stroud's face all game long as well as bottling the Buckeye ground attack until the final nine minutes of the game.

If I have one concern about this team, it's the ability of the offensive line to avoid being pushed around by physical defensive lines- that might be the most worrisome item for Ohio State's meeting against Michigan in a month.

9) I don't understand the decision with six seconds to go in the first half for the touchdown with Penn State leading by one rather than kick a field goal to lead by two.

I understand the call for the touchdown but the protection broke down with C.J. Stroud running away from the rush and the clock expiring.

My issue isn't going for the score, it is how Stroud seemed to be so unprepared for the rush without a timeout and the only thing that Stroud needs to remember before the snap is- Make a quick read and if no one is open or the rush comes in, get rid of the ball quick.

10) The running game began to move in the fourth quarter but was otherwise sluggish in another big game.

Much of this goes back to the offensive line but I think TreVeyon Henderson for all of his talent is susceptible to looking for the big run rather than hit the hole for five or six yards and Miyan Williams is the better back for moving the chains and his hand injury could return to haunt the Buckeyes if the line doesn't start moving defenders.

11) I know Penn State likes their "White Out" game each year to be played under the stars and they were disappointed to play the game at noon for Fox.

But I thought the white may have been more intimidating in the sunshine with the sun against all of those white shirts.

12) Penn State always seems to play Ohio State not only tough but their games always play out in weird ways.

Consider this- Ohio State scored one touchdown in the first fifty-one minutes of the game.

They scored four in the final nine minutes.

13) The schedule does lighten a bit as the Michigan game looms at the end of the slate.

One win Northwestern has lost seven in a row since a season-opening win over Nebraska, three win Indiana comes to Columbus but a sneaky game could be 6-2, Maryland, at College Park the week before the clash with the Wolverines.

However, Maryland has beaten only two teams with winning records- both Group of Five teams in Buffalo and SMU, and two of their conference wins over weak sisters Indiana and Northwestern have been by five and seven points. so the Terrapins could be more of a lower bowl team than a threat to Ohio State.

14) Finally, this game made me think of my fandom- AKA rooting for mostly losing franchises with Ohio State as my only consistent winner.

My buddy Ian McArdle showed me the tweet of his good friend Kevin Horne, who I've met and his Penn State football love is similar to Ian and I's Buckeye rooting.

Kevin saw the Penn State loss coming but he said it in a way that made me think of my own nightmares with the Cavaliers, Browns, and of course the Cleveland baseball club.

You watch, hope, and pray for a different result, and yet you almost always receive a knife to the guts for your trouble.

I almost felt bad for Kevin as I know the feeling.

Almost...






Saturday, October 29, 2022

Forty-One times Two, Cavs rally for OT win

   Donovan Mitchell and Caris LeVert each poured in forty-one points as the Cleveland Cavaliers worked their way from a double-digit deficit in the second half and dropped the Boston Celtics 132-123 in overtime in Boston.

The Mitchell/LeVert pairing combined 82 points and led the squad with support from Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen each posting a double-double.

Cleveland improved to 4-1 with the victory and will face New York at home on Sunday.

Swashbucklings

1) What a game from Donovan Mitchell, who hit 15 of 25 shots and five three-pointers, and what was very impressive to me was how he impressively drove to the basket.

2) Mitchell's drive by Marcus Smart to slam home a punishing dunk late in the game wasn't only visually impressive, it showed a dimension that last season's Cavaliers lacked (outside of Darius Garland)- An offensive talent that can beat a defender one on one to the basket or make them pay with the jumper should they slack off to play the drive.

3) Caris LeVert has always been a streaky player but he's known for occasionally having those nights when everything is working and everything falls with huge numbers resulting.

On a night without Darius Garland on the road and against a very good Celtic team, LeVert's points with six three-pointers were not only helpful- they were a need.

4) LeVert isn't known for his passing but he did finish with seven assists to lead the team.

5) The double-forties from Mitchell and LeVert was the first time that two Cavaliers had hit the mark in the same game since LeBron James and noted Twitter sensation Kyrie Irving reached the number in game five of the 2016 Finals against the Warriors.

6) Boston led Cleveland by thirteen at the half and lost by nine, so the Cavaliers outscored Boston by twenty-two in the second half and overtime.

7) Isaac Okoro is in someone's doghouse.

Okoro played only seven minutes (scoring two points) after logging only eleven in the Cavalier's previous win over Orlando.

It's not looking good for the former first-rounder.

Friday, October 28, 2022

Boxing Challenge

    The boxing weekend will have cards from Matchroom, Golden Boy, and Top Rank with the boxing challenge consisting of one fight from each card.

The most accomplished boxer of the weekend is of course former three-division kingpin Vasyl Lomachenko in his first fight in a year since his home nation of Ukraine was invaded by Russia.

Lomachenko was supposed to be the person in the ring opposite George Kambosos in Australia after Kambosos upset Teofimo Lopez, who had upended Lomachenko in 2020 but due to fighting in the Russia-Ukraine war, Lomachenko removed himself from challenging Kambosos and Devin Haney stepped into his place to win the titles and defend them in the contractually obligated rematch.

Should Lomachenko defeat Jamaine Ortiz as is expected Saturday, Lomachenko should receive the opportunity to regain the title in a fight next year against Haney.

The undefeated Ortiz notched his biggest win as a pro in his last fight when he dominated former WBO junior lightweight champion, Jamel Herring, winning a decision that resulted in Herring's retirement following the fight.

Ortiz is the bigger fighter and is rugged enough to mix it up with Lomachenko but if Lomachenko is close to his past form, his advanced skill should be more than enough to win against Ortiz.

DAZN will feature two cards on the day with Matchroom's card from London early in the day and Golden Boy countering with an evening event from San Diego.

While ladies' champion Katie Taylor is in the main event, the boxing challenge's pairing is the co-main event with featherweight Jordan Gill facing former junior featherweight and featherweight champion Kiko Martinez in a defense of Gill's European title as well as an IBF eliminator in the division.

Gill won his biggest career fight in his last outing with a ninth-round knockout of Karim Guerfi and a win here would be even larger with Martinez's record as a former two-division champion and his recent knockout of Kid Galahad shows that perhaps the Spaniard isn't quite finished.

Martinez was thought to have dropped to journeyman status before his upset win and he was battered in losing the title to Josh Warrington in March, so this fight has even more on the line than a European title and an eliminator for the aging former champion.

The evening main event from San Diego is easily the most competitive at the world-class level as two top-ten lightweights prepare to slug it out in a bout that could loom large in 2023 with the winner having an excellent chance of picking up a chance of fighting for any potential vacant titles, should Devin Haney (or Vasyl Lomachenko) move up after their possible fight next year.

Former IBF junior lightweight champion Joseph Diaz takes on undefeated William Zepeda in a fight that not only ranks as important in the ratings but with styles that should result in a strong action battle as well.

Both enter the fight with questions that may or may not be answered by the end of the evening.

Diaz has always been a fighter of top ten caliber that comes up short against his division's best with losses against Gary Russell and Devin Haney but defeats those that aren't elite as wins over Tevin Farmer, Javier Fortuna, and Rene Alvarado show.

Zepeda looked like a future star when he ripped through fellow unbeaten Hector Tanajara last summer forcing Tanajara's corner to stop the fight after the sixth round. but even though he has won his three fights since, including a decision win over Rene Alvarado in his last outing, Zepeda has looked a little more ordinary.

A win over Diaz would stamp Zepeda as a potential star while a Diaz victory would confirm that Diaz still is a potential player in the division.

Keep an eye on Diaz's skin as in recent fights, he has shown a tendency to bleed and often badly, so Zepeda could have a chance to score a TKO win under those circumstances.

Boxing Challenge

Lightweights 12 Rds
Vasyl Lomachenko vs Jamaine Ortiz
Ramon Malpica: KO 7 
TRS: Lomachenko KO 9
Vince Samano: Lomachenko Unanimous Decision

Lightweights 12 Rds
Joseph Diaz vs William Zepeda
R.L and V.S: Zepeda Unanimous Decision
TRS: Zepeda Split Decision

Featherweights, 12 Rds
Jordan Gill vs Kiko Martinez
R.L and TRS: Gill Unanimous Decision
V.S: Martinez KO 10

PPM

  The PPM returns after my best week of the season, so hopefully I will be able to keep that ball rolling this week.

Last Week: 12-3 
Overall: 83-43

College
Ohio State over Penn State 34-21
Texas Tech over Baylor 40-37
Boise State over Colorado State 41-20
Houston over South Florida 35-17
Arkansas over Auburn 36-24
N.C.State over Virginia Tech 26-19
UTEP over Middle Tennessee State 30-23

Games of the Week
Oklahoma State over Kansas State 41-35
Tennessee over Kentucky 40-29

Pro
Bengals over Browns 31-24
Raiders over Saints 33-28

Games of the Week
Bills over Packers 34-24
Rams over 49ers 24-21


Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Cleaning out the inbox

    The inbox cleaning is a job that much like anything else, requires maintenance so here is our latest shuffling to keep things tidy for the inbox.

We start with this post from what seems to be a very new site entitled DMV Pro Wrestling, which will cover pro wrestling history in the Washington and Baltimore areas.

This post writes about the wrestling history at the Baltimore Arena as well as other teams and events that made the Baltimore Arena their home such as the NBA's Baltimore Bullers, MISL's Baltimore Blast, and the AHL's Baltimore Clippers among a few names.

The arena is most famous in wrestling as the site of Superstar Billy Graham's upset win over Bruno Sammartino in 1977 to win the WWF championship to end Sammartino's second and final reign but also saw Tito Santana dethrone Greg Valentine for the Inter-Continental title in a 1985 cage match that memorably saw Valentine destroy the title belt after losing, and Ron Simmons defeat Big Van Vader in 1992 for the WCW world title.

The arena is currently closed for renovations as it seems every few years Baltimore continues to renovate a building that notably was turned down for the first-ever NHL expansion in 1966 after being considered almost a shoo-in for selection because NHL President Clarence Campbell stood at center ice and shook his head deciding that the facility wasn't up to NHL standards.

Keep in mind that was 1966 and the arena opened in 1962!

The Athletic writes of a trip to the Yu Darvish museum in Kobe, Japan in 2019 with pictures of the incredibly realistic life-sized statues of the Japanese righthander, and the various items and games one can play at the museum.

Even better, Andrew Baggerly interviewed Darvish about the museum in spring training along with some of his Padres teammates to ask about their knowledge of the Darvish museum.

I highly doubt that I'll ever be in Kobe, Japan but if so, I will be visiting the museum!

The Athletic returns with an article on what they claim (and I watched it, they are likely correct) was the worst NFL game in the last twenty years- the 2009 Browns-Bills game in Buffalo that saw Cleveland win 6-3 with Derek Anderson setting a record for lowest completions (2), percentage (two of seventeen for twenty-three yards) and an interception and still winning the game.

Here were my thoughts at the time of that game with the title of The Worst Football Game I have ever seen.

ESPN reports the fictional team, AFC Richmond, from the Apple TV series "Ted Lasso" will be included by EA Sports in the next edition of the FIFA video game series as a playable franchise.

The article talks to actor Phil Dunster, who is an avid player of the game, and portrays "Jamie Tartt" on the show for his thoughts on the game, the show, and his excellent prediction of the rating that his character would receive from the creators of the game.


Monday, October 24, 2022

Browns bounced by Baltimore 23-20

      Two controversial calls resulted in the Cleveland Browns attempting a sixty-yard field goal by Cade York to tie the game with 2;01 remaining.

Such kicks are always a long shot even if you have Justin Tucker as Baltimore does and for all the potential that Cade York has shown, he's not Justin Tucker and former Ohio State linebacker Malik Harrison deflected the kick to give Baltimore a 23-20 win at home.

Nick Chubb rushed for 91 yards and a touchdown to lead the Cleveland offense.

Jacoby Brissett threw for 258 yards without a touchdown or interception.

The loss was the fourth in a row for the Browns, who are now 2-5 on the season and will host the Cincinnati Bengals next Monday on Monday Night Football.

Brownie Bits

1) The two controversial calls on the next to last drive will be remembered by Browns fans and media for quite a while.

The first of the pair saw Amari Cooper hand-fighting with Ravens cornerback Marcus Peters down the sideline with Cooper gaining the advantage, grabbing the pass from Jacoby Brissett on a third and two for what appeared to be a thirty-four-yard touchdown to give Cleveland the lead.

The flag came out with Cooper being called for offensive pass interference.

2) I had a problem with the call but not for the reason that you might think.

Cooper did push off on Peters and Peters was grabbing at Cooper in part of his coverage, so on the contact side of the play, I wouldn't have had a problem with either player being called for a penalty.

My issue with the call was this- I hate, in any sport, when the officials move from calling the game loosely and then begin to call the game tight ( or vice versa) with the game in the balance.

It's not fair to the players or the fans.

3) It was the later penalty that had me steaming as Cade York prepared for a fifty-five-yard field goal attempt to tie the game.

Baltimore's Calais Campbell and Travis Jones clearly move across the line and replays show no movement from any of the Cleveland offensive linemen but after a lengthy conference, the Browns were called for a false start, and York's task moved from difficult but with a chance to very slim and resulted in the block.

A call that was beyond awful, it was so bad that it looked scripted by Vince McMahon.

4) The Browns defense did improve after recent games that were disappointing, to say the least.

Cleveland allowed under three hundred yards of total offense to Baltimore and held long-time nemesis, Mark Andrews, without a catch, so there was progress today.

5) Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah played his best game of the season and was allowed to roam around the field and use his speed to run to the ball rather than read and react.

JOK batted down passes, made one tackle for a loss, and made the key play that gave the Browns a chance late in the game.

6) That play came as Baltimore was driving down the field for at least a field goal that would have moved their lead to six or even a touchdown that would have placed the game in the win column at ten points.

Owusu-Koramoah stepped into the gap and punched the ball out of the grasp of Baltimore running back Justice Hill.

It is the type of play that top players make and while Owusu-Koramoah has been a little disappointing this season, the capability of making plays in the clutch that he possesses makes him worth the developmental process.

7)  Once again, an argument can be made that the offense didn't play to its strength- running the football.

Cleveland marched down the field on its opening drive with Nick Chubb carrying the ball five times with a touchdown carry but Chubb would carry the ball only three other times in the half and only eight times in the second half.

Kareem Hunt did score the other Cleveland touchdown but Hunt would only total five carries.

8) David Njoku had an excellent game as he caught all seven passes thrown to him for seventy-one yards but he left the game with an ankle injury and did not return.

After another injury to Pharoah Brown, Cleveland finished the game with only one tight end, Harrison Bryant.

9) Jacoby Brissett avoided the end-of-the-game turnover that has plagued him of late but he was stripped of the football on the first drive of the second half with Baltimore recovering at the Cleveland 35.

The Ravens would take advantage of the short field and quickly scored on an eight-play drive to boost their lead to ten points at twenty to ten.

10) The Athletic's Browns beat writer Zac Jackson is reporting that after the game and before Kevin Stefanski's post-game press conference voices could be heard from the locker room with loud voices talking about lack of leadership and problems in the locker room.

Although the voices couldn't be identified, it shows the problems that exist inside the franchise and inside the locker room that seem to be ready to spin out of control and appear to set the stage for another wasted Cleveland Browns season.

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Ohio State hammers Iowa 54-10

     Ohio State overcame red zone struggles in the first half against the Iowa Hawkeyes to ease away from the offensively challenged Hawkeyes in the second half in an easy 54-10 win.

C.J. Stroud threw four touchdown passes while throwing an interception and losing a fumble that resulted in the only Iowa touchdown.

Julian Fleming caught one of Stroud's passes for a seventy-nine-yard score to lead the offense.

Tommy Eichenberg grabbed an interception that he returned for a score and Tanner McAllister intercepted two passes.

Ohio State improved to 7-0 (4-0 Big Ten) and will travel to Penn State next week to meet the 6-1 Nittany Lions.

Olentangy Offerings

1) The offense started firing in the second half against a good Iowa defense as C.J. Stroud started to hit his stride but there are concerns about more than Stroud following behind Tennessee's Hendon Hooker in the Heisman race.

2) The issue in question is the Ohio State red zone offense as Iowa forced the Buckeyes to kick field goals four times inside the Iowa 25.

Iowa's defense is very good and you have to keep that in consideration but against Penn State next week and eventually against Michigan, this cannot be a problem and touchdowns will need to be punched in.

3) I did like seeing Stroud pick himself up from a first half that wasn't up to far and saw his fumble turn into the only Iowa touchdown.

Sometimes, Stroud seems to press in adverse times and he seems to be settling in when things aren't going well which is a sign of a maturing passer.

4) Ohio State's offensive line still needs to prove that it can bang against physical defensive lines.

TreVeyon Henderson led the team in rushing with only thirty-eight yards on eleven carries and while that could be deceiving due to the number of times that Ohio State started in great field position, I still have concerns about the ability to move good teams off the ball.

5) The defensive line had similar worries before the season but they are resolving those concerns by bullying offensive lines and shutting down the run.

Iowa's offense is lousy but their running game isn't as poor as their passing aspect and Iowa was held to seventy-seven yards on the ground on thirty attempts for a paltry 2.56 yards per run.

6) Zach Harrison has always been a good player but one that left me a little disappointed after the hype of his recruitment that saw him as the center of his class and Ryan Day's first plum from a head-to-head recruiting showdown against Michigan for Harrison.

Harrison is starting to round into the player that he was projected to become and a look at his game against Iowa shows a sack, a batted-down pass in the end zone, a tackle for loss of a wideout, and a forced fumble recovered by Lathan Ramson as the type of dominating player that Harrison can be.

7) Tommy Eichenberg's interception return for a touchdown may have been the only note on the scoring summary but Eichenberg continues to fly all over the field and make plays that would win the Butkus Award if the choice were mine.

8) Jaxon Smith-Njigba returned and caught one pass for seven yards before departing.

There was some speculation that Smith-Njigba had re-injured his hamstring but Ryan Day reported after the game that he had reached his limit of plays and the team played with caution when holding a large lead.

9) The 54 points were the most ever scored against a Kirk Ferentz-led Iowa team and certainly doesn't help the fan base from a continued uneasiness with where their program is going.

The 67-year-old Ferentz is indeed an Iowa icon and it usually begins to get ugly as icons at schools begin to show signs of the game passing them by.

10) The Iowa offense is led by offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz, who happens to be the son of the head coach and during a painful press conference, Kirk Ferentz again leaned on his record of never firing a coach in-season.

It's clear that Kirk Ferentz is protecting his son, which is admirable under any conditions but it's equally as clear that Brian Ferentz is responsible for an offense that might be the worst Power Five offense that anyone can remember in recent years.

11) Iowa may have a decision to make on Kirk Ferentz and it may come down to this- is Kirk Ferentz willing to remove Brian Ferentz from his job for 2023?

Perhaps a compromise could be made in which Brian Ferentz can have a job in the program in some capacity or even return as the offensive line coach, a job that he held in the past and did a good job doing with the Hawkeyes but something will have to be done in Iowa City.

12) Penn State has to be disappointed that their visit from the Buckeyes next week was selected as the Fox game and therefore will be at noon rather than the usual night game when the two teams play in State College.

The whiteout and the noise will be intact but it's much less effective when it doesn't take place under the lights and the Nittany Lion faithful must be disappointed with the change. 


Saturday, October 22, 2022

2022-23 Cleveland Cavaliers

    Due to a trip that I will be writing about soon, I haven't had time to write a Cleveland Cavaliers or New Jersey Devils preview.

I have seen two of the four Devils games and watched the Cavaliers close their opening night defeat to Toronto.

Of late, due to various work-related issues, I haven't been as quick on time-sensitive posts and I hope to improve on that once these issues subside.

Cleveland thinks they have made a major improvement in obtaining three-time All-Star Donovan Mitchell to fit in their backcourt. While the chemistry mix is still to be determined, I did like what I saw for the short time that Mitchell and Darius Garland played on the floor together against Toronto.

I wrote a short time as Garland was poked in the eye by Toronto's Gary Trent Jr. in the second quarter and suffered a lacerated eyelid on the inside of the eye that ended Garland's evening early.

Garland will not need surgery but he could miss this weekend's games at Chicago and the home opener against Washington.

Garland has taken jumps in performance in each of the last two seasons, so should he make even a small improvement, Garland could rank with the elite point guards in the league.

Mitchell can play the point or on the wing, so there is some versatility with Mitchell although the team hopes that Mitchell and Garland can play together which was always a struggle with Garland and Collin Sexton.

I'm not sure the franchise has ever had two guards of this type of talent at the same time in their history, so this is a really big deal.

Ricky Rubio was signed to return to Cleveland after an excellent half-season before a knee injury that will keep him out until January and journeyman Raul Neto will try to stem the tide as Garland's backup until Rubio returns.

Caris LeVert nosed out Isaac Okoro and Cedi Osman as the starter at small forward but both will see time at the two and three.

LeVert struggled a bit after his arrival from Indiana but could thrive in a role as a secondary option in this offense.

LeVert's contract expires at the end of the season, so it is possible that under some scenarios he could be attractive to another team as an expiring contract at the trade deadline.

Isaac Okoro has been erratic in his first two seasons and what eventual value he has to a winning team is yet to be determined.

If Okoro can improve his shot, which he has been reported to be very dedicated to working on, he could be a solid starter for a good team but at the current state of his career, Okoro could be a second-unit player.

Cedi Osman will see plenty of time with the second team at both spots after a 2021-22 season that saw him revitalize his career as a high-energy role player.

Oft-injured Dylan Windler is, a big surprise, injured but could also see time at guard and forward as well.

Evan Mobley barely missed the rookie of the year award last season and will be back with a vengeance to prove the voters were wrong in giving the award to Toronto's Scottie Barnes.

Mobley can play any of the frontcourt positions and is only going to improve as the centerpiece of the Cavaliers in the frontcourt for years to come.

Kevin Love is back after proving last season that there is plenty of juice left in his career as a sixth man to backup Mobley and Jarrett Allen to provide outside shooting and the occasional rebounder.

Love's contract ends at the end of this season, so this is likely his swan song in Cleveland.

Dean Wade and Lamar Stevens will add depth with Wade the better shooter and Stevens the preferred rebounder and defender.

Second-round draftee Isaiah Mobley will be on the end of the bench and should see his share of time in the G-league with the Charge, the Cavalier's entry in that league.

Jarrett Allen made the All-Star team last season and it was his late-season injury that may have been the largest factor in the late-season fade that cost the Cavaliers a top-six finish that would have allowed them to avoid the play-in series.

Cleveland added veteran big man Robin Lopez to give Allen an occasional breather and give the Cavaliers an improved reserve in the pivot in the event of another Allen injury.

I think this Cavaliers team could be a very exciting one and one that could net over fifty wins.

I'm not quite sure that they are ready to be Eastern title contenders but they are easily a top-six threat and maybe with a few breaks could earn as high as a third seed in the playoffs.

I'd be happy with a first-round playoff win as a successful season and I'll pick 51-31 as their final record on the season.






Friday, October 21, 2022

PPM

 After a less than strong week last week in the PPM, I'll try to bounce back with a better one this week.

Last Week: 7-7
Overall: 71-40

College
Ohio State over Iowa 31-10
Texas Tech over West Virginia 41-29
Boise State over Air Force 35-24
Houston over Navy 40-27
Bowling Green over Central Michigan 23-20
Georgia Southern over Old Dominion 33-30
Oregon State over Colorado 31-14

Games of the Week
Clemson over Syracuse 31-17
Oregon over UCLA 29-21
Oklahoma State over Texas 45-38

NFL
Ravens over Browns 24-14
Chargers over Seahawks 20-13
Saints over Cardinals 27-21

Games of the Week
Dolphins over Steelers 20-17
Chiefs over 49ers 34-24

 

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Cleaning out the Inbox: Passings

 The tributes are sometimes slow but they never stop as we note some recent passings.

Goodbye to Antonio Inoki at the age of  79.

Inoki is best remembered by Westerners for his mixed sport event vs Muhammad Ali in 1976, which while laughed off at the time, turned out to be monumental for two sports.

Many believe that the Ali-Inoki fight is the actual start of the mixed martial arts era in fighting, and boxing observers believe that Inoki's strategy of laying on the mat and kicking Ali's legs throughout the fifteen rounds, damaged Ali's legs and slowing his movement significantly in his fights thereafter and taking much more punishment in those fights than he had taken before the Inoki event.

Inoki's work in the ring and outside of it as the star of New Japan Pro Wrestling (which Inoki owned) made him one of the three biggest stars in Japanese wrestling history (with Rikidozan and Giant Baba) and one that was more than a wrestling star, in Japan, Inoki was a cultural hero that dwarfed any comparison in North American wrestling even Hulk Hogan or Steve Austin.

Inoki would also serve in the Japanese House of Councilors and in what was likely his biggest American appearance would appear in the final of the Bad News Bears film series "The Bad News Bears go to Japan", wrestling the character played by Tony Curtis in the film.

Goodbye to Tommy Boggs at the age of 66.

The second overall pick by Texas in the 1974 draft, Boggs made his big league debut in 1976 and threw complete games in both his fourth and fifth starts but lost both games.

In his seventh start, Boggs would start against Baltimore with an eight-year-old R.S in the stands rooting for his Rangers and Boggs would leave the game after six and a third innings with the league before Baltimore would take the lead against the Texas bullpen and win.

Boggs would throw two more complete games in September, winning his first game in his next start following the Baltimore start and Kansas City, and pitching ten innings in a loss to the Angels, and would be part of baseball's first four-team trade in the off-season following the 1977 season, going to the Braves.

Boggs would win 12 games in 1980 for the Braves, the only season that he would win double-digit games in a career that would finish with a 20-44 record.

Goodbye to Hector Lopez at the age of 93.

Lopez is noted as the first-ever black manager in AAA baseball when he skippered the Buffalo Bisons in 1969 but was a fine hitter in a twelve-year career with the Kansas City Athletics and the Yankees.

Lopez was the runner-up to Herb Score for the American League Rookie of the Year with Kansas City in 1955 and was one of only seven players to have spanned the entire Mickey Mantle/Roger Maris era with the Yankees after being traded to New York early in the 1959 season.

Goodbye to Marvin Powell at the age of 67.

Powell was selected by the Jets with the fourth overall pick in the 1977 NFL Draft from USC and was rewarded with five Pro Bowls and three appearances on either the first or second All-Pro team.

Powell started 130 of a possible 133 games for the Jets at left tackle before finishing his career with Tampa Bay in 1986 and 87.

Powell was enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame in 1994.

Goodbye to Gavin Escobar at the age of 31.

Escobar was the second-rounder of the Dallas Cowboys in 2013 and was thought to be another athletic type of tight end that could stretch the field but struggled with blocking and couldn't find the field consistently for the Cowboys behind Jason Witten.

Escobar would catch 30 passes in his four seasons with Dallas and despite signing with several teams, would never catch another pass in the league before finishing his career with the AAF San Diego Fleet where he caught fourteen passes before the league went out of business late in its only season. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Boxing Challenge: Haney retains, Wilder returns

   The boxing Saturday is going to have to carry the next two weeks in the sport as the schedule lightens until the final weekend of the month but the world lightweight championship was at stake and the return of a former heavyweight champion in desperate need of a spectacular win, so it was more than adequate to help boxing fans make it to the end of the month.

In Melbourne, Australia, Devin Haney retained his world lightweight championship with a unanimous decision in his rematch with George Kambosos.

I'll sum this fight up in this manner, George Kambosos tried harder, fought better, and the rematch was a more exciting fight and none of it mattered because Devin Haney dominated equally as much as in their first affair, winning a unanimous decision by scores of 119-109 and two tallies of 118-110.

I scored Haney the easy winner at 118-110.

Haney landed his jab at will and ripped Kambosos with counter rights that caused Kambosos to bleed impressively from a cut over his left eye that Kambosos had to fight through along with a cut over his right eye, which was cut from a late clash of heads that cut Haney as well.

It was a needed step for Haney to complete his obligation to Kambosos for a rematch few outside of Australia wanted to see and move on to an anticipated fight against Vasyl Lomachenko, should Lomachenko win his fight over Jamaine Ortiz in two weeks.

Haney may not be the most exciting fighter but he is so technically sound and considering that many with such skills are dreadfully dull, I think Haney isn't dull by any means.

Haney will likely move to junior welterweight after a potential defense against Lomachenko and he should fit in very well in a loaded 140-pound division.

In the co-feature bantamweight, Jason Moloney moved himself into the WBC mandatory challenger position with a unanimous decision over Nawaphon Kaikanha in an eliminator.

Moloney won by scores of 119-109 and 118-110 twice, which was the same score as mine.

Moloney will likely be involved in 2023 for the title expected to be vacated by Naoya Inoue after Inoue unifies (expected to anyway) all four bantamweight belts against Paul Butler (WBO champion) in December.

Inoue knocked out Moloney in seven rounds in October 2020 to retain the WBA and IBF titles and Inoue has since added the WBC belt to his collection.

In Brooklyn, New York, former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder returned to the ring for the first time since his second loss to Tyson Fury and won his first fight since November 2019 with a first-round knockout of Robert Helenius in a WBC eliminator.

It only took one concussive right from Wilder, who landed it as Helenius pressed the action, trapping Wilder in a corner before he ran into the counter bomb.

Helenius was never in danger of getting up and once again, Deontay Wilder shows that for all the flaws in his game that there may not be a bigger puncher in all of boxing for one shot power and if you make one mistake the fight could end.

Wilder will now fight in another WBC eliminator to decide the mandatory challenger for champion Tyson Fury against fellow PBC boxer and former champion Andy Ruiz in what could be a very interesting match

I haven't seen the undercard fights but I have seen the one-punch knockout by former IBF super middleweight champion Caleb Plant over former WBC champion Anthony Dirrell in the ninth round and give Plant credit for ending conclusively a fight that reports say was a very boring first eight rounds.

While it was an incredible knockout, Plant's behavior in pantomiming a gravedigger shoveling dirt on a still-fallen Dirrell was in very poor taste.

I've never been a Plant fan but this was beyond awful after a devastating knockout with the opponent still down and his safety unknown at the time.

For all of Plant's title defenses and Dirrell's shopworn condition ( and Dirrell should now consider retirement with a record of 1-2-1 over his last four fights with the draw being very questionable against Kyrone Davis and being stopped by Plant and David Benavidez), Dirrell is the best name on his resume' and I'd love to see Plant against David Benavidez next.

However. Benavidez will face Jose Uzcategui in January in a fight few want to see.

Ironically, Uzcategui, a former IBF champion, was the biggest win in Caleb Plant's career with Plant winning the title from him in January 2019.

Heavyweight Frank Sanchez stopped veteran Carlos Negron in nine rounds and in a mild surprise former IBF bantamweight champion Emmanuel Rodriguez dominated Gary Antonio Russell in winning a unanimous decision after ten rounds in a WBA and IBF eliminator.

Rodriguez was fighting Russell for the second time after their first fight ended after sixteen seconds after the two smashed their heads together and it was a head clash that ended this after the two collided in the ninth round with the fight being stopped a few seconds into the tenth to go to scorecards.

Rodriguez knocked Russell down in the eighth and won on all three cards convincingly at 100-90, 99-91, and 99-93 to likely be involved in one of the vacant title chases, should Naoya Inoue vacate next year.

Rodriguez was stopped in two rounds by Inoue, losing his IBF title in a World Boxing Super Series semi-final.

Boxing Challenge

TRS: 175 Pts  (9)
Ramon Malpica: 151 Pts (9)
Vince Samano:140 Pts  (6)  

Monday, October 17, 2022

Patriots pound Browns 38-15

   The Cleveland Browns continued their decline into yet another disappointing season as they were dominated in every aspect of the game by Bill Belichick's New England Patriots in a 38-15 loss that saw about everything that is bad about this franchise bloom on a sunny day in Cleveland.

Jacoby Brissett threw one touchdown (and turned the ball over three times) to Amari Cooper, Donovan Peoples-Jones caught four passes for seventy-four yards and Cade York made all three field attempts.

Cleveland drops to 2-4 and will travel to Baltimore next Sunday in a game that believe it or not could put the Browns in first place with a victory (Baltimore and Cincinnati are 3-3 at the top of the AFC North).

Brownie Bits

1) Here is the only encouraging bit of the day- Cade York was successful on all three field goal tries from 39,48, and 51 yards away.

That's about all I have.

2) No kidding comment of the day: Bill Belichick dared Jacoby Brissett to win the game for the Browns by making the Patriots' entire commitment to stopping Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt and they did so as the Browns' star backfield rushed for only sixty-eight on a combined sixteen carries.

3) Still, that's a solid average of over four yards a carry but the Browns preferred to have Jacoby Brissett throw forty-five times instead and while the Browns trailed most of the game, it wasn't until the fourth quarter that the Browns were forced to throw.

Kevin Stefanski's press conference saw him say that he needs to do a better job of getting the ball into the hands of his best player more often (Nick Chubb).

Sure seems like that is said often by the person that calls the plays- which would also be Kevin Stefanski.

4) Jacoby Brissett continues to show why he is a career backup and why his track record shows that after he plays a month or so that his performance declines drastically.

Two interceptions and a lost fumble have added up to another bad game from Brissett, which is what Bill Belichek (who drafted Brissett and kept him for his rookie year before trading him) was expecting with his defensive strategy.

5) I'm not among those calling for Joshua Dobbs to replace Brissett yet though.

Let's see how Brissett plays in Baltimore on Sunday and should he play poorly again, I'd consider Dobbs for the following game against the Bengals for two reasons.

The Bengals game is at home rather than the road and with the game taking place on Monday, Dobbs would have an extra day to prepare.

6) Another disappointing day for the defense, who allowed rookie quarterback Bailey Zappe to throw two touchdowns and over three hundred yards passing without an interception.

Zappe was selected by New England in the fourth round in the draft from Western Kentucky, where he played for only one season after spending his previous college career at Houston Baptist, which isn't known as a garden that grows NFL quarterbacks.

7) Denzel Ward hasn't had a great season but the Browns missed him against New England as Bailey Zappe seemed to be going out of his way to target whoever was covering rooking Martin Emerson.

8) Grant Delpit made two huge errors, one in watching Hunter Henry cruise by him for a long score.

Delpit did appear to slip a bit but Henry might have beaten him to the ball anyway, although he may have kept Henry from scoring.

Delpit also made a big hit on Jonnu Smith rather than wrap up and tackle him and watched him bounce off and run for thirty more yards.

9) Then there was the onside kick after the Browns have cut the lead to nine that Ronnie Harrison recovered but was overruled on replay as A.J. Green was ruled to have had his feet out of bounds as he touched the ball even though the ball was possessed by Harrison.

Green was almost celebrating the recovery more than fighting for the ball but by the letter of the law, the right call was made.

10) Why was the onside kick needed with 6:17 to go?

Due to a decision that many of the "analytics" based coaches make all the time and it drives me crazy every time that Kevin Stefanski ( and Brandon Staley since I see so many Charger games) gamble on this and on this one I don't care what the numbers say.

After Jacoby Brissett hit Amari Cooper from fifteen yards for Cleveland's only touchdown of the day, Cleveland had narrowed the lead to nine to 24-15.

Rather than have Cade York kick the extra point to cut the lead to eight points and one possession to tie the game, Stefanski chooses to go for the two-point conversion and failed to convert.

I don't care what the numbers say about down seven compared to down eight, I understand seven is more likely than eight but not as bad as one possession compared to two.

11) Myles Garrett sacked Bailey Zappe twice but appeared to have aggravated his shoulder injury from his car crash on the second sack.

Garrett will be hampered for a while by the injury as the obvious physical demands of football will likely continue to see the shoulder pounded and heal far slower than one would hope.

12) With the second sack, Myles Garrett broke Clay Matthews's team record for career sacks.

13) The Browns lost guard Wyatt Teller in the first half due to a calf injury.

No word on Teller's status at this writing but calf injuries are often multiple-week injuries.

14) Just an all-around awful performance from the top to the bottom.

Accountability is preached and plenty of cliches' are offered "We are going get this fixed" but the results don't match up.

At this rate, someone will take the fall at the end of the season but the question is who besides Joe Woods will that person or persons be?

Friday, October 14, 2022

Boxing Challenge

   The boxing weekend has two cards that will have ramifications for the sport in 2013 with an undisputed title at stake and the return of a former heavyweight champion that badly needs a victory on a card with a few other intriguing fights underneath the main event.

In Australia, the rematch that few want to see other than the Kambosos family will take place as undisputed lightweight champion Devin Haney will fight George Kambosos for the second time after dominating the local fighter to take the titles earlier this year.

Haney was contractually obligated to the rematch after winning the first fight and despite the clear win is forced to take the fight in Australia, where Kambosos will have to come up with a different tactic than in the first fight for anything to possibly change.

The co-feature is a WBC bantamweight eliminator between Australia's Jason Moloney and Nawaphon Kaikanha of Thailand.

Moloney has won three in a row since being stopped in seven by Naoya Inoue and appears to try to move into position to fight for one of the vacant titles should Inoue move up after winning the final belt in the division following his December fight with WBO champion Paul Butler.

Kaikanha has only one loss in 54 fights but it came in his only title opportunity in a third-round KO loss to Juan Navarrete for the then-vacant WBC flyweight title.

Fox and PBC's PPV will have the return of former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder in a WBC eliminator against Robert Helenius.

Wilder hasn't won since his come-from-behind knockout of Luis Ortiz in November 2019 and Helenius does one thing-punch.

Helenius has knocked Adam Kownacki twice to jump-start a flagging career that saw him knocked out by the likes of Gerald Washington.

This could be a fun war or a tentative chess match until one of these two lands a bomb to end it.

Another WBC eliminator is the semi-main event as former WBC champion Anthony Dirrell tackles former IBF champion Caleb Plant in a super middleweight fight.

Plant hasn't fought since his loss to Canelo Alvarez last November, while Dirrell stopped Marcos Hernandez in four on that Canelo-Plant undercard to earn this chance.

Plant's the younger and stronger fighter but Dirrell is more experienced and has dealt with losses in the past and we don't know if Plant can bounce back from his loss to Canelo.

Dirrell seems close to used up though, so Plant does have the bigger advantage in a match that has plenty of questions.

Heavyweight prospect Frank Sanchez will tackle Carlos Negron in a fight that has been rescheduled from earlier this year.

The undefeated Sanchez doesn't have a lot of power but should be a fighter that outclasses the non-top ten fighters in the division.

Negron might be the fighter that gives Sanchez some confidence in his pop as Negron has been knocked out in all three of his losses.

Bantamweight Gary Antonio Russell fights former IBF champion Emmanuel Rodriguez in a rematch of their fight that saw the two clash heads seconds into their fight, which caused the fight to be stopped after only sixteen seconds.

The winner might be in a hunt for any vacant titles that are available if and when Naoya Inoue moves up in weight.

Boxing Challenge

World Lightweight Title. 12 Rds
Devin Haney vs George Kambosos
Ramon Malpica; Haney KO 9
TRS and Vince Samano: Haney Unanimous Decision

Bantamweights 12 Rds
Jason Moloney vs Nawaphon Kaikanha 
R.L & TRS: Moloney Unanimous Decision
V.S; Kaikanha KO 9

Heavyweights 12 Rds
Deontay Wilder vs Robert Helenius
R.L: Wilder KO 3
TRS: Wilder KO 4
V.S: Wilder KO 6

Super Middleweights 12 Rds
Caleb Plant vs Anthony Dirrell
All: Plant Unanimous Decision

Heavyweights 12 Rds
Frank Sanchez vs Carlos Negron
R.L: Sanchez KO 7
TRS: Sanchez KO 10
V.S: Sanchez Unanimous Decision

Bantamweights 12 Rds
Gary Antonio Russell vs Emmanuel Rodriguez
All: Russell Unanimous Decision




PPM

    The PPM rolls on with what looks to be a massive college football weekend filled with big games.

Last Week;  10-6 
Overall: 64-33

College
Bowling Green over Miami Ohio 22-21
N.C. State over Syracuse 29-17
Arkansas over BYU 40-32
Middle Tennesse State over Western Kentucky 34-31
James Madison over Georgia Southern 27-23
Oregon State over Washington State 24-20

Games of the Week
Michigan over Penn State 24-14
Alabama over Tennessee 28-17
Oklahoma State over TCU 41-35

Pro
Browns over Patriots 16-13
Bengals over Saints 26-20
Chargers over Broncos 21-12

Games of the Week
Bills over Chiefs 38-35
Eagles over Cowboys 17-14


Thursday, October 13, 2022

TRS Boxing Ratings-Part Two

Part two of the TRS boxing ratings will feature light flyweights through lightweights and the always popular pound-for-pound ratings.

Thanks as always to Ramon Malpica, Vince Samano, John Herndon, and C.J. Burney for the time to participate.

For this rating period, I'm allowing Shakur Stevenson to be ranked in the junior lightweight and lightweight divisions under the circumstances of his recent win and stripping of his two titles at 130 pounds.

Lightweights- 
World Champion: Devin Haney
1: Gervonta Davis 22 Pts
    Vasyl Lomachenko
3: Shakur Stevenson 11 Pts
4: George Kambosos 10 Pts
5: Isaac Cruz 7 Pts
Also Received Votes; Ryan Garcia, Gustavo Lemos.

Junior Lightweights
1; Oscar Valdez 20 Points
2: Shavrat Rakhimov 18 Pts
3: Hector Luis Garcia WBA Champion 16 Pts
4: Shakur Stevenson 10 Pts
5: Joe Cordina 8 Pts
Also Received Votes: Roger Gutierrez 

Featherweights
1: Emanuel Navarrete WBO Champon 25 Pts
2: Rey Vargas WBC Champion 16 Pts (Unranked)
3: Mauricio Lara 11 Pts
4: Josh Warrington IBF Champion 7 Pts
5: Leo Santa Cruz WBA Champion 5 Pts (Unranked)
Also Received Votes: Gary Russell, Leigh Wood, Mark Magsayo, Brandon Figueroa

Junior Featherweights
1: Stephen Fulton WBC/WBO Champion 25 Pts
2: Murodjon Akhmadaliev WBA/IBF Champion 20 Pts
3: Emmanuel Aleem 15 Pts
4: Luis Nery 7 Pts
5: Angelo Leo 5 Pts
Also Received Votes: Marlon Tapales,  Azat Hovannisyan 

Bantamweights
1: Naoya Inoue WBA/WBC/IBF Champion 25 Pts
2: John Riel Casimero 15 Pts
3: Nonito Donaire 13 Pts
4: Jason Moloney 8 Pts
    Gary Antonio Russell (Unranked)
Also Received Votes: Emmanuel Rodriguez, Nordine Oubaali, Paul Butler WBO Champion, Lee McGregor

Junior Bantamweights
1: Juan Francisco Estrada 24 Pts
2: Roman Gonzalez 18 Pts
    Jesse "Bam" Rodriguez WBC Champion (Up One)
4: Kazuto Ioka WBO Champion 7 Pts (Up One)
    Fernando Martinez IBF Champion (Up One)
Also Received Votes: Joshua Franco WBA Champion 

Flyweights
1: Junto Nakatani WBO Champion 24 Pts
2: Julio Cesar Martinez WBC Champion 19 Pts
3: Artem Dalakian WBA Champion 17 Pts
4: Sunny Edwards IBF Champion 9 Pts
5: Felix Alvarado 3 Pts
    Crisofer Rosales

Light Flyweights/Under
1: Hiroto Kyoguchi WBA Champion 22 Pts
2: Kenshiro Teraji WBC Champion 20 Pts
3: Jonathan Gonzalez WBO Champion 12 Pts
4: KO CP Freshmart 8 Pts (Down One)
5: Hekkie Budler 7 Pts (Unranked)
Also Received Votes: Felix Alvarado. Petch Freshmart, Wanheng Menayothin,

Pound for Pound
1: Naoya Inoue 48 Pts
2: Terence Crawford 41 Pts
3: Tyson Fury 36 Pts (Up Two)
4: Errol Spence 32 Pts (Down One)
5: Artur Beterbiev 28 Pts (Down One)
6: Oleksandr Usyk 27 Pts
7: Shakur Stevenson 15 Pts (Unranked)
8: Devin Haney 12 Pts (Down One)
9: Gervonta Davis 9 Pts (Unranked)
10: Dmitry Bivol 8 Pts (Unranked) 
Also Received Votes: Canelo Alvarez, Vasyl Lomachenko, Jesse "Bam" Rodriguez, Jermell Charlo, Juan Francisco Estrada

 

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

TRS Boxing Ratings: Part One

 The latest edition of the TRS boxing ratings is ready with ratings from the heavyweight division to the junior welterweight division.

Thanks as always to our panelists- Ramon Malpica, Vince Samano, John Herndon, and C.J. Burney for taking the time to help out!.



Heavyweights 

1: Tyson Fury WBC Champion 25 Pts
2: Oleksandr Usyk WBA/IBF/WBO Champion 20 Pts
3: Deontay Wilder 11 Pts
4: Anthony Joshua 10 Pts
5: Joe Joyce 8 Pts
Also Received Votes; Andy Ruiz

Cruiserweight
1: Jai Opietaia IBF Champion 23 Pts
2: Lawrence Okolie WBO Champion 18 Pts (Up Two)
3: Mairis Breidia 14 Pts
4: Yuniel Dorticos 13 Pts (Down One)
5: Ilunga Makabu WBC Champion 5 Pts (Unranked)
Also Received Votes: Thabiso Mchunu

Light Heavyweights
1: Artur Beterbiev WBC/IBF/WBO Champion 25 Pts
2: Dmitry Bivol WBA Champion 20 Pts
3: Gilberto Ramirez 15 Pts
4: Callum Smith 8 Pts (Unranked)
5: Joe Smith 4 Pts (Down One)
Also Received Votes: Joshua Buatasi

Super Middleweights
World Champion: Canelo Alvarez
1: David Benavidez 25 Pts
2; Caleb Plant 17 Pts
3: John Ryder 13 Pts
4: David Morrell 5 Pts (Up One)
5: Anthony Dirrell 4 Pts (Unranked)
    Christian Mbilli (Unranked)
    Zack Parker (Unranked)
Also Received Votes: Billy Joe Saunders, Lerrone Richards

Middleweights
1: Demetrius Andrade 19 Pts (Up One)
    Jermall Charlo WBC Champion (Up One)
3: Gennady Golovkin WBA/IBF Champion 18 Pts (Down Two)
4: Jaime Munguia 7 Pts
5: Janibek Alimkhanuly WBO Champion 6 Pts
Also Received Votes: Ryota Murata, Erislandy Lara, Carlos Adames.

Junior Middleweights
World Champion: Jermell Charlo
1: Sebastian Fundora 25 Pts
2: Tim Tszyu 16 Pts
3: Brian Castano 14 Pts
4: Magomed Kurbanov 8 Pts (Up One)
5: Tony Harrison 7 Pts (Unranked)
Also Received Votes: Erickson Lubin, Israil Madrimov

Welterweights
1: Terence Crawford WBO Champion 23 Pts
2: Errol Spence WBA/WBC/IBF Champion 22 Pts
3: Jaron Ennis 15 Pts
4: Vergil Ortiz 9 Pts
5: Yordenis Ugas 3 Pts
Also Received Votes: Keith Thurman, Eimantis Stanonis

Junior Welterweights
1: Josh Taylor WBO Champion 22 Pts
2: Jack Catterall 21 Pts
3: Regis Prograis 16 Pts
4: Jose Ramirez 7 Pts
5: Gary Antuanne Russell 3 Pts
    Jose Zepeda (Unranked)
Also Received Votes: Teofimo Lopez, Ryan Garcia

 

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Browns lose late to Chargers

    Apologies again for the late recap on this due to struggles with televisions etc. over the weekend.

The Cleveland Browns were given a golden gift by Los Angeles Chargers coach Brandon Staley and the gift led to an opportunity for a last-second win over the Chargers but Cade York's fifty-four-yard field goal attempt drifted wide right and Los Angeles rode the plane out of Cleveland with a 30-28 win.

Jacoby Brissett threw a touchdown and 230 yards but made the most significant error of the game when he threw an end zone interception to the Charger Alohi Gillman late in the game with Cleveland down by the two points they would lose by.

Nick Chubb rushed for 134 yards and two touchdowns while Amari Cooper caught seven passes and the only Browns passing score.

Cleveland drops to 2-3 with the defeat and will host New England next Sunday.

Brownie Bits

1) We start with the absolute bonehead decision that only Cade York's miss took off the front pages by Chargers coach Brandon Staley.

With a fourth down and one on the Charger 46 with 1:14 remaining and the Browns have used their final timeout, rather than punt the ball and make the Browns drive the field without timeouts, Staley goes for it and Cleveland stops them, and with few yards gained would give Cade York the chance to win it.

2) I watch more Chargers football than any team other than the Browns and this is your typical Brandon Staley call.

And Cleveland fans think they have it bad with Kevin Stefanski?

Try watching game after game with Brandon Staley.

3) Jacoby Brissett has been brutalized for his late-game interception in the end zone and that's fair since the worst-case scenario would have Brissett running for a few yards or throwing the ball away to set up a field goal attempt to take the lead, if successful.

However, there was something almost as impactful later in the game that few are mentioning that you can blame Brissett and/or Kevin Stefanski.

4) After the Browns took over at the Los Angeles 46-yard line, Brissett threw an incomplete pass before hitting Amari Cooper for a ten-yard gain and a first down.

With the clock rolling after Cooper's catch and down to forty-seven seconds, the Browns called a running play with Kareem Hunt, who was stopped for no gain and the Browns lost literally half of the remaining time before they could run their next play, a long incomplete pass to Donovan Peoples-Jones.

After another incomplete pass to Peoples-Jones, Cleveland was forced to take their chances with Cade York without gaining an inch.

I hated the running play call by Kevin Stefanski but had he called a sweep or something to the outside perhaps Hunt could have gotten out of bounds and saved some clock.

5) Anything could have helped York and if you watch the field goal, it started drifting wide late in the kick, not right off the foot, so it is possible that a few extra yards gained may have been the difference in going through the uprights.

And no, I'm not ready to cut Cade York.

Every rookie kicker deals with adversity and Cleveland is a tough place to kick, so I'm willing to be patient with York and give him the entire season.

If his performance is erratic all year, bring a veteran in to challenge him in camp next summer and not before then.

6) And then the rushing defense which allowed Austin Ekeler and Joshua Kelley to run for more yardage in one game than either had accumulated in their four.

There are plenty of culprits here but the gold medal goes to Andrew Berry, who seems to take pride in not spending capital on defensive tackles and linebackers.

Berry didn't really address either position other than the signing of Taven Bryan and drafting Perrion Winfrey at defensive tackle and the run defense has paid the price for ignoring those positions.

7) The damage done to the Browns? 238 yards and a team average of seven yards a carry.

Giving away chunks of yardage against runners that haven't set the world on fire and considering that Justin Herbert isn't totally healthy with injured ribs and Keenan Allen missing at WR, allowing the Chargers to run with little resistance kept the Chargers closer than they could have been otherwise.

8) Yesterday's post covered the Browns acquiring Deion Jones to help at linebacker won't hurt any but I'll wait to see if the Browns have added a linebacker to make plays or another stat accumulator that makes tackles ten yards down the field.

I've been hoping for Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah to become the impact player that the Browns have lacked for years and he has shown occasional glimpses of having the ability to do that but not consistently yet.

9) And while I like Anthony Walker as a player and his absence hasn't helped the defense, Walker is merely a solid linebacker, not a lot different than several Browns linebackers through the years.

Browns commentators that are placing a large amount of credit for the Chargers' big day on the ground because of Anthony Walker not being available are giving Walker far much credit.

10) The pass defense may have its issues but give Greg Newsome credit for hustle as Newsome raced from across the field to run down Austin Ekeler on his seventy-one-yard run.

Cleveland would then hold the Chargers to a field goal on the drive and it is all due to Newsome not giving up on a play that wasn't in his area to start with.

11) John Johnson was called for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in the second quarter for taking his helmet off while protesting a missed call (a blindside block on Jacob Phillips) and handed the Chargers ten free yards, placed the ball at the Cleveland ten, and resulted in a Charger touchdown.

I've been disappointed in Johnson's play since signing as a heralded free agent in 2021 and Kevin Stefanski told him that "you can't do things like that and play for the Browns".

Sounds good but I've seen a lot of Browns play like that and stay around.

12) As bad as things seem, the AFC North is still in play with Baltimore leading at 3-2, Cincinnati with the Browns at 2-3, and a suddenly imploding Pittsburgh at 1-4.

I'm not saying that the Browns are likely to turn things around over the next six games but it is not out of the question since no one in the division has been able to run away and build a big lead.

New England may be down to their third-string quarterback but they will run the ball effectively and after watching the tape of this loss to Los Angeles, the Patriots will test the resolve of Joe Woods and the ability to change the momentum for the defense next week.