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Canelo Alvarez, Gennady 'GGG' Golovkin fight ends in controversial draw

It was a dream boxing match between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady “GGG” Golovkin on Saturday night in Las Vegas, but neither fighter will be satisfied with the finish as the fight was ruled an official draw by split decision.

One judge had 118-110 to Canelo, the second 115-113 to GGG, and the final as a 114-114 draw.

The fight was a controversial decision, as watching the fight it is hard to justify that Alvarez won 10 of the 12 rounds in the fight. The fight was close and may have very well been a draw, but 118-110 in Canelo’s favor is an absolutely bizarre decision that even the HBO boxing announcers laughed off as “fiction.”

>> Read more trending news

Gennady 'GGG' Golovkin vs. Canelo Alvarez: Round-by-round recap

First round started off slowly as the two fighters sized each other up. Golovkin started throwing some jabs and was able to connect, to which Canelo was able to counter with some good punches of his own. The round was a good start for Canelo, as Golovkin generally lands more punches and starts off quick. Alvarez was able to keep him off his usual game here.

The second round started quicker than the first, but went much the same. Golovkin spent most of his time looking for surgical jabs, while Canelo responded in kind with some strong counter punches. That said, neither fighter really landed anything too significant, though Canelo did close the round with a good uppercut.

Golovkin came out with some aggression in the third round, but it quickly settled down to where Canelo was again taking control of the fight in a way that we have rarely seen against Golovkin. There was even a point in this round were Canelo was being the blatant aggressor as he reached out for jabs instead of waiting to counter.

In the fourth round, Golovkin come to life more as he finally forced Canelo up against the ropes after a strong combo. However, Canelo was smooth on the ropes and was able to avoid any power shots from GGG and forcing the fight back into the middle. Golovkin still stayed on top of the fight after it went back to the middle, scoring what was likely his first round win since the first, if at all.

The fifth round was awesome, and the crowd really got into it. GGG used the momentum from the last round to start off strong, but Canelo was able to counter in the middle of the round. After that though we saw Golovkin land some of his best punches of the fight to this point, and he got Canelo up against the ropes and hit a huge hit to the left side of Canelo’s head. Canelo shook off the punch and was eventually able to get off the ropes with a decent combination to close the round.

Canelo responded to the flurry from the last round about as well as possible in the sixth, as he was aggressive and landed a couple of punches that clearly affected Golovkin. Canelo also landed a bit of a dirty punch after the ref tried to break up a tie up, which probably would have lost him a point if this wasn’t a superfight main event. Golovkin responded a bit after that exchange to even up the round, but the opening from Canelo was probably enough to take this round.

Seventh saw Golovkin open with a good combo to knock Canelo off his game a bit. Canelo is really good at defending when backed against the ropes, but Golovkin was clearly on the offensive and Canelo did not land as many successful counters as he had in past rounds.

Golovkin caught Canelo with a big punch early in the eighth round, again forcing Canelo quickly on the defensive. Canelo did have some good counter punches that hit hard, but GGG was hitting more significant strikes as Canelo was clearly running away for much of the round.

Perhaps due to a bit of desperation, Canelo started the round with some good offense, but Golovkin hit a huge punch that clearly hurt Canelo. Crowd was hoping for a finish here, but Canelo was able to stay alive and even strike back with some strong hooks. Again though, GGG was too much on the defensive to gain an edge in the score.

Canelo had a lot of ground to make up in the 10th, and he nearly made it all up in the beginning as he started strong to get Golovkin backing up for the first time in a while. Golovkin was able to respond thanks to his effective punching, withstanding for most of the round, but Canelo had some strong bursts where it looked like he would potentially be able to finish the fight.

The 11th round was close but both fighters clearly started to show some fatigue as the round was a bit slow to get going. Probably another round to Canelo, who handling the fight much like the first few rounds where he was getting strong counter punches and using his defense as an offense instead of just plain being on defense.

Canelo clearly opened the round like he knew he needed a finish to win the fight. He was on the offensive for the first minute, but Golovkin eventually landed a counter that allowed him to take the heat off. The two traded the punches in a slugfest for much of the final 90 seconds of the final round, hoping to seal the deal

Cleveland Indians win 22nd straight game

It was a “Catch-22” kind of night for the Cleveland Indians. And thanks to Francisco Lindor and Jay Bruce, something happened again for the defending American League champions.

>> Read more trending news

Lindor hit a game-tying double with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, and Bruce hit an RBI double in the 10th as the Indians rallied for their 22nd consecutive victory to extend their AL record. With the victory, the Indians moved to within four wins of matching the 1916 New York Giants for the longest winning streak in major-league history.

Lindor connected on a two-strike pitch to send the game into extra innings.

>> Indians set AL record 

"This was probably the toughest one we've had," Bruce told reporters after the game.

Jose Ramirez led off the 10th inning with a double and Edwin Encarnacion walked. Bruce then smacked a 2-0 pitch into the right-field corner to score Ramirez with the winning run. It was Cleveland’s first walk-off win of the streak.

The victory snapped a tie with the 1935 Chicago Cubs for the second-longest winning streak. The 1916 Giants won 26 straight games -- all at home. The Giants won 12 straight, played a 1-1 tie, and then won 14 in a row. But because the tied game was replayed from the start the next day, it did not count and therefore prolonged New York's streak.

Girl with robotic hand will throw out first pitch at World Series

Hailey Dawson’s quest to throw out the first pitch at every major-league baseball park now will include a toss at the World Series.

>> Read more trending news

Dawson, a 7-year-old with a robotic hand, will throw out the ceremonial pitch before Game 4 of the World Series on Oct. 28, USA Today Sports reported.

Dawson was born with a birth defect called Poland Syndrome. People with this defect have underdeveloped chest muscles that cause webbing in their hands. The engineering department at the University of Nevada Las Vegas created a robotic hand for Dawson and have been upgrading it as she grows. She is currently wearing her eighth version.

Dawson, a big baseball fan, threw out the first pitch at a UNLV game in 2014. Five months later, she threw out a pitch for the Baltimore Orioles. Since then she has thrown the first pitch for the New York Mets, Milwaukee Brewers, Seattle Mariners, Oakland Athletics, Minnesota Twins, Detroit Tigers and Washington Nationals.

“Hailey’s inspirational story captured our attention and our teams have overwhelmingly embraced her goal to throw a first pitch at every MLB ballpark," Tony Petitti, MLB chief operating officer, told USA Today Sports. "We are very happy that Hailey will begin her quest by throwing the ceremonial first pitch at Game 4 of the World Series. We’re all looking forward to meeting her and the Dawson family at the Fall Classic.”

“She’s kind of a ham,” Dawson's mother, Yong Dawson, told All The Moms blog. “I initiated this. I thought it would be a good opportunity and encourage her grip. She could be silly and gain confidence.”

Poll reveals racial divide over whether college athletes should be paid

Should college athletes be paid beyond their full scholarship? The results of an August poll by the Washington Post and the University of Massachusetts Lowell show a racial divide in the answer to that question.

>> Read more trending news

When coaches are being paid millions, and sports facilities cost tens of millions, some say athletes should also be compensated.

Although 52 percent of Americans believe a scholarship is enough, 54 percent of black Americans said they believe athletes should be paid based on the revenue they generate. 

"The schools are making an awful lot of money, and the coaches are making millions and millions of dollars, and they're (the players) the ones bringing in the money, really," one black respondent said.

But whites see things differently. 

"The whole reason they go to college is to get an education, and a scholarship should be enough," a white nurse said. "They shouldn't be paid to play football."

The majority of whites who took the poll agreed with her.

Take an in-depth look at what some economists and labor lawyers call a critical problem with college sports on myajc.com

Woman claims Delta paid her $4,000 to give up seat on overbooked flight

How much money is a single football game worth to you?

For a plane full of University of Georgia fans heading to South Bend, Indiana, to watch their team play Notre Dame last weekend, that number is pretty high.

>> Read more trending news

WSB-TV sports director Zach Klein was on a full Delta Air Lines flight Friday morning leaving from Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

The plane was overbooked and when the crew realized it was overbooked, they started offering money for someone to give up their seat.

“Offers started at $2,200. Then it was $2,800. Later it got to $3,000,” Klein said.

Tracy Jarvis Smith eventually took the offer when the crew bumped the amount to $4,000.

“$4,000 was my magic number,” Smith later tweeted.

According to Klein, Smith was bumped for a 7 p.m. flight that day.

“Not one fan wanted to get in late,” Klein said.

Klein posted a photo with the Georgia fan who took Smith’s seat.

Smith also tweeted later that day. She said she got in about eight hours later than she had planned, making it worth the money.

The Georgia Bulldogs went on to beat the Fighting Irish 20-19.

>> Related: Delta will now pay passengers up to $9,950 to give up seats

 

'Racism is as American as baseball' banner unfurled over Fenway Park's Green Monster

During Wednesday’s baseball game at Fenway Park, a few fans unfurled a banner over the Green Monster that ruffled a lot of feathers.

>> See the sign here

"Racism is as American as baseball," the sign said.

A Red Sox spokesman said security removed the four fans who held the sign, according to The Associated Press. One fan reportedly said the group drew inspiration from Black Lives Matter.

>> Read more trending news

The Red Sox issued the following statement:

“During the 4th inning of tonight’s game, four fans unfurled a banner over the left field wall in violation of the club’s policy prohibiting signs of any kind to be hung or affixed to the ballpark. The individuals involved were escorted out of Fenway Park.”

Read more here.

Report: Pitch clocks, more changes ahead for baseball

Good news on the baseball pace-of-play front: Longtime baseball scribe Ken Rosenthal reports at The Athletic that players and Major League Baseball officials are working together to bring about changes soon. 

>> Read more trending news

This comes after some contentious exchanges earlier in the year in which MLB commissioner Rob Manfred threatened to impose changes regardless of the players’ acceptance. 

With the great American Pastime getting even slower this year, it’s nice to see the players could be coming to their senses and being open to things that can make the game more appealing to a wider audience without compromising what makes it great. 

They played the game for about 130 years without pitchers walking around the mound and the batter stepping out after every pitch. They can learn to do so again. 

Indians set AL mark with 21st straight win; now chase disputed MLB record

The Cleveland Indians became the first American League team to win 21 consecutive games Wednesday, as a 5-3 victory against the Detroit Tigers completed a series sweep. The Indians’ victory snapped a tie with the Oakland Athletics, who won 20 consecutive games in 2002.

>> Read more trending news

Whether the Indians, now tied with the 1935 Chicago Cubs of the National League with 21 straight wins, go for the major-league record Thursday when they host the Kansas City Royals depends on whether you believe in asterisks.

A Giant asterisk.

The New York Giants were unbeaten in 26 games during the 1916 season, but there was a tie game sandwiched in the middle of the steak. The Giants won 12 straight games, played a 1-1 tie and then won 14 in a row.

The official record keeper of Major League Baseball still recognizes the Giants’ streak

"A tie was never an acceptable result of a baseball game," Steve Hirdt, executive vice president at the Elias Sports Bureau, told ABC News. "If one happened because of darkness or rain or some certain circumstance, the game was played over.

“The Giants' 26-game winning streak has existed since the beginning of time," Hirdt told ABC News. “I do not know why certain people are looking at the 21 now and holding that up as the record or alternately trying to parse language so that they can somehow exclude the 26.

"It's the longest winning streak, it's the record for most consecutive wins, etc., because a tie game breaks neither a winning streak or losing streak for a team because it always gets replayed unless the season ends first."

Some media outlets refused to split hairs. Fox Sports tweeted “The @Indians tie the MLB record for most consecutive games with a win.”

Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports tweeted his agreement with Fox Sports, posting that “Unbeaten ≠ winning streak.”

The official Twitter account of Major League Baseball was vague enough to satisfy both sides: 

Jay Bruce hit a three-run homer off Buck Farmer (4-3), and Mike Clevinger (10-5) won his fourth straight start for Cleveland.

Los Angeles to host 2028 Summer Olympics; Paris wins 2024 Games

The city of Los Angeles will host the Summer Olympics in 2028 instead of the 2024 Games, as previously considered, The Associated Press confirmed Wednesday.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the International Olympic Committee was expected to make an announcement confirming the news last month.

It will be the city’s third time hosting the event. Los Angeles previously hosted the Games in 1932 and again in 1984. 

>> Read more trending news 

The last time the Games took place on American soil was in 2002, when the Winter Games took place in Salt Lake City. Before that, the most recent Games hosted in the U.S. were in Atlanta during the summer of 1996.

According to the AP, this year marks the first time in history the IOC, which also announced the Paris 2024 Summer Games, has granted two Summer Olympics at once.

The decision came after deliberations in which Pyeongchang and Los Angeles were the final two cities considered for the 2024 Summer Games, and the IOC “couldn’t bear to see either lose,” the AP reported.

The following cities have won bids for upcoming Olympic Games: 

  • Pyeongchang -- Winter Games 2018
  • Tokyo -- Summer Games 2020
  • Beijing -- Winter Games 2022
  • Paris -- Summer Games 2024
  • Los Angeles -- Summer Games 2028

Read more at The Associated Press. 

Danica Patrick loses NASCAR job

Danica Patrick, the only female driver at NASCAR's top level, is likely at the end of her driving career after a sponsorship shake-up left her without a ride at Stewart-Haas Racing.

>> Read more trending news 

Patrick posted a statement on her Facebook page Tuesday saying her time with Stewart-Haas "had come to an end" due to a new sponsorship arrangement for the team next season. The statement came shortly after Smithfield Foods said it will leave Richard Petty Motorsports to become a primary sponsor at Stewart-Haas next year.

The news is a blow to RPM, which is also losing driver Aric Almirola. But it also forced changes at Stewart-Haas, which has struggled with sponsorship for three of its four cars, including the No. 10 Ford driven by Patrick.

"It has been my honor to drive for Tony Stewart, Gene Haas and everyone at Stewart-Haas Racing for the past six seasons," Patrick wrote. "Sponsorship plays a vital role in our sport, and I have been very fortunate over the course of my career, but this year threw us for a curve."

Patrick, whose participation in NASCAR has always been polarizing given the attention she receives despite her lack of success, closed the post by writing: "I have the utmost faith in myself and those around me, and feel confident about my future."

Patrick has launched a clothing line, has a book coming out next year and has made a huge transition into promoting a healthy and fit lifestyle. It has her positioned for a second career at the age of 35 if she chooses. She's also in a long-term relationship with fellow driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who will make his debut in the playoffs this weekend.

Sponsorship dollars have been hard to come by for a number of drivers and teams. Smithfield's decision leaves Petty's team in need of a sponsor, and Almirola is looking for a ride.

But the bigger changes are clearly underway at SHR, which didn't reveal where Smithfield will be in the organization in 2018.

"Details of the agreement, including the driver who will be added to SHR's Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series lineup in 2018, will be provided at a later date," SHR said in a statement.

That means Smithfield could end up on the car Patrick has driven. Clint Bowyer and Kurt Busch both need sponsorship on their cars, too. Busch, the Daytona 500 winner, does not have a deal with SHR for next season.

Both Harvick and Busch will represent SHR in the 10-race playoffs that begin Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway.

Now that Patrick has confirmed she's out at SHR, the team could choose to downsize to three cars, or pursue Almirola, Matt Kenseth, Kasey Kahne or any other available driver. The team could be in the market to replace just Patrick, or both Patrick and Busch.

Patrick has driven for Stewart-Haas Racing her entire Cup career. She has seven top-10 finishes in 180 career starts and is currently 28th in the standings, the lowest in her Cup career.

Still, she won the pole for the 2013 Daytona 500, won an IndyCar race in 2008, is the highest finishing female driver in Indianapolis 500 history with a third-place run in 2009 and is the only woman to lead laps in both the Indy 500 and the Daytona 500. Patrick is the only woman to win a Cup pole and those top-10 finishes are the most of any female Cup driver.

"She will go down as the best female NASCAR driver of all time. Will likely take decades to see anyone even challenge her legacy," Brad Keselowski posted on Twitter. He later added in a second post: "Have come to accept that mankind never knows or appreciates what it has until its gone. NASCAR fans will miss her badly in time."

Patrick's contract with SHR ran through 2018, but the team has been searching for sponsorship since Nature's Bakery abruptly ended its three-year deal after one season.

RPM is now in a similar bind because it lost Smithfield, which has been associated with Petty the last six years. RPM this year downsized to one Cup car because of sponsorship reasons, and talks on a contract extension with Almirola stalled when Smithfield began looking at other options.

Petty ripped the company and suggested he was blindsided.

"Over the past few months, Smithfield had continually told me they wanted to be with us, and I recently shook hands on a deal to extend our relationship," Petty said. "I come from a time when we did major deals with sponsors like STP on a handshake. I'm sad to see this is where we are now. This decision is very unexpected, and we are extremely disappointed in this late and abrupt change of direction."

Smithfield CEO Kenneth M. Sullivan called Petty's claim of a handshake deal "unequivocally and patently false," and accused the team of not delivering on "tens of millions of dollars of unwavering financial support."

"Smithfield's numerous discussions with RPM over the past several months focused exclusively around one issue: RPM's inability to deliver on the track and the organization's repeated failure to present a plan to address its lack of competitiveness," Sullivan said in a statement. "It is very unfortunate and disheartening that RPM has chosen to disseminate false statements regarding our communications to NASCAR fans who we have supported wholeheartedly with more than a $100 million investment in the sport over the last several years."

Almirola was 20th in the standings when he broke his back in May. It caused him to miss seven races, and the team is currently 25th in the standings. He did make NASCAR's playoffs, in 2014, after he won at Daytona in July.

Petty, the Hall of Fame driver and seven-time NASCAR champion, is no longer the primary owner of his race team. Andrew Murstein of Medallion Financial Corp. is the majority owner of the team.

Petty said he and Murstein were committed to "moving forward" with the No. 43 team.

"Losing a sponsor of this magnitude in September is a significant set-back to Richard Petty Motorsports," Petty said. "We've been around since 1949, and we'll be around a lot longer."

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