Pacquiao ready to fight Mosley and then sing

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Pacquiao ready to fight Mosley and then sing

May 7, 2011

LAS VEGAS (AP) Ask Shane Mosley how he can beat Manny Pacquiao, and the answer is match his speed and don't be afraid to trade punches with a fighter who loves to trade punches. Ask trainer Naazim Richardson how his fighter can beat the best boxer in the world, and the answer is slightly different.

"If he can be the best Sugar Shane Mosley there is, then Pacquiao has problems," Richardson said.

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Unfortunately, Mosley hasn't been his best for quite some time. And that could make for a rough night Saturday when he tries to bounce back from a bad loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. against a fighter who lately has been beating up everyone put in front of him.

The 39-year-old Mosley will try to resurrect his career with a signature win over Pacquiao, who once again is so confident of his chances that he has scheduled a post-fight concert on the Las Vegas Strip for all his loyal followers. Mosley must not only battle Pacquiao, who has won 13 straight fights, but the perception that he is a shot fighter after one last big payday.

"It's an opportunity to show people I'm not washed up," Mosley said. "You don't lose your power. They say you lose your speed, but I haven't lost my speed either."

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Pacquiao certainly hasn't lost his, and is coming off an 8-week training camp that trainer Freddie Roach said was his best ever. The Filipino sensation who travels with an entourage bigger than any Muhammad Ali had in his day, remains focused on boxing even while working a side job as a congressman back home and singing with his band.

His real work, though, comes in the ring in big pay-per-view fights. And ever since he sent Oscar De La Hoya into retirement by giving him a brutal beating, Pacquiao has been the most exciting fighter of his time.

"This is an important fight for me and millions of my fans," Pacquiao said. "You cannot underestimate him. He's strong, throws a lot of punches and moves fast."

The Mosley of old certainly did that. But after losing a lopsided decision to Mayweather and struggling in a draw against Sergio Mora last September, many in boxing simply consider Mosley to be old.

Oddsmakers agree, making Pacquiao a 6-1 favorite in a fight that has been sold out for weeks at the MGM Grand hotel arena. The scheduled 12-round fight is for the WBO version of the welterweight title that Pacquiao won against Miguel Cotto.

Pacquiao weighed in at 145 pounds, while Mosley was at 147.

Pacquiao, returning to the same ring where he made his U.S. debut 10 years ago, is coming off two fights at Cowboys Stadium in Texas. In his last fight there in November he gave a bigger Antonio Margarito such a beating that Margarito was hospitalized and had to have surgery on his eye socket.

But Pacquiao (52-3-2, 38 knockouts) was also on the receiving end of a lot of punches by Margarito, largely because he's the kind of fighter unafraid of mixing it up.

"When you like to exchange and you like to throw punches, you put yourself in harm's way," Roach said. "That's why Manny is the most exciting fighter in the world. I can't take that away from him. He's always liked to throw combinations, and when you let your hands go you leave yourself open."

Tompkins: Pacquiao, a gentleman, outside the ring
Mosley, who gave up his ownership share in De La Hoya's Golden Boy Productions to get the fight, is eager to find out just how hittable Pacquiao might be.

"I think it's going to be an action fight from the beginning," Mosley (46-6-1, 39 KOs) said. "It's going to get very interesting, very quick."

Almost lost in the buildup has been talk about Pacquiao fighting Mayweather in what would likely be the richest fight in boxing history. Mayweather, who hasn't fought in a year and is facing legal charges in three criminal cases, has given no indication he is serious about a fight with the man most in boxing say is the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.

"I don't want to talk about Floyd Mayweather's issues or anything like that," Pacquiao said. "I'm the kind of person who doesn't want to talk about someone behind his back. He did his best in boxing. He contributed to the history of boxing."

Part of that history, Mayweather supporters might argue, is that he softens up fighters for Pacquiao. Mayweather beat De La Hoya before Pacquiao fought him and knocked out Ricky Hatton before Pacquiao also stopped Hatton. Now Pacquiao takes on Mosley, hoping to improve on the lopsided decision win that Mayweather scored against a fighter who has never been stopped.

"If the knockouts come, they come," Pacquiao said. "What matters is the fight that we can give to the people and the fans. I want them to be happy and excited about our performance."

Pacquiao is expected to make at least 20 million, while Mosley is guaranteed 5 million plus a percentage of pay-per-view sales.

Rewind: 'Elite' Martin Jones outplays Price in Sharks' win over Habs

Rewind: 'Elite' Martin Jones outplays Price in Sharks' win over Habs

SAN JOSE – The challenge for Martin Jones headed into 2016-17 was to repeat the kind of campaign he had in his first season as an NHL number one, when he helped the Sharks reach their first-ever Stanley Cup Final.

Having a strong season is one thing. Becoming a franchise goaltender is an entirely different animal. The Canadiens have one, of course, in Carey Price, viewed unanimously as the NHL’s best. 

Jones has some work ahead if he wants to be mentioned in the same breath as Price. But his latest performance – a 31-save effort against Montreal in which he slightly outplayed the former Hart Trophy winner at the other end in a 2-1 Sharks win – capped off a remarkable stretch for Jones, who is perhaps the team’s MVP as they sit in first place in the Pacific Division in the first week of December.

In his last 11 games, Jones is now 8-2-1 with a 1.46 goals-against average and .945 save percentage. His GAA for the season was lowered to a miniscule 1.99.

“We’ve got an elite goalie here,” Burns said. “We’re lucky to have Jonesy. He’s great to play in front of. He’s right up there to be the best goalie in the league. Every night he shows it.”

Dillon said: “He's just continuing to prove that he's an elite-level guy. For us, as defensemen, it's nice when he's back there. But at the same time, we want to do our best to eliminate as much as we can and help him out.”

Dillon, Burns, and the rest of the Sharks defense corps did a nice job against the Canadiens, who still lead the NHL standings even after the loss. But the Sharks wouldn’t have won this one without Jones, who made a number of stellar stops.

His best came in the first period with the Sharks enjoying a 1-0 lead, when Jones robbed Alex Galchenyuk after a sneaky pass from Paul Byron gave Galchenyuk all kinds of net to shoot at. Jones slid across and snatched it, freezing play. 

"I think at that point I was just kind of reacting to the play,” Jones said. “You're not going to see me pull that out too, too often. Just tried to get over and bring as much of my body as I could."

Later in the first, Jones stopped Brian Flynn on a breakaway with 2:53 to go. In the second period he again flashed the leather, this time on Max Pacioretty on a two-on-one with 14:53 remaining in the middle frame. Seconds later, it was his left lad that prevented Brenden Gallagher from cutting into the Sharks’ 2-0 lead, when Gallagher found himself alone in front of the net with the puck on his stick.

Facing Price, Jones knew he would have to be on top of his game. According to assistant coach Steve Spott, filling in for Pete DeBoer, that challenge gave Jones a boost.

“I think when he looked down 200 feet away and saw Carey Price – what a great challenge for Marty, and he was outstanding tonight, as was Price for them. That's as good a goalie duo as I've seen in a long time.”

Dillon said: “He just continues to rise to the occasion.”

The goals came from likely sources. Burns, firing the puck from all over the ice in the first, capitalized on a power play with a slapper from the top of the circle. Joe Pavelski finished off a rush with Joe Thornton in the final minute of the opening frame.

Thanks to Jones, that lead was maintained until late, before Logan Couture’s double-minor for high sticking Alexander Radulov left the Sharks shorthanded. They killed off the first two minutes without even allowing a shot on goal, but Montreal got on the board with a turn-around wrister by Artturi Lehkonen with 1:17 left and Price pulled for an extra attacker.

That spoiled the shutout for Jones, but not the night for the Sharks, who killed the rest of the clock and will now get some down time after 10 games in just 18 days. They don’t play again until Wednesday at home against Ottawa.

“Obviously it’s nice when you’ve got a little break to have that game going into it than something else,” Pavelski said.

Whether it’s a good time to take a break is up for debate, as the Sharks are playing their best hockey of the season, winning six of their last seven.

"You look at it 50/50,” Dillon said. “We're a confident group right now and I don't think come Tuesday or Wednesday of next week, we're going to be looking at it any differently. 

“We're going to take the positives out of [the time off], and try to keep this thing rolling.”

If Jones stays on the run he’s on, there’s a very good chance they will.

Washington waxes Colorado in Pac-12 championship game

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USATSI

Washington waxes Colorado in Pac-12 championship game

BOX SCORE

SANTA CLARA -- Taylor Rapp returned one of his two interceptions for a touchdown and Myles Gaskin ran for 159 yards to help No. 4 Washington strengthen its case for a playoff berth with a 41-10 victory over No. 9 Colorado in the Pac-12 championship game Friday night.

The Huskies (12-1, No. 4 CFP) broke open a close game when Rapp intercepted Sefo Liufau's passes on the first two drives of the second half for a touchdown and to set up a field goal that made it 24-7.

Washington rolled from there to its first conference title since 2000 with a performance likely to keep the Huskies in the top four when the College Football Playoff bids are handed out Sunday.

It was a rough day for Colorado (10-3, No. 8 CFP) and Liufau, who was knocked out of the game after injuring his right leg on a sack on the Buffaloes' first drive of the game. He returned to start the second half and threw three interceptions, including one on the first play from scrimmage that Rapp returned 35 yards for a score.

Liufau threw another interception on the ensuing drive and Colorado could never recover. Even a circus kick return in the third quarter couldn't help the Buffaloes. Anthony Julmisse returned a kick to near midfield and fumbled. Phillip Lindsay scooped up and ran down to the 2 but Colorado was held to a field goal.

THE TAKEAWAY

Colorado: From the opening kickoff that went out of bounds, little went right for the Buffaloes, who were unable to cap an impressive turnaround season with a conference title. Liufau's injury didn't help the cause. Steven Montez went 5 for 12 for 60 yards in the first half and was unable to generate any consistent offense and Liufau was even worse when he returned. He threw as many interceptions in the third quarter (3) as he had all season and was just 2 for 12 for 12 yards after coming back into the game.

Washington: The usually efficient Jake Browning struggled throwing the ball but it didn't matter as the Huskies dominated the game with 265 yards on the ground behind Gaskin and Lavon Coleman (101 yards). Browning went just 9 for 24 for 118 yards but did throw two TDs. His second touchdown was far from his prettiest throw of the season. With a defender draped all over him, Browning threw a ball up from grabs that John Ross caught in front of Chidobe Awuzie and ran in 19 yards for the score. Browning's 42 TDs are one shy of Jared Goff's Pac-12 record.

UP NEXT

Colorado: The Buffaloes must wait to see if they will remain ahead of No. 11 USC in the playoff rankings and get a Rose Bowl bid if Washington goes to the playoff or likely head to the Alamo Bowl if they drop behind the Trojans.

Washington: A likely berth in the playoff.