Gilroy's Guerrero returning to ring to face Katsidis


Gilroy's Guerrero returning to ring to face Katsidis


Better late than never?A year after dropping out of a title defense and surrendering his world title to care for his wife as she prepared for her battle with leukemia, Gilroys Robert The Ghost Guerrero will jump back in the ring against that formerly scheduled opponent. And it just might be for another belt for the already three-time world titlist.Guerrero (28-1-1, 18 knockouts) will finally face Australias Michael Katsidis (27-3, 22 KOs), but this time at lightweight, as the co-featured bout in an HBO pay-per-view show on April 9 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The main event of the Golden Boy Promotions card will be between Erik Morales (51-6, 35 KOs) and Marcos Rene Maidana (29-2, 27 KOs) for the WBAs vacant light welterweight title.The time has come for Katsidis and I to step in the ring, Guerrero said in a statement. Weve come full circle from last year when we were supposed to fight for the title, but I had to pull out to aid my wife as she was going through her bone marrow transplant. Im excited for this fight and Im looking to put on a great show for the fans.Guerrero, 27, was to make his first defense of the IBF super featherweight title he claimed on Aug. 22, 2009 with a unanimous decision over Malcolm Klassen against Katsidis, who was to come down from lightweight, on March 27, 2010.But with Guerreros wife Casey ill, he dropped out to be by her side. With Caseys leukemia now in remission she has been ringside for his two most recent fights - he returned to the boxing game and has won his last three fights, against Roberto David Arrieta, Joel Casamayor and Vicente Escobedo, while moving up a weight class.Guerreros most recent victory a dominant 10-round unanimous decision over Woodlands Escobedo on Nov. 6 made him the mandatory challenger for WBO lightweight kingpin Juan Manuel Marquez.But with Marquez not giving Guerrero the title shot, there are rumblings he could be stripped of the title, making the Guerrero-Katsidis winner the new champ. Guerreros previous three titles were twice at 126 pounds and once at 130, both for the IBF.And the 30-year-old Katsidis most recent fight? A ninth-round TKO loss to Marquez in November after knocking him down in the third round.Guerrero is leaving for Las Vegas to begin training camp on Feb. 20.Late last month, Guerrero flew to Golden Boy headquarters in Los Angeles and called out Marquez, accusing the future Hall of Famer of ducking him.Ive come to the realization that Marquez absolutely wants no part of me, Guerrero said at the time. Im his mandatoryI dont want to hear any nonsense that I dont have a big enough name, or that hes not going to make the money he wants fighting me.Im a three-time world champion. Ive fought on national T.V. numerous times. And, more importantly, I believe this is a fight the fans want to see.Guerreros manager, Bob Santos, also got in on things.Outside of (Manny) Pacquiao and (Floyd) Mayweather, Marquez will make more money fighting Guerrero than he would anyone else, Santos said. So money isnt the issue. The fact is, Marquez knows Guerrero will beat him. Honestly, Marquez has become the fighter hes always complained about, when he was avoided by (Marco Antonio) Barrera and Morales.It was thought that Marquez was angling to face Morales while holding out hope of facing Pacquiao a third time. They fought to a draw in 2004 and Pacquiao eked out a split decision in 2008. Pacquiao faces Shane Mosley in a WBO welterweight title fight on May 7.Marquez, meanwhile, has maintained silence over Guerreros claims and has no fight scheduled.So Im not going to wait around for Marquez, Guerrero added. Im just going to move forward with my career and strive for that fourth world title. I take him avoiding me as a victory.In reality, though, Guerrero has a chance to make up for lost time against Katsidis.

Heyward surprised Cubs fans didn’t boo A’s OF Davis more

Heyward surprised Cubs fans didn’t boo A’s OF Davis more

MESA, Ariz. – The Cactus League crowds are different than the ones packed into Wrigley Field. It was only a meaningless split-squad game on a Saturday afternoon in the Arizona sunshine. Finally winning the World Series must have somewhat dulled the edge.

But Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward still thought Rajai Davis would hear it from the sellout crowd of 14,929 at Sloan Park, the what-could-have-been anxiety bubbling up when seeing the Oakland A's leadoff guy who nearly changed the course of baseball history.

"I was surprised he didn't get booed more, but that's just how our fans are," Heyward said. "They're fun like that. They have fun with the game. They acknowledge it. That's pretty cool for Cubs fans to boo you. If anybody boos you from last year, that's kind of an honor, I would say. To be on that side of things, it means you did something great."

As Alfonso Soriano liked to say, they don't boo nobodies. With one big swing, Davis almost unleashed a miserable winter for the Cubs and ended the Cleveland Indians' 68-year drought.

Manager Joe Maddon kept pushing closer Aroldis Chapman, who fired 97 pitches in Games 5, 6, and 7 combined. Davis timed seven straight fastballs in the eighth inning – the last one at 97.1 mph – and drove a Game 7-tying two-run homer just inside the foul pole and onto the left-field patio. In a now-famous rain-delay speech, Heyward gathered his teammates in a Progressive Field weight room as the Cubs regained their composure.

"They booed him, but only the first at-bat," Heyward said. "The second at-bat and the third, I was like: ‘Eh, they kind of just let him off the hook.' They let him be."


Stanford falls short, can't complete upset against Oregon


Stanford falls short, can't complete upset against Oregon


STANFORD -- Oregon survived its Bay Area trip by the slimmest of margins.

Jordan Bell scored on a putback with 14 seconds left to give the sixth-ranked Ducks their second straight nail-biting victory in a rare Bay Area sweep as Oregon beat Stanford 75-73 on Saturday.

"It stresses Coach out," guard Dylan Ennis said. "It shows us that we can just get gritty, get down and get the win. ... Hopefully if we're down like that again we can fight back and do the same thing."

Bell's game-winner followed Dillon Brooks' last-second, tiebreaking 3-pointer three nights earlier at California to give Oregon (26-4, 15-2 Pac-12) its second sweep of its conference Bay Area rivals since 1976. The other came two years ago.

Tyler Dorsey scored 15 points to lead Oregon, while Brooks added 14.

"It's been a tough road trip for us, two close games," coach Dana Altman said. "That's life on the road. We found a way."

Reid Travis had 27 points and 14 rebounds to lead the way for the Cardinal (14-14, 6-10), but committed a turnover on the final possession to end any comeback hopes on senior day that honored Christian Sanders, Marcus Allen and Grant Verhoeven.

"There's a little extra when you see guys like Christian, Marcus and Grant shedding tears when they're getting called up," Travis said. "It's the last time they get to compete on this court. ... Just looking at that, there's no choice but to be motivated."

Stanford trailed by as many as 12 points in the first half but battled back to tie the game five times in the second half. But it took until that fifth equalizer for the Cardinal to take their first lead since being up 9-8 early in the first half.

Travis' jumper in the lane made it 71-69 with less than 3 minutes left but the lead was short-lived as Brooks hit a jumper at the other end to tie it.

The game was tied at 73 when the Ducks managed four offensive rebounds on one possession before finally converting on Bell's shot with 14 seconds left. It capped a wild sequence that started when Ennis shot an airball on a 3-pointer. Payton Pritchard caught the ball in the air and shot it to the rim before the shot clock expired. Bell was there to put back the second miss for the game-winner.

"It was going so fast I don't even know what happened," Altman said.

Travis lost the ball in the paint at the other end to seal the victory for Oregon.


Oregon: The Ducks capped a 7-1 February with just their second road sweep of the conference season as they peaking at the right time of year. Their only loss in that span came on a late 3-pointer by Lonzo Ball in an 82-79 loss at UCLA. Oregon has one more road game left to finish the regular season at last-place Oregon State, and remains in contention for a Pac-12 title and a top two seeding in the NCAA Tournament.

Stanford: The Cardinal were unable to follow up home wins against California and Oregon State when faced by tougher competition from the Ducks. That has been an issue all season for Stanford, which fell to 0-8 against ranked opponents.


"Something hit my elbow. It might have been the wind, but I don't shoot airballs on game-winners." - Ennis.


Oregon had just eight rebounds for the entire first half before getting the four offensive boards on the final possession of the game. The Ducks were outrebounded 37-25 for the game but were outscored by only four points on second-chance opportunities.


Stanford also held a halftime ceremony for former coach Mike Montgomery, who was inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame this past November. Montgomery is the winningest coach in school history with 393 of his 677 wins coming for the Cardinal.


Oregon: Visits Oregon State on Saturday.

Stanford: Visits Colorado on Thursday.