Khabib Nurmagomedov's lightweight title fight against Tony Ferguson will go ahead despite the next three UFC events being postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Dana White has announced.

Fight Night 170 in Brasilia last Saturday had to be contested in front of an empty arena and the situation in the United Kingdom led to UFC London, which was scheduled for March 21, being relocated.

UFC president White managed to source an alternate location and a replacement for Leon Edwards, who was due to face former welterweight champion Tyron Woodley, which was reportedly Gilbert Burns.

However, after guidance from the United States president Donald Trump on Monday urged against gatherings of more than 10 people, White was forced to cancel the next three cards.

He remains confident Nurmagomedov's meeting with Ferguson – which has not happened previously despite being slated on four separate occasions – will go ahead, even if it has to be moved from Brooklyn to a different country.

"We're ready to go on Saturday from Fire Lake Arena, Indian reservation in Oklahoma City. We have the card, we have the fighters, we have everything," White said on ESPN.

"But obviously the president just spoke to the country and basically said now – it started at 50 people in a room which made it difficult so we complied, we took all the fans out and we made sure there were as few production people in the room as possible. But we pulled it off last Saturday. Now there saying there should be no more than 10 in a room.

"That's impossible. We can't do it. We've complied with everything the government and doctors have said to do and we have no choice now but to postpone these fights.

"So we're postponing the next three events, but Tony Ferguson versus Khabib, April 18, is still on and that will still happen.

"These three fights that are postponed, they will still happen. And Khabib-Tony is on for the original date. We're gonna keep fighting."

He added: "We're gonna follow these guidelines and we're hoping this all clears up by April. This fight [Nurmagomedov versus Ferguson] is gonna happen, no crowd, whatever it takes. It's probably not gonna be in the United States, but it's gonna happen."

Woodley stated he was now turning his attention to a meeting with Colby Covington

"When we are back up and running it'll be me and Clout Chasing Covington. Don't want to hear another name!" Woodley posted on Instagram.

Edwards was unwilling to let him get away, though, saying on Twitter: "Tell that boy he can't run from me his a** whooping is just delayed."

The coronavirus pandemic continued to wreak havoc on the sporting calendar on Saturday with more major events and competitions being disrupted.

With the outbreak of COVID-19 rapidly spreading across the globe, it has resulted in the postponement of competitions worldwide as governments attempt to combat the pandemic.

A small number of events still went ahead, but sports stars, teams and indeed supporters were otherwise left to find other means of entertainment.

With the number of confirmed cases worldwide now totalling over 155,000, we round up all the latest news and updates.

 

Germany's prestige friendly with Italy later this month became the latest football fixture to bite the dust, with the majority of upcoming international matches having now been wiped out.

More major organisations have halted all footballing activities until a later date, including Qatar, Morocco and Egypt.

A small number of competitions, most notably the A-League, Russian Premier League and Mexico's Liga MX, did manage to go ahead as planned.

Indeed, NRL games also avoided the cut, as did a handful of Super Rugby matches before an indefinite ban was put in place later in the day.

Another competition to fall was Australia's one-day international series against New Zealand, which was already being played behind closed doors.

With New Zealand's government introducing strict protocols to attempt to slow the spread of the virus, the Black Caps – along with Super Rugby side Highlanders – returned home from Australia and Argentina respectively in order to beat the new restrictions, which will mean any new arrival to the country, even if they are a citizen, has to self-isolate for 14 days.

With the top-four tiers of English football being shelved until at least early April, there was plenty of focus on the National League as six games were given the green light.

There was some controversy in Argentina as River Plate's Copa Superliga clash with Atletico Tucuman was suspended after the home side refused to open their stadium.

Independiente's tie with Velez Sarsfield was played out in full, albeit behind closed doors, with the hosts claiming a 1-0 victory.

In Italy, Napoli urged their supporters to sing from their balconies in unison as Fiorentina's Patrick Cutrone and two more Sampdoria players tested positive for COVID-19.

Manchester City's Benjamin Mendy revealed a negative test result after recently self-isolating, but Carlo Ancelotti and Angelo Ogbonna questioned the Premier League's handling of the outbreak, while Jordan Pickford denied reports he is self-isolating.

West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady, meanwhile, claimed the competition should be "void" – a suggestion Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher quickly dismissed.

The lack of football did not stop certain clubs from keeping supporters entertained, though, with LaLiga side Leganes posting live updates of a fictitious match against Real Valladolid, which they won 2-1.

Perhaps inspired by their Spanish counterparts, Southampton got Manchester City involved in an online game of noughts and crosses to help fill the void.

The downtime also gave football stars a chance to recuperate, with Sergio Ramos and Alexis Sanchez among those to post images of their extra-curricular activities.

Others, such as Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson and FIFA president Gianni Infantino, opted to use social media to educate their followers on how to properly wash their hands, while Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi used his profile to echo the sentiments of Cristiano Ronaldo in calling for people to follow the guidance of health organisations.

As Ronaldo and Jurgen Klopp were praised by the World Health Organisation for "protecting people from coronavirus", former United States president Barack Obama hailed a host of NBA stars – including Giannis Antetokounmpo and Zion Williamson – for donating large amounts to help support arena staff during the league's hiatus.

UFC superstar Conor McGregor labelled the pandemic "a stupid f****** virus", but later moved to clarify his aunt did not die after contracting the disease after previously suggesting as such.

And in more positive news, Japan's prime minister Shinzo Abe revealed his country still plan for the 2020 Olympic Games to go ahead in Tokyo, starting in late July.

The International Olympic Committee will have the final say, but ABE is confident the Games will be staged "without problem".

UFC star Conor McGregor has clarified that his aunt did not die from coronavirus after previously suggesting as such on social media.

On Friday, the Irishman paid tribute to his relative and expressed his concerns about the continued spread of COVID-19 across the world in an Instagram post.

The 31-year-old opened up on his heartbreak at hearing the news and said: "My poor little friendly loving auntie. This stupid f****** virus. What the f*** is happening."

However, McGregor has posted another message to explain his close relative did not die as a result of contracting the respiratory illness.

Alongside an image of his aunt holding him as a child, McGregor said: "I want to clear up that it has been confirmed she was not a victim of coronavirus.

"I am grateful for the kind wishes and sympathy for my auntie's passing.

"As we prepare for her funeral, I know that many of us will confront the virus in the weeks ahead.

"As I gather with my family, I ask you all to make an extra effort to be there for friends and family during the stressful days ahead."

Conor McGregor has vented his fury at "stupid" coronavirus after suggesting his aunt died from the respiratory illness.

Irish UFC superstar McGregor took to social media to pay tribute to his relative and expressed his concerns about the continued spread of COVID-19 across the world.

Europe has been declared the epicentre of the pandemic with close to 100 confirmed cases in Ireland, including one death – an elderly woman with underlying health conditions.

McGregor did not make clear if his aunt died directly from the disease, but the 31-year-old – due to appear on US television when told the news – has called for everyone to pull together.

"Sitting in the chair about to beam live to all the U.S morning talk shows, I get a phone call telling me that my lovely little auntie Anne had passed away," he posted on Instagram.

"I couldn't go live anymore. My poor little friendly loving auntie. My mother's sister. This stupid f****** virus. What the f*** is happening. 

"I took my family to bull island. Looked out at the sea. Took a deep breath. Thank f***! Lord thank you. 

"Stay tight people! We are all we got love. Rest in Peace Anne Moore I love you."

McGregor, who made his return to the UFC with a stoppage win over Donald Cerrone in January, claimed he is more susceptible to becoming ill due to his training regime.

"I'd train my ass off, to the point of low immunity. It's inevitable with the intensity of the training," he added in the social media post. 

"The immune system will be tested. I would float around in this manner, and always end up catching little colds and flus. I feel bulletproof right now though! 

"Stay vigilant on our personal hygiene people. And our personal space."

After Israel Adesanya and Yoel Romero delivered a middleweight title bout that Paulo Costa branded "shameful", UFC president Dana White thinks the Brazilian will provide more exciting opposition for the middleweight champion.

A hugely underwhelming clash at UFC 248 in Las Vegas on Saturday saw Adesanya claim a unanimous decision victory over Romero, a result that was met with widespread boos due to the lack of quality displayed.

Romero, who began the first round by remaining stationary with his guard up for a prolonged period, landed four total strikes to the champion's two in a dire opening five minutes.

The action barely improved thereafter, with the 42-year-old challenger looking to explode in short bursts and Adesanya settling for low kicks from range.

Costa, who missed out on the fight due to a biceps injury, was present at the venue but was ejected by security after jumping over a barrier, though he later insisted he was only trying to enter the Octagon to talk.

Adesanya called Costa out after improving his MMA record to 19-0 and White has no doubt the duo will put on a better show when they eventually meet.

However, after revealing this week the number-two ranked middleweight had asked a friend to act as a doctor and inform White he was fit to take on Adesanya next, the UFC president insisted he will only book the fight when he receives concrete guarantees over Costa's health.

"He went crazy tonight, jumped over the gate and was going crazy. We threw him out. I just had to calm those guys down in the back. He wants this fight so bad," said White.

"When he's healthy – and a doctor calls me, not like his friend from Brazil, and tells me he's healthy, we will make the fight.

"This is the fight to make, the fight that I want to see. I guarantee you when that fight is made, you'll hear me going crazy about that one. That fight is going to be ridiculous.

"Paulo Costa will move forward and not stop punching, he's going to throw big shots and try to knock him out, and Israel will fight.

"[Adesanya] wanted Romero on his resume and he got it. You take these things fight by fight. The Costa fight is going to be insane – it's going to be ridiculous.

"When he goes into the Costa fight he's going to be 19-0. Whoever comes out of the winner, either one of those is going to be a big star."

Asked for his opinion on Adesanya's win against Romero, Costa told a news conference: "Horrible fight. I was ashamed to watch this fight.

"Adesanya is nothing, Adesanya is the most shameful champion I have seen ever. He just runs. He's nothing. He's nothing. He's scared. I think he doesn't deserve to be talked about.

"That fight was s***. I will make him cry. I will hit him very badly and he will cry like a baby. I will slap his face in my fight against him. He's shameful.

"I don't blame Romero. Romero is the same against everybody. He never puts [on] 100 per cent pressure, he's a little bit lazy and sometimes he explodes.

"The fact is Adesanya cannot handle him. Adesanya cannot handle it against powerful guys, like Romero, like Jon Jones or me. That's why he's avoided some fights, like against me, like against Jon Jones. He's avoided this kind of fight.

"I'm 100 per cent right now. I did a light boxing sparring this morning. I feel great. The doctors say I'm 100 per cent free to go train hard, and I can fight in two or three months. I think July 11 would be a nice date on international fight week here."

UFC star Khabib Nurmagomedov said he is ready to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr. but dismissed the boxing legend's demand for $600million.

Mayweather (50-0) faced UFC icon Conor McGregor in a blockbuster boxing bout in 2017 and the 43-year-old won in Las Vegas.

The undefeated boxer is ready to step back in the ring, either for a rematch with McGregor or a matchup against unbeaten mixed-martial arts fighter Khabib (28-0), after naming his price.

Khabib was asked about Mayweather's demands after fronting the media for his highly anticipated UFC 249 showdown with Tony Ferguson on April 18, calling for 11 rounds of boxing and one of MMA.

"Who is gonna give him this money? Not me," Russian Khabib told reporters in Las Vegas on Friday.

"Dana isn't going to give him $600m. If you want to fight, we can make a fight like this: 11-round boxing, one round MMA.

"If we can make deal, we can fight… we have option. $100m to fight with him in the middle east.

"I think Mayweather is a very big name. I have big name too and we can fight but we need 11 round box, one round MMA. Let's go, I'm ready."

Khabib and Ferguson (25-3) came together more than a month out from their blockbuster bout in Brooklyn, where the former will put his lightweight belt on the line.

The pair traded verbal jabs before Khabib kicked Ferguson's belt off the stage in a tense moment.

"He is a very good fighter but why people don't like him is because he's stupid," Khabib said. "Nobody understands him, honestly, he looks stupid, that's why nobody likes him. But he's a very good fighter and I respect his skill, that's why he's here."

Ferguson added: "I'm going to hit you so hard in your stomach, you're going to piss f****** blood."

Eric Dier clambering over rows of seats to confront a fan after Tottenham's FA Cup loss to Norwich City was an extraordinary sight.

However, the spectacle was not without precedent, as sportspeople have come into conflict with supporters several times in the past.

While the 'professional' approach is to ignore the vitriol and insults that sometimes emanate from the crowd, there are occasions when instinct takes over.

With Dier likely facing punishment for his indiscretion at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, we take a look at other sports stars who chose the direct approach in dealing with troublesome fans.

CANTONA'S KUNG-FU KICK

It is possibly the most famous incident of its kind, perpetrated by a hot-headed Frenchman on a cold January night in London back in 1995.

Manchester United's Eric Cantona had just been sent off at Crystal Palace and was heading towards the tunnel when he heard a tirade of abuse from someone in attendance at Selhurst Park.

An incensed Cantona launched into a kung-fu kick, targeting Matthew Simmons – the man who, in his limited wisdom, had chosen to share his ill-considered views – before attempting to land a flurry of punches.

The Football Association banned Cantona for eight months, while he was sentenced to two weeks in jail – later reduced to 120 hours of community service – for his display of martial arts.

 

WESTBROOK READY TO THROW DOWN

Russell Westbrook stopped short of a physical altercation when he felt he had been subjected to some vile taunts during the Oklahoma City Thunders' win over the Utah Jazz last March.

The nine-time NBA All-Star, now with the Houston Rockets, was captured on film delivering an expletive-laden rant to a man and his wife, sat court-side at the Jazz's Vivint Smart Home Arena.

Westbrook snarled: "I'll f*** you up. You and your wife."

The Jazz issued a lifetime ban to one of the perpetrators for "excessive and derogatory verbal abuse directed at a player".

Meanwhile, Westbrook was fined $25,000 by the NBA "for directing profanity and threatening language to a fan".

 

NO JOKE FOR STOKES

Ben Stokes uses controlled aggression very much to his advantage with bat and ball, but he let his anger get the better of him during a Test match in South Africa in January.

The England all-rounder was dismissed for two on the opening day at the Wanderers and was heard on a live broadcast aiming expletives at a spectator.

Stokes claimed to have been "subjected to repeated abuse", but later took to Twitter to say sorry for his "unprofessional" reaction.

He was fined 15 per cent of his match fee by the International Cricket Council match referee.

 

MALICE AT THE PALACE

No, this isn't Cantona again, but it is arguably a more remarkable incident. The brawl that broke out between the Indiana Pacers and the Detroit Pistons in a 2004 NBA game was spectacular enough in itself, but then it got a whole lot crazier.

With the initial disorder beginning to calm, tensions flared again when a fan threw a drink at Pacers small forward Ron Artest, who made a beeline for his assailant. 

That prompted a wide-scale fracas involving players and spectators, with heavy sanctions for many involved.

The NBA dished out a combined 146-game ban for nine of the players, with five charged with assault, while five fans were hit by lifetime bans.

 

CLOUGH GETS TOUGH

Brian Clough was a notoriously no-nonsense football manager and he demonstrated that for all to see in memorable scenes at Nottingham Forest's City Ground in 1989.

With his Forest side having beaten QPR 5-2 to reach the last four of the League Cup, the home fans invaded the pitch to celebrate.

Clough, however, was in no mood to rejoice with them and instead chose to dish out a bit of rough justice, punching, slapping and grabbing anyone he could lay his hands on.

Two of his victims were later invited to the club for an apology – not from Clough, but for them to say sorry to him.

West Brom forward Jonathan Leko gave a scathing assessment of the Football Association (FA), Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) and anti-racism bodies for their processes and handling of Kiko Casilla's racial abuse charge.

On Friday, Leeds United goalkeeper Casilla was found guilty of racially abusing Leko in September, an independent regulatory commission ruling the charge had been proven on the balance of probabilities "to a degree well above the requisite standard".

Casilla, who denied the charge, was given an eight-match ban and a £60,000 fine by the FA.

Although Leko acknowledged relief at his claim being upheld, he subsequently made a strong attack on the FA's processes and the various bodies who might have offered him support.

The 20-year-old suggested the lack of contact and "extremely stressful" hearing will make him think twice about lodging such a complaint if he was to find himself in a comparable situation in future.

Leko's statement on West Brom's website read: "I am naturally relieved that the process is now complete and the FA have upheld what I have always known to be true – that I was racially abused by Kiko Casilla in a manner which shocked me and still angers and upsets me to this day.

"I have been disappointed with the amount of time it has taken to reach this point. Knowing what occurred in the game that day, it has been difficult to watch Kiko Casilla continue to play for such a lengthy period as if nothing had happened.

"I would urge the game's governing bodies to look into their own processes when such incidents are reported. It was 22 weeks between the incident and the hearing, during which I had minimal contact from the PFA, of which I am a member, and no contact in the way of support from leading anti-racism bodies such as Kick It Out and Show Racism the Red Card. Some support or guidance would have been very welcome.

"By bringing the incident to the referee's attention immediately, I was only doing what I have been educated to do throughout my career. But I found the hearing, at which I was made to feel I had done something wrong, extremely stressful.

"It made me question whether I would be prepared to go through it all again were I on the receiving end of similar abuse in the future. I certainly would think twice about how to advise another player placed in the same situation.

"From the outset, all I have done is report something that had to be challenged and exposed for what it is – racial abuse. I now want to put the episode behind me and concentrate on recovering from my injury to be ready for next season."

Stats Perform have contacted the PFA, Kick It Out and Show Racism the Red Card for their responses.

LeBron James sent a message to critics who question his mentoring of younger players, saying they could "kiss my a***".

James' triple-double of 34 points, 13 assists and 12 rebounds led the Los Angeles Lakers past the New Orleans Pelicans 122-114 on Sunday.

For the Pelicans, Zion Williamson – the top pick in the 2019 NBA Draft – scored a career-high 35 points to continue the strong start to his career.

James, a three-time NBA champion and four-time MVP, shared a post-game moment with Williamson, a day after praising Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant.

"It's my obligation and it's my job to continue to pass on the game to the guys that are coming in after me, it's just my responsibility," he told a news conference on Sunday.

"No-one told me to do that, I just feel like it's my responsibility to leave the game in a better place than when I had it.

"When you see the class of guys that are in our league right now, I mentioned Ja last night, you mention Zion tonight, you see Trae Young, you see Luka Doncic, you see Jayson Tatum, Donovan Mitchell, you just see all these guys, these young guys, the league is in a very good place.

"If I'm able to give my wisdom and game and pass it down no matter when I'm playing or after I'm playing I feel like it's my job because the game has given me so much as I started playing when I was eight years old.

"It's my responsibility and anybody that says, 'LeBron, why would he do that while he's playing? It's a sign of weakness, he's buddy-buddy with guys he's going against', tell them they can kiss my a***, with a smile too."

James' Lakers hold a 46-13 record and are 5.5 games clear atop the Western Conference.

MLS side Real Salt Lake have announced the signing of former Italy international Giuseppe Rossi.

Rossi, 33, has been a free agent since he left Genoa at the end of the 2017-18 season.

The former Manchester United, Villarreal and Fiorentina striker escaped a ban in 2018 after testing positive for dorzolamide.

Rossi and his legal team insisted the banned substance, which is commonly found in eye drops, was consumed accidentally.

Despite being cleared to return to the pitch, it is only now that Rossi has found a club with RSL moving to bring him in on Thursday.

"It feels great to now be a part of Real Salt Lake," Rossi said. "I can't wait to step onto the pitch and help RSL achieve all the goals we've set this year.

"For me, MLS has been growing every year and has produced an exciting product. I'm lucky enough to have RSL be my first contact in the league during this process.

"The club's respect and kindness towards me is something I appreciate immensely. I can't wait to see and meet the fans and immerse myself in the RSL culture. Along with the rest of the team, I can't wait to begin this season and enjoy the journey together."

RSL finished third in the Western Conference last season and open their new campaign away to Orlando City on Saturday.

"It's amazing to have a player of [Rossi's] skills in and around the guys," RSL head coach Freddy Juarez told the club's official website.  

"It's a guy that can change the game at any given moment and he's seen it all and done it all so he gives the team confidence.

"Beyond his skills, he takes the time to talk and spend time with the young guys. It goes a long way when your peers can lead you and hold high standards."

Eden Hazard's availability for Real Madrid's crunch fixtures against Manchester City and Barcelona appears in doubt after Zinedine Zidane admitted his latest injury "doesn't look good".

The Belgium forward hobbled off in the second half of the 1-0 loss to Levante on Saturday and he could be seen on the bench receiving treatment on his lower right leg.

Hazard only recently returned from a fractured right ankle so the sight of him appearing to have another problem in the same area was alarming for Zidane.

Madrid face Pep Guardiola's City in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Wednesday before a Clasico date with new LaLiga leaders Barcelona next weekend.

"It doesn't look good," Zidane told reporters at a news conference.

"It can become weak where you've had an injury. It is a blow, let's see.

"It's sore now but we'll see tomorrow when we do more tests."

It was a thoroughly miserable outing for Madrid as they suffered a surprise defeat thanks to Jose Luis Morales' stunning late effort.

Madrid drew 2-2 with Celta Vigo at home in their previous outing and they will host Barcelona next Sunday knowing they are now two points behind their great rivals in the title race.

Captain Sergio Ramos revealed the level of frustration he was feeling in a social media post.

"We're p***ed off," he wrote on Twitter.

"But we can't allow our heads to drop.

"We have to reset now and tomorrow push harder than ever before for a very important week. We're counting on you."

Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder fought out a thriller in Los Angeles 14 months ago and the second instalment of a planned trilogy will be battled out in Las Vegas on Saturday night.

The WBC heavyweight belt goes on the line at the MGM Grand, which long ago jumped ahead of Caesars Palace as the hottest spot to see elite fighters pull on the gloves in America's gambling capital.

Within the vast urban sprawl of the hotel and casino's grounds sits the Garden Arena, where legends have been made and demolished.

Neither Fury nor Wilder is a stranger to the MGM Grand boxing ring, but neither man has had a career-defining fight there yet.

Fury versus Wilder II could be a classic. Their stunning draw in LA leaves all to fight for.

Here is a look at five of the most dramatic and memorable blockbuster showdowns in the 26-year history of the big-fight coliseum.

5. George Foreman beat Michael Moorer, KO, November 1994

Before he became a grill pan hype man, Foreman was frying rivals in the ring.

The veteran rolled back the years on one of the MGM Grand's first big bills, after fighting for permission to even step into the ring. With the 45-year-old having not had a bout in almost 18 months, the WBA initially refused to sanction the contest, but Foreman went through the courts to get the go-ahead, and it was worth the effort.

The man who lost to Muhammad Ali in 1974's Rumble In The Jungle caused a seismic stir in Sin City with this 10th-round knockout victory, landing the WBA and IBF heavyweight titles as he became the division's oldest-ever champion. He had been outboxed for much of the fight, but Foreman found his punching power when it mattered.

4. Juan Manuel Marquez beat Manny Pacquiao, KO, December 2012

This was the final stanza in a Vegas quadrilogy for Marquez and Pacquiao, with a draw and two Pacquiao points victories in their previous clashes setting up another slice of MGM Grand history.

Amusingly, their second fight had been dubbed 'Unfinished Business', so the promoters needed to ramp up the anticipation for this one, pre-emptively titling it 'Fight of the Decade'.

It went a long way towards living up to that billing, earning Ring Magazine's Fight of the Year gong after Mexican Marquez turned the tables on his Filipino rival, driving a brutal right hand into Pacquiao's jaw in the dying seconds of the sixth round.

The fight-defining shot from the 39-year-old capped a sensational contest in which both men had been in trouble, and down went Pacquiao with a thud to the canvas.

Promoter Bob Arum suggested they go at it again in a fifth fight, but that never materialised. Marquez retired as a five-time world champion, his titles coming across four weights.

This was not a title fight, but the punch that collapsed Pacquiao forms a huge part of the Marquez legacy.

3. Floyd Mayweather beat Oscar De La Hoya, split points decision, May 2007

Anticipation for this light middleweight barnstormer reached fever pitch in the United States, where almost 2.5million households signed up for $55-a-throw pay-per-view television coverage, a record number.

Broadcaster HBO produced a four-episode mini-series building up to fight night, and there was also the saga of which corner Mayweather's father, Floyd Mayweather Sr, would be in, given their estrangement and his availability as a top-level trainer.

The answer was ostensibly neither corner in the end. Mayweather Sr reportedly priced himself out of a role with De La Hoya, and Mayweather was primed for the showdown by his uncle, Roger Mayweather.

The hype machine was pumping out hyperbole by the time the fight began, and the fact it turned out to provide huge entertainment was testament to the focus of both fighters.

Mayweather was given 116-112 and 115-113 verdicts, with De La Hoya 115-113 on the other, and the winner's verdict that it was "easy work for me" flew in the face of abundant evidence.

Floyd Mayweather Sr, showing not a jot of family loyalty, surmised that De La Hoya would have deserved the win.

2. Frankie Randall beat Julio Cesar Chavez, split points decision, January 1994

It was opening night at the Garden Arena, six weeks after doors to the MGM Grand hotel swung open for the first time.

The WBC super lightweight belt was on the line, Don King was the promoter pulling the strings, and for its outrageous shock factor, Randall's victory over Chavez that night ranks as one of the venue's greatest triumphs.

Chavez had been described months earlier by Sports Illustrated as "the world's greatest fighter", and he headed into this bout with 89 wins and one draw from 90 professional encounters.

Randall dominated the early stages but was pegged back by Chavez, only for low blows from the Mexican to result in two points being deducted by referee Richard Steele - the telling factor.

Chavez would have won a split points decision, rather than lost that way as he did, had he not been penalised, and later said he was "very upset" with Steele.

A bizarre rematch went Chavez's way. In a highly unusual outcome, an eight-round split decision favoured Chavez when an accidental headbutt from champion Randall left the challenger unable to continue.

1. Evander Holyfield beat Mike Tyson, TKO, November 1996; Holyfield beats Tyson, by disqualification, June 1997

Tyson effectively set up camp at the MGM Grand in the second half of the 1990s, having spent a large chunk of the first half behind bars after a rape conviction. He and promoter King landed a mega-money six-fight deal with the venue, after Tyson's comeback began there with a first-round win, by disqualification, over Peter McNeeley in August 1995.

A March 1996 dust-up with Britain's Frank Bruno was a major money-spinner, but nothing touched the prospect of a long-awaited collision with Evander Holyfield for commercial potential.

Holyfield and Tyson had been due to clash at Caesars Palace in November 1991, but a rib injury suffered by Tyson, followed by his incarceration, put paid to that.

Their 1996 showdown was billed as 'Finally', and the first fight – though now often overlooked because of what followed – was a monumental contest in heavyweight history, Tyson succumbing to just the second defeat of his professional career.

It featured thudding head collisions and the sight of Tyson being outboxed by the underdog until enough was enough for referee Mitch Halpern, who stepped in to stop the fight in the 11th round.

Halpern was kept busy that night but was prevented from officiating the rematch seven months later after a complaint from the Tyson camp, with Mills Lane stepping in at late notice.

It was to prove extraordinary, as Tyson bit both of Holyfield's ears during clinches in round three, spitting out a chunk of cartilage onto the canvas at one stage before outrageously claiming a punch had caused the injury.

Lane said it was a "b******t" explanation and disqualified Tyson, who was banned indefinitely. After a year, 'Iron Mike' had his licence back, but his glory days were over, those bites now more famous than any punch he ever threw.

What happens in Vegas no longer stays in Vegas. Instead, it is beamed around the world, with Fury and Wilder next under the spotlight.

LeBron James called out MLB commissioner Rob Manfred over the handling of the sign-stealing scandal involving the Houston Astros.

The Astros were found to have stolen signs of opposition teams en route to winning the 2017 World Series, as well as for part of the 2018 campaign.

General manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch were subsequently fired by the team in January after they were initially suspended for the entire 2020 season by the league, while the Boston Red Sox dismissed manager Alex Cora.

The fallout from the scandal continued on Tuesday after New York Yankees star Aaron Judge labelled the punishment "weak" and NBA icon James weighed in via social media.

James – a three-time NBA champion and four-time MVP – tweeted: "Listen I know I don't play baseball but I am in Sports and I know if someone cheated me out of winning the title and I found out about it I would be f****** irate! I mean like uncontrollable about what I would/could do!

"Listen here baseball commissioner listen to your players speaking today about how disgusted, mad, hurt, broken, etc etc about this.

"Literally the ball is in your court [or should I say field] and you need to fix this for the sake of Sports! #JustMyThoughtsComingFromASportsJunkieRegardlessMyOwnSportIPlay."

James' comments came after he announced his first children's book will be released in August.

The 35-year-old – who is also set to feature in the next 'Space Jam' movie – has teamed up with HarperCollins Publishers for the picture book titled 'I Promise'.

"Books have the ability to teach, inspire, and bring people together. That's why these books, and the opportunity to get children and parents reading together, mean so much to me," James said.

"Most importantly, we wanted to make sure these stories are ones that every single kid can see themselves in."

Porto striker Moussa Marega walked off after suffering alleged racist abuse at Vitoria Guimaraes and he hit out at their fans and the match officials.

Marega celebrated his 60th-minute goal, which put Porto 2-1 up at Estadio D. Afonso Henriques on Sunday, by pointing to his skin and was subsequently booked by referee Luis Godinho.

Objects were thrown in the direction of the Mali international, who made the decision to leave the pitch 10 minutes later.

Marega's team-mates tried to encourage him to stay on, but he was eventually helped down the tunnel and displayed his middle fingers to the supporters.

After the match, he posted on Instagram: "I would just like say to these idiots who come to the stadium to make racist chants … go f*** yourselves.

"And I also thank the referees for not defending me and for giving me a yellow card because I defend my skin colour.

"I hope I never meet you on a football pitch again! YOU ARE A DISGRACE!!!"

Porto coach Sergio Conceicao said former Vitoria player Marega had been targeted from the warm-up and the club were "indignant" with what occurred.

Vitoria president Miguel Pinto Lisboa condemned the alleged abuse but suggested the 28-year-old did not help himself with his actions.

"At Vitoria we have players of all colours, races and creeds. We promote gender and race quality in sport and do not engage in behaviours that may harm that," he said.

"If any Vitoria supporter behaved this way we will take appropriate action, but it seems to me there were also provocative actions intended to stoke the fire.

"The player's attitude was visible on the television cameras."

Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) president Fernando Gomes said in a statement: "Racist behaviour is intolerable in an open and evolved society.

"The perpetrators of racist insults must be identified and brought to justice. The Portuguese Football Federation repudiates racist behaviour, wherever it comes from and wherever it occurs.

"On Sunday, Moussa Marega was the target of racist insults that cannot fail to be severely punished, in a serious and condemnable incident.

"The Portuguese Football Federation expresses its solidarity with Moussa Marega. As the FPF president I assure you I will continue to do everything so that fans who do not respect football are definitively outside the stadium. This is an urgent fight for the whole society."

Mason Rudolph said Myles Garrett's claim the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback racially abused him prior to their on-field brawl in November is a "bold-faced lie" and "1,000 per cent false".

Garrett was suspended indefinitely by the NFL after he ripped off Rudolph's helmet and hit him over the head with it in the closing stages of the Cleveland Browns' Week 10 victory over the Steelers.

Although Garrett initially apologised for his actions, he subsequently accused Rudolph of using a racial slur, a claim that was vehemently denied by the Steelers signal-caller at the time.

Following an investigation, an NFL spokesperson said the league found "no evidence" to support Garrett's allegation.

After being reinstated by the Browns this week, Garrett again said Rudolph racially abused him, telling ESPN: "He called me the N-word. He called me a 'stupid N-word'."

Responding to a clip of the interview on Twitter, Rudolph said: "1,000 per cent false. Bold-faced lie. I did not, have not, and would not utter a racial slur.

"This is a disgusting and reckless attempt to assassinate my character."

Rudolph's attorney and agent Timothy M. Younger suggested legal action could be taken against Garrett.

A statement posted by Younger read: "We waited to hear the entire interview. Garrett, after originally apologising to Mason Rudolph, has made the ill-advised choice of publishing the belated and false accusation that Mr. Rudolph uttered a racial slur on the night in question.

"Not that Mr. Garrett claims that Mr. Rudolph uttered the slur simultaneously with being taken down, and before Mr. Garrett committed a battery by striking Mr. Rudolph on the head with a 6 lb helmet.

"His claim is ludicrous. The obviously was not the first time Mr. Rudolph had been sacked by an African American player. Mr. Garrett maliciously uses this false allegation to cox sympathy, hoping to be excused for what clearly is inexcusable behaviour.

"Despite other players and the referee being in the immediate vicinity, there are zero corroborating witnesses – as confirmed by the NFL.

"Although Mr. Rudolph had hoped to move forward, it is Mr. Garrett who has decided to utter this defamatory statement – in California. He is now exposed to legal liability."

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said: "I support Mason Rudolph not only because I know him, but also because I was on that field immediately following the altercation with Myles Garrett, and subsequently after the game.

"I interacted with a lot of people in the Cleveland Browns organisation – players and coaches. If Mason said what Myles claimed, it would have come out during the many interactions I had with those in the Browns organisation.

"In my conversations, I had a lot of expressions of sorrow for what transpired. I received no indication of anything racial or anything of that nature in those interactions."

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