Thank you, Tokyo Olympics, for bringing us the ‘beast mode’ we all needed

Many wanted the Tokyo Olympics cancelled, but in the end, they were incredible.

The best.

Pushing past the flimsiest steel barrier ever constructed, into a restricted area he clearly shouldn’t have had access to, Boxall ripped off his required mask and proceeded to… dry hump a fence like The Ultimate Warrior circa Wrestlemania 6?

Like I said. Beast Mode.

The best part: In the background, a Japanese Olympic official, doing her level best to provide resistance, raises her hands like a frightened gazelle and then succumbs. Slowly those raised hands are lowered, evolving into confused claps. OK, she seems to say. You’re here now. There’s nothing I can do about this. I’m just going to try and enjoy this front row seat to Beast Mode, starring Dean Boxall.

In this metaphor, Boxall is the Tokyo Olympics. Both as an event and an idea. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic both probably shouldn’t be here. As the world reels from the effects of the delta strain and global vaccine hesitancy, this is the Olympics no one asked for. Dean, what are you doing here? Bugger off, Dean. Now is not the time.

High jumpers Mutaz Essa Barshim and Gianmarco Tamberi gave each other their gold medals. This is too much.

Me? I’m the Japanese official. We’re all the Japanese official. Nervous, unsure how to react, ultimately acquiescing to this moment completely out of our control. Even in Japan, the host country, people were protesting the Olympics. First we collectively raised our hands in passive resistance. Seconds later we were all clapping.

And we were clapping because Dean Boxall is awesome. Reckless, sure. But so awesome. The Olympics were reckless too — but also awesome.

This is what the Olympics delivers: Beast Mode direct to your screen and your heart. It’s in the business of providing iconic moments like Boxall’s. Moments that simultaneously inspire and subvert our sense of what’s possible. Weird shit, displays of pure athleticism.

Two men collapsing into one another’s arms when they realize they can share a gold medal instead of duelling to the death for it. Skateboarding girls cheering each other on, making quick friends in the face of fierce competition. Runners stumbling, falling over in potentially race-ending collisions, miraculously recovering to win races.

Incredible, awe-inspiring moments.

Maybe it’s because we live in a universe where moments like these are worshipped, contorted and shaped into GIFs, tweets and memes in an infinite social media content spiral, but it somehow feels like we’ve had more of these moments compared to previous Olympics. That these Olympic Games have meant more than we ever could have expected when we cynically, reluctantly invited them into our homes.

Personally, as a man living in Sydney, a city wrestling with strict lockdowns that could potentially last for months, the Olympics was been a salve I didn’t realize I needed. It was a welcome distraction as I juggled home-schooling, work and a near-permanent dread at the daily ritual of waiting for Sydney case numbers to drop so we can all go back outside and live relatively normal lives.

There were a million reasons why the Olympic Games shouldn’t have happened in 2021. A million reasons why we shouldn’t have watched and supported what is arguably an irresponsible event run for the wrong reasons. But it’s also equally possible that — this year — the Olympics were more useful than ever.

The Tokyo Olympics probably shouldn’t have happened because of COVID-19. But I’m also happy it happened — because of COVID-19. If that makes sense.

None of it makes sense.

But right now, sport — with its simple rules and digestible outcomes, with its warm blanket of normalcy and straightforward narratives of triumph over adversity — is maybe the only thing that makes sense.

The Olympics, much like Dean Boxall, busted its way into our homes and televisions and refused to leave. An unwelcome guest. But, like the uncertain Olympics official dealing with the uncontainable Boxall as he dry humped a fence, I’m glad the Olympics forced their way into my life. I couldn’t have done lockdown without it.

When and how to watch skateboarding at the Tokyo Olympics

Here’s what you need to know.

Skateboarding is at the Tokyo Olympics and it’s been awesome so far.

The park discipline will feature a course that resembles a large basin with lots of dips, twists and turns.

The Park event takes place on the 4th and 5th of August.

The women’s Park Qualification takes place at 8 p.m. EDT (5 p.m. PDT) on August 3. The final takes place 11:30 p.m. (8.30 p.m. PDT) on the same day.

The men’s Park Qualification takes place at 8 p.m. EDT (5 p.m. PDT) on August 4. The final takes place 11:30 p.m. (8.30 p.m. PDT) on the same day.

Skateboarding at the Olympics features two disciplines: park and street.

The park competition will take place on a hollowed-out course featuring a complex series of twists and turns. Park courses resemble large bowls with steep sides, nearly vertical at the top. Skaters send themselves to dizzying heights, performing jaw-dropping spins and tricks midair, and then gracefully bring themselves back down to the bowl to do it all over again on the other side.

The street competition features a straight course with stairs, handrails, benches, walls and slopes to mimic a real street. This kind of skateboarding is characterized by riding along curbs and rails, leaping into the air without using hands, and that familiar grind of board on metal.

Olympic skateboarders will experience at least some of the creative freedom they get in their home parks and streets: They’re free to choose which parts of the course to cover and, of course, which tricks to perform. Also, in an attempt to maintain the feel of the sport, music will accompany each rider.

Only one athlete rides at a time, and competitors get three timed runs to post their best score.

The street discipline mimics what it’s like to skateboard in a city environment. The course will feature rails, benches, curbs and other things you’d find on a real street.

Judges will score athletes based on speed, difficulty, originality, timing, stability and the overall flow of the performance. One important skill judges will be looking for is the ability to seem suspended in midair.

Champions League final: Man City vs. Chelsea kick-off time, how to watch

We’re just hours away from deciding the champions of Europe…

Sorry, Man City are probably gonna win.

And here’s a crazy statistic: Chelsea have beaten Man City on the last four occasions.

This should be a cracker of a final.

Read more: How to watch Premier League games live in the US today without cable

Here’s everything you need to know…

The final between Man City and Chelsea takes place on May 29. Kick-off will most likely be 3 p.m. ET (12 noon PT).

The second leg between Chelsea and Real Madrid. Kick-off will most likely be 8 p.m. GMT.

The final between Man City and Chelsea takes place on May 30. Kick-off will most likely be 5 a.m. AEDT.

The final was initially supposed to take place at Attaturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul, Turkey, but was recently moved to the Estádio do Dragão in Portugal.

The long and short of it is, your best bet is signing up with Paramount Plus.

All the details on Paramount Plus’ online coverage of Champions League matches can be found here. Paramount Plus has access to all Champions League matches. You’ll also be able to watch all matches in the Europa League, the second-tier European competition.

Univision has the rights to the US Spanish broadcast of the Champions League, however. You can find out more here.

If you want to watch Champions League football in the UK, our recommendation is sign up with BT Sport.

BT Sport is streaming all the Champions League matches, but it also gives you access to a bunch of other good stuff, like UFC, so it’s worth getting.

Much like the English Premier League, Optus Sport is showing all the Champions League matches in Australia.

If you care about watching soccer at all, the Optus Sport deal is a good one. Especially if you follow the EPL which, being the most high profile league on the planet, most soccer fans do.

Disclaimer: I subscribe to the service and love it. Easy access to all matches on my smart TV and works nicely with a mobile app.

Kentucky Derby 2021: How to watch, stream live today without cable

The biggest horse race of the year is running Saturday on NBC. You can watch, no cable subscription required.

If you won’t be sipping mint juleps at Churchill Downs, you can make your own Derby cocktails and watch from home. The 2021 Kentucky Derby takes place on Saturday, May 1 and will be broadcast on NBC. Here’s how you can watch live without cable.

The Kentucky Derby ran in September last year but returns to its rightful place on the first Saturday in May this year.

The Kentucky Derby takes place on Saturday, May 1. TV coverage runs from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN and then from 2:30 to 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC.

Post time is set for approximately 6:57 p.m. ET (3:57 p.m. PT).

Read more: NBA restart: How to watch live games without cable

If you don’t have cable, you still have plenty of options. The least expensive that doesn’t require streaming is to connect an over-the-air antenna to your TV and watch your local NBC station.

If you’re streaming on a PC, phone or tablet you can watch on NBCSports.com or the NBC Sports app.

You could also check out a live TV streaming service, all of which offer free trials. Not every service carries your local NBC station, however, so check the links below to make sure.

Read more: How to place a Kentucky Derby bet with the TwinSpires app

Sling TV’s $35-a-month Sling Blue package includes local NBC stations but only in a handful of markets and NBCSN.

Read our Sling TV review.

Hulu with Live TV costs $65 a month and includes NBC in most markets and NBCSN. Click the “View channels in your area” link on its welcome page to see which local channels are offered in your ZIP code.

Read our Hulu with Live TV review.

AT&T Now TVs $70-a-month Plus package includes NBC and NBCSN in most markets. You can use its channel lookup tool to see which local channels are available where you live.

Read our AT&T TV Now review.

FuboTV costs $65 a month and includes NBC and NBCSN in most markets. Click here to see which local channels you get.

Read our FuboTV review.

YouTube TV costs $65 a month and includes NBC in most markets and NBCSN. Plug in your ZIP code on its welcome page to see which local networks are available in your area.

Read our YouTube TV review.

Tokyo Olympics week 2: How to watch, everything to know

Week 2 of the Tokyo Olympics is about to begin.

The Tokyo Olympics is here!

The Olympics are back on NBC, with a 24/7 stream online if you verify you’re a cable subscriber. NBCSports Gold will have a dedicated Olympics package — pay an upfront fee and you’ll be able to watch anywhere, uninterrupted by ads.

Tokyo is 16 hours ahead of the West Coast, so watching live should get a good spread of events. It’s a little trickier on the East Coast, where you may have to rely on highlights.

US residents don’t need a cable or satellite TV subscription in order to watch the Olympics on NBC’s family of channels. NBC itself will be the main channel, but you’ll also find coverage on NBCN, CNBC, USA Network, Olympics Channel, Golf Channel and Telemundo. The major live TV streaming services include most or all of these NBC-related channels, and each one includes NBC though not in every market. The Olympics will also stream in 4K HDR on two of the services, FuboTV and YouTube TV. See below for details.

If you live in an area with good reception, you can watch on NBC for free just by attaching an affordable (under $30) indoor antenna to nearly any TV.

Peacock offers three tiers: a limited free plan and two Premium plans. The ad-supported Premium plan costs $5 a month, and the ad-free Premium plan costs $10 a month. Live coverage of the Olympics is available on the free tier for all events except the US men’s basketball games, which require either of the Premium plans.

YouTube TV costs $65 a month and includes NBC, NBCN, CNBC, USA Network, Olympics Channel, Golf Channel and Telemundo. Plug in your ZIP code on its welcome page to see which local networks are available in your area. Read our YouTube TV review.

To watch in 4K HDR you’ll need to subscribe to be signed up for the company’s new 4K option that costs an extra $20 per month on top of the $65 regular monthly rate — although there’s a 30-day free trial that’s long enough to last through the entire Olympics. The 4K feed isn’t available in every market however; here’s the full list.

Hulu with Live TV costs $65 a month and includes NBC, NBCN, CNBC, USA Network, Olympics Channel, Golf Channel and Telemundo. Click the “View channels in your area” link on its welcome page to see which local channels are offered in your ZIP code. Read our Hulu with Live TV review.

FuboTV costs $65 per month and includes NBC, NBCN, CNBC, USA Network, Olympics Channel, Golf Channel and Telemundo. Click here to see which local channels you get. Read our FuboTV review.

Unlike YouTube TV, Fubo’s 4K coverage of the Olympics doesn’t cost anything extra. Unfortunately it’s only available in five markets: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth and Boston.

AT&T TV’s basic, $70-a-month package includes NBC, NBCN, CNBC, USA Network and Telemundo. You’ll need to spring for the $95-a-month plan to also include the Olympics Channel and Golf Channel. You can use its channel lookup tool to see which local channels are available where you live. Read our AT&T TV Now review

Sling TV’s $35-a-month Blue plan includes NBC, NBCN, USA Network, Olympics Channel. You can add CNBC and Golf Channel for an additional charge. Sling does not offer Telemundo. Sling offers NBC only in 11 major markets, so you won’t be able to stream NBC live unless you live in one of those areas. Read our Sling TV review.

All of the live TV streaming services above offer free trials (except Peacock, which just has a free tier), and all allow you to cancel anytime and require a solid internet connection. Looking for more information? Check out our live-TV streaming services guide.

The BBC will cover the games on TV, radio and online in the UK, with more on Eurosport, a pay-TV channel. The time difference there is eight hours, so you’ll have to get up very early in the morning to watch live.

In Australia, the Seven Network will spread free-to-air coverage over Channel Seven, 7Mate and 7Two. It’s a good year for watching Down Under, with Sydney only an hour ahead of Tokyo.

Those participating in the Olympics will have to use Japan’s COCOA Exposure Notification app and be tested for COVID-19 every four days.

Vaccinations aren’t mandatory for Olympic athletes taking part in the games, but many countries are making sure all of its athletes are vaccinated before attending.

The IOC has released a number of “playbooks” for participants, staff and journalists covering the Olympics. If you’re curious, you can read them here.

Tickets initially sold out for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, but as of right now, spectators will be barred from attending the games in Tokyo and its surrounding areas. Events held outside the area covered by the emergency (like the marathon) will allow spectators, but they’ll be asked not to cheer the runners on the roads, as noted by The New York Times.

We know for sure that international spectators won’t be able to attend. All overseas folks have had their tickets refunded.

Another good question. Despite the fact it’s taking place in 2021, these Olympics are still being officially referred to as the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

The logo is this checkered circle, designed by Tokyo-based artist Asao Tokolo.

“This chequered design in the traditional Japanese color of indigo blue expresses a refined elegance and sophistication that exemplifies Japan,” the International Olympic Committee explains. The three different shapes within the pattern represent diversity, equality and excitement.

Paris will host the 2024 Summer Olympics, having lost out to London for 2012. The US gets a shot in 2028, when it’ll be in Los Angeles. The Olympics website has cool pages on every games of the modern era, going back to Athens in 1896.

Baseball NFTs are coming from Topps

These trading cards don’t come with any bubble gum.

Baseball cards are going digital.

Each token will use the WAX blockchain to keep a record of the ownership of each card, which can also be sold or traded on a global marketplace. Those who want to start collecting will need to open a free WAX Cloud Wallet.

For those unfamiliar, NFTs are unique digital tokens tied with certain digital assets such as a highlight video, a tweet or a picture. What takes a bit of open-mindedness is understanding that the token acts as a certificate of authenticity for the digital asset, but it doesn’t mean that picture or video is yours as you won’t own the intellectual rights. However, NFTs can be worth big bucks, such as the first-ever tweet going for $2.9 million, Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski trading cards going for $1.8 million and even one guy making $85 selling his farts.

Jake Paul vs. Tyron Woodley memes: Light-up trunks, Dude Wipes, that tattoo

Tyron Woodley agreed to get the “I Love Jake Paul” tattoo as long as Paul gives him a rematch, so stay tuned.

Jake Paul is 4-0 after defeating Tyron Woodley on Aug. 29.

As you may have heard, the fighters made a pre-fight bet. The loser gets a tattoo proclaiming their love for the winner. After the fight, Paul told Woodley that he’ll give him a rematch if Woodley follows through on the “I love Jake Paul” tattoo. Huh? Didn’t Woodley already agree to get the tattoo, rematch or no? Anyway, they shook on it, so… round two, anyone?

The tattoo made its way into a bunch of memes, one of which jokes about “Tyron Woodley ducking Jake Paul’s tattoo artist at the venue.”

Boxing trunks aren’t just clothing any more. Paul wore trunks decorated with LED lights, and you just know people had thoughts on that.

Cracked one Twitter user, “Are they going to light up when he’s hit like the outfits in fencing and score a point for Woodley?”

Said another, “Good because soon it’s lights out for him anyways.”

Woodley may not have had LED light-up trunks, but he did have the name of a flushable personal hygiene wipe — Dude Wipes — right across the butt of his own trunks.

The company crowed about it even when Woodley lost, tweeting a little bathroom humor with “Great Fight. We want a #2.:

Paul dominated for the first few rounds, but Woodley started to come back around round 4. And when Paul took a big punch and hit the ropes, social media hit back. Let’s just say people like to see Paul get punched.

“Woodley got to punch Jake Paul in his face multiple times,” wrote one Twitter user. “Win or lose thats a huge W!”

Said another, “Paul won the fight but Woodley had the most significant punch and round of the fight.”

And it wouldn’t be a fight involving one of the Paul brothers if people weren’t declaring that the fix was in.

“The Jake Paul vs Tyron Woodley fight was rigged,” wrote one Twitter user. “Jake nearly died from one punch.”

Said another, “Woodley had Paul seeing stars in round four and came out in round five and didn’t even try to throw a punch. This was a complete set up to try to make Paul seem legit. Now he will fight Fury, who isn’t a real boxer either.”

Paul said after the fight that he might take a break for a while, but fans are already calling for him to fight Tommy Fury, the brother of current heavyweight king Tyson Fury, who easily won his fight on Sunday against Anthony Taylor.

Conor McGregor’s staggering loss to Dustin Poirier: How much money did each make at UFC 264?

A major upset at UFC 264 turns the tables on the highest paid UFC fighter on the planet. What does that mean for the size of the purse?

Conor McGregor of Ireland punches Dustin Poirier in a lightweight fight during the UFC 257 event in January. The two met for a rematch July 10.

A highly anticipated rematch like this was expected to make millions of dollars for the winner — and even the loser. In 2021, McGregor made a disclosed $5 million for losing against Poirier. The Ultimate Fighting Championship company is at the center of a billion-dollar industry, so you’d expect the athletes to make a large sum of the money. But when it comes to fighters’ take-home pay, the situation gets complicated fast. Here’s what we know about the size of the purse and how much athletes actually get to keep.

A UFC spokesperson didn’t follow up on a request for information after initially responding to a CNET inquiry.

Similar to the UFC, the Nevada State Athletic commission doesn’t officially release fighter purse information. However, The Sports Daily reported McGregor made $5,011,000 from the bout — $5 million to show up and $11,000 as fight week incentive pay. Poirier, the winner by technical knockout, made $1,021,000 — $1 million to show up and $21,000 fight week incentive pay, says The Sports Daily.

In the McGregor vs. Poirier fight at UFC 257 earlier this year, McGregor made a disclosed $5 million, despite losing. In the same fight, Poirier made $1 million. This doesn’t include revenue from McGregor’s share of pay-per-view earnings.

Forbes, which in May named McGregor the world’s highest paid athlete over the past 12 months, estimated McGregor took home an additional $20 million in UFC 257.

Similar to boxing, the higher you are on the food chain, the more money you earn per fight, even if you lose. UFC’s more popular fighters make more money depending on the revenue and audience they generate. McGregor is — by leaps and bounds — the UFC’s greatest draw. The UFC’s top five most-viewed PPV fights all featured McGregor in the main event. That’s why, in McGregor’s second fight with Poirier, McGregor made more money than his opponent, despite losing.

Likewise, in raising his profile, Poirier increased his earnings potential by defeating McGregor in a high-profile bout.

UFC fighters can also earn supplemental income from incentives throughout the night. Fight of the Night bonuses, Knockout of the Night, or Submission of the Night can all add to the athlete’s total payout.

Though the popularity of the UFC has been steadily increasing, the athletes aren’t taking home a bigger percentage of the fight’s total revenue. Former UFC athlete Cung Le, as well as other former UFC athletes, have sued the UFC, accusing it of operating as a monopoly.

According to several reports and an ongoing lawsuit, it was found that the athletes typically receive only 20% of the gross revenue the UFC brings in. This number is low compared with other professional sports. Major leagues such as the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL reportedly pay athletes closer to 50% of gross revenue.

McGregor is a special exception and earns considerably more than other UFC athletes. When Ronda Rosey earned her highest disclosed purse, it tied with McGregor’s highest at the time, which was then $3 million. Since then, he’s blown that number out of the water, and no other UFC fighter has seen close to the amount of money he has. To date, his biggest payout wasn’t a UFC match but the boxing match in which he fought Floyd Mayweather. McGregor was guaranteed $30 million prior to the fight but ended up walking away with a reported $85 million, Forbes said. (Mayweather won on a technical knockout and bagged $275 million, Forbes reported.)

The money that funds the UFC comes from multiple sources. A large majority of these athletes are on contract with the UFC. Each time they fight, they’re guaranteed to earn a specified sum. Even on contract, athletes can earn money from pay-per-view purchases, ticket sales, closed circuit, commercial, other “PPV Event” revenue, merchandising, licensing and sponsorships.

The UFC also holds TV contracts that at one time were worth an estimated $1 billion. When it comes to athletes disclosing their earnings from a fight, there isn’t a specific distinction between what the UFC gives the athlete versus what the fighters earn from endorsements.

To the UFC and mixed martial arts fighters, Las Vegas is considered to be the “fight capital of the world.” Thanks to Victory in Vegas, a 2001 UFC event, standout names have steadily returned to Vegas for sellout events. It helps that the UFC’s headquarters is also located in Las Vegas.

“We’re going to build our own hotel. We’ll be completely self-sufficient,” UFC President Dana White said in an interview with reporters in August about a 10-acre land purchase. The UFC purchased the land near its current headquarters to build a hotel for fighters and their teammates to host events.

Jake Paul beats Tyron Woodley in split decision: Round-to-round fight coverage

Is the rematch on?

Jake Paul vs. Tyron Woodley is live!

See below for our round-by-round coverage of the fight.

Jake Paul at the press conference earlier this week.

And we’re off. Woodley swings wild to open. Is now trying to walk Paul down, but the size difference is noticeable. Paul is trying to lead with the jab and is doing so effectively. Woodley seems a little frozen and struggling with the range. Paul on the other hand is getting comfy in there.

Our score: 10-9 Paul

Paul lands with a big right to open, but Woodley is trying to cut him off. Paul is not having it. Low activity round so far and Woodley is biting too hard on the feints. Not much happening here and Woodley is down another round.

Our score: 10-9 Paul

Already a better round for Woodley but Paul comes back. Woodley is trying to get inside and gets countered for it. Paul is looking good so far, this could be a long night for Woodley.

Our score: 10-9 Paul

Paul’s punches looking a little less discipled now. Tyron seems like he can get inside better now and is landing the better shots.

Woodley lands a big shot and Paul is rocked. He almost goes down and desperately tries to recover. He makes it out of the round but man… Now we have a fight!

Our score: 10-9 Woodley

Paul looks very tired now and this could be a big problem because Woodley is just getting started. This could be an interesting final three rounds. Woodley should be pressing but he’s slowing down here. Still, this is Woodley’s round.

Our score: 10-9 Woodley

Paul seems to have regained a bit of steam here, landing shots on Woodley and getting his combinations going. Woodley has slowed down and seems to be chasing a one shot kill. This is anyone’s round to steal, but in the end it looks like Paul took it.

Our score: 10-9 Paul

Woodley’s corner is urgent. It appears they know they need a KO at this point. He comes out more aggressive but it doesn’t take much to put him back in his shell. But Paul’s punches are sloppy and surely Woodley could counter here. 

Paul looks tired but Woodley simply isn’t doing enough here.

Our score: 10-9 Woodley

Final round and surely Woodley needs a stoppage here. He comes out with some tight offence and lands some shorts, but it’s not enough. Paul can easily cruise to a victory here. Woodley is pot-shotting now when he really needs something definitive. 

In the end he wins the round on my scorecard, but he has almost certainly lost the fight.

Our score: 10-9 Woodley

Jake Paul wins by split decision

Amanda Serrano, one of the pound-for-pound best female boxers on the planet.

Our co-main event is the sole women’s fight on the card.

Amanda Serrano, the champion, is the overwhelming favourite in this contest. Yamileth Mercado hasn’t been given much of a chance by oddsmakers here, but this is boxing and anything can happen.

But Serrano is one of the best female boxers ever. She hasn’t lost in over 10 years and I can’t imagine her losing here.

Okay here we go. This could be a real showcase for Serrano. Can’t wait to see what she can do in this spotlight.

Serrano comes out super aggressive, huge volume early. But she gets a little stung by a great shot from Mercado. Doesn’t appear to phase her though. Quite a tight round all up.

Our score: 10-9 Serrano

Mercado isn’t exactly out of her depth in this fight, but she is losing. Serrano is marching forward and landing heavy shots, Mercado is landing a few here and there, but Serrano takes the round.

Our score: 10-9 Serrano

Fantastic exchanges here with Mercado and Serrano trading blows. Mercado has a chin on her, but she’s also landing here. This fight is being fought at a tremendous pace.

Our score: 10-9 Serrano

Serrano is slowing the pace down here and pot shotting her jab a little more. She’s managed to catch Mercado coming in a few times. Nice round from Serrano, but Mercado maybe stole the round at the end there with a flurry.

Our score: 10-9 Mercado

These rounds are rattling in, with the two minute rounds. Mercado has earned Serrano’s respect. Serrano isn’t just running in for knockout shots, she’s trying to out-box Mercado and it’s working. Great shots at the end of the round there.

Our score: 10-9 Serrano

Serrano boxing well from the outside, but Mercado landed one helluva body shot. In fact both women are landing to the body frequently. Serrano is really finding her range here and looked to have hurt Mercado at one point.

Our score: 10-9 Serrano

Serrano is looking really sharp now. Completely taking over the fight with her jab. This feels like Serrano’s most comfortable round.

Our score: 10-9 Serrano

Mercado is making this more of a dogfight, digging some real body shots at close range. This is a different type of fight. A much closer round, but Serrano still takes it.

Our score: 10-9 Serrano

Mercado is hanging in here. She’s done a great job in this fight. But Serrano is walking Mercado down now, landing huge body shots. She’s teeing off on Mercado now. Serrano’s best round yet.

Our score: 10-9 Serrano

Last round. Both fighters appear keen to leave it all on the canvas here. Serrano stings Mercado badly and she looks hurt. Mercando is hanging on by a thread here it seems but she survives. Great finish to a great fight.

Our score: 10-9 Serrano

Serrano wins 97-93, 98-92, 99-91 via unanimous decision.

The up-and-coming heavyweight Daniel Dubois.

This is a heavyweight fight between two well tested fighters with solid record. Daniel Dubois is the current WBA interim heavyweight champ. His only loss came at the hands of Joe Joyce last year. Joe Cusumano is a more experienced fighter. At 33 he’s 10 years the senior of the 23 year old Dubois.

These are some big boys. 

Blam! Cusumano goes down early after a series of hard shots from Dubois. He’s back up and ooft, they’re swinging. Cusumano goes down again, then for a THIRD time and it’s all over in round 1. 

Damn, this Dubois guy can hit. That was a wild, wild round of boxing.

Daniel Dubois win via TKO in the first round.

Ivan Baranchyk during an open workout.

This should be a good one. A well matched fight between two up-and-comers. Baranchyk is ranked the fourth best active light-welterweight in the world by The Ring, Love is still undefeated. This should be a high level scrap.

Baranchyk is the aggressor early feinting Love to the ropes with jabs, but Love lands with a straight down the pipe. Love started to loosen up in the second half of the round with slick defence and sharp shots. Baranchyk landed heavy in the last 30 seconds. 

Tough one to call.

Our score: 10-9 Love

Baranchyk come out more aggressive in the opening seconds, but Love is landing. A couple of nice body shots and a great uppercut. Also the check hook is money for Love, he’s landing it over and over. He’s taking over this fight.

Our score: 10-9 Love

Again Baranchyk comes out with urgency, but he’s missing big against Love. Just great footwork. He has gotten caught a couple of time though. 

And whoa… Baranchyk unloads. He’s stunned Love but he manages to stay on his feet. Baranchyk is going hard now, this is clearly his round. Huge moment. Massive flurry at the end there and Love catches Baranchyk clean with a wild hook that almost floors him. Wow. What a round.

Our score: 10-9 Baranchyk

Baranchyk is just clipping Love now. The shots Love was evading now seem more dangerous. Love is standing his ground more now, though and is outlanding Baranchyk. Great round for Love who appears to stun Baranchyk and then pauses to admire the shot.

Our score: 10-9 Love

Love’s check hook can’t miss at this point. His counters are sharp and Baranchyk is struggling. He’s still marching forward though — this is a great fight.

Just when Love seemed to be landing at will, Baranchyk landed clean and hard. Man this fight rules.

Our score: 10-9 Love

A much quieter round in the first minute. Love getting the best of the exchanges so far, with guard splitting straights. Love appears to have recovered just fine from that big shot at the end of the fifth round.

Our score: 10-9 Love

Love smells blood here, he’s marching forward for the first time in the fight, wailing on Baranchyk. Love is just too slick for Baranchyk, whose punches have lost a bit of sting. Baranchyk misses a massive shot and falls over. He needs a knockout now you suspect.

Whoa, an incredible counter shot sends Baranchyk to the floor right at the end of the round. Incredibly clean shot.

Our score: 10-8 Love

And Baranchyk’s corner waves it off. The fight is over. Montana Love takes it by TKO.

Yes, he’s related to Tyson Fury.

Tommy Fury is the brother of current heavyweight king Tyson Fury. He’s a lot younger, a lot more handsome and he’s currently unbeaten with six wins. Anthony Taylor’s record isn’t quite as inspiring with seven wins and five losses… in MMA. Also this fight was changed from a six round contest to a four round fight at the last minute.

Let’s see how this one plays out. Many are saying Fury is next for Jake Paul if he gets past Tyron Woodley and he’s a dramatic, overwhelming favourite for this one.

Man, the height and size difference here is pretty intense. Fury looks like he’s getting quite the layup here. 

Fury is leading with a sharp jab and quickly lands heavy to the body. Taylor walked into a sharp uppercut and is slowly starting to get lit up here. The uppercut seems like a good shot for Fury and Taylor is swinging wild.

Our score: 10-9 Fury

Well the predicted round 1 KO didn’t happen.

Fury is landing with sharp punches, but the old MMA style overhand right is there for Taylor, who is getting outworked here. He’s running out steam and energy. He survives the 2nd round, but hard to imagine him surviving this fight.

Our score: 10-9 Fury

Taylor is spirited here and comes out aggressive. He slips early, but it’s not ruled a knockdown. Fury is going hard to the body here, which is smart because he’s struggling to find the head. This is probably Taylor’s best round but he’s still getting pieced up here. 

Our score: 10-9 Fury

Well, maybe this will go the distance!

If Fury doesn’t get the knockout here, or at the very least a knockdown, it’s not a good look for him. He lands a few big shots, but Taylor clinches and survives. 

Taylor makes it to the bell as the crowd boos.

Our score: 10-9 Fury

Fury wins by decision 40-36 on all scorecards

Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes share the cover for Madden NFL 22

The latest version of Madden is almost here, but the biggest changes are reserved for next-gen consoles.

Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes are the cover stars for Madden 22.

Madden NFL 22 marks the first time in over a decade that two people were featured on the same cover. Troy Polamalu and Larry Fitzgerald previously were the dual-cover stars for Madden NFL 10.

Moving beyond the cover, EA is touting a few improvements to differentiate this year’s edition from prior games. All versions of Madden 22 will be seeing improvements to Franchise mode to enable more detailed staffing and strategy control, as well as new cinematics. EA says it will continue to expand the franchise mode after launch, with a September update promised to provide improvements to scouting.

The biggest changes, however, will be in a new “dynamic gameday” experience that is exclusive to next-gen consoles like the PS5 and Xbox Series X. EA says these changes will be impacting all modes throughout the game, from local games against the computer and online versus friends to franchise modes.

There will be new sideline animations in Madden 22.

As part of the “gameday” adjustments, the company has boosted the crowd and presentation elements of Madden 22 while adding additional localized changes to the on-field game, such as increasing passing and kick distance in Denver to account for the altitude while lowering short-term stamina for the visiting team.

A new “momentum” function has also been added to the next-gen versions that can impact the players on the field based on how the game is going and better imitate the pressure of NFL gamedays.

Away teams will have two of these momentum perks, what EA calls “M-Factors,” while home teams will get three as a bit of a home-field advantage. The home-specific perks will vary for each of the NFL’s 32 teams and can provide boosts for your team or disruptions to an opponent when triggered. Playing at home with the Minnesota Vikings, for instance, will get you a small speed boost in the red zone when the fans are doing their “Skol” chant. Visitors to Chicago will have a harder time kicking, while preplay play art on third and fourth down will be difficult to see in Seattle if momentum is on the Seahawks side.

The modifiers will vary based on each game and the situation you find yourselves in. Clint Oldenburg, gameplay producer for Madden 22, says there are roughly “40 plus” M-Factors in the game with more coming post-launch.

No player, not even cover stars Brady and Mahomes, will be immune to the impacts of the “M-Factors.” Games at neutral locations, like a Super Bowl, will not have extra perks for the home team.

In an expansion of an idea first introduced in the next-gen editions of Madden 21, EA says it will also be updating team and player tendencies throughout the season using the NFL’s Next Gen Stats. In Madden 22, this feature will also appear in the game as a way to make game plan decisions pregame and adjustments at halftime by pulling data from how your opponent has played or is playing.

For next-gen consoles, Madden 22 will retail for $70. Older consoles, PC and Stadia players will be able to get the game for $60.