TIME Boxing

Pacquiao to Help Set Up Boxing Academy in China

Manny Pacquiao
Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao speaks during a news conference in Macau, on Aug. 25, 2014 Vincent Yu—AP

Manny Pacquiao hopes the institute will foster warmer relations between the Philippines and China

(MANILA, Philippines) — Manny Pacquiao is setting up a boxing institute in China and believes the country of 1.4 billion people can produce professional world champions.

Pacquiao said Wednesday that he has partnered with a Chinese company and the Chinese government to set up an institute in his name, with the aim of imparting the experience that has seen him win eight world titles.

He was speaking from Shanghai where he is promoting his Nov. 22 fight against Chris Algieri for a WBO welterweight title in Macau. He will be defending the welterweight crown he won in a rematch earlier last year with Timothy Bradley, avenging his 2012 loss.

Pacquiao, 35, said the Manny Pacquiao Boxing Education Institute will “start in Beijing, and the plan is for the whole of China.”

While China has produced accomplished fighters and Olympic champions at amateur level, there is potential to translate that to professional ranks, saying the local boxers “just need some knowledge about boxing and should be taught the basics.”

“Of course, with 1.4 billion population for the whole China, they can produce good fighters like other champions,” he said.

Pacquiao, who is also a congressman, told ABS-CBN television in Manila he intends his new venture to also foster warmer relationships between the Philippines and China, whose territorial dispute in the South China Sea has intensified in recent months.

“This will even help in strengthening our relationship … especially since in this project, the Chinese government is involved,” he said.

Pacquiao said he would visit the academy “once a month, once in three months, to supervise them.”

On top of his duties in the academy and as congressman and boxer, Pacquiao has taken on the role of playing coach of a new Philippine professional basketball team which will see action for the first time in October.

He said the team trains every day, except on weekends. “I can handle it,” he said.

The well-loved Bible-quoting boxer is regarded as a folk hero by Filipinos, and his win over Brandon Rios in Macau last November was a boost to a country recovering from Typhoon Haiyan which killed more than 6,300 in the central Philippines.

TIME Basketball

Manny Pacquiao Has Been Drafted by the Basketball Squad He Coaches

BASKET-BOX-PHI-PACQUIAO
Manny Pacquiao dribbles during a practice session with the Kia Motors team in Manila on August 15, 2014. Jay Directo — AFP/Getty Images

And you thought he was just a boxing legend, politician, actor and singer

Manny Pacquiao has many titles — boxing legend, third-term Congressman, movie star, pop singer and professional basketball coach.

Wait, make that basketball player-coach.

Pacman, as he’s dubbed, was picked up as a player by the Philippine Basketball Association’s Kia Motors team in the first round of Sunday’s draft, according to Sports Illustrated. There are no firm reports on how much sway Pacquiao actually has over the team’s selections, but he has been Kia’s coach since June, according to Bleacher Report.

The Internet responded to the news in jocular fashion.

The 35-year-old icon might have seen his stint as a player coming, however. One Philippine news source claimed earlier this week that the boxer-Congressman had literally dreamed about dominating the basketball court and dunking over his rivals three years ago.

Considering the welterweight is only 5 ft. 6 in. tall, the dunking part is likely to remain a dream.

TIME Boxing

Boxing Promoter Frank Maloney Reveals Gender Change

"Living with the burden any longer would have killed me."

Frank Maloney, the boxing promoter who guided Lennox Lewis to a world heavyweight title, has revealed he now lives as a woman named Kellie and is undergoing gender reassignment surgery.

“I was born in the wrong body and I have always known I was a woman,” Kellie said in an interview with British newspaper The Sunday Mirror. “What was wrong at birth is now being medically corrected. I have a female brain. I knew I was different from the minute I could compare myself to other children.”

Maloney, 61, retired from involvement in boxing last October and led several fighters to titles, including Lennox Lewis.

Maloney ran for mayor of London as a candidate for the rightwing UK Independence Party in 2004, and was condemned for making homophobic remarks during his campaign. He refused to campaign in the borough of Camden, saying there were “too many gays” there.

“I don’t think they [gay people] do a lot for society. I don’t have a problem with gays, what I have a problem with is them openly flaunting their sexuality,” Maloney said at the time. “I’m more for traditional family values and family life.” He lost his bid for mayor, capturing less than 3% of the vote.

In her interview with the Mirror, Maloney said, “I can’t keep living in the shadows, that is why I am doing what I am today. Living with the burden any longer would have killed me.”

[The Sunday Mirror]

 

TIME Football

Browns Defenders Wear Boxing Gloves in Practice

Justin Gilbert, Miles Austin
Cleveland Browns cornerback Justin Gilbert, left, is wearing small boxing gloves to keep himself from grabbing jersey's of wide receivers during practice at the NFL football team's training camp on Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014, in Berea, Ohio. Tony Dejak—AP Photo

As the NFL cracks down on defenders grabbing the jersey's of wide receivers, The Browns' cornerbacks and safeties are wearing boxing gloves during training camps to break the habit

(BEREA, Ohio) — The Browns are ready to rumble.

To prepare for the NFL’s crackdown on defensive holding this season, the team is making its cornerbacks and safeties wear boxing gloves during training camp practices. The smaller, mittenlike gloves — used by kickboxers and in mixed martial arts — are meant to deter players from latching onto jerseys of wide receivers, an allowable tactic in the past but one that will draw a penalty flag now.

When he first saw the padded gloves, Browns Pro Bowl cornerback Joe Haden didn’t know what to think.

“I came out and we had boxing gloves on,” Haden said. “It was crazy.”

Not long after putting them on, Haden was beaten on a long pass by wide receiver Travis Benjamin, who came back on his route to haul in a throw from rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel. Haden tried to get his hand on the ball, but the glove didn’t allow him to tip it away. Haden, though, understands the cross-sport technology.

“With the way they’re calling the game so tight now, they want to make sure we can’t grab or put our hands on a receiver,” he said.

Browns coach Mike Pettine hopes the gloves can help retrain defensive backs from clutching and snatching anything they get their hands on.

“You’ve got to get guys out of that habit,” he said. “It’s more the mentality that they know they have to be able to cover more with an open palm than grabbing and restricting, especially if the rule is going to be called as tightly as we’re told it is.”

During a scrimmage in Akron on Saturday, nickel back Buster Skrine and safety Johnson Bademosi were both penalized for holding. As tight end Gary Barnidge came out of a break on a pass route, Bademosi grabbed a handful of his jersey and got busted. Skrine, too, was too hands-on during coverage and was flagged by the officials.

Those infractions, and a warning issued by the league at the start of camp, caused the Browns to, well, think outside the box and break out the gloves.

One of the Browns doesn’t think the gloves are useful.

“Not for me,” rookie Justin Gilbert said. “I haven’t gotten any holding calls. We have a couple of guys that have a couple of holding calls. So that means everybody’s got to wear the gloves.”

Gilbert said he drew “a couple” of holding calls at Oklahoma State, but he questioned whether he was guilty of any violation.

“They weren’t really penalties, but flags were thrown,” he said. “But that’s not a part of my game. I don’t grab and hold. I just play technique and use my athletic ability to make plays.”

While he’s not thrilled about the boxing gloves, Gilbert was excited to meet Hall of Famer Deion Sanders, who stopped by camp on Monday. Gilbert said he’s long admired “Prime Time,” who warned him that opposing teams will pick on him.

“He told me that they were going to be coming at me with Joe Haden being on the other side,” the first-round pick said. “I told him I was ready. He was like, ‘You know it’s coming.’ I know it’s coming, so that’s something I’ve got to be prepared for.”

Gilbert has made strides during camp, but he’s yet to lock up a starting job. He’s listed behind Skrine on Cleveland’s first depth chart, but Gilbert wants to change that.

“The season hasn’t started yet,” he said.

TIME Thailand

Thailand’s Prisoners Fight Foreigners in Attempt to Win Freedom

A competition called "Prison Fight" backed by Thailand's Department of Corrections allows inmates to fight foreign opponents in organized matches. Victory brings them money, glory and, perhaps, a chance at freedom — though fighting skills are taken into account, so are factors like good behavior and time served

TIME cities

Madonna Donates to Detroit After ‘Inspiring’ Visit

Madonna to return to film directing
Yui Mok—AP

The pop icon is giving money to a boxing gym and a charter school in her troubled hometown

Madonna is donating money to support youth in her hometown of Detroit after being “inspired by the progress she’s witnessed thus far after a recent visit,” the pop star announced in a press release Tuesday.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee will donate funding toward a new facility for Detroit’s Downtown Boxing Gym—where the kids, she says, have a 100% high school graduation rate—and the Detroit Achievement Academy charter school, which she’ll buy “new equipment, art and music supplies including speakers, iPods, iPads and Smart Boards for each classroom.”

Racked by years of decay and a faltering economy, Detroit is currently undergoing the largest municipal bankruptcy in American history. Madonna called this “the first phase of a long-term commitment” to invest in the Motor City.

TIME celebrities

And America’s Highest Paid Athlete Is…

Floyd Mayweather Jr. v Marcos Maidana
Floyd Mayweather reacts to his unanimously decided victory over Marcos Maidana during their fight on May 3, 2014. Harry How—Getty Images

Boxer Floyd Mayweather tops Fortune‘s and Sports Illustrated‘s Fortunate 50 list of the America’s highest paid athletes for the third time.

Mayweather, a 37-year-old five-division world champion, earns a total of $105 million from his salary alone—he doesn’t even have endorsement deals. The staggering sum comes from a mere 72 minutes of fighting time against Canelo Alvarez and Marcos Maidana, Forbes reports.

In second is Miami Heat’s LeBron James with $57 million total earnings, and in third, Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant with $50 million total earnings.

Tiger Woods, who is ranked 7th with $35 million total earnings, had occupied the no. 1 spot every year from 2004, when the list debuted, until 2011.

[Fortune]

TIME Boxing

Boxer Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter Dies at 76

Rubin Hurricane Carter
Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, left, knocks out Italian boxer Fabio Bettini in the 10th and last round of their fight at the Falais Des Sports in Paris, Feb. 23, 1965. AP

Boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, who attracted attention for fighting a wrongful murder conviction that sent him to prison for 19 years, was 76

Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, the famous boxer who served 19 years in prison before his exoneration after being wrongfully convicted of murder, died at home Sunday at age 76.

Carter’s friend and former co-defendant John Artis confirmed the news to the Associated Press. Carter died in his sleep after a battle with prostate cancer.

Carter was twice convicted of shooting three people in a Paterson, N.J., bar in 1966, two years after losing boxing’s middleweight championship. Prosecutorial misconduct involving racial bias and withheld evidence led both verdicts to be overturned in 1985.

Carter’s quest to clear his name attracted international attention. Amnesty International called him a “prisoner of conscience,” and the case inspired Bob Dylan to write the protest song “Hurricane.” The story of Carter’s life was turned into a Hollywood film, The Hurricane, in 1999, starring Denzel Washington.

[AP]

TIME Boxing

George Zimmerman’s Epic Boxing Match With DMX Has Been Canceled

George Zimmerman Appears Before Judge On Recent Aggravated Assault Charges
 Pool / Getty Images

The rapper will not get to stop, drop, shut Zimmerman down after all

It was going to be a matchup for the ages, but the promoter behind George Zimmerman’s fight with DMX has K.O.’ed the bout.

Zimmerman’s promoter Damon Feldman has decided to forego “a lot of money” and cancel the controversial fight, according to his Twitter feed, because he’s concerned with hurting people’s feelings.

The former neighborhood watchman, found not guilty last year in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, said boxing was a hobby, and promoter Feldman had an open notice out to potential opponents. DMX won the bid and told TMZ, “I am going to beat the living f–k out him … I am breaking every rule in boxing to make sure I f–k him right up.”

Where the hood, where the hood where the hood at? Not in a boxing ring with George Zimmerman, apparently. Here’s how Feldman revealed his decision:

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