SportsNet - February 2013
This week six-weight world champion Floyd Mayweather announced that he will be defending his WBC welterweight title against the interim champion Roberto Guerrero at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, on May 4.
But in terms of boxing business, the more significant news was that the undefeated fighter has ended his 16-year relationship with television channel HBO and signed with network rivals Showtime where he is scheduled to appear six times over 30 months.
But will Mayweather, who is approaching his 36th birthday, realistically compete six times in two-and-a-half years?
For most boxers this question would be a moot point. But Mayweather is not your average boxer.
Since his win over Juan Manuel Marquez in September 2009, Mayweather – who has an unblemished record of 43 wins (26 K.Os) – has only fought three times.
Despite his inactivity and incarnation last June for two months after assaulting his ex-girlfriend back in 2010, Mayweather grossed £54m last year following bouts against Victor Ortiz and Miguel Cotto to be crowned the world’s highest paid sportsman.
The San Francisco 49ers came within yards of winning Super Bowl XLVII against the Ravens and are undoubtedly chomping at the bit to get back to work on improving the team enough to get back to the Super Bowl and win the franchise’s sixth title. Despite the team’s success the past two seasons, there are still a few positions that need to be addressed this off-season through the draft and/or free agency/trades.
Position: Defensive Line
The 49ers have a ferocious front seven, anchored by the three big down lineman Justin Smith, Isaac Sopoaga, and Ray McDonald. But behind them, the depth is simply not there. The lack of a quality backup forces the trio to play most of the games with minimal rest on long drives. This lack of rest is especially concerning when it comes to Smith and Sopoaga, both of whom are in their 30’s and don’t quite have the motor and stamina that they once had. The 49ers pass rush suffers when these guys get tired out and the lack of viable options to provide a breather costs the 49ers at times. They’ll need to address that depth and target a defensive lineman or two in the draft and/or through free agency.
It’s been an enlightening season in college basketball. The blinders appear to have come off a vast majority and respect is being shown to some lesser lights that deserve it, from major schools to smaller ones.
Still, it seems a little extra insight might be in order … or at least a tweaking of respective grading systems such as the RPI and BPI – when it comes to conferences.
Sure, a mid-major circuit seems worthy of top-five acclaim – but the Mountain West, at No. 2, right behind the Big Ten?
No offense, but it doesn’t really compute, not when you compare the MWC to the Atlantic 10. Neither outfit needs to bow down to the big boys anymore. They’ve proven to be worthy opposition for any level. But if you stack up the resumes thus far in 2012-13, how does the A-10 stand behind the MWC at all, never mind five spots?
Russell Wilson. Andrew Lock. Robert Griffin III.
Just three names from the list of the quarterback class of 2012. Names that should go on to have long and successful careers in the NFL.
Every player knows that the light that shines on them one year, could well be dimmed and be cast in a different direction the following season.
This could well be the case in 2013.
There is once again a new kid on the block.
Geno Smith, hailing out of West Virginia, is tipped to be, and rightly so, to be the No. 1 in this April's NFL Draft.
The Kansas City Chiefs probably never saw an end to their QB nightmares but now, loaded with a No. 1 pick at their disposal, that end is in sight.
New head coach Andy Reid knows a good thing when he sees it and if he wants to show the NFL world that his footballing sense hasn't completely left him then Smith will be putting on a Chiefs Red jersey very soon.
So we all know that the transition from college ball to the NFL is an immensely tricky one, you may have the ability, but do you have the extra special ingredient to rise above the hype?