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123 Feb 6 '18
Middleweight titleholder Daniel Jacobs does not at all hide the fact that he really had no interest in giving Sergio Mora a rematch. Cheap Basketball Shoes Online .He believes it is a step backward for his career.I absolutely do. I mean, to me, this is kind of like a just-stay-busy fight because we werent able to get the fight that we actually wanted, for whatever reason, Jacobs said. But, to me, I dont think this does anything for my career. Weve always wanted to move up to bigger and better opposition each time out. This is kind of a step back.Nonetheless, Jacobs will defend his secondary title for the fourth time when he fights former junior middleweight titlist Mora in a rematch on Friday (Spike, 9 p.m. ET) at the Santander Center in Reading, Pennsylvania.In the cofeature of the Premier Boxing Champions card, lightweight contenders Robert Easter Jr. (17-0, 14 KOs), 25, of Toledo, Ohio, and Richard Commey (24-0, 22 KOs), 29, of Ghana, will square off for a vacant world title.Thirteen months ago, Jacobs and Mora both suffered knockdowns in the first round of an unexpectedly wild fight. In the second round, Jacobs was awarded a knockout victory when he dropped Mora again with a right hand, and Mora broke his right ankle going down and was unable to continue.At least that is Jacobs version of events and why the fight was called off. Mora, however, disputes the legitimacy of the knockdown because he said he had twisted his ankle before the punch was thrown.It is a bitter point of contention, and they spent several minutes arguing about it on a recent teleconference with reporters to talk about the rematch, Moras first fight since the injury and Jacobs first since his electrifying first-round knockout of Brooklyn neighborhood pal and former titleholder Peter Quillin in December.It was no knockdown. Im the one getting punched, by the way, so I didnt feel the punch, and it was definitely just me twisting my ankle, Mora said. It was Jacobs pushing me down as well. Yeah, the referee kept warning Jacobs also that he was pushing me down with his elbow. I normally go down low like that. So, its not the first time it happened. So, its a mix of a lot of things. But it wasnt a punch to knock me down. It was all my ankle. And if it was a punch, then why didnt I stay down? I was up at the count of two or three on one foot. So, it definitely wasnt a punch.Jacobs (31-1, 28 KOs), 29, of Brooklyn, New York, did not let that go unanswered, interjecting, Hes saying that that last shot wasnt a punch that put him down. I dont know what my eyes were seeing, or I dont know what my fists felt, but in my opinion, and I think, if you clearly go to the video, the replay, it was a punch that put him down. It was the uppercut that started [it] and then it was the overhand right that put him down.The 35-year-old Mora (28-4-2, 9 KOs), of East Los Angeles, said the right hand only grazed him and did not cause him to fall.Yeah, the overhand right grazed the back of my head, but my ankle was already twisted, Mora said.Said Jacobs: It could be a graze. It could be whatever you want to say it could be, but it put you down.So, punch? Graze? Twisted ankle? Whatever it really was, Jacobs had heard enough from Mora about it, and when other fights Jacobs hoped to have did not pan out, such as the one against world titleholder Billy Joe Saunders, he agreed to fight Mora again.I understand that it left a bitter taste in certain peoples mouths because of the way Sergio Mora lost but, in my opinion, he was on the verge [of being knocked out] anyway, Jacobs said. So thats how I look at it. But this is for me an opportunity to kind of quiet the critics and just make the final statement once and for all that I am the better fighter, better boxer.Hell, Im better in general inside that square ring. Sergio Mora has nothing in there to stop me.Jacobs did not plan to be out of the ring for nine months following his 85-second destruction of Quillin, but it happened because of the difficulty making other bouts, he said.Ive been out for quite some time. The reason weve actually been out for so long was because we were trying to get a better opportunity at fighting B.J. Saunders, Jacobs said. Obviously, that fight took a little longer than anticipated. And this is the reason why this fight is happening. It isnt because Ive been avoiding Sergio Mora. I just understand that this fight for my career at this particular point isnt really going to do anything for me.Its more going to do more for Sergio than it would do for me. But me and him have the same management in Al Haymon. So I can understand why this fight is being made. But the reasons why hes saying this fight is being made as far as me ducking him and not wanting to fight him, I mean, thats absurd. Thats absurd. But Im just excited nevertheless to be back into the ring.Mora could not care less about Jacobs dismissive attitude. He is simply happy to have a second chance to win another title after the abrupt ending to the first bout. He has gone through a rigorous rehabilitation and said the ankle is now back to normal.Im going to have that TKO on my record for the rest of my career and the rest of my life, and its sad because I dont want it to be on a technicality, Mora said. So does it irk me? Absolutely. But am I past it? Yes. I just want an opportunity to clear whatever happened. Jacobs said that he dropped me twice. I only fell once. I dropped him once. Round of the year [according to] Sports Illustrated. Second round, I feel I was in control and winning. With five or 10 seconds left, the injury happens, and I bust my ankle.So theres a lot of unanswered questions, and for whatever reason this fight is happening again. Im fully prepared for whatever comes. I just want my opportunity, and Im thankful that I got it. Cheap Basketball Shoes Sale .C. -- Rodney Hood connected from all over the court while freshman Jabari Parker was busy swatting shots and scoring in transition. Cheap Basketball Shoes .ca NFL Power Rankings, overtaking the Denver Broncos and remaining ahead of NFC competition San Francisco, Carolina and New Orleans. . -- Aldon Smith believes he is on the path to being sober for good. HOUSTON -- James Harden was second in the NBA with 29 points per game last season and his 7.5 rebounds were a career high.Still, it was a disappointing year for Harden and the Houston Rockets, who were ousted in the first round of the playoffs by Golden State, and the star knew he had to adjust things to take the team farther this year.Last year was frustrating, numbers individually was pretty solid, but just the love and excitement wasnt there, he said. So I had to look in the mirror this summer and realize that I got to change and I got to get back to how I was.To that end, he refocused this offseason and put an emphasis on becoming a better leader. He organized players-only training and outings in both Miami and Las Vegas in an attempt to create cohesiveness within the group before camp.Just getting to know somebody and hanging out ... it was really good, he said. Thats going to carry over onto the court.The way his embraced his role as the undisputed leader of this team has impressed everyone in the organization, starting with owner Leslie Alexander.It shows that James wants to win very badly, Alexander said. Hes a winning player ... James is one of the top three or four players weve ever had here and he wants to win as much as (Hakeem) Olajuwon and (Clyde) Drexler and everybody else.Trevor Ariza is entering his 13th NBA season, but had the excitement of a rookie on Friday as he talked about how much better things feel entering this season than they did last year. It was a season that saw coach Kevin McHale fired after just 11 games and the Rockets take a step back after reaching the Western Conference finals in 2015.I think just last season was frustrating for everybody because we just couldnt figure it out together, Ariza said. I dont even know how to explain. It was just a weird, weird, weird year.So how have things changed now?The vibe has just been totally different, Ariza said. Everybody is excited to show whaat theyve worked on and excited just to be around each other.dddddddddddd.These positive-attitude Rockets enter the season with new coach Mike DAntoni and without eight-time All-Star center Dwight Howard, who signed with Atlanta in the offseason. A big question for this team will be who will step in to make up for Howards absence.Their top options are Clint Capela, a third-year player who saw limited action the past two seasons as Howards backup, and Nene, who played 53 games for Washington last year before joining Houston in the offseason.General manager Daryl Morey raved about Capelas improvement in his first year, but knows hell have to do more this season if the Rockets hope to be a force in the Western Conference.Clint is going to have to take a big step forward and its not an easy step, Morey said. To go from playing 15-20 minutes against often not the starting center to playing 25-plus minutes against front-line guys, thats a big step forward. Its more physical. It takes a big toll on your body to do that night-in and night-out.Along with Nene, the Rockets also added outside shooters Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon this offseason. Houston expects the addition of those two to fill a void that this team has had in recent years.We were able to upgrade our shooting ... for the style we want to play, Morey said. I dont feel like we had enough shooting (before). We do have that.Everyone is saying the right things and Morey believes he made the upgrades necessary for the team to succeed in DAntonis system. But with all the improvements other teams made in the West, its hard to know what to expect from this team.Alexander was confident, yet tempered when asked about his expectations.I think well win more games than people anticipate, he said. 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