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Boxer Felix Verdejo facing charges in death of woman, unborn child in Puerto Rico

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Boxer Felix Verdejo facing charges in death of woman, unborn child in Puerto Rico

Lightweight boxer Felix Verdejo surrendered to federal agents in Puerto Rico on Sunday night ahead of being charged in the death a woman and her unborn child last week in San Juan.

Verdejo turned himself in after the FBI filed a criminal complaint in federal court. The San Juan native is accused of killing 27-year-old Keishla Rodriguez and the baby, who Rodriguez’s family claims was Verdejo’s. Verdejo is married with a daughter but reportedly had known Rodriguez since middle school. Rodriguez’s parents claim he remained in contact with her. 

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Juan announced (per The Associated Press) that Verdejo, 27, would be charged with kidnapping and carjacking resulting in death and intentionally killing an unborn child. If convicted, he could face the federal death penalty.

According to the complaint filed Sunday evening by FBI Special Agent Lorenzo Villanova Perez, Verdejo called Rodriguez on Thursday morning and asked to meet with her near her residence. Rodriguez had told Verdejo previously that a pregnancy test showed she was pregnant with his child. Verdejo allegedly wanted Rodriguez to terminate the pregnancy. 

Rodriguez arrived for the meeting and then got into Verdejo’s vehicle. Villanova Perez wrote that Verdejo punched Rodriguez in the face and then injected her with an unknown substance that the boxer obtained at “Llorens Torres,” which the AP described as a public housing project.

Villanova Perez further alleged that Verdejo and another man bound Rodriguez’s hands and feet and tied her to a block; that Verdejo then drove Rodriguez to a bridge, with the other man following in Rodriguez’s vehicle; and that the men threw Rodriguez’s body off the bridge and into the water below. Verdejo then shot at Rodriguez with a pistol as she was falling toward the water, according to Villanova Perez’s complaint.

Rodriguez’s family reported her as missing Thursday after she failed to show up for work. Her body was discovered Saturday in a lagoon near San Juan, per the AP. She was identified Sunday through dental records.

Villanova Perez wrote in his complaint that the FBI interviewed a “witness” who had “first-hand, personal knowledge of the events” surrounding Rodriguez’s death. 

Top Rank, Verdejo’s promoter, tweeted a statement Saturday after Rodriguez’s body was discovered. “We are deeply disturbed by the news reports, and we will continue to monitor developments in the case as it progresses,” Top Rank said.

Verdejo compiled a 27-2 career record (17 KOs). His last fight was on Dec. 12, 2020; he fought for the vacant WBO intercontinental belt and lost to Masayoshi Nakatani by TKO. Verdejo represented Puerto Rico in the 2012 Summer Olympics.

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Twitter reacts to Russell Westbrook’s NBA-record 182nd career triple-double

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Twitter reacts to Russell Westbrook's NBA-record 182nd career triple-double

Russell Westbrook made history Monday night, notching his 182nd career triple-double — and moving past Oscar Robertson for the all-time NBA record.

Robertson’s record lasted 47 years, from 1974 through Monday night when a fourth-quarter rebound in front of a reduced-capacity crowd in Atlanta gave Westbrook sole possession of the record. It took him 12 years to surpass Robertson’s record after he achieved his first triple-double (17 points, 10 assists, 10 rebounds) in 2009 as a rookie with the Thunder.

MORE: Jaylen Brown injury update: Celtics star out for rest of season with torn wrist ligament

Monday’s triple-double was Westbrook’s 36th of the year. That insane output is helping him average, for the fourth time in his career, a triple-double over the course of the season. The previous such campaigns came in 2016-17 through 2018-19.

Westbrook finished with 28 points, 21 assists and 13 rebounds in the Wizards’ 125-124 loss to the Hawks; the loss dropped Washington to 32-37 on the season, but the team still ranks 10th in the Eastern Conference standings. The Wizards’ playoff hopes pale in comparison to the history Westbrook made, however.

He even made sure to get the game ball from officials so he could be certain to commemorate the historic achievement.

Here are some of the best reactions to Westbrook’s history-making feat:

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Kenny Mayne’s ESPN cover letter was perfect precursor to his incredible career

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Kenny Mayne's ESPN cover letter was perfect precursor to his incredible career

ESPN’s Kenny Mayne, one of the most recognizable talents in sports broadcasting, is leaving the network, he announced on Monday.

The 27-year ESPN anchor broke the news on Twitter, describing his exit from the worldwide leader in sports as a “salary cap casualty.” Naturally, he could only include some of the dry humor that helped him become a beloved presence in the studio and on millions of sports fans’ TVs.

MORE: ESPN anchors get emotional over laid-off co-workers: ‘We are all hurting’

The longtime “SportsCenter” host’s final day will be on May 24, bringing to an end a 27-year stint at ESPN that began in 1994. His absence will undoubtedly be noted among fans who appreciated his humor and presence in ESPN’s studios — but his Monday announcement is as good a reason as any to remember the incredible cover letter that first landed him the gig in 1994.

Mayne sent a short and sweet cover letter to ESPN’s John Walsh in 1994, offering him three checkboxes in the former’s bid to land a job with ESPN:

Unsurprisingly, Mayne made Walsh smile. Walsh wouldn’t be the last person to smile at Mayne’s humor and creativity.

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Jaylen Brown injury update: Celtics star out for rest of season with torn wrist ligament

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Jaylen Brown injury update: Celtics star out for rest of season with torn wrist ligament

The Celtics will have to fight for a playoff spot without one of their most important players.

Boston announced Monday night that All-Star forward Jaylen Brown has suffered a torn scapholunate ligament in his left wrist and will miss the rest of the 2020-21 season. He is expected to undergo surgery later this week.

MORE: Will LeBron James return vs. Knicks?

The Celtics offered no specific timetable for Brown’s return to the court, but as The Athletic’s Jared Weiss noted, Boston guard Romeo Langford suffered the same injury last year and took about six months to recover. If Brown stays roughly on that timeline, he should be available to rejoin the lineup for the start of the 2021-22 campaign.

Brown dealt with injury and COVID-19 issues throughout the season, but the 24-year-old still managed to earn his first All-Star selection with some of the best individual numbers of his career. He averaged a career-high 24.7 points per game while shooting 48.4 percent from the field and 39.7 percent from 3-point range.

Without Brown available, Boston will rely heavily on Jayson Tatum and Kemba Walker to produce offensively. The Celtics will also need more from trade deadline acquisition Evan Fournier, who most recently scored 30 points in a loss to the Heat on Sunday — his highest scoring output since joining the team.

Even if other players step up in Brown’s absence, the Celtics, currently the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference standings, are unlikely to make a deep run in the 2021 NBA playoffs. They would face an uphill battle in a potential first-round series against the 76ers, Nets or Bucks, the top three seeds in the Eastern Conference.

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