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Chad Johnson’s boxing debut: Why former NFL star says fight is a ‘one-time thing’



Chad Johnson's boxing debut: Why former NFL star says fight is a 'one-time thing'

Chad Johnson is set to make his boxing debut on Sunday when he steps into the ring against Brian Maxwell.

As a part of the Floyd Mayweather vs. Logan Paul undercard, either Johnson or Maxwell will get the first win of their respective boxing careers. Johnson hasn’t fought to date while Maxwell sports an 0-3 record as a boxer, though he is 2-3 as an MMA fighter.

But why is the former NFL star fighting? Sure, it isn’t for monetary purposes, as the former Bengal made plenty during his NFL career to keep him going.

MORE: What is the purse in the Mayweather vs. Paul fight?

Instead, Johnson is just hoping to entertain folks as he looks to hold his own against a professional fighter.

“My goal is to get out alive. I want my face still intact. I want my kids to still know it’s me. But I want to entertain. I don’t want to embarrass those who put the time and energy into me,” Johnson said, per ESPN. “People who are buying tickets, people that are showing up, I want them to leave and say, ‘I doubted Ocho, but to see him get in the ring, knowing that someone tried to kill [him]. He put on one hell of a f—ing show.'”

However, despite his love for boxing, Johnson is only treating this exhibition as a one-time event.

“This is a one-time thing,” Johnson said of his exhibition, per SB Nation. “I’ve done some crazy things in life, and this is one to add and scratch off the bucket list. I’m coming in there to have fun and entertain.”

Certainly, that’s something that Johnson has been good at during his career. With the Bengals, he sported the nickname of Ochocinco before changing his last name to that later in his career. Johnson was known as a fun-loving player whose on-field antics delighted fans.

MORE: Everything you need to know about the Mayweather vs. Paul fight

Now, he’s hoping that will carry over into the ring, even though he didn’t think that he would ever be involved in a boxing match.

“I never thought about stepping in the ring,” Johnson said. “I never thought there would be an opportunity to do so. But I love boxing. I’m friends with every boxer out there because I love and study all of it.

“I didn’t expect anything like this to happen. When Floyd called, the first thing I wanted to know was how much time I had to prepare. Once I knew that I had enough time that I could look like myself in there, I knew I could pull it off.”

And Johnson has been putting in some serious work to make sure that he does put his best foot forward in his match with Maxwell. He has been training with boxing champions Jermall and Jermell Charlo to help him prepare, and while the work has been hard, Johnson thinks that he’s in a good place to at least compete in this fight.

“They’re down here f—ing me up in the ring. It’s upsetting,” Johnson said. “It’s good work, though. The only thing that is saving me with them is my athleticism and my ability to want to survive. Taking what I’ve learned throughout the years and trying to execute it in the ring while pressure is being applied. It’s been cool and enjoyable. It’s been a great learning experience for something I’m going to do on June 6, and what better people to learn from than the best of the best.”

We’ll soon see how much of Johnson’s training carries over into the ring. Learning from the best will surely help him.

But he only has one chance to get this right.

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Padres’ Manny Machado wore the perfect Father’s Day footwear



Padres' Manny Machado wore the perfect Father's Day footwear

Manny Machado’s got heat on feet. Kind of.

While ostentatious, loud and colorful cleats are all the rage in baseball, the Padres’ star third baseman dialed it down on Father’s Day. Like, a lot down.

Machado took the field wearing a pair of Nike Air Monarch cleats — the preeminent, iconic dad shoe — during San Diego’s Dad Day matchup vs. the Reds.

The Monarchs have fostered a reputation for being an unforgettable dad-worn sneaker, making Machado’s footwear a tremendous salute to fathers (and grillmasters) around the country.

What makes the cleats even better is that they are in the classic white, silver and navy blue colorway, which is the only way to wear those bad boys. While these are Jordan Brand player-exclusive cleats, they’re dad-exclusive away from the field.

MORE: Joey Votto makes young fan’s day in San Diego

Machado has worn all different makes of cleats throughout his career, usually flashy and gaudy types. The All-Star infielder has worn Jordan 11s, 12s, 4s and a bunch of others on the field.

Still, lacing up a pair of Grillmaster 5s on Father’s Day earned him plenty of praise from fans who understood the tribute:

You’ll probably be able to catch Machado after the game at a BBQ near you, likely cracking some bad puns and calling everyone “big guy.”

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Nets’ Kevin Durant joining Team USA for Tokyo Olympics after Game 7 loss vs. Bucks, report says



Nets' Kevin Durant joining Team USA for Tokyo Olympics after Game 7 loss vs. Bucks, report says

Kevin Durant isn’t going to be taking much time off this summer.

In fact, he appears to be ready for more action despite playing all 53 minutes of the Nets’ Game 7 overtime loss to the Bucks and scoring a game-high 48 points. And he’s joining another super team that has title hopes.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Durant is expected to commit to Team USA ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.

Durant would become the sixth player to commit to Team USA, joining another player with Olympic experience, Draymond Green, and four first-time Olympians: Damian Lillard, Jayson Tatum, Bradley Beal and Devin Booker.

MORE: Kevin Durant blames ‘big-ass foot’ for loss to the Suns

Durant competed in both the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. He averaged 19.5 points at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro and 19.4 points at the 2012 London Olympics.

In addition, Durant shot 54.6 percent from the shorter-range international 3-point line at the two tournaments and has compiled a 39-0 record in international play.

Team USA can now turn its attention to its remaining question marks with Durant’s commitment reportedly secured. Anthony Davis and LeBron James won’t be participating in this year’s Olympics, but Stephen Curry was “50-50” about competing in the event.

Either way, Team USA should be considered the top threat at the 2021 Summer Games with Durant in the fold.

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Yankees secure win vs. Athletics with another triple play, tie MLB record



Yankees secure win vs. Athletics with another triple play, tie MLB record

If a double play is a pitcher’s best friend, then what’s a triple play?

The Yankees had already turned two triple plays this season before Sunday, including one that has literally never been seen before in MLB history. Then they pulled off one more, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.

With the Yankees teetering on the brink of danger in the ninth inning, closer Aroldis Chapman got A’s catcher Sean Murphy to ground to third baseman Gio Urshela, who stepped on the bag and relayed to DJ LeMahieu, who then threw to Chris Gittens for the 5-4-3 game-ender.

It was a record-tying play by the Yankees: The high-water mark for triple plays turned in a season is three, with the feat most recently accomplished by the White Sox in 2016.

The Yankees’ second triple play of the year — a 1-3-6-2-5-6 triple killing vs. the Blue Jays on June 17 — had never accomplished in baseball history:

The around-the-horn game-ending triple play on Father’s Day secured a 2-1 victory over Oakland and gave New York the series win over a hot A’s team. New York moves to 38-33 and continues to right the ship in an up-and-down season.

But, hey, that’s a pretty cool gift for dads everywhere.

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