Mayweather seals legacy
MANCHESTER — Manchester United slumped to their third successive defeat last Saturday and the side must remain calm and focus on being effective, says Spanish international Juan Mata.
Mata, speaking on his blog, says the loss at home “was neither easy nor happy” with the in-form play-maker eager to see the fortunes of the Red Devils improve.
“Obviously, when you lose, you are in a bitter mood until the next game, so I hope the week goes by quickly and we can reverse this bad streak of results.
“I said the weekend wasn’t good for several reasons… Obviously the 0-1 at Old Trafford is a tough score for us and we are forced to win as soon as possible: our rivals ahead keep adding points, and also the teams behind are getting closer. It’s the tendency of the last few weeks: we have more ball-possession than our opponent and create chances but we aren’t able to take them. We must focus on being effective because we haven’t scored in the last few games and we can’t afford it any longer.
“There are three finals remaining and I hope we can change this streak as soon as possible. Our next game is in London against Crystal Palace. It would be good to repeat the same score of last season.”
“Unfortunately, the other reason that makes these days complicated is the passing of Rio Ferdinand’s wife, Rebecca. Rio and his family left an indelible memory in this club and all of us are deeply saddened by her death… I send all my support to him and his family at this painful moment… Rest in Peace Rebecca,” wrote Mata. — AFP LONDON — Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho believes his newly crowned Premier League champions will face a challenge just to secure a top-four finish next season due to the English topflight’s competitiveness.
Chelsea claimed their first league title since 2010 on Sunday when Eden Hazard’s goal on the cusp of half-time secured a 1-0 home win over Crystal Palace that gave them an unassailable lead at the top of the table.
Mourinho’s side have dominated the division from starting gun to finish line, but with Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool all likely to strengthen during the close season, he knows the battle for
LAS VEGAS — Heading into the much hyped ‘ Fight of the Century’, Floyd Mayweather Jr repeatedly said his welterweight showdown with Manny Pacquiao was all about defining his legacy while preserving a perfect record as a professional.
In many ways, it was a case of ‘job done’ on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena where the 38-year-old American once again showcased his brilliant defensive skills as he won a unanimous decision over Pacquiao in their title bout.
Pacquiao is renowned for his aggression and speed but the Filipino southpaw was continually outsmarted by Mayweather who, despite back peddling for much of the bout, controlled the pace of the fight and the geography of the ring.
Mayweather, a polarizing figure because of his arrogance and flamboyant showmanship, improved his career record to 48-0 and said during the post-fight news conference that he would fight once more, in September, before retiring from the sport.
Should that pan out with the American winning his final bout, he would match the iconic 49-0 record achieved by former heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano.
That would certainly be a legacy.
Yet always with Mayweather there are shades of grey in what could be a stark black-and-white reminder on paper of his superb career as a professional. All too often, he has been criticised for Champions League qualification will be fierce in 2015-16.
“We have to try to be a strong team because if you are not a strong team, we have no chance to finish top four, which is the first target for the top teams in this country,” he told reporters at Stamford Bridge.
“When you fight for the top four, you have chances to be champions, so we need to be strong again next year, to try to be a good team.”
Mourinho has now won three premier league titles following back-to-back successes with Chelsea in 2005 and 2006 during his first stint at the club, but he shied away from comparisons with those teams. hand-picking his opponents, and there is also the question of his relatively low knockout rate, just 26 for a boxer who prides himself on staying out of harm’s way whenever possible in the ring.
Boxing great Oscar De La Hoya, who was beaten by both Mayweather and Pacquiao before calling time on his own glittering career, was distinctly underwhelmed by Saturday’s fight - mainly because of the American’s style.
“Sorry boxing fans. Call me old school but I like the fans getting their money’s worth by watching an action-packed fight,” De La
“This one is completely different,” he said. “The premier league is different, Chelsea is different, the opponents are different.
“And my team, so many of them have won the premier league for the first time, which is something that they have to learn how to do.”
Told that he had now won as many English league titles as greats Stan Cullis, Bill Shankly and Arsene Wenger, the current Arsenal manager, Mourinho responded simply: “I will try (to win) another one.”
Chelsea’s players cavorted on the pitch at the final whistle and can now look forward to a post-season parade, when they will also be able to show off the Hoya tweeted after what is expected to be the top grossing prize fight of all-time.
“I’m just not into the boxing, running style. I like jumping out of my seat because a fight was existing and the fans got their money’s worth.”
Former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson agreed, tweeting: “We waited 5 years for that... #underwhelmed”.
The fact that it took more than five years to make the fight happen was also part of the problem.
Twilight of careers Granted, Mayweather and Pac- League Cup trophy.
But with fixtures against Liverpool, West Bromwich Albion and Sunderland still to be fulfilled, Mourinho warned his squad that they still have duties to the rest of the division.
“Against West Brom is a game where both teams are champions. We are champions of our league, West Brom are champions of their league,” he said.
“But when we play against Liverpool, it’s an important match for them, for Man United, for Tottenham, for Southampton.
“When we play Sunderland, maybe it’s an important game for them and for other teams. As champions we have even more responsibility to follow Crystal Palace’s attitude, which was fantastic.”
Mourinho cut a rather subdued figure after the game and revealed that he had flown to Portugal earlier in the week to be with his 76-year-old father, also called Jose, who had to undergo surgery on his head after falling seriously ill.
Mourinho has faced accusations that his team, flamboyant during the first part of the season, have become ‘boring’ in recent months, but he said they had demonstrated their worth over the course of the campaign.
“I think we showed absolutely everything since day one,” he said. “Everything football demands from a team, we had.
“We had fantastic attacking football, we had fantastic domination, we had high percentages of ball possession, we had low percentages of ball possession, we gave the ball to the opponent strategically, we defended amazingly well.
“We do everything that a team needs. That’s why we deserve so much to be champions and I think everybody knows that.
“And (to) the ones who say we don’t deserve it, in my country we say: ‘The dogs bark and the caravan goes by.’”
Palace manager Alan Pardew said that criticism of Mourinho’s methods was misplaced.
“That’s why he earns the money he does – he wins,” Pardew said.
“It will have to be a very good side that tops this league next year and I’m sure Jose will add to his depth as well.” — AFP quiao are the greatest boxers of their generation but, at the respective ages of 38 and 36, they are in the twilight of their careers and most pundits believe they have lost some of their skills in the ring.
Had the so-called megafight taken place in 2010, with both men in their prime, their contest could well have been a genuine classic, given their contrasting styles.
For Mayweather, however, Saturday’s action and outcome provided proof that he is continually undervalued by the media and by many boxing fans
“Everyone’s been saying for years that Floyd was scared and I would lose (against Pacquiao),” said the American, an 11-time world champion in five weight divisions who made a mind-boggling $200 million from his showdown with Pacquiao.
“I try to keep myself away from negative publicity. Everyone said this guy could beat Floyd, that Floyd is a chicken. The non-believers, well Floyd turned them into believers.”
“(Muhammad) Ali called himself the greatest and this is my time. I am TBE (The Best Ever). I strive to be a perfectionist. TBE is not just inside the ring. I am a calculated fighter and I make smart moves outside the ring.”
Chelsea players and staff celebrate winning the Premier league title on Sunday.
Floyd Mayweather Jr connects with a right to the head of Manny Pacquiao on Saturday night.