May­weather seals le­gacy

Lesotho Times - - Sport -

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.”

— Reuters

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.

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