Mayweather takes a hit for Money Team
Twins C/1B Joe Mauer retired after 15 seasons. Mauer, 35, a native of St. Paul, Minn., played his entire career with the Twins and finished with a .306 average, 2,123 hits, 143 HRs and 923 RBIs. He was a six-time All-Star, won three AL batting titles and three Gold Gloves at catcher and was the 2009 AL MVP . ... The Mets announced J.P. Ricciardi will leave his job as special assistant after eight seasons.
Matt Kuchar shot a second-round 7-under 64 to build a two-shot lead over PGA Tour rookie Cameron Champ (62) at the Mayakoba Golf Classic in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Kuchar, who had five straight birdies on the front nine, reached 14-under 128 . ... On her 25th birthday, Gaby Lopez recorded a hole-in-one en route to a 6-under 66 and a one-stroke lead over top-ranked Ariya Jutanugarn (71) after the third round of the Blue Bay LPGA in Hainan Island, China. Lopez aced the par-3 17th hole at Jian Lake Blue Bay Golf Club, knocking in a 7 iron from 181 yards. She reached 9-under 207 . ... Sergio Garcia saw his lead cut to a stroke after shooting a 1-under 71 in the second round of the the Nedbank Golf Challenge in Sun City, South Africa. Garcia reached 9-under 135. Louis Oosthuizen (67) was second.
Sydney Brodt, Melissa Samoskevich and Hannah Brandt scored in the first period and the U.S. women’s team went on the beat Sweden 5-1 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and cruise into the championship game of the Four Nations Cup. The U.S. will face Canada or Finland in Saturday night’s title game.
Top-ranked Novak Djokovic told the BBC that an exhibition match against No. 2 Rafael Nadal scheduled for late December in Saudi Arabia was called off because the Spaniard underwent ankle surgery. Djokovic and Nadal also had expressed doubt as to whether they would play the match following the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi on Oct. 2 . ... Darren Cahill announced on Instagram he was relinquishing his role as the coach of top-ranked Simona Halep, at least through next season. Cahill said he was making the move to spend more time with his family.
SATURDAY’S HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS: Region 3A
NEW KENT (6-4) VS. PHOEBUS (9-1)
THE BUZZ: This game will feature a pair of 1,000-yard rushers in New Kent’s Evan Branch and Phoebus’ Jaylen White. Phoebus should have a big advantage in the passing game, however.
THE PICK: Phoebus 35-14.
HERITAGE (5-5) VS. WARHILL (7-3)
THE BUZZ: Warhill won the regular-season meeting 34-16, buoyed by a trio of disastrous punt attempts by Heritage. The edge on special teams, and Heritage’s injury problems, should give Warhill a second victory in the rivalry.
THE PICK: Warhill 24-14.
It looked like easy money, and there’s no one more qualified to judge that then the founder and titular head of The Money Team. But sometimes chasing a pile of cash is more difficult than it seems.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. learned that looking for money in Japan. The deal, or so he thought, was to perform a three-round exhibition before what he said was a small group of wealthy spectators for “a very large fee.”
Turns out Mayweather got hoodwinked. And then he quickly got out of town.
He wanted no part of a rising young Japanese kickboxing star, though he outweighed Tenshin Nasukawa by 30 pounds. A guy could get hurt in a real fight, especially if the rules weren’t all in his favor.
The problem was, Mayweather had appeared at a press conference Monday in Tokyo in which the fight was announced. He posed for pictures with Nasukawa and talked about how their New Year’s Eve bout would be an epic event.
So he had to backpedal. And fast.
Mayweather said he was blindsided by promoters at the press conference and went along when they said the fight was scheduled, with the rules to be figured out later. He said he didn’t even know who Nasukawa was.
Fair enough. But Google is available in Japan, and it didn’t take Mayweather long to find out a few things about his opponent.
Or maybe he just read an Instagram post from Joe Rogan, the UFC fight announcer who knew a little more about Nasukawa.
“He’s a true striking genius,” Rogan said of the 20-year-old. “I doubt Floyd is going to agree to any rules that allow Tenshin to kick, but if he does, it could be a terrible night for him. This kid is the truth.”
Whatever it was, Mayweather left Japan as fast as he could.
And, really, who could blame Mayweather? He’s made a career — and made himself immensely wealthy — out of picking just the right opponent at the right time, and this wasn’t the opponent or the time to get back in the ring.
But in doing so, he may have damaged his brand, if just a bit. Mayweather doesn’t do contrition well, but contrite he was in a lengthy post that didn’t cast him in a favorable light.
“I am a retired boxer that earns an unprecedented amount of money, globally, for appearances, speaking engagements and occasional small exhibitions,” Mayweather wrote.
If that’s so, then perhaps Manny Pacquiao had better go looking for another opponent for his next fight. Actually, Pacquiao already has, with plans to fight Adrien Broner in January.
Still there’s a good chance the two could meet in May in Las Vegas in a rematch of their first fight. By then, they might have made enough boxing fans forget what a snoozer the first fight was to pay big money for a rematch between two 40-something boxers.
With Mayweather, it’s anyone’s guess. He already announced the Pacquiao fight for December, you might remember, though it will not happen then.
And now he claims he’s just an old retired boxer trying to make a little spending money by giving speeches and small exhibitions. Who’s going to pay big money to see that?