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Matchroom Boxing

Eddie Hearn is not afraid of taking a big risk to push Matchroom Boxing forward. In the continuing efforts of boxing promoters to find a way to hold events, Hearn launched a wild plan to hold fights in the backyard of the palatial estate of Matchroom’s headquarters in Essex, England.

A crew has constructed what Hearn has called “Fight Camp” in his yard, overlooking London and with plans for light shows, fireworks and £1 million in production costs. The action kicks off Saturday with an event headlined by Sam Eggington vs. Ted Cheeseman in a super welterweight fight that will stream on DAZN.

For Hearn, the key to success with the experiment is to avoid the “studio boxing” feel other promotions have attempted in recent weeks, including Top Rank working from a “bubble” in Las Vegas.

“We will see what we can deliver for Fight Camp,” Hearn explained on a Zoom call with media. “The whole idea of what I’m trying to deliver is get people excited about the surroundings, environment, and get them intrigued to tune in. It’s not easy. I’m a real non-believer in studio boxing, I don’t think it works and I hope we can bring a different spectacle.” 

Fighters, trainers, staff and crew are all being tested for COVID-19 in an attempt to ensure the event goes off with all the spectacular festivities Hearn has planned.

“The house is out of use during the period of the show, everything we need for the show is being built,” Matchroom CEO Frank Smith told ESPN. “The TV production area and changing rooms have been built outside in the garden. We have had to produce facilities where all the lighting and pyrotechnics guys will be. They will be temporary structures and the building started on July 24. When they are done, the venue will be sealed off.

“We have quite a bit of land around the offices to put on a spectacular evening. It will not go dark until 9.30 p.m. so the fireworks are really for the main event. We are putting together big light shows to make it look as good as possible and rather than in a studio where you are restricted by what you can do there. You can see Canary Wharf one way, and the other way where we are filming towards is the house. We’re on top of a hill so it’s a good vantage point, but we are open to the wind and the elements.”



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Sri Lanka v Bangladesh 2020-21

Mahmudullah and Rubel Hossain have been included in the 29-member preliminary squad for the upcoming Test series against Sri Lanka. Both were dropped from the squad that was picked for the one-off Test against Zimbabwe in February, which was Bangladesh’s last Test before the Covid-19 pandemic brought the sport to a halt.

Opener Saif Hassan, who tested positive for Covid-19 twice in the last two weeks, has been kept in the squad with another test pending later this week. All the selected players will be subjected to several Covid-19 tests during the coming week while residing at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel in central Dhaka, from where they will commute daily to the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium for training. This comprises the BCB’s biosecure bubble.

Mahmudullah hasn’t made a fifty in his last four Tests, while Hossain was picked for the Rawalpindi Test against Pakistan earlier this year – his first Test in one-and-a-half years – before being dropped for the next Test at home. Hossain has the worst bowling average among those who have bowled at least 4000 deliveries in Test cricket. Al-Amin Hossain and Soumya Sarkar have also been brought back. They were also dropped for the one-off Test against Zimbabwe.

Nine more players have been called up from outside the last squad. Among the first-time picks in a preliminary squad for the Test side are allrounders Mohammad Saifuddin and Mahedi Hasan. Saifuddin has been impressive in ODIs and T20Is in the last couple of years but the jury is still out on Hasan at the highest level, despite his superb numbers in domestic first-class competitions.

The selectors have also called up middle-order batsman Mosaddek Hossain, openers Imrul Kayes and Shadman Islam, left-arm spinner Sunzamul Islam, pacer Shafiul Islam and wicketkeeper Nurul Hasan.

Bangladesh’s preliminary squad: Mominul Haque, Liton Das, Mohammad Mithun, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah, Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Mohammad Saifuddin, Abu Jayed, Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Mosaddek Hossain, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Nayeem Islam, Imrul Kayes, Taijul Islam, Ebadat Hossain, Shadman Islam, Al-Amin Hossain, Sunzamul Islam, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Hasan Mahmud, Mahedi Hasan, Shafiul Islam, Yasir Ali, Taskin Ahmed, Nurul Hasan, Khaled Ahmed, Saif Hassan.

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Rangers Rally Falls Short in 6-2 loss to LA Angels

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ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Albert Pujols needed nearly five weeks to tie Willie Mays for fifth place on the career home run list. It took only five days for the Los Angeles Angels slugger to pass him.

Pujols hit No. 661 in the fifth inning on Friday night against the Texas Rangers to break the tie with Mays, then connected again in his next at-bat in the 6-2 victory.

“I knew that whenever it happens, whether it was going to be this year or next year, it was going to happen,” he said. “I definitely wasn’t thinking about trying to hit one out. It happened tonight and look how perfect it worked out. I not only got one, but two on the night.”

The 40-year-old Pujols now trails only Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755), Babe Ruth (714) and Alex Rodriguez (696).

Pujols said that he received a text and email from Mays after he tied the Hall of Famer on Sunday in Colorado. Pujols added that he had not checked his phone after Friday’s game to see how many congratulatory messages he had received.

“It is pretty special when you are talking about Willie Mays. What he did on the field is amazing,” Pujols said. “He’s a legend, pretty smart and he knows how to give good advice.”

Pujols had hit just four home runs this season before posting the 60th multi-HR game of his career and first since May 11 last year at Baltimore. He finished with three hits on the night.

Pujols passed Mays with a solo drive to left. Pujols sent a 1-2 fastball from Wes Benjamin into the Rangers’ bullpen. Pujols pointed to the dugout and did a fist pump as he approached third base.

After the Rangers rallied to get within 3-2, Pujols led off the seventh with No. 662 off Demarcus Evans into the Angels’ bullpen to extend the lead.

“I mean, I know he’s not really a home run hitter,” Benjamin said before laughing. “I threw the one pitch I didn’t want to throw. I wanted a fastball up there. It just kind of yanked into the zone just enough and he was prepared for it.”

Pujols has gone deep to left 330 times in his career and 362 have come with the bases empty. He said he is likely to keep the bat he used to pass Mays and that the ball had been retrieved.

Pujols, who has one more season left on his contract with the Angels after this year, has 108 HRs at Angel Stadium, which is only three behind the 111 he hit at new Busch Stadium, which opened in 2006.

Manager Joe Maddon said the only thing missing was having fans in the stands to salute Pujols for reaching the milestone. There was more noise than usual at the ballpark Friday night, along with some cheering, but was because a drive-in concert was taking place in an adjacent parking lot.

“Obviously there’s a high level of satisfaction, but he missed out on the opportunity to have the adulation that people just screaming from the from the rafters,” Maddon said. “It’s too bad. That’s another part of all this. That makes things different but the guys reacted well, Albert typically handled it extremely well.”

The three-time MVP and 10-time All-Star did most of his long-ball damage during his 11 seasons in St. Louis, where he hit 445 before signing with the Angels after the 2011 season.

He had six 40 or more HR seasons with the Cardinals, with his best year being 2006 when he hit 49 homers and drove in a career-high 137 runs.

“He is such a good baseball player,” Maddon said. “So yeah, he hits home runs. We’re not seeing it during his youthful days, but this guy has played this game as well as anybody has.”

Taylor Ward added two hits and an RBI while Anthony Rendon had a two-run double in the eighth for the Angels, who beat the Rangers for only the second time in seven meetings this season. Jaime Barria (1-0) tied a career high in strikeouts with eight and allowed two runs on six hits in 6 1/3 innings.

Willie Calhoun drove in both runs for the Rangers, who have dropped three of their last four.

Benjamin (1-1) came on in the second after Jimmy Herget was used as an opener for the first time in his career. Benjamin gave up two runs on six hits in four innings with four strikeouts.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rangers: OF Shin-Soo Choo (sprained right wrist) is unlikely to come off the injured list by the end of the season. Manager Chris Woodward said Choo is still having a hard time picking up a bat.

Angels: Upton was hit in the helmet by Evans in the seventh inning and did not return. … Shohei Ohtani could begin a throwing program before the season concludes. The right-hander made only two starts before being shut down due to a forearm strain. He is hopeful of returning to his pitcher-designated hitter role next season after mainly being a DH again this season.

TRADE COMPLETED

The Rangers announced that they have acquired OF Marcus Smith and IF Dustin Harris as the two players to be named in the Aug. 31 trade to Oakland involving LHP Mike Minor.

UP NEXT

Rangers: RHP Lance Lynn (6-2) is third in the AL with a 2.40 ERA. He has four straight wins over the Angels, including two this season.

Angels: LHP Andrew Heaney (4-3, 4.02 ERA) has won three of his last four starts, but is 2-5 for his career against Texas.



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Mike Tyson nearly knocks out trainer while preparing for exhibition fight against Roy Jones Jr.

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Mike Tyson is set to return to the ring on Nov. 28 when he takes on Roy Jones Jr. in an eight-round exhibition fight. Iron Mike has been aggressively training for the fight and it looks like he’s in the best shape of his life. Just ask his trainer.

Tyson has been posting videos showcasing his training in the lead-up to the fight. On Wednesday, a clip showed Tyson sparring with trainer Rafael Cordeiro and, unfortunately for Cordeiro, Tyson accidentally caught him with a hook:

As you can see, Cordeiro stumbles back after Tyson connects on the huge right hand. Tyson, 54, certainly still appears to have the speed and power that made him one of the most dangerous boxers in the sport’s history.

While the upcoming bout against Jones Jr. is an exhibition fight, Tyson appears to be taking it very seriously and the boxing world is taking notice.

WBO junior lightweight champion Jamel Herring commented on the video, writing “Somebody send Mike a reminder that this is an exhibition.” In addition, Danny Williams, who knocked out Tyson prior to his retirement in 2005, believes that Tyson could “seriously hurt” Jones Jr. when the two face off in the ring in November.

Jones Jr. even recently admitted that he may have “made a mistake” by accepting the fight with Tyson.

“He’s still Mike Tyson, he’s still one of the strongest, most explosive people who ever touched a boxing ring,” Jones Jr. old Sky Sports. “If anything, I made a mistake going in with him. He’s the bigger guy, he’s the explosive guy.”



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