Winner-Takes-All Sequel

May 14, 9 PM ET on Showtime the world gets a sequel to one of the best fights from 2021. Three-belt unified world champion Jermell Charlo (34-1-1, 18 KO) and fellow world champion Brian Castaño (17-0-2, 12 KO) will fight in a title unification to determine boxing’s first ever four-belt light middleweight champion. Charlo and Castaño caught the boxing world off-guard with a match that some consider a instant classic and one that no viewer considered a bad fight. The battle of champions resulted in a draw that felt like a cliff-hanger for fans after not being able to crown the unified champion. Not everyone in the boxing world was familiar with Castño and the dangerous opponent he was which resulted to Charlo entering the fight as the heavy favorite. Castaño wasted no time putting the world on notice that he was more than ‘ a worthy opponent’, but instead he was someone who could leave with the titles in a convincing win. Charlo promised to make Castño cry in the ring this time after expressing he felt he did not “empty the clip” on Castaño when he injured him last fight. Brian Castano suffered a minor right biceps tear while sparring, which postponed this sequel once before. Charlo stated that he’s the one who benefitted from the extra two months of training. Castaño has not been phased by Charlo’s comments, instead motivated. Castaño let it be known that he wanted the respect that he is warranted and that he should be given from Charlo. Castaño said, “The first fight was a close fight, but the second fight is going to be even worse for him because I’m knocking him out.”

May 14, 9 PM ET on Showtime the world gets a sequel to one of the best fights from 2021. Three-belt unified world champion Jermell Charlo (34-1-1, 18 KO) and fellow world champion Brian Castaño (17-0-2, 12 KO) will fight in a title unification to determine boxing’s first ever four-belt light middleweight champion. Charlo and Castaño caught the boxing world off-guard with a match that some consider a instant classic and one that no viewer considered a bad fight. The battle of champions resulted in a draw that felt like a cliff-hanger for fans after not being able to crown the unified champion. Not everyone in the boxing world was familiar with Castño and the dangerous opponent he was which resulted to Charlo entering the fight as the heavy favorite. Castaño wasted no time putting the world on notice that he was more than ‘ a worthy opponent’, but instead he was someone who could leave with the titles in a convincing win. Charlo promised to make Castño cry in the ring this time after expressing he felt he did not “empty the clip” on Castaño when he injured him last fight. Brian Castano suffered a minor right biceps tear while sparring, which postponed this sequel once before. Charlo stated that he’s the one who benefitted from the extra two months of training. Castaño has not been phased by Charlo’s comments, instead motivated saying that,

May 14, 9 PM ET on Showtime the world gets a sequel to one of the best fights from 2021. Three-belt unified world champion Jermell Charlo (34-1-1, 18 KO) and fellow world champion Brian Castaño (17-0-2, 12 KO) will fight in a title unification to determine boxing’s first ever four-belt light middleweight champion. Charlo and Castaño caught the boxing world off-guard with a match that some consider a instant classic and one that no viewer considered a bad fight. The battle of champions resulted in a draw that felt like a cliff-hanger for fans after not being able to crown the unified champion. Not everyone in the boxing world was familiar with Castño and the dangerous opponent he was which resulted to Charlo entering the fight as the heavy favorite. Castaño wasted no time putting the world on notice that he was more than ‘ a worthy opponent’, but instead he was someone who could leave with the titles in a convincing win. Charlo promised to make Castño cry in the ring this time after expressing he felt he did not “empty the clip” on Castaño when he injured him last fight. Brian Castano suffered a minor right biceps tear while sparring, which postponed this sequel once before. Charlo stated that he’s the one who benefitted from the extra two months of training. Castaño has not been phased by Charlo’s comments, instead motivated saying that,

Certainly, both fighters will come on their A-game, hoping to be one of only seven men to have held four belts. The winner would be joining the likes of; Terrence Crawford, B-Hopkins, Canelo, Josh Taylor, Oleksandr Usyk and Jermain Taylor, which is pretty impressive company. Both men have shown tremendous confidence and hunger in being able to walk-out with four belts. Certainly, this fight is a must-see and has potential to be fight of the year. Who will walk out a history-setting champion? Will Castaño’s relentless pressure be too much for Charlo? Will the re-focused Jermell Charlo’s lion hearted skills and power essentially be too much for Castaño to overcome? Regardless of the winner, it would be no surprise if this match-up turned into boxing’s next great trilogy.

Typically the crowd is not locked in until the main event starts, however, rising stud Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis takes the ring to face Custio Clayton in a title eliminator match. The winner is set to become the mandatory for newly crowned unified champion Errol Spence. Ennis, 28-0 with 26 KO’s has all eyes him as he enters as the favorite with his opportunity to finally step in the ring with the best one of the two best welterweights, Spence, only if he can get past Clayton first.

Rahman’s Pound-4-Pound Rankings

  1. Errol Spence Jr. (28-0-0)

2. Canelo Alvarez (57-2-2)

3. Terrence Crawford (38-0-0)

4. Naoya Inoue (22-0-0)

5. Shakur Stevenson (17-0-0)

6. Oleksandr Usyk (19-0-0)

7. Gervonta ‘Tank” Davis (26-0-0)

8. Vasiliy Lomachenko (16-2-0)

9. David Benavidez (25-0-0)

10. Jermell Charlo (25-0-0)

Notable names that are lingering around the PFP List (not in order)

  • Juan Estrada
  • Jermall Charlo
  • GGG
  • Boots Ennis
  • Josh Taylor
  • George Kambosos Jr.
  • Artur Beterbiev
  • Devin Haney
  • Teofimo Lopez
  • Stephen Fulton Jr.

* Tyson Fury was not listed because of his recent retirement.

Did 20-21 MVP Voters Miss Dame Time?

The all Association Most Valuable Player Award is an annual NBA award given since the 1955-56 to the best performing player of the regular season. It cannot be denied that the determining factors of who is the MVP and why this person should be MVP often changes. Unfortunately, MVP is usually given to the most outstanding player or the most exciting superstar of the year. While that should be included in the determination, it should not be the stand only reason. MVP determining factors should also include; the player most valuable to his team, impact, consistency, availability, circumstances, along with availability. If you took away that individual’s contributions and production, would the squad be in the same position? For many of these reasons and more is why Damian Lillard should have won his first MVP in the 2020-21 season or at least have came neck-to-neck with the winner.

Damian Lillard led the Portland Trailblazers to a 42-30 season and sixth in the west. This was pretty impressive considering his co-stars CJ McCollum and Jusef Nurkic jointly missed a huge portion of the season, CJ McCollum playing 47 games and Jusef Nurkic playing 37 games. Portland made a move before the deadline of 10 game less shortened season which brought in Norman Powell for the final 27 games of the regular season. Which left Lillard and Blazers 27 crucial games to make Norman Powell feel acclimated and help find his role with the team and making sure CJ McCollum and Nurkic find their rhythms after returning from injuries. Lillard finished the season averaging 28.8 points, 4.2 rebounds and 7.5 assists per game, leading Portland to finish second in offensive efficiency rating with an elite 117.1. When Lillard was not on the floor the Blazers scored 18.4 fewer points per 100 possessions which is historic-like stats. In February, due to injuries the Blazers were missing CJ, Nurkic and Zach Collins which would ideally seem like a recipe for a disaster month for the Blazers but Damian Lillard make sure that was not the case. During this 14+ game stretch Lillard played out of his mind, averaging a 31.6 points, 8.8 assists, and 4.4 rebounds on a 45.7/39.3/91.2 shooting split. Lillard had consecutive games of 30+ points/10+ assists games, making 38.4% of his 12 3PA and 92.8% from the free throw line while obtaining his highest usage rate and assist rate of his career. Imagine when the game was within five points in the last five minutes a player had a true shooting percentage of 82.7%. Damian Lillard did that. Lillard became the 18th player in NBA History to record at least 40+ points and 15+ assists in a game and tied his career-high in assists with 16 in a must-win game against a Pelicans team. 

It can be said that Nikola Jokic was the more consistent player throughout the season but before we say that, can we talk about the circumstances? Damian Lillard’s availability has always been great and that did not change with Lillard missing only 5 games for the season. However, this came during time of Jokic having his best month and Lillard dealing with a list of nagging injuries hindering his play before missing his handful of games. When you look back at the season of LeBron, Steph, Giannis, Jokic and Embiid you have to take into account the availability of and the seasons their co-stars were having. Even consider the complete roster of these teams. Understanding that a player like Lillard who plays PG in a season with highest usage rate of the season is going to have a harder time to score because of opponents ability to trap, double or triple team Damian Lillard. Which is opposed to bigs like Embiid, Jokic and even Giannis who frequently catch the ball in positions for them to score quickly and avoid double teams.

All in all, Damian Lillard’s may just not fit the leagues narrative for MVP winner. They have already had their undersized mid-major MVP winner with Steph Curry, the quiet assassin with Derrick Rose, and the undersized loyal hooper leading his team to an overachieving season with Allen Iverson. Despite of who you think the MVP winner was, we have to question whether or not these voters are taking the time to watch the games and do their homework instead of the player the media is pushing for MVP. Lillard finished seventh in MVP tallying this season, garnering 38 total voting points. 4 point behind Luka and only 18 points ahead of Julius Randle. Regardless of what metric the MVP voters go by, Damian Lillard should have undoubtedly been a top 3 finisher in the MVP race and arguably is the MVP of the 2020-21 season.

My Wrestlemania 38 Using Current Roster

As Wrestlemania season is among us and we prepare to watch Wrestlemania 38, I notice that this Wrestlemania card is missing a lot of names. It’s unclear whether or not we are in store for a memorable or forgettable Wrestlemania, which makes it both exciting and nerve-wrecking. I’m here to share what my Wrestlemania Card would look like with the current WWE roster.

Universal Championship

Roman Reigns (c) vs. Seth Rollins vs Brock Lesnar – Seth Wins

WWE Championship

Bobby Lashley vs Drew – Hurt Business comes out to help Lashley but Viking Raiders come out to help Drew, Drew ends up winning.

IC Championship

Edge vs AJ – Edge Wins

US Championship ( LADDER)

Damian Priest vs Sheamus vs Ricochet vs Cedric Alexander vs Roode vs Ali ( Roode Wins)

SMACKDOWN WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP

Ronda vs Becky Lynch vs Charlotte

RAW Women’s Championship

Bayley vs Belair(C) – Bayley Returns to do the match that never happened

Singles Match

Randy vs Riddle

Smackdown Tag Team Championship

Nakamura/Balor vs Usos vs Woods/Kofi- MSK challenges Winner on Raw after Mania

Miz promo about not having a match and that is when we get our stone cold moment

Raw Tag Team Championship

Kevin/Sami vs Street Profits vs Alpha Academy vs Viking Raiders

Singles Match

Rey vs Dominik – If Rey Wins, Dominik must go to NXT. In a plot twist, Theory ends up helping Dominik win. Dominik Becomes Heel & Partners w/ Austin Theory or Just make Rey win.

Put Corbin in the Seth Rollins Role with the mystery opponent which leads to

Corbin vs Cody Rhodes – Cody Rhodes wins at the top of the stage he is attacked by….. Elias!! The revamp of Elias begins.

Introduction to the shared Women’s Midcard Belt (8 Women’s Ladder or Battle Royale)

Sasha vs Natalya vs Liv Morgan vs Xia Li vs Asuka vs Rhea vs Shotzi vs Alexa Bliss- Rhea Wins (Help of Sonya/Shayna, making them all champions)

Pre-Card Singles Match

Andre the Giant Battle Royale (Pre-Card)

Whoever in it but Rick Boogs, Veer and Omos are last three people, put on a good battle before Omos wins…

Austin Theory vs Bad Bunny

Alexa vs Nikki ASH, Winner is last entry in Midcard title match

Women’s Tag Team Championship

Sonya/Shayna (Faction w/ Rhea) vs Tamina/Naomi vs (Zelina/Carmella)- Sonya/Shayna Wins

Comment your favorite matches and rate my Mania

TURBULENCE OVER, JETS TIME FOR TAKEOFF?

Insane that the NY Jets 4-13 season could be looked at as a successful season, right? Well, that is not the craziest thing in the world to say when you look past the record. Coach Robert Saleh, was one of six first year coaches in the league won over his higher-ups and locker-room in a timely-manner. After being selected to coach the National team during the Senior Bowl, the NY Jets coaching staff not only picked up a win but was also praised for excellent management of Senior Bowl practices. Saleh spoke on how the advantages of coaching the senior bowl, especially for a team with 9 picks in this years draft and 4 in the first 38 picks. Coach Saleh is well-respected throughout the league and more importantly the locker rooms. Jets Linebacker and defensive leader, CJ Mosley was one of many to praise Coach Saleh by describing coach as “a person you want to be around”. Mosley went on to elaborate on the feelings towards Coach Saleh, saying that “He has that energy that brings people closer, that makes you want to go the extra mile for him, for your teammates and for your families.” Managing to keep a high player morale, get positive player feedback about the future of the team while showing improvements throughout a season that is not going how you planned is a testament to the job Saleh has done thus far. 

The Jets finished last in the AFC East with the worst overall defense in the NFL. The average age for the Jets week 1 defense was 25 years old. Seven of the 11 week 1 starters were 25-or-under. None of the remaining 4 being older than 30. In true Jets fashion the team was plagued with injuries throughout the season making an already historically young defense more vulnerable. The Jets lost Carl Lawson to a ruptured achilles tendon who was having an outstanding training camp with the team. Lawson have being arguably the best pure pass rusher to hit free agency this past offseason was predicted for a breakout season in his new-look Jets uniform. It was a huge hit to lose him right before the season while a fews weeks later going on to lose Safety Marcus Maye for the season as well. At one point the Jets top six linebackers were inactive on IR or doubtful causing them to sign B.J. Goodson who played one game with the Jets before deciding to retire. In the midst of injury central, the NY Jets were able to develop and discover pieces that will be vital to the Jets future success. However, it will be exhilarating for the Jets to have Carl Lawson lining up on the opposing side of John-Franklin-Myers. Franklin-Myers is an elite pass-rusher on the interior and elite run defender on the edge. Franklin-Myers tied for 18th among edge defenders with 53 pressures, the most ever recorded by a Jets edge defender in a single season since 2006. Although, this was a step down to the impact Franklin-Myers had in 2020 lining up in the interior where he ranked eighth among IDL with 51 pressures and did it on a astounding pressure rate of 14.4%, which ranked third-best among qualified IDL trailing only Stephon Tuitt and Aaron Donald which is pretty talented company. It will be interesting to see where Saleh & the Jets decide to place Franklin-Myer but do not be surprised to see him lining up both as an edge-rusher and IDL next season considering Jets still have consistently developing Quinnen Williams. Williams tied with outside DL John Franklin-Myers for the team lead with 6.0 sacks and was second with 12 QB hits to JFM’s 14.  Starting off the season with a foot injury followed by a shoulder injury and COVID Williams was stopped from having the season he hoped to have, ending the season with only 6 sacks. In his end-of-year conference Williams showed self-awareness that should make staff and fans feel good. Williams stated that, “I have games where I make big plays and I have games where I just do my job and I’m an above-average defensive tackle in the league” . Quinnen believes he has the ability to “dominate and take over games like Aaron Donald and Fletcher Cox and those guys on the elite level” if he can work on his consistency. It may sound crazy for Quinnen Williams to compare himself to the likes of those players but it’s not and here’s why. In a healthy 2020 season Williams recorded 13 sacks and 26 QBHs, which may not be Aaron Donald numbers but still is game-changing numbers. Quinnen was not the only Williams to be in a Jets uniform this season and honestly he was not the best Williams in a Jets uniform this year. Quincy Williams, older brother of Quinnen Williams was acquired off waiver wire and took full advantage to the point the NY Jets front office have began to see Pro-Bowl potential in Quincy. He responded to his opportunity by recording 107 tackles, making big plays and having highlight worthy hits. Quincy had the second most tackles on the team while playing the 3rd most snaps on the team during his time playing beside his LB running mate CJ Mosley. CJ & Quincy were the first Jets to surpass 100 tackles each in the same season since LB Avery Williamson (120) and S Jamal Adams (115) in 2018. Jets are nothing less than thrilled of this breakout, but also because they finally got to see what they paid for with CJ Mosley.

Pro-bowl Linebacker CJ Mosley being active for a majority of the season after missing two seasons meant enormous amount to not only the Jets fans but the organization as a whole. To the standards of CJ Mosley, some fans were disappointed in his season saying he looked ‘washed’ and some fans were pleased with his performance. Between not being able to build chemistry with the defense because of the injuries and returning from a two-year hiatus CJ Mosley showed disappointing lows such as 17 missed tackles and unusual bad pass coverage. However, the Jets defensive captain CJ Mosley was no slouch and showed he still has plenty left to give the Jets defense tallying 168 tackles for the season, which placed 3rd in the league. Between filling the gaps, making open field tackles or just making clutch stops for the Jets, Mosley was his vintage pro-bowl self. It will be interesting to see a healthy CJ Mosley, Carl Lawson, Franklin-Myers, Quincy Williams and Quinnen Williams lead this Jets defense next year. Potential breakout talent does not stop there for the Jets while have high hopes for 23 year old edge rusher Bryce Huff who missed half the season with injuries. Huff, a 2020 UDFA went on to play 14 games registering two sacks, 16 tackles, four tackles for loss, and four QB hits in his rookie season while playing around 26 percent of defensive snaps and becoming a regular in the front-seven rotation. Huff was named potential breakout player for the 2021-22 season seeing that Saleh’s 4-3 scheme was more fitting for Huff opposed to the 3-4 scheme the Jets ran prior to Saleh. Other than Quincy Williams the Jets breakout player turned out to be the emergence of second-year cornerback Bryce Hall. Jets made a big get with Hall making him CB1 and it paid off. Hall finished with 79 tackles (66 solo), 16 passes defensed which tied Jalen Ramsey and Xavien Howard at 6th for passes defended. Although needing to work on his ball-hawking skills, Bryce Hall has exceeded expectations and is well on his way to becoming a top flight cornerback in this league. Hall was not the only bright spot in the cornerback room, rookie corner Brandon Echols had an outstanding year. Echols who started all 14 games for the Jets certainly had his lows with the occasional tendency to give up big plays. Otherwise Echols more than held his own, even recording a pick six against Tom Brady in one of the best games from any Jets corner which resulted to winning rookie of the week. Echols showed that he deserved a spot in NYJ cornerback room next year.

Unfortunately someone who will more than likely not be in the DB room is Marcus Maye. Marcus Maye’s season and possibly time as a Jet came to an halt after he suffered a season-ending Achilles injury in an October game versus the Colts. He is set to hit the free agent market this summer unless Saleh and the Jets organization decide to bring him back, which will not be an easy task. Negotiations did not go well between Maye and the Jets last summer and Maye’s injury could make things more difficult or end up a blessing in disguise for the Jets. Jets may be able to get Maye back on a discounted price seeing that he is coming off of his achilles injury depending on whether or not Maye is in the Jets future plans. Jets have four picks within the first 38 picks, that is huge. It is difficult to put together many scenarios that don’t end in the Jets going defense for the one of the first two picks if not both picks.

Some defensive names that have been tied to the Jets draft board include; DT Demarvin Leal, CB Andrew Booth Jr, CB Derek Stingley Jr., Safety Kyle Hamilton, LB Nakobe Dean or pass rushers Aidan Hutchinson and Kayvon Thibodeaux. The Jets landing any of those names will be great additions to the returning Jets defenders along with the names they can attract throughout the offseason and it will be intriguing to see how the Jets capatlize on this opportunity of a franchise shifting offseason. The real question that people want the answer is about Zach Wilson. Is he the one to turn this Jets offense into a consistent threat? Unfortunately the jury is still out on that because of Wilson’s rollercoaster season. Wilson finished the year completing 55.6% of his passes for 2,334 yards, 13 total TDS and 11 INTS w/ a 69.7 quarterback rating. Clearly these numbers will not change a teams season for the better. Wilson, needing to improve on his decision making, consistency and accuracy managed to do that on the backend of the Jets season. Wilson’s connection started strongest with WR Corey Davis. Former Titans WR, Corey Davis had a rough season with uncharacteristic drops and ultimately spending the final month on IR with a core muscle injury. Davis will be back in a Jets uniform again next year and looking to re-establish himself as a pro-bowl WR. Alongside him will be the 2nd year WR Elijah Moore, who in his rookie season let everyone know the player he has the potential to become after a slow start the season. In 11 games Moore had 43 catches for team-leading totals of 538 receiving yards and five receiving TDs and 1 rushing TD. Twenty-five of his catches went for first downs, also the best on the team. It will be very exciting for the Jets to see if a Moore can be a emerge as a superstar WR. With the disappointing output from Jamison Crowder, Denzel Mims and Keelan Cole the Jets decided to the increase the usage of Braxton Berrios. He became the Jets lead returner, while holding on to punt return duties and becoming an high usage WR because of injuries. Braxton Barrios took full advantage of his opportunity, Berrios was announced as 1st Team All-Pro as a Kick Returner and Pro bowl reserve. Berrios became the first Jets player to make the first-team AP All-Pro since S Jamal Adams in 2019. Unfortunately for the Jets, Berrios days with the Jets are likely coming to an end after reported that he is expecting a multi-year contract averaging $9M per season. While Berrios had a fantastic season, the Jets would be insane to give Berrios $9Mil when the chances are high of finding another player who offers the same production for much cheaper. It would be surprising to see any of Keelan Cole, Denzel Mims or Jamison Crowder back in a Jets uniform next year. It can be argued that the Jets are more likely to trade for or pursue an established WR rather than bringing players back. It is important that Davis and Moore stay healthy considering those will be the players Zach Wilson has the most chemistry with. It is much expected for the Jets to spend a draft capital creating depth with another playmaker at that WR or TE position. The Tight end position was a place that the Jets struggled in a major way. Which will make the Jets followers feel good that the Jets have been tied to some of the top TE names such as Trey McBridge, Jeremy Ruckert and Jake Ferigson.

The Jets are still celebrating the amazing 2021 draft they were able to have, especially the potential steal of the night. The Jets drafted Michael Carter, the former UNC running back late in the fourth round. In 14 games Michael Carter finished by leading the Jets with 639 rushing yards on 137 carries (at 4.3 yards/carry) and 964 scrimmage yards . He also topped the team in both rushing (29) and total first downs (46). Michael Carter can well be on his way to consistent 1,000+ yard seasons. Which speaks volume to the terrific job by the Jets OL . The Ny Jets’ offensive line ranked just outside the top-10, which is amazing considering Mehki Becton played only week 1 before sitting out rest of the year. During the absence of Mehki, George Fant not only replaced Becton but managed to have a breakout year while doing it. Fant gave up just one sack in 889 snaps at left tackle. You can very much expect to see George Fant and Becton starting at the tackle positions. Jets left guard, Alijah Vera-Tucker was named to the PFWA’s All-Rookie team. AVT led the Jets offense in total snaps in 2021 with 1,026. Missing only game during his rookie season to COVID-19. Vera-Tucker was charged with only two sacks on the season which includes a 14-game streak with no sacks allowed, being that his only two came in Weeks 1 and 18.  All in all, the New York Jets are trending in the right direction with so many bright spots from this previous season. How many teams can say they received solid production from eight out of 10 draft picks in 2021 draft? The Jets can and has the ability repeat that with the position Jets have been put in to have a great offseason. If the Bengals have taught us anything, it is that a strong off-season under strong leadership followed by a healthy roster can completely change your season. New York Jets are so close yet so far.

J-E-T-S

The Potential Next Big 3 in Minnesota?

 When asked his 5-Year plan in terms of being in the league Anthony Edwards responded, “I want to go deep in the playoffs, definitely past the first round. In five years, I want to be the face of the league and have a couple of MVPs by then and have a ring. In five years, I would expect to go to the Finals for sure,” Edwards says. Whether or not he lives us to his personal goals it up to him, it is certainly not a far-fetched goal for a player of his caliber. However, we are here to talk about the player that could help him and the Timberwolves achieve their team goals in this 5-year window.

Dejounte Murray is everything T-Wolves need to start making consistent playoff pushes. A 6’4 two-way player who can be the true point guard to create for his co-stars but can also create a bucket for himself when needed. Murray shoots just good enough from three to play off the ball, with an 32% career average. It benefits tremendously having a player like Murray that can be your threat on the offensive end but still manage to make an All-Defensive team. Murray is currently averaging an career high 8.4 RPG which 7.1 comes from on defensive end and tacking on 2.0 SPG which is a testament to his 6’10 wingspan. 25 year old Dejounte Murray is having a career year, so good that he could arguably be an Allstar reserve this year. The key here is that Dejounte undoubtedly improves every year. Within the next three years, Anthony Edwards will likely be a top 10 player, KAT will continue to be one of the consistent top bigs in the league. It is unclear what Dejounte’s game will develop into but if they trend of the next three years match the previous three year trend then Dejounte will be one heck of a player. With all three players being under 26, ANT & Dejounte running the floor with KAT in the paint or spreading the court with his nice jumper in addition to them all being able to hold their own on the defensive end could mean for a scary trio for the league.

21-22 Statline – 19.4 PPG. 8.4 RPG 9.1 APG

Top 10 Players in the Tokyo 2021 Olympics

This was fun to do especially with so many opt outs and top countries not making the final cut. Teams like Serbia, that have the 2021 NBA MVP Nikola Jokic alongside Hawks starting SG Bogdan Bogdanovic & the mighty Greece team, where their leader is celebrating his first championship & Finals MVP in Giannis Antetokounmpo are all missing out of 2021 in Tokyo. Other great players like Dennis Schroder couldn’t get insurance to play for Germany & other teams like Lithuania with Sabonis just didn’t qualify.

Teams in the Olympics

  • Japan (Host Country)
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Czech Republic
  • France
  • Germany
  • Iran
  • Italy
  • Nigeria
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • USA

So here we go, ranking the top 10 Players in Tokyo 2021

10. Danilo Gallinari, Italy

He arrived late to the party due to the Atlanta Hawks making it to the Eastern Conference Finals but Gallo has been one of the most consistent international players the NBA’s ever had. In FIBA 2019, Gallo averaged 17.2 ppg, 5.6 rpg & 2.8 apg while shooting 50% from 3. Italy has more scorers now who can light up the scoreboard including the Warriors Nico Mannion, but look for the Italian veteran to prove he’s still the go to guy & the reason Italy could medal.

9. Tomas Satoransky, Czech Republic

The underdog role fits Tomas Satoransky perfectly. His 16 ppg during the qualifying round in Victoria, helped lead to upsets over Canada & Greece, including a game winner over Lu Dort. Along with Jan Vesely, look for Tomas to try and make a statement in a tough group with USA and France. Will the underdog become a hero and rise to the occasion? FIBA 2019 stats: 15.5 ppg, 8.5 apg & 5.6 rebs while shooting 48% from 3.

8. Rudy Gobert, France

The big man upfront, The Stifle Tower from the Utah Jazz, help leads a loaded France team looking to capture gold in the Olympics. Rudy Gobert is arguably the best defender in the WORLD, he’ll look to use his length to dominate the Olympics this go around. We last saw him help defeat Team USA in FIBA 2019, where he posted 21 points, 16 rebounds & 3 blocks. He’s the best big in the Olympics and he’ll prove that once again.

7. Evan Fournier, France

Just like his teammate, Evan Fournier is ready to bring France the gold. He poured in 22 pts vs USA in FIBA making France a dominating duo alongside other NBA players like Nicolas Batum & Frank Ntilikina. Fournier average 19.8 ppg, 4 rpg & 3 apg in 2019 and is poised for another great run. France takes on Team USA in their first game, Fournier will be counted on as the lead guy, to upset USA again.

6. Jayson Tatum, USA

Jayson Tatum is a top 15 player in the NBA so he has to make a top 10 list in the Olympics. This is the summer where Tatum take his defensive prowess to the next level. I mention on the Preach Kev Preach w/ Rashad Podcast Episode – Everything That Glitters Ain’t Gold – that Team USA needs to learn their roles. Tatum worked out with the late great Kobe Bryant and his role was defense. Taking the challenge to lock down France’s Evan Fournier & Czech Republic’s Tomas Satoransky in Group play is a task Tatum is made for.

5. Ricky Rubio, Spain

Man let me tell you about the one they call Ricky Rubio. As the Gasol brothers age out, Rubio remains the catalyst & most important player on the Spain team. This is Spain’s final opportunity to capture goal. If they do, it’ll all be up to Ricky. 16 ppg, 6 apg, 5 rpg from the FIBA World Cup shows all the confidence he’ll to return to the form or even better. Rubio’s game is exactly the way you want to model yourself in international play demonstrating great IQ & playmaking ability. Rubio led all scorers vs USA in the final friendly heading to Tokyo with 23 points.

4. Patty Mills, Australia

Superstar Patty Mills!!! That’s all I can say. He’s been a beast for the Boomers and if you watch international play, you’d know that by now. Australia has been disappointing the last few times out including when they had the opportunity to win Gold in 2019 but look for the team to look toward their best player to lead them to the promise land. Patty Mills has average 20+ points on the last 3 Boomer Teams (2019 FIBA, 2016 Olympics & 2012 Olympics), this is why we call him Superstar Patty Mills.

3. Kevin Durant, USA

I know what you’re thinking…THIRD? Well we know KD is arguably the baddest man on the planet, however his role is carved out for Team USA differently. He’s one of the best scorers in Team USA history and he’ll continue to do so, especially in the Carmelo Anthony role . KD is the Guard-Center of this team, which is a made up position, but he’s the tallest player on Team USA, aside from Mcgee and I think they’ll use him in numerous ways including controlling the glass which could take away from his superstardom we see in the NBA.

2. Damian Lillard, USA

Dame will take up the slack for Team USA. When in doubt, give the ball to Damian Lillard, he can make something out of nothing and he’ll be the key reason Team USA wins gold. Obviously, Team USA is loaded with talent, but he’ll still find away to lead the team in scoring and probably 3 pointers made. The Olympics is very guard centric right now and he’ll provide that as an elite option & probably the best Tokyo will see.

1. Luka Doncic, Slovenia

Are Kevin Durant and Damian Lillard better than Luka? It’s definitely a debate, but when it comes to International play, I’m taking Luka everyday and twice on Sunday. Luka won MVP at 18 and he’s carrying yet another team on his back. Slovenia has a shot and it’s all up to Luka. In the qualifying round Luka average 21 ppg, 11 apg & 8 rpg in 4 games, not to mention his historic triple double vs the mighty Lithuanian team in the Finals. Luka is the most exciting basketball player to watch in the world and honestly I don’t think that’s up for debate. Can’t wait to see how far Luka can take Slovenia.

THE NEW ALLSTAR WEEKEND EVENT?

Every year we see NBA free agency filled with talents that have us wondering, “how is he not signed” and wondering why our favorite teams are not filling these voids. I think I figured out the solution to this problem.

During All-star weekend the NBA should have a game that features the top available free agents and there are two ways this could happen or free agents that drew the most interest from the NBA Teams

-3 Game Tournament. 4 Teams of 10. Team A Vs Team B, Team C Vs Team D and those winners play one another. You get to see 40 players between those two teams & 8 coaches between the teams. 

OR

2 Teams of 12-13 Players

Benefits of this addition?

-NBA gets the other event they have been looking to add to All Star Weekend which will add more revenue to the weekend.

  • NBA gets the other event they have been looking to add to All-Star Weekend, which will add more revenue to the weekend.
  • Fans get a competitive meaning event to enjoy to begin All-Star Weekend
  • Teams get to checkout players that could potentially fill gaps and improve their team post All-Star weekend.
  • We have these players working their tails off during the summer waiting for their opportunity; they do not truly have a platform to showcase their improvements.
  • As of now, the most exciting event we have is the 3PT contest with the dunk contest constantly becoming a hit or miss, I feel that this will bring the viewers back while drawing new viewers to check out this event.

WWE Reviving Momentum in Women’s Division

Currently the women’s division is in a interesting place, we have two new fresh faces as champions with Bianca Belair and Nikki A.S.H. and they are doing terrific jobs this far. However, with the release of so many women superstars, having a women’s tag team division on the main roster does not make much sense at the moment. Tamina & Natalya as a tag team seemed random at first but they ended up meshing well. It would be great if the roster still had other tags such as; Iconics, Bella twins, Riot Squad, Fire & Desire, Bayley & Sasha, Kabuki Warriors, Alexa & Nikki. The thing is, none of those tag teams exist anymore either from breaking up or no longer being with the company. Instead of forming random tag teams that don’t compliment one another WWE should replace the women’s tag team division with a mid-card singles belt. I am a fan of women’s division but having a tag division with the current constructed roster it does not benefit the company at this point.

Committing to someone as world champion is a big deal. Adding this title would allow WWE to test the waters of their women superstars to see if they are built for the responsibility of a champion and would allow the company to push women who they do not see as world champions but still see them as championship worthy, fan favorite superstars especially. In a tag division there are only so many rivalries you can have before you are repeating storylines or throwing random tags together. Women superstars such as; Naomi, Tamina, Sonya Deville, Mandy Rose, Liv Morgan, Dana Brooke, Natalya, Zelina Vega, Carmella, Eva Marie and so many more who may not be in the title picture anytime soon because management does not have evidence or confidence in them to be an successful title holder would benefit from this enormously. This mid-card belt could be that stepping stone for the superstars while still being a huge achievement within itself.

Other benefits of adding a mid-card single’s belt include:

  • Allowing women to stay relevant without being a world champion
  • You can have tag team matches without having a tag title and they don’t lose much meaning. Mid-card singles matches would mean more by having the title involved
  • Having a way to develop or discover mid-card talent as world champion talent
  • Allowing fans to see fan favorites hold a title.
  • Allowing the women who will always be mid-card to stay motivated to put on good shows and get better because they still have a chance to be a realistic title holder
  • If you are bringing a new superstar into the company or bringing a superstar from NXT and want them to hit the ground running but do not want to commit to them a world champion this allows that to happen.
  • It gives the women who feel that have already achieved their goals as world champion a new milestone to look forward to. Such as Charlotte Flair & Sasha Banks.
  • Giving fans a fresh reason to want to tune in.

Lastly, It’s just time. The women’s division has had some huge milestones in the last decade; from ‘Evolution’, wrestling in Saudi, being the Wrestlemania main event, women’s rumble and so many other achievements. I think we all can agree that for many reasons WWE main roster has had one too many stale storylines or repeated rivalries and too many missing superstar pushes. The historic history of the men’s IC and US title is legendary with some of the names who held that title from; Terry Funk, Ricky Steamboat, Razor Ramon, Jake Roberts, Bret Hart, HHH. It is time to offer that opportunity to the women.

WWE Reviving Momentum in Women’s Division

Hot time for Boxing

Boy are we getting blessed with some amazing fights in the months of June, July, and August! If you are a boxing fan then you could not be happier with these next couple months and if you are looking to get into boxing, these next few months are the time to do that. Check out the fights lined up and my predictions for the key fights.

Predictions in Red

JUNE

June 5: Shropshire, England

  • Title fight: Daniel Dubois vs. Bogdan Dinu, 12 rounds, for the vacant WBA interim heavyweight title–Dubois, coming off his last loss I feel like Dubois is on a mission to redeem himself. Also, Bogdan lost vs Big Baby Miller and I feel like Dubois is more active and a heavier striker than Big Baby
  • Nathan Heaney vs. Iliyan Markov, 10 rounds, middleweights-
  • Liam Davies vs. Stefan Slavchev, 6 rounds, bantamweights-
  • Daniel Buciuc vs. Naeem Ali, 6 rounds, junior middleweights-
  • Tommy Fury vs. Jordan Grant, 6 rounds, light heavyweights-
  • George Bance vs. Des Newston, 4 rounds, welterweights
  • Adan Mohamed vs. Luke Fash, 4 rounds, featherweights
  • Caoimhin Agyarko vs. TBA, 6 rounds, middleweights

June 6: Miami (Showtime PPV)

  • Floyd Mayweather vs. Logan Paul, 8 rounds, “special exhibition” – I am not a fan of this fight, OR The ‘celebrity exhibition boxing’ wave that is going on because I do feel like professional boxing is back. Collectively, boxing has some of the most depth of great boxers in a long time. Boxing is at one of it’s peaks and I feel like these kinds of fights take away from that.
  • Badou Jack vs. Dervin Colina, 10 rounds, light heavyweights- Badou Jack

June 12: Las Vegas (ESPN/ESPN+)

  • Title fight: Shakur Stevenson vs. Jeremiah Nakathila, 12 rounds, for the vacant WBO interim junior lightweight title Shakur Stevenson picks up a statement win in this Title fight
  • Jose Pedraza vs. Julian Rodriguez, 10 rounds, junior welterweights
  • Xander Zayas vs. Larry Fryers, 6 rounds, welterweights
  • Tyler McCreary vs. Manuel Rey Rojas, 8 rounds, junior lightweights
  • John Bauza vs. Christon Edwards, 8 rounds, junior welterweights
  • Bryan Lua vs. Frevian Gonzalez, 6 rounds, junior lightweights
  • Troy Isley vs. LaQuan Evans, 4 rounds, middleweights
  • Kasir Goldston vs. Maurice Anthony, 4 rounds, welterweights
  • Jahi Tucker vs. Ysrael Barboza, 4 rounds, welterweights

June 12: Newcastle, England

  • Lewis Ritson vs. Jeremias Nicolas Ponce, 12 rounds, junior welterweights
  • Cyrus Pattinson vs. TBA, rounds TBA, junior middleweights
  • Scott Fitzgerald vs. TBA, rounds TBA, junior middleweights

June 19: Las Vegas (ESPN and ESPN+)

  • Title fight: Naoya Inoue vs. Michael Dasmarinas, 12 rounds, for Inoue’s IBF and WBA bantamweight titles- Naoya Inoue 
  • Title fight: Mikaela Mayer vs. Erica Farias, 10 rounds, for Mayer’s WBO women’s junior lightweight title- Erica Farias 
  • Adam Lopez vs. Isaac Dogboe, 10 rounds, featherweights

June 19: Miami (Triller PPV)

  • Title fight: Teofimo Lopez vs George Kambosos Jr, 12 rounds, for Lopez’s WBA, WBO and IBF lightweight titles- Teofimo Lopez picks up a dominating win over Kambosos in his first title defense
  • Charles Conwell vs. Mark DeLuca, 10 rounds, junior middleweights
  • Title fight: Franchon Crews Dezurn vs. Elin Cederroos, 10 rounds, for Crews Dezurn’s WBC and WBO women’s super middleweight titles, and Cederroos’ WBA and IBF women’s super middleweight titles- Elin Cederoos 
  • Andy Vences vs. Jono Carroll, 10 rounds, junior lightweights
  • Michael Hunter vs. Mike Wilson, 12 rounds, heavyweights
  • Willie Monroe Jr. vs. Juan De Angel, 10 rounds, middleweights- Willie Monroe Jr
  • Zhilel Zhang vs. Daniel Martz, 10 rounds, heavyweights
  • Aaron Aponte vs. Gerardo Contreras Gonzalez, 4 rounds, junior welterweights
  • Ray Robinson vs. Ramal Amanov, 8 rounds, junior middleweights
  • Haven Brady Jr. vs. Manuel Lara, 4 rounds, featherweights
  • Nikoloz Sekhniashvili vs. TBA, 6 rounds, junior middleweights
  • Arnold Gonzalez vs. Gabriel Gutierrez, 4 rounds, welterweights

June 19: Houston (Showtime)

  • Title fight: Jermall Charlo vs. Juan Macias Montiel, 12 rounds, for Charlo’s WBC middleweight title- Jermall Charlo will have a dominating win as he tries to make his point that he needs to see GGG or Canelo next.
  • Kudratillo Abdukakhorov vs. Cesar Miguel Barrionuevo, 10 rounds, welterweights
  • Angelo Leo vs. Aaron Alameda, 10 rounds, junior featherweights- Angelo Leo
  • Isaac Cruz Gonzalez vs. Francisco Vargas, 10 rounds, lightweights

June 19: Jalisco, Mexico (PPV)

  • Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. vs. Anderson Silva, 10 rounds, cruiserweights
  • Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. vs. Hector Camacho Jr., 6 rounds, middleweight exhibition
  • Omar Chavez vs. Ramon Alvarez, 10 rounds, middleweights
  • Damian Sosa vs. Abel Mina, 10 rounds, junior middleweights
  • Kevin Torres vs. Jorge Luis Melendez, 8 rounds, junior welterweights
  • Manuel Jaimes vs. Francisco Arturo Ramirez Martinez, 8 rounds, lightweights
  • Mario Alberto Ramirez vs. Pedro Castro, 8 rounds, featherweights
  • Erik Inzunza vs. TBA, 6 rounds, junior lightweights
  • Karen Rubio vs. TBA, 4 rounds, women’s junior flyweights

June 19: El Paso, Texas (DAZN)

  • Jaime Munguia vs. Maciej Sulecki, 12 rounds, middleweights
  • Bektemir Melikuziev vs. Gabriel Rosado, 12 rounds, super middleweights
  • Title fight: Ibeth Zamora vs. Marlen Esparza, 10 rounds, for Zamora’s WBC women’s flyweight title- Ibeth Zamora
  • Blair Cobbs vs. Brad Brad Solomon, 10 rounds, welterweights

June 26: Las Vegas (ESPN+)

  • Vasiliy Lomachenko vs. Masayoshi Nakatani, 12 rounds, lightweights- Lomachenko 
  • Rob Brant vs. Janibek Alimkhanuly, 10 rounds, middleweights

June 26: TBA (Showtime PPV)- The best card from start to finish 

  • Title fight: Mario Barrios vs. Gervonta Davis, 12 rounds, for Barrios’ WBA “regular” junior welterweight title- Boy this will be an interesting fight. While Tank is the obvious favorite, Barrios size difference could be a big problem for Tank if he can’t manage to close the distance. I do believe Tank overcomes the size difference for the win
  • Erickson Lubin vs. Jeison Rosario, 12 rounds, WBC junior middleweight title eliminator- Rosario, I do feel Rosario will redeem himself after his last fight 
  • Batyr Akhmedov vs. Algenis Mendez, 12 rounds, junior welterweights-
  • Julian Williams vs. Brian Mendoza, 10 rounds, junior middleweights- This will be one amazing fight to watch but tough fight for both fighters. I feel as if this is a must win for Julian Williams career, I think he understands that and will get the job done.

june 27th: pbc, live on fox:

Title fight: David Morrell Jr vs Mario Cazares, 12 rounds, WBA Super Middleweight Championship – David Morrell stays unbeaten in his title defense, giving Cazares his first loss.


JULY

July 3: Carson, California (Showtime)

  • Title fight: Chris Colbert vs. Yuriorkis Gamboa, 12 rounds, for Colbert’s WBA interim junior lightweight titleChris Colbert, I feel as if Gamboa’s days are numbered. Gamboa is a tough fighter and will not be a cake walk but ultimately I think he loses in a stoppage.

July 9: Los Angeles (DAZN)

  • Gilberto Ramirez vs. Sullivan Barrera, 12 rounds, light heavyweights
  • Joseph Diaz Jr. vs. Javier Fortuna, 12 rounds, lightweightsFortuna

July 17: TBA (Showtime)

  • Title fight: Jermell Charlo vs. Brian Castano, 12 rounds, for Charlo’s IBF, WBC and WBA junior middleweight titles and Castano’s WBO junior middleweight title- Jermell Charlo – Jermell Charlo with KO of the Year candidate 

July 17: Germany

  • Tina Rupprecht vs. Katia Gutierrez, 10 rounds, for Rupprecht’ WBC women’s strawweight title

July 24: Las Vegas

  • Title fight: Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder, 12 rounds, for Fury’s WBC heavyweight title- This one is hard for me. With Wilder having a new trainer he has shown actual boxing skills and not just being a slugger. If Wilder changes up his fighting style to what his training has looked like alongside his KO Power then I have a hard time betting against him. Fury is so skilled and agile for a fighter of his size. However I am nervous that he is doubting Wilder’s ability to beat him. By the skin of my teeth I have to go with Deontay Wilder. I feel a loss for Wilder would be more detrimental to his career than if Fury lost. 

AUGUST

August 14: TBA (Showtime)

  • Title fight: John Riel Casimero vs. Guillermo Rigondeaux, 12 rounds, for Casimero’s WBO bantamweight title- John Riel Casimero

August 21: Las Vegas (FOX PPV) (Fight of the year until further notice)

  • Title fight: Errol, Spence Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao, 12 rounds, for Spence’s WBC and IBF welterweight titles- Errol Spence Jr, Boy is this fight huge for the boxing world. We have Manny Pacquiao trying to cement his legacy against arguably the top boxer of today’s boxing generation. Errol Spence Jr has been calling Manny out for some time, so to add a win over Manny Pacquiao to his resume would be amazing. Please disregard Manny Pacquiao’s age, he will be even more prepared than he was for Thurman, however Errol Spence is no Thurman. Coming off a huge win against Danny Garcia, Spence says he currently feels 100% again and did not during Danny Garcia’s fight. I do not seeing 100% Errol Spence losing to Manny Pacquiao.

August 28: TBA (Showtime)

  • David Benavidez vs. Jose Uzcategui, 12 rounds, WBC super middleweight title eliminator- David Benavidez Winner 

Hot time for Boxing