No retirement talk: Pacquiao
Philippine great Manny Pacquiao will box on irrespective of the outcome of his Nov. 24 fight against American Brandon Rios, the eight-weight world champion said on Wednesday. Two straight defeats, the second a sixth-round knockout by old foe Juan Manuel Marquez in December last year, have triggered talk of retirement, which would only increase if he loses in Macau as well. However, the 34-year-old Filipino said he would not even give retirement a thought. “[I] just want to go out and win this fight,” Pacquiao told reporters through adviser Michael Koncz via a teleconference. The boxer dismissed any hangover from his last two losses and said he was feeling comfortable and confident ahead of the Macau showdown. Pacquiao dismissed his last two defeats as part of boxing and denied being under any pressure to re-establish himself as the world’s best pound-for-pound boxer. However, he conceded that the Rios fight would be crucial. “This is one of the most important ones because I want to show my fans in the world that I can still compete at the high level,” he said.
Sunderland make quarters
A rare goal from Phil Bardsley put Sunderland on the road to a League Cup quarter-final clash with Chelsea as they beat Southampton 2-1 on Wednesday. It was only Sunderland’s fourth win of the season and their third in the same competition as they set up manager Gus Poyet for a reunion with his old club. Bardsley struck from close range 14 minutes into the second half, after former Sunderland goalkeeper Kelvin Davis had parried Jozy Altidore’s header. Substitute Sebastian Larsson looked to have wrapped up the win with a second four minutes from time, but defender Maya Yoshida’s late header set up a tense conclusion.
Mundine vs Mosley back on
Anthony Mundine yesterday said US boxing great Shane Mosley will return to Australia to face him in a rescheduled non-title middleweight fight in Sydney on Nov. 27. Former world middleweight champion Mundine and his manager Khoder Nasser told a press conference the bout was back on after the pair guaranteed Mosley a A$1 million (US$947,000) purse up front. The announcement comes a little over two weeks after Mosley flew home on the eve of the initial fight on Oct. 23, citing a breach of contract with the previous promoter. “This time, it’s going to be done,” Mundine said of his first bout since losing an IBF world middleweight title fight to fellow Australian and archrival Daniel Geale in January. “I’m excited. I’m focused on one goal and that’s proving to the world, to myself, to my fans, and the boxing world that I belong with the legends,” he said. Mosley, who has won five world titles in three weight classes, announced his retirement in June last year after he lost a unanimous decision to junior middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez of Mexico. However, the 42-year-old returned to the ring in May, beating Pablo Cesar Cano by unanimous decision to win the vacant WBC welterweight title in Mexico.
Phillips acting Texans coach
Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips will take over as Houston’s interim head coach and try to help the team end a six-game skid with Gary Kubiak out indefinitely after suffering a mini-stroke this weekend. “I’m just keeping the seat warm,” Phillips said. It is a familiar position for Phillips, a 30-plus-year NFL coaching veteran, who was last a head coach in Dallas and has twice served as an interim head coach.