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 ats off to Ohio State. They made some significant plays at significant time, NCCU coach LeVelle Moton said.

Clad in just his skivvies, Vijender Singh stepped carefully up onto the weighing machine. Unlike Francis Cheka, his opponent who will bid to depose him on Saturday evening of the WBO Asia Pacific super middleweight title, Vijender didnt take time to showboat. He would stand on the metal plate for just enough time to give a quick flex of his biceps for the photographers before stepping off.Cheka who until that point was good naturedly jiving to the Singh is King ditty that is sort of Vijenders anthem, wasnt too impressed. He gesticulated frantically at his manager and pointed at the machine. Vijender, Cheka apparently felt, was over the super middleweight limit of 76kg. Chekas manager now wanted Vijender to get on the scales again. Now pro boxing thrives on drama and Chekas protest promised to provide some. Unfortunately though, there would be none. The WBO medical supervisor gave the all clear. Vijender was seventy-six even.Cheka meanwhile had weighed in at 74.7kg. This means when the action moves out of the press conference room at the Thyagaraj stadium and into the ring being set up two floors below, on Saturday evening, the Indian will have a distinct benefit in muscle and bone in addition to the two inches in reach. The odds arent in favour of the 34-year-old Tanzanian veteran. Hes won just three of his last six fights (a quick sampling of betting sites would give you, at worst, a ten-fold return on investment in the unlikely scenario of a Cheka win). Vijender, 30, will most likely improve on his 7-0 (6 K.O) record. He should in all probability retain the belt he won by outpointing Australian veteran Kerry Hope over 10 rounds in August.Yet Cheka isnt a pushover. While he might be considered another rung in Vijenders climb up the professional ladder, its also true Cheka is a big step up, just as Hope was five months back. At the top of the professional pyramid are the champions. Obviously Vijender isnt one even though he holds a fringe regional belt. He isnt even a challenger. Yet after starting out facing absolute beginners and then jobbers, Vijender, in Hope and now Cheka is fighting boxers who once were challengers to challengers, or even champions themselves. Its clear, that as he starts facing the gatekeepers of the super middleweight division, Vijender is progressing.Battle hardenedWith a record of 32-9-2, the African is the most experienced fighter Vijender has faced so far. He has held belts from some of the minor sanctioning bodies but there are some high quality opponents in that resume too. Cheka has shared the ring with the likes of Russias Fedor Chudinov, Germanys Robert Steiglitz and Matthew Macklin and Paul Smith of Britain. After beating Cheka, Chudinov would go on to become WBA super middleweight champion while Steiglitz has twice held the WBO super middleweight title. Macklin has challenged three times for world titles including once against Gennady Golovkin while Smith, a two time world title contender once fought Andre Ward.Now, Cheka lost all these fights - to Macklin and Smith on points and Steiglitz and Chudinov by stoppage. But there is a subtext to this story. Chudinovs bout with Cheka was the ninth in his professional career. Paul Smith faced him in his 22nd fight, Macklin in his 24th and Steiglitz in his 27th bout. Many of the Tanzanians fights he says, were also put together at short notice giving him little time to prepare. In one of the contests a crooked cornerman threw in the towel when he was winning. The contest against Vijender was a last-minute affair too (the originally picked fighter -Turkeys Onder Ozgul picked up a shoulder injury in training) but as Cheka was already preparing for a fight later this month, he signed on against the Indian.Cheka is a quality opponent and the fact is that Vijender is taking a tougher fight at an earlier stage in his career than any of the big names who have fought Cheka previously. This is partly to be expected owing to Vijenders late start in the professional ranks. But its also clear that promoters Queensberry are speeding his development along. According to his manager Francis Warren, Vijender will be steered towards fighting for bigger titles next year.Looking down the roadIn the horizon is a Commonwealth title fight against Australias Zac Dunn (23-0, 18 KOs), possibly in Australia. Other possible matchups include Rocky Fielding (22-1) and Luke Blackledge (22-3-2). With Vijenders age and amateur experience he doesnt need to be having too many fights for the kind of title hes fighting for on Saturday. Theres no point in Vijender fighting people who will only last a few rounds, Warren told ESPN. Warren isnt expecting the bout against Cheka to go very long and its not hard to see why. With nearly two decades of amateur pedigree behind him, Vijender is clearly the far better boxer.Chekas game in contrast has little tolerance for technical niceties. Im not looking to go ten rounds with Vijender. Im going to knock him out, Cheka says through an interpreter. Indeed Cheka will likely try to get Vijender to fight and negate the latters boxing superiority. Kerry Hope was marginally successful when he implemented the strategy during his unanimous decision loss at the same venue in July. But the bad tempered brawling style learned in hard scrabble Morogoro comes with its own limitations. Cheka has knocked out only 17 of his 42 opponents, which suggests he probably wont have the stopping power to trouble Vijender. But his high risk approach leaves him vulnerable as well.With his right arm hanging low to his side as he prepares to hook, Cheka will almost certainly be caught by Vijenders left. It will remain to be seen how well the African can take a punch. Vijender doesnt think he can. He doesnt have strong legs. Once I hit him the first time, he wont come forward, Vijender says. Indeed if all goes to plan on Saturday, Vijender will quickly control the distance between his opponent and make him pay when he lapses defensively. Despite a seemingly predictable result, the fight makes sense. Vijenders WBO rank - currently 11 - will rise, making it easier for him to set up fights with boxers in the top-10 and close in further on contender status. It makes good economic sense too. In India they want fights that sell a story. Cheka is a fight that wont set the boxing world alight, but it has captured the imagination in India, Warren tells ESPN.Pro boxing after all is about boxing but its also about business. Boxers need to be invested in and promoters and managers need a return in that investment through ticket and pay-per-view sales and TV rights. And in bouts like the one against Cheka, theres plenty of money to be made for Vijenders managers even if the demonetization linked economic slump has hit predictions of exactly how much that is. The bout will be a step up for them too.The last time Vijender fought in India, Neerav Tomar, the MD of IOS had predicted the fight would be the biggest sporting event of the month. We hardly did any promotion on the channel but we still got .35 TRP and 25 million viewers, says Tomar. But if July was a lean period sports wise, December is saturated. Yet Tomar isnt discouraged. We are looking to go even better, he says.Like Warren, Tomar too is looking for bigger ticket events. Wary of overexposure in the domestic market, he is looking overseas. Perhaps head back to the UK for a few bouts or even attempt to crack the middle east market with its significant Indian expatriate population.At some point next year Tomar hopes Vijender will be fighting the unbeaten Chinese Zulpikar Maimaitiali for the WBO Oriental belt. A title defence is compelling enough but there is not much you can do with an India -Tanzania contest. An India versus China matchup would be a marketers dream. Its left to Vijender to inject a dose of reality to proceedings.In a sport as unpredictable as boxing, a fight and by extension a career could end with a single lapse of concentration, a moment of misjudgement. Im not looking about a world bout or anything, he had said. Im taking it one bout at a time, one round at a time. Im going step by step. Taysom Hill Saints Jersey . Denis Coderre, the former federal MP who was elected mayor on Nov. 3, has drawn the ire of some Montreal Canadiens. During last nights game he tweeted: "Hello? Can we get a one-way ticket to (minor-league) Hamilton for David Desharnais please. Erik McCoy Womens Jersey . -- Matt Rupert scored once in regulation and again in the shootout as the London Knights extended their win streak to nine games by defeating the Owen Sound Attack 4-3 on Friday in Ontario Hockey League action. .B. - Sebastien Auger made 44 saves as the Saint John Sea Dogs edged the visiting Acadie-Bathurst Titan 2-1 on Saturday in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action. TreQuan Smith Saints Jersey .J. -- Pitcher Carl Pavano is retiring after 14 major league seasons. Bobby Hebert Womens Jersey . Having already announced that the race will start May 9 with three stages in Northern Ireland and Ireland and finish in Trieste on June 1, the rest of the route was unveiled Monday. COLUMBUS, Ohio -- JaeSean Tate scored 21 points and pulled down 10 rebounds as Ohio State overcame cold shooting and some ugly play to beat North Carolina Central 69-63 Monday night.Ohio State (2-0) struggled for much of the game and let the Eagles hang around. The Buckeyes shot just 46.4 percent from the floor and were lucky to get away with the victory over the less-talented Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference team.We just didnt come out ready to play today, Tate said.Fortunately for the Buckeyes, North Carolina Central (0-2) was sloppier, committing 20 turnovers and losing two players to fouls, including point guard Dajuan Graf.Patrick Cole carried the load for the NCCU with 26 points. Ron Trapps added 12 points and a team-high seven rebounds.Freshman center Micah Potter added 11 points on 3-for-4 shooting from the 3-point line for the Buckeyes, and Keita Bates-Diop had nine.I didnt like a whole lot of what I saw tonight, Ohio State coach Thad Matta said.Ohio State led 31-29 after a slow start by both teams in the first half. The Buckeyes had a 12-0 run and led by as much as 21-11 with 9:17 left in the first, but allowed North Carolina Central to slowly climb back. The Eagles briefly had a lead until Tate hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to end the half. They cut the lead to five with 40 seconds left.Hats off to Ohio State. They made some significant plays at significant time, NCCU coach LeVelle Moton said. I thought we did enough to win the basketball game.North Carolina Central led 32-31 with 18:46 to go in the game, but the Buckeyes slowly pulled away.ddddddddddddWeve got Providence next, and if we come out like that its not going to be pretty, Tate said . We know from last year that these early games count. We cant just be lackadaisical. We have to come out there and be the first team to punch the other in the mouth.Ohio State starting forward Marc Loving sat much of the first half after picking up two fouls in the first 1:15 of the game. He finished with three points.BIG PICTURENorth Carolina Central: If theres such thing as a moral victory, the Eagles got one by staying with the Buckeyes for most of the game. In the end, the best the Eagles got from the trip to Columbus was a chance to hone their game against a more-talented team. They nearly pulled off the upset.Ohio State: The Buckeyes were put on notice that this years version still needs a lot of work. Fortunately there are more tune-up games before conference play begins after Christmas.QUOTABLEWe werent physically and mentally very tough, Matta said. Obviously, we have to get that corrected.LYLE STRUGGLINGStarting point guard JaQuan Lyle sat most the second half Monday in favor of C.J. Jackson. He finished with five points. Lyle also sat most of the second half of last weeks win over Navy.UP NEXTNorth Carolina Central plays Wednesday at Western Carolina.Ohio State stays home to play Providence Thursday night. ' ' '

jj009, 07.08.2019 09:43
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