Muhammad Ali seems to have finally responded to Floyd Mayweather’s claim that the undefeated fighter is “better” than “The Greatest.”
And all it took was one tweet:
In a recent video obtained by TMZ, Floyd Mayweather talked briefly about the possibility of training Prince Jackson — the King of Pop’s son. The short clip, which features a man asking Mayweather questions about the rumor on the street while the boxer is surrounded by his entourage, was posted on TMZ.
In the less than thirty second clip, the interviewer asks, “You teaching Prince how to box, Floyd?” The question was triggered by a report that Prince Jackson, son of the late singer, was spotted in a truck covered in “The Money Team” decals over the weekend. The Money Team is, according to its website, “a lifestyle brand inspired by Floyd Mayweather.”
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There have been numerous reports in the past two weeks about the four former NFL stars — Tony Dorsett, Joe DeLamielleure, Leonard Marshall and Mark Duper — diagnosed with early signs of a brain condition called chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE.
These reports have shifted into discussions on how to prevent other players from developing CTE, including possible changes to game rules, special testing and delaying youth involvement.
But, what exactly is CTE?
CTE is a condition where repeated blows to the head or neck — in contact sports such as boxing, football and hockey — eventually lead to long-term brain damage. The head trauma can be as simple as hitting the ground during a tackle or a full speed helmet-to-helmet collision.
In CTE, the brain breaks down and develops a build-up of an abnormal protein called tau, which contributes to the symptoms.
What CTE looks like
The symptoms include cognitive deficits such as memory loss, impaired judgment and confusion; behavioral changes such as impulse control or aggression; and psychiatric symptoms such asdepression, paranoia and suicide. Eventually, the degeneration of the brain in CTE causes dementia.
Dorsett appeared on ESPN last week and confirmed that he has memory deficits, emotional outbursts, depression and thoughts of suicide.
Typically, CTE can only be diagnosed postmortem during an autopsy, however, Dorsett and other athletes are showing early symptoms of the condition.
Just a concussion, or brain damage?
We now know that a concussion — including “seeing stars” or “getting your bell rung” — is, in fact, minor brain injury.
Concussions have been a part of the game — even as of last week, NFL teams reported a total of 62 concussions since the beginning of the 2013 season — but there’s an increased awareness lately. Simply put, any blow to the head or any impact that shakes the brain around with a resulting symptom — headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, memory loss or feeling foggy — is a concussion.
Making this definition more accurate has become important in identifying who is actually at risk for long-term damage. But, while CTE is known to come from repeated concussions, it can also occur in players who take blows with seemingly no symptoms.
In 2010, Boston University researchers found CTE in the brain of a dead college football player who had hung himself, and had never reported having a concussion.
Advocates say that this makes a case that even small blows without a full concussion could still have long-term damaging effects.
Putting two and two together
This issue is not new. Back in 2005, researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill sent surveys to more than 3,000 members of the NFL Retired Player’s Association and found a connection between repeated football concussions and dementia later in life. In fact, they found a 37 percent higher risk of Alzheimer’s dementia among those who responded. Some needed help from family members to complete the survey.
That same year, University of Pittsburgh researchers published findings of an autopsy on a former NFL player 12 years out of retirement. He reportedly had a mood disorder, problems with cognition and symptoms similar to someone with Parkinson’s disease.
Two years later, in response to these new findings, The Sports Legacy Institute was created in Boston with the goal of promoting awareness of brain injury in sports and studying the brains of deceased athletes. That same year, they received their first donation to the brain bank from the family of Chris Benoit — a champion professional wrestler who ended his life in a shocking double-murder suicide.
Some speculated that steroids were responsible, but SLI, along with Boston University researchers, performed forensic testing that showed signs of CTE.
CTE and suicide
Since then, several other professional athletes who have committed suicide were found to have damage consistent with CTE.
In the same year, NFL defensive back Andre Waters committed suicide at age 44, and the pathologist who performed his autopsy told the New York Times that Waters’ brain had degenerated into a brain of an 85-year-old man and that his brain had characteristics of Alzheimer’s patients.
Boston University researchers also found CTE in the brain of former Pro Bowl Safety Dave Duerson who, at 50, committed suicide with a gunshot to the chest. He left a note asking that his brain be donated to the Brain Bank.
Star NFL linebacker Junior Seau was 43 took his own life last May. A National Institutes of Health study found his brain also had signs of CTE.
The month before, former Atlanta Falcons safety Ray Easterling committed suicide at 62 and his autopsy showed signs of CTE.
More research and testing
The SLI, in particular, continues to receive brain donations, perform testing and advocate about CTE. In January 2013, they published findings in the journal Brain showing that 68 of the brains from 85 subjects with a history of mild repetitive brain trauma had evidence of CTE.
Since CTE can only be definitively diagnosed postmortem, there is a need for earlier testing and research among living athletes — both active and retired.
August 27, 2013 By Associated Press
LAS VEGAS — A rare series of storms had cooled the summer air to an almost tolerable level, though it was steamy as ever inside Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s (pictured left) gym just a few miles from the Vegas Strip. With a couple of sparring partners in front of him late Monday afternoon, Mayweather turned up the heat even more. “Right there, right there,” he yelled at the first hapless pugilist to feel his wrath. “You can’t get away. I’ll hit you when I want to.” It didn’t take Mayweather long to do just that. As the third of four rounds stretched to the 10-minute mark he connected with a rapid volley of punches, finishing it off with a left hook that rocked his opponent for the day, sending him stumbling across the ring. All in a day’s work, but there was still work to be done. Always is when it’s Mayweather in training and especially now, less than three weeks before his fight with undefeated Mexican star Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (pictured). It’s a big fight, but all Mayweather fights are big. He’s the undisputed pay-per-view king and the Sept. 14 matchup is so attractive that the pay-per-view price is a whopping $74.95 for those watching in high definition. Though Mayweather’s last fight in May against Robert Guerrero — for which he earned $32 million — wasn’t a huge box office smash, this one should make executives at Showtime and CBS feel better about the money they laid out for boxing’s biggest draw. Better yet, he’s fighting for the second time in four months after not fighting more than once a year since 2007. “I’m ready to perform and entertain, that’s what it’s all about,” Mayweather said. “I’m a lot older now so the last five fights I have I want to go out with a bang.” The fight is the second in his six-fight deal with Showtime, which lured him from HBO to help sell cable subscriptions and build the network’s boxing brand. He says the bouts will be the last of his career, though at the age of 36 he doesn’t seem to have lost any of the reflexes or speed that have helped him win all 44 of his fights in a professional career that began following the 1996 Olympics. What has changed is how Mayweather sells himself, even if he claims he hasn’t changed. Ever since his release from a Las Vegas jail after serving 64 days on domestic abuse charges last year Mayweather has been the model of politeness and civility — in sharp contrast to the bad boy persona that made him such a big attraction over the years. That’s one reason why Showtime’s All Access show on Mayweather-Alvarez seemed to fall a bit flat in the first episode. There were the requisite shots, of course, of Mayweather and Alvarez in face-offs and together on a tour promoting the bout, but there wasn’t the drama of Mayweather’s earlier fights when he could be seen yelling at his father or counting stacks of $100 bills with his former buddy, 50 Cent.
That sold pay-per-views to people who spent their money hoping to either see Mayweather win or get knocked out. But Mayweather seems to either have outgrown the part or simply doesn’t want to play it anymore.
“What do you mean by image? My image has always been as an entertainer, but at home I’m a great father,” Mayweather said. “There’s no bad guy, that’s an image the critics picked. My image is to make sure my kids get the best education and provide a comfortable life for my family.”
If the new Mayweather is a kinder and gentler sort outside the ring, he’s changed some inside, too. His fights sometimes tended to become tedious affairs as he sought to win without getting hit, but in recent years he has changed his style somewhat and has become more aggressive and flat-footed.
It showed on Monday as he walked two sparring partners across the ring, banging away with left hooks and right hands while keeping up a steady stream of chatter. The short time between fights should be beneficial to Mayweather at his age, and he’s already inside the 152-pound catch weight for the fight.
“I got back into it so quick that I’m still sharp,” he said. “I feel good, real good.”
Boxing fans should feel good, too, that Mayweather is taking on Alvarez, a 23-year-old who is unbeaten in 42 fights and holds a piece of the 154-pound title. Mayweather has been criticized in the past for hand picking his opponents and refusing to fight Manny Pacquiao, but Alvarez is about as dangerous a fight as any he could take on at this stage of his career.
Not that Mayweather will acknowledge any such thing. Icing his sometimes brittle hands while sitting in a dressing room after his workout he questioned the quality of Alvarez’s opponents, and said it was just another fight to him.
Another fight and another $40-50 million payout that will cement his reign this year as the highest paid athlete in the world.
As for Pacquiao and the fight that will likely now never happen?
“I don’t even know who that is,” Mayweather said.
50 Cent, born Curtis Jackson, arrives at the 40th Anniversary American Music Awards on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
by Ken Ritter, Associated Press
Las Vegas (AP) — Rapper and entrepreneur 50 Cent is taking a swing at promoting boxing in Nevada.
Nevada Athletic Commission executive Keith Kizer said Monday the entertainer and businessman whose real name is Curtis James Jackson III won approval last week for a promoter’s license.
The company is called SMS Promotions. It’s handling a Dec. 8 bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas between Cuban-born Miami-based boxer Yuriorkis Gamboa and an opponent yet to be named.
Messages left Monday with the company in New York City weren’t returned.
Kizer says 50 Cent and boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. had been talking about forming a promotions company called TMT Promotions.
But the rapper told the commission those plans fell through, and the fledgling business was being absorbed by SMS Promotions.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press
Former heavyweight boxing champ Ken Norton (pictured above), who in 1973 broke the jaw of legendary boxing king Muhammad Ali during a bout, is reportedly hospitalized from complications of a stroke, reports Fight News.
Earlier stories reported that he suffered a heart attack–which is not accurate.
Norton, 69, reportedly got an infection while in a rehab facility as he was recovering from a stroke suffered last August. As a World Boxing Hall of Fame inductee and high-ranking member of the 70′s golden era of boxing, Norton finished his exemplary career with a record of 42-7-1 and held the title in 1978. He lost it that same year to another heavyweight boxing stud, Larry Holmes.
Norton’s jaw-crushing 1973 bout with Ali put him on the map. (It also evokes amazement from boxing critics and fans alike because Ali finished the fight despite suffering the broken jaw. Ali claims it was broken during the second round while Norton’s camp says the injury occurred much later)
Norton won the 12-round fight via split decision to go on and win the North American Boxing Federation (NABF) Heavyweight Title. It was Ali’s second career defeat at the time.
Norton’s retirement in 1981 followed a first round defeat to up-and-coming talent, Gerry Cooney. It was evident that Norton’s illustrious career was over when Cooney’s first punch made Norton’s knees buckle.
Fif’s latest business venture is that of boxing promotions, with his company TMT.
50 Cent is getting into boxing promotion. The rap mogul just started a boxing promoting company, TMT, standing for The Money Team.
He’s licensed TMT in New York and he’s in the process of applying for a license in Nevada, reports say.
Sources say that TMT Promotions is looking to sign former featherweight title holder Yuri Gamboa and super middleweight contender Andre Dirrell, as well as continue to work with Fif’s longtime friend Floyd Mayweather.