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‘Easy pick up’ – Floyd Mayweather won over $50,000 betting on Dmitry Bivol to follow in his footsteps and beat Canelo Alvarez who is now set to complete his trilogy with Gennady Golovkin

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'Easy Pick Up' - Floyd Mayweather Won Over $50,000 Betting On Dmitry Bivol To Follow In His Footsteps And Beat Canelo Alvarez Who Is Now Set To Complete His Trilogy With Gennady Golovkin
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Boxing legend Floyd Mayweather was one of the few people who dreamed up Dmitry Bivol’s chances against Saul Canelo Alvarez earlier this year.

The Mexican superstar was expected to become the WBA light heavyweight champion by beating Bivol in May before the Russian got 115-113 scorecards from all three ringside judges.

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Canelo suffered a shock loss to Bivol in May

It was just Canelo’s second loss in 61 fights and his first since Mayweather beat him by majority decision in 2013.

Since then he has beaten Gennady Golovkin, Callum Smith, Billy Joe Saunders, Danny Jacobs and Caleb Plant to clean up middle and super middleweight.

Many expected Canelo to beat Bivol before attempting to become the undisputed light heavyweight champion, but Mayweather thought his former foe was biting off more than he could chew.

After seeing Canelo lose, ‘Money’ posted a photo of a bet slip backing 4/1 underdog Bivol for $10,000 with the caption ‘easy pick up’ on Instagram.

The “Money” prediction rewarded him with $42,500, which means he won $52,500 – not bad at all.

Mayweather left professional boxing in 2017 after pocketing a ridiculous amount of money for his fight with UFC icon Conor McGregor.

Mayweather Jr Is No Longer The Only Man To Beat Canelo

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Mayweather Jr is no longer the only man to beat Canelo

But He Won't Mind After Winning Big On Bivol

But he won’t mind after winning big on Bivol

Although he is one of the most financially successful boxers of all time and his bank account appears to have been topped up with big betting winnings, the 45-year-old continues to fight.

Since announcing his retirement, Mayweather has fought Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa, YouTuber Logan Paul and his former sparring partner Don Moore in exhibition bouts.

He will return to the ring next week when he takes on 16-3 MMA fighter Mikuru Asakura before battling everyone’s favorite internet boxer Deji in November, who picked up his first professional win last month.

Meanwhile, Canelo will continue his journey to the Boxing Hall of Fame with a third fight against Golovkin taking place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday night.

Mayweather Enjoys A Lucrative Post-Fight Career

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Mayweather enjoys a lucrative post-fight career

Canelo And Ggg Will Complete Their Trilogy On Saturday Night

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Canelo and GGG will complete their trilogy on Saturday night

The bitter rivals shared the ring in 2017 for the first time in a hugely entertaining and competitive 12-round bout that ended in a disputed draw that many believe robbed the Kazakh fighter of a win.

The following year, Alvarez won a narrow majority decision in their rematch, but GGG still insisted he had won both fights and now would have his chance for revenge.

However, at 40, Golovkin is a huge underdog against the man who, despite his latest loss, still holds the undisputed WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO world titles at 168 pounds.

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Trudy Rubin: Putin is on the rocks. Ukraine is surging. If U.S. support stays strong, Kyiv can win

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Trudy Rubin: Putin Is On The Rocks. Ukraine Is Surging. If U.s. Support Stays Strong, Kyiv Can Win
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Last week was a turning point in Russia’s war on Ukraine. Kyiv’s astonishing gains will continue, and it is possible to envision a Ukrainian victory, so long as its Western supporters don’t lose their nerve.

After staging sham referendums at gunpoint in four occupied Ukrainian regions, Vladimir Putin announced Friday that residents had “chosen” to rejoin their “historic (Russian) motherland.” At a televised pop concert Friday in Red Square, he celebrated the forced annexation and led the chant of “Russia, Russia,” shouting exuberantly, “Welcome home!”

The very next day, Saturday, Ukrainian forces made stunning advances in the east and south, taking back land within the “annexed provinces” and breaking through Russian lines as they had in Kharkiv province earlier in September. Suddenly, over the weekend, the tightly controlled Russian airwaves that only broadcast Russian “victories” featured talk show debates over how to stem Russian losses.

Yet once again, Putin is hinting he might use nukes if desperate. Some of his acolytes are calling on him to use “tactical nuclear weapons.”

So where does Putin’s war go from here? Here are a few of the key questions and how I size up where things stand.

 

Are Ukrainians winning?

They are demonstrating that they can win — if Western support remains strong and new weapons arrive in time.

Putin’s imperialist call to restore the “unity” of “great historic Russia” revealed a total misunderstanding of the Ukrainian people. He conveniently ignored the fact that, in 1991, in a genuine referendum, every region of Ukraine voted overwhelmingly for independence from the Soviet Union (the four Putin annexed voted in 1991 by margins of 90%, 90%, 83% and 83%). Even Crimea voted 54% to join an independent Ukraine.

So Ukrainians rightly believe they are waging an existential battle for their freedom, while many Russian conscripts are unsure why they are fighting. As Secretary of State Antony Blinken put it succinctly, “If Russia stops fighting, the war ends. If Ukraine stops fighting, Ukraine ends.”

 

Is Russia losing?

Russian troops are demoralized. The Russian military system has become so disorganized that new troops are told to bring their own sleeping bags and food, and sent in with little or no training. Resistance is growing in Russia to Putin’s new, unjust mobilization of at least 300,000 new forces, from which hundreds of thousands are fleeing abroad.

New precise Western long-range multiple rocket systems with a range of 50 miles, especially the U.S.-built weapons known as HIMARS, have enabled Ukraine to disrupt Russian supply lines and command centers behind the front lines. The U.S. just announced it will send four more HIMARS to Ukraine; it should also expedite the arrival of long-range munitions for the launchers. Sending as much vital weaponry as possible before winter, and before the arrival of newly mobilized Russians, is key.

However, Russia still holds more than 15% of Ukrainian land, and its missiles and rockets are destroying civilian infrastructure across the country. “They are killing ordinary families and children every night in our cities,” I was told on WhatsApp by former parliament member Yehor Soboliev, who volunteered for military service. “We will win in any case, but we will meet many more deaths,” he said.

Kyiv military sources tell me their greatest need right now is for air-defense systems to protect their cities, and for tanks (where are those Leopard tanks, Germany?) to roll back fortified Russian positions as Ukrainian troops move forward on the flat steppe lands of the east and the south.

 

Would Putin use tactical nukes?

I am still skeptical that this will happen.

In military terms, it makes no sense. These weapons, with a much smaller payload than the Hiroshima bomb, are meant for the battlefield. But as the Institute for the Study of War, one of the best think tanks closely following the fighting, puts it: “The Russian military in its current state is almost certainly unable to operate on a nuclear battlefield even though it has the necessary equipment. Exhausted contract soldiers, hastily mobilized reservists, conscripts and mercenaries … could not function in a nuclear environment. Any areas affected by Russian tactical nuclear weapons would thus be impassable for the Russians, likely precluding Russian advances.”

Moreover, the wind could blow radiation back onto Russian troops or even inside Russia. And if a tactical nuclear weapon were dropped on a city, killing, say, 5,000 to 10,000 civilians, Russia would become a global outlaw, even to India and China. And the Ukrainians would keep fighting.

That said, the U.S. and its allies must leave Putin in no doubt that there would be “catastrophic consequences for Russia” — as national security adviser Jake Sullivan put it on ABC News — if Russia breaks the post-World War II taboo against nuclear weapons, plunging the world into a new nuclear era. That doesn’t necessarily mean a nuclear response, but it should mean military strikes by NATO members on Russian bases inside Ukraine, Russian ships in the Black Sea, and possibly on Russian bases in the homeland. It should also finally trigger a NATO invitation to Ukraine.

“Putin has to know it would be a suicide weapon for them,” I was told by H.R. McMaster, a former national security adviser in the Trump administration. Yes, indeed.

 

Will Europe hold strong in support of Ukraine?

In a historic first joint visit to Pennsylvania Monday, a large group of ambassadors from European Union countries insisted that Europe would hold firm in support for Ukraine, despite the pain of skyrocketing gas prices, and despite far-right gains in Swedish and Italian elections. Speaking to the Foreign Policy Research Institute and the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia, Stavros Lambrinidis, the EU ambassador to the United States, said: “Putin cannot win this. It is existential to all of us. This is not a war against Russia. It is a battle for values. You don’t invade to wipe countries off the map.”

Ukrainian courage and strategic skills, combined with Western intelligence-sharing, have opened the way for a Ukrainian victory before winter. All now depends on whether Western allies have the guts to match their Ukrainian compatriots with vital weapons and a united front against Putin. Kyiv is fighting not just for Ukraine’s freedom, but to prevent Putin from threatening Europe and, inevitably, the United States.

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Vikings bring back linebacker Ryan Connelly on practice squad

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Vikings Bring Back Linebacker Ryan Connelly On Practice Squad
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It was an eventful week for Ryan Connelly.

The Vikings on Thursday signed the linebacker to the practice squad. That came after Connelly, an Eden Prairie native, was activated off the physical unable to perform list Tuesday and then waived Wednesday. He rejoined the Vikings immediately after clearing waivers.

Connelly, in his fourth NFL season, first joined the Vikings in 2020 after being waived by the New York Giants. He got into 14 games in 2020 and 12 in 2021 for Minnesota before suffering a torn ACL last December.

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Youth is served: Heat’s Nikola Jovic still awaiting his . . . high school final exam

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Youth Is Served: Heat’s Nikola Jovic Still Awaiting His . . . High School Final Exam
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Nikola Jovic had the Miami Heat locker room abuzz after Thursday night’s 109-80 exhibition victory over the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center, and for more than the first-round pick out of Serbia closing with 10 rebounds and five assists.

Instead, it was the reaction to what coach Erik Spoelstra had revealed moments earlier about the skilled 6-foot-10 19-year-old.

“He’s extremely unique,” Spoelstra said, before turning his attention to Friday night’s exhibition against the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum. “And he’s so young. To put it in perspective, he’s still waiting to do his final exam to graduate from high school, and doing that over Zoom.”

Wait? What?

That essentially was the reaction from teammates, once Spoelstra’s revelation circulated.

Backup center Dewayne Dedmon was taken aback, with the 33-year-old big man incredulous about a teammate young enough to have yet to complete high school.

Jovic: “I was supposed to finish it this summer.”

Dedmon: “Supposed to?”

Jovic: “I’m finishing.”

Dedmon: “So you not even graduated high school?”

Jovic: “I’m finishing it right now.”

Dedmon: “And you in the NBA?”

Jovic: “Yeah.”

Dedmon: “You know you can’t go from high school to the pros?”

Jovic: “You can do it from Europe.”

Dedmon: “Apparently.”

With that, head shaking, Dedmon headed for the team bus, leaving his Serbian teammate to explain.

“They were doing it when I was doing the draft workouts,” he said of his high-school finals while he was working in Miami ahead of the June draft, “so I didn’t have time, especially because of the time difference.”

There will, Jovic said, be a diploma.

“It’s not that hard,” he said of his lone remaining test. “I need to take it. I don’t have time to take it right now.”

But he has reason to make sure it is completed sooner rather than later.

“My mom,” he said, “she wants me to finish school.”

While the NBA draft rule is written with high school in mind, it actually requires a player to be at least 19 in his draft year. Jovic was born June 9, 2003.

“As soon as I get some time, I’ll do it,” he said, having been in Miami since August preparing for his inaugural NBA season after playing professionally in Europe, “as soon as I get in contact with my teachers and stuff. Like I said, the time difference.”

And there will be more.

“I”m really glad I’m finishing it now,” he said. “I’m looking forward to doing something else after this, some college or something.”

All of which made his comments about his first NBA road game all the more fascinating.

“In high school, I used to go home and watch some of those guys on TV or on YouTube,” he said, “and to play against them is different.”

As in this year in high school.

To Spoelstra, it is a whole new world with the lithe 205-pound No. 27 pick.

“We’ve had a lot of different developmental projects over the years,” he said. “He’s a little bit of a unique one. We haven’t had a European so young. But his skill set is unique. Because of his size, he’s really just starting his weight lifting program with us for the last six weeks. So we won’t even see the benefit of that until next summer.

“But his ability to handle, to shoot, to put the ball on the floor, he’s a really good passer. That’s probably, at this point, his best skill. And he’s developing all the rest of it.”

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N.D. man pleads guilty to murder charges in deliberate Minnesota crash that killed 2 teens

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N.d. Man Pleads Guilty To Murder Charges In Deliberate Minnesota Crash That Killed 2 Teens
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A Grand Forks, N.D., man pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree murder for the deaths of two teenagers in a head-on crash that occurred last year in northeastern Minnesota.

Valentin Mendoza IV, 21, pleaded guilty to two counts of murder in the third degree — perpetrating eminently dangerous act and evincing depraved mind. He used the Norgaard plea, which is used when the defendant has no recollection of the event.

Mendoza maintained not-guilty pleas for the four other charges: two counts of second-degree murder — with intent (not premediated), and two counts of criminal vehicular homicide — operating a motor vehicle in a grossly negligent manner.

If the plea agreement is accepted by the court, Mendoza will be sentenced to 180 months for one charge and 150 months for the other. He will serve the sentences consecutively, for a total of 330 months, or 27.5 years.

According to an affidavit in the case, around 3:08 p.m. June 17, 2021, the East Grand Forks Police Department was dispatched to a two-vehicle head-on collision. The crash occurred on Highway 220, about a mile north of Polk County Road 19 in Polk County, Minn.

Mendoza was located in a red 2004 Ford Ranger pickup with severe damage on the front driver’s side; the vehicle was tipped over onto the passenger’s side. Police noted the speedometer was locked at 75 miles per hour and the posted speed limit for that location is 45 miles per hour. Mendoza was transported to Altru Hospital in Grand Forks.

The other vehicle was a white 2007 GMC Envoy, which also had severe damage to the front driver’s side. The speedometer was locked at 65 miles per hour. Two male juveniles were identified; both were unresponsive and severely injured, according to the affidavit. The two boys were removed from the vehicle and transported to Altru Hospital in Grand Forks.

At the hospital, the Minnesota State Police spoke to Mendoza’s mother, who said Mendoza was bipolar and had a history of making “suicidal comments.” According to the affidavit, Mendoza’s mother received a call from his girlfriend that day, stating Mendoza sent her a Snapchat video at 3:05 p.m. In the video, Mendoza was driving and said he was going to take his own life.

After analyzing the scene of the collision, Minnesota state trooper Adam Rochlin determined the Envoy had been traveling southbound on Highway 220 and the pickup was traveling northbound at the time of the crash. The roadway was noted as straight and flat, marked with a yellow center line, dry and clear of defects or damage.

“There were no tire or brake marks near the point of impact of the collision,” the affidavit says. The pickup crossed the center line and struck the Envoy head-on.

On June 23, 2021, one of the juveniles died from his injuries after being removed from life support. On June 29, 2021, the other juvenile died from his injuries.

Mendoza’s sentencing is scheduled to take place at 1:30 p.m. Dec. 14.

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Amy Klobuchar confirms she’ll see fourth Senate term in 2024

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Amy Klobuchar Confirms She’ll See Fourth Senate Term In 2024
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U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota’s senior senator, says she plans to seek a fourth term in two years.

A Klobuchar spokeswoman confirmed the Democrat’s intentions in a statement to the Star Tribune, the Minneapolis-based newspaper reported on Thursday.

“As the Senator has made clear, she loves her job serving the people of Minnesota and is planning on running for re-election,” spokeswoman Jane Meyer said in a statement, which followed a recent Politico article noting the large number of Democratic-held Senate seats on the ballot in 2024.

Klobuchar ran an unsuccessful campaign for president in 2020. With President Joe Biden planning to seek re-election in 2024, Klobuchar will back him, Meyer confirmed to the Minneapolis newspaper.

The 62-year-old senator was first elected to the Senate in 2006. A graduate of Yale University and the University of Chicago Law School, she previously served as the Hennepin County attorney.

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‘I’m coming back. Give me some time’: Ben Simmons, Nets preach patience after ugly loss to Heat

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‘I’m Coming Back. Give Me Some Time’: Ben Simmons, Nets Preach Patience After Ugly Loss To Heat
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As fans slowly filed out of the Barclays Center after the Nets’ second consecutive preseason blowout loss to an Eastern Conference playoff opponent — this time a 109-80 defeat to the Miami Heat after Monday’s 19-point thumping from the shorthanded Philadelphia 76ers — the in-arena DJ played an all-too familiar tune.

“Don’t worry. Be happy.”

It’s easy to worry after Thursday’s poor performance, a game two-time NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant said he “didn’t like anything” about except the team leaving with no injured players. Poor defense and offensive miscues aside, Ben Simmons’ unwillingness to attack the basket underscored the Nets’ inability to take care of the basketball or generate quality offense against one of the NBA’s premier defenses.

Especially in a game both Kyrie Irving (paternity leave) and Joe Harris (sore ankle) watched from the sidelines.

Simmons, however, said there are some things he isn’t yet comfortable doing — like “getting to the rim, getting hit and hitting” other players — because he’s only a few months removed from offseason back surgery. He is confident, and so are his teammates and his head coach, about a  return to a more aggressive version of himself as he shakes off the rust associated with 480 days away from NBA basketball and works to get into a better place after getting a microdiscectomy to alleviate the pain stemming from the herniated disk he suffered after the trade to Brooklyn.

“It’s been a year,” Simmons said after posting four points, four assists and 10 rebounds to go with six turnovers on the night. “I’m coming back. Give me some time.”

Still, there were some plays that raised eyebrows more than others.

Simmons, for example, had a 10-inch height advantage on Heat guard Kyle Lowry and had the mismatch with a one-on-one on the high post. Instead of looking to power to the rim against the smaller opponent, he threw the ball back out to Durant on the perimeter.

When Durant immediately gave the ball back to Simmons — a sign for Simmons to take advantage of the mismatch and get to the rim — Simmons took one dribble towards the paint and shoveled a pass to Royce O’Neale on the opposite wing.

O’Neale, a capable marksman, missed the lightly contested three.

Then there were the back-to-back turnovers with just over two minutes to go in the first quarter.

Reserve lead guard Edmond Sumner threw an entry pass to Simmons, who posted up Heat All-Star Jimmy Butler on the baseline. Sumner then cut along the baseline behind Simmons to the rim, and Simmons floated a pass over his head under the basket.

The pass was tipped away and intercepted, leading to a Miami fast break.

On the very next possession, Simmons advanced the ball up the floor against second-year two-way signing Marcus Garrett. Markieff Morris screened Garrett at the three-point line and Simmons pushed within two feet of the foul line.

And then he flung a pass to O’Neale in the left wing. This time, Garrett was in position and made a play to get possession of the ball.

Some of Simmons’ passes were predictable because Simmons didn’t — and doesn’t — look to score often. Durant said the team “definitely” wants Simmons “to be more aggressive and look to score, especially if he’s got a small wing in the post,” and when he “has an advantage going downhill in transition.”

But he also knows how long of a layoff it’s been for Simmons and that Thursday only marked his second game back.

“I think he’s just finding his rhythm again. He hasn’t played in a long time, and to throw you back up in there with the game going fast?” Durant said. “You can play pickup all you want, but once you put someone in the game, all that stuff goes out the window.

“So, he’s getting his legs, (a) quick move here and he’s figuring it out. It’s only going to get better from here.”

Simmons admitted there needs to be more of a balance for when he looks to set his teammates up for shots versus when he looks to score on his own.

“Looking at the box score, I took three shots, which is definitely not enough,” he said. “Obviously offensively, I want to get to the post more, get some more touches down low, be more aggressive, get to the rim, get to the free throw line, which I didn’t do tonight.”

Nets head coach Steve Nash said he expects Simmons to grow in his aggression putting pressure on the rim. He also, rightfully, noted Irving and Harris’ absences put more pressure on Simmons to create by taking two floor spacers off the court.

“He’s gonna get more attempts. Right now obviously it’s a little clunky for us,” Nash said. “Ben will be fine. He’ll improve, he’s gonna get better every night, and he’s gonna be an engine for us and a big part of what we do. So I’m not really worried about him, but it is a process.

“He hasn’t played for a long time and he’s also assimilating to a new group. That takes time, it’s not gonna be perfect, and it probably won’t be any time soon. But if we can keep improving every day that’s all we ask for.”

Two preseason games isn’t full cause to be worried, but the Nets — other than glimpses of unrealized potential — haven’t given fans much to be happy about, either.

Durant finished with 22 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the floor but showed some frustration when he accidentally threw the ball away attempting to get the ball to O’Neale, kicking off a Heat fast break and putting them on the line.

Nash warned things would look ugly early as the Nets adjust to both new rotations and new schemes, and ugly described their loss to the Heat on Thursday. It’s only preseason, but the same can be said for the two other Eastern Conference contenders who have blown the cap off the Barclays Center.

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