Archive for June, 2018

Muhammad Ali made the third defense of his second reign as World Heavyweight Champion with a 15 round unanimous decision over Joe Bunger by the scores of 73-67, 72-65, and 73-65 at the Merdeka Stadium in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on June 30th, 1975. This was their second meeting with Ali winning a 12 round unanimous decision two years prior. The 33 year old Ali entered the bout with a record of 47-2, 34 KO’s with six straight wins. The 25 year old Bunger was 51-6-1, 31 KO’s with eight straight wins.

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International Boxing Hall of Fame member and former Heavyweight Champion of the World Sonny Liston fought for the final time, stopping Chuck Wepner after nine rounds on June 29th, 1970 at the Armory in Jersey City, New Jersey. The 40 year old Liston scored a knockdown in round five after a body shot, and cut Wepner over both eyes, resulting in the fight being stopped. The 31 year old Wepner also suffered a broken nose and fractured cheekbone, as well as needing 72 stitches to close the cuts. Liston, who was found dead in his home six months later, finished with a record of 50-4, 39 KO’s. Wepner went on to fight eight more years, including against Muhammad Ali, which inspired the ‘Rocky’ saga.

Sanders_Miles (A-17-RU-MS) 9380

It’s not often a program will lose a No. 2 overall NFL draft pick and not feel its effects the following season. While Penn State will be without Saquan Barkley in 2018, Miles Sanders will fill the gap and should show similar production. While Barkley totaled nearly 2,000 yards from scrimmage last year, Sanders has the talent to come close to that.

Noted college football guru Phil Steele rated Sanders as the No. 3 overall running back out of high school in the 2016 recruiting class. The 5’11” 211 pound Junior is physically similar to Barkley. As a true freshman he played in 13 games and averaged 7.4 yards per carry on 25 totes. Last year Sanders played in 12 games, including a start versus Rutgers. He averaged 6.2 yards per carry on 31 rush attempts.

Sanders has unique cutting ability and has shown great route running ability out of the backfield. Along with having a veteran quarterback in Trace McSorley returning, Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin believes that this years offensive line is the best its been since he took over the program in 2014. Steele rates the line the 15th best in the nation.

Sanders was named pre-season third team All-Big Ten from Steele, who projects Penn State to average a solid 155 rushing yards per game in 2018 after averaging 171 over the last two seasons.

After Barkley rushed for over 1,000 yards each of the last three seasons, Sanders should continue that trend in 2018 as he becomes the focal point of the Nittany Lions rushing attack.

International Boxing Hall of Fame boxer Mando Ramos won a 15 round split decision over Pedro Carrasco on June 28th, 1972 at the Palacio de los Deportes in Madrid, Spain to retain the lineal Lightweight Championship of the World. This was the third straight meeting between the fighters, with each claiming a win. The 23 year old Ramos entered with a record of 32-5, 20 KO’s while the 28 year old Carrasco was 103-2-2, 64 KO’s. The last bout took place on February 18th, with Ramos also winning via 15 round split decision.

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Michigan will have a new quarterback under center in 2018. Shea Patterson, a 6’3” 203 pound Junior, transferred from Ole Miss and has been granted eligibility for the upcoming season. Expectations are high, as noted college football guru Phil Steele placed Patterson on his All-Big Ten second team, despite not yet having thrown a pass in a Big Ten game.

Patterson earned high school All-American honors and Steele rated him the No. 2 overall high school quarterback in the 2016 recruiting class. Patterson graduated early and enrolled in Oxford in time for spring practices. In three games (all starts) he completed 55 percent of his throws for 880 yards with a 6-3 ratio as a true freshman. Patterson started the first seven games for Ole Miss last year and was leading the SEC in passing yards entering his final game of the season, versus LSU. Despite tearing his PCL in the first half vs the Tigers that would end his season, Patterson played nearly the entire game. For the season Patterson improved his completion percentage to 64 percent while throwing for 2,259 yards and a 17-9 ratio.

Patterson practiced with the Wolverines this spring after transferring over the winter. He has an extremely strong arm and while not a huge running threat, can extend plays with his feet. He has solid options to throw to in tight end Sean McKeon and wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones.

In 2015, head coach Jim Harbaugh’s first season at the helm in Ann Arbor, Jake Rudock threw for 3,017 yards, meaning the Wolverines can produce through the air when they have the proper signal caller.

If healthy Patterson will have a realistic shot at breaking John Navarre’s single season school record of 3,311 passing yards, set in 2003. At the very least Patterson should become just the third Wolverine quarterback to throw for at least 3,000 yards in a season.