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Shearns Boxing Promotions It’s a family affair

Former professional boxer “Irish” Chuck Shearnshas announced the founding of New England’s newest promotional company, Shearns Boxing Promotions.
Shearns will promoted his inaugural show at The Palladium in Worcester, MA, the same venue  where he last fought nearly two years ago to the exact date, on Friday night, March 15. Full details about this event will soon be announced.
For the past two years, Shearns has worked with Rivera Entertainment Promotions, and he was co-promoter of Granite Chin Promotions, gaining invaluable experience in terms of the business of boxing.  Now, he has decided to go out on his own, and he has more than the full support of his family. Collectively, they are Shearns Boxing Promotions.
“I have experience because I worked shows with my friends, Jose Antonio and A.J. Rivera and Chris Traietti. Also, having been a pro fighter, I understand what it’s like to sell tickets for purses. I also know what it’s like to get shortchanged by a promoter. Because of these factors, I decided that I was ready to go out on my own, starting a business with my family.”
In addition to his duties as the official promoter, Chuck is also a licensed matchmaker who will be responsible for contracts and commission relations. His wife, Karen, will use her accounting background to handle finances. His two daughters will also be heavily involved in the company. Kayla has a marketing degree and will serve as marketing and social media director, while Olivia will take care of event management and operations.
Although Shearns Boxing Promotions will concentrate on the Worcester market, it also plans to expand throughout New England.
“We’re going to feature quality, fan-friendly shows at reasonable prices to help keep New England boxers active and progressing their careers,” Shearns added. “There is a potentially active boxing scene in New England with many boxers who need to be showcased.”
Shearns is a pro-fighter promoter who, unlike some others, is open to working other promoters, many of whom are his friends. “We want to work with, not against, other promoters,” Shearns noted. “We want to see New England fighters step up and fight each other. Shearns Boxing Promotions will give them that platform. We’re all-in for the good of boxing and its overall health, especially here in Massachusetts.”
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Junior Lightweight Prospect Chris Colbert from Brooklyn leads packed Undercard for for Premier Boxing Champions Prelims on Saturday, January 26 from Barclays Center in Brooklyn

Junior lightweight Chris Colbert will fight in his hometown as he battles once-beaten Josh Hernández in an eight-round match on Premier Boxing Champions Prelims live on FS1 and FOX Deportes on Saturday, January 26 from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™.
Super lightweight prospect and 2016 U.S. Olympian Antuanne Russell will take on Roberto Almazán in a six/eight round super lightweight bout, and junior middleweight prospect Chordale Booker (13-0, 7 KOs) will fight at Barclays Center for the fourth time when he meets Colombia’s Juan De Ángel (21-9, 19 KOs) in an eight-round match.
The Prelims show begins at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT and precedes Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX Deportes live in primetime that is headlined by undefeated WBA Welterweight World Champion Keith “One Time” Thurman returning to the ring after a lengthy injury layoff to defend his title against veteran Josesito López.
 
PBC on FOX action begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and will also include a co-feature featuring fast-rising unbeaten Polish heavyweight contender Adam Kownacki as he clashes with former title challenger Gerald Washington in a 10-round battle and unbeaten featherweight contender Tugstsogt Nyambayar battles hard-hitting Claudio Marrero in a 12-round bout.
 
Tickets for the show, which is promoted by TGB Promotions in association with DiBella Entertainment, begin at $50 and can be purchased at ticketmaster.combarclayscenter.com, or by calling 800-745-3000. Tickets can also be purchased at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center. Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP.
Colbert (9-0, 3 KOs) will be fighting for the fourth time at Barclays Center when he takes on Hernandez (8-1, 7 KOs). In his last fight, Colbert defeated Fatiou Fassinou by unanimous decision after stopping previously unbeaten Austin Dulay prior to that on FS1. He is opposed by the 23-year-old Hernandez who fights out of Chicago. He has scored three straight knockout victories heading into January 26.
Antuanne Russell (7-0, 7 KOs) is part of the fighting Russells from Capitol Heights, Maryland. His older brother Gary Russell Jr. is the WBC Featherweight Champion and his other brother, Antonio Russell, is a top bantamweight prospect. All three brothers are trained by their father, Gary, Sr.
Antuanne was a member of the U.S. Olympic boxing team for the 2016 Rio Games and has a 100% KO ratio in his first seven professional fights, including two knockout wins at Barclays Center last year. He faces the 20-year-old Almazan (7-8, 2 KOs), who is from Brownsville, Texas, and is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Daniel Perales on April 12.
Antonio Russell (12-0, 10 KOs) will also enter the ring, in a non-televised eight-round bantamweight fight against Lucas Baez (34-17-5, 18 KOs). Marsellos Wilder (3-0, 2 KOs), the brother of heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, will be featured in a four-round special attraction.
For more information fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:
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New York City FC Announce Preseason Friendly Matches in Orlando

New York City Football Club today announced that the first team will travel to Orlando, Florida during the 2019 preseason.

Domènec Torrent’s men will train from February 12-21 in the Sunshine State and are scheduled to play in the inaugural Orlando City Invitational. As part of that, the Club will face hosts Orlando City SC on February 16 and Minnesota United on February 20 at the Orlando City Soccer Stadium in Orlando, Florida.

Sporting Director Claudio Reyna said: “We’re excited to return to Orlando for another preseason. This stretch is a very important time for our players and coaches and the friendlies in Orlando provide an opportunity to play MLS competition as we prepare for season.”

Head Coach Domènec Torrent said: “Orlando is a great location for part of our preseason schedule. This will be an opportunity to continue to implement our style and tactical approach as we prepare for the 2019 season. We’ll be able to play all of our players and try different combinations against two really good MLS sides and get the team in the best possible shape mentally, physically and tactically for the season opener.”

The team will look to carry positive momentum from their Orlando stay to Tennessee when the Boys in Blue take on USL side Nashville SC on February 22 in a friendly at First Tennessee Park to close out the preseason.

The 2019 MLS Regular Season kicks off on Saturday, March 2 when NYCFC will return to Orlando to face OCSC at 2:30 pm. City’s home opener will be the following weekend on Sunday, March 10 at 3:00 pm against D.C. United.

For more information on New York City FC fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:

https://www.nycfc.com/

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Sky Blue FC adds veteran depth in midfield with Naho Kawasumi

Sky Blue FC have acquired midfielder Nahomi “Naho” Kawasumi from Seattle Reign FC in exchange for forward Shea Groom.

“Naho has had over a decade of experience with the Japanese national team and her international experience alone is a huge asset for us,” Head Coach Denise Reddy said. “In addition, she has had proven success in this league, success that we believe will transfer here to Sky Blue.”

“I will play for Sky Blue FC this season,” Kawasumi said. “I am looking forward to playing with my new teammates. I will do my best for Sky Blue and will cooperate with the team for the championship and I’m very happy for you to call me “Naho” when you cheer for me.”

Kawasumi, 33, first joined the National Women’s Soccer League in 2014, playing for the Seattle Reign FC on loan from Japanese club INAC Kobe Leonessa. Following the season she returned to Japan only to be signed by the NWSL to play for the Seattle Reign FC on a full contract in 2016.

From 2008-16 Kawasumi came just shy of making 150 appearances for INAC, scoring 58 goals in the process. As part of the Japanese club, she won the Nadeshiko Div.1 league title for three consecutive years from 2010-13 and was named to the Best IX each season. In 2013 Kawasumi was given the prestigious honor of being named the Nadeshiko League MVP.

It was during the 2014 NWSL season that Kawasumi turned heads scoring nine goals and tallying five assists in just 20 matches for the Seattle Reign FC. After another two seasons with INAC, Kawasumi returned to Seattle where she remained a prominent piece in the team’s success.

During the past three seasons she has appeared in 44 matches and recorded 14 assists, including a league-high nine in 2017. Her 19 total NWSL assists are the second-most in league history, tied with Vanessa DiBernardo and behind Tobin Heath and Christine Nairn, both of whom have recorded 20 assists.

Kawasumi made her first appearance for the Japanese national team in 2008 and leading up to the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup she became a staple in the team’s midfield. It was in 2011 that she helped Japan win their first-ever FIFA Women’s World Cup championship. The following year Kawasumi was part of the squad that finished second to the U.S. WNT in the 2012 London Olympics, receiving the nation’s first-ever silver medal for women’s soccer at the tournament. In 2015 Kawasumi nearly repeated history, as her squad made it to the final of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, ultimately falling again to the U.S. WNT.

Since her first appearance with Japan, Kawasumi has played in 90 matches for her nation, scoring 20 goals for the Nadeshiko.

Transaction: Sky Blue FC receive midfielder Nahomi Kawasumi from Seattle Reign FC in exchange for forward Shea Groom.

Nahomi Kawasumi
Hometown: Yamato, Kanagawa, Japan
Date of Birth: 09/23/1985
College: Nippon Sport Science University
Height: 5-2
How Acquired: Trade with Seattle Reign FC (1/14/19)

For more information on Sky Blue FC fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:

http://www.skybluefc.com/

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Sky Blue FC Defender Christina Gibbons Announces Retirement

Sky Blue FC defender Christina Gibbons has announced her retirement from professional soccer.

Gibbons, 24, was acquired by Sky Blue in a trade with the Utah Royals on December 29, 2017. This past season Gibbons played in 18 matches, starting in 16 of them.

Prior to her time with Sky Blue, Gibbons was a member of the former FC Kansas City.

Selected No. 5 overall in the 2017 NWSL College Draft, Gibbons started 23 of 24 matches in her rookie campaign, registering the most minutes of any player on the roster. That same year Gibbons scored one goal and registered three assists to aid in Kansas City’s attack.

In between her time in Kansas City and New Jersey, Gibbons played for the Melbourne Victory of Australia’s W-League. A graduate of Duke University, she has also made appearances for the United States as part of both the U-20 and U-23 U.S. WNT.

For more information on Sky Blue FC fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:

http://www.skybluefc.com/

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DePaul Downs No. 24/23 St. John’s, 79-71

Playing without the services of Shamorie Ponds, the No. 24/23 St. John’s men’s basketball team failed to fend off DePaul on its home floor, dropping a 79-71 decision to the Blue Demons at Carnesecca Arena.

Trailing by just one at the half, St. John’s (14-3, 2-3 BIG EAST) saw the Blue Demons pull away on the other side of the break before a late Red Storm run cut the deficit to five with less than a minute to go.  The two teams were tied at 39 with 14:30 to play before DePaul outscored the Red Storm 31-19 over the next 11 minutes.

Ponds, who failed to dress for the fourth time in his St. John’s career due to a strain in his lower back, ranked third in the BIG EAST with 20.6 points per game entering the weekend.  He also topped the league in assists (6.0 per game) and steals (2.7 per game) while placing second in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.9-to-1).  Without Ponds controlling the offense, St. John’s lost the turnover battle for the first time this season, coughing up 11 possessions while forcing just nine DePaul turnovers.

Marvin Clark II registered the second double-double of his collegiate tenure, posting 14 points and a career-high 12 boards.  The Michigan State transfer also recorded two steals.

LJ Figueroa sank nine of his 14 tries from the floor, including a 3-of-5 showing from three-point range, to finish with a team-high 23 points.  The former junior college All-American also dished out three assists and grabbed three rebounds in 37 minutes.

Justin Simon netted a season-high 20 points after turning in a 10-of-16 effort from the field.  He also tallied a game-high seven assists.

Mustapha Heron also finished in double figures with 11 points on the evening.

Long Island native Femi Olujobi poured in 27 points and corralled eight boards to lead the Blue Demons to their second-straight win.  Paul Reed (18 points, 10 rebounds) and Max Strus (14 points, 12 rebounds) posted double-doubles for DePaul.

DePaul (10-5, 2-2 BIG EAST) attempted 28 free throws while the Red Storm recorded just six tries from the charity stripe on its home floor.  On the game, fouls were 21-9 in favor of the Blue Demons.

Ahead 12-10 following a Simon jumper with 13:37 to go in the opening stanza, DePaul scored five unanswered to take a seven-point lead, its largest lead of the half, with just under 12 minutes to play in the period.

Trailing by that same seven-point margin, 21-14, two minutes later, the Johnnies kept the Blue Demons off the board for the next 4:18, rattling off an 8-0 run to take their first lead of the game, 22-21, on a Simon drive with 5:45 to play in the period.

Down one, 31-30, at the break, St. John’s reclaimed the lead on the opening possession of the second half thanks to a Heron jumper.

With the game tied at 39 five minutes later, DePaul unleashed a 13-4 run to take its largest lead of the game to that point, 52-43, with just over 10 minutes to play in regulation.

Trailing 58-49 with 8:20 to go, Clark ripped off five-straight points to cut the lead to four and force a DePaul timeout.  The Blue Demons then outscored the Johnnies 12-4 over the next four minutes to take its largest lead of the contest, 70-58, with 3:30 to play.

The Red Storm returns to action on Wednesday night, playing host to Creighton at 6:30 p.m. on FS1 and 970 AM WNYM.

ST. JOHN’S HONORS SOLLY WALKER

Prior to the game, St. John’s honored the legacy of the late great Solly Walker by renaming the athletic department’s academic study hall in his memory.  Walker, the first African-American to suit up for the Red Storm, played a key role on St. John’s teams that reached the 1952 Final Four and the championship game of the 1953 NIT.  After graduation, Walker embarked on a long and successful career in education, dedicating decades of his life as a teacher and principal in the New York City public school system.  An unmatched ambassador for St. John’s University throughout his life, Walker, who passed away in 2017 at the age of 85, always took a particular interest in the academic accomplishment of Red Storm student-athletes.

The University also celebrated the creation of the Solly Walker Academic Support Services Fund, developed and funded by the Shannon Family and dedicated to providing financial support for the continued success of St. John’s student-athletes on and off the fields of competition.

Postgame Quotes:

St. John’s Head Coach Chris Mullin, Marvin Clark II and Justin Simon spoke to the media after Saturday’s loss to DePaul, 79-71.

Jan. 12, 2019 

St. John’s Head Coach Chris Mullin

 

On Shamorie Ponds injury…

“Day to day with a lower back strain.”

On finding out Ponds would be out…

“I found out today. Obviously he is a great player, so without him, we approach things a little differently. Anytime you take your best player off the team, it has an effect. We came out and we played okay. A little passive, I thought, but overall, in the second half, we picked up our energy. We just need to play through.”

On role adjustments…

“A lot of times when you run a play that breaks down, it really gets down to being aggressive and driving the ball. I thought we did a good job of that. It doesn’t show in the stats sheet, but we were driving the ball, trying to make plays and it just didn’t work out tonight.”

On team’s execution…

“I think we played the post, the last seven to eight minutes, pretty well. You need to hold your ground. They can’t back you down to the basket. You hold your ground. [Femi Olujobi] had some size on him. Sedee [Keita] could handle him. … You just need to hold your ground. That’s part of any competition. I thought we did a little better job of that. I think too much easy positions and then I believe, with 15 minutes left in the game, the fouls took a little aggression away. To me, you need to carve out your space, hold your ground and deal with the ramifications whatever that may be. We will do a much better job from here on out of doing just that, and if that’s illegal, so be it. You can read a stat sheet. You can digest that.”

On taking the blame for tonight’s loss…

“Totally on me. 100 percent. Everything that happens is on me. I got it but I am not embarrassed. I’ll be back here, take a day off and then be back.”

On bouncing back after the team’s first back-to-back losses of the season…

“I feel bad about this loss and I am going to prepare for the next game. I don’t really care about what happened two days ago. We will move past this, no question. We always do.”

On being outrebounded…

“We are really concerned about defensive rebounding and we gave up 14 offensive rebounds. A big focus is transition defense.  When you crash the offensive boards, you have bad transition defense. If you play small, you want to get back on defense, not crash the boards. San Antonio [Spurs] probably has the best transition defense in the world. They do not crash the offensive boards. So yes, we like to get back on defense and not give up transition baskets. When my guys are open, they are free to shoot open shots and then get back on defense, not crash the boards and have a bad defensive transition possession. That’s our policy. Thank you for the question.”

On if the team was mentally prepared to play without Shamorie Ponds…

“I actually think they were looking forward to it. Going out there and just winning a ball game. We have dealt with that before. It is a part of the game. Guys get hurt and you have to move on. It just didn’t happen tonight.”

 

Senior forward Marvin Clark II

On playing without Shamorie Ponds…

“We knew all along that he was not going to be playing. Of course it changes some things, but we have a pretty talented team, so it really doesn’t change too much. I shot 6 of 16 tonight. We didn’t get a lot of things to go in from beyond the arc. That’s the result.”

On team approach without Shamorie Ponds…

“No, we were ready to play. We felt good going into the game. We felt good with our game plan. We gave them too many extra positions and you can’t win games that way.”

On bouncing back against Creighton…

“I’m very confident. This is just a bump in the road. We have a lot of guys that can handle adversity, especially us two [alongside Justin Simon] up here. We’ve been through a losing streak, so we know what adversity is. We are confident in our abilities and we will be prepared and ready for the next game. We just need to go into our locker room, talk to our guys and get ready for these next couple of days of preparation.”

Redshirt Junior Guard Justin Simon

On handling the ball and running the offense…

“Tonight, I think Shamorie [Ponds] being out, offensively, didn’t hurt as much. He is a great scorer, I just think it was all on the defensive end tonight.”

On the size differential faced tonight…

“I thought our post defense was not good tonight, they got whatever looks they wanted down there and they also got offensive rebounds. We just didn’t box out, didn’t rebound and they punched us in the post.”

For more information on the St. John’s Men’s Basketball team fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:

https://redstormsports.com/

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No. 24/23 St. John’s Heads to Villanova

Nationally ranked for the first time in four years, the No. 24/23 St. John’s Red Storm will face another early conference test on Tuesday night, traveling to Villanova for a showdown with the defending national champions.

Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. on FS1 with Gus Johnson and Bill Raftery on the call from the newly renovated Finneran Pavilion.  970 AM WNYM will carry the game over the airwaves in the New York Metropolitan Area with John Minko and Tarik Turner delivering the action from the sidelines in The City of Brotherly Love.

With a record of 14-1 on the year and fresh off consecutive victories over No. 16 Marquette and Georgetown, St. John’s earned its first national ranking since 2015 on Monday afternoon, checking in at no. 24 in the Associated Press Poll and no. 23 in the USA Today Sports Coaches Poll.  St. John’s was ranked for five weeks in 2014-15 before falling out after an 0-3 start to BIG EAST play.  That year, the Johnnies went on to win 21 games and make the program’s 28th NCAA Tournament appearance.

The Red Storm’s 14-1 start matches the best in program history since 1985-86, when National Player of the Year Walter Berry led the Johnnies to 31 wins and their second BIG EAST Championship in four seasons.  A win against the Wildcats on Tuesday night would give the Red Storm its best start to a campaign since 1982-83, when sophomore and eventual BIG EAST Player of the Year Chris Mullin led the Johnnies to 18 wins in their first 19 contests.

A victory over Villanova would also mark the first 3-1 opening to conference play for the Red Storm since 2010-11, a year that saw the Johnnies go 12-6 in BIG EAST action and qualify for the NCAA Tournament.

The Red Storm impressed in both of its victories this past week, blowing past nationally ranked Marquette by 20 at home before picking up its first road win over Georgetown since 2003, snapping a 13-game skid against the Hoyas in the nation’s capital.  All five starters finished in double figures in both of the Johnnies’ victories, but none shined quite as bright as Shamorie Ponds.  After scoring 20 of his game-high 26 points in the first half to set the tone against Marquette, Ponds exploded for 37 points against Georgetown on 11-of-21 shooting, including a 6-for-10 showing from three-point range.  For his efforts, Ponds was rewarded with his second BIG EAST Player of the Week accolade and was named the national player of the week by NCAA.com’s Andy Katz.  In addition to his scoring prowess, Ponds, who cracked the 30-point plateau for the 10th time in his collegiate career, also averaged 5.5 assists, 5.0 rebounds and 3.0 steals per game during the Red Storm’s 2-0 week.

While Ponds has captured a majority of the team’s headlines, the Red Storm can attribute much of its recent success to a series of well-balanced efforts.  Five players have finished in double figures for the Red Storm five times in the team’s last eight games and all five everyday starters are currently averaging 10 or more points on the season.  Justin Simon and LJ Figueroa each missed a double-double by one rebound on Saturday while Figueroa also set career-highs for steals (6) and assists (5).  Mustapha Heron, the team’s second leading scorer, added 12 while Marvin Clark II chipped in 11 thanks to three triples.

Villanova (11-4, 2-0 BIG EAST) enters Tuesday’s nights contest having won three-straight games.  After closing out their non-conference slate with a win over former BIG EAST foe Connecticut at Madison Square Garden, the Wildcats opened conference action with a win over DePaul at home before outlasting the Friars in Providence on Saturday afternoon.

Winner of two of the last three national championships, Villanova returns a pair of starters from last season.  Phil Booth paces the Wildcats with 17.3 points per game to go along with a team-high 3.5 assists while Eric Paschall pours in 15.7 points and pulls down 6.2 boards per outing.

In the last meeting between the two teams on Feb. 7, 2018, the Red Storm shocked the college basketball world for the second time in just a matter of days.  Fresh off a win over No. 4 Duke at Madison Square Garden on Feb. 3, the Johnnies traveled to the Wells Fargo Center to take on the top-ranked Wildcats.  Led by 26 points from Ponds, the Johnnies knocked off the no. 1 team in the country for the first time since Mullin’s senior year in 1984-85.  Simon registered a 16-point, 10-rebound double-double in that victory while Clark added 15 points and six rebounds, including a three-point play and a pair of free throws to help ice the game in the final minute and a half.

When the Johnnies take the floor at Finneran Pavilion on Tuesday night, it will mark the team’s first game on campus at Villanova since Jan. 2, 2013.  Despite receiving a career-high 36 points from D’Angelo Harrison, the Red Storm fell in overtime, 98-86, in that showing.  St. John’s has not registered a victory on campus against Villanova since Jan. 2, 1992, a streak of 10-straight losses.  Senior forward Malik Sealy scored 26 points to lead the way for St. John’s during its last win at The Pavilion.

For more information on the St. John’s Athletics Program fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:

https://redstormsports.com/