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Sports news from Los Angeles and beyond
50 Cent will donate $750K if Floyd Mayweather reads 'Harry Potter'

Bad blood could possibly be good for charity, it seems. 

On Thursday, international star rapper 50 Cent posted a video on Instagram challenging Floyd Mayweather Jr., the current pound-for-pound best boxer in the world, to read a page of a "Harry Potter" novel aloud without messing it up.

If Mayweather takes the challenge, and posts proof, 50 Cent said he will donate a cool $750,000 to any charity of Mayweather's choosing.

In the video, which does have some explicit language, the rapper says he is forgoing the viral ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in an attempt, it would seem, to try to embarrass Mayweather.

The two were once business partners, but since having a falling out, have bashed each other in the media. 

A publicist for Mayweather said if and when he decides to respond, he will most likely do so over social media. 

Mayweather is known for his social media presence almost as much as his boxing. 

This story will be updated as the challenge unfolds.

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America's Cup field taking shape

The 35th America's Cup is three years away, but five challengers have already launched campaigns to wrest sailing's biggest trophy from the defending champion, Oracle Team USA.

The contenders include Team France, Artemis Racing of Sweden, Luna Rossa Challenge from Italy and last summer's runner-up, Emirates Team New Zealand.

"We have no illusions about the job ahead," said Dean Barker of Emirates. "We have been working quietly behind the scenes toward this day almost since the last day of the 34th America's Cup."

Oracle won that title with a historic comeback, defeating the New Zealand boat in do-or-die finale on San Francisco Bay.

"We love challenges — the bigger, the better," Oracle skipper Jimmy Spithill said. "It's very easy to get motivated when you see what we're going to be facing."

The teams will compete through 2016 in the America's Cup World Series at venues around the world. The America's Cup follows in 2017. The final will be held in either Bermuda or San Diego.

 

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Rory McIlroy stumbles at The Barclays

Could Rory McIlroy's hot streak be coming to an end?

It's still early, but the No. 1-ranked golfer from Northern Ireland got off to a slow start at The Barclays on Thursday, suffering two bogeys and a double on his first nine holes.

McIlroy entered the first stop of the four-event FedEx Cup playoff series with three wins in his last three starts, including a PGA Championship victory.

"I'm just trying to keep it going for as long as I can," he said this week. "Try and keep the momentum going."

A FedEx Cup title would be the perfect capper for a season that also includes a British Open title.

"For me, it would just be very gratifying to know that I finished the season off well and the way that it should be finished off," he said.

Australian Steven Bowditch stood at 5-under to grab the early lead at Ridgewood Country Club, followed by a pack of golfers -- including Ryo Ishikawa and Cameron Tringale -- one stroke back. 

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Forbes says Dallas Cowboys NFL's most valuable team at $3.2 billion

Forbes has released its annual list of the value of the NFL's franchises, and if you thought the Clippers were expensive at $2 billion, just try buying the Dallas Cowboys.

The Cowboys lead the list at $3.2 billion, according to the Forbes rankings, followed by the New England Patriots at $2.6 billion.

Last? The St. Louis Rams, valued at a paltry $930 million. Got out your checkbook for that one. Or will they accept PayPal?

The full list is below:

1.     Dallas Cowboys     $3.2 billion
2.     New England Patriots     $2.6 billion
3.     Washington Redskins     $2.4 billion
4.     New York Giants     $2.1 billion
5.     Houston Texans     $1.85 billion
6.     New York Jets     $1.8 billion
7.     Philadelphia Eagles     $1.75 billion
8.     Chicago Bears     $1.7 billion
9.     San Francisco 49ers     $1.6 billion
10.     Baltimore Ravens     $1.5 billion
11.     Denver Broncos     $1.45 billion
12.     Indianapolis Colts     $1.4 billion
13.     Green Bay Packers     $1.38 billion
14.     Pittsburgh...

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U.S. swimmers start fast at Pan Pacific Championships

The weather might be cool in Australia -- it's winter in the Southern Hemisphere -- but American swimmers got off to a hot start on Thursday at the 2014 Pan Pacific Championships.

Katie Ledecky came away with golds in the 200-meter and 800-meter freestyle events, and an injured Missy Franklin took bronze.

“It was my first big international double,” the 17-year-old Ledecky told reporters. “I wanted to see how I could handle it, and I’m really happy with how I handled it."

Franklin, who has been battling a sore back, finished third in the 100 backstroke.

In all, the U.S. collected four golds, one silver and five bronze medals on Thursday. The other gold-medal winners were Cammile Adams in the 200 butterfly and Connor Jaeger in the 1,500 freestyle.

Wind and chilly temperatures have been a concern at the Gold Coast meet, where swimmers are racing outdoors. The competition serves as a qualifier for the 2015 world championships in Russia.

 

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MLB upholds protest by Giants, says game against Cubs must be resumed

Remember this if the San Francisco Giants go on to win this game and then win the National League West by a game over the Dodgers.

On Tuesday night, the Giants were playing the Cubs in Chicago when it started raining in the bottom of fifth inning. The Wrigley Field grounds crew seemed caught off guard, and it took them several minutes to place a tarp over the field to protect it from the rain. In fact, it took them so long that it had actually stopped raining by the time they had the tarp in place.

The field was soaked and left unplayable, despite the best efforts of the grounds crew to dry it. After a 4½-hour delay, umpire called the game. Since the Cubs were leading, 2-0, and they had played the required 4½ innings to make it an official game, the Cubs were awarded the victory.

The Giants protested the game, but when do protests ever get upheld?

This one did.

Major League Baseball announced on Wednesday that the game will resume today before the regularly scheduled game between the...

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Mo'Ne Davis and Philadelphia lose at Little League World Series

Mo'ne Davis didn't have her best stuff when she and her Philadelphia teammates needed it most, and Las Vegas took advantage.

Dallan Cave and Brennan Holligan hit two-run home runs, left-handed reliever Austin Kryszczuk got out of two big jams, and Las Vegas beat Philadelphia and its star pitcher, 8-1, in the Little League World Series on Wednesday night.

Davis, just the 18th girl to play in the Little League World Series and the only one to win a game on the mound, took the loss.

"Mo'ne didn't have her A game today," Philadelphia Manager Alex Rice said. "At this point, we're playing to get to Saturday."

The victory puts Las Vegas in Saturday's U.S. title game and sends Philadelphia into an elimination game on Thursday night against Chicago's Jackie Robinson West in a matchup of inner-city teams. The Great Lakes champion beat Pearland, Texas, 6-1, on Tuesday night in an elimination game.

"I think it's terrific," Rice said. "I've been looking forward to playing Chicago since we got...

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Landon Donovan caps off Galaxy rally in 4-3 win over Rapids

Landon Donovan scored in the 80th minute to give the Los Angeles Galaxy a 4-3 comeback victory over the Colorado Rapids on Wednesday night.

The Galaxy (10-5-7) trailed 2-0 and 3-1 in the first half. Goals by Robbie Keane, Omar Gonzalez, Alan Gordon and Donovan handed Colorado (8-11-6) its fifth straight loss.

An unmarked Keane scored on a header in the 20th minute for his 13th goal of the season. In the 55th minute, Gonzalez headed in Donovan's free kick to pull the Galaxy within 3-2. Alan Gordon's close range shot evened the match at 3 in the 68th minute.

Colorado rookie Marlon Hairston opened the scoring with his first MLS goal in the 14th minute. Three minutes later, Edson Buddle became the eighth player to score 100 MLS goals. Colorado's third goal came on Marc Burch's free kick that ricocheted off goalkeeper Jaime Penedo in the 30th minute.

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Angels' Garrett Richards suffers knee injury in win over Red Sox

The Angels’ pennant hopes were dealt a serious blow Wednesday night when Garrett Richards, their best pitcher this season, suffered a patellar injury to his left knee during an 8-3 win over the Boston Red Sox in Fenway Park.

With runners on first and second and one out in the second inning, Brock Holt hit a grounder to first baseman Albert Pujols, who spun and fired to second for a force out.

Richards sprinted from the mound toward first to receive a relay from shortstop Erick Aybar, but as he approached the bag, he caught his right cleat in the dirt, and his knee buckled.

Richards crumpled to the ground, where he remained for about eight minutes while athletic trainers worked to mobilize his leg. The entire Angels team circled around the right hander as he was placed on a stretcher and carted off the field.

Doctors won't know the full extent of the injury until Richards is further examined. Angels Manager Mike Scioscia said after the game that Richards will be reevaluated Thursday....

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Jim Kelly's doctor says quarterback has 'no evidence' of cancer

The hospital treating Jim Kelly’s recurring oral cancer reported Wednesday that the Hall of Fame quarterback appears to be cancer free.

 “The treatments so far have completely eliminated Mr. Kelly’s pain, and his level of function has essentially returned to normal. Further, on physical examination, there is no evidence of the cancer,” Dr. Peter Costantino, executive director of the New York Head and Neck Institute at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan, said in a statement.

The encouraging news came in the wake of Kelly’s evaluation Tuesday, three months after he completed chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

Cancer expert Dr. Jack Jacoub, who is not involved in treating Kelly but spoke to The Times in general terms about the quarterback’s type of the disease, called Wednesday’s news “a very favorable scenario.”

“It’s somewhat of an expected scenario if everything worked the way you hoped,” said Jacoub, medical oncologist at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center in Fountain Valley....

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Ex-Cardinals Fernando Salas, David Freese making impact for Angels

Third baseman David Freese, who won most valuable player honors in the 2011 World Series and National League championship series for the St. Louis Cardinals, was the marquee name in last November’s trade that sent Angels center fielder Peter Bourjos to St. Louis.

But the other guy in that deal, unheralded reliever Fernando Salas, has had just as much impact, if not more, than Freese this season.

The 30-year-old right-hander entered Wednesday night’s game against the Boston Red Sox with a 4-0 record and 2.49 earned run average in 41 appearances and a string of dominance in which he has retired 23 of the last 24 batters he has faced over his last six games.

Salas was out three weeks in late June and early July because of shoulder inflammation and was demoted to triple-A Salt Lake for two weeks in late July and early August. But in nine innings of seven games since being recalled, Salas has allowed no runs, two hits and struck out 12.

“Over the long haul, if you look at what Fernando has...

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Tony Stewart to sit out NASCAR race at Bristol on Saturday night

Tony Stewart will not race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway on Saturday night, the third consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race that Stewart will have missed since his involvement in a fatal accident.

Veteran Jeff Burton will drive Stewart's No. 14 Chevrolet just as Burton did Sunday at Michigan International Speedway, Stewart-Haas Racing said Wednesday. Regan Smith filled in for Stewart the week before at Watkins Glen.

"Stewart's plans for upcoming Sprint Cup races have yet to be determined," the team said.

Stewart, 43, has been in isolation since the Aug. 9 incident in which he struck and killed another driver, 20-year-old Kevin Ward Jr., while Ward was on foot during a sprint-car race at a half-mile dirt track in upstate New York.

While Stewart and Ward raced side by side, Ward's car crashed into the outside fence. Ward then climbed from his car, walked on the track and apparently was angrily gesturing at Stewart when he was run over as Stewart came back around.

No charges are...

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