The Sports Report: Manny Pacquiao is a champion again
Howdy, my name is Houston Mitchell and let’s get right to the sports news.
Manny Pacquiao is 40. Keith Thurman is 30. But Pacquiao looked like the younger man in the ring Saturday as he earned a split decision over Thurman to win a share of the welterweight title (and I’d like to know what fight the judge who gave the decision to Thurman was watching. Pacquiao won the fight easily.)
The win puts Pacquiao in line for a shot at the winner of the Errol Spence Jr.-Shawn Porter fight on Sept 28 at Staples Center.
Pacquiao knocked Thurman down in the first round. Judge Dave Moretti scored it 115-112 for Pacquiao. Tim Cheatham had it 115-112 for Pacquiao. Glenn Feldman had it 114-113 for Thurman. On the Los Angeles Times card, it was 116-111 for Pacquiao.
“It was fun,’’ Pacquiao said. “I think I will fight next year. I will go back to the Philippines and work and then make a decision. I hope to be at that fight on Sept. 28.”
Thurman gave credit to Pacquiao.
“I wish I had a little bit more output to go toe to toe,’’ Thurman said. “I felt like he was getting a little bit tired, but he did have experience in the ring. My conditioning and my output was just behind Manny Pacquiao’s. I would love the rematch. You get blessings and lessons. Tonight, was a blessing and a lesson. Thank you everybody, and thank you Manny Pacquiao.’’
Sam Farmer is in Northern Ireland to cover the British Open. Here’s an excerpt from his report on Saturday’s third round:
“Under slate-gray skies, with a passionate crowd cheering his every swing, Irishman Shane Lowry found something Saturday that no one else could:
“Daylight. Glorious daylight.
“Lowry distanced himself from the field by shooting a 63 in the third round of the British Open. He masterfully worked his way around Royal Portrush with eight birdies and no bogeys.
“With the giddy home crowd serenading him by belting out the soccer anthem “Ole, Ole Ole,” Lowry nearly drained his shamrock-stamped ball on 18 for his fourth birdie in a row. He missed his long putt by an inch. Still, the gallery roared.
“Goosebump golf at its finest.
“Honestly, that’s the most incredible day I’ve ever had on the golf course,” said Lowry, 32, bearded and beaming. “I honestly can’t explain what it was like.”
“As they walked off the 17th tee, Lowry said caddie Brian “Bo” Martin told him: “`We might never have a day like this on the golf course again. So let’s enjoy this next half hour. You know what I mean?’ And that’s what I did. The crowd was incredible. I just can’t believe what it was like.”
“So crackling was the energy, it felt like the stretch run on a championship Sunday. But it was a Saturday, and Lowry’s work is far from done. He’s at 16 under and leads second-place Tommy Fleetwood by four strokes. Two shots behind Fleetwood is American J.B. Holmes, who has miles of ground to make up despite three rounds in the 60s.
“Four shots is a lot, but certainly not insurmountable. Lowry got an excruciating reminder of that three years ago in the U.S. Open at Oakmont. He had a four-shot lead heading into the final round before sputtering to a six-over 76 on Sunday, as Dustin Johnson blew past him for the win.
“I think I learned a few things that day about playing in the final round of a major with a lead, that you need to hang in until the very last minute,” said Lowry, who missed the cut at the previous four British Opens. “You never know what can happen. And I’m going to do the same tomorrow.
“That’s a long time ago,” he continued, later noting he’s a father now. “I don’t think I’m a much different golfer, but I feel like I’m a different person. I think that’s what will help me tomorrow.”
“Fleetwood presents a daunting challenge. He has shot one stroke better each day — 68, 67, 66 — and he too is hunting for his first major win.
““If you had said at the start of today, at the start of the week, at the start of the year, you’re going into the last round, whether I’m four back, five back, it doesn’t matter, I’m in the last group Sunday at The Open and playing with Shane, and the majority of the crowd might not be with you, I would have said, ‘Yeah, that’s fine,’ ” Fleetwood said. “I’m looking forward to it, to be honest with you. It’s going to be another chapter in my career, no matter what happens. And it’s going to be a very special day.”
“The Sunday forecast is frightening and could cause chaos: rain all afternoon with the possibility of wind gusts up to 40 mph. The R&A moved the start times up an hour in hopes of avoiding the worst of the weather.
“Look, I know tomorrow’s going to be a difficult day,” said Lowry, who’s from Clara, Ireland, a four-hour drive south. “I know there’s some bad weather coming in. But I’m in a good position, and I just have to do what I’ve been doing all year, and hit the reset button tonight, and go out there and shoot as good a score as I can tomorrow.”
Your favorite sports moment
What is your favorite all-time L.A. sports moment? Click here to tell me what it is and why, and I’ll start running them in future newsletters. And yes, if your favorite moment is about the Angels or Ducks or a team just outside of L.A., I’ll count that too. And the moment doesn’t have to have happened in L.A., just needs to involve an area team.
Today’s moment comes from Jim Bendat of Los Angeles:
“My favorite L.A. moment took place on March 22, 1968 when our city hosted the NCAA Final Four for the first time. I had been following the tournament since 1956 when I was seven years old, and when it was announced that the event would be coming here, I urged my father to try to get tickets. We entered the lottery, and we scored two tickets. It hardly mattered that we were upstairs in the very last row. We were going, and I was excited!
“The feature game of the semifinals that night was UCLA vs. Houston. The Cougars, led by Elvin Hayes, had ended the Bruins’ 47-game winning streak just two months earlier. The buildup to that rematch was huge. Tickets were scarce, and the game was blacked out in Los Angeles. I felt so lucky to have a ticket, and I was particularly fortunate that the Final Four was during my college spring break.
“UCLA’s performance that night was one for the ages. Lew Alcindor and the Bruins slaughtered previously undefeated Houston, 101-69, and could have won by even more if Coach John Wooden hadn’t cleared the bench. The crowd at the L.A. Sports Arena that night was as loud as any I’ve ever experienced. I came home exhilarated and exhausted, but I had to pick myself right back up for the championship game the very next night against North Carolina - another easy win for that great UCLA team, in what was the last year the national semifinals and title game were played on consecutive nights.
“A great memory, and I’m glad I got to share it with my dad.”
Odds and ends
Column: Sports can’t be the fantasy world we use to avoid reality…. Column: Golden age of L.A. sports is being fueled by star-studded rivalries…. Mike Trout accents four-run rally in ninth inning in Angels’ win over Mariners…. Andrew Heaney’s injury further exposes Angels’ pitching depth problems…. Would Dodgers part with two top prospects to bolster the bullpen?… Fernando Valenzuela officially becomes a ‘Legend of Dodger Baseball’…. Dodgers defeat Marlins, 10-6…. Dodgers broadcasters Orel Hershiser and Joe Davis became fast friends…. Kelli DiMuro is leaving Chaminade to become women’s basketball coach at Cal Lutheran…. Catalina Cruiser shows new tricks by winning San Diego Handicap…. Errol Spence Jr. and Shawn Porter hype their fight with verbal jabs…. Short-handed Sparks rally late but fall at the finish to Liberty…. Russell White is leaving Crespi to become basketball coach at Cal Lutheran…. Column: Giants are best example of National League mediocrity making trade market murky
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Today’s local major sports schedule
Miami at Dodgers, 1 p.m., Sportsnet LA, AM 570
Angels at Seattle, 1 p.m., FSW, AM 830
Born on this date
1930: Golfer Gene Littler
1949: Baseball player Al Hrabosky
1951: NBA player Doug Collins
1951: NBA player Slick Watts
1961: NFL player Henry Ellard
1968: Soccer player Brandi Chastain
1979: WNBA player Tamika Catchings
1980: Baseball player CC Sabathia
1985: NBA player Von Wafer
Died on this date
1967: Baseball player Jimmie Foxx, 59
2010: Baseball player/manager Ralph Houk, 90
Fernando Valenzuela’s “Legends of Dodger Baseball” ceremony before Saturday’s game. Watch it here.
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