Rodgers: No bid for Skrtel

first_imgLiverpool manager Brendan Rodgers claims the club have not received any approach for defender Martin Skrtel. It has been reported that Napoli, now managed by Skrtel’s former Reds boss Rafael Benitez, have had a £10million offer for the Slovakia international turned down by the Anfield club. Rodgers says that was news to him and he would have been informed had a bid been made. Rodgers said: “I feel for big Seba. He has obviously played in the latter part of that game and picked up a similar injury to what Martin Skrtel had last year. It is probably going to rule him out for most of the season, which is a big problem. “He’s never given me a moment’s problem since I came in here. This was probably a year where he needed to go out and play. This has unfortunately put an end to that.” One move Liverpool have made in the transfer market this week is to sign Valencia’s French left-back Aly Cissokho on a season-long loan. The 25-year-old, who has one France cap and has previously played for Lyon and Porto, brings strength to a position in which Rodgers only had Jose Enrique to call upon. Rodgers said: “I think he provides competition for Enrique. He is a player with experience. A few years back he went for 15million euros (£12.8million). He is a player with qualities. “The idea was to build a squad and to make it competitive. It was important to bring in someone so that if anything happens to Jose he can come straight into the team, and to fight for the position. “Hopefully that will get the best out of both of them.” When asked if there had been an approach, Rodgers said: “No, not at all. I haven’t been told anything about that whatsoever. It was mentioned this morning but it is the first I have heard of it. “Ian Ayre, our managing director, does a terrific job and he always informs me straight away of anything. I haven’t heard anything.” Skrtel, 28, appeared to fall out of favour last season and faces increased competition for his place this term following the summer signing of Kolo Toure. But with fringe player Sebastian Coates suffering a serious knee injury playing for Uruguay last week, Rodgers says he may even need to strengthen in central defence. Rodgers said: “I think it is something we are looking at certainly, a player to come in in that position. One to strengthen the squad and two to allow some of our younger players to develop. “I think to maximise Andre Wisdom’s talent we need to get him some games and the idea is to get him out on loan. We can only do that if I get in someone with more experience to support the group.” Wisdom, 20, showed potential when operating at right-back last season but with Glen Johnson first choice in that position he did play in central defence in pre-season. Coates, 22, has failed to establish himself since his arrival two years ago and had been linked with a move away before his injury. Press Associationlast_img read more

Shead girls, Machias boys among basketball teams in state championship games

first_imgELLSWORTH — The George Stevens Academy and Mount Desert Island boys brought regional titles back to Hancock County on Saturday, but the Eagles and Trojans weren’t the only teams from Downeast Maine to cut down the nets over the weekend.Washington County’s Shead Tigerettes and Machias Bulldogs both beat Southern Aroostook on Saturday to win the girls’ and boys’ Class D North titles, respectively. Shead (19-2) will face Vinalhaven (17-4) for the state championship at 1:05 p.m. Saturday, March 4, at the Cross Insurance Center, and Machias (20-1) will face Greenville (20-1) at 2:50.Elsewhere around the state, the four No. 1 seeds in Maine’s largest class size will compete for Class AA titles at the Augusta Civic Center on Saturday. Oxford Hills (19-1) faces Gorham (20-0) for the girls’ title at 6:05, and Portland (18-2) will battle South Portland (17-3) for the boys’ crown at 9:05.Both Messalonskee teams won Class A North titles Friday. The No. 1 girls’ team (21-0) will face Brunswick (18-3) at 1 on Saturday in Augusta, and the boys’ team (16-5) will face Greely (21-0) there following the conclusion of the girls’ game. The Messalonskee boys’ win over Oceanside marked the team’s first regional championship in school history.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textIn Class B, Kolleen Bouchard and the Houlton girls (20-1) will go for their third consecutive state title against the Gray-New Gloucester Patriots (20-1) on Friday, March 3, in Augusta. The Dexter girls (16-6), who upset both Stearns and GSA in the Class C North tournament, will face Monmouth (18-3) at the Cross Center at 7:05 on Saturday.last_img read more

Australia retain Ashes after Old Trafford triumph

first_imgBy Simon EvansMANCHESTER, England (Reuters) – Australia retained the Ashes after beating England by 185 runs at Old Trafford on Sunday to take a 2-1 lead in the series with just one Test remaining.England, who resumed on 18-2, were bowled out for 197 on the final day with Australia seamer Pat Cummins taking four for 43.Australia’s victory, with 81 balls remaining, was a convincing one but England’s spirit cannot be criticised as they fought until the final hour in their attempt to save the test and keep the series alive.The tourists lead 2-1 going into this week’s final test at The Oval where they hope to become the first Australian team to win an Ashes series in England since 2001.Steve Smith, whose magnificent double century and then second innings 82 were the key factors in this win and whose batting throughout the series has ensured the Ashes remain in Australian hands, was delighted.“It feels amazing to know the urn is coming home. I’ve been here a few times when things haven’t gone our way. This was always one to tick off my bucket list. It’s extremely satisfying,” he said.The main early resistance from England came from Joe Denly who made 53 from 123 balls and Jos Buttler, who lasted 111 balls for his 34.England’s hopes of an unlikely escape-act rose when Jack Leach and Craig Overton batted for over an hour giving the crowd belief over a second ‘miracle’ after the comeback win at Headingley.But part-time leg spinner Marnus Labuschagne finally removed Leach, with a ball that turned sharply in the rough and was gloved to Matthew Wade at short leg.Overton batted with sense, stoicism and a strong technique, but he was trapped lbw by Josh Hazlewood to set off the Australian celebrations.“I didn’t think it would be this emotional,” said Australia captain Tim Paine.“The amount of work that’s gone in to retain the Ashes has been enormous and I’m really proud of this group and how we bounced back from Headingley,” he added.England captain Joe Root told the BBC: “I’m bitterly disappointed. I thought the way we fought today, the character we showed, every single one of them can be proud of that today.“To come so close to taking it to The Oval is hard to take. We’ve still got to look forward and make sure we level the series.”TURNING POINT England will look back on the second day of this Test as the turning point when they simply could find no way to remove Smith and Australia’s 497-8 declared gave them an advantage that they were unable to seriously challenge.The final day was never going to be a run-chase of Headingley vintage, given the target of 383, with England’s task simply to survive until the close.That challenge was made all the more difficult after they lost Jason Roy and Ben Stokes before lunch.Roy was well set before the impressive Cummins bowled him for 31 with a beautiful delivery that cut back off the seam to leave England at 66-3.The crowd rose to welcome Stokes, the hero of England’s last day triumph at Headingley, but there was to be no repeat performance from the all-rounder.Another fine delivery from Cummins clipped the inside edge of Stokes’s bat and was well taken by wicketkeeper Paine, the England batsman not waiting for the umpire’s verdict as he walked off.Denly had been the pick of England’s batsmen before he was outdone by sharp turn and bounce from spinner Nathan Lyon, the ball striking his glove and being snaffled up by Labuschagne at short leg.Jonny Bairstow (25) was lbw to Mitchell Starc before Overton came in to join Buttler, in what was probably England’s last realistic chance of a big partnership.But Buttler misjudged a delivery from Hazlewood which he left only to see it cut back sharply and clatter into his off-stump.Australia keep the Ashes, which they won on home turf last year and it is the first time they have retained the urn since the end of their long period of domination in 2002.There is though plenty left to play for when the teams meet again at The Oval on Thursday — England could level the series while Australia will be desperate to ensure they go home as winners.AUSTRALIA  1st innings 497 for 8 declaredEngland  1st innings Rory Burns      c Steven Smith b Josh Hazlewood           81 Joe Denly       c Matthew Wade b Pat Cummins               4 Craig Overton   c Steven Smith b Josh Hazlewood            5 Joe Root        lbw Josh Hazlewood                        71 Jason Roy       b Josh Hazlewood                          22 Ben Stokes      c Steven Smith b Mitchell Starc           26 Jonny Bairstow  b Mitchell Starc                          17 Jos Buttler     b Pat Cummins                             41 Jofra Archer    c Tim Paine b Pat Cummins                  1 Stuart Broad    b Mitchell Starc                           5 Jack Leach      Not Out                                    4 Extras          4b 11lb 4nb 0pen 5w                       24 Total           (107.0 overs)                    301 all outFall of Wickets : 1-10 Denly, 2-25 Overton, 3-166 Burns, 4-175 Root, 5-196 Roy, 6-228 Bairstow, 7-243 Stokes, 8-256 Archer, 9-283 Broad, 10-301 Buttler Bowling:    M. Starc  22  – 7 – 80 –  3, J. Hazlewood  25 –  6 – 57 –  4  (1nb), Cummins 24 – 6 – 60 –  3  (1w 3nb), N.Lyon     36 –  4 – 89 –  0 .  ……………………………………………………. AUSTRALIA  2nd innings David Warner        lbw Stuart Broad                        0 Marcus Harris       lbw Stuart Broad                        6 Marnus Labuschagne  lbw Jofra Archer                       11 Steven Smith        c Ben Stokes b Jack Leach              82 Travis Head         b Jofra Archer                         12 Matthew Wade        c Jonny Bairstow b Jofra Archer        34 Tim Paine           Not Out                                23 Mitchell Starc      Not Out                                 3 Extras              5b 2lb 1nb 0pen 7w                     15 Total               (42.5 overs)                     186 declFall of Wickets : 1-0 Warner, 2-16 Harris, 3-24 Labuschagne, 4-44 Head, 5-149 Smith, 6-158 WadeDid Not Bat : Cummins, Hazlewood, Lyon Bowling :   S. Broad    14 –  4 – 54 –  2  (1w),J. Archer    14 –  2 – 45 –  3  (1nb), Overton 5.5 –  1 – 22 –  0 ( 2w) J.Leach     9 –  0 – 58 –  1.ENGLAND  2nd innings Rory Burns      c Travis Head b Pat Cummins                    0 Joe Denly       c Marnus Labuschagne b Nathan Lyon            53 Joe Root        b Pat Cummins                                  0 Jason Roy       b Pat Cummins                                 31 Ben Stokes      c Tim Paine b Pat Cummins                      1 Jonny Bairstow  lbw Mitchell Starc                            25 Jos Buttler     b Josh Hazlewood                              34 Craig Overton   lbw Josh Hazlewood                            21 Jofra Archer    lbw Nathan Lyon                                1 Jack Leach      c Matthew Wade b Marnus Labuschagne           12 Stuart Broad    Not Out                                        0 Extras          9b 8lb 2nb 0pen 0w                            19 Total           (91.3 overs)                         197 all outFall of Wickets : 1-0 Burns, 2-0 Root, 3-66 Roy, 4-74 Stokes, 5-93 Denly, 6-138 Bairstow, 7-172 Buttler, 8-173 Archer, 9-196 Leach, 10-197 Overton Bowling: P. Cummins    24 –  9 – 43   4  (2nb), J. Hazlewood      17.3 –  5 – 31 –  2, Lyon 29 – 12 – 51 –  2,  M. Starc   16 –  2 – 46   1, Marnus Labuschagne     4 –  1 –  9 –  1,last_img read more

Plateau Rocks, Customs, Army Win Opening Games

first_imgZENITH WOMEN B’BALL LEAGUEThe 2019 Zenith Women Basketball League that started at the weekend across four centres, has produced interesting results with top teams maintaining their pedigree in the game.Savannah Zone which has Abuja and Zaria as centres have been very lively since Friday as Plateau Rocks, Customs and Nigerian Army winning three games in first three matches. In Abuja, Plateau Rocks whipped Black Gold 57- 44, defeated Benue Princess 44 -33 and also walloped FCT Wings 49-22.Also in Abuja, Nigerian Customs defeated Nasarawa Amazons 64-28, beat Air Warriors Babes 63-55 and also defeated Kanem Queens of Borno 57-20 in their first three games.The National Stadium Package B and the Aguiyi Ironsi Cantonment are the venues for the Abuja centre.Still in the Savannah Zone games, Nigerian Army have been fantastic with 100 per cent record recorded so far in three matches decided in Zaria.The women army team was ruthless with a 76-22 victory margin recorded against Equity Angels. The second game against GT 2000 was won 64-45 while the third game ended 57-38 against Exousia Angels.The Ibadan Centre on Monday observed a rest day after the weekend hostilities.A total of 27 teams are competing in this year’s competition which is witnessing a new format under the leadership of the Nigeria Basketball Federation President, Musa Kida.It is expected that 144 matches will be decided in the four centres at the end of proceedings on August 1.“We anticipate a more competitive event with more participation this year and we also expect that this will help in the discovery of more talents and better development of the game across the country,” Kida said.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Rowers make annual trip to Michigan

first_imgThe Wisconsin men’s crew team closes out its fall season by traveling to Michigan Sunday to compete in the 2005 Heritage River Fall Classic Regatta.The Badgers are coming off a stellar weekend in Iowa where the rowers won all six races they competed in at the Head of the Iowa.”I thought it was a pretty successful trip,” senior captain Ryan Larson said. “We’re proving that we are one of the top teams in the Midwest.”Head coach Chris Clark is happy to see this year’s team succeeding after the struggles of past years.”This is the first time in three years that I felt we are moving in that other direction,” Clark said.The annual trip to Michigan has typically been an opportunity for the freshmen to get a chance to race and this year is no different. A few varsity members will make the trip, but the majority of the team will be first-year rowers.”It’s perfect for first-year guys (and) a great opportunity to gain some experience,” Clark said.A number of schools from the Midwest are scheduled to compete Sunday with the main competition coming from Grand Valley State and Northern Michigan. The University of Chicago, the Ann Arbor Rowing Club, and boat clubs from Detroit and Wyandotte are also scheduled for the same races as Wisconsin.The Badgers will race in the novice men’s four and eight and also in the open men’s four and eight.Even though it will be mostly freshmen racing Sunday, a drop-off in success is not expected.”They are definitely a strong class,” Larson said. “I think they will do just fine.”Clark is even more confident than his captain.”I’m excited by this freshmen class,” Clark said. “I expect them to win every race they enter Sunday.”Clark also thinks most of their competition should come from their own boats.One freshman to keep an eye on this weekend is Peter Helfer. Clark compares him to former Badger football great Jim Leonhard in that Helfer is a lot smaller than your typical rower.”He’s just a killer,” Clark said. “He makes the whole team better because the other guys don’t want to get out-rowed by the little guy.”After this weekend the Badgers go into a five-month period with no competition. Clark wants to see the team close out the season with a strong performance.”It’s important, psychology’s so important to these men,” Clark said. “The more you win, the more you get used to it.”last_img read more

Syracuse blows out Maine to stay unbeaten

first_img Published on November 24, 2013 at 6:11 pm Contact Josh: For the second time in five days, Syracuse beat its opponent by more than 50 points. The Orange defeated Maine (3-2) in convincing fashion, 97-42, on Sunday in front of 368 in the Carrier Dome. In a true team effort, 11 players scored for SU (5-0) and 11 players played more than 10 minutes. “Today we did a really good job getting out in transition and getting easy baskets up and down the floor,” Syracuse head coach Quentin Hillsman said during his postgame press conference. “I’m really happy with the way we played overall. We had nine turnovers, 27 offensive rebounds, and did a very, very good job getting 35 points off turnovers, 42 points in the paint and forcing 27 turnovers.”Freshman center Briana Day had the best showing of her young career with 13 points and 12 rebounds, both career highs. Sophomore guards Brittney Sykes and Brianna Butler combined for 34 points to lead the Orange to another blowout victory. “I’ve been struggling over the past four games with just taking my time and slowing down, but I definitely did that tonight,” Day said during the postgame press conference. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSyracuse began the game on a 12-0 run, sandwiched by 3-pointers from Butler and Isabella Slim. Rachel Coffey had three assists during the stretch and finished with a game-high five. After Maine guard Sophie Weckstrom hit a jump shot just under four minutes in to end the shutout, SU went on another substantial run. The Orange scored the next 15 points to extend its lead to 27-2. Butler had two more 3s, along with a 3-pointer from La’Shay Taft. “We were just getting open shots and knocking them down,” Butler said during the postgame press conference. “(La’Shay) and I were just on fire today.”Maine guard Courtney Anderson hit a 3 to end the streak, but SU went on a 24-8 run to end the half. Taft drained a 3-pointer with eight seconds to go to give the Orange a 51-13 halftime lead. The second half was more of the same. Syracuse totaled 29 points from non-starters while both Day and Sykes scored nine points. SU will now travel to St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands to play in the Paradise Jam. The Orange will play Texas on Thursday, Memphis on Friday and Texas A&M on Saturday. All games will be at 8:15 p.m. “That was our goal,” Hillsman said. “To get to the Virgin Islands undefeated. So, so far so good.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Late favourite success derails “blinding” bookie fightback

first_img Submit Share The bookmakers suffered a late defeat on day three at Cheltenham, despite getting back in the game after a “blinding” fightback started by a surprise defeat for Un De Sceaux.St Patrick’s Day at the Festival started with the bookmakers an estimated £50 million down from the first two days, and keen to get stuck into the well-backed Terrefort (in to 11/4f from 4/1).However, they hadn’t accounted for the eventual winner of the JLT, the day’s opening race at 1:30, as explained by bettingexpert racing guru Stephen Harris.He said: “They got the jolly beaten, but second in Shattered Love was the other runner to attract cash for Gordon Elliot (17/2 into 4/1), and he was roared home by the army of Irish punters who latch onto all the Gigginstown horses.“Steve Freeth, a spokesman for bet365, reported it to be one of the firm’s worse ever results on racing – a real public gamble across all of our customers.”The second race of the day was expected to provide “welcome relief for the beleaguered layers”, but once again the two best-backed horses fought it out up the famous Cheltenham hill.“A driving finish from Delta Work (6/1 from 10/1) saw off Glenloe (9/2f from 13/2),” said Harris. “Once more, the industry was looking down the gun barrel with huge liabilities stacking up in accumulators.”If the second race was expected to favour the bookmakers, they were braced for a big loss on Un De Sceaux, who was “8/11 with good reason” according to AP McCoy, and widely expected to become the fourth odds-on winner of the week after Footpad, Buveur d’Air and Samcro.Harris added: “The Ryanair saw one of the Irish bankers in Un de Sceaux backed down to 4/6f, but he had to settle for second to Balko des Flos (8/1) and the bookmakers could celebrate a real result in a race where they could take plenty of money out of the front two (Cue Card 5/1 always popular).“A public gamble on Sam Spinner gained momentum through the day, from 4/1 into a tight 3/1f before a wide open looking Stayers Hurdle. The bookmakers got a real result when Penhill won at 12s to make it honours even on the day, with 365 reporting it as a blinding result to get back in the game.”However, just when the bookmaker fightback was gathering pace, a late show from a pair of favourites saw the spoils go to the punters, albeit on a much lesser scale to the previous day.Harris concluded: “The punters finished strongly with The Storyteller (5/1f) and Laurina (4/7f) in lighter betting races, and it proved to be a fantastic day for the top Irish stables.”Watch the video below for Harris’ expert analysis and tips for the final day at Cheltenham: Related Articles ‘Better for Bettors’: Better Collective’s formalised approach to sustainable development June 15, 2020 StumbleUpon Share ITV secures three-year British racing broadcast deal August 5, 2020 Coral relaunches cinematic campaign for racing’s return June 5, 2020last_img read more

CWG Ghana engages clients in football match

first_imgCWG Ghana has organised a highly entertaining seven aside football match with some of its clients.Participating teams alongside CWG Ghana were Vodafone and Beige Capital.With football, known for its uniting factor, corporate institutions usually fall on it for more bonding times and CWG indeed used it to first, develop team spirit and deepen friendship with some of its clients that has given the company business over the years.The games were played at the beautiful Dzorwulu Primary School’s Astroturf under floodlights. It was such so exciting watching men who wear suit and tie on Mondays to Fridays dress down, wear football jerseys and enjoy great football.And the other staff from the three institutions that couldn’t play but served as spectators had a great time cheering on their respective colleagues battling it out on the pitch.Despite some losing and others winning, all three teams used the opportunity to bond and know each other better outside the corporate environment and pledged to do more of it. As the excited host of a successful event, CWG Ghana’s Country Manager, Mrs. Harriet Yartey explained that the event was organised to bring some clients of CWG together to celebrate the end of year with them.“It is a show of appreciation for the business they have given us. For the great relationships we have had with them to date and also to ‘let our hair down’ so to speak, through exercise and fun games since we have been working very hard all year round,” she said.She added that the company also used the opportunity to build on these business relationships and encourage staff camaraderie outside the formal setting.“This event was aimed at bridging the relaxation gap in our corporate world with sports, as it’s been all work and no play throughout the year , thus creating an opportunity to ‘de-stress’ from a hectic but thankfully successful business year.”She added that CWG Ghana plans to make this an annual event for all clients, and  will include other games like table tennis, arm wrestling, scrabble, volley ball, basketball and many more in subsequent competitions.last_img read more

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly not worried about Yasiel Puig

first_imgIf the situation has affected Puig, Mattingly said he hasn’t seen it.“He hasn’t changed since he’s been here,” Mattingly said. “He’s been the same type of kid the whole time, and hopefully baseball-wise he’s going to keep getting better.“We’re just going to try to continue to help him try to mature as a player. That’s what we do.”Jackie Robinson DayThe Giants and Dodgers commemorated Jackie Robinson Day with Hall of Fame broadcasters Vin Scully and Jon Miller (who calls Giants games) introducing the lineups emphasizing all players wearing No. 42.“It’s obviously a big day for all of baseball, but I look at it kind of in this organization being extra special because Jackie played in our organization,” Mattingly said.“It’s really a pretty cool thing to have this day tied so closely to your organization.”Kershaw getting close?Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, who’s been on the disabled list since March 23 with a back strain, expressed confidence after throwing a bullpen session Tuesday.“It feels like we’re getting close, but I don’t know,” Kershaw said.Kershaw threw fastballs exclusively. Mattingly said he topped out at 85 mph, noting that developing his arm strength is the top priority for now.Mattingly confirmed that Kershaw will make a minor league rehab start before returning.Kershaw admitted he’s in the dark about any timetable for his return.“I’m sure they have a tentative in their heads that they don’t want to tell me,” he said.Setback for BillingsleyPitcher Chad Billingsley, who’s recovering from Tommy John surgery, was shut down after throwing eight pitches off a mound on Tuesday.“Not such good news,” Mattingly said.Billingsley will be sent to Los Angeles, where he’ll undergo an MRI, Mattingly said.“I think he felt an uncertainty,” Mattingly said. “He must have felt something in there because he really felt if he let it go, he was going to hurt himself.”AlsoThe Dodgers activated setup man Brian Wilson, who’d been on the disabled list since March 31 with an inflamed nerve on his right (pitching) elbow. To make room for Wilson, the Dodgers optioned left-handed reliever Paco Rodriguez to Triple-A Albuquerque. SAN FRANCISCO >> Whatever happened during Yasiel Puig’s bizarre journey from impoverished Cuba to big league stardom and the bright lights of Los Angeles will apparently stay South of the Border.At least that’s how Dodgers manager Don Mattingly is viewing revelations in a Los Angeles Magazine article alleging direct involvement of the Mexican drug cartel in bringing one of baseball’s most exciting and controversial players to the United States.The article, which has garnered national media attention, suggests the unsavory figures who figured prominently in helping Puig land a $42 million contract could pose a threat to his safety, as well as any fans or teammates at Dodger Stadium or elsewhere that might be in their way. One of Puig’s smugglers, who Puig alleged had harassed him, was killed execution-style, according to the report. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img Mattingly said he has not read the article but acknowledged hearing “tidbits” about it. He said he was not concerned about his own personal safety.“We’re on the baseball side of it,” Mattingly said.“I don’t know what went on and how it happened and I don’t know if the guy who wrote the article (Jesse Katz) knows what happened or what went on, because I haven’t heard Yasiel say anything about it.”Puig, however, did offer a cryptic comment to the publication regarding his situation, saying in Spanish “Sleep is when it’s your turn to die.“For that reason, I sleep with one eye open.”last_img read more

How Tevin Farmer went from rehab project to one of the best investments in boxing

first_imgDALLAS — There was a time when Tevin Farmer didn’t need boxing. Today, it’s something he can’t live without.  Boxing has granted the soon-to-be 29-year-old the opportunity to travel the world and have the finer things in life. But given the chance, the only place he wants to go is back to the gym. Join DAZN to watch Hooker vs. Ramirez on July 27 and 100+ fight nights a year“I did a little bit of vacationing,” Farmer (29-4-1, 6 KOs and 1 No Contest) says while sitting in a hotel lobby. His wife passes by and kisses Farmer on the top of his head almost to say “thank you” for the much-needed respite from pugilism that took him to Jamaica, Las Vegas and Ethiopia. “But all I could think about was getting back to training for my next fight.”Farmer will defend the IBF 130-pound title for the fourth time in a year when he faces French southpaw Guillaume Frenois (41-1-1, 12 KOs) in the co-featured bout of the super lightweight unification showdown between WBO champion Maurice Hooker and WBC titleholder Jose Ramirez on DAZN. Over the past 365 days, Farmer has fought Jono Carroll, Francisco Fonseca, James Tennyson and the opponent where he finally became a world champion, Billy Dib. This will be the fifth bout in a year for Farmer, who fights like he’s still hungry. And, for all intents and purposes, he is. Farmer is a much different fighter than the one who had a run-in with fellow 130-pound titlist Gervonta Davis — who just so happens to be fighting on the same day as Farmer, but in another city and on another network — when the two exchanged words in a Maryland after Vasiliy Lomachenko’s victory over Jason Sosa. “We got the (IBF) belt! Why would I fight you?” Davis barked at Farmer, who was then emptyhanded. “I’m the champion and you’ve got four losses!” Today, Farmer holds the title that was once Davis’ and has defended that championship more than his Baltimore rival, who now holds the WBA (Super) featherweight title. There aren’t many excuses now aside from the politics that often get in the way of the fights fans want to see. But Farmer has done his part and then some to become one of the most unlikely success stories in boxing. Those four losses that Davis referred to were back when Farmer wasn’t really sure if boxing was going to be in his future. As a matter of fact, boxing was just something to keep him busy and out of the streets.  Growing up in Philadelphia as one of 12 kids, Farmer had no idea what he wanted to do with his life. A self-defined “athlete,” Farmer tried his hand at multiple sports and boxing only entered his life when he accompanied his brother to the gym. “I didn’t love it,” he says of his first taste of boxing. “But I was sparring against people who had been training for a long time and I did really good. So, I just stuck with it.”Nobody thought much of Farmer as a fighter. He was just good enough to be an opponent who accepted fights on short notice. Sometimes he won, other times he lost. He was stopped in the final round of his first professional fight against Oscar Santana, but blames the loss on conditioning more than his opponent. He’d go on to lose his fourth fight, eighth bout and then came his shot against former Olympian Jose Pedraza on Showtime.He was dutifully outpointed and stopped in the final round by Pedraza. And that’s when Farmer realized that maybe if he dedicated himself to the craft, both in and out of the ring, he could be more than just an opponent. “My last loss in 2012 was when boxing really started clicking to me,” Farmer says. “I realized I needed to take it seriously. I was learning more and more about the game. I reached out to a friend of the family to help me. He had the resources and the money to help me out. He learned the business with me and placed me on shows.”Farmer stopped taking classes at nursing school to focus primarily on boxing. He needed to invest in himself. He brought together the team of head trainer Raul “Chino” Rivas, Rosario Lloyd and Rashiem Jefferson to help sharpen his skill set. He was naturally gifted, but taking the sport seriously saw a quick return for the budding talent. Farmer strung together eight straight wins before his true coming out party against Emanuel Gonzalez, who was undefeated at the time and touted by Golden Boy Promotions as their next big thing. “I beat the hell out of him,” Farmer laughs. Rivas sits next to Farmer and nods in agreement. They both realized that was the day Farmer proved that he was no longer the opponent. He was well on his way to becoming a world champion.And then he got shot in his hand at a party that nearly ended his boxing career. Well before he got shot, he tore his right bicep in the first round against Arturo Reyes and needed surgery. Oh, and a month before that he nearly drowned while vacationing in Puerto Rico when a river current nearly dragged him into an underwater cave.Yeah, 2017 wasn’t very kind to Tevin Farmer. But, strangely enough, the losses Farmer suffered early in his career and his childhood as a rough and rugged kid from Philadelphia set him up to overcome the adversity that may have been too much for the average individual. “I’m just a street guy,” Farmer says as he reflects on his childhood where he always found himself in trouble. “I’m hard as nails, man. I’m the nicest guy in the world, but not too many things are going to stop me. “One thing I can say is that boxing is definitely a different beast. It will humble a street dude real quick. I’ve seen guys that are cold killers get in the ring and get humbled. You have to be mentally strong and you got to be willing to go through whatever.”That stretch of bad luck in 2017 only incensed Farmer to work harder. And when a doctor said he wouldn’t be able to fight anymore after a bullet went through his hand at a family function gone wrong, Farmer decided that he’d work twice as hard to prove him wrong. After all, he was no longer the opponent who was expected to lose. He wanted to be a world champion. Five months after being shot, Farmer climbed into the ring against Kenichi Ogawa for the vacant IBF super featherweight title. The Philly fighter couldn’t close his right hand, but made do with it. Over the course of a nip and tuck battle, it appeared that Farmer had done enough to squeeze out the decision. But 2017 wasn’t done with him yet and judges awarded the decision to Ogawa.A dream deferred.MORE: Hooker vs. Ramirez: How to bet, expert pick and more“I won the title and they took it from me,” Farmer reflects. “When you get that close and lose you begin to wonder if you’ll ever get another chance.”Farmer’s 18-fight winning streak was over and some thought he’d become the opponent all over again. After all, a 25-5-1 record with five knockouts doesn’t sound all that spectacular in a sport that values undefeated records. And then Ogawa failed a drug test and was forced to vacate the title. Farmer would get another shot, but had to travel across the globe to get what was his. Last August, Farmer put together a dominant performance against Billy Dib in the Aussie’s backyard of Sydney, Australia to finally realize his dream of becoming a world champion. Later that month, he inked a multi-fight co-promotional deal with DiBella Entertainment and Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing USA. Hearn promised to help Farmer become a star by being active and the results have been promising. “I had no plan, but it I knew I would be successful,” Farmer says once he’s done reflecting on his past. He looks up at Rivas, who smiles. His wife also flashes a smile. It’s been a long road.  As he prepares for Frenois, Farmer explains that he seldom spends time away from the gym and enjoys being active. Aside from that, he’s started planning for his exit from boxing as he’s made investments in real estate that have already seen returns for the IBF champion. “I’m taking the money I’ve made off of boxing and investing it into real estate so I have my money working for me,” he says. “I don’t have to fight for money. I’ve got this amount of money coming in every month from the money I already made and now I can say ‘no’ if an offer for a fight isn’t good enough. I know my value where other fighters are forced to take less for fights because they need the money.”Remember, when Gervonta Davis asked why would he fight Farmer? Well, now Farmer’s the IBF champion and the script has been flipped. While Davis remains one of the hottest talents in the sport, Farmer has proven his value as one of the best 130-pound fighters in the world. It may be time for those two to cross paths. “Oh, if we do cross paths, I’m going to beat the s— out of him,” Farmer says.But he has his concerns due to boxing politics that the fight won’t happen next.“For five years this fight has been built up. I want it. He says he wants it but politics might stop it from happening.“The fight will be no time soon, but when it does happen somebody ain’t going to offer the right amount of money and the fight won’t happen because I ain’t taken no shorts. I will not accept pennies for that fight and I know my value as a fighter.” Farmer’s career is kind of like the properties he’s invested in to flip on the market. He was a home that was filled with promise, but a little rough around the edges. Some houses just need a little TLC to reach their potential.  “I’m a major part of why people don’t feel the same way about losses in boxing today,” he says. “I gave the boxing world hope. Others have come back after losses before, but nobody has done it like me.”Some people are unable to look past the blemishes and pass on the opportunity. But Chino Rivas, Eddie Hearn and Lou DiBella believed in Farmer despite his losses and realized that he was a true diamond in the rough.And now he’s one of the hottest properties on the market.last_img read more