Boxer beats brawler, ‘fury’ is only a name and the passing of a football icon

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Boxing

Jeff Horn was “given” the WBO Welterweight title…he didn’t win it.

In a shameful display of poor adjudicating, Manny Pacquiao lost that belt in an egregious, unanimous decision sham.

Adding injury to insult, Horn’s head-butting left Manny with gashes over both eyes.

Horn won his first title defense by TKO, because head-clashes had incapacitated his opponent.

Horn’s second defense came against Terence Crawford, last weekend.

Crawford holds titles in two other divisions, possess superior skills and has ring-savvy far beyond his years.

He was prepared for Horn’s Alpine ibex fighting style, and took control from the start. Fighting from the southpaw stance, Crawford rocked Horn in every round.

Switching to orthodox in the 8th, Crawford had Horn in deep trouble that continued into Round 9, when Crawford sent Horn south on a three-punch combination.

When the violence continued Crawford swarmed him, and the referee quickly called a halt to the competition.

Good call, ref.

Terence Crawford (33-0, 24 KO’s) took a title in a third division.

***

Heavyweight Tyson Fury’s return to the ring lasted only four rounds…and more punches have been thrown at a spelling bee.

In a “less-than-spectacular” performance, Fury (26-0, 19 KO’s) fought Sefer Seferi. Tyson (a decade younger) sported a 10-inch reach advantage and out-weighed Seferi by 50-pounds.

He mauled Seferi when clinching; then clowned, postured, and showboated until the referee admonished Fury to try throwing a punch.

Seferi’s team tossed in the towel before Round 5.

Tyson Fury’s reboot needs a lot of work.

NFL

San Francisco 49er Dwight Clark was the very definition of “iconic.”

And “The Catch” is a moment deeply embedded in sports history.

Sadly, after a three-year fight, Clark succumbed to ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, aka: Lou Gehrig’s disease).

Dwight Clark passed away on Monday, June 6th at the age of 61.

***

“The Catch” was the key that started an engine, which roared for more than a decade.

On January 10, 1982 the 49ers hosted the Dallas Cowboys at Candlestick Park for the NFC Championship.

Vin Scully was calling the game…talk about icons.

With 4:54 left on the clock the Cowboys held a 27–21 lead, and San Francisco had the ball on their own 11-yardline.

Quarterback Joe Montana drove the Niners to the Cowboys’ 6-yard line.

He called a Sprint Right Option play, and told his primary receiver he would be going to him. But as they broke the huddle Joe added, “Dwight, be ready.”

Montana took the snap and peeled to his right as he dropped back. Three Cowboys had broken through the D-line and were closing in.

Joe cocked his arm twice, but had no open target to fire at.

The second arm-pump caused a defender to jump, and it created an opening as he descended.

Montana pulled the trigger.

Off balance and moving backwards, Joe leaped into the air as he threw the pass.

The ball sailed far too high for any human to reach.

Clark was streaking along the back of the end zone, trying to intersect the trajectory of the ball as it arched over the goal line.

He knew it was out of reach. He leaped anyway.

The mechanics of his jump were perfect.

He pushed off with both legs and swung his long arms above his head. The momentum helped lift him to the altitude of the pigskin.

Clark made contact at the apex of his leap. The ball moved from his right hand to his left as he flew over a defender. It shifted one last time before he secured it, and found a place to land inside the line.

Touchdown.

That win sent the San Francisco 49ers to their first Super Bowl, one of the five they would win over the course of the next 13 years.

That effort, that jump, the way he flew through the air…Clark was a real-life super hero.

All that Dwight was missing was a cape.

God Bless and special thanks to cartoonist and animator Al Rosson for the fabulous superhero illustration.

Mark Felicetti only has one superpower. Reach him at mark@tolucantimes.com.

 

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