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Boxing: Wilder vs. Fury, Unfinished Hype



Wilder will face Fury in Las Vegas Saturday night. Artwork courtesy of

LAS VEGAS, Nv. (FNN SPORTS) – On Saturday night, the boxing world will once again take center stage, as one of, if not the biggest showdown in recent boxing history will try to rewrite the fortunes of a sport that has longed for life after the golden era.

WBC heavyweight champion of the world Deontay Wilder (42-0-1, 41 KOs) will face off once again against the former WBA, IBF, WBO, and lineal heavyweight champion of the world, Tyson Fury (29-0-1, 20 KOs) in a rematch of a 2018 bout that produced one of the most memorable heavyweight fights in boxing history.

But to understand better what we all witnessed that night, you would have to go back in time, and revisit a powerful period in boxing history. A period in the sport where champions won and lost by fighting the best there was to fight in their respective weight classes. A time where boxing was about the battle of one’s will, and determination to prove to the world that there was only one king of the ring. A time where champions were recognized as the guy to beat, and the keeper of their class. A time when people like Ali, Frazier, Foreman, Holmes, Tyson, Holyfield, Bowe, and Lewis graced us with the last of the golden era in a sport that has been dying for a resurgence to once again become the king of sports combat.

Since the rise of self promotion in boxing, and branding in sports in general, fight fans have been left out to dry. Boxing became a watered down sport that not too long ago uplifted so many people by watching what seemed to be these hometown guys rise from obscurity and literally fighting their way to the top to live the American Dream. Hard work pays off and all your dreams can come true if you dedicate yourself to your craft and put in the work. Today it seems every month there is another mega fight, where two guys jockey to stay undefeated, and make it to the top by guarding, slipping, and fighting far inferior competition in hopes to set up a giant payday. Fight fans pay to see a glorified sparring session because these guys just want to promote and get paid. A lot of hustle and no bustle, if you will, or smoke and mirrors. How many times can you count on your hands and toes a pay per view fight that was worth the money you spent in the past 15 years?

Saturday night is different. Wilder is by far the most hard-hitting heavyweight boxer boxing has produced and showcased since the likes of Shavers and Tyson. With bad intentions in every punch this man throws, what he lacks as a technician he more than makes up for with punching power, keeping fans coming back to see him and his vicious attacks, as whoever Wilder faces must be at their best for a full 60 minutes. If you haven’t seen this man punch someone, please revisit his last fight against Luis Ortiz (31-2-2, 26 KOs). Wilder managed to lose 6 rounds straight only to demonstrate the exact nature of his game, brutally crushing Ortiz in the 7th to end the fight.

Let’s not forget about Tyson Fury. To be the champ you must beat the champ. Once upon a time, there was a unified heavyweight champion of the world that went by the name of Wladimir Klitschko (64-5, 53 KOs). Maybe you’ve heard of him? He was the undisputed heavyweight champion for over 12 years, successfully defending his title 22 times, tying only Mohammad Ali (56-5, 37 KOs) for most successful title defense by a heavyweight in the history of the sport, and trailing only to Joe Luis (66-3, 52 KOs) who defended 25 times.

In a bizarre move, Fury vacated his titles before his 2016 rematch with Klitschko due to substance abuse issues instead of taking the rematch and the payday. Fury decided to get his life together and began to seek outside help to fix an inside problem–one that no recognition or fortune seemed to heal. And the man, who beat the man, all but vanished just as quickly as he arrived into the boxing world.

On December 1, 2018, Fury and Wilder squared off in a very interesting match. The new-age brown boomer faced the last lineal champion the sport had to offer. This offered an opportunity to take the torch from the last guy and claim the rightful ownership of the heavyweight division–a class that has lacked its king since 2016.

In a fight that saw both men hurt, tired, and bloody, boxing had produced a fight that truly came down to points. Fury’s precision and technical prowess gave Wilder more problems than he could handle, and Wilder’s power and relentless determination almost ended Fury’s night twice as both men put on a fight that was reminiscent of what we used to watch growing up. We witnessed two guys who were meant to be in the ring, in that moment, on that stage, fighting to prove who was the best so they could, without doubt, be called the number one heavyweight champion of the world.

We are two years removed from that fight, and these two have been on a collision course ever since that memorable night.

Saturday’s fight has been named Unfinished Business. Deontay Wilder will put his title up against Tyson Fury for a second time, hoping to recapture, rebottle, and resell the high dramatics of a high stakes fight that will have the entire world watching, hoping, and waiting to see if this sport can pick itself up off the mat and deliver a knockout performance like the all of the great fighters of the past.


Antonio Campana is a Florida National News sports contributor. |

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Las Vegas

Pro Bowl Skills Showdown returns with new competitions



For the fifth time, Pro Bowlers from the AFC and NFC will compete against each other in unique competitions at the PRO BOWL SKILLS SHOWDOWN, a made for television event, which airs on Thursday, February 3, at 7:00 PM ET on ESPN.

New this year, the Pro Bowlers will compete in Best Catch and Fastest Man events.

The Skills Showdown is one of the many events occurring during PRO BOWL WEEK, culminating with the 2022 Pro Bowl presented by Verizon on Sunday, February 6, at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. Tickets to the game, which kicks off at 3:00 PM ET and will be televised live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and simulcast on ABC, are on sale now at

Taking place at the Las Vegas Ballpark, the Skills Showdown will be produced by ESPN and A. Smith & Co. Productions, producers of shows such as American Ninja Warrior, Hell’s Kitchen and The Titan Games.

Competitions at the Skills Showdown include:

  • Precision Passing: Each conference’s two quarterbacks and one non-quarterback will battle it out in a one-minute accuracy competition, as they attempt to hit as many targets as possible. New in 2022, the targets are attached to robotic dummies that are in motion across the event. After the buzzer sounds, the quarterbacks will get one last long-distance throw to earn bonus points.
  • Thread the Needle: A one-minute head-to-head offense vs. defense accuracy challenge, as each conference’s quarterbacks try to hit as many targets as possible while the opposing team’s defensive backs work together to limit their success rate.
  • Best Catch: New this year, two wide receivers from each conference will compete in a scored best catch competition, showing off their creativity, ingenuity and talent. From the use of props to guest appearances, the players can be as imaginative as they want to produce their best highlight reel receptions for a panel of celebrity judges.
  • Fastest Man: An old-fashioned 40-yard sprint, two skill position players (wide receivers, running backs and defensive backs) from each team will compete for the title as the NFL’s fastest player.
  • Epic Pro Bowl Dodgeball: In the grand finale, Pro Bowlers will compete in a classic game of dodgeball, with every member of each team participating. In a best of three series, the team with the last person on the court wins.

Fans are encouraged to join the conversation surrounding the Pro Bowl Skills Showdown on social media using the hashtag #ProBowlSkills. More details around how fans can get involved with Pro Bowl Week festivities will be announced at a later date. Visit for the latest event details and to purchase tickets, which will allow fans special benefits on gameday, including access to the Pro Bowl Red Carpet and other family friendly activities.

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GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame Legend Carman Dies at Las Vegas Hospital



GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame artist Carman passed away Tuesday late night. Courtesy photo.

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (February 16, 2021) – GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame member, CARMAN, passed away Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at a Las Vegas, Nevada hospital, after fighting a series of complications resulting from surgery to repair a hiatal hernia.

Carman Dominic Licciardello, known to fans worldwide as “Carman,” was 65.

Born January 19, 1956 in Trenton, New Jersey, Carman began his musical career playing drums in his mother’s band at the age of 15. Carman holds the world record for having the largest audience to see a single Christian artist. He set the record for the largest concert at Texas Stadium with more than 71,000 fans and led more than 80,000 fans in worship in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Among his many awards, Carman received the House of Hope of Humanitarian Award for his positive influence in the lives of American youth in 2006, other noted recipients of this award include Ronald & Nancy Reagan and Billy Graham. The Gospel Music Association honored Carman with induction into the GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2018. Billboard named Carman “Contemporary Christian Artist of the Year” in 1992 and 1995, and in 1993, his album, Addicted to Jesus, earned the distinction of Contemporary Christian Album of the Year. Carman was Grammy-nominated multiple times as the Best Pop Contemporary Gospel Artist. His recording, “A Long Time Ago in a Land Called Bethlehem” was nominated for “Album of the Year” by the Recording Academy in 1986.

In 1985, the release of his first #1 song, “The Champion,” solidified his place in music history and defined his soul-winning career as one of endurance, grit, dedication, and pure talent. Anyone who knew Carman knows that he counted only this as his greatest lifetime achievement – winning millions of souls to Christ.

Matt Felts, Carman’s manager, states: “When Carman resumed touring again a few years ago, he was concerned that no one would care that he was back. He was wrong. Every night fans packed out venues and his ministry was as powerful as it ever was. This world has lost a light in the darkness but today Carman saw first hand the fruit of his labors.

Carman was planning to embark on a 60-city tour later this month.

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Las Vegas

Boxing: Gypsy King Brings the Fury



Tyson Fury (right) lands a straight right on former Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder on his way to 7th round KO. Photo courtesy of

LAS VEGAS, Nv. (FNN SPORTS) – Saturday night’s heavyweight title bout between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury delivered not only a knockout for boxing, it all but closed the books on any business left between the these two fighters.

Drawing over 17 million in live gate ticket sales, this much-anticipated boxing match was the biggest draw in heavyweight boxing history, surpassing Lewis vs. Holyfield 2 in April 1999. The question of the night, however, wasn’t whether the fight would be well attended or viewed, but would both men show up to fight? Would this first time marriage of ESPN and FOX Sports PPV be a blockbuster classic, or all-talk-and-no-bite hype? After all, Tyson Fury was quoted this week saying he wanted to “taste Wilder’s blood.” If that didn’t help sell more tickets to the fight, the final press conference shoving match would, right? Or could this boxing match get past all the pre-fight buzz and recapture the imagination and attention of boxing fans and fight fans across the globe?

Earlier in the week, a reporter asked Fury how he planned on fighting Wilder. What would his strategy be, since in the first fight he boxed so well and still only came up with a draw? Fury’s plan was simple: make Wilder fight backwards, and knock him out. Not known for his heavy hands, this seemed to be a tall task for Fury, but on Saturday night, he delivered on his word. He took the fight to the champ Wilder from the opening bell. Each round moved quickly, and I couldn’t help but wonder how long either man could keep his pace up.

Fury predicted a 2nd round knockout, and it only took him until the 3rd round to all but end the fight when he landed an overhand right that caught Wilder between his ear and the back of his head, sending the champion to the canvas for only the second time in his career. Wilder beat the count, but to the truthful watching the fight it seemed as if he never fully recovered. Much like a shark smells blood in the water, I could only imagine that a fighter can sense when there opponent has weakened, and or wills have been broken.

For the next four rounds, Tyson Fury beat, bludgeoned, leaned, slipped, and smoothed the remaining fighting life out of Wilder. He even leaned in and licked the blood off of Wilder’s neck before he cornered him. Fury landed a four-punch combination to Wilder’s head, leaving Wilder’s corner no option but to throw in the towel, stopping the fight at 1:39 in the 7th round.

Fury captured the crown and returned to the top of the boxing food chain as the new WBC and Lineal Heavyweight Champion of the World in dramatic fashion, putting the rest of the heavyweight division on notice that the “Gypsy King” has returned to the throne.


Antonio Campana is a sports contributor for Florida National News. |

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