Tyson Fury's fight against Deontay Wilder 'most popular heavyweight PPV for 15 years in US' with 300,000 sales expected

Saturday’s split-decision draw between WBC titlist Wilder and lineal champion Fury looks to have attracted over 300,000 pay-per-view buys in America.

That will make it the most successful world title clash between heavyweights in the country since Roy Jones Jr. beat John Ruiz to win the WBA belt in 2003.

The figure represents the number of homes that bought the fight on the Showtime cable channel in the US, and does not include UK television sales, or purchases through digital platforms.

The fight came to a controversial end, with a split-decision draw being awarded despite most commentators agreeing that Fury was ahead on points, even after being knocked down twice by Wilder.

And post-bout talk of a rematch – with both boxers keen to face each other again – will only have been enhanced by the financial success of the first encounter.

The return fight looks likely to happen in the first half of 2019, with arenas in London and Las Vegas among the potential venues being touted to host.

Both fighters will stand to make considerably more than their guaranteed base purse – $4 million for Wilder, $3 million for Fury – thanks to the bout’s success on PPV.

And on the same basis, both can expect their basic fee to rise considerably if and when the rematch takes place.

The estimated PPV figure for Jones Jr versus Ruiz was over 525,000, as the one-time pound-for-pound champ won a world title at a fourth different weight.

Jones Jr, then 35 years old, had previously been world champion at middleweight, super-middleweight and light-heavyweight, and never fought again in the top weight bracket.

The richest PPV fight in boxing history was Floyd Mayweather Jr’s welterweight world title victory over Manny Pacquiao, which generated a staggering 4.6 million buys in 2015.

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USA Gymnastics files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

USA Gymnastics filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Wednesday as it searches for ways to remain afloat in the wake of the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal.

The national governing body for gymnastics said it hopes this latest move will allow for an expedited process in handling dozens of civil lawsuits related to the sexual abuse perpetrated by Nassar, the former national medical coordinator who was convicted of assaulting patients under the guise of medical treatment.

“This is not a liquidation,” said Kathryn Carson, the chair of USA Gymnastics’ board of directors said. “This is a reorganization. … We owe it to the survivors to resolve, fully and finally, claims based on the horrific acts of the past.”

Her statement said USA Gymnastics has no assets significant enough to help settle the claims made in those lawsuits. The filing claims between $50 million and $100 million in assets and the same monetary range of liabilities.

Carson’s statement said insurance policies, which are not affected by the bankruptcy claim, would be used to cover the cost of those claims.

The dozens of lawsuits say the organization and its leaders failed to live up to its obligation to report claims of Nassar’s abuse and stop him from abusing others. Multiple attempts at mediation in those suits has not produced a settlement. Attorneys involved in the case expect the bankruptcy declaration will stop all legal proceedings in civil court, including an ongoing discovery process.

Attorney John Manly, who represents many of the women suing USA Gymnastics, called the filing an “inevitable result of the inability of this organization to meet its core responsibility of protecting its athlete members from abuse.”

“The leadership of USA Gymnastics has proven itself to be both morally and financially bankrupt,” Manly said. “They have inflicted and continue to inflict unimaginable pain on survivors and their families. They are incapable of meeting their obligations as an Olympic governing body.”

Wednesday’s filing is the latest in what has been a tumultuous path forward for USA Gymnastics since Nassar was arrested on sexual conduct charges more than two years ago.

A grand jury indicted former USA Gymnastics president Steve Penny in October on charges of evidence tampering. He denied any wrongdoing through his attorney. Among the creditors listed in Wednesday’s bankruptcy filing, Penny is listed as someone who is still owed $340,000 in severance pay, which USA Gymnastics disputes.

Two replacement presidents have come and gone since Penny stepped away from the organization in March 2017. Both Mary Bono and Kerry Perry resigned from interim president positions under pressure from some of the sport’s most high profile athletes, including world champion Simone Biles.

Those missteps, among other things, led the U.S. Olympic Committee to take the first steps toward revoking USA Gymnastics’ certification in early November. USOC CEO Sarah Hirshland told gymnasts in an open letter that they “deserve better.” Hirshland said in the same letter she did not know how long the decertification process would take.

“While we fully understand that USAG believes this restructuring will begin to solve deficiencies we’ve identified, the filing does not impact our Section 8 complaint and that process will move forward,” USOC spokesman Patrick Sandusky said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Inspirational Purdue super fan Tyler Trent: Here’s why I’m grateful this holiday season

Tyler Trent's story has inspired millions and generated even more for cancer research. The Purdue super fan and Carmel resident has been the subject of ESPN features, was an honorary team captain for the Boilermakers and received the Sagamore of the Wabash, the highest honor for Indiana civilians. Trent, who wrote for Purdue's school newspaper, The Exponent, has written this guest column for the USA TODAY Network. 

When I started to have trouble breathing and began convulsing in my wheelchair the morning of Sept. 25, I thought for sure my roommates would return to find a limp dead body in my wheelchair.

However, after about eight minutes, my body returned to normal. Which meant I would take my morphine to battle my daily back pain from the ever-growing tumor on my spine. Without the pain medication I was basically unable to function. So, after double-checking that I could breathe normally, I went to class.

This probably leads one to ask themselves: Why didn’t you tell anyone?

DONATE:Tyler Trent fund

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Van Wagenen now has to keep fickle Wilpons under his trance

Brodie Van Wagenen was preacher and motivational speaker in introductory remarks Tuesday during the press conference to welcome Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz to the Mets.

The new Mets GM sermonized about being “relentless and fearless in our pursuit of greatness.” He talked about believing in the possible, that nothing was impossible. He, by name, thanked every Mets employee short of the clubhouse guy who put the “2” and the “4” on Cano’s new uniform for their assistance in completing this complicated trade with the Mariners. He called Cano among the great second basemen in the game and Diaz the best current closer.

And there was this from the written pages that Van Wagenen glanced at occasionally: “This should be a signal to our players and our fans that words alone will not define this franchise.”

Except, like every part of this presentation, I don’t think the main target audience was Mets players or fans. It was ownership — Jeff Wilpon sitting on the dais with Van Wagenen, Fred Wilpon in the first row looking upon his newest employees.

From his days as an agent, Van Wagenen knows Mets ownership is susceptible to a passionate narrative. He recognizes the Wilpons want to be taken seriously, decrease the fan animosity and win. He also knows they have promised “words” of financial and transactional aggression before only to retreat, scared by a bad result or sticker shock or negative industry, media and fan reaction.

Van Wagenen is trying to steel the Wilpons to keep going, to be bold, to not accept as unamendable fact that the Yankees and other large-market teams are the destination for the best in the game. Sandy Alderson’s initial job was to put as positive a face as possible on payroll slashing and serial losing during the Madoff debacle. Van Wagenen has made Job 1 convincing ownership to stop acting like these are the Kansas City Mets.

We will all learn with time if Van Wagenen is carnival barker or baseball savant, but at present he is resonating with an ownership mesmerized by his energy and positivity. Jeff Wilpon shares a similar age and Connecticut living experience with Van Wagenen, and their relationship feels more like a partnership than any previous Wilpon/GM relationship. Perhaps it is the honeymoon phase, but Van Wagenen sold a trade to ownership that was largely unpopular with fans and the industry.

Think about the sales job here a bit and what it might mean moving forward:

1. Van Wagenen got the Mets to obtain Cano, who was suspended 80 games for failing an MLB drug test. Van Wagenen was one of his agents at that point and believes he knows why Cano tested positive for a diuretic banned because it is often used as a masking agent. He sold it enough that Jeff Wilpon said: “I don’t think [Cano’s] a drug cheat. I could be proven wrong, but I don’t think he’s a drug cheat.”

2. At a time when prospects have never been valued more, Van Wagenen moved ownership to agree to give up two of the Mets’ best (Justin Dunn and Jarred Kelenic). It should be remembered Van Wagenen, while at CAA, was involved in recruiting top amateurs and had plenty of players in the minors (Dunn is a CAA client). He knows what the miss rate is on even the best prospects.

Kelenic is generally well-regarded by talent evaluators. But he is 19. Like Brandon Nimmo (Wyoming), Kelenic is from a cold-weather state (Wisconsin) and, thus, has not played as extensively as many top prospects and could need more extended minor league seasoning. Plus, you can find amateur scouts who worried that Kelenic is a bit of workout warrior — that he looks great in showcase situations, but there is at least some concerns about adaptability to higher professional levels.

Still, Kelenic was a valuable trade commodity within the industry with a potential high ceiling, and Van Wagenen persuaded ownership to trade him. Which means he is unafraid to repeat the same to get his hands on proven talent (J.T. Realmuto? Corey Kluber?).

3. Even with Jay Bruce and Anthony Swarzak off the books and Seattle sending $20 million to complete the trade, the Mets are adding $63 million in future dollars for Cano. And though they will pray he actually earns it because it would mean he is excelling, Diaz could exceed $30 million over the next four years. The Mets, before adding Cano, had no guaranteed dollars for the 2021 season.

But that might not be true for much longer. The interest is there to extend Jacob deGrom, and Van Wagenen has the Mets dabbling at high level of free agency with setup men and A.J. Pollock, among others. Plus, the willingness here was to take on a distressed contract (Cano) to land a desirable piece (Diaz). Cleveland and Miami are among the teams that have distressed contracts they would like to excise. Would they attach a star to them?

Also, remember that at recent trade deadlines the Mets talked about eating money to facilitate better returns, then made the trade that saved the most dollars.

4. In the past, the Wilpons have tended to make the payroll a moving target, with the GM essentially shopping for one item at a time, either getting approval or not and then moving to the next agenda piece. Like the better front offices, Van Wagenen has the Mets not just in the expensive (in price of dollars and prospects) shopping aisles, but diverse ones. Will the new GM be able to multitask a cohesive, contending roster? We’ll see, but he has ownership willing to consider varied possibilities concurrently rather than one at a time.

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With salaries for college football assistants spiraling, coaches can be pickier about taking top jobs

When Arkansas State athletics director Terry Mohajir went to hire a football coach six years ago for a program that had been a reliable launching pad to the Power Five, he looked to the staff of one of the most profitable athletic departments in the country. 

At the time, Texas offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin wasn’t just a highly regarded rising assistant in college football, he was also attainable for a Sun Belt program whose total athletic budget is roughly one-fifth of schools like Texas. 

“He was making ($700,000) and that was pretty high,” Mohajir said. “It was pretty good money, but I was able to pay him more to be a head coach.” 

Fueled by an explosion in the cost of hiring and retaining top-level assistants, however, the economics of grooming the next generation of head coaches has been turned on its head in less than a decade. 

Whereas only five assistants in the country were making $1 million or more five years ago, that number has now exploded to 21 in the latest USA TODAY Sports college coaching salary survey, with eight of those making at least $1.5 million. 

Led by LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda, whose total basic compensation for this year is $2.5 million, the motivation for top programs to retain elite assistants has turned many of those jobs into more lucrative and potentially more secure opportunities than a significant portion of head coaching gigs in the Football Bowl Subdivision.

DATABASE: Salary data for nearly every FBS assistant coach

“A lot of people wanted to be head coaches because the money was so significantly different, but it’s not any more,” said Chad Chatlos, who specializes in coaching and executive searches for Ventura Partners. “So what’s the incentive unless you’re just driven to be a head coach? You’re seeing some guys say, ‘I want to just coach my defense’ without having to deal with the other stuff that comes with being a modern-day head coach.”

Whereas the path to lifetime financial security in college football almost always came through success as a head coach until the last few years, the lines have recently blurred.

Aranda’s contract, which is guaranteed through March 31, 2022, makes him more highly paid than four head coaches in the Pac-12 Conference. Missouri’s Barry Odom, a head coach in Aranda’s own league, the Southeastern Conference, made slightly less ($2.35 million) this season.

Aranda, 42, was a little-known commodity as recently as six years ago. After working his way up from places like Cal Lutheran and Delta State to the FBS level at Utah State in 2012, his reputation blossomed when he followed Gary Anderson to Wisconsin and ran a defense that finished in the top-10 nationally for three straight seasons even though his roster wasn’t loaded with blue-chip recruits. 

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Why is Alexis Sanchez not playing for Man Utd against Arsenal in Premier League?

The Red Devils needed to fight back to draw against Southampton at the weekend, as they languish in eighth in the English top-flight.

Why is Alexis Sanchez not playing for Manchester United?

Alexis Sanchez will not be playing in the Premier League clash against his former club Arsenal tonight.

The Chilean has not played since United's draw with Crystal Palace on November 24.

He joins a whole host of names that will miss the clash with the Gunners, with seven defenders set to be absent.

Victor Lindelof is injured, with Ashley Young out through suspension.

Meanwhile, Antonio Valencia, Luke Shaw Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Eric Bailly are all expected to be sidelined.

When do Manchester United face Juventus?

This match will take place on Wednesday, December 5, with kick-up at 8pm.

The group stage clash will be held at Old Trafford.

It will be shown live on BT Sport 1, coverage will start at 7pm.

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How The Wrestling World Reacted To The Death Of ‘Dynamite Kid’

The wrestling legend passed away at the age of 60, and the wrestling industry took to social media to share their thoughts.

As reported by Inquisitr, professional wrestling legend Tom ‘Dynamite Kid’ Billington passed away. It was the wrestler’s 60th birthday. He’d been suffering from a slew of health problems in recent years.

After his passing, the entire wrestling industry took to social media to offer their thoughts and condolences. Some even shared stories and memories of working with Dynamite Kid in their career.

We initially learned of his passing from his friend Marty Jones, who posted on Twitter informing everyone that Dynamite Kid was no longer with us.

“It’s with great sadness I have to inform you all that The “Dynamite Kid” Tommy Bullington on his birthday has passed away.”

“Kid” was known as one of the godfathers of the high-flying wrestling style that’s used by cruiserweights and other wrestlers today. As one might expect, many wrestlers who are known for their flying style owe Dynamite Kid a debt of gratitude.

Current WWE Cruiserweight TJP posted on Instagram about how Billington was actually one of the wrestlers who made him interested in going to New Japan Pro Wrestling as a child.

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Dynamite Kid and Tiger Mask made me want to be in New Japan when I was younger. Even more so than the WWF. My first ever real job in wrestling happened to be New Japan, as soon as i graduated high school and turned 18. To say it was an honor to step into the ring in the company where these two guys built what we know today as “Cruiserweights” is an understatement. I’m very sad to hear that we lost Dynamite ???? ????

A post shared by TJ Perkins (@megatjp) on

Will Osprey is another wrestler known for taking risks with his style. Not only was he inspired by the “Kid” for his style, but he was also influenced as a British wrestler.

Davey Boy Smith Jr., son of the great Davey Boy Smith, who was the long-time tag team partner of Dynamite Kid, shared his thoughts as well, even recounting the last time he saw the man.

Plenty of other English performers both inside and outside of WWE took to social media to offer their reactions to the passing of Dynamite Kid. Even SmackDown Live General Manager Paige shared her thoughts.

Of course, it’s not just individual performers offering their thoughts and condolences for the passing of one of wrestling’s all-time greats. Entire wrestling promotions are taking to social media to share their praise of Dynamite Kid. While he was only in the WWE for a brief time, the company was quick to offer its thoughts on the professional wrestler.

Members of the wrestling media also took to social media to offer thoughts as well. Names like Bruce Prichard, Dave Meltzer, and others posted about “Kid.”

Further showing the tremendous impact Tommy Bullington had on the wrestling world is social media posts from a wide range of wrestlers who seemingly had no relation to Dynamite Kid at all.

His influence runs back years, with lots of old-school wrestlers offering their opinions and memories of Dynamite Kid. Even The Iron Sheik and Brutus Beefcake posted about him.

It’s clear that the influence of Dynamite Kid can be felt all across the wrestling world, and while he may have passed, we’ll continue to see it for years to come through the wrestlers who are following in his high-flying, risk-taking footsteps.

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Liverpool enter race to sign Everton's on-loan ace Andre Gomes, say the bookies

The Toffees are determined to sign the midfielder permanently as his loan deal expires in the summer.

Everton remain as strong favourites to seal a permament move for the Portugal international at 2/1.

But the bookies have listed a handful of clubs to rival the Toffees for his signature in the summer, including their rivals Liverpool.

Betfair's Katie Baylis said: “Gomes has looked good at Everton on the loan deal from Barcelona and we make it 2/1 he will stay permanently at Goodison Park.

"Other clubs are likely to be looking closely as well though and we have it at 6/1 his next club will be Atletico Madrid, with Valencia at 8/1.

"Wolves are 8/1 while we have Liverpool at 10/1 to steal their neighbour’s talented recruit."

Betfair: Andre Gomes next club

Gomes has excelled since arriving in the Premier League and has become a key player for the Toffees after just six games.

He was also handed the man of the match award after the Merseyside derby at Anfield.

Gomes struggled during his two-year spell at the Nou Camp after signing Barca for £29million from Valenica.

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Fans climb onto roofs to catch free view of Galatasaray's Turkish Cup clash

The Super Lig giants were taking on the minnows in the nation's capital, Ankara, in the first-leg of their fifth-round Turkish Cup clash.

With just 5,000 seats in the stadium, some supporters opted for a more daredevil approach as they climbed on the roofs of houses.

Galatasaray came out triumphant in today's first-leg, winning 2-1.

They will now turn their attention to the reverse leg at their 52,000-seater home – over ten times the size of today's venue – on December 18.

Today's showdown in Ankara is a far cry from what Keciorengucu can expect in a fortnight's time.

After all, 42,000 Galatasaray fans turned up to the ground with flares and banners… for a TRAINING SESSION.

A record-breaking number of fans took in the team's training ahead of the fierce Istanbul derby against Besiktas on Sunday.

Despite the incredible scenes – as the ground was engulfed in red smoke – the giants slipped to a 1-0 defeat away to their rivals.

Galatasaray next take on Rizespor in the league, before their sixth and final Champions League group stage game against Porto at home on Tuesday, with qualification now impossible.

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Ipswich put up for sale for £35m by Marcus Evans but is not prepared for write off £100m debt

SunSport understands the Tractor Boys owner is ready to walk away after 11 years in charge at Portman Road.

But Evans, 55, is not prepared to write off the near-£100m debt that is owed to him – and that is putting off potential buyers.

The English businessman purchased an 87.5 per cent controlling stake in Ipswich in December 2007 and took over as chairman from David Sheepshanks in May 2009.

Yet Evans has failed in his mission to get Town back to the Premier League.

And he now wants out with Paul Lambert’s side seven points adrift at the bottom of the Championship and looking set to drop into the third tier for the first time since 1957.

Evans’ decision to try and sell means he is unlikely to provide funds for Lambert – who replaced Paul Hurst as boss in October – to spend in next month’s transfer window.

Ipswich are already in a financial mess with accounts for the year ending June 2018 revealing the debt owed to Evans had increased to £95.5m.

The Tractor Boys’ wage bill also rose last season and their gate receipts fell, with season ticket sales dropping by almost 2,000.

Ipswich’s plight is similar to Sunderland’s last term when owner Ellis Short tried to flog the cash-strapped club when they were bottom of the Championship.

The American eventually sold the Black Cats to Stewart Donald for £40m, but only after he wrote off the club’s debts.

However, Evans is not willing to do that meaning investors do not see Town as an attractive club to buy, despite their history and fanbase.

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