Mayweather and Pacquiao to fight in Fall, but not vs. Each Other

Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao will be entering the ring later in 2011, but it won’t be against each other. The undefeated Mayweather (41-0, 25 KOs) recently announced on Twitter that he’s going to be taking on  WBC Welterweight Champion Victor Ortiz (29-2-2, 22 KOs) on Sept. 17, which is Mexican Independence Day weekend.

Pacquiao (52-3-2, 38 KOs) on the other hand, will be taking on Juan Manuel Marquez (52-5-1, 38 KOs) for the third time when they meet Nov. 12 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. They fought to a 12-round draw back in 2008 with Pacquiao winning the rematch by split decision.

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Who are the World’s Highest Paid Athletes?

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Sports fans have argued for years over which specific sport pays its players the highest wages. That debate has been put to rest somewhat in the internet age as annual reports are typically released showing who makes exactly how much money. A new report was released in mid-April by sporting Intelligence and there may be a few surprises to some people.

According to the report, NBA basketball players make the most money on average, but Spanish soccer teams Barcelona and Real Madrid pay their players the best. Last year, players from the New York Yankees were the highest paid on average. The average wage of an NBA player is $4.79 million a year or $92, 199 a week.

The average wage at Barcelona is just over $7.9 million a year ($157,038 per week) while Madrid’s players make about $7.35 million yearly ($146,038). Yankees players are the third-biggest money makers at  about $6.75 million a year ($134,122).

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Matsui and Pacquiao: Victories for Asian Athleticism

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By Ann Binlot

Growing up as a child of Asian immigrants in California, I wasn’t exactly encouraged to be an athlete.  When I was young, my father enrolled me in piano lessons instead of having me join a t-ball or soccer team.  Most of the Asians that did play sports during my high school years stuck with activities like tennis or badminton instead of football, wrestling or basketball.  I didn’t play anything—mostly because my parents didn’t encourage it.  As a tomboy who collected baseball cards and watched basketball, I looked up to basketball players like Michael Jordan and my favorite baseball players were Mark McGwire and Rickey Henderson.  Not one of them was Asian like me.  Most of the Asian athletes I grew up with participated in more “delicate” sports—I’ll never forget French Open-winning tennis player Michael Chang with his “moon balls” and olympic gold medalist figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi’s triple triple combinations.  But when it came to the macho sports, an Asian presence was basically non-existent.

Genetically speaking, Asians are known as the smallest and weakest race.  They aren’t known for the large muscles or athleticism.  Their Black, Caucasian and Hispanic counterparts have been dominant in America’s favorite sports—basketball, football, baseball—even NASCAR racing— for the as long as I can remember, but this month two Asian males proved that stereotype wrong, giving Asian children around the world role models.

Hideki Matsui, a designated hitter for the Yankees, became the first Japanese man to win the World Series MVP for his record-tying six RBIs in game six.  He’s also the first designated hitter to score the honor.  Less than two weeks later, another Asian athlete—Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao—won against Miguel Cotto in the 12th round by TKO, not only crowning Pacquiao with the world title in the welterweight division, but making him the only boxer to win world titles in seven weight divisions.

The two athletes mark a victory not only in their respective sports, but also a victory for Asians all over the world, proving to everybody else that Asians can excel in sports traditionally dominated by other races, breaking down preconceived notions that Asians are the weaker race.manny_pacquiao

Racially, could it be that these very assumptions are what kept Asians from excelling in Western sports in the first place?  Asians make up less than 3 percent of the racial breakdown in professional American football, baseball, basketball and soccer.  Perhaps that is the reason why it has taken so long for a period like this to come.  The blame can be placed on several factors: Asian parents who hoped their children would become doctors and not athletes or on sports recruiters who assumed Asian athletes couldn’t dominate, but it appears as those barriers are slowly coming down.

As I watched Matsui win the MVP and Pacquiao beat Cotto, I finally knew what it felt like to see an Asian athlete win with the world’s eyes watching.  I’ve never experienced so much pride for my culture’s presence in sports in such a short time span.  Hopefully, with more and more Asian athletes in the spotlight, Asian parents will encourage their kids to participate in sports. Kids will want to compete more and I will see more faces like my own at bat, in the boxing ring, or on the football field.