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Pro wrestling commentator Bobby ‘The Brain’ dead at 73

He called himself “The Brain” and his enemies called him “The Weasel.” Regardless of the name attached to him, Bobby Heenan was a force in professional wrestling as a manager and commentator.

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Heenan died Sunday at the age of 73, according to a tweet from wrestling announcer Jim Ross.

Former wrestling broadcaster "Mean" Gene Okerlund posted on Facebook that Heenan's daughter, Jess, had confirmed his death.

Heenan was renowned for his talking ability -- and talking agility -- on the microphone as a manager and announcer, The Sporting News reported.

He managed dozens of wrestlers over a career that spanned more than four decades, including Andre the Giant, Nick Bockwinkel, “Ravishing” Rick Rude, Harley Race, Curt “Mr. Perfect” Hennig, Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, King Kong Bundy and others.

Heenan had been battling throat cancer since the early 2000s, Metro US reported. He went through several surgeries to repair his jaw, but he eventually had difficulty speaking due to tongue cancer treatments and the jaw was removed, according to Bleacher Report.

Heenan was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2004.

Heenan was known as one of the greatest “heel” managers in pro wrestling, bending the rules to help his wrestler and eliciting “heat” from the crowd with his microphone tirades. He began his career in the 1960s and was managed in the AWA before moving to the World Wrestling Federation (now WWE) during the 1980s. 

Heenan’s star appeal transcended wrestling. He partnered with Andre the Giant in WrestleMania III, but he also traveled on the talk show circuit and even had a memorable appearance on Nickelodeon’s “Double Dare,” losing to his longtime commentating partner and television foil, Gorilla Monsoon.

Monsoon “fired” Heenan during the Dec. 6, 1993, edition of “Raw,” according to Bleacher Report. He worked as a color commentator with the WCW from January 1994 until November 2000, according to Bleacher Report.

Raymond Louis Heenan was born Nov. 1, 1943, in Chicago. His first break in pro wrestling came in 1965, when he worked as a manager and wrestler known as “Pretty Boy” Bobby Heenan. He competed in the World Wrestling Association until 1974, and then spent a decade with the American Wrestling Association. He joined the WWF in 1984 and made his biggest impact with his bombastic commentary and acerbic wit.

Several wrestlers and writers paid tribute to Heenan on Twitter:

Nevada boxing official defends judge’s controversial scorecard

The executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission defended the controversial scoring of a judge that resulted in split draw between Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez, ESPN reported.

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Bob Bennett said judge Adalaide Byrd had “a bad day.”

In a closely fought contest in Las Vegas, Byrd scored the fight 118-110 in Alvarez's favor, awarding WBA, WBC and IBF middleweight champion Golovkin just two rounds.

Bennett conceded that Byrd got the fight wrong — judge Dave Moretti had the fight 115-113 for Golovkin and judge Don Trella scored 114-114 — but played down the significance of the error.

>> Alvarez-Golovkin fight ends in controversial draw

"Adalaide, in my estimation, is an outstanding judge,” Bennett told ESPN. “She's done over 115 title fights and/or elimination bouts. She does a great deal of our training. Takes a lot of our judges under her wing. I think being a judge is a very challenging position.

"Unfortunately, Adalaide was a little wide. I'm not making any excuses. I think she's an outstanding judge, and in any business, sometimes you have a bad day. She saw the fight differently. It happens." 

The huge margin of victory Byrd gave to Alvarez caused outrage among boxing fans, according to Bleacher Report.

Canelo Alvarez, Gennady 'GGG' Golovkin fight ends in controversial draw

It was a dream boxing match between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady “GGG” Golovkin on Saturday night in Las Vegas, but neither fighter will be satisfied with the finish as the fight was ruled an official draw by split decision.

One judge had 118-110 to Canelo, the second 115-113 to GGG, and the final as a 114-114 draw.

The fight was a controversial decision, as watching the fight it is hard to justify that Alvarez won 10 of the 12 rounds in the fight. The fight was close and may have very well been a draw, but 118-110 in Canelo’s favor is an absolutely bizarre decision that even the HBO boxing announcers laughed off as “fiction.”

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Gennady 'GGG' Golovkin vs. Canelo Alvarez: Round-by-round recap

First round started off slowly as the two fighters sized each other up. Golovkin started throwing some jabs and was able to connect, to which Canelo was able to counter with some good punches of his own. The round was a good start for Canelo, as Golovkin generally lands more punches and starts off quick. Alvarez was able to keep him off his usual game here.

The second round started quicker than the first, but went much the same. Golovkin spent most of his time looking for surgical jabs, while Canelo responded in kind with some strong counter punches. That said, neither fighter really landed anything too significant, though Canelo did close the round with a good uppercut.

Golovkin came out with some aggression in the third round, but it quickly settled down to where Canelo was again taking control of the fight in a way that we have rarely seen against Golovkin. There was even a point in this round were Canelo was being the blatant aggressor as he reached out for jabs instead of waiting to counter.

In the fourth round, Golovkin come to life more as he finally forced Canelo up against the ropes after a strong combo. However, Canelo was smooth on the ropes and was able to avoid any power shots from GGG and forcing the fight back into the middle. Golovkin still stayed on top of the fight after it went back to the middle, scoring what was likely his first round win since the first, if at all.

The fifth round was awesome, and the crowd really got into it. GGG used the momentum from the last round to start off strong, but Canelo was able to counter in the middle of the round. After that though we saw Golovkin land some of his best punches of the fight to this point, and he got Canelo up against the ropes and hit a huge hit to the left side of Canelo’s head. Canelo shook off the punch and was eventually able to get off the ropes with a decent combination to close the round.

Canelo responded to the flurry from the last round about as well as possible in the sixth, as he was aggressive and landed a couple of punches that clearly affected Golovkin. Canelo also landed a bit of a dirty punch after the ref tried to break up a tie up, which probably would have lost him a point if this wasn’t a superfight main event. Golovkin responded a bit after that exchange to even up the round, but the opening from Canelo was probably enough to take this round.

Seventh saw Golovkin open with a good combo to knock Canelo off his game a bit. Canelo is really good at defending when backed against the ropes, but Golovkin was clearly on the offensive and Canelo did not land as many successful counters as he had in past rounds.

Golovkin caught Canelo with a big punch early in the eighth round, again forcing Canelo quickly on the defensive. Canelo did have some good counter punches that hit hard, but GGG was hitting more significant strikes as Canelo was clearly running away for much of the round.

Perhaps due to a bit of desperation, Canelo started the round with some good offense, but Golovkin hit a huge punch that clearly hurt Canelo. Crowd was hoping for a finish here, but Canelo was able to stay alive and even strike back with some strong hooks. Again though, GGG was too much on the defensive to gain an edge in the score.

Canelo had a lot of ground to make up in the 10th, and he nearly made it all up in the beginning as he started strong to get Golovkin backing up for the first time in a while. Golovkin was able to respond thanks to his effective punching, withstanding for most of the round, but Canelo had some strong bursts where it looked like he would potentially be able to finish the fight.

The 11th round was close but both fighters clearly started to show some fatigue as the round was a bit slow to get going. Probably another round to Canelo, who handling the fight much like the first few rounds where he was getting strong counter punches and using his defense as an offense instead of just plain being on defense.

Canelo clearly opened the round like he knew he needed a finish to win the fight. He was on the offensive for the first minute, but Golovkin eventually landed a counter that allowed him to take the heat off. The two traded the punches in a slugfest for much of the final 90 seconds of the final round, hoping to seal the deal

'Racism is as American as baseball' banner unfurled over Fenway Park's Green Monster

During Wednesday’s baseball game at Fenway Park, a few fans unfurled a banner over the Green Monster that ruffled a lot of feathers.

>> See the sign here

"Racism is as American as baseball," the sign said.

A Red Sox spokesman said security removed the four fans who held the sign, according to The Associated Press. One fan reportedly said the group drew inspiration from Black Lives Matter.

>> Read more trending news

The Red Sox issued the following statement:

“During the 4th inning of tonight’s game, four fans unfurled a banner over the left field wall in violation of the club’s policy prohibiting signs of any kind to be hung or affixed to the ballpark. The individuals involved were escorted out of Fenway Park.”

Read more here.

Hurricane Irma: Tim Tebow works with Florida Gov. Rick Scott in preparing for storm

Tim Tebow is doing charitable things once again.

>> Click here for complete Hurricane Irma coverage from the Palm Beach Post

Per "The Paul Finebaum Show," the former Florida Gators quarterback is working alongside Gov. Rick Scott in helping the Sunshine State prepare for Hurricane Irma, which is supposed to arrive this weekend.

>> Hurricane Irma: Live updates

Irma already has caused the cancellation of several college football games, including the Gators hosting Northern Colorado on Saturday. Miami decided not to travel to Arkansas State, and South Florida vs. Connecticut also was postponed.

>> PHOTOS: Hurricane Irma approaches Florida

Scott has been asking Florida citizens to volunteer to assist those who are in need as the disastrous storm heads their way.

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People willing to volunteer can go to VolunteerFlorida.org to sign up.

J.J. Watt’s Harvey fundraising pushes past $20 million

J.J. Watt’s rush to continue raising money for the victims of Hurricane Harvey and the historic flooding in and around Houston that followed the Aug. 25-30 storm broke the $20 million mark, as his online crowdfunding site pushed past that threshold about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to USA Today.

>> George Strait, Beyonce, others to hold Hurricane Harvey relief concert

Watt pledged $100,000 to the Red Cross fund when he started it with the goal of raising $200,000.

>> Read more trending news

“It’s such a testament to the people out there," Watt said Sunday after donations of $1 million from Tennessee Titans owner Amy Adams Strunk, $1 million from Walmart, $200,000 from hip-hop artist Drake and $50,000 from NBA star Chris Paul.

Watt, an all-pro defensive end for the Houston Texans, said Sunday when the total raised was at $17 million. “It’s such a testament to how much good there is in the world.’’

>> Complete Harvey coverage from the Austin American-Statesman

Many NFL owners and players have pledged money to Harvey victims, including Falcons owner Arthur Blank, who has committed $1 million.

Red Sox accused of using Apple Watches to steal pitching signs from Yankees

The Boston Red Sox are facing allegations of cheating in a situation reminiscent of the 2007 New England Patriots Spygate controversy.

>> Watch the news report here

Red Sox President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski confirmed accusations that the Red Sox had been stealing pitching signs in a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

>> On Boston25News.com: Red Sox, Yankees team up to raise money for hurricane relief

The allegations stem from a Red Sox vs Yankees series at Fenway Park in mid-August when, according to the New York Times, staff members and Red Sox players used Apple Watches as a way to share the signals.

“Do I think sign stealing is wrong? No, I don’t," Dombrowski said. “People are trying to win it however they can. It’s an edge we can gain.”

MLB has not prohibited players from looking at catcher signals and relaying the information to others, but they have said any use of technology to see signals is against the rules.

The Times also reports that the Red Sox have filed a complaint against the Yankees for using broadcast cameras to steal pitching signals, and while he would not go into details, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred confirmed that there were allegations on both sides.

>> Read more trending news

“We actually do not have a rule against sign stealing, and it has been a part of the game for the long time,” he said. “It’s the electronic equipment that creates the violation, and I think the rule against electronic equipment has a number of reasons behind it.”

Manfred said the investigation is not complete into allegations on either side, and that it was too soon to talk about possible discipline. He did, however, indicate that taking away wins was unlikely because it is difficult to determine "to what extent this impacted the outcome of any particular game."

Photos: Mayweather beats McGregor with 10th-round TKO

Floyd Mayweather Jr. (50-0) defeated UFC champion Conor McGregor in a highly anticipated fight Saturday night at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Mayweather-McGregor fight: Mayweather finishes off McGregor in 10th round

We have a winner!

>> PHOTOS: Mayweather beats McGregor with 10th round TKO

The superfight between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather captivated the nation, and with an audience of millions, Mayweather (50-0) finished McGregor (0-1) with a technical knock out in the 10th round.

>> Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor: By the numbers

Mayweather announced after the fight that this would be his last match, and he praised McGregor for lasting as long as he did.

>> Read more trending news

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Ringside physicians worry about McGregor's safety

Saturday’s anticipated bout between undefeated boxer Floyd Mayweather and mixed martial arts champion Conor McGregor promises to be a box office smash. However, members of the Association of Ringside Physicians believe that the fight is a mismatch and that McGregor could be in physical danger, The New York Times reported.

>> Read more trending news

The group  comprises more than 100 ringside doctors with decades of experience in handling major fights.

“We were very surprised this bout was even sanctioned and was going to be permitted to carry on,” said Larry Lovelace, a doctor and the president of the organization, which is focused on preserving fighter safety. “The thing I really fear, truly fear, is that somebody’s going to get really hurt in this upcoming fight.”In June, Tim Hague, 34, a mixed martial artist turned boxer, sustained fatal injuries against Adam Braidwood in Edmonton, Alberta. It was Hague’s fourth professional boxing match after competing in 34 MMA fights.While McGregor, 29, compiled a 21-3 record in mixed martial arts, in which the rules allow him to use his feet and wrestle opponents to the ground, the Nevada State Athletic Commission decided that he was simply a premier athlete who belonged in the ring with Mayweather, who is 49-0.“If you’re going to take the position that Conor has never had an amateur or professional fight, then I’m not going to change your mind,” Bob Bennett, the executive director of the commission, told the Times. “If you look at him today versus Floyd Mayweather, Conor is the taller, longer, stronger, more powerful opponent. He’s also a southpaw, which makes it a little more difficult for a conventional fighter. He’s 12 years younger than Floyd.”Hall of Fame referee Richard Steele said he was not sure he would have sanctioned the bout.“Here’s a guy from one sport, challenging the world’s best in his own sport — I really don’t know how it’s going to work,” Steele told the Times. “McGregor can’t kick. He can’t elbow. He can’t do nothing. Nothing that he’s used to doing that makes him a great MMA fighter.”The Nevada boxing commission has a particularly large financial stake in the Mayweather-McGregor bout, the Times reported. The state receives 8 percent of the gross revenue from every ticket sold at a boxing event in Nevada, and the commission gets 25 percent of that amount.

According to Leonard Ellerbe, the chief executive of Mayweather Promotions, and Dana White, the president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, more than $60 million in tickets have been sold for the fight, which means Nevada stands to receive in excess of $4.8 million, with the athletic commission’s cut topping $1.2 million.

McGregor and Mayweather will wear eight-ounce gloves for their middleweight bout instead of the 10-ounce gloves typically mandated for fighters in the 154-pound weight class. 

“I don’t think that’s the commission’s role, to try to affect the fight, or to try to affect ticket sales,” Lovelace told the Times.

Bennett denied that the commission was putting its finances ahead of fighter safety.

“As a regulator, I take offense to the fact that we’re approving this fight for fiduciary reasons,” he told the Times. “That’s totally unfair, and it’s simply not true.”

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