Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes share the cover for Madden NFL 22

The latest version of Madden is almost here, but the biggest changes are reserved for next-gen consoles.

Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes are the cover stars for Madden 22.

Madden NFL 22 marks the first time in over a decade that two people were featured on the same cover. Troy Polamalu and Larry Fitzgerald previously were the dual-cover stars for Madden NFL 10.

Moving beyond the cover, EA is touting a few improvements to differentiate this year’s edition from prior games. All versions of Madden 22 will be seeing improvements to Franchise mode to enable more detailed staffing and strategy control, as well as new cinematics. EA says it will continue to expand the franchise mode after launch, with a September update promised to provide improvements to scouting.

The biggest changes, however, will be in a new “dynamic gameday” experience that is exclusive to next-gen consoles like the PS5 and Xbox Series X. EA says these changes will be impacting all modes throughout the game, from local games against the computer and online versus friends to franchise modes.

There will be new sideline animations in Madden 22.

As part of the “gameday” adjustments, the company has boosted the crowd and presentation elements of Madden 22 while adding additional localized changes to the on-field game, such as increasing passing and kick distance in Denver to account for the altitude while lowering short-term stamina for the visiting team.

A new “momentum” function has also been added to the next-gen versions that can impact the players on the field based on how the game is going and better imitate the pressure of NFL gamedays.

Away teams will have two of these momentum perks, what EA calls “M-Factors,” while home teams will get three as a bit of a home-field advantage. The home-specific perks will vary for each of the NFL’s 32 teams and can provide boosts for your team or disruptions to an opponent when triggered. Playing at home with the Minnesota Vikings, for instance, will get you a small speed boost in the red zone when the fans are doing their “Skol” chant. Visitors to Chicago will have a harder time kicking, while preplay play art on third and fourth down will be difficult to see in Seattle if momentum is on the Seahawks side.

The modifiers will vary based on each game and the situation you find yourselves in. Clint Oldenburg, gameplay producer for Madden 22, says there are roughly “40 plus” M-Factors in the game with more coming post-launch.

No player, not even cover stars Brady and Mahomes, will be immune to the impacts of the “M-Factors.” Games at neutral locations, like a Super Bowl, will not have extra perks for the home team.

In an expansion of an idea first introduced in the next-gen editions of Madden 21, EA says it will also be updating team and player tendencies throughout the season using the NFL’s Next Gen Stats. In Madden 22, this feature will also appear in the game as a way to make game plan decisions pregame and adjustments at halftime by pulling data from how your opponent has played or is playing.

For next-gen consoles, Madden 22 will retail for $70. Older consoles, PC and Stadia players will be able to get the game for $60.

High jump event at the Tokyo Olympics ends with unprecedented shared gold

Mutaz Essa Barshim and Gianmarco Tamberi shared the most heartwarming moment of the Tokyo Olympics so far,

Gianmarco Tamberi of Italy celebrates winning gold in the high jump at the Tokyo Olympics.

Mutaz Essa Barshim from Qatar and Gianmarco Tamberi from Italy were the last men standing in the final of the men’s high jump event on Sunday. Both had successfully cleared the 2.37-meter mark and both also couldn’t clear 2.39 meters, using up all three attempts.

Which served up a conundrum: Who wins? Officials offered Barshim and Tamberi two options. They could take part in jump-off, to decide a winner, or they could share the gold medal.

They chose to share the gold medal and the moment they decided to do so is perhaps the most wholesome moment of the Tokyo Olympics so far…

“Can we have two golds?” Barshim asked. The answer was yes.

Some of the shots in the aftermath of the decision shows how much it meant to these two athletes.

The moment both athletes realized they could share gold.

Gianmarco Tamberi had missed the last Olympics due to injury.

Barshim celebrating his win.

“I look at him, he looks at me and we know it. We just look at each other and we know, that is it, it is done. There is no need,” Barshim said, in an interview afterwards.

“He is one of my best friends, not only on the track, but outside the track. We work together.”

Online, people reacted to one of the most emotional moments of the Tokyo Olympics so far.

Sport is good.

Sling TV’s new Barstool Sports Channel arrives just in time for kickoff

The channel will incorporate existing programming from the franchise as well as an exclusive college football show.

The channel will incorporate shows such as Barstool College Football Show, The Pro Football Football Show and the Sling-exclusive The Brandon Walker College Football Show, which “will debut tonight at 6 p.m. ET, and will be live each Monday-Thursday at 6,” Walker said in a blog post.

This week the Locast service, which also offered free, over-the-air to Sling TV subscribers, suspended its service following a court case. As a budget live TV streaming provider Sling TV offers only limited access to broadcast TV.

Read more: How to watch, stream the NFL in 2021 without cable

NHL Stanley Cup Finals: Stream Canadiens vs. Lightning Game 5 live tonight

If they win, the Lightning will become the NHL Champions for a second straight year. The game streams on NBC and Peacock, no cable required.

Brett Kulak and the Montreal Canadiens (right) hope to hold off the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 5 tonight.

Read more: NBA Finals 2021: How to watch, stream Bucks vs. Suns without cable

The Lightning has the home-ice advantage by virtue of finishing the regular season with a better record than the Canadiens. The series opened in Tampa Bay for the first two games, Games 3 and 4 took place in Montreal and afterward home ice alternates every game. Here’s the full remaining schedule:

*If necessary.

You don’t need cable or satellite TV to watch the action on the ice. The most affordable streaming option is NBC’s Peacock service, which will carry the entire series live. Peacock’s basic tier is free, but to watch the Stanley Cup Finals you’ll need to subscribe to the Premium version starting at $5 per month.

The remainder of the series will also be carried on NBC, which is available on most major live TV streaming services. The catch is that not every service carries every local network, so check each one using the links below to make sure it carries NBC in your area.

If you live in an area with good reception, you can watch the games on NBC for free on over-the-air broadcast channels just by attaching an affordable (under $30) indoor antenna to nearly any TV.

Peacock offers three tiers: a limited free plan and two Premium plans. The ad-supported Premium plan costs $5 a month, and the ad-free Premium plan costs $10 a month. You need one of the Premium plans to watch the Stanley Cup Finals games live and full-game replays, though highlights are available on the free tier. Read our Peacock review.

Sling TV’s $35-a-month Blue package includes NBC, but NBC is available in only a handful of areas.

Read our Sling TV review.

YouTube TV costs $65 a month and includes NBC. Plug in your ZIP code on its welcome page to see which local networks are available in your area.

Read our YouTube TV review.

FuboTV costs $65 a month and includes NBC. Click here to see which local channels you get.

Read our FuboTV review.

Hulu with Live TV costs $65 a month and includes NBC. Click the “View channels in your area” link on its welcome page to see which local channels are offered in your ZIP code.

Read our Hulu with Live TV review.

AT&T TV’s basic $70-a-month package includes NBC. You can use its channel lookup tool to see which local channels are available where you live.

Read our AT&T TV Now review.

NBA Finals 2021: How to watch, stream Bucks vs. Suns Game 6 tonight on ABC

Fans can watch the game live on Sling TV, YouTube TV, FuboTV, Hulu Plus Live TV or AT&T TV with no cable subscription required.

The action shifts back to Milwaukee for Game 6, with tipoff for tonight’s contest scheduled for 6 p.m. PT (9 p.m. ET) on ABC. Here’s everything you need to know to stream the action, no cable required.

Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks will look to win the franchise’s second-ever NBA title and close out the Suns on Tuesday night.

The 2021 NBA playoffs started May 22, and the 2021 NBA Finals started on July 6. As in past years, each playoff series requires four games to win and runs up to seven games. The Suns have the home-court advantage due to their superior regular-season record.

Here’s the schedule for the NBA Finals, via NBA.com.

Tuesday, July 20 (Game 6)

Thursday, July 22 (Game 7, if necessary)

Nearly all of the five major live TV streaming services offer ABC (all but Sling TV), but not every service carries your local ABC station, so check the links below to make sure it’s available in your area. Sling, to its credit, will be simulcasting the ABC games on ESPN3, so you will be able to stream the games on its service.

Our top picks? For the most complete option — and a better app — check out YouTube TV. If you want to get all the games for the cheapest rate, Sling TV is the pick.

Since the games will all air on ABC, if you don’t want to use a streaming service you can order an antenna and catch the games that way.

Google’s live TV streaming service offers ABC for $65 per month.

Read our YouTube TV review.

Sling TV’s Orange package runs $35 per month. While it does not carry ABC, Sling says it will simulcast the games that air on ABC via ESPN3.

Read our Sling TV review.

Hulu Plus Live TV costs $65 a month and includes ABC.

Read our Hulu Plus Live TV review.

AT&T TV’s basic Entertainment package costs $70 and carries ABC.

Read our AT&T TV review.

FuboTV offers ABC as part of its $65-per-month Basic plan.

Read our FuboTV review.

Whereas the 2020 playoffs took place in a Walt Disney World bubble in Orlando, Florida, the NBA has played its 2020-21 season in regular arenas with fans increasingly coming back to stadiums as local COVID-19 restrictions have eased. Fans are allowed at playoff games this year, and both the Bucks and the Suns are welcoming near-capacity crowds for the Finals.

Why Naomi Osaka dropped out of Wimbledon: What you need to know

Naomi Osaka intends to return at the Olympics in July.

Osaka has now withdrawn from Wimbledon in addition to the French Open.

Osaka’s current plan is to make a return to professional Tennis is her home country of Japan at the Olympics in July.

“Naomi Osaka will be greatly missed by all of us at Wimbledon this year, but we completely understand her decision,” Wimbledon reps told CNET in an emailed statement. “We wish her a happy time with her friends and family and look forward to welcoming her back to Wimbledon next year.”

Osaka’s withdrawal is the latest in a series that began with controversy at Roland Garros.

After canceling press obligations during the French Open as a result of mental health issues, Osaka — one of the top-ranked women tennis players in the world — was fined $15,000 and threatened with expulsion by tournament organizers. Ultimately, Osaka decided to take matters into her own hands and left the tournament of her own volition.

“I think now the best thing for the tournament, the other players and my well-being is that I withdraw so that everyone can get back to focusing on the tennis going on in Paris,” Osaka, 23, wrote in a statement describing her struggles with depression. “I never wanted to be a distraction and I accept my timing was not ideal and my message could have been clearer. More importantly, I would never trivialize mental health or use the term lightly.”

After initially criticizing Osaka’s unwillingness to meet the press in person and answer questions after matches (see below), Gilles Moretton, president of the French Tennis Federation, delivered a statement on Osaka’s decision to exit the match — a statement he delivered in French and English before walking out of the media room without taking questions from the press.

“First and foremost, we are sorry and sad for Naomi Osaka. The outcome of Naomi withdrawing from Roland-Garros is unfortunate. We wish her the best and the quickest possible recovery, and we look forward to having Naomi at our Tournament next year,” Moretton said. “We remain very committed to all athletes’ well-being and to continually improving every aspect of players’ experience in our Tournament, including with the media.”

A stream of support has since come out for Osaka from fans and professional athletes alike. Here’s everything you need to know.

Naomi Osaka is a Japanese tennis player and the current world number 2, behind Australian Ash Barty, having won four Grand Slam championships. Born in Japan to a Haitian father and a Japanese mother, Osaka grew up in the US and won her first Grand Slam — the US Open — aged 20.

Since then she has become a global superstar in the world of tennis, holding the position of number one in 2019 and winning three more Grand Slam tournaments.

Osaka is famously shy and soft spoken, but has regularly pushed past this to use her platform for activism. In 2020 she withdrew from the Cincinnati Open to protest the police shooting of Jacob Blake. During the 2020 US Open she famously wore a series of masks bearing the names of Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, George Floyd, Philando Castile, and Tamir Rice to raise awareness during Black Lives Matters protests.

Last week Naomi Osaka posted on her social media accounts, stating she wouldn’t be taking part in press conferences during the French Open, to protect her mental health.

“I’ve often felt that people have no regard for athletes mental health,” she wrote, “and this rings very true whenever I see a press conference or partake in one.”

In response Roland Garros posted a statement on its website and issued a $15,000 fine.

“Following this announcement,” read the statement, “the Roland-Garros teams asked her to reconsider her position and tried unsuccessfully to speak with her to check on her well-being, understand the specifics of her issue and what might be done to address it on site.

“Following the lack of engagement by Naomi Osaka, the Australian Open, Roland-Garros, Wimbledon and the US Open jointly wrote to her to check on her well-being and offer support, underline their commitment to all athletes’ well-being and suggest dialog on the issues. She was also reminded of her obligations, the consequences of not meeting them and that rules should equally apply to all players.

“Naomi Osaka today chose not to honour her contractual media obligations. The Roland-Garros referee has therefore issued her a $15,000 fine, in keeping with article III H. of the Code of Conduct.”

In the statement, Roland Garros claimed mental health was of the “utmost importance”, but also posted a now-deleted tweet, that made light of Osaka’s mental health concerns.

In response to the fine and the threat of expulsion, Osaka withdrew from the tournament.

“This isn’t a situation I ever imagined or intended when I posted a few days ago,” she wrote. “I think now the best thing for the tournament, the other players and my wellbeing is that I withdraw so that everyone can get back to focusing on the tennis going on in Paris.

“I never wanted to be a distraction and I accept my timing was not ideal and my message could have been clearer. More importantly, I would never trivialize mental health or use the term lightly.

“The truth is I have suffered long bouts of depression since the US Open in 2018 and I have had a really hard time coping with that.”

Osaka wrote that she was already feeling “vulnerable and anxious” about the French Open and the prospect of having to face the press, that she was exercising “self care” by skipping the conferences. Osaka also claimed she privately wrote to the organizers of the Grand Slam tournaments to apologize.

“I’m going to take some time away from the court now,” she said, “but when the time is right I really want to work with the Tour to discuss ways we can make things better for the players, press and fans.”

Observers were quick to note that Moretton’s follow up statement expressing his sadness and support for Osaka seemed disingenuous. “The immense irony of the FFT President not taking questions from the media in the wake of this Osaka withdrawal is not lost on anyone,” wrote journalist Ben Rothenberg, describing Moretton.

In the wake of Osaka’s withdrawal from the French Open multiple athletes across different sports came out in support.

Serena Williams, who Osaka famously defeated to win her very first Grand Slam recently commented on the situation.

“I feel like I wish I could give her a hug because I know what it’s like,” she said. “I’ve been in those positions

“We have different personalities, and people are different. Not everyone is the same. I’m thick. Other people are thin. You just have to let her handle it the way she wants to, in the best way she thinks she can.”

Venus Williams, had a different response. Speaking out on how she dealt with press conferences — during a press conference.

“[M]e personally, how I cope, how I deal with it, was that I know every single person asking me a question can’t play as well as I can and never will,” Williams said. “So no matter what you say, or what you write, you’ll never light a candle to me.”

Tennis legends like Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova — alongside athletes like Steph Curry — tweeted messages backing up Osaka.

“Right now, the important thing is that we give her the space and time she needs,” said Billie Jean King.

“You shouldn’t ever have to make a decision like this,” said NBA star Steph Curry, “but so damn impressive taking the high road when the powers that be don’t protect their own.”

Osaka received support from all corners. Not just for standing up for herself, but for raising awareness of mental health issues.

Calm, an app dedicated to helping with sleep and meditation, is donated $15,000 — the equivalent of Osaka’s initial fine — to Laureus Sport in France, a company that does work in the mental health space.

It’s also offered to the same if any other tennis athletes are fined for taking the same stand in the future.

Watch Jake Paul knockout Tyron Woodley with a monstrous punch

In the sixth round of their rematch, Jake Paul defeated Tyron Woodley with a massive right hand shot.

Jake Paul, after defeating Tyron Woodley on Saturday night.

The rematch between Jake Paul and Tyron Woodley ended in brutal fashion Saturday night, thanks to a crushing, fight-ending right hand from Paul that sent Woodley face first to the canvas.  It was as clean a shot as you’ll see in a fight that — up until that point — was mostly devoid of action.

A cut from a head clash early in the contest saw Paul facing some early adversity, but Woodley failed to land any real, significant shots in a fight that was mostly fought in the clinch.

But then, at the end of the sixth round, Paul landed the right hand. With force.

Paul was rowdy in the post-fight interview, seemingly calling out UFC stars Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz, but paid tribute to Woodley, for taking the fight on two weeks notice after his initial opponent, Tommy Fury, pulled out with a rib injury.

See below for our live, round-by-round coverage of the event as it happened.

Jake Paul at the weigh-ins.

Alright it’s time for the big one. Paul vs. Woodley 2.

Personally, I’m picking Paul here. I thought he clearly won the first fight and, as I mentioned earlier, Woodley has been gun shy for at least five years. Kinda gutted were not seeing the Tommy Fury fight, but also happy to see Woodley get a second shot.

Let’s see how this all plays out. If anything I’m expecting Paul to be more dominant. He’s a young guy, improving constantly and Woodley is very much at the tail end of his career. Another thing: The size difference. It’s huge. Woodley was a welterweight in the UFC at 170 pounds and he’s fighting at 192 here. That’s a huge difference. Very tough for Woodley to knockout the bigger fighter, even if he clips him hard.

And Jake Paul just walked out to Y.M.C.A.. Fair play, what an absolute banger. Mad props for that Tai Tuivasa-esque walkout song!

Alright, here we go!

Woodley already looking more active than he was last fight, which is a good sign for his chances.

But after than fast opening, things have slowed up a little. Both Paul and Woodley are trying to jab their way in. A couple of head clashes already. Weird round so far.

My score: 10-9 Paul

Is Woodley really going to come to this fight and do the exact same thing as last time? It would be a very Tyron Woodley move. Paul is landing the jab more here and Woodley is en route to giving away another round. Not great. Extremely dull. 

Would be great if Woodley actually threw a shot or two.

My score: 10-9 Paul

A clash of heads or an elbow has opened up a cut on Paul, but he’s winning.

But wait, Woodley is opening up here, landing big shots. Much better round for Woodley here so far. 

Woodley is not taking advantage of this cut though, standing flat footed and not throwing. He does better when he’s on offence. Woodley is not a counter puncher.

My score: 10-9 Woodley

Woodley lands a nice uppercut, but he’s still incredibly frustrating to watch. A sharp hook lands as well for Woodley, but hardly game changing.

Woodley randomly dumps Paul to the ground? This fight is so grim man. Hard to watch.  Woodley is sort of winning this round, but just… not a great fight. 

My score: 10-9 Woodley

Woodley landing a couple of body jabs, and some tight shots in the clinch. So many head clashes in this fight. These guys are constantly clinching and it’s the worst. 

Is this what Woodley is doing with his second chance? Can’t believe how bad this is. 

My score: Man who knows. Or cares. 10-9 Woodley I guess.

These guys don’t want to fight. Absolute shitshow.

Paul looks tired to be honest. After this there’s only two more round, and it feels like they haven’t landed any shots yet? Just embarrassing. 

OH SHIT!

And Jake Paul lands absolutely CLEAN and puts Woodley straight out to the canvas. Oh my god, what a huge shot!

Jake Paul wins by KO.

Damn, that was a crazy shot. Clean as a whistle and Woodley went face first to the canvas. What a punch. Fair play to Paul, he had to go through some adversity here with the cut and he ended up completely melting Woodley with that shot.

Woodley was CLEAN OUT. Face first to the canvas. Very obviously a straight out stoppage.

Amanda Serrano is one of the best female boxers alive.

In one corner we have Amanda Serrano, one of the most decorated female boxers of all time, in the other corner we have Miriam Gutierrez. She’s not exactly a gimme for Serrano, but most expect her to win this en route to a true women’s super fight against Irish boxer Katie Taylor. That’s probably the biggest fight in women’s boxing right now.

Let’s see how this one plays out…

Serrano corners Gutierrez and absolutely wails on her. Crazy output for the first round, Serrano is just going nuts here. Gutierrez is in real trouble here. What a wild round.

My score: 10-9 Serrano

Man this is a slugfest, and Serrano is just picking great shots here. Gutierrez is landing though and, given she’s a bigger fighter, she should be careful. 

That said, the difference in hand speed is huge here.

My score: 10-9 Serrano

Much quieter round here. Serrano still controlling the fight however. I give her this round.

My score: 10-9 Serrano

Serrano is attacking the body hard here. She’s running away with this fight as you might have expected.

But Gutierrez has landed a few clean, heavy shots here. Don’t seem to affect Serrano much however. 

Serrano backed Gutierrez into the ropes there, and the pair of them began slugging it out, with Serrano getting the better of it.

My score: 10-9 Serrano

Gutierrez very flat footed now, just getting absolutely punished here. Serrano looks incredibly sharp and I’m already thinking about Serrano vs. Taylor right now.

My score: 10-9 Serrano

Serrano continues to punish the body here. This is a clinic, marching forward with great shots and combinations. Credit to Gutierrez however, who’s game and trying to match the exchanges unsuccessfully. 

My score: 10-9 Serrano

Serrano is on a mission here. She’s absolutely going full terminator here. She clearly wants this finish and I wonder if the ref will ultimately stop this. Gutierrez is really fading here and running out of fight. 

Serrano lands a massive shot to finish, but Gutierrez makes it another round.

My score: 10-9 Serrano

Gutierrez and Serrano are in the pocket just firing short punches at each other. Serrano just has no respect for Gutierrez’s power at this point and keeps marching forward.

My score: 10-9 Serrano

Can’t believe the fight has made it this long, here we are!

Serrano has slowed down a bit here, I think on the advice of her corner, who asked her to save some juice for the final round. She still does enough to win this round.

My score: 10-9 Serrano

Serrano is back in terminator mode. Crazy volume, so many shots and Gutierrez is a punching bag at this point.

Man, this final round is just pure toe-to-toe stuff. Slugfest there. What a fight. Great performance from Serrano. She didn’t lose a single minute of that fight.

My score: 10-9 Serrano

Amanda Serrano wins va unanimous decision: 99-90, 99-91, 100-90

Deron Williams at the weigh-ins.

As is customary with Jake Paul cards, there has to be at least one freak show fight with folks coming from other sports to try their hand at boxing.

In this case we’ve got Frank Gore, a former elite player from the NFL facing off against Deron Williams, an ex-NBA player and three time all-star. Both highly decorated players in their respective sports.

This is an exhibition bout and I have zero idea what to expect beyond potential chaos?

This fight is rounds, which is about right. I expect these two to tire very quickly. After that initial burst, no idea what happens.

Let’s go!

Williams lands hard coming out and Gore went for a double leg? Hahaha! Strange one there. Both look surprisingly sharp here and Gore lands some tight shots on the inside. This is a fun fight!

When Williams fights long he looks real sharp, when Gore gets inside, he looks good.  Oh! And Williams lands a few bombs in the final minute.

This is a great fight!

My score: 10-8 Williams

Damn these guys are swinging! Both are landing hard to the dome, both have huge chins on them! 

Gore lands a huge shot that has Williams on wobbly legs. He survives, then a collision sends Gore through the ropes? Ruled a push though. Wild stuff. 

Something’s happened with Gore though, and the doctor has come in. Looks like he’s going to continue.

And now Williams has been pushed through the ropes. Hahaha wow. Incredible stuff. Now they’re swinging. This is the wildest fight I’ve watched in a while!

My score: 10-9 Gore

This fight is amazing for all the wrong reasons.

Bombs are flying here and both are landing HUGE shots. How are they standing. Incredible show of heart from two elite athletes. 

Gore gets a standing 8 count after getting wailed on by Williams in an exchange.

The fight continues and there’s just some wild exchanges, zero defence. Love it. The ref is having the fight of his life trying to make sense of this chaos.

My score: 10-8 Williams

These fighters are exhausted now and understandably so. Crazy showing from both guys, leaving it all in the ring.

Man, huge overhand from Gore. Williams is tough as nails. Gore is winning this round, but both are slowing down considerable.

My score: 10-9 Gore

I don’t know if they’re actually going to score this, if it’s an exhibition. I’ve got Williams winning, but it was a great fight. Incredible entertainment.

Split decision win for Williams: 38-37 Williams, 38-37 Gore, 40-35 Williams

Australian boxer, Liam Paro at the weigh-ins.

This one is a battle between two currently unbeaten prospects at 140 pounds.Australian boxer Liam Paro is the favourite according to the oddsmakers, but this could go either way. This should be a true high level match-up with the winner potentially looking at some type of huge fight in the near future. A great fight to open with.

Paro pressuring early with a snapping jab, but Alamo lands early also. Bit of a feeling out here, but Paro lands a nice jab to the body and a check hook at one point. A clean left hook as well for Paro. 

Ooft. Alamo lands and sends Paro to the canvas. Bit of a shocker there.

My score: 10-8 Alamo

Paro comes out much busier, clearly trying to make up for the knockdown. Paro is flicking the jab out, but not too many clean shots landed yet.

Pretty nothing round.

My score: 10-9 Paro

Alamo appears to be waiting to counter, but probably needs to get busier. Paro still throwing the jab constantly and landing to the body effectively.

They open up a little mid round and Paro takes a hard jab.

Alamo pressures late here and lands some clean shots.

My score: 10-9 Alamo

Alamo so far seems the more dangerous fighter, but Paro is clearly pushing this fight. 

Paro is landing more here though, Alamo could be slowing down. Another pedestrian round here that’s incredibly hard to score. Anyone could be winning this fight. Tough to call.

My score: 10-9 Paro

Can’t see this fight not going the distance. Both fighters are boxing very conservatively. 

Paro is landing a few straight lefts here, and some good shots to the body. The body is there all day for him actually and Alamo’s output is waning. Paro lands a big left that puts Alamo on the ropes, but nothing comes of it.

Paro seems to be taking over this fight. A better round all up.

My score: 10-9 Paro

Paro opens with a real solid jab that stings Alamo. At this stage Paro’s output is winning him this fight — on my scorecard at least. He’s opening up here, sensing that Alamo’s power isn’t quite what it was.

And then… of course Alamo hits him clean. Was that a knockdown? It wasn’t apparently.

My score: 10-9 Paro

Alamo hit Paro clean early in an exchange, but Paro is still landing to the body. Is Paro still recovering from that non-knockdown? Hard to tell. Paro and Alamo both hit each other hard with an exchange.

My score: 10-9 Alamo

More shots landing here from both. Alamo is hitting harder, but Paro is landing with volume.  He’s winning this round, but somehow feels in more danger from Alamo, who is clearly in wait with counters.

The crowd are apparently distracted by something happening outside the ring?

This fight is pretty dull, so it’s hard to blame them.

My score: 10-9 Paro

Great left overhand by Paro to start the round.

Paro got a warning for a shot to the back of the head. Bit harsh to be honest.

They’re finally opening up here and Alamo has landed some stiff punches, but for me Paro is still winning this round with volume. He just seems to have more in the tank.

My score: 10-9 Paro

The final round of a fairly drab fight. Paro is leading the dance again here and bombs are being thrown on both sides. Alamo has upped the volume here, but Paro has taken the centre of the ring and is controlling this round for me. A sharp uppercut from Paro to finish the round, and the fight.

Let’s see how the judges have it.

My score: 10-9 Paro

Liam Paro wins by split decision: 95-94 Paro, 95-94 Alamo, 96-93 Paro

While we wait for the first match, I might offer a quick prediction on the main event between Jake Paul and Tyron Woodley.

Woodley came close to finishing Paul in the first fight, but the reality: That was a rare high point in a boxing match that Paul mostly dominated. Woodley, like he was during his final matches in the UFC, was incredibly gun shy throughout. Before every fight he promises to let those hands go, but it rarely happens. I see this playing out very similarly to the first fight, with more dominance from Jake Paul, who is becoming a better boxer with each contest.

It’s worth bearing in mind — Woodley is not the athlete he used to be. A huge part of his ability to win fights came from his explosive punching, which has waned as of late. Tyron Woodley is almost 40 years old at this point.

I’m picking Jake Paul here.

England vs. Italy at Euro 2020: How to watch, start time, prediction

It’s England vs. Italy for all the marbles. Here’s what you need to know…

Raheem Sterling has been England’s star performer during Euro 2020.

The Euro 2020 final featuring England vs. Italy takes place on July 11 at 3 p.m. ET (noon PT).

In the UK, that means 8 p.m. on July 11.

In Australia, it’ll be an early start at 5 a.m. on July 12.

In the US, ESPN and Univision have the rights to the UEFA European Championships. ESPN is televising 39 matches from the tournament and ESPN 2 is televising seven.

In the UK, you can watch for free on BBC and ITV, providing you have a TV license. Fans in the UK have become increasingly accustomed to having to pay Sky or BT Sport to watch soccer, not so with the UEFA European Championships.

In Australia, your best bet is to subscribe to Optus Sport. Personally, as a person living in Australia, I subscribe to Optus Sport. It not only gives you access to the UEFA European Championships, it gives you full access to the English Premier League, the Champions League and the Europa League. It’s a great, simple service. I love it.

It’s hard to call. Both teams have looked extremely solid all tournament. Italy are the most battle tested. They’ve had a rougher run to the final, having just beat Belgium and Spain — but England have looked extremely solid in defence. They’ve only conceded one goal in the tournament — a direct free kick against Denmark in the semi-final — and they’ve grown into the tournament in leaps and bounds.

According to the odds, England are very slight favourites, but it is razor close.

If you pushed me, I’m picking England, based on how strong their defence has looked. They have a lot of firepower and options on the bench as well, if things are tight. The ability to bring on a Jack Grealish, a Marcus Rashford or a Phil Foden has been a huge strength for England.

Just in case you missed the whole event and you’re coming in late!

The UEFA European Championships is similar to a World Cup, but only European teams can enter it. It’s a tournament where international teams — Italy, France, England, Spain and so forth — compete for a month in a competition that starts out in group stages, but progresses to a knockout phase and, ultimately, a final to decide the best team in Europe.

Like the World Cup it takes place every four years, so the stakes are high.

Toyota scraps Tokyo Olympics ads in Japan, despite being banner sponsor

With support for holding the games low among Japan’s citizens amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Toyota doesn’t want to wade any deeper in.

Toyota’s stuck between a rock and a hard place.

In addition, CEO Akio Toyoda will not attend the opening ceremony as once planned, Reuters reported. The publication cited new data from a local Japanese newspaper that surveyed nearly 1,500 people and found 55% did not want the games going forward. Sixty-eight percent of respondents said they doubt officials will keep COVID-19 infections under control.

The Tokyo Olympics were meant to be a real showcase, not only for Japan, but for Toyota. The automaker was supposed to reveal a new battery-electric car amid the events, and readied electric, self-driving shuttles for athletes to bring them from the Olympic Village to various sites. It’s not clear if these vehicles will still be in use amid the pandemic, but the current situation certainly rained on Toyota’s showcase of new technology.

Baseball and softball at the Tokyo Olympics: Everything you need to know

Baseball and softball are back. Here’s what you need to know…

America’s favorite pastime returns to the Olympics.

Baseball and softball will both run in a modified tournament format. The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC), the international governing body established in 2013 to merge the International Softball Federation and the International Baseball Federation, will run the competitions.

Each tournament — one for baseball and one for softball — features six teams. The softball tournament will consist of a single round-robin among the six teams, followed by a bronze medal game and a gold medal game for a total of 17 games.

The baseball tournament opens with a group round-robin with two pools of three teams. Each team will play the other two teams in the pool once, with a total of six games played in the group round-robin.

The group round-robin is followed by a knockout round of 10 total games, wherein the first three games feature teams that finished in the same position within their pools (A1 vs. B1, A2 vs. B2, A3 vs. B3). The loser of the A3 vs. B3 game is eliminated, and the rest of the competition ensues in a double-elimination format until there is one team left in each of the winners and losers brackets. Those two teams play the gold medal game.

Baseball’s sister sport, softball, also returns to the Olympics.

The MLB has never halted or interrupted its season for the Olympics, and MLB officials still seem reluctant to do so.

Shortly after the announcement was made that baseball would appear in the Olympics, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said it was unlikely that MLB athletes would play, as it would mean that some MLB teams would play short-handed or the league would shut down for two weeks during the Olympics. The latter half of MLB’s season is the most crucial, as it sets up which teams will make it to the playoffs and ultimately the World Series, so it’s even harder to justify players taking time away from their teams.

In 2008, the last year baseball was seen at the Olympics, the US roster was filled by minor league players and one college player.

So far, it seems unlikely that any big leaguers will travel to Japan.

Both tournaments will begin at the Azuma Stadium in Fukushima, with softball on July 21, 2021, and baseball on July 28, 2021. The finals will continue at Yokohama Stadium in Yokohama, Japan, with the softball final on July 27 and the baseball final on Aug. 7.

Check out the schedule of events here.

The Olympics are back on NBC, with a 24/7 stream online if you verify you’re a cable subscriber. NBCSports Gold will have a dedicated Olympics package — pay an upfront fee and you’ll be able to watch anywhere, uninterrupted by ads.

Tokyo is 16 hours ahead of the West Coast, so watching live should get a good spread of events. It’s a little trickier on the East Coast, where you may have to rely on highlights.

The BBC will cover the games on TV, radio and online in the UK, with more on Eurosport, a pay-TV channel. The time difference there is 8 hours, so you’ll have to get up very early in the morning to watch live.

In Australia, the Seven Network will spread free-to-air coverage over Channel Seven, 7Mate and 7Two. It’s a good year for watching Down Under, with Sydney only an hour ahead of Tokyo.