Garcia to face Matthysse in title bout on Sept. 14


Garcia to face Matthysse in title bout on Sept. 14

One of the most anticipated boxing cards in recent history just got even bigger.

Philadelphia native and unified junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia will square off against interim titleholder Lucas Matthysse on Sept. 14 as the co-feature match to Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s junior middleweight unification bout with Saul "Canelo" Alvarez.

"This is the fight I wanted and the fight that I asked for," Garcia said in a statement. "That is why I'm so happy this fight has been made and will be a part of this huge event. I'm more confident than ever in my abilities and I'm going to show it on September 14. Matthysse is a good fighter and has a big punch, but I'm a talented fighter with what it takes to be a champion and stay that way. This is an opportunity for the world to see what I can really do in the ring."

"I'm glad I finally get a chance to fight Danny Garcia," Matthysse said. "This is the fight that the entire boxing world (especially my country Argentina) and I wanted. I want to thank my promoters Golden Boy Promotions and Mario Arano for making this fight possible. On September 14, I will show the world that I am the best 140 pound fighter on the planet."

The event will take place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Showtime Pay-Per-View. Prior to adding the Garcia-Matthysse fight, tickets for the highly-anticipated card had already sold out in less than 24 hours.

"Boxing is at its finest when the best step up to fight the best, and this is what we have with Mayweather and Canelo and now Garcia and Matthysse," boxing legend and president of Golden Boy Promotions, Oscar De La Hoya, said. "September 14 will be one of the most memorable nights of boxing we have been treated to in a long time."

Garcia (26-0, 16 KOs) is coming off a unanimous decision win over Zab Judah on April 27 to retain his WBA, WBC and The Ring 140-pound titles. Garcia has fought current or former champions in each of his past six bouts.

Matthysse (34-2, 32 KOs) put on a show in his last fight, delivering a third-round knockout of titleholder Lamont Peterson on May 18. Matthysse's 94 percent knockout mark is one of the highest for a world champion in the history of the sport.

Dario Saric reportedly says he's coming to Sixers, but Colangelo still cautious

Dario Saric reportedly says he's coming to Sixers, but Colangelo still cautious

When dealing with a foreign player like Dario Saric, you can't help but wonder if something is being lost in translation. Keeping in mind that language barrier, a Croatian website is reporting that Saric is set on heading to Philadelphia.

The quote from Saric, as translated by Twitter user @CroSports_ reads as follows: "Everything is leading in that direction. I'm waiting for this tournament (Olympic qualifying) to end so that I can sit down and work out a deal, then head over to the USA to sign. 

"I have one more year with Efes (Turkish basketball team Anadolu Efes) and [head coach Velimir] Perasovic wants me to stay, but I gave [the Sixers] my word. My word means more than a paper.”

The speculation over Saric has been an ongoing saga for the Sixers. While president of basketball operations Brian Colangelo is cautiously optimistic about bringing over the No. 12 overall pick, he knows that Saric putting pen to paper does actually matter. 

"It’s a very solid statement on his part and indicates his commitment, but nothing is official until the buyout agreement is finalized and he gets cleared by FIBA. Then he can sign,” Colangelo said to CSNPhilly's Dei Lynam. 

Remember, earlier this month Colangelo and head coach Brett Brown met with Saric in Istanbul, and Colangelo didn't have a strong feeling either way regarding Saric's chances of coming to the Sixers.

“I wasn’t pessimistic, I wasn’t optimistic," Colangelo said at the time. "I was somewhat neutral as to whether or not I felt he would be coming over and I still feel that way."

Saric has until July 17 to notify his current team, Anadolu Efes, of his decision. 

Phillies-Diamondbacks 5 things: Phils look to sweep D-backs

Phillies-Diamondbacks 5 things: Phils look to sweep D-backs

Phillies (34-45) at Diamondbacks (36-44)
3:40 p.m. on CSN

With their 4-3 come-from-behind win on Tuesday night, the Phillies were able to secure their first series win since taking two of three against Miami on May 16-18. The Phils hope to keep their hot offense going as they go for their first sweep in over eight weeks. 

Here are five things to look out for in the series finale:

1. Eflin settling in
The Phils will turn the ball over to rookie Zach Eflin in the series finale against the Diamondbacks on Wednesday afternoon. Eflin, making just his fourth big-league start, seems to be settling in after a disastrous first outing against Toronto on June 14, giving up nine runs on nine hits in just 2 2/3 innings of work. Since then, the 22-year-old has given up just two earned runs in his last two starts, lowering his ERA to 6.28.

Eflin will be facing the Diamondbacks for the second time in 10 days, after giving up two runs on four hits in a 5-1 loss on June 19. 

One issue that has plagued Eflin thus far are his high pitch-counts. Despite pitching well in his last two outings, Eflin has thrown 88 and 94 pitches, respectively, while not making it past the sixth inning in either of those starts. With a burnt out bullpen, it's important that Eflin is able to make it through at least six or seven innings. 

2. Can Phils solve Bradley?
Arizona will send right-hander Archie Bradley to the mound for the series finale, a rematch from the first series when Bradley opposed Eflin on June 19 at Citizens Bank Park. Bradley was virtually unhitable in what was one of his best starts of the season, giving up just four hits and one unearned run in six innings of work to lead the D-backs to a 5-1 victory. 

At the time of that loss, the Phils were in the midst of what would be a nine-game losing streak, their longest such streak of the season, which included a four-game sweep by the Diamondbacks. This time, however, the Phils are one win away from closing in on a sweep of their own. 

3. Phils keep hitting
Not too long ago, it seemed as if the Phillies' offense was non-existent and the winning ways that the fans were used to were long gone. Since the Phils ended their nine-game skid with a 7-3 win over Minnesota on June 23, the offense has been on a tear. The Phillies have reached double-digit hits in five of their last six games, four of which have been wins. 

In this series alone, the Phils have amassed 27 hits in two games against the D-backs and look to add to that total today.

4. Burnt out bullpen
The Phillies hope Eflin can produce a quality start today in order to give the bullpen some much needed rest. In the past four games, Phillies starting pitchers have made it past the fifth inning just once, with relievers pitching 13 innings over those four games. 

A bright spot for the Phillies bullpen has been the addition of rookie Edubray Ramos, who has pitched 3 1/3 scoreless innings since being called up from Triple-A. 

5. This and that

- Maikel Franco continues to dominate on the road. In 37 road games this season, Franco is hitting .304/.381/.587 with 10 homeruns and 28 RBIs.

- Jeanmar Gomez ranks fifth in the National League in saves after picking up his 21st save of the season last night. Look for Gomez to be a potential trade chip down the road if his success continues.

- The Phillies had gone 0-10-2 in their last 12 series' prior to last nights 4-3 win which secured them a series win against the D-backs. 

Will Dario Saric break one promise to keep another with Sixers?


Will Dario Saric break one promise to keep another with Sixers?

If you take Dario Saric at his word, the 2014 first-round draft pick is inching closer to joining the Sixers. Although, ironically enough, he will have to break his word in order to make the jump to the NBA this season.

According to translations, Saric admits he promised the Sixers he would sign with the club after playing two seasons overseas in Turkey. The 22-year-old Croatian goes on to say his word is more important than a piece of paper, referring to the contract that will have to be bought out before he begins playing in the United States.

But has anybody ever explained to Saric that a contract is his word — a promise as good as his word, if not better?

Yes, there's buyout language in there, so technically Saric is free to pursue that route and go to the NBA. It's just a little humorous to see a man of his word literally say a contract doesn't matter in the same breath.

Maybe enough to make you wonder if Saric wouldn't still break his promise to the Sixers if the upcoming negotiations don't go as planned.