Kevin Iole

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Award-winning veteran sportswriter Kevin Iole is the national boxing and mixed martial arts reporter for Yahoo! Sports. Kevin previously covered boxing for the Las Vegas Review-Journal and other publications, writing on some of the biggest names and bouts in the sport.

  • Ronda Rousey unloads on potential opponent Cris 'Cyborg' Justino for steroid usage

    Ronda Rousey has a July 5 title defense against Alexis Davis in Las Vegas, though she spent much of her time Friday discussing three potential opponents who aren't even in the UFC.

    The bantamweight champion blistered Cris "Cyborg" Justino for steroid usage, calling it "criminal," and called for fighters to be banned from competition after one failed test.

    She once again said it would be a dream to fight Gina Carano and praised former boxing champion Holly Holm's skill.

    Rousey raved about Davis' jiu-jitsu and Muay Thai kickboxing skills, but said Davis was far less known than other fighters because of her quiet, unassuming nature.

    "I think the reason why people don't know her so well has nothing to do with her actual talent and more to do with the way she has chosen to promote her fights," Rousey said of Davis' low-key style.

    [Also: Ronda Rousey's Tiger Woods-like domination not good for UFC women's division ]

    There is far more talk among fans and media about Carano, an action movie

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  • Manny Pacquiao remains No. 2 to Floyd Mayweather in yet another way

    Though he did not knock out Timothy Bradley last week, Manny Pacquiao accomplished just about everything he set out to do when he faced Bradley in a rematch at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

    He reclaimed the WBO welterweight title he'd lost to Bradley via dubious split decision on June 9, 2012.

    He proved he remains an elite boxer, using his angles, his footwork and his quick hands to win 10 of 12 rounds on one judge's scorecard and eight of 12 on the other two.

    He rediscovered his lost aggressiveness, repeatedly going hard after Bradley and putting an end, at least temporarily, to the talk that his compassion was making him less of a fighter.

    While Pacquiao regained much of his mojo, it didn't translate into pay-per-view dominance. Pacquiao set an incredibly high standard as a pay-per-view draw from Dec. 6, 2008, when he met Oscar De La Hoya, through Nov. 12, 2011, when he faced Juan Manuel Marquez for the third time.

    In the seven fights in that period, Pacquiao sold a minimum of 1.15

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  • Ronda Rousey's Tiger Woods-like domination not good for UFC women's division

    The UFC's women's bantamweight division is pretty much in the same state the PGA Tour was in around 2000, when Tiger Woods won just about everything he set his mind to winning.

    Woods dominated the Tour in his early years like no one before, or since. He was a longer hitter, had a defter touch and was much more physically fit than his rivals.

    He made scores of great players look like contenders in the third flight of the local club championship.

    In the women's bantamweight division, champion Ronda Rousey is so far ahead of the rest of the field that it seems ludicrous to suggest she might lose at this stage.

    Miesha Tate (R) temporarily has the upper hand against Ronda Rousey in December. (USA TODAY Sports)It was a noteworthy achievement when Miesha Tate pushed Rousey into the third round of their title match at UFC 168 in December. Rousey's arm bar remains her most dynamic move, but she is such an elite athlete that she is rapidly improving in all areas of the game. She's by far the best female athlete in the UFC and is clearly one of its top in terms of athletic ability regardless

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  • Despite all he's accomplished, Bernard Hopkins remains underappreciated

    I'm not sure what is more remarkable, that Bernard Hopkins has gone 9-4-1 with a no contest since turning 40, or the combined record of the opponents he's failed to defeat during that time.

    In the four losses and a draw Hopkins has had in the last nine-plus years, the record of his opponents going into fights with him is 147-2.

    He was 40 in back-to-back losses to Jermain Taylor, who was 23-0 and 24-0 at the time, in close bouts for the undisputed middleweight title. He was also beaten by Joe Calzaghe (44-0) when he was 43 and by Chad Dawson (30-1) when he was 47. He drew in his first bout with Jean Pascal (26-1) when he was 44.

    What Hopkins, 49, has been able to do since 40 is among the greatest feats in sports history, and it has received far too little attention.

    He'll meet Beibut Shumenov on Saturday in an IBF/WBA light heavyweight title unification match in a Showtime-televised bout from the DC Armory in Washington, D.C., and almost certainly will compete when he's 50 years old.

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  • Travis Browne's path toward UFC title shot comes with huge emotional sacrifice

    Travis Browne's voice quivers, and he seems about to be overcome with emotion. He's talking about his fight with Fabricio Werdum on Saturday in the main event of a UFC card on Fox in Orlando, Fla., and the possibility of a match later this year with champion Cain Velasquez.

    Browne is one of the hottest properties in mixed martial arts and has made a huge fan of UFC president Dana White.

    "This guy is just awesome, man," White said. "What he has done, the way he's improved and how good he's looking now, man, that's scary. He's incredible."

    Travis Browne kicks Alistair Overeem in their heavyweight bout at TD Garden on August 17. (Getty)A win Saturday would be his fourth in a row, all against high-level opposition, and leave him as the only logical contender for Velasquez's belt.

    Browne starts to answer a question about what the fight means to him, but he stops. He sounds on the verge of tears, so he takes a second to compose himself. After a deep breath, he resumes, having failed to regain it.

    "It's hard to explain just how tough this is and how much I've invested in this," Browne

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  • Michael Bisping was prepared to shelve MMA career, trash talking for good after eye injury

    Michael Bisping spent several hours on the telephone Monday, doing his unique brand of trash talking prior to his UFC bout on Wednesday against Tim Kennedy at the Pepsi Coliseum in Quebec City.

    The guy lives for this stuff, and nobody, no matter how clever he may happen to be, is going to beat him at it.

    Kennedy has given it the old college try, taunting Bisping relentlessly for months, but it's as if Kennedy has barely laid a glove on the Englishman.

    However, as much as Bisping loves to fight and to talk about fighting, he would have quickly given it up had he not heard what he needed to hear from his doctors last year.

    Michael Bisping's eye injury put his career in a holding pattern. (MMAWeekly)Bisping suffered a detached retina of the right eye during an April 27, 2013 fight against Alan Belcher in Newark, N.J. That was repaired, but problems during his recovery forced him to pull out of an Oct. 26 bout in Manchester, England against Mark Munoz.

    Doctors put oil into the eye during the surgery to reattach the retina. According to Bisping, when the retina is

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  • Manny Pacquiao won impressively over Timothy Bradley, but lacks pop of the past

    LAS VEGAS – Manny Pacquiao took baby steps toward getting back to the form he displayed in 2008-09, when he might have been the most devastating fighter in boxing since Mike Tyson's prime.

    The halcyon days of those two years may be gone forever for Pacquiao, but he will beat plenty of the world's best fighters if he continues to box as he did Saturday before 15,601 crazed fans at the MGM Grand Garden.

    He thoroughly out-boxed Timothy Bradley, winning a unanimous decision to regain the WBO welterweight title he'd lost when judges took a fight from him in 2012 that most felt he'd won handily.

    Pacquiao expertly used angles and made a mid-fight adjustment to counter an unexpected Bradley strategy. Bradley attacked Pacquiao, winging big punches, turning the fight into a slugfest.

    In the fourth round, he cracked Pacquiao with a big overhand right and Pacquiao's knees buckled, but Pacquiao quickly recovered.

    "I thought he did pretty well, but we didn't expect that style," Pacquiao trainer

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  • Manny Pacquiao gets well-earned decision win over Timothy Bradley in rematch

    LAS VEGAS – Manny Pacquiao once again outboxed Timothy Bradley Jr., but this time, the Filipino superstar got the decision he so richly deserved.

    In a solid though not spectacular performance, Pacquiao outboxed Bradley to reclaim the WBO welterweight championship before 15,601 partisan fans at the MGM Grand Garden.

    Pacquiao was masterful in giving angles and beating Bradley to the punch. Judges had it 116-112, 118-110 and 116-112 for Pacquiao, who lost a highly disputed decision to Bradley in the same ring nearly two years ago. Yahoo Sports had it 117-111 for Pacquiao.

    Bradley, who suffered his first defeat, said he injured his right calf in the first round. But he congratulated Pacquiao after the bout.

    "You deserved it," Bradley said to Pacquiao. "You won the fight."

    This was most definitely not the 2008-09 vintage Pacquiao, who stopped a series of the greatest fighters in the world in devastating fashion. But Pacquiao boxed smartly, catching Bradley and then spinning away out of

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  • It's prediction time for Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley II

    LAS VEGAS – It was early in his first fight with Manny Pacquiao when Timothy Bradley came to a realization: This is easy.

    Athletes often insist they're not impacted by the pregame media hype, but it is clear that Bradley was, at least until a couple of minutes into his June 9, 2012, bout with the Filipino superstar for the WBO welterweight title at the MGM Grand Garden.

    As Bradley prepared for that first fight, he heard endless questions about Pacquiao's pulverizing punching power and saw countless videos of Pacquiao knocking elite fighters senseless. Bradley was asked repeatedly about Pacquiao's speed and quickness and his ability to box.

    [Also: Like husband Timothy, Monica Bradley is thriving in the fight game]

    "I believed I was going to win," Bradley told Yahoo Sports, "because that's how I am. I just knew I would. But to be honest with you, I thought it would be harder. All I was hearing was, 'Manny does this, Manny does that.' It was like I was fighting someone who wasn't human.

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  • T.J. Dillashaw lands MMA bantamweight title shot after friend's classy gesture

    LAS VEGAS – Mixed martial arts is a vastly different sport than any other, largely because of the attitudes of the men and women who compete in it professionally.

    If T.J. Dillashaw upsets Renan Barao next month in the main event of UFC 173 and wins the bantamweight title, the wider world may finally realize what those on the inside have known for years: As a group, there are no more classy, loyal, dedicated and sincere athletes than MMA fighters. For weeks earlier this year, Dillashaw gave every ounce of himself to help Urijah Faber do what he so desperately wanted to do himself.

    Renan Barao (R) lands the punch that knocks down Urijah Faber in February. (AP)Faber, Dillashaw's close friend, training partner and mentor at Team Alpha Male, was fighting Barao for the title in the main event of UFC 169 on Feb. 1 in Newark, N.J.

    Dillashaw couldn't have been more committed to the task if he were getting ready for the title himself.

    And therein lies the rub.

    Dillashaw knew he was closing in on a title shot and that if Faber was beaten by Barao, his time would come much

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