Martin Rogers

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Martin Rogers spent seven years as a soccer writer for the London Daily Mirror, covering the English Premier League, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Cup and international soccer. A journalism graduate from Harlow College, he is now based in Los Angeles.

  • Marcos Maidana has the power to change boxing's tired narrative

    Marcos Maidana believes he can settle the increasingly hostile dispute between boxing's leading factions.

    The Argentinean power puncher will face Floyd Mayweather at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 3 and has been the unwitting fall guy in an acrimonious battle involving the sport's two biggest promoters, its most important networks and its highest-profile fighters.

    Top Rank chief Bob Arum blasted the Mayweather camp and its broadcast ally Showtime last week in a vitriolic rant in which he accused the pound-for-pound king of cherry-picking weak opposition instead of squaring off with Manny Pacquiao.

    While Arum's method of delivery came under scrutiny – he repeatedly used the term "thug" to refer to the Mayweather crew and urged fans to boycott the broadcast – Maidana was caught along in the crossfire of the 82-year-old's rant, which attempted to minimize his credentials as a legitimate opponent.

    Although few give Maidana a chance to win, he believes he can settle the argument of

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  • Here's Bob Arum's scheme to force a superfight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao

    LAS VEGAS – Bob Arum has a plan, or at least he thinks he does, that can finally get Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao in the same ring instead of continuing boxing's most infuriating standoff.

    In between highly lamentable comments with borderline racist undertones, Arum laid it all out in the clearest of terms.

    "The only people that can make Floyd Mayweather fight Manny is the public, if they boycott the nonsense on May 3," yelled Arum at the press conference following Pacquiao's unanimous decision victory in his rematch against Timothy Bradley. He was referring directly to Mayweather's next fight, against Marcos Maidana in three weeks' time, for which Maidana is a heavy +750 underdog.

    "That's what the public should do. [If the media] want that fight, tell the public not to buy pay-per-view and not to buy tickets. There is no other [strategy]. We are prepared tomorrow to sit down at a table with his people … to work out the conditions for the fight."

    Mayweather and Pacquiao have

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  • Timothy Bradley hopes to intimidate Manny Pacquiao with his intro music

    LAS VEGAS – Timothy Bradley believes the secret to beating Manny Pacquiao on Saturday is intimidation. It's an approach he's pursuing with vigor, words, actions and even his choice of walk-in music.

    Ahead of the much-anticipated rematch for the WBO welterweight championship, Bradley has tried to turn up the heat on Pacquiao at every opportunity, with the normally reserved Californian launching verbal barbs and slights and questioning his rival's heart.

    And Bradley will ratchet things up another notch on fight night, having appointed rap star Fashawn to lead him into the ring with a gritty and aggressive track titled "Champion" that he insists will tip the psychological edge further in his favor.

    Fashawn, a rising celebrity in the hip-hop world who has performed around the world and is best known for his debut album "Boy Meets World," understands his role at the MGM Grand is about more than just entertainment, and wants to play his own part in getting inside Pacquaio's head.

    "My plan is

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  • Liverpool, Manchester City meet in showdown that could decide Premier League title race

    The magnitude of Sunday's blockbuster English Premier League clash between Liverpool and Manchester City isn't measured by the fact that tickets are selling for 50 times face value on the black market, or that every British media outlet is consumed by little else, or even that it could be the 90 minutes that determines the outcome of the championship.

    That answer can only be found in the record books. It is there where the significance of the matchup between the two favorites to lift the trophy is spelled out in black and white.

    It shows Liverpool's long and agonizing wait for glory: The former heavyweight champion of English soccer has not won its biggest prize since 1990, two years before the start of the Premier League era. Among the statistics you can also see the timelessly painful plight of Manchester City: The "blue half" of Manchester owns just one Premier League crown to hated cross-town rival Manchester United's 13.

    With United having struggled mightily since Sir Alex

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  • Like husband Timothy, Monica Bradley is thriving in the fight game

    LAS VEGAS – Boxing, from the bone-crunching tussles inside the ring to the political and occasionally devious maneuvers that surround it, has never been a business for the faint-hearted. Thankfully for Monica Bradley and her WBO welterweight champion husband, Timothy, she is anything but that.

    Monica took over as manager for Timothy, who fights Manny Pacquiao at the MGM Grand Garden on Saturday, following the end of his long association with veteran manager Cameron Dunkin, a move that raised many an eyebrow in boxing circles.

    As the fighters have dealt with the whirlwind of attention accompanying this weekend's pugilistic hostilities, so too has she been a hive of activity, arranging his schedule down to a fine detail between drug tests and news conferences and keeping his weight in check before the scales are tipped.

    And it was she who conducted the financial negotiations for this fight, as Bradley seeks to build on the momentum of 2013, when he outlasted Ruslan Provodnikov in the

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  • Jose Mourinho enjoying another memorable run in the Champions League, this time with Chelsea

    Nearly 10 years have passed since the iconic moment that thrust Jose Mourinho into world soccer's celebrity circle, but there he was again on Tuesday sprinting down the sideline once more to rejoice in a dramatic late triumph.

    The Chelsea head coach charged out of his dugout and bounded towards the corner flag within a second of the 87th-minute goal from Demba Ba that gave his side a thrilling Champions League quarterfinal victory over Paris Saint-Germain.

    For a moment it looked like he might recreate the image from 2012 when Mourinho slid on his knees – in an uber-expensive designer suit, no less – to celebrate Real Madrid's victory over Manchester City. But instead, he replicated his classic run from 2004 after his underdog Porto team knocked out Manchester United from the Champions League.

    This time it was different. Not just a different look, with Mourinho clad in a tracksuit and tennis shoes as opposed to fine fabrics, but a different purpose.

    The 51-year-old showed an impressive

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  • Omar Gonzalez's disappointing display raises concern over U.S. going into World Cup

    GLENDALE, Ariz. – Hopefully for Omar Gonzalez, he didn't pay too much attention to social media on Wednesday night because the United States central defender wouldn't have liked the story it told.

    Gonzalez was singled out for some acerbic abuse following his performance in the U.S.' 2-2 friendly draw with Mexico at the University of Phoenix Stadium on an evening that was one of his most disappointing in a national team uniform.

    And with just two-and-a-half months remaining before the U.S. kicks off its World Cup campaign, the 25-year-old's display raised the age-old soccer question of how much form, especially in friendlies, matters leading into a major championship.

    U.S. defenseman Omar Gonzalez struggled against Mexico. (AP Photo)Fans – and often head coaches too – tend to fall into two categories on the issue. You could define them as the "Tried and Trusted" camp and the "What Have You Done For Me Lately" brigade.

    For some of the Twitterati, Gonzalez's struggles in Arizona were an ominous portent of future struggles. After all, a Mexican attack

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  • Controversial offside call denies U.S. winning goal in 2-2 tie with Mexico

    GLENDALE, Ariz. – A bogus offside call robbed the United States of a morale-boosting victory over its fiercest rival Mexico on Wednesday night, leaving head coach Jurgen Klinsmann fuming over the contentious disallowed goal in a 2-2 draw.

    Eddie Johnson appeared to have clinched the win for the Americans at the University of Phoenix Stadium with a late strike. It should have put the finishing touch on an entertaining battle between the CONCACAF region's most high profile teams. Klinsmann could scarcely believe his eyes at the controversial call and screamed at Panamanian referee Roberto Moreno from the sidelines while gesticulating wildly in disgust.

    "It looked good to me," American midfielder Michael Bradley said of Johnson's goal.

    Take a look:

     

    Instead, an officiating blunder – television replays showed Johnson was level with the defender marking him and not in an offside position when the ball was passed – left a rather unsatisfying conclusion to the U.S.' final international game

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  • Liverpool challenges for Premier League title as scars from Hillsborough begin to heal

    It doesn't matter which English soccer team you support or even if you follow one at all. It doesn't matter if you are a diehard fan of Liverpool's neighborhood rival Everton or its historically avowed enemy Manchester United.

    Regardless of affection or affiliation, no matter if you're watching on television or stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the red-clad thronged masses in the Anfield stands, the minutes before any Liverpool home game are among the most moving in sports, the kind of thing that makes your neck hairs rise and unexplained lumps lodge in the back of your throat.

    It is the time when more than 40,000 untrained voices bellow out the tune to the Gerry and the Pacemakers' 1960s hit “You'll Never Walk Alone" in seamless harmony. Just like they have for decades.

    It is moving because it is a great tune with a powerful message that is compelling enough for Elvis and Ol' Blue Eyes and Doris Day to all lend their tones to it at different times. You'll be hard-pressed to find someone

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  • Cycling president proposes moving Summer Olympic sports to Winter Games

    A bizarre plan that could dramatically change the face of the Olympics by switching several sports from the Summer Games to the winter version has been suggested by cycling's most senior figure.

    And despite the best intention of Brian Cookson, the International Cycling Union's president, he should, with all due respect, be told to get on his bike.

    "Let's think about the Winter Olympics," Cookson told the BBC. "Why does it have to be snow and ice?"

    Despite the fact that there is probably a fairly simple answer to that question, let's give Cookson the floor for a moment.

    "If you have a problem with summer Olympics where the whole thing is perceived as over-heated with too many facilities, too many sports, too many competitors and so on, why not move some of the other sports indoors that traditionally take place in the northern hemisphere winter?" he added.

    "Why not look at combat sports like judo, or other indoor sports like badminton? You could even say what about putting track cycling

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