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MONACO -- Unbeaten Khabib Allakhverdiev held on to his WBA and IBO light welterweight titles when the referee finally stepped in to save former champion Souleymane Mbaye in the 11th round in Monte Carlo on Saturday. . Allakhverdiev dropped Mbaye in the second and eighth rounds. The assault never let up and referee Luis Pabon ended Mbayes punishment 2:27 into the 11th. Allakhverdiev won his first defence of the WBA title he won against Joan Guzman last November with another stoppage. The Russian improved to 19-0 with nine knockouts. Mbaye, the Frenchman who held the WBA belt in 2006-07, dropped to 40-5-1. . Hazard cut in from the left and scored with a swerving right-footed shot for ninth goal of the season, which proved to be enough for the victory despite Chelseas forwards again lacking a cutting edge up front. . - After leading the Saints to a fourth playoff appearance in five seasons, Drew Brees expressed confidence in the direction of his team and, perhaps more importantly, showed a willingness to listen to contract proposals if the team needs his help getting under the NFLs salary cap. . Traditional contenders Brazil, Greece and Turkey drew the other three spots to complete the 24-team field for this summers tournament in Spain, basketball governing body FIBA announced Saturday at its meeting in Barcelona. Editors note: is counting down the best basketball shoes of all time.?But before we reveal our list, our writers are sharing their favorite sneaker tales.For all of the Space Jam nostalgia -- be it the movie re-release, the new shoes geared toward taking on Monstars or the retro-themed Air Jordan XIs -- there is one thing that cant be recaptured. Its the epic pickup games that emerged during the filming of the movie in the summer of 1995.Michael Jordan was fresh off the sting of what would turn out to be the last playoff series loss of his career, to the Orlando Magic in the second round. Movie or no movie, he was determined to return to his place atop the NBA. So he ordered the construction of a tented hardwood basketball court on the Warner Bros. studio lot and laced up his Concords. Word got out, and an array of NBA players came through.Besides the movie co-stars such as Patrick Ewing, Charles Barkley, Alonzo Mourning and Larry Johnson, there were the likes of Grant Hill, Rod Strickland, Glen Rice, Dennis Rodman, Juwan Howard, Steve Smith and Cedric Ceballos. Shaquille ONeal came by. Magic Johnson, less than a year shy of his return to the NBA, made an appearance. Reggie Miller showed up for what turned into a clear-out-and-let-em-go-at-it game, with the trash talk flying.It was like an NBA all-star game every day, said Tracy Murray, who was coming off the third season of his 11-year pro career that summer.Except it had regular-season intensity. So many players showed up that losing meant a two- or three-game wait to get back on the court. Veteran center Olden Polynice came by and made the mistake of thinking, Its the summertime, theyre going to be bulls----ing.Come to find out, they werent bulls----ing, Polynice said.Murray credits the cutthroat competition with priming him for a breakout season -- he made 116 more 3-pointers and his scoring average jumped by 11 points, setting him up for a nice free-agent contract that provided the bulkk of the $22 million he made in his career. .For Jordan, it was the launchpad to the Bulls record-setting 72-10 season, capped by a championship.Maybe we should credit the singer DAngelo as well. His first album dropped that summer, and his seductive songs wound up providing the soundtrack to the pickup games on the Warner Bros. lot.Michael loved that CD, Murray said.Therefore, Everybody hooped to DAngelo, Murray said. Driving up the floor ... Brown Sugar.Dont think for a second that the neo-soul or even the low stakes of the summer diminished Jordans ultra-competitive fires. Don MacLean learned that the hard way.It started when Jordan was loosely guarding MacLean, and MacLean (the all-time leading scorer in the old Pac-10 conference) got hot and scored about two-thirds of his teams buckets to send Jordan off a loser on the final game of the night.As MacLean changed clothes and iced his knees, Jordan came by and asked if hed be back. MacLean had an overseas trip to conduct basketball clinics in Japan, so he couldnt return the following week.Jordan told him, Thanks for coming, make sure you come back.Im thinking: That was cool for him to say that, MacLean said. Not thinking ...Jordan was plotting his revenge. When MacLean did show up a couple of weeks later, he played in the first game of the night.[Jordan] walks on the court, says, I got MacLean, and did not let me touch the ball for the entire game, MacLean said. And I was trying. And he was not letting me touch the ball.Right then and there, I was like, My God. For a pickup game in the summer that means nothing, two weeks later, he remembers that. I couldnt believe it.Said Polynice: Thats the true nature of Michael Jordan. It can be two weeks, it can be two years.And thats why, two decades later, no one who was there can forget those summer nights of hooping. Wholesale Jerseys From China China Jerseys Wholesale Wholesale NFL Autographed Jerseys NFL Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Autographed Jerseys Nike NFL Jerseys China China NFL Hoodies Cheap NFL Gear Discount NFL Jerseys Cheap Stitched Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Throwback Wholesale Jerseys From China Discount NFL Jerseys Jerseys NFL Cheap ' ' ' 
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