Underdog Smith hoping size matters against Alvarez
Britain’s Callum Smith will be out to prove that size does matter on Saturday when he defends his World Boxing Association super-middleweight crown against pound-for-pound king Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in Texas.
The unbeaten Smith (27-0, 19 knockouts) will take sizeable height and reach advantages into the ring at the Alamodome in San Antonio against the naturally smaller Alvarez (53-1-2, 36 KOs).
Alvarez, who has not fought since he jumped up to light-heavyweight to score an 11th round knockout of Sergey Kovalev in November 2019, starts as favourite for Saturday’s bout where he will once again move up in class.
The 30-year-old Mexican superstar faced off against Smith this week where the striking height difference between the two men — Smith is 6ft 3in, Alvarez 5ft 8in — was plain to see.
Throw in the fact that Smith is a more natural 168-pound fighter, while Alvarez’s preferred habitat is the 160-pound middleweight division, and the raw stats appear to tilt in the Liverpudlian’s favour.
“I knew he was short but it was just nice to see him physically up close for the first time,” Smith said of his face-to-face with Alvarez.
“I’ve always said the best version of me can beat anyone in the world, and as long as the best version of me steps through those ropes, I can use my strengths to take away his strengths.”
Smith said that while Alvarez has repeatedly demonstrated an ability to move up in weight classes before, the Mexican’s skills may not be enough to offset his physical disadvantages against a bigger opponent.
– Alvarez unfazed –
“His ability has always made up for his lack in size and he’s gone through the weights before,” Smith said.
gths because the other lad is just too big. And I’m not just a big lump with no ability.
“I’m 100% that if the best version of me is in the ring I’ll win this fight.”
For his part, Alvarez is unfazed by the size difference.
“Yes, Smith does have that advantage obviously, but I’m a boxer with experience so it doesn’t really worry me,” Alvarez said.
“I’ve fought against taller people, shorter people, so it doesn’t really concern me.”
Smith is expected to fight from long-range, using his eight-inch reach advantage to pick off Alvarez without allowing the hard-hitting Mexican star to attack his body. The question will be whether Smith is able to keep Alvarez at bay as energy levels drop in the later rounds.
“A fighter as good as Canelo Alvarez obviously isn’t going to let me just jab and move and stand off me,” Smith said.
“The fight’s not going to be that easy.”
The fight also offers Smith the opportunity to avenge the defeat suffered by elder brother Liam against Alvarez in 2016. Callum was at his brother’s side to watch that stoppage via body-shot knockout in Arlington, Texas.
“It would be nice to get some revenge but this fight will be huge regardless,” Smith said. “It was tough to take at the time, it was Liam’s first loss. I think Liam knew he lost to a very good fighter.
“My brother had success on the night, but Canelo was huge for the weight.”
Dozens of US states on Thursday hit Google with its third antitrust suit in as many months, accusing the internet giant of abusing its internet search dominance to eliminate competition.
The suit by antitrust enforcers from 38 US states and territories is in line with, but goes beyond a case filed by the US Justice Department against Google and its parent firm Alphabet earlier this year.
“Google’s anticompetitive actions have protected its general search monopolies and excluded rivals, depriving consumers of the benefits of competitive choices, forestalling innovation, and undermining new entry or expansion,” said Colorado attorney general Phil Weiser.
Nebraska attorney general Doug Peterson called the antitrust assault on Google “historic,” saying the combined suits represented the biggest alliance since a case against Microsoft decades ago.
The suit came a day after a group of states led by Texas filed a separate antitrust suit, and asks to be consolidated with the federal case against Google.
The internet giant said the case would end up harming consumers if successful.
Google economic policy director Adam Cohen said in a post that the lawsuit “seeks to redesign search in ways that would deprive Americans of helpful information and hurt businesses’ ability to connect directly with customers.”
Changes sought by the lawsuit would make search results worse for people searching on Google and businesses wanting to be found, according to the internet giant.
Matt Schruers, president of the Computer and Communications Industry Association, a technology trade group, said the suit was a misguided effort to force Google to redesign its search engine without regard to consumer interests.
“Search design has been benefiting from constant redesign and updates, and regulators in the US and abroad have concluded this has improved consumers’ experience,” he said.
– Cars and speakers –
The new suit charges that Google made deals to shut out competitors and endeavored to lock out rivals while getting its search and advertising systems into smart speakers, cars, smartphones and more.
“We are in a new time, a new era, and it is very critical that we in the field of enforcement in competition remain very engaged in the tech industry going forward,” Peterson said.
With Google’s services made available free of charge and economic harm to users tricky to prove, antitrust litigation might not be the most effective way to go at the internet giant, some attorneys general taking part in the new suit conceded in a video call.
“Policymakers, Congress in particular, should be thinking of some regulation beyond antitrust,” Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller said on the call.
– Converging cases –
Several US states led by Texas filed a suit against Google on Wednesday alleging anticompetitive practices, and branding it an “internet Goliath” that had eliminated competition in online advertising and was harming consumers.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton contended that Google rigged advertising auctions, taking advantage of its position serving up ads as well as online search results.
Amazon, Tripadvisor, Yelp and other internet firms involved in recommending products or services have long complained that Google favors its own offerings in general search results.
Three antitrust suits engage Google on different fronts, according to Weiser.
The new lawsuit highlights efforts to suppress next generation platforms for search such as virtual assistants, and whether Google used illegal tactics against rival search services such as review engines or Microsoft’s Bing engine..
All three suits could end up being consolidated in a single federal court case, with ensuing litigation likely to take years to play out.
While Google ad revenue has continued to grow, its share of the booming US online ad market is ebbing under pressure from competitors such as Facebook, Amazon and others, according to eMarketer.
The market tracker expected Google this year to command just shy of 30 percent of the US ad market set to total about $42.4 billion.
Google software not only crawls the internet and indexes what it finds, it determines which results to provide for queries and what ads are displayed.
The California-based internet giant also handles auctions for ads competing to be displayed.
Google’s long-running business model coupling a free search engine and free services like email and YouTube with paid advertising is being put to the test in a landmark antitrust lawsuit filed by the US Justice Department.
The US government filed its blockbuster lawsuit in October accusing Google of maintaining an “illegal monopoly” in online search and advertising.
The country’s biggest antitrust case in decades, it opens the door to a potential breakup of the Silicon Valley titan.
President-elect Joe Biden selected New Mexico Rep. Deb Haaland as his nominee for interior secretary on Thursday, a historic pick that would make her the first Native American to lead the powerful federal agency that has wielded influence over the nation’s tribes for generations.
Tribal leaders and activists around the country, along with many Democratic figures, cheered Haaland’s selection after urging Biden for weeks to choose her to lead the Department of Interior. They stood behind her candidacy even when concerns that Democrats might risk their majority in the House if Haaland yielded her seat in Congress appeared to threaten her nomination.
With Haaland’s nomination, Indigenous people will for the first time in their lifetimes see a Native American at the table where the highest decisions are made — and so will everyone else, said OJ Semans, a Rosebud Sioux vote activist who was in Georgia on Thursday helping get out the Native vote for two Senate runoffs. “It’s made people aware that Indians still exist,” he said.
Haaland, 60, is a member of the Laguna Pueblo and, as she likes to say, a 35th-generation resident of New Mexico. The role of interior secretary would put her in charge of an agency that has tremendous sway not only over the nearly 600 federally recognized tribes, but also over much of the nation’s vast public lands, waterways, wildlife, national parks and mineral wealth.
Haaland tweeted after the news was made public that “growing up in my mother’s Pueblo household made me fierce.
“I’ll be fierce for all of us, our planet, and all of our protected land,” she pledged.
The pick breaks a 245-year record of non-Native officials, mostly male, serving as the top federal official over American Indian affairs. The federal government often worked to dispossess Native Americans of their land and, until recently, to assimilate them into white culture.
“You’ve got to understand — you’re taking Interior full circle,” said Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva, chair of the House Natural Resources Committee and a champion of Haaland for the job. “For years, its legacy was the disenfranchisement of the Native people of this country, of displacement, of cultural genocide.”
With Haaland’s nomination, “that in itself is a huge message,” Grijalva said.
Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez called it “truly a historic and unprecedented day for all Indigenous people.”
“I am SO ELATED,” the head of progressive Democrats’ Sunrise Movement, Varshini Prakash, tweeted. “This will be the first time an Indigenous person – and a badass climate champion woman at that – will hold any presidential cabinet position. Congratulations to @JoeBiden for making history.”
Get-out-the-vote activists believe their efforts, and the Native vote, helped flip Arizona in particular for Biden and secure the presidency.
“There’s a feeling something is changing,” said Ashley Nicole McCray, a member of the Absentee Kiowa tribe of Oklahoma and of an indigenous environmental coalition. “Finally, we’ve come to this point where Indigenous sentiment is no longer being silenced.”
But Biden’s pick could further deplete, at least temporarily, the narrow majority Democrats maintain in the House. Biden has already selected several lawmakers from the chamber, including Louisiana Rep. Cedric Richmond and Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge, to serve in his administration.
Some on Biden’s transition team had expressed concerns about dipping further into the already thinned Democratic House majority for another senior administration posting. But Biden decided that the barrier-breaking aspect of her nomination and her experience as vice chair of the House Committee on Natural Resources made her the right pick for the moment.
The president-elect has been methodically filling the posts in his Cabinet, adding North Carolina environmental official Michael Regan as his nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. Biden introduced former South Bend, Indiana, mayor Pete Buttigieg earlier this week as his transportation secretary and announced Thursday that former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm was his nominee for energy secretary.
In a statement Thursday night, Biden said he had assembled a “brilliant, tested, trailblazing team” that “will be ready on day one to confront the existential threat of climate change.”
“They share my belief that we have no time to waste to confront the climate crisis, protect our air and drinking water, and deliver justice to communities that have long shouldered the burdens of environmental harms,” the president-elect said.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made it clear Wednesday that Biden had her blessing to choose Haaland, saying she would make an “excellent choice” as interior secretary. South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn, the No. 3 Democrat in the House and a close Biden ally, also supported Haaland for the job.
Haaland is one of the first two Native American women in the House. She told The Associated Press before her nomination that see the difference her position in Congress made for ordinary Native Americans who came to her with business before the federal government.
“They felt comfortable just launching into the issues they wanted,” Haaland told the AP in an interview before her appointment. They would say, for example, “Oh, we don’t have to explain tribal sovereignty to you,” meaning tribes’ constitutionally guaranteed status as independent nations.
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Haaland previously worked as head of New Mexico’s Democratic Party, as tribal administrator and as an administrator for an organization providing services for adults with developmental disabilities.
Born to a Marine veteran father and a Navy veteran mother, Haaland describes herself as a single mother who sometimes had to rely on food stamps. She says she is still paying off student loans after college and law school for herself and college for her daughter.
New Mexico Sen. Tom Udall, who is retiring after 22 years in Congress and was initially considered the front-runner for interior secretary, congratulated Haaland on her selection, calling it “momentous and well-earned.’’
Previously, the highest-ranking administration official known to have Native American heritage was Charles Curtis, who served as Herbert Hoover’s vice president and whose mother was one-quarter Kaw tribe.