Pacquiao beats Thurman by split decision

LAS VEGAS — Manny Pacquiao knocked down Keith Thurman in the first round and persevered for an exciting split-decision victory Saturday night, adding a third straight win to his career resurgence after turning 40 years old.

Pacquiao (62-7-2) dropped his previously unbeaten opponent with a combination late in the first round, and the Pac-Man dominated the opening rounds with a combination of flair and power that recalled the incredible prime of the only eight-division champion in boxing history.

Thurman (29-1) showed remarkable tenacity in rallying through the middle rounds, repeatedly testing Pacquiao’s chin with big shots.

Two judges scored the bout 115-112 for Pacquiao, while Glenn Feldman scored it 114-113 for Thurman. The Associated Press also scored it 115-112 for Pacquiao.

Li first Asian-born player in Tennis Hall

NEWPORT, R.I. — Li Na has broken new ground at the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

The 37-year-old former Chinese star on Saturday became the first Asian-born player to be inducted.

She was enshrined along with Mary Pierce of France and Russian Yevgeny Kafelnikov during a lengthy on-court ceremony that followed the Hall of Fame Open semifinals and stretched from sunset into nighttime, forcing grounds’ crew members to scramble and bring in smaller spotlights.

Li became the first Asian to win a Grand Slam tournament, capturing the 2011 French Open in a final that was watched by an estimated 116 million people in her country.

“I did not (know) before I came to the court or it would have made me more nervous,” she said during a mid-afternoon news conference.

“I started at about 8 years old, but I hated tennis,” she told the crowd that was sitting in near darkness. “Not bad, at least I’m standing here right now.”

She also captured the 2014 Australian Open after being runner-up twice.

Both semifinal matches Saturday went three sets, prompting the late ceremony for the trio of two-time Grand Slam singles champions.

Ledecky stunned in 400 free at worlds

GWANGJU, South Korea — Katie Ledecky is usually there in the end, her endurance powering her to the wall well ahead of the competition.

Someone else got there first at the world championships on Sunday night.

Ariarne Titmus of Australia chased down Ledecky over the last lap to win the 400-meter freestyle and deny the American star a record fourth straight title. It was Ledecky’s first defeat in the event at a major international meet since 2013.

“This stings a little,” Ledecky said. “It’s not what I’m used to.”

China’s Sun Yang was able to do what Ledecky could not: win his record fourth consecutive title in the men’s 400 free.

As expected, it didn’t come without controversy.

Sun’s rival, Mack Horton of Australia, ignored Sun on the medals podium. They didn’t shake hands and Horton didn’t even step onto the podium; instead he stood behind it when given his silver medal.

Titmus overcame a 0.62-second deficit going into the last lap and won by 1.21 seconds over Ledecky. The 18-year-old Aussie touched in 3 minutes, 58.76 seconds.

“I knew that I probably had that in me,” Titmus said, “but, yeah, it’s pretty surreal at the moment.”

Ledecky finished in 3:59.97 — well off her world record of 3:56.46 set at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

“She ran me right down,” the American said.

American Leah Smith took bronze in 4:01.29.

Yanks’ Voit: ‘I thought broken jaw’ when hit by Bettis pitch

NEW YORK — When first hit by a pitch from Colorado’s Chad Bettis, Yankees slugger Luke Voit was scared. He remembered when Giancarlo Stanton’s jaw was broken by Milwaukee’s Mike Fiers five years ago.

“I thought broken jaw. My teeth were going to be all scattered everywhere,” Voit said Sunday. “I grabbed my face. So I was like, ‘Oh, oh.’ ... But then, it wasn’t as bad as I thought. Just a scary thing.”

Voit was back in the New York Yankees’ lineup at first base for Sunday’s 8-4 loss to Colorado, while left fielder Brett Gardner was scratched after hurting his left knee and may miss a few days.

Voit said his jaw was “super sore” when he awoke, but after icing there was only a little swelling. He said it felt as if he had been punched, and there was a slight cut on his chin. Concussion tests were negative.

Part of the force of the 91 mph pitch was absorbed when the ball grazed Voit’s shoulder. He also was able to turn his face slightly.

“I dodged a bullet, got lucky,” said Voit, who planned to try a protective chin strap on his helmet before the game.

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