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.McMillans club led 90-85 with under five minutes to go against the Pelicans, then fell apart as New Orleans

Fighting on July 4 weekend is special for lightweight Jamel Herring. Custom Wales Soccer Jerseys .He represented the United States in the 2012 Olympics and was captain of the boxing team. Before that he served nine years in the U.S. Marines, including two tours of duty in Iraq (where he was a field electrician), the reason why he got such a late start to his professional career.So to be able to fight on the most patriotic of weekends is a big deal for Herring, 30, who will face the most significant opponent of his career when he meets former two-time world title challenger Denis Shafikov in the main event of a Premier Boxing Champions card on Saturday night (ESPN and ESPN Deportes, 9 p.m. ET) at Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania.Its a huge honor and blessing to headline on ESPN on Fourth of July weekend, Herring said. I want to put on a good show. Its an extra special honor on this weekend, being that I was a Marine and to headline, and I want to put on a patriotic and great performance.Herring (15-0, 8 KOs), a 2012 U.S. amateur national champion at 141 pounds, has been brought along slowly by manager Al Haymon but is really ramping up his competition against fellow southpaw Shafikov, of Russia.I have a great deal of respect for Shafikov, Herring said. Tough guy, experienced -- but he had his chance. Its my time. Its my toughest fight on paper, but I feel good. It is my time to earn my respect.Shafikov, 31, has twice fought for a lightweight word title but came up short each time. In his last fight, in December, Shafikov (36-2-1, 19 KOs) lost a unanimous decision challenging Rances Barthelemy for a vacant 135-pound belt. In 2014, he lost a unanimous decision to then-titleholder Miguel Vazquez.Now he hopes to win and pave the way for another opportunity.Everything went well in camp. We had a four-month camp, Shafikov said through a translator. We were supposed to fight a couple of months ago, but when that fight was cancelled, I relaxed for a minute and then this opportunity came up.Herring has a great record and he represented the U.S. in the Olympics. He is still young, and I feel that my experience will be the determining factor. I accepted this fight because a win gets us in line for big opportunities, including another shot at a world championship.Herring grew up in Coram, New York, but now lives in Cincinnati, where he trains with Mike Stafford and is part of the same stable as former four-division world titleholder Adrien Broner. Herring trained in Cincinnati during the early part of his camp to prepare for Shafikov and then relocated to Washington, D.C., to finish up at Barry Hunters talent-rich gym.Camp was great. During my time in D.C., I sparred with [former junior welterweight titlist] Lamont Peterson, said Herring, who noted that Peterson, a right-hander, did him a favor by turning southpaw for their sparring sessions.Although Shafikov is vastly more experienced as a professional compared to Herring, he is also the smaller man. Herring, at 5-foot-9, will own a four-inch height advantage.I was 15 years old when I first started boxing, Herring said. I had a close friend, and his father was a trainer. When I was a kid, he always asked me and nagged me to come to the gym, but I wasnt really into boxing. I was more into team sports, like basketball, football, and things like that. As a kid, when I thought of boxing, I thought of the Rocky movies -- I saw all the punishment that they would take and I thought, I dont know about that.But after a while, he came by and told me how much fun it was, so I gave it a try one day and I stuck to it for good. I had about 92 amateur fights altogether. I think I had about 14 losses. When I joined the Marine Corps in 2003, I had to take a little break from boxing, so I didnt get back into it until 2006. Then the Marine Corps deployed me back to Iraq again in 2007. Then I came back in 2008 and started boxing again.One of his sons, Stephen, was born while he was deployed in Iraq.With his Olympic credentials, connections to Haymon and a strong work ethic, Herring is probably not too far away far from getting a shot at a world title, but beating Shafikov is imperative if he wants one.I believe a win will open the doors for a world title [fight], said Herring, a married father of two sons, a daughter and a step-daughter. In my mind, I am taking this fight as a world title fight. That is how important this fight is, and before the end of the year I hope to get a crack at a world title.In the co-feature, 23-year-old Polish junior middleweight Patrick Szymanski (15-0, 9 KOs) will face former world title challenger Silky Wilky Campfort (21-2, 12 KOs) in a 10-round fight.Im excited about the opportunity to take on an experienced opponent, Szymanski said. I think it will be a good test for me and a chance to show off my skills.Ive worked very hard so that I can leave an impression with my performance. These are the kind of fights that I have to win and win in style if I want to reach my goals in this sport.Campfort, 31, born in Haiti and based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is coming off a fourth-round knockout loss challenging Jermall Charlo for his 154-pound world title in November. He is not sure what to expect from Szymanski.I dont know too much about my opponent, but I did see him fight once in Tampa, Campfort said. Come Saturday night, I will see what he has. It means a lot to fight on ESPN. The first fight that I saw that involved a fellow Haitian was Daniel Edouard on ESPN and it gave me a lot of motivation to pursue my career. I am not only fighting for myself, but all of the people in Haiti and Florida that have been supporting me.A win will put me right back into where I was when I had my long winning streak. A win will put me back in the mix at 154 pounds. Ashley Williams Jersey . Their experience showed Tuesday as the No. 10 Badgers blunted a Saint Louis surge to win 63-57 and advance to face West Virginia in Wednesdays finals of the Cancun Challenge. Joe Allen Wales Jersey . Both players have lower body injuries that will keep them out of the lineup until at least January 31, which is the first game they can be activated from IR. . After dropping their final six games of December, the Wild opened the new calendar year with four consecutive wins. Following a loss to Colorado on Saturday, Minnesota rebounded the following night to blank Nashville 4-0, but then had the tables turned on them Tuesday. A couple of NBA Central Division rivals mired in mediocrity will be looking for bounce-back performances on Saturday night.The first of four meetings between the Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons will take place at The Palace of Auburn Hills.The Pacers (13-14) have lost their last two games and the Pistons (14-14) are stuck in a win-one, lose-one cycle.After a victory in Dallas on Wednesday, the Pistons allowed a season high in points while getting pounded by Washington 122-108 in a roadh game on Friday night.The Wizards shot 57.1 percent from the field while becoming the first Pistons opponent in eight games to reach 100 points. Washingtons starting backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal combined for 54 points and 15 assists with just one turnover.We couldnt handle their guards at all, Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy said. They were getting wherever they wanted on the floor and then making plays. Then the other guys shot the ball well, too. But those two guys just destroyed us.Detroit was outscored 68-50 in the second and third quarters. The Pistons only bright spots were guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who had 24 points, and reserve forward Jon Leuer, who contributed 19 points, seven rebounds and five assists.We didnt play defense, point guard Reggie Jackson said. Its pretty frustrating. We let one slip away. All we can do is move past this one and get ready for tomorrow.The Pacers are looking to salvage the finale of a three-game road swing. They lost to Miami 95-89 on Wednesday and New Orleans 102-95 on Thursday.Indiana will not have two of its backcourt rotation players available. Moonta Ellis is sidelined with a groin injury and Rodney Stuckey has a strained left hamstring. Aaron Ramsey Wales Jersey. t puts a big dent in our rotation with Rodney being out and Monta being out, coach Nate McMillan told the Indianapolis Star. Everybody has to be ready to play. That will push up Aaron Brooks a few more minutes and C.J. (Miles) will see some time at the wing position.McMillans club led 90-85 with under five minutes to go against the Pelicans, then fell apart as New Orleans reeled off 15 straight points. Pelicans All-Star big man Anthony Davis controlled the paint with 35 points, 16 rebounds and five blocks.We had some open looks that we didnt knock down, McMillan told the Star. They made some plays down the stretch and Anthony Davis had a big block. On those missed shots, they ran out and we didnt rotate back in transition. They were able to get the lead on that.Davis big night offset a strong performance by Pacers center Myles Turner, who finished with 26 points and eight rebounds. Indianas usual top scorer, forward Paul George, was limited to 18 points and committed five turnovers.I just think we went stagnant, forward Thaddeus Young said to the Star. We didnt make shots and we had contested shots where we could have swung the ball a little more to get some movement.George averaged 22.8 points in four games against the Pistons last season as Indiana won the season series 3-1. Jackson led Detroit in those games with averages of 19.8 points and 5.5 assists. ' ' '