By Jason Cruz
Northwest Asian Weekly
Na enjoying retirement, cheers on Nishikori
The first grand slam event of the tennis year, the Australian Open, began Jan. 19th. The women’s side of the tournament was without Li Na. The best tennis player from China retired last fall and based on a recent interview with the New York Times, she does not miss the circuit one bit.
Li has been taking advantage of her free time by traveling and meeting with friends. She is also working on building a tennis academy in China. Despite not playing competitively anymore, she still attends tennis tournaments and follows Asian tennis.
One of the individuals that Li follows is Kei Nishikori. 2014 was a breakthrough year for Nishikori as he made a surprising run to the finals of the U.S. Open. Nishikori has continued his ascent up the men’s tennis rankings. He is currently ranked number 5 in the world going into the Australian Open.
Vera, Cung Le part of potential class action lawsuit
Mixed Martial Artists Cung Le and Brandon Vera have joined a lawsuit which claims that the biggest organization in the sport has suppressed fighters’ wages among other things. They are part of a lawsuit that claims that the UFC violated United States Antitrust law and their attorneys are seeking class action status.
Le’s relationship with the UFC deteriorated after he was accused of failing a drug test after fighting in Macau this past August. He was first issued a 9-month suspension from the UFC and then a one-year suspension after it was thought that 9 months was too lenient. When his suspension was raised to a year, he decided to appeal the ruling and the drug testing procedures. It was determined that the drug test procedures with which the UFC implemented were shoddy at best. Also, the process for appeal was not readily known. Instead of having to go through an arbitration in which it may lose, the UFC decided to drop the suspension of Le. Still, Le was sore at the UFC for tarnishing his reputation and there is speculation that is why he joined this lawsuit.
Brandon Vera was let go by the UFC in June 2014 and signed with Singaporean MMA organization OneFC. Despite leaving the UFC, Vera has headlined a show in the Philippines with OneFC.
Vera was a longtime UFC fighter, but fell out of favor with the organization. He was not happy with how his release was handled. Adding insult to the lawsuit, Vera filed his case on Christmas Eve.
The case has all the makings of being a big deal, which could up-end the business of the sport. Five law firms have joined together to litigate the lawsuit on behalf of Le, Vera, and other plaintiffs. The UFC has retained the law firm of Boies, Schiller, and Flexner. Some may remember that it was the same firm that represented Al Gore in Bush v. Gore. It also represented the United States in its case against Microsoft.
Pacquiao fights Mayweather…maybe
Manny Pacquiao wants to fight Floyd Mayweather. Does Mayweather want to fight Pacquiao? Pacquiao has prodded Mayweather to fight via social media platform Twitter. He has agreed to the contractual requirements brought by Mayweather’s representatives. The only holdup is that Mayweather has yet to sign. Pacquiao wants to know this month about the potential Mayweather fight, which is proposed to happen on May 2nd.
Based on Pacquiao’s camp, there’s nothing left but for Mayweather to sign the contract.
Will Mayweather do it?
If the fight occurs, it would pit the two best pound-for-pound fighters of this era.
Although many think that this fight is five years too late, it would still be one of the biggest and most lucrative fights in the history of boxing. Pacquiao is an international sensation and Mayweather touts an undefeated mark through 47 fights. Even if the two want to fight, there are still broadcast logistics which must be hammered out before the sides can fight. Will it happen? (end)
Jason Cruz can be reached at email@example.com.