Jake Paul announces he’ll fight former UFC champ Tyron Woodley

The two clashed at Jake Paul’s last fight. Now Woodley says he’ll “take out the trash.”

Jake Paul will fight Tyron Woodley on Aug. 28.

Woodley gave as good as he got, making fun of Jake Paul’s bragging about snatching Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s hat at a press event for the upcoming June 6 fight between Mayweather and Paul’s brother, Logan Paul.

“Dear Jake Paul, keep the hat,” Woodley wrote. “I’m taking your head clean off your neck!”

Jake and Logan Paul first became famous for their internet videos. Jake Paul also played Dirk Mann in the Disney Channel show Bizaardvark. Both Paul brothers have pursued boxing, with Jake Paul boasting a 3-0 professional boxing record. He has fought former NBA point guard Nate Robinson, social media influencer AnEsonGib and former MMA champion Ben Askren.

Tyron Woodley, a former UFC champion, was in Askren’s corner for Paul’s recent victory and clashed verbally with Paul before the fight.

“Easiest fight of my career and biggest purse of my career all in one night,” Woodley said of the Paul match, according to ESPN. “Basically, they brought me in to take out the trash. I can’t wait to shut this b—- up. This is getting done for the culture, the whole MMA community and boxing community, to rid this guy of combat sports.”

The fighters will fight at 190 pounds, wear 10-ounce gloves and fight in a 20×20 ring, ESPN reports. The fight will be distributed by Showtime and air on pay-per-view, with fans expected to be in attendance. No location has been announced.

NHL in 2021: How to watch and stream hockey without cable

The season may be young, but some of the goals have already been highlight-worthy. Pull on your team’s sweater and we’ll show you how to stream all the action.

Trevor Zegras and Sonny Milano of the Anaheim Ducks celebrate their astonishing goal.

TNT will broadcast 50 NHL games, including the outdoor Winter Classic, Stadium Series and Heritage Classic. TNT will also air half of the Stanley Cup playoffs. ESPN or ABC will air 25 games along with half of the playoffs and all of the Stanley Cup Finals, while ESPN Plus and Hulu will stream 75 exclusive matchups. The NHL’s out-of-market streaming service, formerly known as NHL.TV, moves to ESPN Plus for no extra charge.

So what does all this mean for hockey fans desperately looking to stream their team’s games? The good news is that you don’t need cable to watch hockey this year, but it still might be the easiest and cheapest choice depending on where you live.

Read more: NFL 2021: How to watch and stream football, RedZone this season without cable

Die-hard sports fans are beholden to regional sports networks, or RSNs, that carry the majority of the games for their local team. These RSNs are usually included in local cable packages, so most cable subscribers never have to worry about gaining access to the broadcasts on these channels: They can simply turn on the TV and watch the game.

Cord-cutting hockey fans have a tougher path. Because of rights agreements, most live TV streaming services like YouTube TV or Hulu with Live TV don’t carry many RSNs. DirecTV Stream is the exception. It has nearly every RSN, particularly the Bally Sports channels (formerly Fox Sports) offered by Sinclair, but you’ll need to spring for its $85-a-month plan.

Read more: DirecTV Stream review: Expensive, but the best option for streaming NBA and NHL

Ultimately, depending on location, getting a cable subscription that includes ESPN, TNT and the local RSN might actually be cheaper and easier for you than streaming — especially if it’s bundled with the home internet you’ll likely be getting anyway.

Whether or not you have cable, ESPN’s stand-alone streaming service is great for casual fans and is a must-have accessory for the zealots. It costs $7 a month or $70 a year and shows all out-of-market games along with up to 75 exclusive ESPN-produced telecasts per year. The catch is that your local team’s games are blacked out when they appear on ESPN Plus. Nevertheless, this is a huge savings for long-time NHL.TV users, as the all-access package used to cost subscribers $145 a year.

Even better for hockey fans, ESPN Plus just reached a deal to show 130 Kontinental Hockey League games — Russia’s top hockey league — including the playoffs and the Gagarin Cup finals. This is on top of ESPN’s NCAA college hockey coverage. That’s a lot of hockey for a little more than half the price of the old NHL.TV package.

Disney is also planning to show exclusive games on Hulu, so the $14-a-month Disney bundle might end up being an even better buy for hockey fans who also love TV and Disney/Marvel/Star Wars.

Those looking to just get ESPN Plus to watch their local team’s games will be out of luck, however. Most fans are in-market, meaning they follow the local team, and RSNs have broadcast exclusivity in the region that they cover. That means local NHL games are blacked out on ESPN Plus.

If you’re living in Philadelphia for example, you won’t be able to watch Flyers games on ESPN Plus. The same goes for Rangers fans in New York, Bruins fans in Boston and so on. The only way to watch most of those home team games in your home market is to get a service that has the local RSN, respectively NBC Sports Philadelphia, MSG or NESN.

Services like ESPN Plus use IP addresses to block out games in viewers’ regions — you’ll just get a black screen if you try to watch those games. That’s why ESPN Plus is ideal for casual fans who just love a good game, or superfans who want to follow one or more of the teams based in cities other than their own, aka out-of-market teams, but is less useful for fans of the local team.

Read our full review of ESPN Plus.

For those determined to watch their local hockey team without a cable or satellite TV subscription, a live TV streaming service is the best bet. While it is pricey, DirecTV Stream is the best option for most people, particularly those where the local games air on Bally Sports networks.

Below is a chart of all of the NHL teams in the United States and their corresponding RSNs.

Note: None of the US-based services carries the RSNs for the Canadian hockey teams. That means fans of the Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, Ottawa Senators, Winnipeg Jets, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks need to use ESPN Plus to watch all the games that are not either on your local RSN or on a US national broadcast.

Some key takeaways:

One other note: If you don’t recognize the name of some of these channels, don’t worry. The Fox Sports RSNs have been rebranded as Bally Sports, because the channels are no longer owned by Fox but Sinclair, which has since partnered with casino group Bally’s and renamed them.

The NHL Network, run by the league, is still available as a stand-alone station. This season the network will air 90 games that will be considered national for those out-of-market. This means that you will still be able to watch your local team play on your RSN, but viewers around the country will need the NHL Network in order to watch the game as it will be blacked out on ESPN Plus. Fans might be able to save some money if they’re willing to miss out on the handful of games on the NHL Network.

The NHL Network is not included in many basic streaming services or cable packages and is not available at all on Hulu Plus Live TV and YouTube TV. If you want it, chances are you are going to pay extra for it.

Many cable and streaming services group NHL Network into a multinetwork sports bundle. For example, Sling’s Sports Extra bundle costs $11 per month on top of a Sling Orange package and includes the NHL Network along with 13 other sports channels like NFL RedZone.

FuboTV includes the NHL Network in its $8-per-month Fubo Extra package. This can be purchased alongside any of Fubo’s subscription offerings, though Fubo Extra is included in the $80-a-month Elite streaming tier.

Lastly, Direct TV Stream users can only get the NHL Network if they subscribe to the $95-per-month Ultimate or the $140-a-month Premier package.

DirecTV Stream is expensive. It’s the priciest of the five major live TV streaming services, but it’s also the one with the most RSNs. Its cheapest, $70-a-month Plus package includes ESPN, ABC, TNT and TBS. You’ll need to move up to the $85-a-month Choice plan to get any available RSN. You can use its channel lookup tool to see which local channels and RSNs are available in your area. The NHL Network is available starting at the $95-a-month Ultimate package.

Aside from DirecTV Stream, the odds are long that a live TV streaming service carries the RSN for your local team’s games, which makes the other four services better bets for watching nationally televised games.

FuboTV costs $65 per month and offers 12 RSNs for hockey. It also includes ESPN, but not TBS — which might be a problem for some hockey fans. But you can add the NHL Network for an extra $7 a month with the Fubo Extra Package or pay for the $80-a-month Elite streaming tier that includes Fubo Extra. Check out which local networks and RSNs FuboTV offers here.

YouTube TV costs $65 a month and offers four RSNs for hockey, along with all of the national broadcasts. However, it lacks the option to get the NHL Network. Plug in your ZIP code on its welcome page to see which local networks and RSNs are available in your area.

Hulu Plus Live TV costs $65 a month and carries four RSNs for hockey along with ESPN, ABC,TBS and TNT, but not NHL Network. Click the “View all channels in your area” link at the bottom of its welcome page to see which local networks and RSNs are available where you live.

Sling Blue currently lacks a single RSN to watch hockey. You can, however, use Sling to watch some national broadcasts. Sling TV’s Orange plan includes ESPN and both plans offer TBS, but none of them gives you access to ABC. The NHL Network is available as part of the Sports Extra add-on, which costs $11 a month for either the Blue or Orange plan or $15 for the combined Orange-and-Blue plan. The individual plans cost $35 a month each, and the Orange-and-Blue plan costs $50 a month. You can see which local channels you get here.

Each live TV streaming service offers a free trial, allows you to cancel anytime and requires a solid internet connection. Looking for more information? Check out our live TV streaming services guide.

Oh, Canadians, we know you love hockey and so does the NHL. But that means that you’re unable to participate in the league’s new deal with ESPN Plus. Instead, you’ll have to continue to pay more for a subscription to NHL Live for all of your out-of-market games. The service was offering early-bird pricing of CA$180, but that price jumped to CA$200 once the season started.

NHL Live has a nifty tool that will help you figure out exactly what games are available in your region with your subscription.

Cord-cutters in Canada might also need Sportsnet NOW at CA$15 per month and TSN Direct at CA$20 per month to get their local games.

UFC 269 Charles Oliveira vs. Dustin Poirier: Start time, how to watch or stream online

UFC 268 is an absolute gem of a car, with two title fights.

Many consider Poirier the uncrowned champ.

But UFC 269 runs deep. Rising star Sean O’Malley features, Cody Garbrandt makes his flyweight debut and we have a host of compelling match ups all the through to the early prelims. Make no mistake, this Saturday is MMA Christmas.

Here’s everything you need to know.

The UFC 269 main card starts at 10 p.m. EDT (7 p.m. PDT) on Nov. 6. Here are all the details from multiple time zones.

The UFC now has a partnership with ESPN. That’s great news for the UFC and the expansion of the sport of MMA, but bad news for consumer choice. Especially, if you’re one of the UFC fans who want to watch UFC in the US.

In the US, if you want to know how to watch UFC 269, you’ll only find the fight night on PPV through ESPN Plus. The cost structure is a bit confusing, but here are the options to watch UFC on ESPN, according to ESPN’s site:

You can do all of the above at the link below.

MMA fans in the UK can watch UFC 269 exclusively through BT Sport. There are more options if you live in Australia. You can watch UFC 269 through Main Event on Foxtel. You can also watch on the UFC website or using its app. You can even order using your PlayStation or using the UFC app on your Xbox.

Need more international viewing options? Try a VPN to change your IP address to access those US, UK or Australian options listed above. See the best VPNs currently recommended by CNET editors.

As always, these cards are subject to change. We’ll keep this as up-to-date as possible.

Jake Paul vs. Tyron Woodley: Start time, how to watch or stream online, everything to know

The Jake Paul vs. Tyron Woodley event is live! Here’s what you need to know…

We’re very close now to the fight between Paul and Woodley.

But now Paul faces the former UFC welterweight champion Woodley in a hotly anticipated boxing match. Who wins? It’s a difficult one to pick. Paul has more boxing experience on paper, but Woodley is an ex-champ and, unlike Paul’s previous opponent Ben Askren, Woodley has power in his hands. Most of his most famous wins have come via spectacular knockout.

Here’s everything you need to know…

Mark your calendars for Aug. 29 at 8 p.m ET/5 p.m. PT. The big event will be held in Paul’s hometown of Cleveland, at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

The fight will air on Showtime pay-per-view, meaning you don’t need to be a regular Showtime subscriber to pay for and watch the fight.

Showtime Sports President Stephen Espinoza told MMA Fighting on Aug. 2 that the fight will cost viewers $59.99. Not cheap.

“That reflects a couple of things,” Espinoza said of the price. “It’s in the ballpark of where similar fights have been. It is at a point below a lot of other higher priced PPVs, but in particular on this one, I think you’ve got a full boxing card of exciting young fighters. That was the key.”

Showtime’s fight page now is updated with how to buy the fight. Once you pay your $60, you can livestream the fight on a ton of supported devices. You can watch on your computer at Showtime.com, on your mobile phone or tablet, or on your TV and streaming devices, such as Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV (4th gen and up), Android TV and Xbox One.

You can also order the pay-per-view fight via such providers as Xfinity, Spectrum, Contour, Verizon Fios, Optimum, Vubiquity, DirecTV, U-Verse TV and Dish. Canadians can order it through Rogers, Bell, Shaw, SaskTel, and Telus. It also can be streamed via Sling, Sony’s PlayStation Store, and Fite TV in the U.S. and Canada.

A statement from event organizers says that an exclusive UK broadcast partner will be announced soon. Fox Sports will carry it in Australia and Sky Sports in New Zealand.

There also will be a live audience at the Cleveland arena. Tickets start at $10 and went on sale to the general public on July 22.

Fighters will weigh in at 190 pounds, which is what Paul weighed when he took down Ben Askren in April in a whopping two-minute-long fight. Woodley fought in the UFC at 170 pounds.

Paul stands at 6-foot-1, and Woodley at 5-foot-9. Paul is listed with a 76-inch reach to Woodley’s 74-inch reach.

The fighters will wear 10-ounce gloves and fight in a 20×20 ring, ESPN reports. The fight is scheduled for eight rounds.

Jake Paul and Tyron Woodley aren’t the only ones fighting on the card. Here are all the fights taking place…

The final press conference took place on Thursday and it devolved into a different type of chaos.

Scuffles and shoving matches are normal in boxing, particularly during press conferences, but today’s staredown brought controversy after a member of Jake Paul’s entourage appeared to get into an argument with Tyron Woodley’s mother Deborah Woodley. Tyron Woodley’s sister appeared to get upset and the situation escalated.

Tyron Woodley’s mother Deborah Woodley, affectionately referred to as “Mama Woodley” is a well known figure in the MMA community. She’s incredibly well regarded for congratulating and showing respect to her son’s opponents win or lose.

The fact a member of Paul’s entourage has verbally attacked one of the most loved figures in MMA has set a number of fighters off. Including Jake Paul’s last opponent Ben Askren.

Time will tell if this has an impact on the fight itself. Either way, it’s good promotion for the fight overall.

The two fighters have a creepy bet riding on the outcome. If Paul loses, he has to get “I love Tyron Woodley” tattooed on him somewhere, and if Woodley loses, he has to get “I love Jake Paul” as a tattoo. (Both fighters are already tattooed, so one more won’t exactly be a novel concept.)

And, breaking news, it looks as though a tattoo artist is being flown in to the fight to take care of the bet immediately after the fight. Jake Paul confirmed this plan during an interview this week.

Tatu Baby, who once starred in the show Ink Master, is being flown in. She’s already shared some potential designs for the tattoo.

Whoever gets the tattoo, you just know there’ll be plenty of publicity about the actual tattooing itself, not to mention photos of the final embarrassing product. (Smart tattoo artists in the Paul-Woodley circle are probably already thinking about how to eventually cover up or disguise the message.)

The Paul brothers, Logan and Jake, are both YouTubers turned boxers, which seems like an odd career path, but it is what it is. For one thing, they’re young. Jake Paul is 24, and Logan Paul is 26, so they’ve got youth on their side, plus their YouTube cash gives the option to do whatever they want with their free time. And what they want, apparently, is to beat people up and get beat up in return. These fights aren’t always for the record books, but for the bank books. (Logan Paul’s June bout with 44-year-old Mayweather was simply an exhibition.) While Jake Paul has fought three professional bouts, and won them all, his opponents weren’t professional boxers at their prime. Paul beat YouTuber AnEsonGib, former professional basketball player Nate Robinson and retired MMA fighter Ben Askren. (That last one was quick.) And all of the Paul brothers’ fights draw headlines and chatter, and add to their fame and bank balances.

Woodley talked some trash about Jake Paul at the Askren fight, and that led to the planned Paul-Woodley fight.

“Easiest fight of my career and biggest purse of my career all in one night,” Woodley said of the Paul match, according to ESPN. “Basically, they brought me in to take out the trash.”

Jake Paul is the younger of the two Paul brothers, and in addition to his internet videos, he’s known for playing Dirk Mann in the Disney Channel show Bizaardvark. He began his boxing career in 2018 and has won all three of his professional bouts.

Like his brother, he’s controversial. In July 2020, he made headlines for throwing a giant party in Calabasas, California, in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. Asked about the party, he told a reporter for The Daily Beast that COVID-19 was a hoax, then later denied saying it, leading to the reporter posting audio proving Paul did make the hoax comments. In that same interview, Paul also claimed “98% of news is fake” and falsely claimed that “medical professionals” say masks do nothing to protect against the virus.

He doesn’t just make headlines at his own events. Jake Paul’s brother, Logan, fought Floyd Mayweather Jr. in June, and in May, at a promotional event for the fight, Jake Paul mouthed off at the fighter and snatched Mayweather’s hat. He then started selling black baseball caps with the words “gotcha hat” printed on them.

Woodley, 39, started in MMA back in 2009, became UFC welterweight champion in 2016 and defended his title four times, losing it in 2019.

Like Paul, he has an entertainment career as well. He’s appeared in numerous movies in small roles, and has hosted a podcast and a TMZ web show.

Woodley says this may be his first boxing match, but it won’t be his last.

“At the end of the day, I’m in boxing right now,” he said, according to ESPN. “(Paul’s) my first opponent. This is your first and everybody else’s first chance to watch me box.”

There’s one other big fight on Showtime’s card for the night, plus three smaller ones. Featherweight world champion Amanda Serrano (40-1-1) will take on super bantamweight world champion Yamileth Mercado, who’s 18-2-0.

“Not too many people want to fight me. It’s going to be a great fight,” Serrano said, according to World Boxing News.

Mercado said she began her career at featherweight before going down to bantamweight and is excited to fight in her old weight class again.

“We’re going to leave it all in the ring, and the ladies are going to be stealing the show,” she said, according to the World Boxing News report.

While the Serrano-Mercado fight is being billed as a “co-main event,” there are also three fights on the undercard. Ivan Barancyhk will fight Montana Love, Daniel Dubois will take on Juiseppe Cusumano, and Tommy Fury will fight Anthony Taylor.

Simone Biles wins bronze in the Olympics balance beam final

After withdrawing from other event finals, Simone Biles competed in Tokyo on Tuesday and made the podium.

Simone Biles is one of the best gymnasts the world has ever witnessed.

Read more: Tokyo Olympics: Watch and stream the final week’s games in 4K HDR

Teammate Sunisa Lee stepped in to take the gold medal in the all-around competition, while another member of the US team, Jade Carey, won the gold medal in the floor exercise.

In the wake of her first withdrawal last week, Biles said she wasn’t in the right mental state to compete. “I just felt like it would be a little bit better to take a backseat, work on my mindfulness and I knew that the girls would do an absolutely great job and I didn’t want to risk the team a medal,” Biles said at a press conference.

“We wholeheartedly support Simone’s decision and applaud her bravery in prioritizing her well-being. Her courage shows, yet again, why she is a role model for so many,” read a statement from USA Gymnastics following her withdrawal from the individual all-around finals.

In spite of her withdrawal from the all-around and other event finals, USA Gymnastics announced on Monday that Biles would be competing on Tuesday in the balance beam final alongside Lee.

Biles has noted on social media that she’s been suffering from the “twisties” — a phenomenon in which gymnasts lose the ability to tell where their body is while performing twists, making it difficult to negotiate a safe landing. Unlike Biles’ other events, her beam routine doesn’t rely as heavily on twists, aside from her dismount, which she replaced on Tuesday with a double pike.

Biles entered the Olympics with serious momentum. She currently holds more medals than any other gymnastics competitor, with 25 — 19 of which are golds. Biles is one of six women the US sent to the Olympics to compete in gymnastics, alongside Lee, Carey, Jordan Chiles, Grace McCallum and MyKayla Skinner.

Read more: How to rewatch the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony

Olympic gymnastics comprises four events: vault, uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise. Now that the beam final is complete, there will be no further women’s artistic gymnastics events at this games.

Following her qualification round, Biles was set to compete in all four of the events. In total, Biles was expected to win up to six gold medals. In Rio’s 2016 Olympics, she won four golds — in vault, floor, individual all-around and team all-around — and performed with such distinction that she was chosen as the US flag bearer at the closing ceremonies.

Biles’ situation and decisions have earned her mass support — and some criticism.

In the US, you can watch the Olympics and all of the above events through NBC. NBC airs edited versions of the Games during prime-time hours, but you can watch the events live on Peacock or on NBCOlympics.com. Viewers in the UK will watch through EuroSport, while Australians can see the games through Channel 7 and the 7plus streaming service.

Biles has become a significant force in recent years: She’s often called the greatest gymnast of all time and, after just her first Olympic Games in Rio in 2016, is considered a top-tier Olympian.

Her accolades go beyond medals. She was named ESPN’s Most Dominant Athlete of the Year (2018), ESPN’s Woman of the Year (2016) and AP’s Female Athlete of the Year (2019).

CNET’s Sean Keane and Katie Collins contributed to this report.

Toyota scraps Tokyo Olympics ads in Japan, despite being banner sponsor

With support for holding the games low among Japan’s citizens amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Toyota doesn’t want to wade any deeper in.

Toyota’s stuck between a rock and a hard place.

In addition, CEO Akio Toyoda will not attend the opening ceremony as once planned, Reuters reported. The publication cited new data from a local Japanese newspaper that surveyed nearly 1,500 people and found 55% did not want the games going forward. Sixty-eight percent of respondents said they doubt officials will keep COVID-19 infections under control.

The Tokyo Olympics were meant to be a real showcase, not only for Japan, but for Toyota. The automaker was supposed to reveal a new battery-electric car amid the events, and readied electric, self-driving shuttles for athletes to bring them from the Olympic Village to various sites. It’s not clear if these vehicles will still be in use amid the pandemic, but the current situation certainly rained on Toyota’s showcase of new technology.

WWE is using TikTok to find its next SummerSlam ring announcer

Applicants with the “most entertaining” videos will win a trip to Vegas for the August event.

WWE is looking for fresh talent to serve as a ring announcer.

WWE will review each video submission before selecting two winners from its TikTok channel, which has more than 11 million followers, on Aug. 16. The company has also been using TikTok’s Resumes feature, which lets job seekers post video resumes to TikTok for positions with partner companies like Chipotle and Target, to find and recruit its next generation of Superstars. Selected applicants will attend a multiday talent tryout in Vegas as part of SummerSlam.

SummerSlam will stream live at 5 p.m. PT (8 p.m. ET) on Peacock in the US and on WWE Network everywhere else.

See also: TikTok has a new resume feature for job seekers

Before the billionaires and oligarchs, the unlikely story of football’s first foreign owner

Way before international money flooded in, the first American owner in English soccer came to the rescue of a dying club.

Prenton Park, home of Tranmere Rovers.

This international spending spree started when Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich bought Chelsea FC in 2003, but the largely forgotten first step toward today’s globalized era occurred way back in 1984. Football clubs were traditionally owned by local businessmen until California lawyer Bruce Osterman bought Tranmere Rovers, a proud but impoverished team in the unemployment-lashed north of England. It was the beginning of a new era — but you wouldn’t have known it at the time.

“The game as a whole was at its nadir,” remembers Mark Palios, a former footballer turned businessman who played for Tranmere in those dark days of the 1980s. “Gates were low, there was hooliganism, there was a complete lack of investment. It was a sick industry.”

What followed is more than a quirky footnote in sporting history — it’s a story of conflict between passion and business that any fan of any team in any country will recognize. Palios played an unexpected secret role in the ensuing drama, only to face a horribly familiar crisis threatening the club three decades later.

Mark Palios played for Tranmere in the 1970s and 1980s, taking an unexpected role in the drama behind the scenes — before returning to the club 30 years later.

Former Tranmere player Ken Bracewell was coaching a professional team in San Francisco in the early 1980s when he was approached by attorney and keen amateur goalkeeper Bruce Osterman. The glamour had faded from The National American Soccer League’s 1970s heyday, so Bracewell was surprised when Osterman wanted more than a chat about soccer teams — he wanted to buy one.

Why would a Californian lawyer want to invest in an impoverished sports team on the far side of the Atlantic?

“I was young and it seemed like a good idea,” says Osterman, now in his late 70s. “I had some extra money as I’d done well in my law practice,” he remembers in his unhurried California drawl over the phone from his home near San Francisco. “Tranmere was in real trouble so it was a number to purchase the team that I could afford.”

Tranmere chairman Bruce Osterman filmed at Prenton Park for a TV documentary.

Tranmere’s stadium Prenton Park is only a brief ferry ride away from footballing titans Liverpool and Everton, but in 1984 it might as well have been on a different planet. Barely clinging to professional status at the wrong end of the English leagues, with no money and plummeting attendances, Tranmere had special permission to hold matches on Friday evenings instead of Saturday afternoons so locals wouldn’t disappear to watch the team’s more glamorous neighbors.

“Tranmere will never compete with Liverpool and Everton,” one of the club’s managers later said. “They’re big liners like the Queen Mary, but I see Tranmere as a deadly submarine.”

In 1984 Tranmere was about to emulate a submarine in the worst possible way: by going under.

Osterman took advantage of the strife and a disastrously weak pound to buy the club, installing Ken Bracewell in charge. “I relied on Kenny for the day-to-day things,” Osterman recalls, “because frankly what the hell did I know?”

Bruce Osterman (crouching third from left, wearing glasses), lines up with a team of sports journalists playing a friendly at Prenton Park in August 1986. Eagle-eyed fans might recognize the chap on the far left: popular TV and radio pundit Ray Stubbs, who played and worked at Tranmere.

Today’s game is full of players, managers and owners from other countries. In the 1980s it was more insular. English clubs were banned from European competition throughout the second half of the 1980s, foreign players like Tottenham’s Argentine duo Ossie Ardiles and Ricky Villa were still a novelty, and there wouldn’t be a foreign manager until Jozef Vengloš arrived from Czechoslovakia to join Aston Villa in 1990.

Having staved off the club’s short-term woes, Bruce Osterman showed up at Tranmere for a few weeks at a time, a few times a year. There was occasionally a language barrier with the distinctive Merseyside accent. “I used to go to sportsman’s dinners for people who had shares in the club, and I was usually the brunt of the after-dinner comedian,” Osterman remembers. “I know he was speaking English but I couldn’t understand a word!” Osterman’s family came too, although his wife found herself excluded from men-only areas such as the boardroom and team coach. “She tolerated my doing this, but it wasn’t a pleasant time for her,” Osterman admits.

Journalists were delighted by the sight of the bespectacled 43-year-old chairman diving around in the training field mud, while players mischievously blasted balls at him. This was all highly unusual, but still — Tranmere were saved.

In the days before television revenue, a lesser club’s main income was ticket sales. Larger-than-life characters attracted paying fans through the turnstiles, so Osterman made the unexpected choice to appoint Frank Worthington as the team’s player-manager.

Worthington, who died in March 2021, had two decades of experience on the field but had never managed a team. The mulleted Elvis fan was certainly an entertainer, a prodigious goalscorer and even more prodigious playboy. His autobiography, suggestively titled “One Hump Or Two,” lists more nightclubs than football clubs. Worthington joked that when he took charge at Tranmere the players thought they’d be in trouble if they got home before 2 a.m.

Larger-than-life character Frank Worthington playing for England.

In his first game before the Prenton Park faithful the dashing player-manager bagged three goals in a 6-2 victory, and he ended up scoring 20 that season. He also made shrewd use of Osterman’s limited budget — one of Worthington’s acquisitions, Ian Muir, remains the club’s all-time top goalscorer. But defence was poor and Tranmere couldn’t afford new blood.

“We didn’t have the players or the money,” Osterman admits. “I had no idea of the difficulty of handling a team even in the fourth division.”

One player understood the economics of Osterman’s situation more than most. Tenacious midfielder Mark Palios was a local lad in his second stint at Tranmere when Osterman arrived. Unlike most footballers, who typically spend their time between matches wasting money, Palios worked a unique parallel career managing money as he trained to be an accountant.

Mark Palios playing for Tranmere the night they beat Arsenal in 1973.

One day Tranmere’s directors walked into Palios’ office looking for advice. They wanted to push Osterman out. The surprised player found himself in the awkward situation of offering advice on the club’s financial future mere hours before pulling on his team shirt and running onto the pitch.

Tranmere’s cash flow crisis came to a head when the well-intentioned but overstretched Osterman tried to sell Prenton Park to make way for a supermarket. Fans, directors and local authorities turned against him.

The American dream had soured.

Thirty years later, in 2015, history repeated for Tranmere Rovers — and for Mark Palios. The club was again in dire straits on and off the field. And just like in the 1980s, a new owner stepped in. But this time, it was Palios who bought the club.

After combining his playing days with a successful accounting career, Palios had been CEO of the Football Association. A specialist in turning around failing businesses, he and his wife Nicola now tackled Tranmere’s turmoil.

Palios began a three-step process he’d applied to many dying companies: Find cash for breathing space. Use that breathing space to fix the business. And finally, bring in new investment.

Most important, the club had to break the cycle of lurching from savior to savior. Palios compares football clubs to gamblers gifted more chips who continue betting on the same old numbers. To really fix the ailing business, Mark and Nicola had to make new bets.

Tranmere chairman Mark Palios and vice chair Nicola Palios took charge in 2014.

Back in 1985, Palios quit Tranmere and distanced himself from the boardroom shenanigans to avoid a conflict of interest. Ultimately the directors exploited changes to insolvency legislation to get rid of Osterman, Bracewell and Worthington, earning Tranmere another dubious distinction as the first football club to go into administration under the new laws.

In 1987, a new buyer offered less than Osterman paid for the club. Luckily for the American, a strengthened pound took the sting out of the loss.

A new owner and manager took over, but Tranmere’s troubles weren’t over. To ensure survival they had to beat Exeter City on the last day of the season or be disastrously dumped out of the professional league.

Kickoff was delayed as 7,000 fans crammed into one of Prenton Park’s signature Friday night matches on May 8, 1987. Mark Palios was there, although in another bizarre twist he could have been on the field — for either side. Exeter previously tried to sign him, while injury-plagued Tranmere desperately searched for Palios to see if he could help out in the crucial match. “We didn’t have mobile phones in those days,” Palios jokes. “[Tranmere] should have asked the administrators — they knew where I was…”

As the sky darkened above the floodlights neither side could break the deadlock — until six minutes from time, when Ian Muir’s pinpoint cross was headed home by defender Gary Williams. At the final whistle, the delirious crowd poured onto the pitch.

After this fairytale escape, new manager John King — another former Tranmere player, who coined the “deadly submarine” nickname — kicked off a resurgence in the 1990s. The team went to multiple finals at Wembley, rising through the divisions and almost surfacing alongside Liverpool and Everton in the Premier League.

Ian Muir (right), signed by Frank Worthington and still Tranmere’s top scorer, celebrates the first of Tranmere’s many trips to the hallowed Wembley Stadium in the 1990s.

Sadly the golden era didn’t last, and in 2015 a run-down Tranmere sank out of the professional league entirely. Under different leadership that could have destroyed the club, but Mark and Nicola Palios had a plan to stay afloat. They developed new revenue streams which didn’t rely on a benefactor’s deep pockets, earned money from the stadium not just on matchdays, and built on the club’s standing in the community with training schemes for vulnerable youth. “The business model I’ve tried to produce is football-agnostic,” Palios explains. “So if I go, the business stays.”

The club is into phase three of the Palios plan: tempting investors. Palios contemplates leveraging the local area’s rich footballing heritage for projects such as a hotel, and perhaps even leaving Prenton Park (an idea that backfired for Osterman). Palios has his eye on building a new stadium at the £4.5 billion Wirral Waters dockland regeneration scheme, one of the largest development projects in Europe.

Tranmere returned to Wembley in 2017, 2018 and again in 2019, when Connor Jennings scored another last-gasp goal to secure Tranmere a second successive promotion.

Palios notes these long-term plans are “embryonic” and depend on factors like promotion to higher leagues, millions added to the bottom line, and major investors.

“It’s a way off,” Palios says of his potential vision for the future, “but if somebody comes in with serious money, you have to have a business plan. And the one thing I won’t do is limit ambition.”

To bring things full circle in terms of foreign backers, the Palios’ have shared photos of themselves courting international investment since this interview. This time Tranmere’s seeking funding from soccer-mad Indonesian businessman Simon Nainggolan, also known as Simon N.

The chaos at Bury and Bolton Wanderers in 2019 shows how precarious the football business can be even with TV money and global investment. At Tranmere, smart commercial decisions and dedicated supporters kept the club alive. To fans’ delight, under manager Micky Mellon — yet another former player — the team won promotion in 2018 and again in 2019 (only to be summarily relegated again when the Covid pandemic ended the next season early).

Devoted Tranmere Rovers fans celebrate.

Bruce Osterman still practices law, although he stopped playing soccer at 60. “If I had to do it all again I would,” he says of his experience with Tranmere. “No foreigner had ever done this before, and I met a lot of great people. It was an adventure for me.”

For today’s US-based investment consortiums, owning a sports team is all about profit. For Bruce Osterman, it was an adventure. And for Mark Palios, sport offers a unique combination of both business and passion. When fans tell him they’re proud of the club, he says, “that’s the reward.”

Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren is now live: Main event start time, how to watch and full fight card

The Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren event has begun. Here’s what to know…

Jake Paul after defeating Nate Robinson.

Jake Paul and Ben Askren are fighting eight rounds at Cruiserweight. That means both fighters can’t weigh anything over 200 pounds. Considering Askren fought at 170 during his MMA run and 174 as a collegiate wrestler, you can expect him to be massively under that limit. Jake Paul weighed in at 189 pounds for his last boxing match.

According to the Triller page, the main event will start around 9 p.m. ET on April 17. That’s 6 p.m. PT. The main event will start around 8.30 pm PT/11.30 ET

Viewers in the UK will have to stay up till 2 a.m. on April 18 to watch the fight. If you’re tuning in from Australia, the fight takes place at 11 a.m. on April 18.

Jake Paul is the brother of Logan Paul. Both are YouTube online personalities with sizable followings across almost every social media platform. They initially gained popularity on now-defunct video platform Vine and Jake Paul starred in Bizaardvark, a show on the Disney Channel.

As of late both Paul brothers have become well-known for boxing, bizarrely. Logan Paul boxed fellow YouTuber KSI to a draw in a ludicrously high-profile amateur boxing match in August 2018. Jake Paul fought KSI’s brother Deji Olatunji on the undercard.

After the bout, Jake Paul continued boxing and has fought professionally twice, most recently knocking out former NBA star Nate Robinson on the undercard of Mike Tyson’s recent comeback against Roy Jones Jr.

Since that contest, Jake Paul has been going back and forth with multiple MMA fighters, including Conor McGregor and his training partner Dillon Danis, but ultimately he’s set up a boxing match against retired UFC fighter Ben Askren.

Ben Askren is probably most famous for being violently KO’d by UFC superstar Jorge Masvidal in five seconds, but before that he was an undefeated fighter and considered among the most effective wrestlers in MMA.

After an incredibly successful amateur wrestling career Askren became a world champion in two organisations, Bellator and One FC. He made a UFC run at the end of his career, but by then was carrying a number of chronic long term injuries. He ultimately retired as a result of those injuries.

The weigh-ins have taken place and were quite surprising.

Despite fighting at 170 pounds during his MMA career, Ben Askren came in at 191.5 pounds. Jake Paul weighed 191 pounds flat. You can watch the full weigh-ins here.

The short story is, Ben Askren didn’t look like he was in good shape, but even at 170 he didn’t exactly look shredded.

What can we read into that? Probably not much. Askren probably wanted to come in heavier because Paul is naturally the bigger fighter of the two.

That one is pretty straightforward. You can purchase the Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren PPV event on Triller Fight Club for US$49.99.

If you’re outside the US, or if you have trouble accessing a local version of the fight, you can opt to use a VPN to access the Fite.tv/Triller feed listed above via a US-based IP address.

Read more: The best VPNs right now, as chosen by CNET editors

Oddsmakers have Paul listed as -225 better favorite, with Askren at +175.

This makes perfect sense. While this fight is an unknown quantity, Askren was never considered a good striker in MMA. His whole game was set up around his grinding wrestling and brutal ground and pound strikes. When the fight remains standing, Askren tends to look sluggish and limited. Jake Paul, whilst inexperienced, has more professional boxing experience than Askren and hasn’t lost a boxing match yet.

That being said, Askren is a former professional fighter with a 19-2 record and wins against world class competition. Jake Paul is 2-0 against less experienced opposition.

Triller held a Conor McGregor-esque press conference a few weeks ago, allowing Jake Paul and Ben Askren to go at each other.

It ended up in a comical staredown where Askren sort of casually palmed Paul’s face and Paul responded by throwing the weirdest pulled punch I’ve ever seen.

Solid preview for how this fight is going to play out? Possibly.

The full fight card is as follows…

Outside of boxing, the Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren event is expected to feature multiple performances by legitimate A-listers.

Justin Bieber, Diplo, The Black Keys, Doja Cat and Major Lazer are all expected to perform. Mt. Westmore, a new rap group features — get this — Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, E-40, and Too $hort are also scheduled to appear.

Bizarrely, Pete Davidson has been added to the commentary team. During the Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. — fight Triller’s last big PPV event — Snoop Dogg’s commentary went a little bit viral. Sounds like Triller is going for the same vibe with this PPV.

Celebrities also confirmed to attend include supermodel Taylor Hill, Mario Lopez and TikTok superstars Dixie and Charli D’Amelio.

UFC 269: Amanda Nunes loses in shock upset, Oliveira defeats Poirier

Amanda Nunes lost in the most shocking of ways.

Our main event is on, with both fighters making championship weight.

UFC 269 is finished and, top to bottom, was one of the most intense night of fights in UFC history.

Headlines will almost certainly focus on Amanda Nunes’s shock defeat to Julianna Pena. It could be the biggest upset in UFC history. Pena tired Nunes out on the feet and choked her out on the ground. It was an unbelievable performance from Pena.

Dustin Poirier, fresh off two wins over Conor McGregor, lost via submission in a back and forth war with UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira.

You can read our live round-by-round coverage below.

Just overheard Poirier saying he’s donating $20,000 to a charity of Oliveira’s choice. Dude is a legend.

Dustin Poirier has a chance to finally become the undisputed lightweight champion.

I don’t think I can even settle down for this one, but I’ll try my best. Deep breaths…

This fight is the very definition of a coin toss.

Poirier’s mentality and will to win is unmatched in the lightweight division and he comes with great boxing and a solid gas tank. Will that be enough to defeat Oliveira and his unique skillset? I’m not sure. Oliveira has the best jiu jitsu, maybe in the entire UFC, and has made marked improvements in his striking.

This is gonna be a fantastic contest.

My prediction: Oliveira via submission

Still haven’t recovered from Nunes loss, but let’s go. This fight is gonna be great.

Man these guys are firing early. Poirier hits Oliveira clean but both are slinging here. Poirier seems to be landing cleaner though with big shots. Oliveira landing some big knees to the body though. 

Now Oliveira is shooting for the takedown. Poirier is surviving and appears to have the advantage on the feet.

This is a CRAZY first round with an insane pace. Poirier hits him clean and knocks Oliveira to the ground, but doesn’t follow him down for long.

Man, Poirier is landing BIG but Oliveira is also landing, but nothing like Poirier. 

WHAT.

A. 

ROUND.

My Score: 10-9 for Poirier

This is gonna be a war of attrition. Poirier is good at those.

Oliveira is going straight to the grappling here, which is very smart. 

Now Oliveira is on his back in a weird position. Now he sweeps and Poirier is on the bottom. This could be bad for Dustin.

Oliveira seems to just want to consolidate this position. Not really working for any submissions just yet. He lands a big elbow though. He’s grinding right now, just trying to do damage with short shots.

Now Oliveira is landing huge elbows. Dustin could be in trouble here. He’ll likely survive, but this could be a turning point in the fight.

My Score: 10-9 for Oliveira

Keen to see how Dustin fares here. Oliveira really beat him up in the last round.

Man Oliveira goes straight to the back in 20 seconds flat. Damn. This is really bad. Oliveira thrives in this position.

AND POIRIER TAPS TO A REAR NAKED CHOKE.

Damn that was so fast, and so technical. Oliveira is so good man. He is so good. And guess what? He had to go through some real adversity, which was the knock on Oliveira. Incredible performance there. Feel for Poirier, but nice work by Oliveira

Oliveira wins via submission

Amanda Nunes: The greatest female fighter of all time.

Having conquered both the bantamweight and featherweight divisions, Amanda Nunes has beaten almost every single high level female fighter ever. Ronda Rousey, Holly Holm, Cris Cyborg, Valentina Shevchenko — Nunes has beat them all, often in spectacular fashion.

Julianna Pena doesn’t have a chance here

Pena’s best opportunity here is in the grappling, perhaps in the clinch up against the cage, but I just can’t see a single way she doesn’t get obliterated here. Nunes isn’t just in a different league, she’s in a different plane of existence.

My prediction: Amanda Nunes via TKO/KO.

Shocking that Nunes is still only 32? Just saw that on the tale of the tape. She could be running this sport for another 5 years at this point. Terrifying.

Also, interesting:

Anyway, the fight!

A leg kick takes Pena down but Nunes allows her back up. Nunes tags her again with a jab and Pena is down. Pena takes a shot on the ground, gets back up, but Nunes is just too strong of a grappler and gets her back down again, she’s just full on big-sistering Pena right now.

Now Nunes has the back.

Pena survives though, gets into half guard and appears to be trying to get back to the feet, but yeah, Nunes is really controlling this fight. Julianna sort of has a kimura grip, but nothing was every gonna come of it.

My score: 10-9 for Nunes

Man Pena has landed some shots and the crowd is going nuts. This is getting sloppy and man… Nunes is losing this round!

Nunes is playing a dangerous game here and whoaa…. they’re just full on exchanging here! Cannot believe this is happening here.

Pena is getting the better of this and now Pena is on her back, what the hell!!!

Nunes has tapped to a choke. I cannot believe it. Holy shit. HOLY SHIT HOLY SHIT HOLY SHIT. I am in shock here. Complete shock.

Julianna Pena wins via submission

I am in shock. This is honestly the biggest upset in UFC history in my opinion. Cannot believe it. Cannot believe what I just saw. Nunes was just too confident in her ability to steam roll and sloppily just KO Pena.

“I’m not surprised motherfuckers,” says Julianna Pena, in a throwback to Nate Diaz’s famous proclamation after beating Conor McGregor in their first fight.

Wow. Just wow.

Neal vs. Ponzinibbio is a fight between two high level welterweights. 

Bit of a strange turn of events with this fight: Geoff Neal was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated and the unlawful carrying of a weapon on Thanksgiving Day. That’s put a bit of a weird cloud on this contest.

Will it impact how this fight plays out on the night? Hard to say. Either way it’s a close pick ’em of a fight. Geoff Neal is a hard hitter who rarely makes mistakes, but until very recently Ponzinibbio was a fighter very close to a title shot.

But Ponzinibbio has struggled a little as of late, so I’m favouring Neal in this one. 

My prediction: Geoff Neal via decision.

Can’t wait to try and spell Ponzinibbio a million times during this fight.

(Nah, jokes. Of course I have that copied ready to paste!)

This is great match making. High stakes fight here, will really decide which of these fighters has a future in the welterweight division.

Here we go…

Slow start to this one. A lot of lateral movement from Ponzinibbio as is his style, but low output in terms of strikes thrown. Neal lands a head kick, but didn’t seem to impact Ponzinibbio too much. Neal is turning it on a bit here though, has clearly landed the most strikes so far and appears to be winning this round.

Ponzinibbio coming on a little stronger towards the end there, but I’m still scoring this for Neal.

My score: 10-9 for Neal

Crazy this is the first time I’ve written the words “Round 2” in this liveblog.

Ponzinibbio seems to have a lot less caution in this round so far, seems to really be driving the action. 

Neal showed off some great takedown defence, was taken down but managed to scramble back up. Ponzinibbio appears to be winning this round though. Very close, ugly fight so far but Ponzinibbio is getting the better of these exchanges in round 2.

My score: 10-9 for Ponzinibbio

Man, Neal’s corner was very vocal there and they’re right. Neal needs to win this round.

Neal is responding, landing clean shots here. He’s winning the early exchanges in this round so far. Neal is landing great check hooks, coming over the top. This is a close, clumsy clash of styles and it’s tough to say how the judges will score this.

These guys are opening up in the latter half of this round, Neal cracks Ponzinibbio hard, repeatedly, taking over in the final minute. 

My score: 10-9 for Neal (29-28 for Neal)

Geoff Neal wins via split decision

Cody Garbrandt is making his 125 debut.

I am very hyped for this one. Garbrandt almost certainly had the fastest hands in the bantamweight division, where he once reigned as champ. He also has bricks for hands with some of the best highlight reel knockouts in UFC history.

But he’s making his flyweight debut here, against Kai Kara-France, another heavy hitter with a penchant for getting into firefights. Considering Garbrand’s storied history of getting into wars at bantamweight, you can expect a potential fight of the night contender here. At the very least, hard not to imagine someone going to sleep here. Don’t blink.

My prediction: Kai Kara-France by KO/TKO

Garbrandt looks big here. Massive compared to Kara-France. Very leg kick heavy attack early from Garbrandt as well and both seem respectful of one another’s power.

Ooft. Garbrandt gets melted by a huge shot from Kara-France but somehow survives, even inviting Kara-France in for more. He survives, but in another exchange Kara-France hits him clean again and damn… Garbrandt is clean out with a final huge shot.

Damn, this must be a tough one for Garbrandt to take. 

Kai Kara-France wins by KO/TKO.

Sean O’Malley, one of the most unique fighters currently in the UFC.

Sean O’Malley looks like he was designed and built using the Saints Row 2 create-a-character mode, which I absolutely say as a compliment.

He’s also one of the most exciting up-and-coming fighters in the UFC’s stacked bantamweight division. Every time he fights it’s an event.

This contest, with Raulian Paiva, feels a bit like a lay-up for O’Malley, but I’m excited to watch it regardless.

My prediction: O’Malley by KO

O’Malley stabbing with those front kicks as per usual. Paiva seems to want to pressure. Ah looks like O’Malley caught the cup with one of those shots? Or maybe not? Hard to say.

O’Malley is landing the jab here, but this is quiet in the early goings. Paiva has landed a few legs kicks though, which O’Malley has struggled with historically.

And whoaaaaaaaa… O’Malley just crushed Paiva. He landed clean with a right over the top and had Paiva rocked. From that point he swarmed. Just a crazy output of huge shots to the body and then clean to the head. Damn…

Just crazy shot selection. O’Malley is so smooth man. Can’t be long until he faces someone high up the rankings now.

O’Malley wins by TKO

Hello everyone, UFC 269 is kicking off! We’ve already seen a number of great fights on the prelims, most notably a wild KO by Tai Tuivasa, and a great comeback win from Dominick Cruz over Pedro Munhoz. 

But the best is still to come. Let’s get cracking.