Eva Longoria Directs Documentary About Oscar de la Hoya & Julio César Chávez Boxing Rivalry

Eva Longoria Bastón is going to war in the ring…

The 46-year-old Mexican American actress, director and producer has helmed La Guerra Civil, a documentary that highlights the clash of boxing champions Oscar de la Hoya and Julio César Chávez.

Oscar de la HoyaThe documentary recently made its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.

de la Hoya and Chávez first faced off in 1996, then battled each other in a rematch in 1998.

“I call it the golden age of boxing, like this was when boxing was at its best,” Longoria Bastón said during an appearance in Deadline’s virtual Sundance Studio. “Not only was boxing as a sport its best, Oscar and Julio were the best at that time. It feels like a time that’s gone. It feels like it’s so far away. But yet it was like yesterday.”

The bouts attracted huge attention in part because of the incredible skill of the combatants, but also because of the communities the men represented: de la Hoya grew up Mexican-American in East L.A.; Chávez was born and bred in México, a national hero in his homeland. Each fighter boasted ardent followings. But even some of de la Hoya’s family were big-time Chávez fans.

“When you have your uncles rooting for Chávez, it was very strange,” de la Hoya recalled. “But it was fun because Julio César Chávez is such a great, iconic figure in Mexico, and I was coming up after winning the Olympic Gold Medal, winning world titles. So, it’s the young bull against the older, experienced lion. It was a great rivalry.”

de la Hoya and Chávez, who have become friends since their days in the ring, both appear in the documentary. de la Hoya praised Longoria Bastón’s directorial work.

“The way Eva just put it together was incredible. She captured the important moments, those moments that literally divided our cultures because of this fight,” de la Hoya commented. “The Mexican national was my uncles — they were rooting for Chávez. The younger generation was rooting for me, the Mexican-American. So, it was it was pretty heated. Eva just captured it perfectly.”

Longoria Bastón said she grew up following boxing.

“First of all, I’m Mexican as well. Boxing is our opera. We get dressed up, we get to go experience entertainment,” she noted. “Other people have opera. We have boxing. So, I think you can’t grow up in a Mexican household and not be a fan of boxing.”

La Guerra Civil heads to the subscription sports streaming platform DAZN after its Sundance premiere.

“We really wanted to tell a sports story that hadn’t been told before,” said Grant Best, a DAZN executive who is also a producer of the documentary. “Boxing, probably more than any other sport, is not shy, it’s not afraid to connect itself with race and heritage and cultural differences, using its characters, talking through its competitors and to its fanbase… Both Oscar and Eva are perfectly placed to discuss that cultural divide that took place around the narrative of these fights.”

Skydance Sports & Meadowlark Media Developing Project That Highlights the Life & Career of Diana Taurasi

Diana Taurasi’s life story is getting the Hollywood treatment…

Skydance Sports, the sports content division of Skydance Media, has agreed to a partnership with Meadowlark Media for the production of unscripted sports content, including a special project dedicated to the 39-year-old Argentine American professional basketball player for the Phoenix Mercury of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA).

Diana Taurasi

The project is billed as the definitive, authorized chronicle of the life and career of Taurasi, considered one of the greatest female basketball players of all time.

Taurasi, the most accomplished player in the history of women’s basketball, whose accolades include three NCAA titles, three WNBA titles, five Olympic gold medals, multiple European League championships and numerous individual honors.

 

Her penchant for scoring in crucial situations has earned her the nickname “White Mamba“, coined by Kobe Bryant.

The companies are also co-producing Good Neighbors, a docuseries on what is arguably the world’s greatest soccer rivalry—that between the U.S. and Mexican men’s national teams. It’s currently in production and will debut in front of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Skydance Media is a diversified media company founded by David Ellison in 2010, which is active across film, television, Interactive, Animation, New Media and Sports, with studios in Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, Spain and Canada. Recent releases from the company include The Tomorrow War and Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse for Amazon Prime, each of which became the streamer’s number one film on the week of their release.

Meadowlark Media is a content studio and creator network founded last year by Skipper and radio and podcast host Dan Le Batard that develops premium content for third-party buyers across audio, video and digital.

Oscar Valdez Finalizing Deal to Battle Shakur Stevenson in Junior Lightweight Title Unification Fight

Oscar Valdez is readying for a unifer

The 31-year-old Mexican professional boxer is finalizing a deal for a 130-pound title unification fight against Shakur Stevenson on April 30 in Las Vegas, according to ESPN sources.

Oscar Valdez

No financial agreement has reportedly been reached for the proposed ESPN main event.

After Valdez (30-0, 23 KOs) scored a brutal knockout of Miguel Berchelt in February to claim a junior lightweight title, Stevenson (17-0, 9 KOs) publicly lobbied for the title opportunity. Instead, Stevenson settled for a shot at Jamel Herring, another 130-pound titleholder promoted by Top Rank.

Stevenson, 24, seized his chance with the best performance of his career, a 10th-round TKO of Herring in October. Long dogged by criticism that he doesn’t fight aggressively, the Newark, New Jersey, native applied nonstop pressure during the one-sided beating.

Now, Stevenson is on the verge of landing the fight he wanted all along but with two belts on the line.

While the Olympic silver medalist enters the potential fight with momentum on his side, Valdez is looking for redemption.

The two-time Olympian from Mexico tested positive for the performance-enhancing drug phentermine in August, just weeks before he was set to make the first defense of his title.

Despite the adverse finding, Valdez was allowed to fight Robson Conceicao as planned. Valdez was installed as a heavy favorite but struggled during the first half of the bout en route to a controversial decision victory.

Valdez was ESPN’s No. 1 boxer at 130 pounds before he was dropped from the rankings due to the failed test. Stevenson is currently ESPN’s No. 1 junior lightweight.

MTV Renews Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi’s “Messyness” for Second Season

Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi is embracing the messyness

Ridiculousness spinoff Messyness, hosted by the 34-year-old Chilean reality television star, has been renewed for a second season by MTV.

Nicole “Snooki” PolizziSeason 1 of Messyness returns for a weeklong special event beginning at 9:00 pm and 9:30 pm on Monday, December 27.

Remaining Season 1 episodes will air every Thursday in January at 9:00 pm, following Jersey Shore Family Vacation.

Like the original MTV series hosted by Rob DydrekMessyness is a comedy clips series that showcases people living their best lives and being brave enough to celebrate their own messiness. The series indulges in the most debaucherous clips found on the internet – everything from awkward proposals to nights out gone wrong and cheaters caught red-handed.

Messyness seeks to celebrate dating, partying and all the messy stages of young adulthood.

Polizzi is joined by panelists including Tori Spelling, Olympic medalist Adam Rippon and comedian Teddy Ray.

Nick Martinez Agrees to Four-Year, $20 Million Deal with San Diego Padres

Nick Martinez is returning to the majors…

The San Diego Padres and the 31-year-old Latino professional baseball pitcher have agreed on a four-year, $20 million contract, according to ESPN.

Nick MartinezMartinez’s deal includes opt-outs after his first and second year.

Martinez spent the past four seasons in Japan and starred for the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks this year, posting a 1.62 ERA.

He previously played four seasons in the major leagues, all with the Texas Rangers from 2014-17, and went 17-30 with a 4.77 ERA.

Martinez also won a silver medal while playing for Team USA in the 2020 Tokyo Games.

Richard Torrez Jr. Reportedly Signs Multiyear Promotional Deal with Top Rank

Richard Torrez Jr. is heading to the Top (Rank)…

The 22-year-old Mexican American boxer, who claimed a silver medal at the 2020 Tokyo Games this summer, has reportedly signed a multiyear promotional deal with Top Rank, according to ESPN.

Richard Torrez Jr.

Torrez, from Tulare, California, is set to make his pro debut in early 2022, per sources, and will campaign at heavyweight.

Top Rank’s haul beefs up a prospect stable that includes heavyweight Jared Anderson, Olympic silver medalist Duke Ragan, Troy Isley Jr. and Xander Zayas.

Torrez lost to Bakhodir Jalolov in his attempt to bring gold back to the United States.

Now, he will develop on ESPN platforms as he pursues title shots in the pros.

Diana Taurasi Becomes Oldest Player in WNBA History with 30-Point Game

Diana Taurasi is making sports history once again…

The 39-year-old Argentine American professional basketball player, who became the first Latinx basketball player with five Olympic gold medals at the 2020 Tokyo Games, scored a playoff career-high 37 points to lead Phoenix Mercury to a 117-91 victory over the Las Vegas Aces to even their WNBA semifinal series at a game apiece.

Diana Taurasi

At 39, the 17th-year WNBA veteran has become the oldest player to record a 30-point game, regular season or postseason, in league history. And Taurasi accomplished the feat despite an injured left ankle that has limited her mobility and non-game-day availability.

“As you get older, you want to be in practice and you want to be in rhythm, but that’s when you’ve really got to lock in and kind of lean on your experiences that you’ve had in this league for a long time,” said Taurasi, who was 10-of-13 from the field, including 8-of-11 from 3-point range.

“When you have games like this, you just enjoy them and they feel a lot better when you come out with the win.”

It was also her record eighth 30-point playoff game.

“When you get long in the tooth, like I am, you have to take advantage of these situations,” she said. “And I don’t mean go out there and try to get 40 or 35, but be really locked in and be in the moment, and that’s what I’m trying to do every single time we get together right now. Because these moments don’t come very often.”

Taurasi missed the Mercury’s Round 1 playoff win against the New York Liberty with the ankle injury and scored 14 points in Phoenix’s Round 2 overtime win against the Seattle Storm.

She added 20 points in the Mercury’s Game 1 loss to Las Vegas despite being obviously hobbled. But Aces coach Bill Laimbeer insisted after that game that she was not hurt — in a manner of speaking.

“This is the playoffs — nobody’s hurt,” he said at the time. “I’ve been there and done that. All my friends have been there and done that. There’s no sympathy factor in the playoffs.

“And she will not give any quarter, either. Make sure of that one, OK? She will cut your heart out in a second. So, she’s not hurt. We’re going to play her as though she’s full speed and ready to go and everything like that. That’s how we do business. If we think otherwise, we put ourselves at a disadvantage.”

It did not matter in Game 2, not with center Brittney Griner dominating early — 16 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks in the first quarter — and Taurasi putting on her shooting clinic late.

While Taurasi’s eight 3-pointers were the second-most made in a playoff game in postseason history, she was also 7-of-8 (5-of-6 on 3-pointers) on contested field goal attempts.

Taurasi was 6-for-6 and scored 20 points while guarded by WNBA Sixth Player of the Year Kelsey Plum and 3-of-5 for 10 points while guarded by Chelsea Gray.

Game 3 is Sunday in Arizona.

“She’s not 100 percent, but she hasn’t gotten worse, and that’s the most important thing for us right now,” Mercury coach Sandy Brondello said. “Just get her ready for the next game. And what makes Diana special, we know she’s mentally tough, and I don’t think there’s any other player built like her in that department.

“She still has pain. … She just plays. It says a lot about her as a player, doesn’t it? I’ve seen many great games from Diana, but none as big as this one in the situations where she hasn’t been able to train and is not 100%. So, credit to her, and it’s fun to watch.”

Lionel Messi Breaks Pele’s South American Men’s Record for International Career Goals

Lionel Messi continues making history…

The 34-year-old Argentine professional footballer has scored his 79th international career goal for Argentina, surpassing the South American men’s record held by Brazil legend Pele.

Lionel Messi

Messi scored all three goals in Argentina’s 3-0 win over Bolivia on Thursday in a World Cup qualifying match at the Monumental stadium in Buenos Aires, giving him two more than Pele, who had 77 career goals in international play.

Messi trails Brazilian duo Marta (109) and Cristiane (96) for the overall record for most goals scored by any South American player at the international level.

Third on the men’s list is Messi’s Paris Saint-Germain teammate Neymar, who has 69 international goals for Brazil.

“I was very nervous, I just wanted to enjoy the night. I waited a long time for this,” an emotional Messi said after the match. “We won the game [and] that was the most important thing and now we can celebrate.”

Three-time World Cup winner Pele remains in hospital due to surgery for a tumor on his colon on Monday, although the 80-year-old said the operation was a “great victory.”

Messi has had a memorable summer — changing clubs from Barcelona to PSG in August and winning his first senior international football title in July. He and La Albiceleste claimed the Copa America from Brazil in a 1-0 win at Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana stadium.

After Thursday’s result, Messi danced with his teammates and showed off the Copa trophy to the 21,000 supporters present.

“It was a unique moment [to win the Copa America] because of where and how we obtained the title,” Messi said.

“There was no better way to do it and be able to celebrate the title now, it’s incredible. My mother, my brothers are here in the stands. They have suffered a lot … I’m very happy.”

Thursday’s game also came days after Argentina’s World Cup qualifying match against Brazil — their first rematch since the Copa final — was controversially suspended. Brazilian health authorities entered the pitch at Sao Paulo’s Corinthians Arena with the game in progress and accused four Argentina players of failing to follow Brazil’s COVID-19 protocols for entering the country.

With 26 goals in World Cup qualifying matches following his hat-trick against Bolivia, Messi also passes Uruguay star Luis Suarez — his former teammate at Barcelona — for most among CONMEBOL players.

With eight career goals vs. Bolivia in 11 games, it is Messi’s most against a single opponent while donning the Argentina shirt.

Messi is also his country’s men’s all-time leading scorer, having moved past Gabriel Batistuta (54 goals) in 2016. He is also Argentina’s most capped player, with Thursday’s match against Bolivia marking his 153rd international appearance.

Prior to the Copa America victory, Messi had lost four major finals with Argentina’s senior side. They were beaten by Germany in the 2014 World Cup final and had lost in the final at the Copa America in 2007, 2015 and 2016.

He had won the under-20 World Cup in 2005 and an Olympic gold medal with Argentina’s U23s in 2008.

Messi joined PSG over the summer on a shock free-agent move after two decades with Barcelona. Messi had been with Barcelona since 2001, joining the academy the year before.

Messi played 778 games at Barcelona, breaking Xavi Hernandez‘s appearance record in the 2020-21 season. In addition, he scored 672 goals, another club record, and helped Barca win, among other trophies, 10 La Liga titles and the Champions League on four occasions.

Anuel AA Sponsors Puerto Rico’s Women’s National Superior Basketball League

Anuel AA is helping the ladies get their game on…

The 28-year-old Puerto Rican singer has revealed that he’s become the main sponsor of the Women’s National Superior Basketball League in Puerto Rico.

Anuel AA

As a result, the players will wear a logo with Anuel’s motto, “Real Hasta La Muerte,” on their uniforms.

“I am very happy to be able to help the development of women’s basketball in Puerto Rico,” Anuel said in a statement. “We have a lot of talent in the country that needs support and I am more than proud to be part of this and continue with the legacy of this league that even went to the Olympics this year. We are very proud of them and of the many wins that are to come.”

The news follows Anuel’s previously announced venture as an investor in local basketball by becoming the owner of the Capitanes de Arecibo of the National Superior Basketball League (BSN) of Puerto Rico.

Richard Torrez Jr. Gives USA First Olympic Medal in Super Heavyweight Division in 30+ Years

Richard Torrez, Jr. was thisclose to gold, but still made history with silver…

The 22-year-old Mexican American amateur boxer lost his super heavyweight gold medal bout to Uzbekistan’s Bakhodir Jalolov, who was heavily favored going into this Olympics to win gold.

Richard Torrez Jr.

Torrez, who had a strong run to the final, did better than the last time he met Jalolov, when he was brutally knocked out by the Uzbek in 2019. He had a solid game plan of careful pressure, bursts of attack, and staying very low, as he was giving up a lot of height and reach to Jalolov in the first place, and looked to make it as tough as possible for Jalolov to establish an easy rhythm with the jab and set up power shots.

Richard Torrez Jr.

Torrez did win the majority in the first round, taking three of five cards, but Jalolov found his rhythm in the second, landing good shots every time Torrez got one in and then some. The length of Jalolov, combined with the fact that he’s also very good and not simply tall, was just too much.

Torrez’s silver medal is the first medal the U.S. has had in this division since Riddick Bowe’s silver in 1988.

Richard Torrez Jr.

But the denial of gold means that Andre Ward in 2004 remains the last U.S. men’s gold medalist in boxing.

The Team USA men did claim three silver medals this year. Along with Torrez, silvers went to lightweight Keyshawn Davis and featherweight Duke Ragan.