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This story appears in ESPN The Magazine’s August 21 Fighting Issue. Subscribe today! Just before Christmas, the drug dealers hanging on a north Dublin corner saw Conor McGregor’s white BMW turn down their dead-end road. They couldn’t believe it. Sheriff Street was among the worst streets in the city, blocked off at one end, the area controlled by one of the two local gangs. The Hutch family ran this part of the north side, while the Kinahans operated mainly in the neighborhoods south of the river dividing the town. Some of the Kinahan bosses and foot soldiers lived in Crumlin, where McGregor grew up. The two gangs were in a bloody feud that had Dublin on edge and the newspapers keeping score: 10 killed by the Kinahans, two killed by the Hutches. McGregor started to slow down. The dealers stepped out into the street, blocking his escape. A woman is telling me this story, standing …

3:15 AM ET Facebook Twitter Facebook Messenger Pinterest Email print comment OAKLAND, Calif. — Raiders quarterback Derek Carr placed his right hand on defensive end Khalil Mack‘s left shoulder as a show of solidarity during the national anthem before the team’s 24-21 exhibition loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday night. Carr said the players were not “protesting” anything with the action. “What we wanted to do was show all the kids that look up to me, look up to him, that white kids, blue kids, brown kids, blue, green, doesn’t matter, can all be loving to each other,” Carr said. “And that’s what me and Khalil are — we’re best friends and we love one another. “The only reason we did that is to unify people, and to unify the people that look up to us because, obviously, we see what’s going on in the world and, obviously, everyone pays attention to the …

1:39 AM ET Facebook Twitter Facebook Messenger Pinterest Email print comment LINCOLN, Neb. — Terence Crawford, with one crushing left hand to the body, became the undisputed junior welterweight champion of the world on Saturday night. Crawford, fighting just outside of his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska, knocked out Julius Indongo in the third round in a history-making victory at the Pinnacle Bank Arena, electrifying the crowd of 12,121. Crawford also knocked Indongo down in the second round. With the resounding victory, Crawford made his case for pound-for-pound No. 1 status and became only the second male boxer of the four-belt era to unify the four major sanctioning organization titles. Terence Crawford, right, became only the second male boxer of the four-belt era to unify the four major sanctioning organization titles. Mikey Williams/Top Rank The only other time came in 2004, when then-middleweight world champion Bernard Hopkins put his three belts up against Oscar De La Hoya’s …

10:21 PM ET Facebook Twitter Facebook Messenger Pinterest Email print comment ARLINGTON, Texas — It was only 12 preseason snaps, but for Jaylon Smith and the Dallas Cowboys the 24-19 win against the Indianapolis Colts meant little in comparison to what it meant to see Smith on the field. Because of a serious knee injury, Smith played for the first time since the Fiesta Bowl following his 2015 season as a junior at Notre Dame. He started at middle linebacker for the Cowboys and was credited with one tackle. With Sean Lee out with a hamstring strain, Anthony Hitchens moved to weak-side linebacker, allowing Smith to start at middle linebacker. Smith did not come off the field, even when the Cowboys went to their nickel defense. He stopped tight end Jack Doyle short of the first down on the second series. He over-ran a couple of plays on the third series, but he was active. …

Aug 18, 2017 Facebook Twitter Facebook Messenger Pinterest Email print comment OMAHA, Neb. — Unified junior welterweight champion Terence Crawford is not only viewed universally as the best 140-pounder in the world but he is also highly regarded when it comes to his position as one of boxing’s best, pound-for-pound. However, one of his goals, like that of so many other fighters, is to collect all the belts so there cannot be any question whatsoever as to who the real world champion is. Crawford has two of the four major titles. He unified them 13 months ago in a one-sided decision, including two knockdowns, against then-undefeated Viktor Postol, who many thought would give him a competitive fight. TV lineup for Top Rank’s card on Saturday (10 p.m. ET, ESPN and ESPN Deportes) from Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska: •Junior Welterweight: Terence Crawford (31-0, 22 KOs) vs. Julius Indongo (22-0, 12 KOs) for the undisputed …

1:12 PM ET Facebook Twitter Facebook Messenger Pinterest Email print comment FRISCO, Texas — Faced with shipping a king-size mattress home from Oxnard, California, Dallas Cowboys defensive end Tyrone Crawford came up with a better idea: donate it to a needy family from the area. Using Instagram and Twitter to reach out to fans in need, Crawford gifted his barely used Lull Bed mattress that was sent to him at the start of training camp to Norma Ramirez, a single mother of three boys who lives in Santa Barbara. My training camp @lullbed mattress loaded up and strapped in for this deserving family! #SpreadLove pic.twitter.com/Kx8FTl6oO6 — Tyrone Crawford 🇨🇦 (@TCrawford98) August 18, 2017 When defensive tackle Maliek Collins got word of what Crawford was doing, he donated his mattress to Ramirez as well. “We put out an Instagram post asking if anybody felt like they deserved a good night’s rest, and we thought it was …

9:00 AM ET Facebook Twitter Facebook Messenger Pinterest Email print comment If you wanted to tell the story of Clemson’s run through last season’s College Football Playoff in GIF form, Christian Wilkins has you covered. First, there’s the one he wishes hadn’t gone viral. It came in the Fiesta Bowl, when Twitter users noticed some interesting post-whistle tactics employed by the Tigers’ defensive lineman. He had been the last guy in on a tackle of Ohio State’s Curtis Samuel, and as the Buckeyes’ tailback lay prone on the ground, Wilkins grabbed a handful of Samuel’s … personal area. In the aftermath, Wilkins apologized for the overtness of it all, but he mostly chalked it up as part of the game, a little extracurricular that’s common when two teams are waging a psychological war amid their physical battles. “It’s an art,” Clemson offensive lineman Sean Pollard said. “That story, he apologized and took the repercussions. But …

4:03 AM ET Facebook Twitter Facebook Messenger Pinterest Email print comment SEATTLE — Seattle Seahawks kicker Blair Walsh said his gestures towards the Minnesota Vikings’ sideline Friday night were the result of his ex-teammates taunting him. Russell Wilson, Kasen Williams among Seahawks’ standouts vs. Vikings Russell Wilson was sharp in a 20-13 Seattle win Friday, and Kasen Williams caught one of the QB’s touchdown passes to continue a strong preseason. Bennett: Protest moment with Britt ‘special’ Justin Britt, who is white, put his arm on Michael Bennett’s shoulder as Bennett sat during the national anthem on Friday night. Bennett had called for a white player to join the protest that seeks to call attention to social injustice. Seahawks LT Fant injures ACL, will miss 2017 Seahawks offensive tackle George Fant will need surgery for an ACL injury and miss the 2017 season, team coach Pete Carroll said. “I felt like it was nothing that was …

Facebook Twitter Facebook Messenger Pinterest Email print comment Items pertaining to Colin Kaepernick will be part of the Black Lives Matter collection at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. “The National Museum of African American History and Culture has nearly 40,000 items in our collection,” Damion Thomas, the Washington museum’s sports curator, told USA Today Sports. “The Colin Kaepernick collection is in line with the museum’s larger collecting efforts to document the varied areas of society that have been impacted by the Black Lives Matter movement.” Britt shows support as Bennett sits out anthem Justin Britt, who is white, put his arm on Michael Bennett’s shoulder as Bennett sat during the national anthem on Friday night. Bennett had called for a white player to join the protest that seeks to call attention to social injustice. NFL players who protested during the national anthem in Week 2 of the preseason Week 2 …

Aug 17, 2017 Facebook Twitter Facebook Messenger Pinterest Email comment New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is one of the signature football players of this era, having topped 1,000 receiving yards three times in his seven seasons and reaching double-digit touchdowns in five of them. He has finished as fantasy’s top tight end in three of those seasons. But other than 2011, when Gronkowski emerged as one of the best players in fantasy and did so as a mid-round draft choice, he has never been a value pick, even for the healthy seasons. And as we all know by now, every season is certainly not a healthy season. Everything you need to have a successful fantasy football season. Draft Kit • Staff rankings: PPR | non-PPR • Player projections and profiles • Depth charts: QB | RB | WR | TE • Eric Karabell’s football blog • Cheat Sheet Central • Berry’s Love/Hate for …

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