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Articles of 2010

Who Do Ya Like? COTTO-FOREMAN

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Yankee Stadium will host the “Stadium Slugfest”—a world title boxing match between World Boxing Association
(WBA) super welterweight champion Yuri Foreman and three-time world champion Miguel Cotto—on Saturday,
June 5, 2010, it was announced today in a press conference at Yankee Stadium.  The announcement featured both
fighters and their camps, Hall of Fame promoter and Chairman of Top Rank, Bob Arum, Melvina Lathan of the New
York State Athletic Commission and HBO Sports Sr. Vice President Mark Taffet.  Foreman vs. Cotto is promoted by
Top Rank, in association with Miguel Cotto Promotions and Yankee Stadium. HBO World Championship Boxing will
televise the fight live nationally at 10:15 p.m. ET / 7:15 p.m. PT.

“The original Yankee Stadium had a great tradition of boxing, and with this fight we begin a new tradition in our
new home,” said Lonn Trost, Yankees Chief Operating Officer. “Yankee Stadium will provide a great backdrop for
what will definitely be a magical night for the sport of boxing, in what we hope is the first of many fights in our
prestigious home.”

“The inaugural promotion at Yankee Stadium is perfect for this location,” said Bob Arum, Chairman of Top Rank.  “It
should be a great night of boxing and I believe this will lead to other great nights of boxing at Yankee Stadium.”

Foreman (28-0, 8 KOs), a 29-year-old from Brooklyn, N.Y., is the first orthodox Jew to win a world championship in
nearly seven years.  Born in Gomel, Belarus, and raised in Israel, Foreman immigrated to Brooklyn.  The 2001 New
York Golden Gloves Champion turned pro in 2002 and began studying to become a rabbi three years ago.  He
knocked down defending champion Daniel Santos in the final round of a 12-round fight on November 4, 2009, en
route to a decisive and unanimous decision victory and Israel’s first boxing world title.

“It is a great honor to have my first title defense at Yankee Stadium and join the names of such fighters as Benny
Leonard, Joe Louis and Muhammad Ali, and to represent Israel and the Jewish people,” Foreman said.

Cotto (34-2, 27 KOs), from Caguas, Puerto Rico, has held a world title every year since 2004 and will be looking to
extend that streak with his challenge of Foreman.  Puerto Rico’s most exciting fighter, Cotto held the World Boxing
Organization (WBO) junior welterweight crown from 2004-06, successfully defending it six times before vacating it
to capture the World Boxing Association (WBA) welterweight title at the end of 2006, a title he held for nearly as
long.  He won his second welterweight title in February 2009, knocking out Michael Jennings in the fifth round of a
12-round fight to become the WBO welterweight champion.  He lost the title in his second defense, on November
4, 2009, to Manny Pacquiao.  Notable victories for Cotto include Sugar Shane Mosley, Zab Judah, Joshua Clottey,
Paulie Malignaggi, and Demarcus Corley.

“I'm very excited to be fighting at Yankee Stadium and ready to make history in this legendary venue,” Cotto said.
“I will become champion again in a third weight class. On June 5th, the fans will celebrate”

—more—

© New York Yankees 2010 • www.yankees.com • www.yankeesbeisbol.com
STADIUM SLUGFEST ON JUNE 5, 2010 AT YANKEE STADIUM, continued

In the inaugural boxing match at Yankee Stadium, the boxing ring will be located in short right-centerfield with
seating for fans located on the field as well as in the Yankee Stadium stands.

“June 5th is an awesome night for the sport of boxing,” said Kery Davis, senior vice president of programming at
HBO Sports.  “We are thrilled that the first-ever prizefight at Yankee Stadium will be televised live on HBO and we
know that these two first-class performers will come into the ring completely prepared and ready to do what it
takes to win.  It will be a memorable night for the sport.”

The “Stadium Slugfest” marks the return of boxing to the Yankees’ home stadium for the first time since
Muhammed Ali defeated Ken Norton by a 15-round decision on September 28, 1976, at the original Yankee
Stadium. The former home of the Yankees hosted 46 nights of boxing matches, including 30 championship bouts,
over its 86-year history.

Just over a month after the facility opened in 1923, the original Yankee Stadium hosted its first fight on May 12,
1923, as a benefit for the Ann Morgan’s Milk Fund.  It featured a 15-round bout between Jess Willard and Floyd
Johnson, with Willard scoring a technical knockout win. Two months later, the first championship fight night at the
Stadium took place between Benny Leonard and Lew Tendler on July 24, 1923, with Leonard retaining his
lightweight title with a 15-round decision against Tendler.

Yankee Stadium also played host to some of the most notable fights in boxing history, including Lou Louis’
knockout of Germany’s Max Schmeling in 1938; the first televised boxing match in the United States in 1939—
featuring Lou Nova’s knockout win over Max Baer; and Sugar Ray Robinson’s collapse of heat exhaustion against
Joey Maxim in 1952.

Today’s announcement comes exactly one month after Yankee Stadium unveiled the New Era Pinstripe Bowl to
take place on December 30, 2010.  Yankee Stadium will also host the Notre Dame-Army college football game on
November 20, 2010, as well as a series of Army home football games vs. Rutgers in 2011, Air Force in 2012 and
Boston College in 2014.  In addition, NYU commencement was held at Yankee Stadium in May 2009, as well as a
“Historic Night of Hope” with Joel and Victoria Osteen in April.

The original Yankee Stadium was also the home for scores of other sports, entertainment and cultural events,
including boxing, professional football, soccer, political assemblies, three Papal masses, religious conventions,
concerts, NYU commencement and the circus.

Tickets for the “Stadium Slugfest” Foreman-Cotto boxing fight will go on sale on Friday, April 16, 2010.  More
detailed information regarding the purchase of tickets will be released in the near future.

Media members wishing to attend the “Stadium Slugfest” Foreman-Cotto boxing fight on June 5 and any of
the events in the week leading up the fight must submit their request via email to Langdon Flynn
Communications at credentials@langdonflynn.com. Please note that any Yankees, BBWAA or MLB-issued
credentials will NOT be accepted for any boxing events taking place at Yankee Stadium between June 1 and
June 5, 2010.

—nyy—

© New York Yankees 2010 • www.yankees.com • www.yankeesbeisbol.com
Main Event Fight History

May 12, 1923 ……………………… Jess Willard TKO Floyd Johnson
July 23, 1923 …………………….. Benny Leonard DEC Lew Tendler
June 25, 1924 …………………………….. Harry Greb DEC Ted Moore
May 30, 1925 ………………. Paul Berlenbach DEC Mike McTigue
Sept. 11, 1925…………….. Paul Berlenbach TKO Jimmy Slattery
Sept. 21, 1925…………………….. Mickey Walker DEC Dave Shade
June 10, 1926 …………… Paul Berlenbach DEC Young Stribling
May 20, 1927 ……………………. Jack Sharkey KO Jimmy Maloney
July 21, 1927 ……………………….. Jack Dempsey KO Jack Sharkey
August 11, 1927 …………… Jack Delaney DQ Paolino Uzcudun
July 26, 1928 ………………………. Gene Tunney TKO Tom Heeney
June 27, 1929 ………….. Max Schmeling DEC Paolino Uzcudun
July 18, 1929 ………… Tommy Loughran DEC James Braddock
Sept. 25, 1929……………….. Jack Sharkey KO Tommy Loughran
June 12, 1930 …………………… Max Schmeling DQ Jack Sharkey
July 17, 1930 ………………………….. Al Singer KO Sammy Mandell
Sept. 11, 1930………………………… Jimmy McLarnin KO Al Singer
June 8, 1933…………………………….. Max Baer KO Max Schmeling
June 25, 1935 …………………………. Joe Louis TKO Primo Carnera
Sept. 24, 1935……………………………………..Joe Louis KO Max Baer
June 19, 1936 …………………………..Max Schmeling KO Joe Louis
August 18, 1936 ………………………….. Joe Louis KO Jack Sharkey
August 30, 1937 ………………………….Joe Louis DEC Tommy Farr
June 22, 1938 …………………………..Joe Louis KO Max Schmeling
June 1, 1939…………………………………….. Lou Nova TKO Max Baer
June 23, 1939 …………………………… Joe Louis TKO Tony Galento
August 22, 1939 …………… Lou Ambers DEC Henry Armstrong
June 20, 1940 ………………………….. Joe Louis TKO Arturo Godoy
June 19, 1946 …………………………………… Joe Louis KO Billy Conn
Sept. 18, 1946………………………….. Joe Louis KO Tami Mauriello 
Sept. 27, 1946………………………… Tony Zale KO Rocky Graziano
June 25, 1948 …………………….. Joe Louis KO Jersey Joe Walcott
Sept. 23, 1948…………………………….Ike Williams KO Jesse Flores
August 10, 1949 ……………. Ezzard Charles TKO Gus Lesnevich
August 24, 1949 ………………. Ray Robinson TKO Steve Belloise
Sept. 8, 1950 ………………………….. Sandy Saddler TKO Willie Pep
Sept. 27, 1950…………………………. Ezzard Charles DEC Joe Louis
June 27, 1951 ……………………… Bob Murphy TKO Jake LaMotta
June 25, 1952 ……………………….Joey Maxim TKO Ray Robinson
July 28, 1952 ……………….. Rocky Marciano KO Harry Matthews
June 17, 1954 ……………… Rocky Marciano DEC Ezzard Charles
Sept. 17, 1954……………….  Rocky Marciano KO Ezzard Charles
Sept. 21, 1955…………………  Rocky Marciano KO Archie Moore
Sept. 23, 1957…………………  Carmen Basilio DEC Ray Robinson
June 26, 1959  ……. Ingemar Johansson TKO Floyd Patterson
Sept. 28, 1976……………………  Muhammad Ali DEC Ken Norton

ORIGINAL YANKEE STADIUM BOXING FACTS

Total Number of Boxing Cards: 46

World Title Main Events: 
30 (16 in the heavyweight division)

Non-Title Main Events: 
16 (13 in the heavyweight division)

First Boxing Card: 
Jess Willard TKO Floyd Johnson, 5/12/23 
(to benefit the Ann Morgan’s Milk Fund)

First Championship Fight (World Lightweight Title): 
Benny Leonard DEC Lew Tendler, 7/24/23  

Most Main Events Fought: 
Joe Louis, 11 (10-1 all-time record at Yankee Stadium)

Highest Paid Attendance: 
Joe Louis KO Max Baer, 9/24/35 – 88,150
 
Boxing Cards by Decade:
• 1920s – 14
• 1930s – 13
• 1940s – 8
• 1950s – 10
• 1960s – 0
• 1970s – 1

Source: International Boxing Hall of Fame

Articles of 2010

Judah To Fight Mbuza March 5 In NJ

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Totowa, NJ – Kathy Duva, Main Events CEO, announced their promotional firm won the purse bid held at IBF headquarters in East Orange, NJ, Thursday. The bid was for the right to hold the IBF's junior welterweight title fight between Zab Judah of Brooklyn, NY and Las Vegas, and South Africa's Kaizer Mabuza.

IBF Championships Chairman, Lindsay Tucker explained, “It is a 50-50 split of the earnings between the two fighters. Kaizer is ranked No. 1 by the IBF, and Judah is No. 2. Where the fight will be held is up to the winning bidder.”

Judah (39-6, 26 KOs) is promoted by Main Events and his own firm Super Judah Promotions, and Branco Milenkovic, of South Africa, promotes Mabuza (23-6-3, 14 KOs).

Kathy Duva confirmed the fight will take place at Prudential Center in Newark, NJ, late February or early March this year as part of Main Events' Brick City Boxing Series.  (Saturday Update: the fight is March 5th, in NJ at the Pru Center. The bout will be part of a PPV card.)

“We are very happy that Zab has the opportunity to fight for the IBF Junior Welterweight title right here in New Jersey.  Winning this fight will put Zab right in the mix with the winner of Bradley-Alexander and Amir Khan.” Duva elaborated, ” Zab will work very hard to win this fight so that he will be one step closer to his ultimate goal of unifying all of the Junior Welterweight titles by the end of 2011!”

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Articles of 2010

UFC 125 Preview: Frankie Edgar Vs. Gray Maynard

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UFC_Edgar_and_Maynard_Dec._2010
Few predicted Frankie Edgar would grab the UFC lightweight championship last year but he did. Most felt he would eventually win it but Edgar not only took the title, he beat one of the best mixed martial artists in history to do it.

Edgar (13-1) has emerged from the milieu of nondescript MMA fighters to become one of the more brilliant performers for Ultimate Fighting Championship. Next comes a rematch with Gray “The Bully” Maynard (11-0) tomorrow at the MGM Grand Casino in Las Vegas. UFC 125 will be televised on pay-per-view.

All it took was not one, but two victories over BJ Penn.

If you’re not familiar with Penn, he’s one of the most versatile fighters in MMA history and had been nearly unbeatable in the 155-pound lightweight division. That is until he clashed with Edgar. Until he met New Jersey’s Edgar, the Hawaiian fighter chopped down lightweight opponents with ease. It was only the heavier welterweights he had problems against. Namely: Canada’s Georges St. Pierre.

Edgar showed poise, speed and grit in defeating Penn in back-to-back fights. The world took notice.

“You know, if I keep winning fights, the respect will come eventually,” said Edgar during a conference call.

Now Edgar will find out if he can avenge the only loss on his record.

“I just think I grew as a fighter. You know, mentally, you know, physically I, you know, possess differently skills, increased – you know, I think I boxed and got better, my Jiu-Jitsu got better and, you know, just have much more experience now,” Edgar says.

Maynard seeks to find out if Edgar has added any more fighting tools to his repertoire. Back in April 2008, the artillery shelled out was not enough to beat the Las Vegas fighter.

“It’s a perfect time. He had the chance and, you know, he took it and the time is now for me and I’m prepared,” said Maynard (11-0). “Any time you’re going up against the top in the world, you evolve and change and so I’m prepared for a new fight, so it will be good. I’m pumped for it.”

Though Maynard’s record indicates he is unbeaten that’s not entirely true. He did suffer a defeat to Nate Diaz during The Ultimate Fighter series and subsequently avenged that loss last January.

The UFC lightweight title is in Maynard’s bull’s eye.

“Looking to take the belt for sure,” said Maynard. “We’ll see on January 1.”

Edgar versus Maynard should be a good one.

Other bouts:

Nate Diaz (13-5) faces Dong Hyun Kim (13-0-1) in another welterweight tussle. Diaz is the only fighter with a win over Maynard. Anyone watching TUF remembers Maynard tapping out from a Diaz guillotine choke. The Modesto fighter has a tough fight against South Korea’s Kim.

Chris Leben (21-6) fights Brian Stann (9-3) in a middleweight fight. Leben is a veteran of MMA and if an opponent is not ready for a rough and tumble fight, well, that fighter is not going to win. Stann dropped down from light heavyweight and we’ll see if the cut in weight benefits the Marine.

Brandon Vera (11-5) meets Thiago Silva (14-2) in a light heavyweight match up. Vera is trying to rally back to the promising fighter he was tabbed several years back. Silva is a very tough customer and eager to crash the elite. A victory by either fighter could mean a ticket to the big time.

Clay Guida (27-8) versus Takanori Gomi (32-6) in a lightweight bout. Guida has become one of the most feared fighters without a title. No one has an easy time with the long-haired fighter. Gomi lost to Kenny Florian but knocked out Tyson Griffin. Can he survive Guida?

Marcus “The Irish Hand Grenade” Davis (22-8) clashes with Jeremy Stephens (18-6) in another lightweight fight. Davis is a go-for-broke kind of fighter and is looking to get back in the win column after a tumultuous battle with Nate Diaz last August. Stephens needs a win too. In his last bout he lost to Melvin Guillard.

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Articles of 2010

Borges Looks Back, And Forward With Hope

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PacquiaoClottey_Booth_6

As the end of another year approaches, there’s no need to invoke Charles Dickens to describe what went on in boxing. It was neither the best of times nor the worst of times. It was just too much time spent on The Fight That Never Took Place.

For the second straight year the sport could not deliver The Fight, the only one fans universally wanted and even casual fans craved – the mix between Floyd Mayweather, Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao.  No one has to be singled out for blame for that failure because this time there’s plenty to go around on both sides. The larger issue is what does it say about a sport when it cannot deliver its top event?

What would the NFL be without the Super Bowl? Where would major league baseball be without the World Series? Golf without the Masters? College basketball without March Madness?

They would all be less than they could be and so it was with boxing this year. Having said that, the sport was not without its signature moments. It was not bereft of nights that left those of us with an abiding (and often unrequited) love for prize fighting with good reason to hope for the future.

Three times promoter Bob Arum took the sport into massive stadium venues just like the good (very) old days and each time boxing drew a far larger crowd than its many critics expected. Twice those fights involved the sport’s leading ambassador, Pacquiao, who brought in crowds of 40,000 to 50,000 fans into Cowboys Stadium against inferior opponents Joshua Clottey and Antonio Margarito. Imagine what he might have done had Mayweather been in the opposite corner?

While both fights were, as expected, lopsided affairs, they showcased the one boxer who has transcended his sport’s confining walls to become a cultural icon and world celebrity. Pacquiao alone put boxing (or at least one boxer) on the cover of TIME and into the pages of such varied publications as Esquire, GQ, The Wall Street Journal, the American Airlines in-flight magazine and even Atlantic Monthly.

As history has proven time and again, that is what happens when boxing has a compelling personality to sell it and Pacquiao is that. Mayweather is such a person as well,  but for different reasons.

The one night he appeared in a boxing ring, he set the year’s pay-per-view standard against Shane Mosley while also leaving a first hint of dark mystery when he was staggered by two stinging right hands in the second round.

Mayweather was momentarily in trouble for the first time in his career but the moment passed quickly and Mosley never had another. By the end he had been made to look old and futile, a faded athlete who’d had his chance and was unable to do anything with it. So it goes in this harsh sport when the sands are running out of the hour glass.

As always there were some surprising upsets, most notably Jason Litzau’s domination of an uninterested and out of shape Celestino Caballero and Sergio Martinez’s one-punch demolishment of Paul Williams. The latter was not so much an upset as it was a stunning reminder that when someone makes a mistake against a highly skilled opponent in this sport they don’t end up embarrassed. They end up unconscious.

SHOWTIME did all it could to further the future of the sport, offering up a continuation of its interminably long but still bold Super Six super middleweight tournament as well as the launching of a short form bantamweight tournament which already gave fans to two stirring and surprising finishes with Joseph Agbeko decisioning Jhonny Perez and Abner Mares upsetting Victor Darchinyan in a battle of contusions.

While the Super Six has had its problems – including several of the original six pulling out – it also lifted the profile of former Olympic gold medalist Andre Ward from nearly unknown to the cusp of universal recognized as the best super middleweight in the world this side of Lucian Bute. If Ward continues winning he’ll get to Bute soon enough because that’s why SHOWTIME signed a TV deal with the Canadian and America may get its next boxing star if Ward proves to be what I think he is – which is still underrated and underappreciated.

HBO and HBO pay-per-view put on 23 shows, few of them compelling and many of them paying big money to the wrong people while doing little or nothing to grow the sport that has helped make their network rich. But they did have the knockout of the year – Martinez’s second round destruction of Williams – and some fights in the lower weight classes that were left you wanting more.

Two new names popped up who are causing the kind of fan reaction that also gives us hope for 2011 – American Brandon Rios and Mexican Saul Alvarez. They are two of the sport’s brightest young prospects because each comes to the arena the old-fashioned way – carrying nothing but bad intentions.
Aggression and knockouts still sell boxing faster than anything else and each exhibited plenty of both this year and left fans wanting to see more. Alvarez is already a star in Mexico without having yet won a world title and Rios is the definition of “promise.’’ Whether the star will continue to shine and promise will be fulfilled may be answered next year and so we wait anxiously to find out.

Backed by Golden Boy Promotions, there is no reason 2011 shouldn’t be Alvarez’s year and if it is people will notice and remember him because he has a crowd-pleasing style that is all about what sells most.

That is what boxing needs more of – fresh faces and new stars… so as fans we should root for guys like Alvarez, Ward, Rios and young Brit Amir Khan, who is a star in England but still a question mark with a questionable chin but a fighter’s heart here in the U.S.

Those guys and others not yet as well known are the future of boxing, a sport that for too long has been recycling the likes of Mosley (as it will again in May for one last beating against Pacquiao in a fight that's a joke), Bernard Hopkins (who can still fight although it is unclear why he bothers or where it’s all headed), Roy Jones and, sadly, even 48-year-old Evander Holyfield, who continues to delude himself but not many other people into believing he will soon unify the heavyweight title again.
If fighters like Ward, Alvarez, Rios, Khan, WBC welterweight champion Andre Berto and middleweight king Sergio Martinez continue their rise they could be the antidote for the art of the retread that Arum and Golden Boy have been forcing fans to buy the past few years at the expense of what boxing needs most – fresh faces.

The heavyweight division, which many believe determines the relevancy of boxing to the larger world, remains a vast desert of disinterest here in the US. The Klitschko brothers, Vitali and Wladimir, hold 75 per cent of the title belts but few peoples’ imaginations in the US, although to be fair they are European superstars and don’t really need U.S. cable TV money to thrive economically.

Each defended their titles twice this year, Vitali against lame competition (Albert Sosnowski and Shannon Briggs) and Wladimir against better fighters (Sam Peter and Eddie Chambers) but not competitive ones. Sadly, there is no American on the horizon to challenge them, a comment on the division and on our country, where the athletes who used to be Joe Louis or Muhammad Ali now opt for the easier and frankly safer road of the NFL or the NBA. Who can blame them considering all the nonsense a fighter has to go through to just make a living these days?

The one heavyweight match that would be compelling and might lift the sport up for at least a night would be either of the Klitschkos facing lippy WBA champion David Haye. The fast-talking Brit claims to not be ducking them but he’s had more maladies befall him after shouting from the rooftops how much he wants to challenge them that you have to wonder if Haye is simply a case of big hat no cattle syndrome.

For the sake of the sport, we should all be lighting candles each night in hopes our prayers will be answered and Haye will finally agree to meet one of them. It may not prove to be much of a fight but at least it will give us something to talk about for a few months.

Whatever Haye and the Klitschkos decide the fighter with the most upside at the moment however seems to be Sergio Martinez.  He has matinee idol looks, a big enough punch to put Paul Williams to sleep with one shot and a work ethic second to none. The Argentine fighter had a year for himself, starting with a drubbing of Kelly Pavlik followed by his demolishment of Williams. Those kinds of victories, coupled with his Oscar De La Hoya-like looks, are the type of things that if HBO or SHOWTIME would get behind him could allow Martinez to capture the attention of both fight fans and more casual ones.

In general, Hispanics fighters continued to dominate much of the sport’s front pages with Juan Manuel Marquez’s two victories in lightweight title fights leading that storyline. His war with Michael Katsidis is a strong candidate for Fight of the Year and his technical skill and calm demeanor make him the uncrowned challenger to Pacquiao. The two have unfinished business that should be settled this year if Arum stops standing in the way.

Two other fighters who gave us moments to remember in 2010 were Juan Manuel Lopez, who knocked out three solid opponents including highly respected Mexican warrior Rafael Marquez, and Giovani Segura, who won four times (that’s three years work for Mayweather) in 2010, all by knockout. Along the way, Segura defeated one of the great minimum weight fighters in history, slick Ivan Calderon, to win the belt on Aug. 28.

Lastly, boxing gave us another magical cinematic moment as well with the release of “The Fighter,’’ a film based on the life and hard times of junior welterweight scrapper Micky Ward. The film has won rave reviews and many awards and seems likely to have several of its actors nominated for Academy Awards, most notable Christian Bale for his sadly humorous portrayal of Ward’s troubled half brother, former fighter Dickie Ecklund.

Boxing has a long history of providing the framework for memorable movies and it did it again with “The Fighter,’’ a film that did more for boxing than any promoter did all year.

All in all, it wasn’t the best of years for boxing but it was a good year that picked up speed in the final months and, like that great golf shot you finally hit out of the rough on the 18th, left us with reasons to hope for a better year in 2011. If somehow it gives us Mayweather-Pacquiao, the emergence of Alvarez and Rios, the ascension of Martinez and Haye vs. the best available Klitschko in addition to the kind of solid performances that always come along, it could be a year to remember.

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