Boxing

Boxer Jack Johnson, who was the first black world heavyweight champion, has received a posthumous presidential pardon after years of bipartisan efforts by lawmakers and family members to clear his name — and a personal appeal from Sylvester Stallone to President Trump.

Speaking in the Oval Office on Thursday afternoon, Trump praised Johnson as "one of the greatest that ever lived. ... He was pretty much unbeatable."

A man, a plan, a canal — Panama! The classic palindrome also doubles as tidy descriptor for Hands of Stone, a shoddy biopic about Roberto Durán, a legendary Panamanian boxer whose identity, according to the film, is tied closely to the fate of the Panama Canal.

U.S. boxer Shakur Stevenson won his quarterfinal bout against Mongolia's Tsendbaatar Erdenebat in the men's bantam (56 kg) division at Rio's Summer Olympics on Tuesday, in a fight that featured Stevenson's superior reach and speed.

The win assures Stevenson of no worse than a bronze medal; those watching Tuesday's fight included boxing superstar Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Update at 3:15 p.m. ET: Ali's Funeral Set For Friday

Muhammad Ali, the man considered the greatest boxer of all time, died late Friday at a hospital in Phoenix at age 74. He was battling respiratory problems.

He died of septic shock related to natural causes, with his family at his bedside, according to family spokesman Bob Gunnell.

Ali inspired millions by standing up for his principles during the volatile 1960s and by always entertaining — in the boxing ring and in front of a microphone.

Remember Rocky? That cornpone boxing movie from 40 years ago starring (and written by) that oiled-up, headband-wearing buffoon who talks funny? The one that stole Best Picture away from Network, All the President's Men, Taxi Driver, and Hal Ashby's rather more obscure Woody Guthrie biopic Bound for Glory?

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