FROM STEVE BRENNER, MIAMI
Antoine Delgado wasn’t all that nervous about Hurricane Matthew. Hurricanes come with the territory when running a restaurant in Miami. But what came after did worry the owner of Brasserie Azur and Villa Azur in Miami: Zika.
It was last summer and the Zika scare was swarming Miami. The epicenter was the hipster Wynwood Arts district – just a mile away from Delgado’s Midtown eatery. Diners stayed in rather than brave the mosquitos and potential of infection. Sales took a nosedive. Then it got even more personal — one of Delgado’s employees became infected.
FROM STEVE BRENNER IN MIAMI
They said this wouldn’t be a normal friendly and so it proved.
With a full-house of 66,014 in the stands and Lionel Messi, Neymar, Gareth Bale and Luka Modric on the pitch, El Clasico Miami was an event to remember.
BY STEVE BRENNER
Timing is everything.
The United States unleashed their bid for the World Cup in 2026 last week, sneaking in at the back post with the defence asleep and the goalkeeper nowhere to be seen.
BY STEVE BRENNER
Out of the darkness of the Jurgen Klinsmann era, a light shines.
As Bruce Arena enjoys an extended honeymoon at the start of his second coming as national team boss, there is suddenly a whirl of giddy excitement about a red hot prospect who has the potential to change the face of American soccer.
FROM STEVE BRENNER IN NEW YORK
THE crazy man in the fur coat was jumping around at ringside.
In the stands, 5,000 Irish fans were in cracking voice, bang in the mood to cap off St Paddy’s day in serious style.
STEVE BRENNER AT THE MGM GRAND
Barry McGuigan was not in the mood for false promises. Carl Frampton, the Northern Irishman he reveres like a son, had just fallen to the first defeat of his 24-fight career and had the WBA featherweight title won so brilliantly six months ago in New York wrestled from his grasp by Leo Santa Cruz, the man who was felled on that raucous Barclays Center evening.
No one was begrudging the Mexican his moment of triumph. Santa Cruz was excellent, unleashing to perfection a game plan which forced Frampton to abandon his preferred counter-punching role and instead act as the aggressor.
FROM STEVE BRENNER , LAS VEGAS
Carl Frampton stands close to greatness. The glitz of Las Vegas can easily blur minds yet Frampton’s razor sharp focus has shone like the lights on the strip.
This is his first defence of the WBA featherweight crown he took so gloriously in New York last July from Leo Santa Cruz ,the Mexican three-weight world champion who will stand in the opposing corner on Saturday night aiming to avenge the first defeat of his 34-fight career. With an estimated 5,000 fans from Frampton’s native Northern Ireland here to roar him home, the stakes have rarely been higher.
STEVE BRENNER, NEW YORK
James DeGale’s nose was broken, some of his teeth were missing and he was being treated for a perforated eardrum after 12 epic rounds. But as he recovered in hospital, the words of Floyd Mayweather would have increased the burning sensation in his ears.
While the Londoner was being patched up at the end of a brutal WBC-IBF super-middleweight unification bout against Badou Jack that ended in a rare majority draw, Mayweather was holding court deep into yesterday morning.
EXCLUSIVE FROM STEVE BRENNER IN MIAMI
James DeGale jumps up and takes off his shirt.
It’s Saturday night in iconic South Beach, Florida. An organic food cafe is serving dinner for his close-knit team after another day of training.
It was pretty quiet. Until now.
BY STEVE BRENNER
The temperatures plunged to freezing and the world recognized superstars were elsewhere.
Yet as MLS closed its 21st season in Toronto on Saturday night, commissioner Don Garber would have fought the arctic conditions with the warm glow of satisfaction.
When Seattle slotted in the winning sudden-death penalty after 120 minutes of pure statemate – the Sounders failed to muster a shot on target in normal or extra time – history was made in what was ultimately a disappointing, fractious finale.