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Brittney Griner detention: Boxing legend Roy Jones Jr using Russia connections to help WNBA star return to US

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WNBA star Brittney Griner has a fellow celebrity athlete in her nook as she fights to return residence to the US.

Boxing legend Roy Jones Jr. is providing up his connections in Russia to assist the American athlete after she was arrested at an airport close to Moscow in February on expenses of possession and transportation of hashish – and he or she’s been detained there ever since.

Roy Jones Jr. trains an aspiring fighter at his fitness center in Pensacola, Florida.
(Lorraine Taylor/Fox Information Digital)

Jones, thought of by many to be one of many biggest boxers of all time with an illustrious profession spanning almost 30 years, grew to become conscious of Griner’s predicament and determined he would possibly be capable to assist.

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“First, she’s an athlete. I’ve ties with Russia due to my athleticism and my athletic profession,” Jones instructed Fox Information Digital. “It’s nothing political. It’s all about sports activities.”

BRITTNEY GRINER’S AGENT IMPLORES WHITE HOUSE TO ‘GET A DEAL DONE’ AFTER WNBA STAR’S TRIAL DATE SET IN RUSSIA

Jones defined that again within the top of his boxing profession, there have been solely two or three TV channels in Russia – and a type of channels was boxing. He stated boxing grew to become a extremely popular sport within the nation in consequence, and he was requested to coach boxers to “assist them up their recreation.”

Boxing legend Roy Jones Jr. works with aspiring fighters at his gym in Pensacola, Florida. Jones hopes to help WNBA star Brittney Griner who is detained in Russia.

Boxing legend Roy Jones Jr. works with aspiring fighters at his fitness center in Pensacola, Florida. Jones hopes to assist WNBA star Brittney Griner who’s detained in Russia.
(Lorraine Taylor/Fox Information Digital)

Jones, 53, is a twin U.S. and Russian citizen. He was working a fitness center in Moscow the place he educated younger boxers earlier than Russia’s battle with Ukraine pressured him to shutter his operation. He hopes to sometime return to proceed his work with the aspiring fighters.

“If my athlete affiliations may help rectify the scenario – why wouldn’t I strive?” he stated of Griner’s scenario. 

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BRITTNEY GRINER APPEARS IN RUSSIAN COURTROOM, CRIMINAL TRIAL DATE SET

FILE - Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner pauses on the court during the second half of a WNBA basketball game against the Seattle Storm, Sept. 3, 2019, in Phoenix.

FILE – Phoenix Mercury heart Brittney Griner pauses on the courtroom through the second half of a WNBA basketball recreation towards the Seattle Storm, Sept. 3, 2019, in Phoenix.
(AP Picture/Ross D. Franklin, File)

“So, I thought of it for a short time and one evening I used to be sleeping and it hit me – what if it was my daughter caught out of the country?” Jones continued. “They don’t communicate no English and he or she don’t communicate the language that they communicate. It’s dangerous sufficient being incarcerated however what if you happen to incarcerated in a international land the place they don’t communicate your language? You know the way dangerous that’s? So, that thought alone terrified me.”

Jones stated he reached out to his lawyer to get involved with the White Home. He additionally linked with a good friend who is aware of folks well-connected in Russian politics.

Jones stated his contact was in a position to attain authorities in Russia who expressed willingness to conduct a prisoner swap with the U.S. Jones stated the method was gradual shifting and has since stalled. He’s hoping to proceed to assist facilitate future communication or negotiations as a lot as he’s ready.

WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner is escorted to a courtroom for a hearing, in Khimki just outside Moscow, Russia, Monday, June 27, 2022.

WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner is escorted to a courtroom for a listening to, in Khimki simply exterior Moscow, Russia, Monday, June 27, 2022.
(AP Picture/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Russian information media has repeatedly prompt that Griner might be swapped for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, in any other case often known as “The Service provider of Dying.” Bout is serving a 25-year sentence on conviction of conspiracy to kill U.S. residents and offering support to a terrorist group.

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However U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken wouldn’t disclose U.S. plans to convey Griner residence when requested if a swap was being thought of.

BRITTNEY GRINER DETENTION: WNBA STAR’S WIFE WANTS BIDEN ADMIN TO FOLLOW THROUGH ON RHETORIC

Jones continues to be hopeful that Griner will be capable to return residence safely. 

Roy Jones Jr. is hoping he can use his connections in Russia to help free WNBA star Brittney Griner. Jones is pictured here training at his gym in Pensacola, Florida.

Roy Jones Jr. is hoping he can use his connections in Russia to assist free WNBA star Brittney Griner. Jones is pictured right here coaching at his fitness center in Pensacola, Florida.
(Lorraine Taylor/Fox Information Digital)

“I’m not a politician,” he stated. “I don’t do all that. But when I can get her residence, they usually say they’re prepared to do a prisoner swap and anyone right here is prepared to try this – then let’s make it occur.”

He continued, “I might really feel dangerous sitting there comfy at evening figuring out she’s in that nation in jail and I’ve citizenship in that nation and I’m not attempting to do nothing to assist. That may be dangerous on my half.”

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Jones stated he has been unable to succeed in Griner or her household, however he’s open and prepared to speak ought to they attain out.

“That is what I do. God blessed me with boxing, so I’m attempting to cross my blessing all the way down to different folks as a result of that’s what God gave me,” Jones stated.

MIKE TYSON, ROY JONES JR. FIGHT TO A DRAW IN BOXING SPECTACLE

Roy Jones Jr. trains aspiring boxers at his gym in Pensacola, Florida.

Roy Jones Jr. trains aspiring boxers at his fitness center in Pensacola, Florida.
(Lorraine Taylor/Fox Information Digital)

The Mercury heart’s arrest occurred lower than per week earlier than Russia invaded Ukraine. Griner, an Olympic gold medalist, had been taking part in abroad through the league’s offseason to earn cash. She’s been taking part in basketball in Russia for the previous seven years.

The U.S. State Division categorized Griner as wrongfully detained in Could. She appeared in courtroom Monday for a preliminary listening to. The courtroom ordered her detention to be prolonged for six months. She faces as much as 10 years in jail if she’s convicted. Her trial is ready to start on Friday.

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When requested if he had a message to share with Griner, Jones merely stated: “Maintain God first in every part you do and issues will work out.”

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NFL’s bad teams in 2021 have a shot in 2022: Who will go from worst to first?

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The sweetness in regards to the begin of the NFL common season is that each workforce has the identical file and the probabilities of a dream season are nonetheless on the desk.

The desires can flip into nightmares instantly. 

Those that had their hopes shattered final season want to flip it round and get again to the postseason.

The eight groups who completed final of their respective divisions final season had been the Baltimore Ravens, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Giants, New York Jets and Seattle Seahawks.

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Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) calls out a play throughout a recreation towards the Cleveland Browns Aug. 12, 2022, at TIAA Financial institution Area in Jacksonville, Fla.
(David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire by way of Getty Photos)

Geoff Clark, OutKick’s sports activities betting professional, advised Fox Information Digital he believed the Jaguars have the perfect shot at going from worst to first and successful the AFC South. The Jaguars are +750 to win the division, in line with FOX Guess.

“The obvious reply is the Jacksonville Jaguars. Trevor Lawrence is a stud, and his rookie season was a throwaway 12 months contemplating Jacksonville’s head teaching turmoil. The Jaguars employed a head coach with confirmed success and a Tremendous Bowl title in Doug Pederson,” Clark mentioned. 

“Additionally, Jacksonville’s entrance workplace acquired mad expertise to place round Lawrence, capitalizing on his rookie contract. To not point out 2021 first-round choice and Clemson teammate working again Travis Etienne must be wholesome coming into 2022.

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DESHAUN WATSON SUSPENSION: BROWNS QUARTERBACK LEARNS FATE AHEAD OF REGULAR SEASON

“The ultimate motive Jacksonville seems like a promising ‘worst-to-first’ contender is the AFC South: The Jaguars’ division is definitely the softest within the NFL. The Tennessee Titans might regress after successful a bunch of coin-flip contests in 2021 and parting methods with star broad receiver A.J. Brown this offseason. 

“The Indianapolis Colts have a brand new beginning quarterback for the fifth consecutive season and are not at all a lock for the division or AFC playoffs. And the Houston Texans are a dumpster hearth with one of many least gifted rosters within the league.”

Based on FOX Guess, the Ravens have the perfect shot at going from worst to first at +145. Baltimore completed 8-9 final season in a tightly packed AFC North.

If the workforce is more healthy than final 12 months, the Ravens may very well be a superb wager to win the division, Clark mentioned.

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Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens pitches the ball Dec. 5, 2021, at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.

Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens pitches the ball Dec. 5, 2021, at Heinz Area in Pittsburgh.
(Michael Longo/Icon Sportswire by way of Getty Photos)

“I would not hate taking … the Baltimore Ravens to win the AFC North at +145 as a result of they will truly area an expert workforce this season,” Clark advised Fox Information Digital. “The Ravens had by far probably the most video games misplaced to damage and COVID in 2021. Baltimore began the 12 months 8-3, and Lamar Jackson was an MVP candidate as much as that time. However, Baltimore’s season successfully ended as soon as Lamar acquired injured in a Week 13 recreation versus the Cleveland Browns.

PATRIOTS, PANTHERS PLAYERS FIGHT AGAIN IN PRACTICE, THIS TIME FRACAS LEADS TO INJURIES

“Nevertheless, the Ravens get again former All-Professional left deal with Ronnie Staley and chosen middle Tyler Linderbaum with the No. 25 total decide within the 2022 NFL Draft. So Baltimore’s offensive line must be a prime 10 unit and open up working lanes for Lamar and RB J.Okay. Dobbins. 

“Lastly, the Ravens misplaced two elite cornerbacks in 2021 — Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters — and added first-round security Kyle Hamilton to an already stacked secondary. Lamar wants higher broad receivers, however Baltimore’s run recreation will probably be sick, and the protection has a prime 5 ceiling.”

Learn beneath for the least more likely to more than likely to win their respective divisions.

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New York Jets

Joe Flacco (19) of the New York Jets in action against the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium Nov. 21, 2021, in East Rutherford, N.J.

Joe Flacco (19) of the New York Jets in motion towards the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium Nov. 21, 2021, in East Rutherford, N.J.
(Jim McIsaac/Getty Photos)

Odds to win AFC East: +2000

2021 file: 4-13

Seattle Seahawks

Geno Smith (7) of the Seattle Seahawks in action during a preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Acrisure Stadium Aug. 13, 2022, in Pittsburgh.

Geno Smith (7) of the Seattle Seahawks in motion throughout a preseason recreation towards the Pittsburgh Steelers at Acrisure Stadium Aug. 13, 2022, in Pittsburgh.
(Justin Berl/Getty Photos)

Odds to win NFC West: +1400

2021 file: 7-10

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Carolina Panthers

Odds to win NFC South: +1000

2021 file: 5-12

Detroit Lions

Odds to win NFC North: +900

2021 file: 3-13-1

New York Giants

Saquon Barkley (26) of the New York Giants runs a route during a preseason game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium Aug. 11, 2022, in Foxborough, Mass.

Saquon Barkley (26) of the New York Giants runs a route throughout a preseason recreation towards the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium Aug. 11, 2022, in Foxborough, Mass.
(Maddie Meyer/Getty Photos)

Odds to win NFC East: +800

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2021 file: 4-13

Jacksonville Jaguars

Odds to win AFC South: +750

2021 file: 3-14

Denver Broncos

Russell Wilson (3) of the Denver Broncos celebrates a touchdown by Kendall Hinton against the Dallas Cowboys during the second quarter at Empower Field At Mile High Aug. 13, 2022, in Denver.

Russell Wilson (3) of the Denver Broncos celebrates a landing by Kendall Hinton towards the Dallas Cowboys through the second quarter at Empower Area At Mile Excessive Aug. 13, 2022, in Denver.
(C. Morgan Engel/Getty Photos)

Odds to win AFC West: +275

2021 file: 7-10

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Baltimore Ravens

Odds to win AFC North: +145

2021 file: 8-9

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Mater Dei easily handles Mira Costa in battle of top prep girls volleyball

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The ball skied excessive and vast, threatening to fall to earth out of bounds, as Mira Costa ladies’ volleyball junior Chloe Hynes ranged to her left.

In a single fell swoop, Hynes thrust herself onto the scorer’s desk, prolonged her arm and punched the dying dig again into play. It appeared not possible. The visiting crowd at Mater Dei’s fitness center exploded, a triumphant bathe of admiration for a gritty play.

The celebration lasted a cut up second. A Mater Dei hitter casually smacked a weak return away for some extent. The save was all for naught.

Thursday night time ought to’ve been an thrilling conflict of the titans, an early-season matchup between two of the most effective ladies’ volleyball packages in California. However the Mustangs sat three of their high gamers. Grit might solely take them thus far after a first-set victory, and Mater Dei stabilized an overwhelming block within the following units for a reasonably straightforward 3-1 (23-25, 25-16, 25-22, 25-21) win.

“Once we see them later within the season,” Monarchs coach Dan O’Dell mentioned, “they’re going to be a a lot, a lot completely different workforce and a stronger workforce.”

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Drew Wright, Mira Costa’s chief in kills final season, was on the sidelines in a black warmup shirt and sweatpants. Charlie Fuerbringer, top-of-the-line setters within the nation, was there too, as was switch Tanon Rosenthal.

All three, together with Georgia Walker and Emilia Kupiec, had been benched by coach Cam Inexperienced after a violation of workforce coverage. Inexperienced declined to call the precise circumstances of the violation, noting that it could solely be for one sport and the workforce was dealing with it effectively.

“It wasn’t that straightforward to do,” Inexperienced mentioned of sitting the group, “however we set a precedent.”

His workforce was nonetheless anticipating to compete, Inexperienced mentioned, and compete they did by stealing the primary set. However the momentum shifted instantly within the second, Mira Costa merely unable to get a ball over Mater Dei’s block regardless of Hynes’ greatest efforts, and late-set comebacks all through the night time fell quick.

“Blocking goes to be considered one of our enormous strengths — we now have quite a lot of dimension throughout our hitters proper now,” O’Dell mentioned. “We must always block a ton of balls.”

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Mater Dei volleyball’s Izzy Clark notched 9 kills within the workforce’s win over Mira Costa on Aug. 18, 2022.

(Luca Evans / Los Angeles Occasions)

Senior center blocker Preston Johnson led the best way with seven blocks. Junior exterior hitter Izzy Clark — holding up her wrist like she’d simply swished a three-pointer after one highly effective shot —notched 9 kills, as did junior Babi Gubbins.

However the Monarchs knew they didn’t play their greatest. Everybody was up and down, O’Dell mentioned, transferring his hand like a rollercoaster.

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Not fairly the Southern Part playoff preview it might’ve been, with the early-season kinks and lacking faces.

“I want to replay them with their starters, Charlie and Drew,” Clark mentioned of Mira Costa.

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Utah Little Leaguer who suffered serious head injury alert, walking: ‘We are astonished by his strength’

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A 12-year-old Little League baseball participant from Utah who suffered a critical head damage after falling from his high bunk of his head on the dormitory complicated in Pennsylvania is ready to sit up, eat and stroll with assist, his household stated in a social media put up Thursday.

Easton Oliverson, who performs for the Snow Canyon group out of Santa Clara, Utah, was listed in vital situation Tuesday after struggling the damage Monday. The boy’s household supplied an encouraging replace.

An image of Mountain Area Champion Little League group member Easton Oliverson, from Santa Clara, Utah, is proven on the scoreboard at Volunteer Stadium in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania, in the course of the opening ceremony of the 2022 Little League World Collection.
(AP Picture/Gene J. Puskar)

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“We’re astonished by his power and willingness to attempt new issues,” the put up learn. “He has been speaking extra continuously together with his Mother, Dad, and uncles who’ve been on the hospital with him. His voice has been considerably extra clear when he talks! He requested Nancy about his hair, and why he was there.”

The put up additionally confirmed Easton consuming and ingesting by himself.

LITTLE LEAGUE PLAYER SUFFERS SERIOUS HEAD INJURY AFTER FALLING FROM BUNK BED, MAKING ‘TREMENDOUS PROGRESS’

Spencer Beck, the boy’s uncle, advised the Related Press that Easton fell out of bed in Williamsport whereas he was sleeping.

Baseballs are shown at Howard J. Lamade Stadium in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania, on Aug. 25, 2019.

Baseballs are proven at Howard J. Lamade Stadium in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania, on Aug. 25, 2019.
(Rob Carr/Getty Photos)

“The teammates heard him fall, thank goodness,” Beck stated. “After they bought into surgical procedure, the physician talked to Jace and stated had he not gotten into surgical procedure however half-hour later, he would have been lifeless.”

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Jace Oliverson, the boy’s father, is the assistant coach of the Utah group that made the Little League World Collection for the primary time.

Easton’s brother, Brogan, was added to the roster to ensure that the group to keep up its 13-player roster.

The Related Press contributed to this report.

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