Rau’shee Warren set for pro debut… finally

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The third time was certainly not the charm for Team USA flyweight boxer Rau’shee Warren.

But after dropping his first fight in Athens, Beijing… and again in London, the only 25-year-old man proud to wear the same shoe size as his mother is set to make his pro debut Friday night outside Palm Springs, Calif. against Puerto Rico’s Luis Rivera.

“I just want to get started,” Warren told the AP. “It’s been a long time coming, and I’ve got goals I want to reach. It’s grind time now.”

Warren will make his debut along with London teammates Terrell Gausha, Marcus Browne, Errol Spence Jr., and Dominic Breazeale at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino as part of a special event headlined by Beijing Olympian Gary Russell Jr. The five new pros were part of the worst American showing in Olympics history and the first to produce zero medals.

Warren, a Cincinnati native who appeared in a U.S. boxing record three Olympics, is arguably more famous for his shoe collection and Twitter account than his boxing prowess, but doesn’t seem overly concerned with past results. Instead, he seems to be looking forward to his future career.

“I feel like I’m not in a hurry,” Warren concluded. “I’ve got time to accomplish my goals. I just want to get out to a good start. I’ve been getting ready for this for a long time.”

You can catch Warren and the rest of the USA Boxing crew Friday night on Showtime Boxing.

WATCH LIVE: London Marathon

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Watch the world’s best distance runners chase world records at the London Marathon, live on NBCSN and commercial free on the NBC Sports Gold “Track and Field Pass” for subscribers on Sunday at 3:30 a.m. ET.

NBCSN coverage also streams on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app for subscribers.

WATCH LIVE: London Marathon
NBCSN coverage — STREAM LINK
NBC Sports Gold commercial free — STREAM LINK

Sunday’s race start times (ET)
3:55 – Elite Wheelchair Races
4:00 – World Para Athletics Marathon World Cup ambulant races
4:15 – Elite Women’s Race
5:00 – Elite Men’s Race, Mass Race

The men’s field features arguably the two greatest distance runners of all time — Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge and Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele.

Kipchoge, the Rio Olympic marathon champ, ran the fastest marathon ever recorded — 2:00:25 in Nike’s sub-two-hour attempt last May in non-record-eligible conditions.

Bekele is the second-fastest marathoner in history under legal conditions, having run six seconds shy of Kenyan Dennis Kimetto‘s world record of 2:02:57 from 2014.

In the women’s race, Kenyan Mary Keitany, already the world-record holder in a women’s-only race, looks to take down Brit Paula Radcliffe‘s world record with male pacers set in London 15 years ago. That time is 2:15:25.

Keitany is challenged by Ethiopian Tirunesh Dibaba, the third-fastest female marathoner in history behind Keitany and Radcliffe.

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Teddy Riner, dominant judoka, to skip 2018, 2019 Worlds

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French judoka Teddy Riner, arguably the world’s most dominant athlete, will reportedly skip the next two world championships before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

French coach Franck Chambily said Riner will compete a light international schedule the next two years ahead of what would be his fourth Olympics, according to Agence France-Presse.

Riner, a 29-year-old, 6-foot-8-inch native of Guadeloupe, is undefeated since 2010 with a reported 144-match winning streak. That includes Olympic titles in 2012 and 2016 and world titles in 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017.

Before the streak, Riner also earned world titles in 2007, 2009 and 2010, plus an Olympic bronze at age 19 in 2008.

He could compete through the 2024 Paris Games.

“When I am invincible, I will stop,” Riner said in 2013, according to The Associated Press.

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