LONDON -- She hopped, skipped and shook her arms on the way to the ring, a surly look on her face, pure defiance in her eyes, a female Rocky Balboa headed to face Ivan Drago, Swedish edition. The 5-foot-9 Claressa Shields didn't have any business beating the 6-foot-1 Anna Laurell, a two-time world champion with more than a decade of international experience. Most times, Shields said, a big fighter will beat a small fighter.
UFC middleweight champ Anderson Silva isn't simply in search of a new challenge when he moves up in weight to fight Forrest Griffin at UFC 101 in Philadelphia this weekend. What he needs is someone who will give him an actual fight. He needs an opponent who can knock him out of his current holding pattern and force him to be the exciting finisher he used to be. He needs a Rocky Balboa to his Apollo Creed, to put it in terms that Philly can understand, and he needs it now.
PHILADELPHIA -- The Bank can only hold 45,000 fans. So the real ball-watching goes on in the bars and the pubs and the taverns, hundreds upon hundreds of them, all over the city, plus hundreds more in the suburbs and over in South Jersey.
And so there they were, ready to plant their red and white flag square in the cold, cruel collective heart of Philadelphia sports fans from the Great Northeast to South Street. Yes, it was the perfect time for the Philadelphia Phillies to become the kings of Rocky Balboa City, at least for a while. The NFL Eagles are temporary toast. Their coach looks more catatonic than usual, their quarterback is getting little support for his charges of racism, their record is an anemic 1-3, and it's a bye week, for heaven's sake. No football unless you count Temple, which you should not.
Make way for a woman's touch! Lisa Raymond is one of the most successful doubles players in the world. Over a 13-year pro career, the Philadelphia-area native has won 61 doubles titles, including a career Grand Slam. She and her current partner, Australian Samantha Stosur, are currently ranked No. 1 on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. Lisa will check in from time to time with SI.com to rap about her career, life on the tour and other tennis news and notes.