Posts Tagged ‘Andre Ward’

Edwin Rodriguez doesn’t make weight for Andre Ward fight

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Edwin Rodriguez weighed two pounds overweight at Friday's weigh-in. (Alexis Cuarezma/Getty Images)

Edwin Rodriguez weighed two pounds overweight at Friday’s weigh-in. (Alexis Cuarezma/Getty Images)

Super middleweight contender Edwin Rodriguez could not make weight for Saturday’s scheduled fight against Andre Ward. On Friday, Rodriguez weighed in at 170-pounds — two over the limit — and did not weigh in again. Rodriguez will be docked a percentage of his $1 million purse and is ineligible to win the WBA title.

Rodriguez will be fined $200,000 and must not weigh heavier than 180-pounds on Saturday.

It’s a disappointing — and embarrassing — development for Rodriguez (24-0), who last fought in July. The fight with Ward (26-0) represents the biggest fight and largest purse of his career. Throughout the promotion, Rodriguez repeatedly expressed that he was ready for this fight.

“Mentally I’m prepared and I’m ready,” Rodriguez said on a recent conference call. “I understand that Andre Ward is at a whole different level, but I have proof that I’m also at a different level. I do understand that Andre Ward is undefeated, but so am I. He has to figure me out just as much as I got to figure him out. I’m not worried about all the hype. I’m ready.”

Apparently, Rodriguez is not.

– CHRIS MANNIX


  • Published On Nov 15, 2013
  • Super middleweight champ Andre Ward slated to fight Edwin Rodriguez

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    Andre Ward (left) has posted an undefeated mark of 26-0 for his career to this point. (Naoki Fukuda/AFLO/Icon SMI)

    Andre Ward (left) has posted an undefeated mark of 26-0 for his career to this point. (Naoki Fukuda/AFLO/Icon SMI)

    Super middleweight kingpin Andre Ward is close to an agreement to face Edwin Rodriguez on Nov. 16, industry sources told SI.com. The fight will take place in either Anaheim or Ontario, Calif. and be televised on HBO.

    A source described the deal as “90 percent done” and said an announcement should come within the next two days.

    Ward (26-0) has been out of action since last September, when he knocked out light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson. A shoulder injury sidelined Ward for the first half of the year and a protracted dispute with HBO over his next opponent pushed his target return date from September to November. In discussions with HBO, Ward preferred a softer opponent — Dimitri Sartison, Caleb Truax and Stanyslav Kashtanov were three of the names that were floated — while still making a seven-figure payday. HBO was unwilling to put up the money Ward wanted for a tune-up fight.

    Read More…


  • Published On Sep 19, 2013
  • Has Andre Ward earned the right to get a big payday for a tuneup fight?

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    Andre Ward hasn't fought since his September 2012 win over Chad Dawson. (Naoki Fukuda/AFLO/Icon SMI)

    Andre Ward hasn’t fought since his September 2012 win over Chad Dawson. (Naoki Fukuda/AFLO/Icon SMI)

    It’s been a tough year for Andre Ward. From the shoulder injury that sidelined him for several months — and cost him a lucrative, and very winnable, fight against Kelly Pavlik — to his (failed) court battle to separate from longtime promoter Dan Goossen to the current dispute with HBO over his next opponent, Ward has been unable to capitalize on last year’s 10th-round destruction of then-light heavyweight kingpin Chad Dawson. That was his biggest, most impressive and, perhaps most important, his most watched win to date.

    The newest (and ongoing) issue for Ward is the aforementioned next opponent. Here’s what we know: Ward (26-0) prefers that his next fight be a tuneup. There’s nothing wrong with that. Ward has been off since last September and isn’t all that interested in his next bout being a big matchup. That’s why Ward’s team — Goossen and manager James Prince — have floated such rust-shaking candidates as Dimitry Sartison, Caleb Truax and Stanyslav Kashtanov. Read More…


  • Published On Aug 26, 2013
  • Does Andre Ward need Carl Froch? Believe it or not, it may be true

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    Carl Froch vs. Andre Ward

    Carl Froch lost to Andre Ward in 2011, but holds the upper hand in rematch negotiations. (Nick Laham/Getty Images)

    In 2011, Andre Ward battered Carl Froch over 12 lopsided rounds, winning a unanimous decision and firmly establishing himself as the No. 1 super middleweight in the world. But as I watched Froch batter Mikkel Kessler last week, a fight witnessed by 18,000 fans in London’s O2 Arena and millions more on Sky Sports in the U.K and HBO in the U.S., it occurred to me:

    Ward needs Froch more than Froch needs Ward.

    Think about it: Froch has options. The win over Kessler evened the series between the two and a third fight — in either England or Denmark — would be worth millions. Light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins is practically pleading for a fight with Froch, willing to come to the U.K. and fight at a catchweight to get it. Rising super middleweight contender George Groves is a promotional stablemate of Froch and would create an appealing all-England showdown.

    Read More…


  • Published On Jun 04, 2013
  • Quick Jabs: Mayweather still needs opponent, Pavlik could benefit from Ward injury, more

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    It is still unclear who Floyd Mayweather will be facing in May. (AP)

    It is still unclear who Floyd Mayweather will be facing in May. (AP)

    Some quick jabs …

    • Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer said no decisions have been made regarding opponents for Floyd Mayweather and Saul Alvarez in May. While Robert Guerrero continues to be a leading candidate to face Mayweather, Schaefer indicated that Austin Trout, who is coming off an upset win over Miguel Cotto in December, isn’t a likely candidate for Alvarez.

    “[Trout] is one of the names being considered,” Schaefer said. “But at this point, I don’t think it will happen.”

    • The shoulder injury that will sideline Andre Ward for at least the next few months could turn out to be a blessing for Kelly Pavlik. Pavlik, of course, was scheduled to face Ward later this month. Few people in the industry — myself included — gave Pavlik little more than a puncher’s chance against Ward, a physically stronger and more skilled fighter who has been campaigning at 168-pounds for most of his career. With Ward out, Pavlik has plenty of options in the super middleweight division. A fight with Lucian Bute has been dangled and a long-awaited matchup with Arthur Abraham could be a possibility. One name I’ve heard linked with Pavlik: Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., who could still be contemplating a move up to 168-pounds.

    • So Mariusz Wach says he has lost his passion for boxing. I would too if I took the beating Wladimir Klitschko gave him.

    • Heavyweight contender Kubrat Pulev’s promoter, Chris Meyer of Sauerland Event, told me on Monday that he will begin negotiations with Main Events CEO Kathy Duva this week about a matchup between Pulev and Tomasz Adamek this year. Pulev-Adamek would be an IBF eliminator, with the winner guaranteed a shot at IBF titleholder Wladimir Klitschko. Meyer said he hoped to have a tentative plan settled in the next 10-14 days.

    • Credit junior middleweight Gabriel Rosado for refusing to fight middleweight titleholder Gennady Golovkin at a catchweight of 158-pounds. I like Golovkin to win that fight but Rosado — who has never backed up from anyone — will make Golovkin fight. Could be an early candidate for Fight of the Year.

    • NBC reported that the ratings for its December 22nd card headlined by Tomasz Adamek and Steve Cunningham averaged 1.6 million viewers (a 1.2 rating), peaking at 3.2 million viewers (2.2 rating). On the heels of a successful show on CBS a week earlier, I think it’s safe to say boxing will be back on network TV. Soon.

    • Count me among those concerned about Manny Pacquiao after his devastating knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez last month. But I don’t think doctors who have never examined him — like Filipino neurologist Dr. Rustico Jimenez, who last week said he saw early signs of Parkinson’s disease in Pacquiao — have any right to go public with that kind of accusation. That’s staggeringly irresponsible.

    - Chris Mannix


  • Published On Jan 08, 2013
  • Sources: Ward suffers shoulder injury, Pavlik fight likely to be rescheduled

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    Andre Ward retained his middleweight titles with a TKO over Chad Dawson in September. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images).

    Andre Ward retained his middleweight titles with a TKO over Chad Dawson in Sept. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images).

    LAS VEGAS — Unified Super middleweight titleholder Andre Ward suffered a shoulder injury during training and his Jan. 26 title defense against Kelly Pavlik will likely be rescheduled, multiple sources told SI.com

    Though no final decision has been made, sources say the fight will likely be rescheduled in late February or early March.

    Ward (26-0) is coming off a 10th-round TKO of Chad Dawson on Sept. 8. Pavlik, who took nine months off from boxing to begin 2012, has won his last four fights, most recently defeating Will Rosinsky in July.

    – Chris Mannix


  • Published On Dec 05, 2012
  • Quick jabs: Victor Ortiz eyes Freddie Roach, Gabriel Rosado’s rise, more

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    Former welterweight champ Victor Ortiz (above), who is coming off back-to-back knockout losses, could be pairing with Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach. (AP)

    Some quick jabs …

    • Victor Ortiz, who parted ways with longtime trainer Danny Garcia after last June’s loss to Josesito Lopez, has reached out to Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach. Roach says he will meet with Ortiz once the former welterweight titleholder recovers from the broken jaw he suffered against Lopez.

    • With Emanuel Steward battling a serious illness, Wladimir Klitschko will begin training camp for his Nov. 10 heavyweight title defense against Mariusz Wach without a chief cornerman. Klitschko’s manager, Bernd Boente, says that Klitschko is hoping Steward will be able to join camp in late October and work his corner for the fight.

    • A dark horse candidate to face super middleweight kingpin Andre Ward: Denis Grachev, who will face Lucian Bute in November. Grachev (12-0) is coming off a stunning knockout win over top prospect Ismayl Sillakh last April. If Grachev beats Bute, he will likely become a very appealing possibility for Ward.

    • I still think Kelly Pavlik is the most realistic big-name opponent for Ward.

    • Miguel Cotto picked a dangerous tune-up opponent in Austin Trout. Trout isn’t exciting — his win over Delvin Rodriguez in June was as dull as it was decisive — but he is slick and savvy in the ring. If Trout isn’t overwhelmed by the moment, he has a great chance at an upset.

    • What a wasted year this has been for Gary Russell Jr. For Andre Dirrell, too.

    • While Cornelius Bundrage’s IBF junior middleweight title defense against Andre Berto isn’t done yet, I’m told it’s very close to being finalized for Nov. 24 on HBO. On paper, Berto, who has not fought in over a year after testing positive for a banned substance during training for his scheduled rematch against Victor Ortiz, would appear to be a big favorite. But Berto will be moving up in weight to face Bundrage, whose aggressive, awkward style could give Berto problems.

    • The winner of Berto-Bundrage will be obligated to defend the title against Gabriel Rosado, who earned the position of mandatory challenger with a knockout win over Charles Whittaker last Friday. A year ago, high-profile opponents would have done everything they could to avoid Rosado. But because Rosado’s profile has risen considerably on the heels of three straight knockout wins on NBC Sports Network — wins that have sparked interest from the better paying premium networks — expect him to get that shot early next year.

    • I like Main Events plan to focus on moving fighters up the IBF rankings. The IBF is regarded as the most respectable of the sanctioning bodies, which is to say if a fighter is ranked No. 1, he is going to get his title shot.

    • Ricky Hatton has sold more than 18,000 tickets to his comeback fight in November — and he doesn’t even have an opponent yet. Incredible.

    • Roy Jones-Kimbo Slice? Pass. Pass, pass, pass.

    • Thoughts and prayers are with the family of former heavyweight champion Corrie Sanders, who according to police was shot and killed while celebrating a family member’s 21st birthday party in Cape Town, South Africa. Sanders was 46.

    – Chris Mannix


  • Published On Sep 25, 2012
  • Quick jabs: Ricky Hatton comes back, Amir Khan finds new trainer, more

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    Former two-division world champion Ricky Hatton (above), who announced a comeback last week, might be an attractive opponent for compatriot Amir Khan. (AP)

    Some quick jabs …

    • How much money did Miguel Cotto leave on the table when he passed on a rematch with Manny Pacquiao? According to Bob Arum, a lot. Arum said Cotto’s guarantee for a Dec. 1 date with Pacquiao would have been around $13 million, with the possibility of going as high as $15 million if the pay-per-view numbers were strong. Instead, Cotto will settle for significantly less in a fight with unknown junior middleweight Austin Trout while Arum signed Juan Manuel Marquez for a fourth fight with Pacquiao by guaranteeing just $6 million.

    • HBO was thrilled with the rating it got for the heavily promoted Sept. 8 showdown between Andre Ward and Chad Dawson. According to the Neilsen numbers, Ward-Dawson attracted 1.3 million viewers, the sixth straight World Championship Boxing telecast exceeding 1 million viewers for HBO.

    • Here’s my one and only thought on the proposed partnership between Manny Pacquiao and 50 Cent: I’ll believe it when I see it.

    • I’m fully expecting a rematch between Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Sergio Martinez to take place early next year. Chavez Jr. wants it and Martinez isn’t going to sniff that much money against anyone else. Hopefully Chavez will take his training a little more seriously next time. He has the talent to beat Martinez but he has to be in peak condition both mentally and physically if he expects to have a shot against a fighter as fast and skilled as Martinez.

    • At 33, comebacking Ricky Hatton probably has one more big fight left in him. And perhaps the biggest one of his career could be out there: Amir Khan. They haven’t invented a word for how big Hatton-Khan could be in England and after a tune-up or two both could be ready for it.

    • Little tired of strength coach Alex Ariza taking to Twitter and passive aggressively implying that a fighter would have done better had he been more involved. In the aftermath of Chavez’s loss to Martinez, Ariza, who had reduced role in Chavez’s camp this time around, in a Q&A with his followers, suggested that Chavez would have performed better had he followed his diet and that Chavez was “not in my kind of shape.” It’s not the first time Ariza has done this and it’s getting a little old.

    • Arum says he plans on bringing welterweight titleholder Tim Bradley back in December. Possible opponents include Ruslan Provodnikov, Zab Judah, Lamont Peterson and Robert Guerrero. Guerrero is under contract with archrival Golden Boy but Arum told a handful of reporters last week that Bradley-Guerrero was a fight he would really like to make.

    • Hasim Rahman, who held the WBC heavyweight title for a year between 2005 and ’06, is getting another crack at a world title. Rahman, 39, will travel to Germany to take on Alexander Povetkin on Sept. 29 in a fight that will be televised in the U.S. on Epix.

    • Predictably, the Adrien Broner-Antonio DeMarco negotiations are progressing slowly. Broner, who is represented by influential and divisive manager Al Haymon, wants the lion’s share of the money and DeMarco isn’t willing to give it to him. Like I’ve said before: Fight each other or don’t fight anyone else in your weight class on premium TV.

    • How much did it cost 50 Cent to pry Yuri Gamboa away from Top Rank? That would be $1.2 million. From what I hear from Top Rank officials, that’s just about how much the company invested in Gamboa.

    • The always entertaining Gabriel Rosado (20-5) is back in action on Friday night, when he headlines the next installment of NBC Sports Network’s Fight Night series against Charles Whittaker (38-12-2). This is a big fight for Rosado: If he wins, he becomes the No. 1 contender for the IBF junior middleweight title held by Cornelius Bundrage.

    • While we all wait (and wait, and wait) for Pacquiao-Mayweather, it’s clear Arum is setting up the winner of next month’s junior welterweight fight between Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado as the next opponent for Pacquiao. Rios-Alvarado is expected to be a war, which should give the winner a nice bounce going into a Pacquiao fight.

    • Showtime has to be pleased with the numbers for Saul Alvarez-Josesito Lopez on Saturday. According to Neilsen ratings, Alvarez-Lopez attracted 1.04 million viewers. Still, that’s a 42 percent drop from Alvarez’s HBO-televised fight against Kermit Cintron in November 2011, which drew 1.47 million viewers.

    • Amir Khan is reportedly set to name Virgil Hunter, best known for training super middleweight champion Andre Ward, as his new coach. That’s a good call. Hunter has a brilliant boxing mind who believes hit-and-don’t-get-hit is the only philosophy a fighter should live by. For a shaky-chinned fighter like Khan, that’s the best kind of trainer.

    • Speaking of Ward, cross Mikkel Kessler off the list of potential next opponents. Ward had expressed interest in a rematch with Kessler — whom he picked apart over 11 lopsided rounds in 2009 — but Kessler elected to face 37-year old Brian Magee, who owns a minor super middleweight title. It’s just as well: Ward-Kessler would have created no buzz in the United States.

    • Last week, Arum spent a lot of time talking to reporters about junior middleweight prospect John Jackson, even going as far as to say Jackson would get a televised slot on the Pacquiao pay-per-view telecast. But on Saturday, Jackson (13-1) ran into another pretty good prospect, the Jack Loew-trained Willie Nelson (19-1-1), who beat him in a close decision. Jackson still has potential and a lot of power (12 knockouts) but needs to polish his game so he can out box fighters he can’t knock out.

    – Chris Mannix


  • Published On Sep 18, 2012
  • Quick jabs: Andre Ward, Gennady Golovkin, Adrien Broner making news

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    Manny Pacquiao (above), who fell to No. 3 in SI.com’s most recent pound-for-pound ratings, might not fight again in 2012 according to Top Rank’s Bob Arum. (AP)

    Some quick jabs …

    • Expect to see Andre Ward, fresh off last weekend’s impressive knockout win over Chad Dawson, in Las Vegas this Saturday at the Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.-Sergio Martinez middleweight title fight. Ward is eyeballing the winner for his next fight. Just don’t expect Ward, a 168-pound super middleweight, to drop too close to the 160-pound middleweight limit. Ward’s trainer, Virgil Hunter, told me Ward might be willing to cut “a couple of pounds” but no more than that. Nor is Ward all that interested in moving all the way up to 175 pounds, either. Hunter believes anyone who wants a crack at Ward should have to fight him at his weight.

    • So much for TMT Promotions — a company founded this summer by rapper 50 Cent and believed to involve Floyd Mayweather — making a big splash. While TMT is still in the hunt for a November date on HBO, nothing is close to being finalized. Moreover, 50 Cent has indicated in recent interviews that his relationship with Mayweather isn’t as strong as it used to be. That’s not good news for Andre Dirrell, Yuri Gamboa and Billy Dib, fighters who have signed to TMT but don’t appear to have many options before the end of the year.

    • After watching Tomasz Adamek get knocked down and struggle in an eventual fifth-round knockout of journeyman Travis Walker, you have to wonder just how much the 35-year old Adamek has left in the tank. In the last year Adamek has been battered by Vitali Klitschko, gone the distance in wins over Nagy Aguilera and Eddie Chambers, and been life and death with Walker. Adamek has fought some wars in his career; now, they might be catching up with him.

    • When Zsolt Erdei withdrew from his Sept. 29 fight with Isaac Chilemba, one solution was to take Chilemba off promoter Lou DiBella’s HBO-televised show and move him to a Main Events-promoted Sept. 21 card on NBC Sports Network. Main Events had been searching for a replacement for Gabriel Campillo, who withdrew from a fight with Sergey Kovalev, which would have headlined the NBC show. DiBella and HBO, however, wanted Main Events to give up Kovalev and have him fight Chilemba on HBO. But because boxing promoters get along about as well as a divorced couple, Chilemba stayed on DiBella’s card, where he will fight a yet to be named opponent on the untelevised undercard, while Kovalev will face unheralded Lionel Thompson on the NBC card. No one wins.

    • I still think that from a marketing perspective, Kelly Pavlik makes the most sense for Andre Ward.

    • If HBO can’t make Adrien Broner-Antonio DeMarco in November, I don’t want to see either of them on television. The network has invested millions in Broner, who has looked great plowing over a collection of stiffs. And DeMarco, who knocked out John Molina in less than a minute on Saturday, told me that he is ready, willing and able to fight Broner in November. Make it happen, or don’t give them the platform or the money to fight someone else.

    • Look for scintillating middleweight Gennady Golovkin to be back in the ring before the end of the year; just don’t expect it to be a unification fight against Daniel Geale. There’s a strong interest from HBO to make Golovkin-Geale but the sense I’m getting is that it’s more likely to happen in the spring of 2013.

    • No one at 140 pounds wants a piece of Lucas Matthyse. No one.

    • Spent some time talking to several people in Manny Pacquiao’s camp this week and no one can say with any certainty whether Pacquiao will fight again this year. Top Rank is still holding the Dec. 8 date but it is waiting to hear from Pacquiao.

    • During its broadcast last weekend, HBO incorrectly identified Ward as the last U.S. Olympic boxing gold medalist. Ward is the last men’s boxing gold medalist. The last gold medal won by a USA boxer was claimed by Claressa Shields, the 17-year old phenom who picked up middleweight gold in London.

    – Chris Mannix


  • Published On Sep 11, 2012
  • Three thoughts from Andre Ward’s scintillating win over Chad Dawson

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    Andre Ward defended his WBA and WBC titles with a 10th round knockout of Chad Dawson. (Jeff Chiu/AP)

    1. This was a boxing clinic — Chad Dawson is the undisputed top dog at light heavyweight and a recognized top-ten fighter in the world. And Andre Ward made him look pedestrian. Ward threw rights and lefts, fought inside and out, showcased power and speed; against an opponent who has beaten virtually everyone at 175-pounds (some twice) Ward submitted a brilliant performance. He literally beat Dawson into submission: When referee Steve Smoger checked with Dawson after he was knocked down — for the third time — in the tenth round, Dawson appeared to tell Smoger he was done.

    Any fears this fight would be a technical snoozefest were dispelled in the third round, when a short left hook put Dawson on the canvas. A looping left put Dawson down again in the fourth and Ward never looked back. Ward punished Dawson with left hands that Dawson seemed not to see coming, leaving the sturdy, 6-foot-1 Dawson noodle-legged for most of the fight.

    Ward cautioned everyone before the fight not to rule out a knockout, comments most dismissed. As good as Ward is, he has never shown punishing power; his last knockout was back in 2009. Yet against a strong chinned opponent in Dawson–who has stood up to Tomasz Adamek, Antonio Tarver and Glen Johnson, among others–Ward showed a killer instinct few knew was there.

    “In boxing everyone is knockout hungry,” Ward said. It’s the last piece of the puzzle. It’s not something you can teach.”

    2. Is Ward the best fighter in boxing? — This will be a hot topic for debate as writers cobble together their pound-for-pound lists over the next few weeks. My opinion: Ward is no worse than the No. 2 pound-for-pound fighter, ahead of Manny Pacquiao and Sergio Martinez, just behind Floyd Mayweather, and you can make a compelling argument that he deserves the top spot. Ward has cleaned out the super middleweight division and has now beaten the best light heavyweight in the world. Mayweather is coming off an impressive win over Miguel Cotto last May but doesn’t have the same bounce in his legs and is clearly, if only ever so slightly, on the decline. If Ward isn’t No. 1 now, he is nipping right at Mayweather’s heels.

    More scary: Ward’s trainer, Virgil Hunter, says Ward has only reached about 85% of his potential.

    3. So … what’s next? —  Where does Ward go from here? He beat all the top super middleweights (Carl Froch, Mikkel Kessler, Arthur Abraham) in the Super Six and with Lucian Bute tied up with a scheduled rematch with Froch in 2013, there aren’t many compelling options in the rankings. A rematch with Kessler has been floated, but that won’t move the needle much and getting Kessler to come back to fight in the U.S. will be challenging.

    One name to keep an eye on: Kelly Pavlik. Pavlik’s personal issues have derailed his career and he hasn’t looked all that impressive since making the jump up to super middleweight last year. But he is still a household name who can do a strong rating on HBO. If Pavlik can pick up another win before the end of the year — and hopefully look good doing it — a Pavlik-Ward fight could mean big business.

    – Chris Mannix


  • Published On Sep 09, 2012


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