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Tech review: Apps for fans of boxing and more fisticuffs

In Real Boxing 2, competitors must endure rigorous

In Real Boxing 2, competitors must endure rigorous and repetitive training before they can get into the ring. Credit: Newsday/Vivid Games

On Oct. 1, 1975, Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier faced off in one of the greatest boxing matches in history. In the 45 years since the "Thrilla in Manila," the fight game and fighting games have changed substantially. These games deliver fight action in squared-circles, octagons and arenas of the imagination.

Real Boxing 2

(iOS, Android; free)

Not unlike real-life boxing, in this game a lot of the action takes place outside the arena, where you must endure rigorous and repetitive training before you can get in the ring. Once you face off with an opponent, the graphics are excellent. The game does not feature the likenesses of real fighters, but you can customize your avatar to resemble all-time greats. The ads, however, are plentiful, as is the incessant lure of in-app purchases.

EA Sports UFC

(iOS, Android; free)

This app boasts about 100 million downloads, a clear sign that Ultimate Fighting Championship, with its seemingly no-holds-barred, mixed-martial arts fighting style, has stolen the spotlight from professional boxing. The game features real-life UFC stars, but your goal is to customize and train a fighter who will succeed in the octagon. EA is about to release a major sequel, and Android users can find a beta version on Google Play Store.

WWE Mayhem

(iOS, Android; free)

WWE "fights" may be scripted, but the athleticism and action are real. This arcade game features past and present WWE stars, but it’s up to you to make sure they succeed. The game nicely incorporates an authentic WWE schedule, including weekly TV shows like "Raw" and "SmackDown" and the biggest of the big wrestling events: WrestleMania.

Marvel Contest of Champions

(iOS, Android; free)

It may not be Ali vs. Frazier, but when superheroes like the Hulk, Deadpool, Spider-man and the rest of the Marvel comic universe face off against each other, there’s definitely star power. In this hardcore fighting game, however, you need to earn power-ups before you can play as or against one of the top-tier Marvel stars. Still, the graphics are excellent and the action, once you collect enough power-ups, is nonstop.

Special delivery

Walmart is testing drone delivery of at-home coronavirus test kits in Cheektowaga, near Buffalo, and North Las Vegas. Walmart says the kits will “land on the driveway, front sidewalk, or backyard of the customer’s home.” Customers perform a self-administered nasal swab and send the kit to a lab in an envelope with a prepaid shipping label. Walmart hasn’t said if it plans to roll out the program nationwide.


Streams rise in Q2

As Americans sheltered in place in the second quarter, they turned to video streaming services for entertainment. Nielsen found that 25% of video content watched from April-June was via streaming services, up from 19% in the fourth quarter of 2019. Netflix grabbed a 34% share of the streaming market, followed by YouTube (20%), Hulu (11%) and Amazon (8%).


Facebook adds shopping section

Facebook has added a new shopping section to its main app, trying to capitalize on the increase in online shopping in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak. Facebook Shop lets people browse product catalogs from businesses and purchase items on the social network. Facebook typically takes a fee from transactions completed on its service, but has temporarily suspended those commissions because of the pandemic.


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