Amir Khan to fight Judah
WBA light-welterweight champion Amir Khan will take on IBF holder Zab Judah in a unification fight in Las Vegas on July 23, the Briton said on his Twitter page. Khan won the WBA title against Andreas Kotelnik two years ago and has made four successful defenses, although his last two have been problematic. He came through a bruising encounter against Argentina’s Marcos Maidana in December and then beat Northern Irishman McCloskey in April after his opponent suffered a bad cut in the sixth round after a clash of heads. US southpaw Judah, 33, reclaimed the vacant IBF title against Kaizer Mabuza in March.
Injury could trigger shuffle
Injuries could once again force Vancouver Canucks coach Alain Vigneault to reshuffle his lineup ahead of Game 2 of the Stanley Cup finals against the Boston Bruins today. Dan Hamhuis’s status remained unclear on Thursday after the defenseman limped off the ice early in the second period of the Canucks’ 1-0 win in Game 1 with what appeared to be an ankle or knee injury after hip-checking Bruins’ Milan Lucic along the boards. One of Vancouver’s great strengths this season has been their depth on the blueline where they have employed 14 defensemen. However, Hamhuis’s absence would still be a blow for the Canucks, as he has been one of Vancouver’s top playoff performers.
Crosby cleared to work out
Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby was cleared by a doctor to resume off-ice workouts, with a return to ice not likely until late next month or early August, the NHL club said on Thursday. Penguins general manager Ray Shero said Michael Collins, a physician at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, would monitor the Canadian star’s progress as he begins work with a personal trainer for the next few weeks. “Everything will be closely managed by Dr Collins in terms of his progression leading up to him getting on the ice later in the summer per his usual routine,” Shero said. Crosby, 23, has not played since Jan. 5 because of a concussion. Crosby led the Penguins with 32 goals despite playing only half of the 82-game season.
Burrows avoids biting ban
The bite, not the goal, was the main talking point on Thursday following the Vancouver Canucks’s 1-0 win over the Boston Bruins in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals. The Canucks drew first blood in more ways than one according to the Bruins, who accused Vancouver forward Alex Burrows of biting Patrice Bergeron’s finger during a first-period scrum on Wednesday. The NHL reviewed the incident, but issued a statement saying it could not find enough evidence to warrant a suspension. “After reviewing the incident ... I can find no conclusive evidence Alex Burrows intentionally bit the finger of Patrice Bergeron,” NHL senior vice president of hockey operations Mike Murphy said.
Contract negotiations finish
National Football League players and club owners concluded three days of mediated contract negotiations on Thursday as yesterday’s appeals court hearing on maintaining the ongoing lockout loomed. A joint statement from the NFL and players confirmed talks had been staged near Chicago with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and players leader DeMaurice Smith, but whether progress was made on a deal was not revealed.