Rigondeaux pounds Ramos
Cuba’s Guillermo Rigondeaux, a former two-time Olympic champion, stopped Rico Ramos in the sixth round on Friday to claim the American’s WBA super bantamweight title. Rigondeaux dominated throughout, starting with a knockdown after a punishing left to the head in the opening round of their scheduled 12-round fight in Las Vegas, Nevada. His left to the body sent Ramos down for the count 1 minute, 29 seconds into the sixth. Rigondeaux, who had an extensive amateur career in Cuba before defecting in 2009, improved to 9-0 with seven wins inside the distance as he handed Ramos his first professional defeat. Ramos fell to 20-1 with 11 knockouts. He was making his first defense of the title he took from Japan’s Akifumi Shimoda in July last year with a seventh-round knockout in Atlantic City.
Rams to play in London
The St Louis Rams will play a regular-season NFL game in London in each of the next three seasons, first facing the New England Patriots next season. The NFL said on Friday the Rams and Patriots will play on Oct. 28 at Wembley Stadium, the sixth year in a row the league will play regular-season games in the British capital. The NFL has been trying to bring two games a season to the UK, but the league said the Rams-Patriots contest would be the only one next season. The NFL first played at Wembley in 2007, with the New York Giants beating the Miami Dolphins 13-10. Since then, seven other teams have visited Britain, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers making the trip twice. The Patriots have already been to London, beating the Bucs 35-7 in 2009. The Rams are owned by Stan Kroenke, who is also the majority shareholder in English club Arsenal.
No S Africa trips for NZ ref
New Zealand referee Keith Lawrence says he has not been appointed to any Super Rugby matches in South Africa this season because of continuing fallout over his handling of last year’s Rugby World Cup quarter-final between the Springboks and Australia. Lawrence said he received threats and abuse from South African fans over his performance in the quarter-final, which was won 11-9 by Australia, knocking the world champion South Africans out of the World Cup. “I got quite a few threats, people telling me if I came to South Africa to watch my back because they’d take me out,” he said. Lawrence said he was eager to face his critics, but the decision not to appoint him to South African games had been taken by the Super Rugby organizing body SANZAR.
Fan beating probe has twist
One of Australia’s most senior police officers yesterday stood aside from a probe into footage showing an officer repeatedly punching a fan at the Sydney Cricket Ground amid reports it was his son. New South Wales Assistant Police Commissioner Mark Murdoch was the man who launched an internal investigation into the incident, but he has now withdrawn citing conflict of interest, a police statement said. The Seven Network video shows a uniformed New South Wales officer hitting a person at least five times in the stands during Wednesday night’s Big Bash Twenty20 clash between Sydney Sixers and Perth Scorchers. It was widely reported yesterday the officer was Murdoch’s son, although police would only say a relative was involved. Earlier, Murdoch told Channel Seven that “the video footage, in isolation, doesn’t look great.”