God tells Pacquiao to retire
Philippine boxing hero Manny Pacquiao said yesterday that he had been told by God in a dream to retire soon, potentially raising doubt over hopes of a fight with Floyd Mayweather. Pacquiao, regarded by some as the world’s best pound-for-pound fighter, told radio station DZMM in an interview also broadcast over the channel’s Teleradyo TV show, that he had decided to give up all his vices after the dream. “I will not stay long in boxing because he said: ‘You have done enough. You have made yourself famous, but this is harmful,’” said a serious-looking Pacquiao, who has won eight titles in as many weight divisions. Pacquiao, 33, said he had the dream earlier this year, but declined to reveal how many more fights he would contest before stepping down. However, when asked if his new-found religious fervor would hurt his boxing, Pacquiao replied: “I will do my work inside the ring.”
Seahawks land Matt Flynn
The Seattle Seahawks landed prized free agent Matt Flynn on a three-year deal on Sunday in a bid to end their problems at quarterback. Financial terms were not disclosed by the Seahawks, who announced the deal on their Web site, but local media reported the contract could be worth US$26 million. Despite his previous status as Green Bay’s backup quarterback, the 26-year-old Flynn was one of the most coveted free agent quaterbacks in the league after showing glimpses of his ability in his two starts for the Packers. Flynn set franchise records with 480 yards passing and six touchdowns in the Packers’ regular season finale to boost his career figures of 62 percent pass completion with nine touchdowns and five interceptions. Seattle signed quarterback Tavaris Jackson last off-season, but he had an inconsistent campaign with 14 passing touchdowns and 13 interceptions, and the Seahawks missed the playoffs.
Clashes halt Greek game
The Greek league game between leaders Olympiakos and Panathinaikos was abandoned with eight minutes to go because of escalating clashes between fans and police. Olympiakos, four points ahead of Panathinaikos ahead of the game, were leading 1-0 from Djamel Abdoun’s 51st-minute goal. No Olympiakos fans attended the game at the Olympic Stadium in Athens in accordance with a league policy not to allow visiting fans because of fears of violence. Clashes between police and fans started before the game, when hundreds of youths without tickets tried to enter the stadium. The clashes continued throughout, forcing the second half to start 35 minutes late. Stadium seats and the scoreboard were set on fire.
Gregan named to ARU board
Former Wallabies captain George Gregan will represent the Rugby Union Players’ Association on the nine-man Australian Rugby Union (ARU) board, replacing Mark Connors. Connors served on the board from 2007 and will step down at the annual general meeting in Sydney on April 27, making way for Gregan, the most capped international rugby player. “I would also like to congratulate George on his imminent appointment to the board. He is one of the most decorated players in the history of our game,” board chairman Peter McGrath said in a statement yesterday. Former scrumhalf Gregan, who represented Australia in 139 matches from 1994 to 2007, will join three other former Wallabies — John Eales, Michael Hawker and Brett Robinson — on the board.