Carroll out for England
Striker Andy Carroll withdrew from England’s squad for this month’s World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine after injuring his hamstring on his West Ham United debut on Saturday. Carroll fell awkwardly after colliding with Fulham center-back Brede Hangeland midway through the second half of West Ham’s 3-0 Premier League win at Upton Park. The pony-tailed frontman, who joined the London club on a season-long loan from Liverpool on Thursday, immediately clutched his right hamstring and was substituted. The Football Association said on its Web site that any decision to replace Carroll would “not be made until after the three league fixtures on Sunday [yesterday] have been completed.” England, already without injured striker Wayne Rooney, open their Group H campaign in Moldova on Friday and hosts Ukraine four days later.
Golovkin defends belts
Kazakhstan’s Gennady Golovkin defended his WBA and IBO middleweight belts with his 11th consecutive victory on Saturday, stopping Poland’s Grzegorz Proksa in the fifth round of an impressive US debut. Golovkin (24-0, 21 KOs) battered his Polish opponent in every round, dropping Proksa (28-2) in the first and fourth rounds before the referee halted the bout. Golovkin is a Kazakh-born fighter who lives in Germany and trains in California. He had never fought in the US before this bout at a casino in upstate New York, but he is determined to become a stateside star. Golovkin is ranked among the world’s top middleweights, although his talent could make him unattractive to the winner of the showdown between the division’s best: Sergio Martinez vs Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. on Sept. 15.
Singwancha keeps WBA title
Thailand’s Tepparith Singwancha defended his WBA super flyweight title on Saturday on points against former champion Nobuo Nashiro of Japan. Two judges scored the bout 115-113, 115-114 in favor of Tepparith, 23, while one judge had it even at 114-114 in the Japanese city of Osaka. “Nashiro is a strong fighter so I did the best preparation this time. If he wants to fight against me again, I’m going to accept,” said Tepparith, who improved his record to 19 wins, including 11 KOs, against two defeats. Tepparith became the interim champion in May last year and was promoted to full champion in November with Japanese title-holder Tomonobu Shimizu unable to defend the belt because of an eye injury. It was Tepparith’s third defense of the title. The 30-year-old Nashiro, ranked 14th in the WBA, said before the fight that he would quit if he lost. “I couldn’t beat him. He was really tough. I thought I won, but it’s all right. I did everything that I wanted to do. I’m not changing my mind [to retire]. I experienced the best career as a boxer,” he said. The defeat saw Nashiro’s record reduced to 18 wins, including 12 KOs, against five defeats and a draw.
Pezzoni leaves Cologne
Cologne manager Holger Stanislawski says violent and threatening fans have driven defender Kevin Pezzoni away from the club. The 23-year-old Pezzoni was released from his contract with Cologne on Friday after being accosted and threatened outside his home by the club’s fans during the week. In February, Pezzoni was attacked by an unknown assailant who broke the player’s nose during Cologne’s carnival celebrations. Pezzoni played 90 league games for Cologne since his arrival from Blackburn Rovers in January 2008.