Povetkin retains title
Undefeated Alexander Povetkin of Russia retained his WBA heavyweight title with a second-round technical knockout of US challenger Hasim Rahman on Saturday in Hamburg, Germany. After a cagey first round, Povetkin exploded into life in the next, delivering a series of blows to which the 39-year-old former WBC, IBF and IBO champion had no response. Referee Gustavo Padilla of Panama had no option but to call it off 1 minute, 36 seconds into the round with Povetkin able to pick his shots at will.“I prepared myself well. It’s a pity I couldn’t show it for that long,” said the 33-year-old Povetkin, who improved to 25-0 (17 KOs). Rahman dropped to 50-8-2 (41 KOs) after his first bout since June last year. The fight was Povetkin’s third defense of the WBA title he earned by beating Ruslan Chagaev on points in August last year. The belt was vacated by Wladimir Klitschko when the Ukrainian was elevated to “super champion” by the WBA after his win over David Haye. Povetkin becomes the mandatory challenger for Klitschko.
Sno suffers heart attack
NEC Nijmegen midfielder Evander Sno suffered a cardiac arrest during their game at Feyenoord on Saturday, but was able to walk off the pitch after his defibrillator resolved the problem. “Evander [Sno] had a cardiac arrest which was followed by a shock from his internal defibrillator,” Feyenoord doctor Casper van Eijck said. “And the shock is what he felt and that terrified him, which I could see in his eyes on the pitch. He was transported to a hospital because the defibrillator caused arrhythmia [abnormal heart beat] so he has to stay there for the night.” Sno had the defibrillator fitted after suffering a cardiac arrest playing for Ajax Amsterdam’s reserves in September 2010 when he was revived by the use of an external defibrillator.
Referees vote on deal
National Football League Referees Association members voted overwhelmingly on Saturday to approve a new eight-year deal with the league to officially end a lockout that began in June. The union’s executive committee struck a deal with the NFL on Wednesday night, about 48 hours after a botched call by replacement referees on the game’s final play denied Green Bay what should have been a victory at Seattle. US President Barack Obama was among those who called for an end to the dispute after that blunder and negotiations sped to a finish in time for regular referees to officiate Baltimore’s home victory over Cleveland on Thursday. Money issues prompted the shutdown and led to the league pulling replacement referees from the high school and college ranks, but the newcomers struggled to cope with the increased speed and physicality of the professional level.
Pedrosa seals easy win
Honda’s Dani Pedrosa cruised to victory at the Aragon Grand Prix ahead of championship leader Jorge Lorenzo of Yamaha yesterday to trim the gap with his Spanish compatriot to 33 points with four races left. Lorenzo started on pole and led from Pedrosa in the early stages at a sunny Motorland circuit, but was passed by the Honda rider with 17 laps remaining and never looked like regaining the lead. With a comfortable cushion at the top of the standings, he appeared to ease off in order to secure second spot and remains well placed to secure a second MotoGP title following his debut triumph in 2010.