Salad knocks out Klitschko
A chicken salad has managed to do what none of his opponents has recently achieved in the boxing ring — to floor world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko. The 36-year-old heavyweight champion was laid low for several days last week after eating a chicken salad in a Hamburg restaurant in the fashionable St Pauli district, German daily Bild reported. Having been taken ill after an evening meal, Klitschko had to call an ambulance during the night and was put on a drip by an emergency doctor. The IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO heavyweight title holder, who lives in Hamburg, was part of a group of four who were all sick after eating the same food at the same restaurant. Klitschko was back on his feet two days after the illness.
Ward to face Pavlik
Super middleweight champion Andre Ward will defend his WBC and WBA belts against former middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik on Jan. 26 next year at the Galen Center in downtown Los Angeles. Ward’s promoter, Dan Goossen, announced the bout between the two Americans on Tuesday. Ward (26-0, 14 KOs) is among the world’s top handful of pound-for-pound fighters, with a perfect career since winning a gold medal at the Athens Olympics. He is to make his sixth title defense against Pavlik, after stopping light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson in September. Pavlik (40-2, 34 KOs) has revitalized his career with four straight victories since losing his two middleweight titles to Sergio Martinez in April 2010.
Phillies’ Ruiz suspended
Philadelphia Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz was suspended for 25 games by Major League Baseball on Tuesday after testing positive for a banned amphetamine. The ban is to take effect at the start of next year’s regular season, allowing Ruiz to take part in spring training. “I am sincerely regretful for my mistake in taking a prohibited stimulant. I apologize to my teammates, the Phillies organization and the Philadelphia fans,” Ruiz said in a statement issued shortly after the announcement.
Union pioneer Miller dies
Marvin Miller, the founding head of the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) who changed the landscape of sports by pioneering free agency for players, died on Tuesday at the age of 95, the union said. Miller, who used the collective bargaining process and some stormy work stoppages to win players the right to become free agents along with vastly improved pensions, health benefits and pay, died at his New York home after a battle with liver cancer, the union said. “All players — past, present and future — owe a debt of gratitude to Marvin and his influence transcends baseball,” current union head Michael Weiner said in a statement.
Eagles release Babin
The Philadelphia Eagles, mired in a seven-game losing streak, have released two-time Pro Bowl defensive end Jason Babin in a move to look toward the future, the club said on Tuesday. Babin, who had a career-best 18 sacks last year after joining the Eagles as a free agent from Tennessee, had just 5.5 sacks this season and with the Eagles floundering with a 3-8 mark, the club wanted to take a closer look at younger players. “We wish him all the best as he continues his career,” Eagles coach Andy Reid said about the 32-year-old Babin.