Golovkin batters Rosado
Gennady Golovkin battered gutsy Gabriel Rosado on the way to a seventh-round technical knockout on Saturday to remain unbeaten and retain his World Boxing Association middleweight world title. Kazakhstan’s Golovkin, who lives in Germany and was fighting in the US for the second time, poured on the pressure from the opening bell until Rosado’s corner threw in the towel and referee Steve Smoger officially stopped the bout after two minutes, 46 seconds of the seventh. The hard-punching middleweight improved to 25-0 with 22 victories inside the distance. Fighting in the Theater at Madison Square Garden, the 30-year-old Golovkin notched a second-straight convincing win in front of US fans, following up his punishing fifth-round knockout of Grzegorz Proksa in September last year and positioning himself for a shot at World Boxing Council champion Sergio Martinez. Even Golovkin’s jabs rocked Rosado, who fought gamely despite the blood that was pouring from the cut over his eye and from his nose by the sixth round. Before the seventh, his corner asked if they should stop the fight and he said no. However, as the seconds ticked away in the seventh and he was unable to respond effectively to Golovkin’s punches, they called a halt.
Peterhansel defends title
Frenchmen Stephane Peterhansel and Cyril Despres have successfully defended their car and motorbike titles in the Dakar Rally. Peterhansel, leading the race since the second stage on Jan. 6, became the most successful driver in the world’s toughest rally with his fifth victory to go along with a record six on a motorbike. He is the first person to win the car category twice since the rally moved from Africa to South America in 2009 for security reasons. Overall, Peterhansel beat 2009 winner Giniel de Villiers of South Africa by 42 minutes, and by nearly 90 over Mini teammate, third-placed Leonid Novitskiy of Russia. Despres’ fifth title on a KTM tied him in rally history with the inaugural Dakar winner, countryman Cyril Neveu. They are second only to Peterhansel in bike titles.
Loeb wins Monte Carlo Rally
Nine-time world champion Sebastien Loeb of France won the Monte Carlo Rally for the seventh time in the past eight races on Saturday. The Citroen driver, competing in the first of only four races this season after going into semi-retirement, won ahead of countryman Sebastien Ogier and Daniel Sordo of Spain after race organizers cancelled the day’s final two stages on safety grounds. Adverse weather forced many spectators to attempt to abandon the mountainous terrain ahead of the last two stages, causing major congestion. Loeb, who clinched the day’s third stage ahead of Ogier and Sordo, finished one minute, 39.9 seconds up on Ogier and 3:49 clear of Sordo overall.
Milan eye Balotelli
AC Milan vice president Adriano Galliani says the club is interested in signing Mario Balotelli, but only if Manchester City drops its asking price for the Italy striker. Balotelli, who is a Milan fan, has long been linked with a return to Italy, where he progressed through the ranks at Inter before joining City in 2010. Balotelli’s agent, Mino Raiola, spent time at Milan’s headquarters on Friday. Galliani is more hopeful of bringing Milan idol Kaka back to the San Siro and is in talks with the Real Madrid player about reducing his salary.