Botha makes fix allegation
Francois Botha yesterday claimed he was offered A$150,000 (US$155,000) to throw his fight against Sonny Bill Williams, sparking an angry denial from the New Zealander’s manager. Williams, a former World Cup-winning All Blacks rugby star, won the heavyweight bout on points in Brisbane, Australia on Friday, which was marred by unsubstantiated reports that Botha failed a drug test. Botha, 44, alleges Williams’ manager, Khoder Nasser, offered him the money in a Brisbane park three days before the WBA fight, claiming he received a telephone call asking to pick him up alone. “I wasn’t told where I was going. As we stopped at a park, my cellphone was confiscated and was given to a guy in the car,” Botha told New Zealand’s Radio LiveSport. “Then I was being walked [by Nasser], and during this walk, I was offered A$150,000 to throw the fight. “I just said: ‘No, I can’t do it.’” There is no suggestion that Williams was aware of the alleged offer.
FILA slams Olympic move
The governing body of wrestling says the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) move to drop the sport is an “aberration” against a founding event of the Olympics. Known by its French initials FILA, the organization says it is “greatly astonished” by the IOC executive board decision. FILA says it will take “all necessary measures” to convince IOC members to maintain wrestling’s Olympic status when they meet in Buenos Aires in September. Still, FILA president Raphael Martinetti faces criticism when his ruling board meets this weekend in Thailand. Russian federation leader Mikhail Mamiashvili says FILA is the problem, and Martinetti’s tasks include defending “wrestling’s place before the IOC.”
Hernandez agrees deal
Felix Hernandez agreed to terms on a seven-year deal worth US$175 million with Seattle on Tuesday that will make the 26-year-old right-hander the highest-paid pitcher in Major League Baseball. The deal, confirmed by the Mariners on their Web site, was nearly completed last week, but delayed after the American League club raised concerns about the Venezuelan’s right elbow. The contract was set to be signed yesterday. Hernandez had been set to make US$19.5 million this year and US$20 million next year to complete a five-year deal worth US$78 million signed in 2010. Instead, he will make US$25 million a year from now through the 2019 campaign.
Lampard to write kids’ books
England international midfielder Frank Lampard is set to put pen to paper, but before Chelsea fans sigh with relief, it is to write five children’s books, it was announced on Tuesday. The 34-year-old — whose current deal expires in the summer and who has not been offered a new one — said that he first got the idea when he was reading stories to his children. The stories will follow the adventures of a schoolboy, Frankie, his soccer-loving friends and pet dog, Max. Lampard said the stories were “loosely based on friends and teammates.”
Huddersfield into last 16
Huddersfield Town set up a match against Wigan Athletic in the last 16 of the FA Cup after beating fellow second-tier side Leicester City 2-1 in a fourth-round replay on Tuesday. Sean Scannell scored the 75th-minute winner for the visitors. Huddersfield will host Wigan in the fifth round on Sunday.