Cagliari hurt Napoli title bid
SSC Napoli’s bid to claim their first Serie A in almost 25 years received a severe jolt when they drew 1-1 at Cagliari on Saturday. If Juventus won at lowly Atalanta BC yesterday, third-placed Napoli will be 10 points adrift of the leaders going into the winter break. Gonzalo Higuain equalized for Rafael Benitez’s men with a 19th-minute penalty after Nene had put 11th-placed Cagliari in front early on. Napoli were unlucky in the 72nd minute when a stunning volley from Jose Callejon was disallowed for the narrowest of offside decisions. Benitez’s team have 36 points from 17 games, two behind unbeaten AS Roma and seven adrift of Juve. Elsewhere in Serie A, goals from Nicolas Lopez and Thomas Heurtaux saw 10th-placed Udinese win their first in four matches by defeating AS Livorno 2-1 to move a point clear of AC Milan.
Hall outscores Malinga
The UK’s Stuart Hall claimed the vacant IBF bantamweight title early yesterday after a points win over Vusi Malinga of South Africa. With his left eye swollen completely shut through the final four rounds, Hall took the fight unanimously 116-111, 117-110 (twice) on the three judges’ cards. “It feels unbelievable,” Hall said. “I knocked him down [in round three], but he came back at me. I couldn’t see anything out of my left eye for the final few rounds, but I kept my focus and I always knew I was in front.” The bout capped a remarkable story for the 33-year-old, who only took up boxing at the age of 28 after spending five years on a drink and drug-fueled binge in Ibiza, Spain. Hall was an unlikely world title contender, having lost a British title fight against former IBF champion Jamie McDonnell in September 2011 and defeated again at domestic level by Lee Haskins in July last year. Hall swarmed all over Malinga at the start of the second round to claim the early advantage and built on that early in the third when he dumped the South African onto the canvas. With Malinga looking wobbly and bleeding from the nose, Hall tried to finish the job, but was caught by a pair of lefts. Malinga had a little more success in the fourth and fifth, but Hall was so dominant it was hard to reconcile his performance with his unremarkable record.
Breyne ODs after dope test
Belgian rider Jonathan Breyne tried to commit suicide after testing positive for the banned substance clenbuterol, Belgian media reported on Saturday. Breyne, 22, was hospitalized in the city of Ghent after taking an overdose on Thursday, although he was allowed to return home after spending the night under observation, media reported. Breyne, who rode for the Crelan-Euphony team last season, tested positive during the Tour of Taihu Lake in China last month, where he won a stage. “I don’t understand. I have done nothing. I am broken, disgusted,” he told La Derniere Heure in tears on Wednesday, blaming the positive test on contaminated meat.
BBC’s David Coleman dies
Veteran sports broadcaster David Coleman, who covered 11 Olympics and six FIFA World Cups for the BBC, died after a short illness at the age of 87, the BBC said on Saturday. Coleman presented some of Britain’s leading sport programs and hosted the Question of Sport quiz show. He was awarded an Order of the British Empire in 1992 and retired from the BBC in 2000. “Generations grew up listening to his distinctive and knowledgeable commentary ... he set the standard for all today’s sports broadcasters,” BBC director-general Tony Hall said.