Vazquez beats Shafikov
Miguel Vazquez of Mexico retained his IBF world lightweight title on Saturday with a unanimous points decision over Denis Shafikov of Russia. Vazquez (34-3, 13 KOs) won the 12-round contest 115-113, 116-112, 119-109 to inflict the first defeat on Los Angeles-based Shafikov (33-0-1, 17 Kos). In the last bout on the card, two-time Olympic gold medalist and three-time amateur world champion Zou Shiming of China produced the first knockout win of his unbeaten four-bout professional career when he knocked down Yokthong Kokietgym of Thailand 2 minutes, 9 seconds into the seventh round of their flyweight fight. The 32-year-old Zou is hoping to set up a shot at a world title fight.
Els into Match Play semis
Ernie Els has reached the semi-finals of the Match Play Championship in Marana, Arizona, for the first time in 13 years. The four-time major champion still has not played great golf at Dove Mountain, but it was good enough to get past Jordan Spieth, who was clearly frustrated in losing on the 16th hole. Graeme McDowell had a lead for the first time all week — and he wound up losing. His magical week ended on the 18th hole when he lost to Victor Dubuisson of France in a tight match. Els next plays the Frenchman. Jason Day took out an ailing Louis Oosthuizen to reach the semi-finals for the second straight year. Day next plays Rickie Fowler, who won the last two holes for a 1-up win over Jim Furyk.
Roma beat Bologna 1-0
Belgian international Radja Nainggolan hit his maiden goal for AS Roma in a 1-0 win at Bologna that reduced the gap on Serie A leaders to six points on Saturday. Roma’s 17th win kept them in second, but with a game in hand, Rudi Garcia’s title challengers were looking for Torino to cause an upset in the derby away to leaders Juventus yesterday. Bologna had won only once in their past seven games and welcomed Roma to the Dell’Ara stadium as the underdogs, having beaten the Giallorossi only twice in the sides’ past 12 games. Garcia was missing Francesco Totti, Douglas Maicon, Federico Balzaretti and Dodo meaning a rare start for Rodrigo Taddei and youngster Alessio Romagnoli at the back while Dutch midfielder Kevin Strootman started on the bench.
Sharks rout Hurricanes 27-9
Tries in each half by Willem Alberts and Lwazi Mvovo helped the Sharks to a comprehensive 27-9 victory over the Hurricanes in their Super rugby clash at King’s Park in Durban on Saturday. Flyhalf Pat Lambie added five penalties and a conversion for the South Africans, while the New Zealanders replied with two penalties from Beauden Barrett and a long-range effort by fullback Marty Banks. The home side’s first try saw powerful loose forward Alberts crash over the line after the Sharks had mauled the ball close. The second came when wing Mvovo intercepted a Barrett pass before speeding away. The Hurricanes had Adam Hill yellow-carded a minute into his debut, after coming off the bench in the second half, when he lifted Mvovo into the air in a tackle and failed to bring him down safely. In Johannesburg, the Lions surprised again after their promotion back to Super rugby with a 34-10 win over the Stormers on Saturday, with flyhalf Marnitz Boshoff kicking three dropped goals in his 29 points.
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker found himself in need of an assist to help the state fight the COVID-19 pandemic. He called on the New England Patriots. One of the team’s private airplanes on Thursday evening landed in Boston after returning from China carrying more than 1 million masks critical to healthcare providers fighting to control the spread of the coronavirus. Members of the Massachusetts National Guard met the airplane and offloaded the containers of masks onto waiting trucks for transport to warehouses for distribution. Baker secured the N95 masks from Chinese manufacturers, but had no way of getting them to the US. He
WAIT AND SEE: The estimated cost of postponement started at US$2 billion and has kept rising, but the IOC has yet to say whether it would help pay for the extra expenses Postponing the Tokyo Olympics to next year would make the event more costly for all parties, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) acknowledged on Thursday, although it offered few details on what the final bill might be. Four directors of the Olympic body held a conference call three days after Tokyo’s new dates were finalized, with the Games pushed back to July 23 to Aug. 8 next year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the new dates cleared up any uncertainty about the event’s future, there are still plenty of question marks as the committee begins to work with Tokyo organizers and the
MEDIA RUMORS? With no pay agreement secured and players’ representatives calling for more financial information ahead of talks, the sport had another week of bad press Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle could be sacked in a matter of days, media reported yesterday, as the embattled governing body struggles to deal with a financial crisis compounded by a shutdown amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Castle this week took a 50 percent pay cut and laid off 75 percent of Rugby Australia (RA) staff members, saying that the body would face losses of up to A$120 million (US$71.95 million) if no more rugby was played this year. With no pay agreement secured with the players and their representatives calling on RA to provide more financial information ahead of negotiations, the
OLYMPICS Delay pushes rower to retire British rowing gold medalist Tom Ransley on Friday announced his retirement after deciding that the postponement of the Tokyo Olympic Games to next year was a step too far. The 34-year-old was part of the men’s eight who won gold in the 2016 Rio Olympics and also a bronze in the 2012 London Games. “I have used up everything I had and I know that to get myself in the necessary condition to compete for a seat in 2021 is a step too far,” he told the BBC. The years of early starts, of three training