Inoue, Yaegashi win bouts
Naoya Inoue of Japan scored a sixth-round technical knockout of Adrian Hernandez of Mexico on Sunday to win the WBC light flyweight title. The 20-year-old Inoue landed a series of combinations and the bout was stopped 2 minutes, 54 seconds into the sixth round. Inoue, the first Japanese boxer to claim a world title in just his sixth professional fight, improved to 6-0 with five knockouts. Hernandez dropped to 29-3-1 with 18 KOs. Also on Sunday, WBC flyweight champion Akira Yaegashi successfully defended his title for the third time with a ninth-round knockout of eighth-ranked challenger Odilon Zaleta of Mexico. Yaegashi improved to 20-3 with 10 KOs, while Zaleta dropped to 15-4 with eight KOs.
Monaco win, but trail PSG
A James Rodriguez double helped second-placed AS Monaco cling on to the coattails of leaders Paris Saint-Germain with a 3-1 win over Nantes on Sunday that reduced the deficit at the top of Ligue 1 to 13 points. The Colombia playmaker drilled home left-footed to put the hosts ahead after 18 minutes and then turned provider when his corner was headed in by Andrea Raggi to double the lead with 18 minutes to go. Rodriguez, who joined Monaco from Porto for a transfer fee of 45 million euros (US$61.18 million) in the close season, fired in a penalty after 76 minutes for his ninth of the season, before Nantes grabbed a consolation through Alejandro Bedoya. The win moved Monaco to 66 points, six clear of third-placed LOSC Lille Metropole, but a long way adrift of PSG. In Sunday’s other Ligue action, AS Saint-Etienne’s Max Gradel scored an injury-time penalty to snatch a 1-1 draw with OGC Nice that left them five points adrift of Lille in fourth, while fifth-placed Olympique Lyonnais beat Valenciennes 2-1 in a game that included two red cards and a missed penalty.
‘Die Lowen’ fight relegation
Eintracht Braunschweig grabbed a lifeline in their fight against Bundesliga relegation with a 3-0 win over rivals Hannover 96 in their Lower-Saxony derby on Sunday. “We’ve shown that we want to hang on like limpets [in the Bundesliga],” Braunschweig coach Thorsten Lieberknecht said. Domi Kumbela got the home side off to a good start in the 14th, Havard Nielsen made it 2-0 in the 21st and Hannover’s fate was effectively sealed when Andre Hoffmann was sent off for kicking Mirko Boland in the 62nd. Jan Hochscheidt completed an afternoon to forget for the visiting fans by scoring in the 89th. Die Roten’s supporters responded by calling for the club’s management to step down, after club president Martin Kind described the performance as “unacceptable” at the halftime break. Braunschweig are still bottom, but within touching distance of Nuremberg, Hamburg SV and VfB Stuttgart with five games remaining. Hannover are just two points clear of Stuttgart after four consecutive defeats and the club’s management under pressure following the decision to release Mirko Slomka as coach in December last year. Slomka returns to the Bundesliga with Hamburg next week. Sunday’s late game, a 1-1 draw between mid-table sides Hertha BSC and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, was overshadowed by a serious injury to Hoffenheim goalkeeper Koen Casteels. The Belgium youth team ’keeper was stretchered off in obvious pain midway through the second half after landing badly in a challenge with Adrian Ramos. “It looks like it’s a lower leg fracture,” Hoffenheim coach Markus Gisdol said.