Vargas claims WBA title
Jessie Vargas claimed the WBA light welterweight title with a narrow unanimous decision over Khabib Allakhverdiev in Las Vegas on Saturday. Ray Beltran easily outpointed Arash Usmanee in a lightweight bout at the MGM Grand Garden, while Bryan Vasquez edged Jose Felix in a super featherweight fight. In a meeting of previously unbeaten fighters, Vargas (24-0) squeaked out a decision in a tough technical fight in his hometown, beating his Russian opponent by scores of 115-113, 117-111 and 115-113. Costa Rica’s Vasquez looked solid in his US debut, narrowly outpointing Felix in a foul-filled bout. Felix lost a point for low blows in the ninth round and it turned the fight from a majority draw into a unanimous decision for Vasquez.
Kenyans dominate in London
World-record holder Wilson Kipsang and twice world champion Edna Kiplagat led Kenyan domination at the London marathon yesterday as Britain’s Mo Farah toiled on his highly anticipated debut. Farah, the world and Olympic 5,000m and 10,000m champion, came home eighth as Kipsang secured a second London title in a course record 2 hours, 4 minutes, 29 seconds. Farah gritted his teeth to cross in 2:08:21, outside the British record. “I will be back,” Farah told the BBC. “I’m not going to finish it like this. I gave it my all, but I’m disappointed I didn’t go out there and give what the crowd deserve.” Edna Kiplagat won her first London title after finishing runner-up in the past two years, getting the better of compatriot Florence Kiplagat in the final 200m.
Almagro to take on Verdasco
Nicolas Almagro and Fernando Verdasco set up an all-Spanish final at the US Men’s Clay Court Championship in Houston, Texas, on Saturday. Fourth seed Verdasco beat Santiago Giraldo of Colombia 6-4, 7-5, while third seed Almagro advanced when Sam Querrey of the US pulled out because of a back injury. Querrey won on Friday and appeared to be fine, but woke up with lower-back spasms.
Granollers eases into final
Fourth seed Marcel Granollers faces eighth seed Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in an all-Spanish final at the Grand Prix Hassan II in Casablanca, Morocco, after both won their semi-finals on Saturday. Granollers had an easier time, beating No. 6 Federico Delbonis of Argentina 6-1, 6-4, while Garcia-Lopez followed up by taking nearly three hours to get the better of countryman Roberto Carballes Baena 6-2, 6-7 (6/8), 6-4. Granollers was more solid on serve and was broken only once by Delbonis, who lost his own serve five times. Although Garcia-Lopez had five double faults and dropped his own serve four times, he broke his opponent’s seven times.
Cornet upsets home favorite
Top seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland was overcome by Alize Cornet of France 0-6, 6-2, 6-4 in the Katowice Open semi-finals in Poland on Saturday. Cornet next faces first-time WTA Tour finalist Camila Giorgi of Italy. Radwanska did not concede a set to Cornet in three previous matches, including at Indian Wells last month, and the hometown favorite won the first set quickly. Cornet leveled, but Radwanska had a point for 4-0 in the third when she began to unravel. Cornet won six of the last seven games. She plays for her fourth career title against Giorgi, who beat third seed Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain 7-6 (7/2), 6-4.