Rigondeaux wins title
Guillermo Rigondeaux remained undefeated by beating Nonito Donaire by a unanimous decision in their world title junior featherweight fight in New York City on Saturday, handing the Filipino his first loss in 12 years. Two-time Olympic gold medalist Rigondeaux recovered nicely from an earlier knockdown to win the 12-round bout on all three judges’ scorecards: 114-113, 115-112 and 116-111. Rigondeaux retained his WBA junior featherweight crown and improved to 12-0 with eight knockouts. He also took Donaire’s WBO version of the belt. The 32-year-old Rigondeaux, who defected from Cuba two years ago, went down from left in the 10th round, but became the aggressor in the 12th, opening up a cut near Donaire’s eye at the Radio City Music Hall venue. Donaire came into the bout riding a brilliant 30-fight win streak. The 30-year-old Donaire dropped to 31-2 with 20 knockouts. Donaire’s only previous loss was March 10, 2001, in his second pro fight.
Almagro crushes Williams
Top-seeded Nicolas Almagro needed less than 1 hour to cruise into the final of the US men’s clay-court championship in Houston, Texas, as he defeated US wild card Rhyne Williams 6-2, 6-1 on Saturday. The Spaniard, ranked 12th in the world, will face the US’ John Isner for the title. The fifth-seeded Isner defeated champion Juan Monaco 1-6 6-4 6-4, avenging his loss in last year’s final to the Argentine. Almagro won eight of the first 11 points in his match with first-time semi-finalist Williams. He broke Williams five times. “I think I played better than yesterday,” Almagro told reporters. Isner dropped the opening set to Monaco in 33 minutes before the momentum shifted. Isner fired nine aces in the match, bringing his total to 57 over four matches and three short of the tournament record of 60 set by Pete Sampras in 2002.
Robredo eyes 11th title
Tommy Robredo of Spain was to aim for his 11th career title against second-seeded Kevin Anderson in the Grand Prix Hassan II final in Morocco after they both came from a set down to win their semi-finals on Saturday. Robredo beat top-seeded Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 to reach his first final since winning on outdoor clay in Santiago, Chile, two years ago. Anderson followed up with a 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 win against third-seeded Martin Klizan of Slovakia and was to aim for his third career title — and first on clay — in yesterday’s decider.
Klopp cool in ‘hairy’ situation
Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp on Saturday laughed off his decision to undergo a hair transplant. “It could have been a hairy situation, but it wasn’t because of my team’s high level of concentration,” quipped Klopp after his team, who face Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals, won 6-1 against Bundesliga bottom side SpVgg Greuther Furth in Furth. On Friday, the 45-year-old admitted to German daily Bild that he had a hair transplant in a Duesseldorf clinic before the start of the current season, which has sparked a debate in the German media about male grooming. “Yes, it’s true. I underwent a hair transplant. I think the results are really cool, don’t you?” said Klopp, whose coiffure attracted attention in January when his flowing locks were trimmed into a shorter hairstyle. German gossip magazine Closer was the first to report Klopp’s transplant, saying he opted for the procedure to combat a receding hairline.