Date set for Klitschko bout
The long-anticipated bout between WBA heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko and Russia’s Alexander Povetkin will be held in Moscow on Oct. 5, the boxers confirmed on Monday. Klitschko was first set to defend his heavyweight title against Povetkin three years ago, but the contract for the fight was never finalized. “We had a long story with Alexander and could have met earlier,” Klitschko said at a news conference. “Alexander hasn’t lost a fight and I’m looking forward to meeting him, but in no case will I underestimate him. I’m sure he will do his best to win on the night of Oct. 5.” The WBA heavyweight belt became vacant when Klitschko was elevated to “super champion” status in 2011 after beating David Haye. Povetkin became the mandatory challenger for Klitschko when he beat American Hasim Rahman in September last year. Earlier this year, the 37-year-old Klitschko improved to 60-3 when he beat Francesco Pianeta with his 52nd knockout, while the undefeated Povetkin, 33, has improved to 26-0 with his 18th knockout, stopping Polish challenger Andrzej Wawrzyk for his fourth successful defense of the “regular” title.
Bale to miss Ireland game
Wales midfielder Gareth Bale will not play against the Republic of Ireland in a friendly today because of a foot problem that has troubled him since the middle of last month, assistant manager Kit Symons said. Bale joined up with the squad despite being sidelined since picking up the injury in a pre-season friendly for his club Tottenham Hotspur and had a light training session on Monday. However, Symons told Sky Sports News there was no chance of Bale playing against the Irish at Cardiff City Stadium. “Gareth will do a light session. He’s not done sufficient work yet to feature [in the match], but the great thing is he wanted to be part of the group and we’re pleased to have him on board,” he said of a player being courted by Real Madrid. Real are willing to pay a world record transfer fee of more than ￡85 million (US$131.58 million) for the 24-year-old, according to media reports, although Spurs have repeatedly said he is not for sale. Midfielder Aaron Ramsey and central defender James Collins will also miss the game having withdrawn from the squad through injury, with Swansea City fullback Jazz Richards and Brighton and Hove Albion midfielder Andrew Crofts coming in as replacements.
Chamakh joins Eagles
Morocco striker Marouane Chamakh has ended his Arsenal nightmare by joining Crystal Palace on a one-year deal, the Premier League newcomers said in a statement on Monday. Chamakh arrived at Arsenal on a free transfer from French club Girondins de Bordeaux in 2010, but never established himself at the Emirates Stadium, scoring eight league goals in 40 appearances.
Olympiakos fined US$40,000
Greek team Olympiakos Piraeus BC have been fined almost US$40,000, hit with a two-point deduction for the upcoming A1 League season and will play four games under a spectator ban following crowd violence during last season’s playoffs. Giorgos Bartzokas’ team lost out to Panathinaikos in last season’s domestic playoff finals after Game 3 was stopped and later abandoned due to crowd trouble. Up 2-0 in the best-of-five series, Panathinaikos were leading the match with 1 minute, 27 seconds to play when fans invaded the court, showering Panathinaikos players and officials with missiles and flares.