Cotto stops Rodriguez
Puerto Rican boxer Miguel Cotto stopped Delvin Rodriguez in the third round on Saturday in his comeback fight in Orlando, Florida, after dropping his last two bouts last year. Cotto, a former three-division champion, improved to 38-4 with his 31st knockout in the junior middleweight bout, getting out to a quick start in his first fight since losing unanimous decisions to Austin Trout and Floyd Mayweather Jr last year. “It feels good to win and be able to do it in front of a wonderful crowd,” Cotto said. “I thought I hit him with some good shots early and I was able to get the stop.” Cotto attacked Rodriguez from the sound of the bell, going after him with left hooks to the body. Near the end of the second round, Cotto landed a strong combination, finishing with a left hook to the head that staggered Rodriguez. Cotto finished him off with a flurry of head shots that put Rodriguez to the canvas and referee Frank Santore Jr stopped the bout 18 seconds into the third round.
Teen Ruggles beats pros
US teenager Josh Ruggles has bettered eight professional basketball players from the Spanish league in a three-point shooting contest in Vitoria. The 16-year-old Ruggles was a special guest invited by the Spanish league to the event on Saturday after a video of him making 135 three-pointers in five minutes went viral. Ruggles edged former NBA player Andres Nocioni 18-17 in the semi-final. He then beat Jaycee Carroll, the Spanish league’s top-scorer in 2010 and 2011, in the final by 14-12.
Seve Trophy even
The Seve Trophy is heading for a nail-biting finish after Britain and Ireland won three of Saturday’s foursomes at St-Nom-la-Breteche to draw level at 9-9 with Continental Europe. Sam Torrance’s team trailed by 5.5 to 4.5 points overnight and Jose Maria Olazabal’s Europeans extended their advantage to 8-6 after the morning session. Dutchman Joost Luiten and Gregory Bourdy of France combined for a fourth win in the afternoon, but Britain and Ireland dominated the other match ups. England’s Paul Lawrie and Stephen Gallacher of Scotland beat Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano of Spain 2 & 1, the same score Jamie Donaldson of Wales and Scot Marc Warren recorded over Denmark’s Thomas Bjorn and Mikko Ilonen of Finland. David Lynn then ensured the overall score would be all locked up ahead of yesterday’s final day, when his birdie three at the 18th gave he and fellow Englishman Paul Casey a one-hole success over Spain’s Miguel Angel Jimenez and Matteo Manassero of Italy.
Obama speaks on Redskins
US President Barack Obama, already embroiled in a battle over a government shutdown, jumped into another dispute on Saturday — the long-running fight over the name of the Washington Redskins NFL team. Obama said that if he owned the team, he would consider changing the name, which Native Americans and others have long pilloried as racist. “I’ve got to say if I were the owner of the team and I knew that the name of my team, even if they’ve had a storied history, that was offending a sizeable group of people, I’d think about changing it,” Obama said. Native American groups have fought the name in court and through advertising campaigns. Today, the Oneida Indian Nation of New York plans to protest an NFL meeting in Washington. The group called Obama’s comments “historic” and said they added momentum to its campaign to urge a name change.
Hend wins in Tamsui
Australia’s Scott Hend had to overcome atrocious conditions as well as his opponents to land the Mercuries Taiwan Masters title yesterday at a wet and windy Taiwan Golf and Country Club in Tamsui, New Taipei City. He finished three-under on 285, four strokes ahead of nearest rival Sam Cyr of the US, to earn his fourth Asian Tour victory at the US$600,000 event. Arnond Vongvanij of Thailand and Mohammad Siddikur of Bangladesh were tied for third on 291, while Taiwan’s highest placed player was Lu Wen-teh, who finished tied for sixth with South Korea’s Baek Seuk-hyun.
‘Mister Twist’ strikes gold
Kenzo Shirai outshone compatriot Kohei Uchimura to claim gold on the floor as Japan won their third gold at the world gymnastics championships in Antwerp, Belgium, on Saturday. Shirai, nicknamed “Mister Twist,” became the first athlete to perform a quadruple twist at a major event. The 17-year-old took his first world title with 16.000 points ahead of Jacob Dalton of the US. Olympic champion Uchimura had to settle for bronze. It was a good day for Japan with Kohei Kameyama winning gold on the pommel horse. Kameyama scored 15.833 points as Japan’s medal tally reached five. Britain’s Max Whitlock and Daniel Corral Barron of Mexico shared silver. In the women’s apparatus finals McKayla Maroney of the US retained her world title ahead of Simone Biles. North Korea’s Hong Un-jong was third. China’s Huang Huidan won the uneven bars title. The 17-year-old finished ahead of American Kyla Ross and Russia’s Aliya Mustafina.
Monaco go clear
Monaco went three points clear at the top of Ligue 1 on Saturday after a late Lucas Ocampos goal gave them a 2-1 win over Saint-Etienne at the Louis II stadium. Ocampos latched onto a cross from the right and pounced inside a crowded penalty box to score with just three minutes remaining. The lifted Monaco three points clear of Paris Saint-Germain ahead of the Parisians clash with Olympique de Marseille yesterday. Yannick Ferreira Carrasco gave Monaco the lead after 15 minutes with a cool finish following a 30m pass from James Rodriguez. Saint-Etienne equalized early in the second half after a good move down the left allowed Renaud Cohade to feed Romain Hamouma with a long pass which the midfielder controlled perfectly before scoring. The match appeared heading for a draw before the Ocampos’ winner. LOSC Lille Metropole are fourth, just behind Marseille, after brushing aside AC Ajaccio 3-0, Nantes continued their fine form and edged OGC Nice, who lost 1-0 at Toulouse, out of fifth with a 3-0 drubbing of Evian Thonon Gaillard. Stade Rennais lost 2-0 at En Avant de Guingamp and Stade de Reims and Valenciennes drew 1-1.
Big offer for Sonny Bill fight
Rugby star Sonny Bill Williams has been offered more than AS$1 million (US$944,000) to prove his boxing credentials against in-form Joseph Parker, whose camp taunted that he would run from the challenge “like a little girl.” Williams, who holds the New Zealand Professional Boxing Association heavyweight crown, has been challenged to step into the ring with rising New Zealand professional Parker in a winner-takes-all bout. “He will be relentlessly ridiculed if he doesn’t step up to take this fight,” Dean Lonergan, from Parker’s promoters Duco Events told the Herald yesterday. Williams has not yet responded to the offer.