Ko wins, Tseng ties for sixth
World No. 6 Lydia Ko of New Zealand won the Swinging Skirts World Ladies Masters tournament yesterday after outplaying So Yeon-ryu of South Korea over the final five holes. Taiwan’s Yani Tseng carded five birdies and one bogey for a four-under 68 that left her tied for sixth at two-under 214, one of her best finishes of the year. The 16-year-old Ko shot a three-under 69 in Sunday’s final round to finish at 11-under 205 for the tournament and win her first title since turning pro in October. Ryu, who started the final round with a one-shot lead over Ko, was locked in a tense battle with the New Zealander and still had a lead after 13 holes, but fell off the pace with a double bogey on the par-three 14th hole and a bogey on the par-three 17th. The Swinging Skirts is a stop on the Korea Ladies Professional Golf Tour and the Taiwan Ladies Professional Golf Association.
Sturn claims Barker’s belt
Felix Sturm defeated defending champion Darren Barker with a second-round TKO to take the Briton’s IBF middleweight title on Saturday. Former WBA champion Sturm twice knocked Barker to the canvas and looked set to finish him off when the towel was thrown in. Referee Mark Nelson called it off 2 minutes, 9 seconds into the round. “I hit him well with my swings,” said Sturm, a German of Bosnian descent. Barker, who pointed at his hip after going down the second time, was limping and clearly in major discomfort. The Londoner has had two hip replacement operations. He was taken to a hospital directly after the bout to assess the extent of his injury. “It’s good that it was short. My wife didn’t have to suffer so much,” said Sturm, who dedicated his win to her. “She deserves this belt more than I.” He became the first German to win four world titles and improved to 38-3-2 (17 KO), while Barker dropped to 26-2 (16 KO).
Malignaggi defeats Judah
Paulie Malignaggi won a unanimous decision against Zab Judah in a welterweight bout on Saturday between two Brooklyn-born fighters billed the “Battle of Brooklyn.” The judges scored it 116-111, 117-110 and 117-110 in favor of Malignaggi (33-5) in a fight that had many in the crowd at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center booing the lack of action. The 33-year-old Malignaggi landed 230 of his 607 punches thrown, including 122 of 376 jabs. It was the third loss in four fights for the 36-year-old Judah (42-9), who is a five-time champion in the light welterweight and welterweight divisions. Judah landed 121 of 498 punches, including 67 of 386 jabs. Malignaggi was dropped briefly in the second when Judah connected with a hard left hand, but he came back swinging.
Rigondeaux keeps titles
WBA and WBO super bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux retained his titles with a 12-round, unanimous decision over former two-time bantamweight champ Joseph Agbeko on Saturday. All three judges had Rigondeaux winning every round, with identical scores of 120-108. Rigondeaux, a Cuba native living in Miami, delivered a solid, yet conservative, performance. The two-time Olympic gold medalist is seen as one of boxing’s top pound-for-pound fighters, but draws criticism for his style. He won cheers from the crowd in the sixth round by landing five straight powerful left crosses to Agbeko’s midsection, but otherwise was content to stay on the outside and pepper his Ghanaian opponent with right jabs and left hooks before dancing out of danger.