RelatedPosts Tyson Fury to Anthony Joshua: Don’t risk fighting Usyk Anthony Joshua, Okolie plot world title double Anthony Joshua wants Tyson Fury, Wilder fight Anthony Joshua will cede more than three stone in his rematch against Andy Ruiz Jnr after weighing-in significantly lighter than when the two men met in New York in June.The British fighter, then an undefeated world champion, was stunned by the paunchy Mexican-American who slipped through his defences and knocked him down in round seven.Joshua has trimmed down ahead of the second WBA, IBF and WBO title showdown with an eye on taking the contest deep into the latter rounds, saying he expects a “marathon, not a sprint”.The 30-year-old, who weighed 17st 7lb for the first bout at Madison Square Garden, comes in at less than 17st for the rematch after ditching heavy weight-lifting and refocusing on his technique.His rival has added weight for this contest, adding 15 pounds since June.The Briton has been taking advice on his training regime and diet from former world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko in his bid to reclaim the title at the fight dubbed: “Clash on the Dunes.”“I may be less than 17 stone,” Joshua said. “I’m punching loose and heavy – rhythm and flow.“Before I was trying to bench-press a house. I used my body to get where I needed but then I started realising the sweet science of the sport. I am punching like a horse kicking backwards right now.”Ruiz, however, said he would not “underestimate” Joshua and that he had his own strategies to counter the former Olympic champion.“I know he lost weight and that he will try and box me around,” Ruiz added. “So it’s my job to prevent that.“[In the June bout] I was the one who had the strength, the one backing him up. When I jabbed I pushed him away.”Joshua believes this will not be the last time the two fight each other and predicted a third bout in the future if Ruiz was up for it.“This ain’t going to be the last time I see Ruiz in the ring,” Joshua said. “We make for good fights.“I think there’s definitely gonna be a knockout and that is what people want to see, bloodshed and knockouts.”Tags: Andy Ruiz JnrAnthony Joshua
RelatedPosts Martins joins Wuhan Zall Ighalo: My best moment as ‘Red Devil’ Ings not interested in leaving Saints, Southampton manager says Nigerian striker Obafemi Martins is on the verge of a return to Shanghai Shenhua, Chinese media have reported. Martins, who was previously contracted to Shenhua from 2016 until the end of the 2018 season, was reported by Titan Sports to have arrived in China on Tuesday and was being lined up to replace Odion Ighalo ahead of the Chinese Super League season. China’s domestic league has yet to start the 2020 season after kick off was delayed indefinitely due to the coronavirus outbreak, but speculation is mounting that the campaign will begin in late April or early May. Ighalo will make his stay at Manchester United a permanent one this summer. The striker has made an impressive start to life at United, scoring four times in eight games since signing on loan until May 31 from the Chinese Super League club. England’s Premier League has been suspended due to the pandemic and will not resume before April 30.Tags: Chinese Super LeagueObafemi MartinsOdion IghaloPremier LeagueShenghai Shenhua
The Lagos State Government through the state Sports Commission and O’jeez Entertainment have distributed palliatives to the Lagos State chapter of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria to cushion the effect of COVID-19 pandemic on sports journalists in the state.Each of the over 250 Lagos SWAN members received bags of 5kg rice, 5kg beans, 5kg semolina/noodles, two liters groundnut oil, condiments and 200ml sanitisers. Speaking at the presentation ceremony at Molade Okoya-Thomas Multi-purpose Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium, LSSC Director General, Oluwatoyin Gafaar, said the idea was to cushion the effect of the pandemic on friends of the commission.Gafaar said: “This is in line with what Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has been doing to relief the citizens during this difficult period and SWAN Lagos being our immediate constituency.“We have no option than to extend the gesture and support to the association.“We have a lot of plans for Lagos SWAN members and as we move forward together, we will seek ways to support them.”In similar vein, LSSC Director of Grassroots Development, Kolawole Olusegun, said SWAN was a major stakeholder in sports sector. Olusegun said: “We believe that Lagos SWAN is a major stakeholder in sports development.“The association is our partner in progress and we’ve been working together.“The management of the Lagos State Sports Commission deems it necessary to reach out to the association by supporting them with this palliatives to cushion the effect of the coronavirus pandemic.”Receiving the palliatives, Lagos SWAN Chairman, Debo Oshundun, thanked Sanwo-Olu, through Lagos State Sports Commission Chairman, Shola Aiyepeku, and Gafaar for the laudable gesture.Oshundun said: “You know in any given situation, journalists are at the receiving end. “People always say journalism is a thankless job.“Even during the lockdown that people were at home, we were still working.“We had discussions with the sports commission on the need to support sports journalists.“So, the state government, through the sports commission, gave us palliatives to cushion the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on our members.”RelatedPosts COVID-19: NCAA to revoke erring airlines licence over non-compliance FRSC to Schools: We’ll arrest, prosecute drivers who flout COVID-19 rules Lagos CP declares war on cultists, traffic offenders The chairman said O’Jeez Entertainment also supported the association.Oshundun said: “We also have to thank O’Jeez for fumigating SWAN Secretariat inside the National Stadium, Surulere.“O’Jeez also provided face-masks and some food items for our members.”Oshundun said the association provided boxes of Honeywell products for members.He said: “It’s tough for everybody, but this is what we have to do as an executive for our members to ameliorate the economic effect of the pandemic.“What matters to me as Chairman is the welfare of our members and in anyway or form that we can achieve that with the support of my executive, that’s what we do.“We’ve been partner in progress with the Lagos State Sports Commission and by extension, the Lagos State Government.“We’ve had good relationship with them, even before my coming to office.“We will continue to strengthen the relationship and make progress together.”Tags: COVID-19Lagos StateO’jeez EntertainmentPalliatives DistributionSports Writers Association of Nigeria
RelatedPosts Italy introduces compulsory virus testing for travellers from France Pirlo not out to copy anyone after Juventus’ comfortable opening win Nigeria records new COVID-19 infections, more deaths as figures rise to 57,242 Cristiano Ronaldo showed off a new hairstyle as he scored, but Juventus were beaten by AC Milan.Ronaldo had been rocking a top knot since December though the ponytail had gone for the trip to Milan. The Portuguese star had netted Juventus’s second to put the visitors 2-0 up but AC Milan scored three goals in five second half minutes as the hosts eventually won 4-2.Ronaldo had previously opened up on the possibility of getting a hair transplant, not that it’s needed just yet.He had said: “When I think it’s necessary, of course I’ll do it. One’s image is an essential tool for being successful. For me it’s fundamental.”The defeat to AC Milan left Juventus seven points clear at the top of Serie A as the Old Lady hunt their ninth successive title.On the loss, boss Maurizio Sarri said: “We had sixty good minutes: we were in control of the game, then there was a black out on which there is no need to dwell upon, as we have another match in a few days. “It has happened to other teams, because this is a difficult time for everyone, physically and mentally.“We must remain calm, also because the reasons for certain situations are difficult to find.“In defence we only suffered after the penalty, before we had not even conceded a shot on goal.”Zlatan Ibrahimovic sparked the comeback for AC Milan and the 38-year-old said afterwards: “I’m old. That’s no secret! Age is just a number.“I am working well, getting a good balance. I played more today than the last game. I feel good, to be honest, and I am trying to help the team in every way. “I am president, player and coach! The only negative is that I only get paid for being a player!“If I had been here from the first day of the season, then we would’ve won the Scudetto.”Tags: ‘AC MilanCoronavirusCristiano RonaldoJuventus
Connor admitted rookie David Davis, recalled on Tuesday from a loan spell at Chesterfield, could come into his plans to face Rovers. He said: “David is fit and has been playing well. He’ll keep that competition for places going. He’s ready and he’s training well so, if I think he’s ready to play in our first team, that’s where he has to play.” Connor knows he has to pick the players up after the mauling by Fulham and also stop making goal-costing errors. He said: “We started that process (rebuilding confidence) on Monday. We viewed the game, and sat down as a group. “We looked at it and said that it wasn’t as good as it was against Newcastle. “We spoke amongst ourselves and we put that to bed. Now all our energy is looking forward to playing on Saturday against Blackburn, which is obviously a massive game.” Edwards is struggling to overcome the knee injury which kept him out of Sunday’s 5-0 defeat by Fulham at Craven Cottage. But his absence will be of more significance this weekend as Karl Henry has also been sidelined for three to four weeks with a hamstring injury suffered against the Cottagers. Wolves caretaker manager Terry Connor confirmed: “Dave Edwards has irritated the medial side of his knee and hasn’t trained for two weeks. That leaves him very doubtful for Saturday.” Wolves’ midfield problems have increased with David Edwards rated “very doubtful” for Saturday’s Barclays Premier League relegation battle with Blackburn at Molineux. Press Association
The 61-year-old was shown the door on Saturday night just hours after his side lost 1-0 at home to Manchester United – a decision former Reading manager Steve Coppell described as a “spoilt-brat reaction”. Press Association Sport understands Short has drawn up a shortlist of potential successors headed by a man he believes can reinvigorate the squad for a seven-game run-in which will determine where the Black Cats will play their football next season. Press Association Sunderland owner Ellis Short has identified his number one target for the vacant manager’s job at the Stadium of Light after dispensing with the services of Martin O’Neill. They are currently just a point above the Barclays Premier League relegation zone after a run of eight games without a win. Former England boss Steven McClaren, whose second spell at Dutch club FC Twente came to an end last month, was swiftly installed at the top of the bookmakers’ list of candidates, although sources close to the 51-year-old have since distanced him from the speculation. It is understood there had been no contact with former QPR manager Mark Hughes, while the man who took the Champions League trophy to Chelsea, Roberto Di Matteo, is not thought to be interested. Former Swindon boss Paolo Di Canio’s odds shortened considerably overnight while Brighton’s Gus Poyet was also receiving strong support, although Sunderland are keeping their own counsel over their main target. The new man will be Sunderland’s fifth manager in a little more than four years, and the first the Texan will have chosen since Niall Quinn’s departure as chairman. And Coppell feels that tendency to chop and change is indicative of the approach of overseas owners. “You can only presume there was some dialogue after the game,” he told BBC Radio Five Live. “We are in the realms, I’m afraid, of spoilt-brat reactions because it is their toy. They don’t understand the history and heritage of British football – there are so many foreign owners, I have nothing against that, but there is a way of doing things in English football that has now gone out of the window.”
Suarez looks set to face a Football Association investigation into the incident, which saw the Uruguay international clash with the centre-back in the penalty area before sinking his teeth into his opponent’s arm. Referee Kevin Friend did not see the incident but after numerous television replays highlighted it, the FA are almost certain to act. But the incident has led to Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre cancelling a trip to Australia where he was due to fly on Sunday night to promote a pre-season fixture. Ayre will instead deal with Liverpool’s reaction to the incident and in contrast to previous controversies surrounding Suarez the club are acting swiftly. It is not the first time Suarez has brought controversy to the club – he was banned for eight matches last season after being found guilty of racially abusing Patrice Evra – and he has previous history of biting. Immediately prior to joining the Reds in January 2011 he served a seven-match ban while at Ajax after sinking his teeth into PSV Eindhoven midfielder Otman Bakkal. But manager Brendan Rodgers insists no snap decisions will be taken on the future of the player, who is certain to attract interest from Europe’s top clubs after scoring his 30th goal of the season. “It is not for me to make any rash comments or any predictions now,” he added. “This is a football club where historically players treat people with how the football club respects society, players and everyone. There is certainly no one bigger than this football club, as a player or a manager. “Players are always replaceable now matter how good they think they are. That is how football works. Of course there are wonderful talents we’ve seen here at this club and others over many years. You lose a player you think you can’t replace but the next one comes along. “The standards at this football club have been met for many years and that’s why it is the worldwide institution that it is. The history of this club is about respect and how people are treated and that is something that will always be maintained here and will always be long after I am gone.” Press Association Luis Suarez has apologised to Branislav Ivanovic after biting the Chelsea defender during the 2-2 draw at Anfield. Suarez used his Twitter account to say sorry for the incident, which came before the striker scored a dramatic equaliser seven minutes into stoppage time. “I’m sad for what happened this afternoon, I apologize Ivanovic and all football world for my inexcusable behaviour. I’m so sorry about it!!” Suarez wrote.
England coach Stuart Lancaster said: “We’re delighted for Christian. He’s been in excellent form, played really well on his Test debut against Argentina last weekend and he goes with the best wishes of all the England players and management. “Jonny May comes into the side to win his first cap against the Pumas. He’s been an important part of our squad over the last four weeks, he’s up to speed with everything we’re doing and this is a great opportunity for him.” Wade will depart Buenos Aires on Saturday night and arrive in Australia on Monday. The 22-year-old scored 18 tries in 26 appearances for Wasps last season and claimed a unique double at the Rugby Players’ Association awards, winning both the players’ player and the young player awards. Wade did not score himself on his England debut last weekend but he had a hand in all three of the team’s first-half tries, delivering an eye-catching performance in the process. He has been preferred to the likes of Chris Ashton, who has been rested from England’s summer tour, and Scotland’s Tim Visser to give the injury-hit Lions additional back line options. Lions coach Warren Gatland said: “We have obviously got ongoing treatment of some players so it’s prudent to make sure we have enough backline cover. Christian played well in the first Test against Argentina and is match fit.” There are unconfirmed reports that Saracens and England centre Brad Barritt is also set to join the Lions in Australia. South Africa-born Barritt, 26, would be the obvious injury cover for Roberts. He was among a handful of players rested for England’s current Argentina tour, being joined by the likes of Chris Robshaw, Danny Care, Chris Ashton and Toby Flood. The Lions later said they were “exploring the call-up” of Barritt as cover. They added that a further update would be given a press conference, scheduled for 2350BST in Sydney. Christian Wade has been called up by the British and Irish Lions and withdrawn from the England side to play Argentina in Buenos Aires. The Wasps wing, who made his Test debut in a 32-3 victory over the Pumas in Salta last weekend, has been replaced in the England team by Gloucester debutant Jonny May. Wade is the third England player to be summoned to Australia from England’s South American tour, following prop Alex Corbisiero and centre Billy Twelvetrees. The Lions have concerns over the fitness of wing George North, who has a tight hamstring, while centre Jamie Roberts suffered a leg injury in their victory over the NSW Waratahs. Press Association
City’s constant movement – particularly the attacking triumvirate of Aguero, David Silva and Samir Nasri – continually troubled Chelsea. Frank Lampard was booked for fouling Fernandinho in the centre circle, thwarting another attack as Chelsea tried to get to grips with their opponents. The hosts were enjoying some space on the right between Silva and Clichy, with the rampaging Branislav Ivanovic and Ramires threatening. Ramires provided the cross from which Torres should have scored after breaching the City offside trap. The World Cup-winner chested the ball down and blasted over the bar. A more subtle touch would surely have beaten Hart. Mourinho’s reaction was one of disbelief after investing so much faith in Torres, who had one Premier League goal in 2013 entering the match, against Everton on the final day of last season. Torres atoned for the miss soon after when Ivanovic flicked the ball on from a goal kick. Torres surged around Gael Clichy down the Chelsea right and rushed to the byline where he crossed for Schurrle to score. Chelsea, and Torres in particular, were lifted and the striker smashed a shot on to the bar after another driving run which terrorised the City defence. Despite his team’s forward inroads, Petr Cech had to be on his guard and he saved well from Aguero after the Argentina striker had turned Terry. City made a fast start to the second half and, after Pablo Zabaleta shot over, were level when Nasri’s through ball caught Cahill flat-footed. Aguero ghosted in behind the defender and beat Cech at the near post with an early shot. Javi Garcia was unmarked when he had a header saved from Silva’s free-kick soon after. Chelsea appealed for a penalty when Eden Hazard went down under the challenge of Zabaleta, but the Belgium forward’s cause was not helped by a flamboyant fall which had referee Howard Webb unmoved. Torres had a header held by Hart and was then cynically blocked by Garcia in a move more at home in Sunday’s NFL contest at Wembley. Try as they might, still Chelsea could not subdue City and Cech saved with his feet from Silva before Mourinho turned to his bench. He replaced Schurrle with Willian and Lampard with John Obi Mikel, while Pellegrini opted for Jesus Navas in place of Nasri. The threat of Aguero was constant and he chipped narrowly wide after being found by Silva. Ramires shot over as an end-to-end contest entered the final 10 minutes and Mourinho made another change, throwing on Samuel Eto’o for Hazard. Then Torres settled matters in Chelsea’s favour. Willian’s lofted pass caused a mix-up between Matija Nastasic and Hart, whose latest high-profile error allowed Torres in to score ahead of the covering Demichelis. Mourinho leapt into the crowd amid the celebrations before Chelsea completed victory. Fernando Torres netted a 90th-minute winner as Chelsea claimed a dramatic 2-1 Barclays Premier League win in a pulsating contest with fellow title-contenders Manchester City at Stamford Bridge. Jose Mourinho celebrated the goal and the extension of his unbeaten Premier League run at Stamford Bridge to 65 games by leaping into the crowd, where he finished the prior home match with Cardiff following his touchline dismissal. Torres had missed a sitter earlier on and made amends by provided the cross for Andre Schurrle to tap in his first Chelsea goal. Torres then crashed a shot against the bar after terrorising the City defence with his pace for a second time. The Spain striker had designs on making the match about one man, but another former Atletico Madrid striker had other ideas and Sergio Aguero struck his ninth goal in seven games four minutes into the second half. Then Torres struck in a dramatic finale which Hart and City boss Manuel Pellegrini will not want to see again. Debutant Martin Demichelis – one of three changes to the City side which won at CSKA Moscow – conceded a third-minute corner when not under pressure and Gary Cahill squandered the opportunity to give Chelsea an early lead. City half cleared and Oscar’s cross was met by Cahill, who blasted over. John Terry had been standing in an offside position, but a flag was not raised and Cahill was left to rue the chance. One of the most eagerly awaited games of the season so far, pitting together squads lavishly assembled by Roman Abramovich and Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Mansour and two former managers of Real Madrid, was decided by a much-maligned £50million striker. In a thrilling match, a rush of blood saw Joe Hart try to reach a Willian through ball which allowed Torres in to net a crucial winner to extend Chelsea’s 100 per cent home start to the Premier League season. Press Association
Press Association Baines has just over 18 months remaining on his current deal but Martinez said they were in no rush to tie him down in the long term. “I think the injury doesn’t change anything,” said Martinez. “All our plans have always been the same. We want to have Leighton for the long term and that will never change. “The injury is a setback as you can imagine but we will use it to regenerate him, to give him a bit of a breather as he has been playing week in, week out and has had a lot of big demands on him because he’s been playing international football also. “It is a period we are going to use in our favour but, in terms of his contractual situation, it will never change what our thoughts were and our strategy behind the scenes.” There has been talk of a new deal for full-back Tony Hibbert, who has made just one 66-minute Capital One Cup appearance this season because of a calf injury. However, Martinez said while he wanted to keep the 32-year-old defender, whose contract expires next summer, there had been no developments. “Tony Hibbert and (fellow academy graduate) Leon Osman are unique characters. They are more than players, they represent the club and give direction to the new players coming in, youngsters and foreigners,” said the Spaniard. “Tony is someone I want to have at the club as long as we can. “Another aspect is to see how he is after the injury. All he wants is to focus on his fitness and fight to earn a place in the team. “I didn’t think it is the moment to look any further. He is a gem of a person, a special person to have at a football club.” Martinez received a lift on the injury front this week with centre-back Antolin Alcaraz, who has yet to make his debut following a summer move from Wigan because of injury, improving his match fitness. “Alcaraz is ready now. We had a behind-closed-doors friendly earlier in the week and he came through that,” said the Toffees boss. “Now it is just measuring his match fitness and being able to give him the time he needs to pick up the pace. “He is fully fit, anxious to come back and help the team which is a positive point. “It is important he is fully fit for the Christmas period because we are going to need everyone and Antolin needs to be ready. “What I’m not going to do is push him too early after the spell he had to endure on the sidelines.” The England left-back has been ruled out for up to six weeks with a broken bone in his right foot but the Toffees boss said the focus in that period will be on the defender’s fitness and not his future. Manchester United failed with a bid for the 28-year-old in the summer and speculation remains former Everton manager David Moyes will return with a new offer when the January transfer window opens. Everton will not use Leighton Baines’ injury-enforced lay-off to open talks over a new contract, according to manager Roberto Martinez.