SPORTS DAY: Wilder wants another crack at Fury

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SPORTS DAY: Wilder wants another crack at Fury

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

Sunday Times sports editor


BOXING
Wilder wants Fury rematch ‘ASAP’
WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder on Tuesday said he was eager for a rematch with Tyson Fury after the two undefeated boxers fought to a thrilling but controversial split decision draw on Saturday in Los Angeles. The American knocked his opponent down twice, including a brutal takedown in the 12th round, but the towering Fury controlled much of the fight, leaving some — not least the Briton himself — to claim he was robbed by the judges. Wilder said he wanted a rematch “ASAP” to settle the question of who was the better fighter, adding he would be willing to take on the former champion as soon as March or April, although promoters suggested it would not come that soon.
CRICKET
Tshwane Spartans revive playoff chances
The Tshwane Spartans revived their slim chances of reaching the Mzansi Super League (MSL) playoffs with a hard-fought four wicket victory over the Paarl Rocks at SuperSport Park in what turned out to be a shoddy game on Wednesday afternoon. The Spartans‚ who will definitely rue the missed opportunity of getting a bonus-point‚ stay dangerously second from the bottom on the standings and they are left with challenging round-robin matches against Nelson Mandela Bay Giants‚ Jozi Stars away from home and Durban Heat at home.
Why Jozi stars can thank Reeza Hendricks
Three consecutive Mzansi Super League bonus-point wins have put the Jozi Stars in a powerful position and they have Reeza Hendricks to thank for that. After reeling consecutive tons over the weekend against Durban Heat and the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants‚ Hendricks couldn’t quite get to three figures in Tuesday’s handsome 50-run win against the Cape Town Blitz at Newlands. However‚ his well-paced 48-ball 79 allowed the Stars to recover from Chris Gayle’s early loss and a slow start against some good bowling to ransack 132 runs from the last 10 overs. A chase of 197 proved to be beyond the Blitz’s abilities but the Stars (20) are now only five points behind the Blitz with a game in hand.
DOPING
Curler slapped with four-year ban
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) handed Russian curler Alexander Krushelnitsky a four-year ban on Tuesday following a positive dope test at the Pyeongchang Olympics in February. The Russian and his wife Anastasia Bryzgalova were stripped of their mixed doubles bronze at the time of the Games in South Korea after an in-competition test for the banned substance Meldonium. The Swiss-based CAS said the sanction was the final one delivered by the anti-doping division set up for the Pyeongchang Games. It said the four-year “period of ineligibility” would run from February 12 2018, the day the curler had accepted a provisional suspension. A CAS hearing in February had found Krushelnitsky guilty, with the Russian agreeing to return his medal along with his wife’s.
GOLF
Oosthuizen could join elite club
Only five men have won the oldest and second-oldest open championships still in existence and Louis Oosthuizen was on Wednesday reminded that he could add his name to that illustrious list this week. “That would be really something special. To have won The Open and SA Open would be very special‚” said Oosthuizen about joining Bobby Locke‚ Gary Player‚ Bob Charles‚ Ernie Els and Henrik Stenson. The 2010 Open champion cautioned‚ however‚ that the sheer size of the 240-player field narrows his odds of tasting success at Randpark Golf Club.
RUGBY
Kiwis depleted for Blitzboks showdown
The Blitzboks have their own issues with patchy form and some inexperienced personnel‚ but they will be relieved that main Pool A rivals New Zealand are also struggling. Despite winning the season-opening Dubai leg of the 2018/19 HSBC World Sevens Series last week‚ the Kiwis have been shorn of several key players for this week’s second leg in Cape Town. They have been forced to call up three replacements after a high casualty rate in Dubai. They lost six players in total‚ three before the tournament and three during to the tournament. Trael Joass‚ Etene Nanai-Seturo and Taylor Haugh have joined the team after Kurt Baker‚ Jona Nareki and Akuila Rokolisoa all sustained injuries before the Dubai event kicked off. Sam Dickson‚ Scott Curry and Regan Ware picked up injuries during the tournament.
SOCCER
Gabuza makes scoring comeback
Striker Thamsanqa Gabuza made a scoring comeback to the Orlando Pirates starting line-up as a much-changed selection eased to a 3-1 victory over Light Stars from Seychelles in their African Champions League first round‚ second-leg tie on Wednesday. The victory earns Pirates an 8-2 aggregate success in what was a gentle return to the elite continental competition after an absence of five years and sets up a second-round meeting with either African Stars of Namibia or Volcan Club from the Comoros‚ who were in action in Windhoek later on. Neither of those sides should present much opposition and Pirates will be heavy favourites to advance to the group stages starting in January.
It’s SA’s time to host Women’s World Cup: Jordaan
SA Football Association (Safa) president Danny Jordaan has confirmed SA’s interest in hosting the 2023 Women’s World Cup and has revealed that he is scheduled to meet Fifa president Giovanni Infantino about the matter. Jordaan said Safa has written to Fifa and that the association is waiting for the world football governing body to send them the bidding requirements. “So I’m going to meet with the Fifa president Gianni Infantino in Paris soon‚” revealed Jordaan. “He (Gianni Infantino) has invited me to come there so I will have a discussion with him to talk about this thing and find out from him when will Fifa release the bid requirements.”
Hasenhuttl replaces Highes at Southampton
Southampton have appointed Austrian Ralph Hasenhuttl as manager on a 2-1/2-year contract after firing Welshman Mark Hughes, the struggling Premier League club said on Wednesday. The 51-year-old former RB Leipzig coach will take charge on Thursday, the day after Saints play Tottenham Hotspur in the league at Wembley. Southampton sacked Hughes after a 2-2 draw at home to Manchester United last weekend left the south-coast club in the relegation zone with one win from 14 league matches. Hasenhuttl guided newly promoted Leipzig to second place in the Bundesliga in the 2016-17 season before leaving last May after a dispute over a new contract.
TENNIS
Serena confirmed for Australian Open return
Serena Williams will resume her quest for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in January after organisers on Wednesday confirmed her entry to the tournament she won for a seventh time on her last appearance in 2017. The 37-year-old American achieved her victory over sister Venus in the final two years ago while eight weeks pregnant with her daughter Alexis Olympia, who was born the following September. Williams reached the Wimbledon and US Open finals after her return last year but lost both, leaving her one short of Australian Margaret Court’s tally of grand slam singles titles. Her final match last season was the final at Flushing Meadow, where her loss to Naomi Osaka was overshadowed by her row with umpire Carlos Ramos.
– AFP, Reuters and TimesLive

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