Boxer Manny Pacquiao has not yet chosen a trainer after Roach ditched him
MANILA: Boxer Manny Pacquiao has not yet chosen a trainer for his July world title fight with Lucas Matthysse, dismissing reports he has cut ties with long-standing mentor Freddie Roach.
The veteran US ring guru Roach said last week that his 15-year association with Pacquiao, who has won world titles in an unprecedented eight weight divisions, had been terminated ahead of the Matthysse bout in Malaysia.
“I would be lying if I didn’t say I wasn’t hurt that he didn’t contact me personally about his decision, but the great times we enjoyed together far outweigh that,” Roach said in a brief statement on Friday.
But Pacquiao went on social media Monday to say that he would make a decision later this week on his corner team for the Kuala Lumpur fight with the Argentine World Boxing Association welterweight champion.
“Contrary to statements which I personally did not make that are circulating in the media, I have not made my final decision who will be my head trainer for my July 14 (US time zone) fight with Matthysse,” he said.
Pacquiao – who has a record of 59 wins with 38 KOs, seven losses and two draws — told millions of followers on his official Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts that his adviser Mike Koncz “has been in contact with Freddie (Roach)’s people to keep them informed.
“I will make a final decision within the week. When that decision is made, Freddie will be the first one to be informed and then I will advise the media,” the 39-year-old added. Roach was ever-present in Pacquiao’s corner during his rise to the pinnacle of his sport, helping mould the fighter into one of the best boxers in history.
Tennis Aussie Open: Nadal in quarters
MELBOURNE: World number two Angelique Kerber was sensationally bundled out of the Australian Open Sunday by a woman playing the event for the first time, as a rampant Rafael Nadal powered into the quarter-finals.
Hometown hero Ashleigh Barty also made the last eight after muscling past Maria Sharapova and will next meet Petra Kvitova, who matched her best Slam performance since a terrifying knife attack derailed her career.
Wimbledon winner Kerber, the bookies’ favorite along with Serena Williams after defending champion Caroline Wozniacki was ousted early, was humiliated by American Danielle Collins 6-0, 6-2 in under an hour.
Ranked 35 in the world, Collins is little known after playing much of her tennis in the US college system and was making her debut in the main draw at Melbourne Park. She had never won a Grand Slam match before this year.
“I may not have won a Grand Slam match before this but I tell you, it’s going to keep happening,” said the 25-year-old. “I better have many more of these.”
Collins said she held no fears about facing three-time Slam champion Kerber, who made the semis last year and won in 2016.
“I just go out fearless, just give it my all.”
Her reward is a last-eight clash with either fifth seed Sloane Stephens or Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
Men’s second seed Nadal, returning from foot surgery, barrelled past former world number four Tomas Berdych 6-0, 6-1, 7-6 (7/4) as he stays on track for an 18th Grand Slam title.
“I always say the same when I am back for injury,” said the Spaniard. “I don’t expect negative or positive things. I just try to do my work every day and just be with (the) right attitude every single day.”
He will play world number 39 Frances Tiafoe for a place in the semi-finals after the young American celebrated his 21st birthday by grinding his way past Grigor Dimitrov 7-5, 7-6 (8/6), 6-7 (1/7), 7-5.
“It means the world,” said Tiafoe, the son of immigrants from Sierra Leone.
Swiss great Roger Federer, the double defending champion who is targeting a record seventh crown at Melbourne Park, plays an evening match against Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Barty is also a surprise quarter-finalist after bringing Sharapova’s drive to win a first Grand Slam since the 2014 French Open to a grinding halt 4-6, 6-1, 6-4.
Five-time major winner Sharapova claimed her biggest scalp since completing a drugs ban in 2017 when she rolled Wozniacki in round three and looked on track to carry the momentum forward.
The 30th seed won the first set but then fell to pieces in front of a parochial crowd who booed her at times, losing nine games in a row to surrender the second and go two breaks down in the third.
Despite offering some late resistance, and some unbelievable tennis, there was no way back for the 2008 Melbourne winner.
“She is an absolute champion,” Barty, seeded 15, said of Sharapova.
“She was never going to go away. I knew I had to keep chipping away — in a sense, trust the work we’ve done. I know that I can match it with the best.”
The diminutive Barty, 22, has been in sizzling form, winning seven of eight matches this year to back up a title victory in Zhuhai late last year.
Next up is Kvitova, who beat Barty in the final of the warm-up Sydney International this month.
The two-time Wimbledon champion beat 17-year-old Amanda Anisimova 6-2, 6-1 to match her best performance at a major since being slashed in a terrifying attack at her home in late 2016 that left her with lasting nerve damage in her fingers.
“I’m feeling good. It is important for me to enjoy time on the court and playing tennis, which is the main thing for me,” said the Czech, who is in the quarters at Melbourne for the first time since 2012.
Relevant: Rampant Rafael Nadal battered ex-world number four Tomas Berdych Sunday but said he would be taking a step into the unknown against “dangerous” Frances Tiafoe in the Australian Open quarter-finals. The Spanish 17-time Grand Slam winner dismissed the unseeded Czech 6-0, 6-1, 7-6 (7/4) to tear into the last eight without dropping a tournament set. Next in the firing line for Nadal is giant-killing American Tiafoe – who celebrated his 21st birthday in style Sunday by beating 20th seed, Grigor Dimitrov. “It’s going to be the first time that we play each other. Yeah, he’s playing great,” he said of 39th-ranked Tiafoe who created one of the shocks of the tournament by knocking out fifth seed Kevin Anderson in the first round. “I know him, of course. He’s been on the tour for a while. He’s young. When you have younger players coming, they have always more attention.” Tiafoe, whose best previous Slam result was reaching the third round of Wimbledon last year, warmed up for Melbourne by partnering Serena Williams in the mixed teams Hopman Cup. “He’s a very dynamic player, aggressive one. Of course, he’s dangerous,” said Nadal. “He’s in the quarter-finals. He won great matches during the whole event. He’s super quick. And he’s able to change directions fast. “He goes to the net fast. He has a huge forehand, good serve. So let’s see.” A shell-shocked Berdych finally exerted some pressure on the 17-time Grand Slam champion in the third set, holding set points in the ninth and 11th games. But the Czech missed five months last year with a back injury. Nadal, who also missed chunks of last season and had foot surgery after the US Open, had won 19 of the pair’s 24 previous meetings. As he served at 5-4 in the breaker, Berdych let his frustration get the better of him when the serve clock mysteriously packed up. “I don’t see (the clock) when we change over and I don’t see now,” Berdych moaned to the umpire about the finicky Spaniard being too slow between points. “Take as long as you want, Rafa,” shouted one fan. Berdych dismissed the incident after. “It was not working,” he said of the clock. “I think it’s already done. What can we do? It’s all right. It’s just a clock.” Nadal, who is aiming to become the first man in the Open era to win all four Slams twice if he can add to his 2009 Aussie crown, said Berdych finally came to the party after winning just one point in the first two sets and gave him a test. “I think the third set was the real Tomas Berdych,” Nadal said after reaching his 11th Australian Open quarter-final. “He made more mistakes than usual in the first two sets.” The 33-year-old Berdych agreed. “The first two sets it was me back before six months. For the third set, I finally showed up on the court, so that’s good,” said the world number 57. “That’s the only positive I can take from the match. That’s it.”
Cricket: S. Africa vs Pakistan scoreboard
Port Elizabeth: Scores in the first one-day international between South Africa and Pakistan at St George’s Park on Saturday:
H. Amla not out 108
R. Hendricks c Hasan Ali b Shadab Khan 45
H. van der Dussen c Shoaib Malik b Hasan Ali 93
D. Miller not out 16
Extras (lb3, w1) 4
Total (2 wkts, 50 overs) 266
Fall of wickets: 1-82 (Hendricks), 2-237 (Van der Dussen)
Bowling: Faheem Ashraf 10-0-64-0, Usman Shinwari 8-0-49-0, Imad Wasim 7-0-37-0 (w1), Mohammad Hafeez 3-0-22-0, Hasan Ali 10-2-42-1, Shadab Khan 10-0-41-1, Fakhar Zaman 2-0-8-0
Did not bat: F. du Plessis, H. Klaasen, D. Pretorius, A. Phehlukwayo, K. Rabada, Imran Tahir, D. Olivier
Pakistan: Sarfraz Ahmed (captain, wkt), Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Usman Shinwari
Match situation: Pakistan need 267 runs to win
Toss: South Africa
Umpires: Gregory Brathwaite (WIS), Allahudien Paleker (RSA)
TV umpire: Paul Reiffel (AUS)
Match referee: Ranjan Madugalle (SRI)
ICC World Cup match tickets being sold 20 times their original price
DUBAI: Tickets for the highly anticipated ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 fixtures are being sold for more than 20 times their price.
According to the British media, the tickets for several fixtures, including the much anticipated Pakistan-India fixture, are being sold at exorbitant rates.
The ICC Cricket World Cup kicks off on May 30 with hosts England playing against South Africa at The Oval in London. The high octane Pakistan-India clash will take place on June 16 at Old Trafford in Manchester.
The authorities have said that strict action will be taken against people involved in reselling these tickets at such high prices.