Real boxing match: Pacquiao calls out MMA star McGregor

Manny Pacquiao, who turns 39 in three weeks, lost his World Boxing Organization welterweight title to Australian former teacher Jeff Horn in July. (AFP)
Updated 24 November 2017
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Real boxing match: Pacquiao calls out MMA star McGregor

MANILA: Manny Pacquiao threw down the gauntlet to Conor McGregor — and took a dig at Floyd Mayweather — as he promised to give the mixed martial arts star a “real boxing match.”
McGregor lost a megabucks fight in August against the unbeaten Mayweather, who defeated Pacquiao in their disappointing ‘Fight of the Century’ in 2015.
“Happy Thanksgiving! Stay fit my friend. #realboxingmatch #2018 @thenotoriousmma,” Pacquiao posted on Twitter and Instagram, using McGregor’s social media handle.
There was no immediate reaction from McGregor on social media, and Pacquiao’s media team said Friday that there were “no negotiations yet” about a McGregor match.
Pacquiao, who turns 39 in three weeks, lost his World Boxing Organization welterweight title to Australian former teacher Jeff Horn in July, having come out of retirement in 2016 to take the belt from American Jessie Vargas.
McGregor has not fought in mixed martial arts or boxing since losing to Mayweather by 10th-round technical knockout in their much-hyped bout in Las Vegas in August.
Pacquiao’s “#realboxingmatch” reference appears to be a swipe at Mayweather, who beat the Filipino by unanimous decision in 2015 in the richest fight in boxing history.
Pacquiao, who fought with a shoulder injury that later required surgery, has insisted he beat Mayweather, saying he “didn’t do nothing. He was always moving outside.”
Mayweather retired with a record of 50-0 after the McGregor bout.


Pakistan’s Azhar Ali signs for Somerset

Pakistan's Azhar Ali celebrates reaching his century during a match between England and Pakistant on August 4, 2016. (Reuters file)
Updated 17 July 2018
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Pakistan’s Azhar Ali signs for Somerset

  • Azhar is set to make his Somerset debut against Worcestershire later this month

LONDON: Pakistan batsman Azhar Ali has joined Somerset for the remainder of their first-class English County Championship fixtures this season, the southwest club said Monday.

The 33-year-old replaces Australia opener Matt Renshaw, who made three hundreds at 51.30 in the opening rounds of the Championship before breaking a finger against Surrey at Guildford last month.

Azhar is set to make his Somerset debut against Worcestershire later this month.

"The standard of first-class cricket in England is very high and I hope that I can make a contribution to Somerset winning matches," Azhar told his new county's website.

"I have heard good things about Somerset and I was impressed by what I saw at Taunton in 2016 (when Pakistan opened their tour of England that year against the county).

"I am looking forward to joining my new team mates and meeting the Somerset supporters soon."

Azhar struggled during Pakistan's three Tests against Ireland and England earlier this season, making 73 runs in six innings although his lone fifty did come during Pakistan's impressive victory over England at Lord's.

"Finding the right fit at short notice can be challenging, however we are delighted to have secured a player of Azhar Ali's character, pedigree and class for the remaining seven Specsavers County Championship matches," said Somerset's director of cricket, Andy Hurry.

"His experience at the top of the order will prove to be hugely valuable at the business end of the season.

"I have spoken to him several times over the last few weeks and he is very keen to share his knowledge of the game with our aspirational players, so the influence he can have within the changing room will also be vital for us as a club."