Manny Pacquiao says he is in talks to fight world champion Vasyl Lomachenko

This file photo taken on April April 26, 2017 shows World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight defending champion Manny Pacquiao gesturing during a promotional press conference at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. (AFP)
Updated 17 January 2018
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Manny Pacquiao says he is in talks to fight world champion Vasyl Lomachenko

MANILA: Philippine boxing legend Manny Pacquiao said on Wednesday he was in talks for a blockbuster bout with world champion Vasyl Lomachenko, widely considered the best “pound-for-pound” fighter on the planet.
Pacquiao, 39, who has won world titles in an unprecedented eight weight divisions, is eyeing an April date with the Ukrainian World Boxing Organization superfeatherweight champ during a break from his duties as a Philippines senator.
“There are negotiations now about the number one pound-for-pound (boxer) which is Lomachenko,” Pacquiao said in an interview on ABS-CBN television.
“There are still talks on the weight, reducing the weight,” said Pacquiao, who has been fighting as a welterweight.
Pacquiao aides told AFP there has been no agreement on the venue and the actual date of the Lomachenko fight.
Rated by boxing experts as the world’s top “pound-for-pound” fighter, Lomachenko, 29, has lost just once in 11 pro bouts and won all the others by knockout.
Pacquiao, whose loss of his WBO welterweight title to Australia’s Jeff Horn last year left his record standing at 59 wins, seven losses and two draws, is now in the twilight of his career.
The Filipino southpaw retired briefly in 2016 but made a comeback to retake his WBO title from Jessie Vargas just months later. He has not scored a knockout win in the past eight years.
In contrast Lomachenko cemented his status last year after retaining his WBO junior lightweight title.
Lomachenko, who won gold in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, rocketed to the top of his weight class after turning pro in 2013, winning nine world championship fights in his first 11 contests.
Pacquiao, who has not climbed the ring since the Horn loss, said last month he had opened talks to fight mixed martial arts star Conor McGregor in April.
But the Irishman said he wanted his next bout to be a return to the octagon after losing a boxing bout to unbeaten Floyd Mayweather by a 10th-round technical knockout in their much-hyped fight in Las Vegas in August last year.
On Wednesday, Pacquiao rejected calls for him to retire for good, adding he did not believe his recent losses tarnished his record.
“You know, I miss boxing,” Pacquiao said, adding he was “still okay.”
Pacquiao, elected a senator in 2016, said he would only train for three months for an April fight so he did not neglect his legislative duties.
“That’s more than enough.”
Pacquiao said Wednesday he was also open to fighting British boxer Amir Khan but said any fight would have to be done in April when the Philippine Congress would go on break.


Unrivaled: India now 7-0 in World Cup games against Pakistan

Updated 17 June 2019
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Unrivaled: India now 7-0 in World Cup games against Pakistan

  • Conditions did not dampen the enthusiasm of a predominantly pro-India crowd 

MANCHESTER, UK: For such an intense rivalry, it is still a lopsided contest when India and Pakistan meet at the Cricket World Cup.

India extended their record to 7-0 against Pakistan at the World Cup with an 89-run victory in a rain-interrupted encounter Sunday that likely will remain the most-watched game of the six-week tournament.

India started ominously with Rohit Sharma scoring 140 from 113 deliveries and skipper Virat Kohli contributing 77 in a total of 336-5, a record for a One-Day International at Old Trafford.

Pakistan were always behind the run-rate required.

Fakhar Zaman (62) and Babar Azam (48) put on 104 for the second wicket but when both were dismissed by left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav within nine balls, Pakistan’s hopes faded with them.

When Hardik Pandya took wickets with consecutive deliveries in the 27th over, Pakistan were 129-5. And with a result in play because both teams had batted more than 20 overs, there was no chance of sharing points if rain prevented any more play. A delay after the 35th with Pakistan at 166-6 just prolonged the inevitable.

Pakistan were  set a revised target of 302 from 40 overs and the last five overs were a non-event with Pakistan finishing 212-6. India remained unbeaten in four games to start the tournament.

The conditions did not dampen the enthusiasm of a predominantly pro-India crowd that filled the 162-year-old venue to its 23,500 capacity. Seats were in excessively high demand, after all, with the International Cricket Council reporting more than 800,000 ticket applications for the game.

There is always extra significance when the nuclear-armed neighboring countries meet at ICC tournaments because India and Pakistan play cricket so infrequently in bilateral series.

This was no different, with a 1 billion-plus TV audience and an almost football-like atmosphere at the ground.

Kohli’s single to get off the mark was met by “Kohli-Kohli-Kohli” chants from the predominantly pro-India crowd.

Sharma set the tone with his second century of the tournament, sharing partnerships of 136 with KL Rahul (57) for the first wicket and 98 with Kohli for the second.

He seemed ready to really unleash when he needlessly paddled a ball from Hasan Ali to Wahab Riaz at short fine leg in the 38th over.

Kohli continued, becoming the third Indian batter to pass 11,000 ODI runs. In doing so in his 222nd innings, he became the fastest to reach the milestone.

Kohli was on 71 and India was 305-4 when rain stopped play for the first time in the 47th over. The India captain was caught behind off Mohammad Amir’s bowling not long after he returned from the 55-minute rain break and, surprisingly, walked off before umpire Marais Erasmus had a chance to signal him out.

There was some speculation Kohli did not edge the ball but it was inconsequential in the end, as India passed Sri Lanka’s 318-7 against England in 2006 to set the highest ODI total in Manchester.

After a batting onslaught at the top, Pakistan pegged back the run-rate slightly as Amir (3-47) dismissed Pandya (26) and then had MS Dhoni (1) and Kohli caught behind — both the ex-captain and captain walking.

Things started going haywire for Pakistan after skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed won the toss and fielded, going against the advice sent via social media by Prime Minister and 1992 World Cup-winning captain Imran Khan.

Overcast and cool overhead conditions that usually would favor swing and seam bowling didn’t greatly assist the Pakistan attack, with India racing to 52-0 in its most productive opening power play of the tournament.

The Pakistan pacemen had trouble with the umpires, with Amir and Wahab each cautioned twice for running on the protected area in the middle of the pitch. One further warning would have resulted in a suspension.

It also didn’t help that opener Imam-ul-Haq got out in rare circumstances to Vijay Shankar’s very first delivery at a World Cup — it coming on the fifth ball of Pakistan’s fifth over after Shankar was asked to finish it off for injured teammate Bhuveshwar Kumar.

Pakistan’s next game is at Lord’s against South Africa, which also has three points and only remote prospects of reaching the semifinals.