Injured George Groves risks missing final with discolated shoulder after Eubank Jr win

George Groves rocks Chris Eubank Jr. with a right hand during their World Boxing Super Series semifinal. (Reuters)
Updated 18 February 2018
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Injured George Groves risks missing final with discolated shoulder after Eubank Jr win

MANCHESTER: George Groves’s place in the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) final is in doubt after his unanimous points win over Chris Eubank Jr.
Groves earned scores of 117-112, 116-112 and 115-113 over his English rival at the Manchester Arena on Saturday, but went straight from the ring to hospital after suffering a suspected dislocated left shoulder in the last round.
Victory over Eubank in a second defense of his World Boxing Association (WBA) super-middleweight title also secured Groves a place in the final of the eight-man tournament.
“I haven’t diagnosed it yet but it feels pretty sore,” Groves said in the ring afterwards before missing the traditional post-fight press conference.
“I wasn’t going to let anything beat me. I’ve boxed on with cuts, broken jaws, everything. Here, I wasn’t going to let any injury get me out.
“It was about who wanted it most I think, and I obviously wanted it most,” added Groves, still due to fight the winner of the second semifinal between England’s Callum Smith and Germany’s Jurgen Braehmer on February 24.
The WBSS final is meant to take place at the O2 Arena in London on June 2, but Groves’s trainer Shane McGuigan said there are now concerns over whether the champion will be fit by then.
“He suffered a shoulder injury in the last round, we don’t know what that is at the moment but hopefully he can box again soon,” McGuigan told a press conference.
“After a performance like that he’s the best super-middleweight on the planet. We fulfilled the game plan to the T and executed it perfectly. We beat them on many different levels.”
Kalle Sauerland, promoter and co-founder of the WBSS, said the tournament’s duration is finite. “We have scope of when the tournament must be completed,” he said.
“We will wait until Monday. With those sort of injuries you can train very quickly again — if it’s a case of it just popping out. No one knows until it has been scanned.”
Sauerland said that despite losing, Eubank could find himself in the WBSS final if Groves is ruled out through injury.
“He will definitely be on the list,” said Sauerland. “It’s a decision that’s taken by the (WBSS) board. I will make my recommendations.”
Eubank Jr, 28, said he was hampered by a cut above his right eye suffered in the third round.
“This is the first time I’ve been cut in my career,” he told reporters.
“I couldn’t see out of my right eye for pretty much most of the fight and that affected my style. I had to resort to loading up. Every time he moved to my right, I couldn’t see him.
“In the later rounds I was hurting him with a lot of shots. I thought I did enough in the later rounds to nick it, but George had a good game plan.”
Eubank’s father Chris Sr, who was world middleweight and super-middleweight champion in the 1990s, admitted Groves deserved the decision.
“He (Junior) didn’t perform,” said Eubank Sr. “He’s a lot better than what you saw because he was loading up. He didn’t close him down. No combinations, just power, but that’s okay, he will live and learn.
“George fought the right fight, staying off, feinting, and when he came in, he held. It was perfect tactics.”


Pakistan beat Afghanistan in last over finish

Bangladesh's Mahmudullah, right, bats during the one day international cricket match of Asia Cup between Bangladesh and Afghanistan in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018. (AP)
Updated 22 September 2018
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Pakistan beat Afghanistan in last over finish

  • Hashmatullah Shahidi missed out on a maiden hundred by a mere three runs but still steered Afghanistan to a challenging 257-6

DUBAI: Experienced batsman Shoaib Malik hit a six and a boundary to pull off a sensational last over three wicket win for Pakistan against a spirited Afghanistan in the Asia Cup in Abu Dhabi on Friday.
Malik pulled the second ball of the final over by paceman Aftab Alam over the deep square leg boundary and then whacked the next to deep fine leg for a boundary as Pakistan pulled off a nerve-wracking win in 49.3 overs at Sheikh Zayed Stadium.
Pakistan, cashing a stiff 258-run target, were home and dry to start the Super Four Stage with a much needed win and now face arch rivals India in Dubai on Sunday.
Hashmatullah Shahidi missed out on a maiden hundred by a mere three runs but still steered Afghanistan to a challenging 257-6.
Pakistan were off to a disastrous start when opener Fakhar Zaman was trapped leg-before off the sixth ball of the innings by spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman for nought.
Imam-ul-Haq scored a 104-ball 80 with five boundaries and a six while Babar Azam knocked an attractive 94-ball 66 with four boundaries and a six during their innings repairing the 154-run stand for the second wicket.
But both fell within the space of four runs as spinner Rashid Khan (3-46) brought Afghanistan back in the game with the asking rate getting stiffer, as Pakistan needed 42 off the final five overs.
Despite losing skipper Sarfraz Ahmed (eight), Asif Ali (seven) and Mohammad Nawaz (ten), Malik kept his cool to sop Afghanistan from posting their third straight win after beating Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in the first round.
Earlier, Shahidi hit three consecutive boundaries in the final over off Usman Shinwari, but failed to get to three figures off the last delivery after Afghanistan won the toss and batted.
Shahidi finished with a brilliantly-paced 118-ball 97 not out, and added 94 for the fourth wicket with his skipper Asghar Afghan, who smashed five sixes and two fours in his 56-ball 67.
But it was Shahidi who held one end against Pakistan’s bowling in an innings which featured seven boundaries after left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz (3-57) had put the brakes on Afghanistan’s early progress.
Shahidi had added 63 for the third wicket with Rahmat Shah who scored a measured 36.
The total is an improvement by Afghanistan after scoring 249 and 255 in their previous two wins against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
Pakistani fielders dropped four catches — three off debutant paceman Shaheen Shah Afridi who finished with 2-38.
India beat Bangladesh by seven wickets in Dubai and now meet Pakistan on Sunday, also in Dubai. Afghanistan and Bangladesh meet in Abu Dhabi on the same day.
Top two teams from the Super Four Stages will play the final in Dubai on September 28.