Saudi Arabia boxing showdown is postponed after Oleksandr Usyk suffers injury

Oleksandr Usyk and Murat Gassiev are now scheduled to meet in July instead of next month. (Getty)
Updated 17 April 2018
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Saudi Arabia boxing showdown is postponed after Oleksandr Usyk suffers injury

  • Usyk pulls out with elbow problem
  • Fight will still take place in Jeddah, according to sources

The World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight final between Oleksandr Usyk and Murat Gassiev that had been scheduled for May 11 in Jeddah has been postponed after Usyk suffered a minor elbow injury.
Ukraine's Usyk, 31, was preparing to defend his WBO and WBC cruiserweight titles against Gassiev, the IBF and WBA champion from Russia, at King Abdullah Sports City in what was expected to be the most significant fight of the year.
In addition to crowning an undisputed cruiserweight champion and the winner receiving $10 million, the two undefeated fighters would have been vying for the first ever Muhammad Ali trophy.
Arab News understands that the fight is likely to remain at the same venue and be rescheduled for July, regardless of rival interest from Russia to also host it. The super-middleweight final, between Britain's George Groves and Callum Smith, could also take place in July, so should that happen before Usyk-Gassiev, they would instead fight for the first Ali trophy.
“Team Usyk has informed Comosa AG that Mr Usyk suffered a minor elbow injury whilst training for his World Boxing Super Series final against Murat Gassiev, for the Muhammad Ali Trophy,” read a statement from competition organisers Comosa AG.
“It has been confirmed by all parties, including Comosa AG appointed independent medical staff, that Mr Usyk is unavailable for the scheduled date of the event, May 11th. As such, the May 11th event, due to take place in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, has been postponed.
“Comosa AG is working in partnership withTeam Usyk and Team Gassiev as well as Sela Sport, the local event organisers, to establish a new date for the event. Comosa AG wishes Mr Usyk a good and speedy recovery. Further information on the rescheduling of the final will be released in due course.
“In the meantime, Comosa AG looks forward to announcing the weight classes that the World Boxing Super Series will employ for Season 2 of the Ali Trophy. Fans can expect to find out the divisions in the coming weeks.”


Maurizio Sarri wants to meet Eden Hazard to discuss Chelsea future

Updated 18 July 2018
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Maurizio Sarri wants to meet Eden Hazard to discuss Chelsea future

  • Maurizio Sarri says Eden Hazard is one of the top two or three players in Europe and he wants to meet the Belgium forward
  • Hazard is taking time off after the World Cup along with Belgium teammate Thibaut Courtois

LONDON: Chelsea coach Maurizio Sarri says Eden Hazard is one of the top two or three players in Europe and he wants to meet the Belgium forward face-to-face to discuss his future.
Hazard said at the World Cup in Russia that “it might be time to discover something different“ after spending the last six years with Chelsea. He has been linked with a move to European champion Real Madrid, which recently sold Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus.
Hazard is taking time off after the World Cup along with Belgium teammate Thibaut Courtois, whose future is also the matter of some debate.
Sarri says he doesn’t just want to phone the players who have yet to return to preseason training because a “telephone call without looking in their eyes will not give any certainty. I want to meet them face-to-face and understand what’s the best thing to do for everyone.”
Sarri says Hazard is “one of the top two or three European players,” adding that he hopes “to improve Hazard but that will be difficult.”
In his first news conference as Chelsea coach since joining from Napoli, Sarri said he will play in a “slightly different way” to predecessor Antonio Conte, who won the Premier League in his first season and FA Cup in his second after changing to a three-man defense.
Chelsea has already signed holding midfielder Jorginho from Napoli this offseason. Sarri says he would like more quality in the midfield area to fit his preferred approach, while adding that he could also adapt to the players he currently has in the squad.
Chelsea didn’t qualify for this season’s Champions League.