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.”


Liverpool return to top of the table with 3-1 win over arch-rivals Manchester United

Updated 16 December 2018
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Liverpool return to top of the table with 3-1 win over arch-rivals Manchester United

  • Shaqiri braces gives Reds deserved win over United at Anfield.
  • Mourinho's men well beaten as Liverpool leapfrog Manchester City ti return to top of the table.

LIVERPOOL: Two deflected Xherdan Shaqiri strikes handed Liverpool victory over Manchester United in the Premier League for the first time in nine attempts as Jurgen Klopp’s men moved back to the top of the table with a 3-1 win at Anfield on Sunday.
United manager Jose Mourinho claimed ahead of the game that the league leaders have had luck on their side this season, but while there was fortune in substitute Shaqiri’s two goals in the final 17 minutes, the visitors did not deserve anything more than a fifth defeat of the season.
Liverpool leapfrogged Manchester City to finish the weekend where they started, a point clear at the top, and move a mammoth 19 clear of United, who remain in sixth and are now 11 points off the top four.
The contrasting form showed by both sides this season continued as United strained to keep a rampant Liverpool at bay and were only level for so long thanks to a huge error by home goalkeeper Alisson Becker.
Sadio Mane had given Liverpool the lead before Jesse Lingard levelled when Alisson dropped a routine cross at the feet of the England international.
United had the ball in the net first on a rare foray forward but Romelu Lukaku was flagged offside despite not getting a touch to Ashley Young’s free-kick.
But Liverpool then laid siege to the visitors’ goal with David de Gea stretching to keep out a low drive from Roberto Firmino, Young clearing off the line and Fabinho firing wide from the edge of the box.
Only Manchester City have kept Klopp’s side from scoring in the Premier League this season and a United defense that has kept just one clean sheet in the league since September never looked capable of holding out like they had in their two previous visits to Anfield.
Mourinho’s men were finally breached when Mane controlled Fabinho’s chipped ball into the box on his chest and volleyed past the onrushing De Gea.
However, Liverpool’s momentum was punctured by an Alisson gift 12 minutes before the break.
The Brazilian was Liverpool’s hero with an injury-time save to secure the Reds’ place in the last 16 of the Champions League against Napoli on Tuesday.
But he spilled Lukaku’s simple cross into the path of the grateful Lingard to bundle the ball into an unguarded net.
The second half followed a similar pattern with one-way traffic toward the Kop as Liverpool sought the goal to take them back to the top of the table.
De Gea scrambled low to his left to palm Firmino’s prodded effort to safety, while Dejan Lovren and Virgil van Dijk saw efforts deflected behind.
Jurgen Klopp turned to Shaqiri to unlock the United defense 20 minutes from time and the Swiss international needed just three to put Liverpool back in front.
De Gea did well to prevent Ander Herrera turning Mane’s cross into his own net, but the ball fell for Shaqiri and his effort cannoned off Young and in off the underside of the bar.
Seven minutes later, Shaqiri got lucky again when, this time on his favored left foot, his shot flicked off the diving Eric Bailly to leave De Gea helpless.