John Cena to celebrate 20th anniversary with WWE on June 27

John Cena to celebrate 20th anniversary with WWE on June 27
John Cena will celebrate 20 years with WWE on June 27. (WWE)
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Updated 15 June 2022

John Cena to celebrate 20th anniversary with WWE on June 27

John Cena to celebrate 20th anniversary with WWE on June 27
  • Wrestling legend, actor, 45, set to return to ring on WWE’s RAW brand this month

RIYADH: On June 27, 2002, WWE was forever changed when a then-unknown powerhouse named John Cena stormed onto SmackDown for the first time to take on Kurt Angle.

Now, 20 years following his arrival on SmackDown, WWE has designated the month of June to celebrate the anniversary of his debut, culminating in an appearance on RAW on June 27.

Since his initial debut, 45-year-old Cena has become a global household name widely regarded as one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time.

Over his illustrious career, he has racked up a multitude of achievements, including 16 world title reigns, Hollywood blockbusters, a New York Times best-selling book, a hit album, and a record-setting number of Make-A-Wish grants.

Preaching the ethos of Hustle, Loyalty, Respect, Cena has doled out his signature Attitude Adjustments to WWE Hall of Fame stars such as The Rock, Randy Orton, Bautista, Brock Lesnar, and Triple H, as well as some of WWE’s new guard in Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, and Kevin Owens.

As part of #CenaMonth, WWE will also be celebrating all things Cena with tribute content across its social media platforms, though his opponent on June 27 has yet to be name.


Chelsea boss Tuchel given one-game ban after Spurs red card

Chelsea boss Tuchel given one-game ban after Spurs red card
Updated 57 min 4 sec ago

Chelsea boss Tuchel given one-game ban after Spurs red card

Chelsea boss Tuchel given one-game ban after Spurs red card
  • Tuchel's touchline ban has been suspended temporarily, pending the full written reasons for the decision
  • Conte has been fined £15,000 after both managers admitted improper conduct

LONDON: Thomas Tuchel has been given a one-match suspension and fined £35,000 ($41,000) after the Chelsea manager was sent off following his furious clash with Tottenham boss Antonio Conte, the Football Association (FA) said on Friday.
Tuchel’s touchline ban has been suspended temporarily, pending the full written reasons for the decision, allowing the German to take his place in the dugout for Sunday’s Premier League clash at Leeds.
Conte has been fined £15,000 after both managers admitted improper conduct following a pair of angry exchanges during last Sunday’s stormy 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge.
Tuchel and Conte were booked after they first squared up to each other when the Italian celebrated Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s equalizer close to the Chelsea technical area.
Then, after Harry Kane headed Tottenham’s second equalizer deep into stoppage-time, Tuchel shook hands with Conte at the final whistle in such an aggressive way that it drew a fiery response from his counterpart.
The feuding bosses had to be separated by players and coaching staff, but were both sent off by referee Anthony Taylor.
“An independent regulatory commission has today ordered that Thomas Tuchel be fined £35,000 and banned from the touchline for one match, and Antonio Conte be fined £15,000 after they respectively breached FA Rule E3,” the FA said.
“Thomas Tuchel and Antonio Conte admitted that their behavior after the final whistle of the Premier League game between Chelsea FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC on Sunday, August 14 2022 was improper, and both managers requested a paper hearing.
“These sanctions are subject to appeal, and Thomas Tuchel’s one-match touchline ban has been suspended temporarily pending the independent regulatory commission’s written reasons for its decision that will be made available in due course.”


Police recover Lewandowski’s watch, stolen while signing autographs

Police recover Lewandowski’s watch, stolen while signing autographs
Updated 19 August 2022

Police recover Lewandowski’s watch, stolen while signing autographs

Police recover Lewandowski’s watch, stolen while signing autographs
  • A young man approached and snatched the watch from the player's wrist
  • Spanish media reported the watch was a Patek Phillippe worth 70,000 euros

BARCELONA: Police said they had recovered Robert Lewandowski’s watch, stolen as the star striker signed autographs before a Barcelona training session.
The incident occurred on Thursday afternoon when the 33-year-old striker, who joined from German club Bayern Munich in July, arrived at training and stopped in front of fans for autographs, Catalan police told AFP Friday.
A young man approached and snatched the watch from the player’s wrist.
Spanish media reported the watch was a Patek Phillippe worth 70,000 euros ($70,300) and that Lewandowski climbed back in his car and gave chase but lost the thief.
The police were alerted at 4:30 p.m. local time (1430 GMT) and within an hour they had caught the 19-year-old, who was hiding in the bushes around the stadium. They recovered the watch which was nearby.
He was arrested for “robbery with violence,” the police said. They explained that even though Lewandowski was not hurt, taking the watch off his body was considered violent.


Anthony Joshua maintains weight advantage over Oleksandr Usyk for Jeddah clash

Anthony Joshua maintains weight advantage over Oleksandr Usyk for Jeddah clash
Updated 19 August 2022

Anthony Joshua maintains weight advantage over Oleksandr Usyk for Jeddah clash

Anthony Joshua maintains weight advantage over Oleksandr Usyk for Jeddah clash
  • Two-time heavyweight champion Joshua tipped the scales at 110.9 kilos
  • Ukraine’s Usyk weighed 100.5 kilograms

JEDDAH: British boxer Anthony Joshua weighed in more than 10 kilos (22 pounds) heavier than defending champion Oleksandr Usyk on Friday ahead of their “Rage on the Red Sea” world title rematch in Saudi Arabia.

Two-time heavyweight champion Joshua tipped the scales at 110.9 kilos (244.5 pounds) while Ukraine’s Usyk weighed 100.5 kilograms (221.6 pounds), both similar to last year’s fight in London.

Usyk, 19-0 and the favorite after his unanimous decision on Joshua’s home turf, confounded predictions that he had packed on several kilos of muscle to counter the towering Joshua.

The fighters came face-to-face in a 90-second stare-down before shaking hands and posing for the cameras.

“All this stuff, weight, face-off, it doesn’t matter to me. It’s all about the fight,” Joshua said. “I’m just ready for 12 rounds, 100 percent. Anything shorter than that, it’s a bonus.”

Many commentators have written off Joshua after a hesitant showing against the quick and skillful Usyk at London’s Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last September.

But the 6ft 6ins (1.98m) Briton, who is striving to become a three-time world champion, has promised to be more “competitive.”

Promoter Eddie Hearn has suggested Joshua will go for the knock-out.

Saturday’s clash will be the 12th consecutive world title fight for Joshua, the 24-2 former Olympic gold-medallist whose other professional defeat was a shock TKO by Andy Ruiz Jr in June 2019.

Joshua avenged that loss six months later in the “Clash of the Dunes” in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, the first heavyweight world title fight in the Kingdom.

Elsewhere on the undercard, Saudi Arabia’s Ziyad Al-Maayouf will face Mexico’s Jose Alatorre on Saturday, and said earlier this week he has been overwhelmed by the support he has received and feels a little under the pressure with all eyes on him.

And in a moment of history for sport in Saudi Arabia, Somali-born Briton Ramla Ali will fight the Dominican Republic’s Crystal Garcia Nova in the first women’s professional boxing match in the Kingdom.

Also in an action-packed night of boxing, the Rage on the Red Sea undercard includes several other exciting fights, with former WBA and Ring magazine super-middleweight champion Callum Smith and former two-weight world champion Badou Jack both featuring.

* With AFP


16-year-old German talent Chiara Noja named Golf Saudi ambassador

16-year-old German talent Chiara Noja named Golf Saudi ambassador
Updated 19 August 2022

16-year-old German talent Chiara Noja named Golf Saudi ambassador

16-year-old German talent Chiara Noja named Golf Saudi ambassador
  • Youngest European pro champion joins fellow ambassadors Anna Nordqvist, Anne Van Dam and Carlota Ciganda
  • Noja became a scratch golfer aged 11, before topping the European Rankings at both Under-12 and Under-14 levels

SOTOGRANDE: German golfer Chiara Noja — the youngest European golfer ever to win a professional tour event — has been announced as the latest Golf Saudi ambassador, following in the footsteps of icons of the women’s game including Anna Nordqvist, Anne Van Dam and Carlota Ciganda, all of whom have been named Golf Saudi ambassadors this year.
Noja became a scratch golfer aged 11, before topping the European Rankings at both Under-12 and Under-14 levels, and has maintained her upward trajectory ever since, turning professional in October 2021, aged just 15.
She has enjoyed a stellar first year on the pro tour, making all the cuts at the Dubai Moonlight Classic, Aramco Saudi Ladies International, and the Aramco Team Series – Jeddah. In June, Noja secured her maiden professional victory at the Amundi Czech Ladies Challenge, nine strokes ahead of Sára Kousková, and rose to the top of the LETAS Order of Merit.
Majed Al-Sorour, the CEO and deputy chairman of both Golf Saudi and the Saudi Golf Federation, said: “Chiara immediately impressed me when I saw her play last year in Saudi Arabia. She put in two impressive back-to-back performances at both of our tournaments.
“To not only make the cut in the Aramco Saudi Ladies International and finish T40, but to do so with a shoulder injury, before following this up with a T26 in the Aramco Team Series (shows) her talent and bodes very well for both our new partnership, but also for the future of women’s golf on the Ladies European Tour,” he continued.
“Having also both lived and played in the Middle East, she has the potential to become a role model for all young girls here in the region and help us with our long-term aims at Golf Saudi of developing the women’s game in the Kingdom.”
Noja will not only feature in Golf Saudi-owned events going forward but will also, more importantly, aid the organization in its ongoing journey to bring golf to new audiences, particularly young girls and women, both globally and within the Kingdom.
Noja’s ambassadorship was announced during this week’s Aramco Team Series event in Sotogrande, which runs until August 20. The field is packed with global stars, with Noja facing household names including Nelly and Jessica Korda, Nordqvist, Ciganda and last year’s winner Alison Lee.
Part of Noja’s new role with Golf Saudi will be to mentor female amateurs. She will draw on her own experiences of rising through the amateur ranks and explain what it takes to become a professional, as well as discuss how golf can reach new audiences and ensure its future development.
“I have always enjoyed fantastic support from the whole team at Golf Saudi, not only via invites to their fantastic events but also in terms of advice. By turning professional, I have been able to concurrently continue my academic career whilst still developing and improving as a golfer,” Noja said.
“I was lucky enough to make my debut on the Ladies European Tour at the end of 2020 and the subsequent 12 months gave me the confidence to turn professional in 2021,” she continued. “Golf Saudi is doing amazing things for the game whether it’s through their Mass Participation programs to drive youth engagement and their efforts to draw more people to our sport, particularly young girls and women.
“I am delighted to be confirmed as the latest Golf Saudi ambassador and to not only work alongside so many female superstars from women’s golf but also to support such an ambitious organization as Golf Saudi. Having come to prominence at a similar time to Golf Saudi, I’d like to think that we’ll be able to share insights mutually and both do our bit in terms of growing the game in Saudi Arabia and globally.”


Eddie Howe dismisses Bruno Guimaraes to Real Madrid rumors

Eddie Howe dismisses Bruno Guimaraes to Real Madrid rumors
Updated 19 August 2022

Eddie Howe dismisses Bruno Guimaraes to Real Madrid rumors

Eddie Howe dismisses Bruno Guimaraes to Real Madrid rumors
  • Magpies boss confirms the Brazilian midfielder has no release clause as he looks to add more players to his squad
  • Howe understands the lure of a club like Real, but hopes Newcastle can help Guimaraes fulfill his lofty footballing ambitions while on Tyneside.

NEWCASTLE: Eddie Howe has revealed Bruno Guimaraes does not have a release clause in his Newcastle United deal amid Real Madrid interest.
Reports in Spain over the past few days have suggested Los Blancos would prioritize a move for the Brazilian international if compatriot Casemiro leaves for Manchester United.
And while the former Lyon man would likely have his own interest piqued by the 14-times European champions sniffing around, head coach Howe says United are in no mood to sell a player they only signed themselves in late January.
“No, absolutely not. We’re trying to build a squad here that we feel can take the club forward and be successful over the next few years,” said Howe when asked about a potential sale.
“We want to build that squad and enhance the group, not take away our best players.
“Regarding speculation, I’ve got no problem with that as such. It’s a compliment to Bruno and how well he’s done for us.
“He’s been incredible and he’s only going to get better from this point. He is a very valuable member of our team.”
Howe understands the lure of a club like Real, but hopes Newcastle can help Guimaraes fulfill his lofty footballing ambitions while on Tyneside.
“Every football has different aims and ambitions, and I’m sure Bruno has huge ambitions going forward in his career and I would embrace that because he has the ability to achieve special things,” he said.
“But I think we’ve got to try and give him an opportunity and platform to fulfill those dreams here. That’s going to be important for us.
“I think, in part, it’ll come down to how well we perform and where the team goes in terms of satisfying players that do very well for us over an extended period of time.
“Bruno has just started his journey with us, we desperately want him to grow with the team, we want to make the team stronger and to show his qualities even more. That is our aim.
“He has done so well in a short period of time. Supporters love him, we love him. I think he’s in a good place.”
It is incomings rather than outgoings, in Howe’s eyes, that will likely dominate the final few weeks of the window at St. James’ Park.
Deals for the likes of James Maddison, Moussa Diaby, Lucas Paqueta and Jack Harrison have hit the rocks over the owner club valuation, while talks remain ongoing to land Joao Pedro from Watford, although again, a fee is proving difficult to agree.
Newcastle have scoured the market for players who will not only improve the squad but can also, like Guimaraes, hit the ground running.
Howe continued: “If there was another Bruno, please let us know. They don’t grow on trees, let me tell you.
“That was an incredible piece of business really, not just as the footballer as well. You have to consider the person. He’s a brilliant lad who came here when the club was in a relegation battle with no conditions, no way out, no escape and wanted to fight to keep the club in the Premier League.
“That shows real human qualities and he was all in from day one. That’s reflective of how well he’s done.”