Trilogy: Canelo aims to finish Golovkin rivalry with a KO

Trilogy: Canelo aims to finish Golovkin rivalry with a KO
Boxers Canelo Alvarez (L) and Gennady Golovkin (R) face off during a press conference on June 27, 2022 in New York City. (AFP)
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Updated 29 June 2022

Trilogy: Canelo aims to finish Golovkin rivalry with a KO

Trilogy: Canelo aims to finish Golovkin rivalry with a KO
  • For Alvarez, this fight is “personal” for him because Golovkin (42-1-1, 37 KOs) kept dismissing him while seeking a third matchup after their September 2018 bout

NEW YORK: A split draw in the first fight and then a majority decision in favor of Canelo Alvarez in the second.

So, how about a knockout in the third chapter to settle once and for all the fierce rivalry between the Mexican superstar and Gennady Golovkin?

“From the first round I’m gonna go for the knockout. I know I’m gonna risk a lot,” Álvarez said Tuesday in an interview with The Associated Press. “I have to. I aim at greatness.”

Golovkin bets on Alvarez being vulnerable as they complete their trilogy on Sept. 17 in Las Vegas.

“Prefer not to think about knockdowns. That’s not the right approach,” he told the AP. “Boxing is a dangerous sport. Defend yourself properly,“

Alvarez (57-2-2, 39 KOs) is coming off his first loss in nearly nine years, a lopsided defeat when he moved up in weight to challenge light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol in May.

Golovkin, who will be fighting at 168 pounds for the first time, said he only watched the highlights from Bivol’s win, but believes Álvarez just wasn’t totally ready to fight at 175 pounds.

“I saw Canelo didn’t show the best of him,” Golovkin said. “Probably he didn’t take that fight seriously, didn’t prepare mentally for that fight. This one would be different.”

Alvarez acknowledges the loss “hurt me a lot.” He also he said his preparation was not ideal, but avoided getting into details of what tired him in the later rounds.

“I have to move forward. I’m more dangerous right now. I’m more angry and I will use it in my favor,” he said

And there’s all the animosity they keep since their first bout in September 2017.

It was on display during intense staredowns in Los Angeles and New York the past week — including one in Yankee Stadium, where they threw out ceremonial first pitches.

For Alvarez, this fight is “personal” for him because Golovkin (42-1-1, 37 KOs) kept dismissing him while seeking a third matchup after their September 2018 bout.

Golovkin also threw shade at Álvarez for his golf hobby, which some blamed for his defeat in May.

“When you lose, everybody starts making excuses,” Álvarez said. “It’s because of this or if I am golfing too much. I was golfing when I won the (super middleweight) title three years ago.”

Now, he wants to knock out the 40-year-old from Kazakhstan for the first time and send him into retirement.

“I’m gonna end his career,” he said.

Golovkin has reacted dismissively, saying Álvarez postures too much.

“It’s hard for me to say why he’s saying all that,” he said. “I don’t think about him, I forgot about him. He has lost track of reality.”

What motivates him is completing the trilogy, joining other ones such as Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier or Sugar Ray Leonard vs Roberto Duran.

“Even rematches are not happening all the time. It would be a historic event,” Golovkin said.


WWE SuperStar Cody Rhodes emerges victorious at 2023 Royal Rumble

WWE SuperStar Cody Rhodes emerges victorious at 2023 Royal Rumble
Updated 10 sec ago

WWE SuperStar Cody Rhodes emerges victorious at 2023 Royal Rumble

WWE SuperStar Cody Rhodes emerges victorious at 2023 Royal Rumble
  • ‘The American Nightmare’ dispatched Logan Paul to be last man standing in the 30-wrestler match
  • Rhea Ripley won the women’s title after overcoming Becky Lynch, Liv Morgan and Bayley

With the Road to WrestleMania 39 underway, the 2023 Royal Rumble rocked the WWE Universe to its core with an unexpected win for Cody Rhodes.

With the Road to WrestleMania 39 underway, Cody Rhodes claimed an unexpected win at the 2023 Royal Rumble after dispatching Logan Paul to be the last man standing.

Fight Night kicked off with the Men’s Rumble as Intercontinental Champion Gunther and his fierce rival Sheamus entered at No. 1 and 2, respectively. Down to a head-to-head fight against Paul, “The American Nightmare” Rhodes emerged the winner of the 30-man Royal Rumble match.

Meanwhile, the women’s match saw Rhea Ripley as the last woman standing in a record-setting Royal Rumble win, defeating WWE Superstars Becky Lynch, Liv Morgan, and Bayley to earn a Women’s Championship Match at WrestleMania 39 in April.

In the championship matches, Bianca Belair defeated Alexa Bliss to retain the Raw Women’s title, while Roman Reigns defended the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship, destroying Kevin Owens in a brutal collision.

Elsewhere, the first-ever Mountain Dew Pitch Black Match proved to be a bizarre but captivating battle as Bray Wyatt triumphantly took on LA Knight in what was his first match since his return to the ring.

Match Results:

Cody Rhodes won the 2023 Men’s Royal Rumble Match to earn a World Title opportunity at WrestleMania.

Rhea Ripley won the Women’s Royal Rumble Match to earn a Women’s Championship Match at WrestleMania.

Bianca Belair defeated Alexa Bliss to retain the Raw Women’s Championship.

Roman Reigns defeated Kevin Owens to retain Undisputed WWE Universal Championship.

Bray Wyatt defeated LA Knight in Mountain Dew Pitch Black Match.


LIV Golf League’s 2023 schedule to feature 14 events in 7 countries

LIV Golf League’s 2023 schedule to feature 14 events in 7 countries
Updated 12 min 56 sec ago

LIV Golf League’s 2023 schedule to feature 14 events in 7 countries

LIV Golf League’s 2023 schedule to feature 14 events in 7 countries
  • Tournaments to take place in London, Chicago, Bedminster, Jeddah and Miami
  • New events in Orlando and Washington D.C. for Global League Launch

LONDON: LIV Golf have announced its full schedule of events for 2023 league play, including a return to five venues that hosted tournaments as part of the 2022 series.

Centurion Club outside London, England (July 7-9), Trump National Golf Club Bedminster in Bedminster, New Jersey (Aug. 11-13), Rich Harvest Farms outside Chicago, Illinois (Sept. 22-24), Trump National Doral Golf Club in Miami, Florida (Oct. 20-22) and Royal Greens Golf & Country Club near Jeddah (Nov. 3-5) will all welcome back some of the sport’s leading stars in the LIV Golf League teeing off this year.

In addition, fans in the US will see LIV Golf’s innovative league at Orange County National in Orlando, Florida (March 31-April 2) and at Trump National Golf Club, Washington D.C. (May 26-28).

These seven venues, alongside the seven previously announced dates and locations complete the 2023 LIV Golf League schedule: Mayakoba’s El Camaleon Golf Course on Mexico’s Riviera Maya (Feb. 24-26), The Gallery Golf Club in Tucson, Arizona (March 17-19), The Grange Golf Club in Adelaide, Australia (April 21-23), The Serapong at Sentosa Golf Club in Singapore (April 28-30), Cedar Ridge Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma (May 12-14), Real Club Valderrama in Andalucia, Spain (June 30-July 2) and The Greenbrier in the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia (Aug. 4-6).

“We received tremendous feedback globally from fans throughout our beta-test year, with one resounding theme: LIV Golf’s team format, innovations, and festival-like events are delivering a one-of-a-kind golf experience,” said LIV Golf CEO and Commissioner Greg Norman. “Last year helped lay the foundation for the future of golf at extraordinary courses that have hosted some of the world’s top competitions. LIV Golf’s schedule features fantastic venues and championship sites for our official league launch that will carry the sport into a new era.”

Along with hosting LIV Golf tournaments, these courses collectively have hosted more than 200 professional, collegiate and amateur events, including such prestigious tournaments as the Ryder Cup, Solheim Cup, Senior PGA Championship and US Women’s Open.

Leading golf organizations and pro tours across the globe have utilized these venues, with many of the courses considered the best in their respective regions and states. Honors such as World’s 100 Greatest Courses, America’s 100 Greatest Courses, 100 Greatest Public Courses, Top 3 Best New Courses, Top 5 Best New Private Golf Courses, and Top 100 Golf Resorts have been bestowed in recent years. Three courses on the 2023 schedule (Real Club Valderrama, Sentosa Golf Club, Royal Greens Golf & Country Club) rank No. 1 in their respective countries.

LIV Golf’s international field will feature many of the sport’s biggest names including major winners Cameron Smith, Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau, Sergio Garcia, Patrick Reed, Henrik Stenson, Bubba Watson, Louis Oosthuizen, Graeme McDowell, Martin Kaymer and Charl Schwartzel.

Final rosters for the LIV Golf League will be announced prior to the league launch, when 12 established team franchises will compete in the global 14-event schedule for an unprecedented $405 million in prize purses.


Kingdom’s Diriyah E Prix hailed as ‘best production in the history’ of Formula E by co-founder Alberto Longo

Kingdom’s Diriyah E Prix hailed as ‘best production in the history’ of Formula E by co-founder Alberto Longo
Updated 31 January 2023

Kingdom’s Diriyah E Prix hailed as ‘best production in the history’ of Formula E by co-founder Alberto Longo

Kingdom’s Diriyah E Prix hailed as ‘best production in the history’ of Formula E by co-founder Alberto Longo
  • Rounds 2 and 3 of season 9 were won by Pascal Wehrlein of TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team

RIYADH: Alberto Longo, co-founder and chief championship officer at Formula E, has hailed last weekend’s Diriyah E-Prix double-header as “the best production that we have ever done in the history of Formula E.”

Longo spoke during a press conference on the sidelines of the two-day event in Riyadh, which represented rounds two and three of Season 9 of the FIA Formula E World Championship.

Both night races were won by Pascal Wehrlein of TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team.

Longo told Arab News: “I can tell you that after 102 races that we have done in the history of Formula E that this is by far the best production that we have ever done.”

“You can see it on the garages, it is something that has never been done before in the history of motorsport and those garages are full of LEDs that are by itself entertainment,” he said.

Adding to the spectacle of the races were the fan village and concert lineup hosted in the Kingdom’s birthplace, said Longo.

Carlo Boutagy, founder and CEO of CBX, the exclusive promoter of the Formula E World Championship in the Middle East, added that “this is the first time in the history of motorsports that the garages have been full of LED(s), even the race control which is really nice.”

“In Saudi every year we have been improving this race,” Boutagy added. “In the first year we had one race and then we moved it to a double-header, then we made it into a night race, which is the only race in the calendar that is a night race.”

Boutagy said this year’s Formula E was a big upgrade compared to previous editions with new headlining artists and areas for people to watch the contest, including at the fan village.

The fan village boasted several tents and booths offering interactive experiences and activities such as live gaming simulators.

“We have put a lot of effort and a lot of time and investment into it and we just try to push the bar year (after) year to give more to the people when they come and give them a better experience,” Boutagy said.

The 2023 Diriyah E-Prix saw 11 teams and 22 drivers take to the race grid for the fifth time in the Kingdom since Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman inaugurated the event in December 2018.


Still time for Newcastle to strike January deals, says Howe

Still time for Newcastle to strike January deals, says Howe
Updated 30 January 2023

Still time for Newcastle to strike January deals, says Howe

Still time for Newcastle to strike January deals, says Howe
  • The Magpies have already signed Anthony Gordon from Everton for $55m
  • Signing of Gordon has divided fans, as the player is one who polarizes with his on-field antics

NEWCASTLE: Eddie Howe admits it could be a busy end to the January transfer window for Newcastle United although he accepts incomings are far from guaranteed.

The Magpies have completed the $55 million signing of England under-21 forward Anthony Gordon from Everton but face a race against time to bring in the two further players Howe has set his sights on.

They have agreed on a nominal fee to take youngster Harrison Ashby from West Ham United but are set to lose both Jonjo Shelvey and Karl Darlow to Nottingham Forest and Hull City respectively.

That leaves a two-player gap in the Magpies’ 25-man Premier League squad, with Ashby and Gordon both sitting outside of the group.

Howe is keen to make sure he replaces Shelvey at least, although he is far from certain the right player will be available to plug the gap.

Speaking ahead of the second leg of the club’s Carabao Cup semifinal with Southampton, Howe said: “From a football decision perspective, we will see what we can do in the market to try to bring a player. There’s no guarantee on that. With other transfers, we will try and see what we can do. In terms of permanent signings, that will be very difficult. We will look at a loan situation, but it has to be the right player.”

Howe also revealed that he did not want to lose Shelvey despite some persistent injuries this season.

“It will be very difficult to keep Jonjo currently, with where he wants his career to go,” said Howe. “We can keep players who want to leave. There is nothing to say that every player that wants to leave you have to let go. But you have to take every situation independently and try to judge everything, judge what is best for him and the club.”

Howe acknowledged that Shelvey has had talks with Premier League rivals Nottingham Forest.

“Jonjo has been a huge player for this football club over the last seven years. He has been an important part of my squad since I have been here,” he said.

The transfer window in England closes at 11 p.m. GMT on Tuesday.

The signing of Gordon has divided fan opinion, especially as the player is one who polarizes with his on-field aggression and antics.

He also went on strike to force the move through — and Howe has addressed the player’s mental state ahead of a potential first appearance in the Premier League at the weekend.

“For someone of his age, we’re going to need to really support him and guide him through this move,” said Howe, who will not be able to play Gordon against Saints as he is cup-tied.

“Certainly, from the person that I met yesterday, I was hugely impressed by how he handled it. It’s a big day. I’ve been there as a player,” the Newcastle coach added. “You go to a new club, and it can be daunting. I thought he was excellent in everything that he had to encounter, meeting new teammates, meeting new coaching staff, getting a lot of information, trying to settle in.”

Gordon, who was also interested in Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur, said Newcastle were the only club for him.

“Since I heard of the interest, I was always convinced Newcastle were for me,” he said. “I think the fan base and the city really suits me as a person, the way the team are playing under the gaffer at the minute really suits me, and the club just look like they're heading in the right direction.

“I feel like it’s a really big step,” Gordon added. “People haven’t seen what I’m capable of yet. I think under the gaffer, and the way the club’s going, I can really excel here.”


Riders from 12 nations to tackle opening round of FIA Bajas World Cup in Saudi

Riders from 12 nations to tackle opening round of FIA Bajas World Cup in Saudi
Updated 30 January 2023

Riders from 12 nations to tackle opening round of FIA Bajas World Cup in Saudi

Riders from 12 nations to tackle opening round of FIA Bajas World Cup in Saudi
  • Multi-category event takes place in Hail on Feb. 2-4
  • Mohammed Al-Balooshi of the MX Ride Dubai team heads the field on his TM 450

HAIL: Thirty-one motorcycles, five quads and competitors from 12 nations have entered this weekend’s Saudi Baja-Hail, the opening round of the 2023 FIM Bajas World Cup, in addition to four riders taking part in a national event running behind.

While two-time event winner Mohammed Al-Balooshi of the MX Ride Dubai team heads the field on his TM 450, two other former Hail winners feature on the international entry.

Al-Balooshi’s brother, Sultan, also represents the MX Ride Dubai team and is a two-time former winner of the longer Hail International Rally (2018 and 2019), while Saudi rider Mishal Al-Ghuneim reached the top step of the podium on a Husqvarna in 2021.

There is strength in depth across the entry, with several riders more than capable of challenging for victory, while others will be hopeful of scoring points in the FIM Womens’ and FIM Veterans’ categories.

Young Jordanian rider Abdullah Abu Aishah (KTM) has pushed Al-Balooshi close on several occasions in the past and will be hopeful of starting his FIM challenge in winning style. He finished fifth on the 2022 Saudi Baja last November, behind the triumphant Al-Balooshi, Kuwait’s Abdullah Al-Shatti (Kawasaki), Al-Ghuneim and fellow Saudi Anass Al-Reheyani. All three of those rivals will challenge for top honors again this weekend.

FIM Junior hopeful Alex McInnes is seeded at four and the Briton is more than capable of finishing on the podium, while Qatar-based Australian was sixth last year and will be aiming for a top three finish. Other international riders likely to challenge for top honors are Kiwi Philip Wilson, Australia’s Andrew Houlihan and the British duo of Barry Howe and Brett Hunt.

The neighboring State of Qatar will be represented by Sheikh Mohammed Al-Thani (Gas-Gas), Mohammed Al-Kaabi (KTM), Mahanna Rashid Al-Naimi (Honda) and Abdulrahman Al-Sheeb (KTM). Yaghoob Azadi will ride a Rasen Racing Team Husqvarna in the national category.

Kuwait’s Sarah Khuraibet (Duust Rally Team Husqvarna) and Indian rider Sarah Kashyap (Beta) will decide the outcome of the Womens’ category.

Last year’s quad winner Haitham Al-Tuwaijri faces Saudi rivals Hani Al-Noumesi, Abdulaziz Al-Atawi and Sultan Al-Masoud, as well as the UAE’s Abdulaziz Ahli, to decide the honors on four wheels.

The Baja is being managed by the Saudi Motorsport Company in conjunction with the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation (SAMF) and the Ministry of Sport. The event is running under the chairmanship of Prince Khalid bin Sultan Al-Abdullah Al-Faisal, the president of the SAMF, and in partnership with Abdul Latif Jameel Motors.