South Africa-born, Australian-based IBF junior welterweight champion Lovemore Ndou has finally secured a June 16 date to defend his title against Paul Malignaggi in Connecticut, United States. Ndou, who now lives in Sydney, has been looking for a top opponent to defend the title he acquired in February by beating Tunisian Naoufel Ben Rabah in an elimination bout.
Tokyo - Japan midfielder Shunsuke Nakamura, who helped Celtic clinch the Scottish Premier League title for two successive seasons, says it's about time for him to learn English. 'After coming to Celtic I tried to be recognised in football, first of all,' he told Japanese daily Asahi Shimbun. '(Now) I feel like getting started in English lessons which I have been planning to tackle when I can manage it.'
Palma de Mallorca, Spian - Spanish champion Rafael Nadal won his 'battle of the surfaces' one-off exhibition clash on world number one Roger Federeryesterday, the claycourt king edging the grass giant 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (12/10) on a dual surface court. The pair brought a 6 800-capacity crowd to the 'Palma Arena' for the one-off best of three sets match between the world's top two players, though the occasion was marred by some of the blustery conditions.
Athens - Argentina's former Manchester United and Chelsea midfielder Juan Sebastian Veron could be on his way to Greek club Panathinaikos, according to his father. In an interview with Greek sports newspaper I Prasini, Juan Ramon Veron, who played for the club in the 1970s, said his son, who was recently recalled to the Argentina squad, may be following in his footsteps.
Wellington - All Blacks winger Sitiveni Sivivatu has been found guilty of serious misconduct by the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) over an assault on his wife. Sivivatu (25) was discharged without conviction by a New Zealand court over the assault last month after pleading guilty, but he also faced an NZRU hearing.
Valencia, Spain - BMW Oracle Racing and Luna Rossa had wins yesterday to stay joint leaders in Louis Vuitton Cup racing. BMW Oracle Racing rebounded from a second-flight loss to last-place China Team by beating Shosholoza of South Africa by 43 seconds on the southern 'Juliet' course. On 'Juliet', BMW Oracle Racing sails against Victory Challenge, the South Africans meet Luna Rossa today.
London - The home of goalkeeper Pepe Reina (24) was burgled as he helped Liverpool reach the Champions League final on penalties, Merseyside police said yesterday. The Spanish international, who saved two spot kicks in the semifinal shootout against Chelsea, had a number of items stolen from his home in Woolton, Liverpool.
Entries for the 2007 Comrades Marathon close on Monday, May 7, and runners are urged to get their entries in by that date or face the disappointment of not being able to take part. This year, athletes have a new and convenient option - entry forms, together with the required entry fee, can be taken to any Mr Price or Mr Price Sports. The Comrades Marathon website www.comrades.com is where online entries will be accepted.
Nairobi - Kenya's top marathon runners, led by three-time Boston marathon champion Robert Cheruiyot, yesterday snubbed a government award ceremony in reaction to a statement by the country's sports minister over their earnings. Sports Minister Maina Kamanda had said the runners did not deserve to be given more money by the government but only the recognition considering they were already winning bigger prizemoney overseas. - Sapa-AFP/AP/Reuters