The Decathlon: Joshua denied as Wilder agrees Ortiz rematch
Ten things from the world of sport on Wednesday 29 May
1. Wilder to fight Ortiz
Deontay Wilder has announced that his next bout will be a rematch against Luis Ortiz - not a heavyweight title super-fight with Anthony Joshua.
It was reported yesterday that British boxer Joshua wanted face-to-face talks with Wilder, but the American WBC champion has other plans, says Sky Sports.
Wilder said: “To all my fans, I want to announce that Luis Ortiz and I have signed for a rematch, with the date and site to be announced shortly. All my controversial fights must get dealt with ASAP.”
2. Final countdown in Baku…
Chelsea and Arsenal go head-to-head in the Uefa Europa League final tonight in Baku. Blues boss Maurizio Sarri lost his temper in spectacular style during his side’s final training session yesterday and was seen to throw and kick his cap as he walked off the field. See our Europa League final page for team news, predictions and today’s back pages.
3. Hazard wants a ‘perfect farewell’
Tonight’s final is expected to be Eden Hazard’s last match as a Chelsea player. The Real Madrid target says that if the Baku clash is his final game for Chelsea he wants to go out on a high. He said: “I just want to win the trophy, that is it. It does not matter if I score or I do not score. If it is my last game, I hope to bring the trophy. Would it be the perfect farewell? Yes.”
4. Real most valuable club in Europe
Accountant KPMG has named Real Madrid as the most “valuable” football club in Europe, promoting the La Liga giants to the top of the money table at the expense of last year’s winner, Manchester United. There are six English clubs in the KPMG top ten, ranking the “enterprise value” of clubs, including profitability from broadcast and stadium value.
5. Vettel ‘considering retirement’
Could Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel retire at the end of the 2019 Formula 1 season? That’s the rumour doing the rounds following last weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix.
6. World Rugby approves goggles law
World Rugby has approved a “game-changing” amendment to the laws of the game that will enable the wearing of goggles at all levels. In partnership with Italy-based Raleri, a design was developed to facilitate the inclusion of prescription lenses beyond contact lenses into a device that does not increase the risk of injury to the wearer or to players coming into contact with the wearer. The successful trial attracted more than 2,000 registrants.
7. Wood can’t wait for opener
England bowler Mark Wood admits that the ICC Cricket World Cup opening match against South Africa “can’t come quick enough”. Writing on BBC Sport, he said: “It feels like all the England players have been ready to go for a couple of weeks, since the Pakistan series ended. Still, even though it’s such a massive occasion, that morning will be like any other. When the game starts, the lads will be fired up, but the early part of the day, when we first get to the ground, will be quite chilled out.” The World Cup opening match at The Oval starts tomorrow at 10.30am.
8. Valverde to stay at Barca
Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu says head coach Ernesto Valverde will remain in charge of the La Liga champions next season. There has been speculation that Valverde was set for the axe after the 2-1 loss against Valencia in the Copa del Rey final. However, ESPN reports that the 55-year-old has been excused of any blame by Bartomeu.
9. League star ‘played with broken leg’
England rugby league prop James Graham played with a broken leg for St George Illawarra Dragons in their 22-9 loss to Cronulla Sharks. The BBC reports that the 33-year-old fractured his fibula in the first half of the match and did not come off until half-time. He said: “I knew something was wrong.”
10. Goodbye, Niki
Formula 1 is saying its last goodbye to Niki Lauda today as his funeral takes place in Vienna, Austria. The three-time world champion passed away last week at the age of 70.