Sport shorts: Canelo Alvarez stripped of IBF title and Uefa appoint female referee for men’s Super Cup clash
Ten things from the world of sport on Friday 2 August
1. Canelo loses IBF title
Mexican boxer Saul “Canelo” Alvarez has been stripped of his IBF title after failing to agree a fight with mandatory challenger Sergiy Derevyanchenko.
In May Canelo beat Daniel Jacobs on points to win the WBA, WBC and IBF belts and unify the middleweight division.
Promoter Oscar De La Hoya issued a statement and said: “We are extremely disappointed at the IBF for forcing the world’s best fighter to relinquish his world title.
“We have been in serious negotiations with Sergiy Derevyanchenko’s promoter. We offered his team an unprecedented amount of money for a fighter of his limited stature and limited popularity, but the truth is that I’m now certain they never had any intention of making a deal.
“But instead they wanted to force us to relinquish Canelo’s belt. This is an insult to boxing and more importantly an insult to the boxing fans of the world.”
2. Mellah makes racing history
Khadijah Mellah was victorious in yesterday’s Magnolia Cup at Glorious Goodwood. The 18-year-old from south London, who has become the first jockey to race while wearing a hijab, said: “There are no words to describe this - I’m lost for words.”
3. FA bids for 2023 Champions League final
The English Football Association has submitted its bid for Wembley Stadium to host the Uefa Champions League final in 2023. The same year will mark the centenary of the opening of the original Wembley.
4. Faletau out of the Rugby World Cup
Wales No.8 Taulupe Faletau will miss the 2019 Rugby World Cup after breaking his collarbone in training. “The injury was sustained in an innocuous training ground incident and will require surgery,” the Welsh RFU said in a statement. “A prognosis and return to play timeframe will be established after surgery. The Wales squad and management wish Taulupe the very best with his recovery.”
5. Female ref to take charge of Uefa Super Cup
Stephanie Frappart will become the first female referee to take charge of a major Uefa men’s match when she officiates the Super Cup clash between Liverpool and Chelsea in Istanbul on 14 August. The Frenchwoman refereed the Fifa Women’s World Cup final last month when the United States beat Holland.
6. Buhai leads Women’s British Open
South African golfer Ashleigh Buhai finished one shot clear of the pack on the first day of the Women’s British Open at Woburn. Buhai was -7 for her first round, one clear of Hinako Shibuno of Japan and American Danielle Kang. England’s Charley Hull, 23, is two strokes behind the leader.
7. It’s official: Pepe’s a Gunner
Arsenal have completed the signing of Nicolas Pepe in what the papers are describing as a club-record £72m deal. The 24-year-old Ivory Coast winger said: “Being here is very emotional. I have come a long way and struggled a lot and so signing for this great club is a big reward. It was important to make the right decision and I am convinced that Arsenal is the right choice.”
8. Lewis ready for Max battle
Lewis Hamilton would be happy for Max Verstappen to join Mercedes - so they can race in the same car and he can prove he is the fastest driver in Formula 1. World champion Hamilton said: “In some ways it works well for me because I see stories that we’ve got different cars and that’s the only [reason I beat him]. That gives me an opportunity to show you that that’s not the case!”
9. Toto seeks improvement in Hungary
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff is looking for an improvement at this weekend’s F1 Hungarian Grand Prix after the horror show in Germany. He said: “We had a painful Sunday in Hockenheim. We made mistakes, took the wrong decisions and left Germany with only two points. But we love Formula 1 for the challenges it throws at us as they present an opportunity to improve.”
10. Smith ‘lost for words’ after Ashes century
The first day of the Ashes lived up to the hype as Edgbaston witnessed a dramatic start to the series. It should have been a day that belonged to the English bowlers, who early in the afternoon had reduced the tourists to 122-8, but that was before Steve Smith reminded the world of his prodigious talent with a superb knock of 144. Returning to Test cricket after being banned for his part in last year’s ball-tampering scandal, Smith said: “It’s been a long time coming, getting another Test hundred, it was just a huge moment. I’m lost for words, I don’t really know what to say.”