Daily Briefing

Sport shorts: Joshua to face Pulev on 20 June at Tottenham and Fury vs. Wilder III set for 18 July in Las Vegas

Ten things from the world of sport on Monday 2 March

1. Joshua to face Pulev at Tottenham

Anthony Joshua will defend his IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles in a homecoming fight against Kubrat Pulev on 20 June. 

After bouts against Andy Ruiz Jr in New York and Saudi Arabia, Joshua will return to London and face Bulgarian Pulev at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. 

Mandatory IBF challenger Pulev, 38, said: “I am happy to have the opportunity to show the world how strong I really am.”

2. Fury vs. Wilder III set for 18 July

Many UK boxing fans want to see Joshua face WBC champion Tyson Fury in an all-British battle to decide the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. 

However, it’s reported today that Fury will face Deontay Wilder for a third time. Wilder, who was beaten by Fury last week, has triggered the rematch clause and the pair are set to go head-to-head again in Las Vegas with an 18 July date pencilled in by promoters. 

Should Fury and Joshua win their bouts the all-British title fight could be planned for later this year. 

3. Australian GP ‘going ahead’ for now 

The coronavirus outbreak is putting many major sporting events at risk of cancellation but officials insist that the season-opening Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on 15 March is going ahead.

Martin Pakula, Australia’s minister for tourism, sport and major events, said: “I’ve got the latest information from both the Commonwealth and Formula 1 management and the grand prix is going ahead as planned.” 

F1: Red Bull have high hopes for Max Verstappen’s title bid

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4. Hosts through to T20 World Cup semi-finals

Host nation and defending champions Australia have progressed to the semi-finals of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup after beating New Zealand by four runs this morning. The defeat sees New Zealand knocked out of the competition. 

Australia join England, India and South Africa in the final four. The semi-final fixtures will be confirmed after tomorrow’s final group games. 

ICC Women’s T20 World Cup fixtures  
  • Tuesday 3 March: Pakistan vs. Thailand (4am); West Indies vs. South Africa (8am) 
  • Thursday 5 March: 1st semi-final, Sydney (4am); 2nd semi-final, Sydney (8am)  
  • Sunday 8 March: Final, Melbourne (7am GMT)
  • All times GMT and matches are live on Sky Sports

5. Inter Miami lose first game

David Beckham’s new Major League Soccer (MLS) side Inter Miami were beaten 1-0 in their first ever match last night against Los Angeles FC. Carlos Vela scored the winning goal for LAFC with a brilliant chip after 44 minutes.

The Emirates FA Cup trophy

thefa.com

6. Pompey host Arsenal in FA Cup

The FA Cup fifth round gets underway this evening with League One Portsmouth taking on Premier League side Arsenal at Fratton Park. Tonight’s match kicks off at 7.45pm and is live on BT Sport.  

FA Cup fifth round ties
  • Tonight: Portsmouth vs. Arsenal (7.45pm, live on BT Sport) 
  • Tomorrow: Chelsea vs. Liverpool (7.45pm, live on BBC One); Reading vs. Sheffield United (8pm, live on BBC iPlayer); West Bromwich Albion vs. Newcastle United (8pm, live on Facebook) 
  • Wednesday 4 March: Leicester City vs. Birmingham City (7.45pm, live on Facebook); Sheffield Wednesday vs. Manchester City (7.45pm, live on BBC One and BBC iPlayer); Tottenham Hotspur vs. Norwich City (7.45pm, live on BBC iPlayer) 
  • Thursday 5 March: Derby County vs. Manchester United (7.45pm, live on BT Sport)

7. Mako Vunipola available for England

BBC Sport reports that England prop Mako Vunipola is available for selection for this weekend’s Six Nations clash against Wales.

Hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie is included in a 34-man training squad for the Twickenham fixture.  

Six Nations round four fixtures 
  • Saturday 7 March: England vs. Wales (4.45pm GMT; live on ITV and S4C)  
  • Sunday 8 March: Scotland vs. France (3pm GMT; live on BBC) 
  • Ireland vs. Italy: postponed 

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8. Jose not happy with ‘nice’ Spurs

In yesterday’s Premier League matches Tottenham were beaten 3-2 by Wolves while Everton drew 1-1 with Manchester United. 

Spurs boss Jose Mourinho gave a scathing assessment of his side after they twice surrendered the lead against Wolves. The Portuguese said: “I think we are too good, we are too nice and that was the only thing that made a difference in the game. 

“I cannot complain to the players about the spirit, about their fighting, I can complain about some psychological characteristics that are not easy to change… we don’t have that aggression, that ruthlessness.”

9. Farah responds to allegations 

British athletics star Mo Farah says questions raised in a recent BBC Panorama documentary over his relationship with his banned former coach Alberto Salazar are “depressing”. 

The four-time Olympic champion said: “I can sleep at night knowing I’ve done nothing wrong.” 

Farah, who has never failed a drugs test or been accused of doping, added: “I don’t want people to feel sorry for me, but I’ve always done the right thing.”

10. Back pages: third league cup in a row for City

“Champers” is the headline on the back page of the Daily Star, with a photo of Pep Guardiola swigging a bottle of bubbly after watching his Manchester City side clinch a third Carabao Cup title in a row. 

City beat Aston Villa 2-1 at Wembley yesterday and the Daily Mail, Daily Express and The Times use the same photo on their back pages - of the jubilant Sky Blues lifting the cup on the hallowed Wembley turf. 

‘Winning is great’: Pep Guardiola hails Man City’s incredible consistency 

Today’s back pages

‘Champers’ City win Carabao Cup at Wembley

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