Daily Briefing

Sport shorts: Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder III may be held in October and lottery losses will hit Team GB Olympic athletes

Ten things from the world of sport on Thursday 26 March

1. Fury vs. Wilder III in October?

Boxing promoter Frank Warren says the third heavyweight title fight between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder will not happen on 18 July and could now take place in October. 

In their rematch last month in Las Vegas British fighter Fury defeated American Wilder to win the WBC belt and the duo were set to go head-to-head for a third time in the summer.

However, the coronavirus pandemic means that boxing is off the calendar for now. 

Warren said: “The 18th will not happen. The commission in Nevada has said ‘no boxing’ for the foreseeable future and Las Vegas has closed down all the casinos - it’s like a ghost town there. 

“No-one knows what’s happening day to day, all we can do is hope for the best and push it back as far as possible so October looks like the date for the fight. 

“A fight between them behind closed doors just won’t happen – these guys are too big names to be fighting behind closed doors.”

2. Wimbledon decision to be made next week

Another major sporting event that is expected to fall victim to coronavirus is this summer’s Wimbledon tennis grand slam. 

The 2020 Championships is scheduled to start on 29 June but the All England Club will hold an emergency meeting next week to discuss whether to take the unprecedented decision to cancel this year’s event.

3. McGregor pledges €1m of medical equipment 

BBC Sport reports that UFC star Conor McGregor will personally pledge €1m (£920,000) worth of protective medical equipment for hospitals in Ireland. 

In a discussion with Irish Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe on Twitter, McGregor said: “I am purchasing myself, one million euros worth of personal protective equipment to be deployed to all the fighting hospitals in the region.”

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4. Sport stars reveal lockdown activities

i News has asked a number of sporting figures what books, films and TV box sets they recommend for a lockdown. 

Sale Sharks and England rugby player Tom Curry is a fan of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens while England cricket Test captain Joe Root likes to watch the Batman film trilogy. Root said: “I love all the DC and Marvel films. This Batman trilogy is my favourite though. If I had to pick one of the three films then The Dark Night Rises edges it.”  

5. RFU to lose up to £50m of revenue 

Rugby Football Union (RFU) chief executive Bill Sweeney says the coronavirus pandemic will have a significant impact on revenues with estimated losses of up to £50m in the next 18 months. 

Sweeney said: “The RFU had budgeted for a loss-making year within a four-year cycle due to the costs of the 2019 Rugby World Cup campaign and hosting only two home Six Nations games. The loss will now be considerably more as we face challenges similar to businesses across the country. 

“The RFU’s biggest asset is also a major cost and the closure of Twickenham Stadium has a significant impact on the revenues we can generate to reinvest back into the game.”

6. Lottery losses to hit Olympic athletes 

The Times reports that Britain’s Olympic athletes are facing a “funding black hole over the next four years because of a slump in sales of lottery tickets”. 

More than two thirds of funding provided by UK Sport to Olympic and Paralympic sports and athletes is derived from the sales of lottery tickets, and it’s inevitable that this sum will be reduced in the years ahead. 

“The scale of the funding gap will not be known until the pandemic and associated restrictions are over,” says the Times. 

7. Shearer: Kane will be off 

If Tottenham Hotspur fail to win a trophy in the next 12 months they will risk losing Harry Kane. That’s the opinion of former England striker Alan Shearer when asked about the future of the current Three Lions skipper.

Shearer said on the Match of the Day: Top 10 podcast: “My guess is, if he doesn’t win anything in the next 12 months then he has to leave. He’ll do another year, I think, and if nothing comes in terms of trophies, then he’ll be off.”

Shearer: ‘Kane has to leave if Spurs don’t win a trophy in the next 12 months’

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8. Transfer gossip: Sancho, Coutinho, Aubameyang

Harry Kane’s future is not the only transfer speculation doing the rounds today. 

The Daily Mirror says Manchester United are ready to make a club-record £120m bid for Jadon Sancho while Sky Sports understands that United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham are all keen on signing Philippe Coutinho on loan next season.  

Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has recently been linked with Man Utd, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain and the Daily Star says Real Madrid are now in the mix. 

9. Ighalo offered £400,000-a-week by Shanghai 

Odion Ighalo has been offered a £400,000-a-week deal to stay with parent club Shanghai Shenhua. The Nigerian striker is currently on loan at Man Utd, where he has scored four goals in his first three starts.   

Sky Sports reports that the Chinese club want to reward Ighalo for his form by extending his contract a further two years until December 2024.

The 30-year-old will wait to see if United offer him a permanent deal before making a final decision on his future.

10. Back pages: football feels the pinch

The Guardian, Daily Express and the Daily Star are three of the papers to give prominence to reports that Premier League and English Football League clubs will start slashing the salaries of their stars as the coronavirus shutdown begins to bite.

According to the Daily Mail the lockdown, which will last to at least early May, will be felt from the top flight down to League Two. 

The Mail said: “Clubs face going out of business, many players fear losing their livelihoods, not to mention the support staff behind the scenes, from physios to press office.”

Today’s back pages

Premier League and EFL stars braced for pay cuts and Man Utd are poised to snatch Sancho

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