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David Benavidez’s inability to make weight last Friday cost him the WBC super middleweight title despite dominating Roamer Alexis Angulo the following night. The fallout has also opened the door for the WBC to jump in and manipulate the situation. The board of governors for the World Boxing Council were nearly unanimous in their vote Tuesday, ordering Mexican superstar Canelo Alvarez (53-1-2, 36 KOs) to face mandatory contender Avni Yildirim (21-2, 12 KOs) in a vacant 168-pound title bout. 

“The WBC Board of Governors has voted 36-1 to order Alvarez, the multi-division world champion who holds the WBC ‘franchise’ designation to fight against the WBC’s mandatory contender of the division, Avni Yildirim.” WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman said. “More details will be available in days to come.”

While the announcement doesn’t guarantee the fight will take place, it could provide the 30-year-old Alvarez with a last-minute foe after negotiations with DAZN and Golden Boy Promotions for a Sept. 12 return failed to produce an opponent. But it’s far from popular considering Alvarez, the WBA middleweight champion, has fought just one time in the 168-pound division (save for a 164-pound catchweight bout against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.). 

Alvarez stopped Rocky Fielding in 2018 to claim a secondary WBA super middleweight title and subsequently won. He also vacated the WBO light heavyweight belt after knocking out Sergey Kovalev last November. The WBC chose to pass over Benavidez for the vacant title — likely out of fears he could no longer make weight — and instead went on to name him the No. 1 contender at 175 pounds for Artur Beterbiev’s WBC title. 

Benavidez currently has no plans to move up to the 175-pound division despite missing the super middleweight limit last weekend by nearly three pounds (and refusing to try a second time despite a two-hour window). He was previously stripped of his WBC title in 2018 after testing positive for cocaine and won the title back last September by stopping Anthony Dirrell.

Alvarez sent a written request to the WBC for the vacant title shot and was able to jump the queue due to his status as WBC “franchise” champion at middleweight. 

Yildirim, a hard-punching native of Turkey, dropped a controversial decision loss to Dirrell in their 2019 vacant title bout after suffering a cut. The WBC named him the mandatory challenger in the aftermath and honored the title by ordering him to face Alvarez. 

Despite the size difference, Alvarez would own significant advantages in speed, technique and maybe even power against the more raw Yildirim, and would likely be considered a heavy favorite. 

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Recent Match Report – New Zealand vs West Indies 2nd T20I 2020

Toss West Indies chose to bowl vs New Zealand

Grey skies greeted both teams at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui — with showers in the earlier part of the morning delaying the start of play by 15 minutes, and the toss by 25 — as West Indies captain Kieron Pollard handed a T20I debut to allrounder Kyle Mayers, replacing Kesrick Williams from the team that played the first match on Friday.

New Zealand effected one change as well, with leg spinner Ish Sodhi replacing Hamish Bennett. Sodhi has taken 10 wickets in T20Is at the Bay Oval, more than any other bowler, and joins compatriot Trent Boult (9) and Rubel Hossain of Bangladesh (6) among the three bowlers with more than five wickets at this venue.

New Zealand had won the first T20I in Auckland by 5 wickets, chasing a DLS-adjusted target of 176 in 16 overs, after West Indies put up 180 for 7 off their 16 overs, shortened from the original 20 after three rain interruptions, the last of which took place after they had reached 96 for 5 off 10 overs.

New Zealand: 1 Tim Seifert (wk), 2 Martin Guptill, 3 Glenn Phillips, 4 Devon Conway, 5 Ross Taylor, 6 James Neesham, 7 Mitchell Santner, 8 Tim Southee (capt), 9 Kyle Jamieson, 10 Lockie Ferguson, 11 Ish Sodhi

West Indies: 1 Andre Fletcher, 2 Brandon King, 3 Shimron Hetmyer, 4 Nicholas Pooran (wk), 5 Kieron Pollard (capt), 6 Rovman Powell, 7 Fabian Allen, 8 Kyle Mayers, 9 Keemo Paul, 10 Oshane Thomas, 11 Sheldon Cottrell

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Texas Tech levels score with Oklahoma State, 14-14, thanks to SaRodorick Thompson’s second TD of the day

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Welcome to News – Al Ahly conquer Africa, clinch Club World Cup ticket

  • Al Ahly defeated Zamalek 2-1 to win the CAF Champions League
  • Mohamed ‘Afsha’ Magdy scored the late winner
  • The Red Devils secured a spot at the FIFA Club World Cup

Al Ahly beat arch-rivals Zamalek 2-1 to conquer the CAF Champions League 2019/20 and, with it, a spot at the FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2020™, which will be held in Doha from 1 to 11 February 2021.

The win gave the Red Devils a record-extending ninth African crown in a game that lived up to expectations in terms of excitement, beautiful goals and intensity.

Al Ahly prevailed in what had been dubbed ‘The Final of the Century’, a local derby between the two giants from Cairo, a city that lives and breathes football like few other. The CAF Champions League showpiece was also the first to be contested between two teams from the same country.

CAF Champions League final

Al Ahly 2-1 Zamalek (Cairo Stadium, Egypt)


Al Ahly: Amr El Soleya (5’), Afsha (86’)

Zamalek: Shikabala (31’)

The match

Al Ahly took the initiative from the start and gained an early lead when Amr El Soleya nodded home a header from Ali Maaloul’s corner.

Zamalek refused to be knocked off course, though, and after spurning a number of chances drew level via a sensational solo effort by Shikabala. The White Knights captain cut inside from the right, skipped around two challenges and fired a precise shot from outside the box into the far corner of Mohamed Elshanawy’s net.

The tempo increased at the start of the second half, with real chances coming at both ends of the pitch. First, Al Ahly’s Hussein Elshahat contrived to hit the post when faced with an open goal, and then it was Zamalek’s Zizo’s turn to hit the woodwork from long range.

With the match looking like it was heading into extra-time, Afsha had other ideas. He showed fantastic control, bringing a loose ball down off his knee before smashing a volley past Zamalek keeper Abu Gabal from fully 20 yards.

Man of the match

With his raw pace and direct running, attacking midfielder Mohamed ‘Afsha’ Magdy was threatening throughout. He almost put Al Ahly ahead from a free-kick late on, but was not to be denied when he controlled the ball outside the box and smashed home to give the Red Devils a historic win over Zamalek.

Al Ahly have now won nine CAF Champions League titles. No other team has won more than five.

What they said

Mohamed Magdy: “First, I’d like to congratulate Zamalek on their great performance today. It was a good game from both sides. As for my goal, I have scored similar ones before, one of them with the national team. I want to congratulate our fans on this fantastic title.”

Did you know?

  • Last night Al Ahly won their 139th title, confirming their status as the most-crowned club in Egypt.
  • Al Ahly coach Pitso Mosimane has now won the CAF Champions League twice. Coincidently, he claimed both titles at the expense of Zamalek: in 2016 with Mamelodi Sundowns and last night with Al Ahly.

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