Voting opens for 2015 Fed Cup Heart Awards

The ITF today announced a shortlist of ten players to receive the first four Fed Cup Heart Awards of 2015. Awards will be presented in four categories based on performances in the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group and World Group II first round ties, and the three Zone Group I events at the beginning of February.

Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU), Kristina Mladenovic (FRA), Andrea Petkovic (GER) and Arantxa Rus (NED) have all been shortlisted for the World Group/World Group II award. Cagla Buyukakcay (TUR) and Ivana Jorovic (SRB) have been shortlisted for Europe/Africa; Veronica Cepede Royg (PAR) and Marcela Zacarias (MEX) for Americas; and Kurumi Nara (JPN) and Tamarine Tanasugarn (THA) for Asia/Oceania.

The players were shortlisted by the Heart Award judging panel, consisting of ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti and a mixture of former players and members of the international media. A public vote, running on 30 March – 3 April, is being held on and to decide the four winners, who will all receive a cheque to be donated to their chosen charity. The winners will be announced during the week of the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group semifinals and play-off ties on 18-19 April.

ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti said: “The Fed Cup Heart Award is entering its seventh year and continues to recognise the outstanding contributions made by players to their country and the competition. Fed Cup by BNP Paribas celebrated its 50th birthday in 2013 in the ITF centenary year, and I would like to acknowledge the efforts of all the players during this time who have helped Fed Cup grow to enjoy the success that it does today.”

The Fed Cup Heart Award is an ITF initiative that was first presented to USA’s Melanie Oudin at the 2009 Fed Cup Final. It aims to recognise players who have represented their country with distinction, shown exceptional courage on court and demonstrated outstanding commitment to their team. A total of five players will be recognised in 2015. To cast your vote, visit the Fed Cup website

Fed Cup by BNP Paribas is the World Cup of Tennis. It is the largest annual international team competition in women’s sport, with 99 nations entered in 2015. The event celebrated its 50th birthday in 2013 in the ITF’s centenary year. The title sponsor is BNP Paribas, the Official Bank of Fed Cup. Adecco (Official HR Sponsor) is an international sponsor and beIN SPORTS is the Official Global Media Rights Partner. For the latest news, visit,,,, and



World Group / World Group II

Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU)
With Romania trailing Spain 2-1, defeated Silvia Soler-Espinosa, then partnered Monica Niculescu to victory over Anabel Medina Garrigues and Garbine Muguruza.

Kristina Mladenovic (FRA)
Brought into singles on the second day, defeated Sara Errani, then partnered Caroline Garcia to a deciding doubles victory over Errani and Roberta Vinci.

Andrea Petkovic (GER)
Scored dramatic three-set victories over Samantha Stosur and Jarmila Gajdosova to give Germany a 3-1 winning lead over Australia.

Arantxa Rus (NED)
Ranked No. 230, upset No. 50 Magdalena Rybarikova and No. 59 Anna Schmiedlova to help Netherlands defeat Slovakia.

Europe/Africa Zone Group I

Cagla Buyukakcay (TUR)
Won all three singles rubbers for Turkey, upsetting the higher-ranked Elina Svitolina and Heather Watson.

Ivana Jorovic (SRB)
Won all three singles rubbers on her debut as Serbia qualified for the World Group II play-offs.

Americas Zone Group I

Veronica Cepede Royg (PAR)
Won all seven singles and doubles rubbers as Paraguay qualified for the World Group II play-offs.

Marcela Zacarias (MEX)
Won all three singles rubbers as Mexico narrowly lost out to Paraguay for a place in the promotional play-offs.

Asia/Oceania Zone Group I

Kurumi Nara (JPN)
Led Japan’s qualification for the World Group II play-offs, defeating Yaroslava Shvedova in a dramatic promotional play-off singles rubber.

Tamarine Tanasugarn (THA)
At the age of 37, won four of her five singles and doubles rubbers for Thailand, and has now played 57 ties for her country.


$10,000: World Group semifinals winner (x1)
$6,000: World Group / World Group II first round winner (x1)
$1,000: Zone Group I winners (x3)


Francesco Ricci Bitti (ITA), ITF President
Sabine Appelmans (BEL), former Fed Cup player/captain
Mercedes Paz (ARG), former Fed Cup player
Craig Gabriel (AUS), international journalist
Sandra Harwitt (USA), international journalist
Corinne Dubreuil (FRA), international photographer
Ray Giubilo (ITA), international photographer


ICC Chairman Hails Icc Cricket World Cup 2015 As “Most Popular In History”

Mr Srinivasan says 50-over tournament can attract and inspire a new generation of followers to the game

The Chairman of the International Cricket Council (ICC), Mr Narayanaswami Srinivasan, has hailed the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 as “the most popular in history” and he believes that the 50-over game is in good health following Australia’s triumph at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday.

Commenting in the aftermath of Sunday’s game, which was played in front of over 93,000 spectators, Mr Srinivasan said the ICC was delighted with the manner in which the game’s pinnacle 50-over event was hosted and delivered, and thanked all of the media, supporters and sponsors for their promotion of the tournament.

Narayanaswami Srinivasan
Narayanaswami Srinivasan

Mr Srinivasan said: “On behalf of the ICC, I would like to firstly congratulate Australia on its fifth ICC Cricket World Cup win. Australia displayed great tenacity, skill levels and consistency throughout the tournament and are worthy winners.

“It was a wonderful event with many thrilling highs and magic moments, which will live long in the memory. Australia has set a new benchmark for limited overs cricket and our congratulations to them, and indeed all of the competing teams, which produced excellent cricket over the past seven weeks and thoroughly entertained the followers of the game worldwide.

“It is not an easy task hosting an event of this scale and I would like to extend my special thanks to the ICC staff as well as Local Organising Committee Chairman Ralph Waters, CEO John Harnden, Head of New Zealand Therese Walsh and the rest of the team who worked extremely hard across both host countries over the last three years to ensure the delivery of a truly world-class tournament. I would also like to pay tribute to Cricket Australia and New Zealand Cricket for their support in the build-up to, and during the event.

“The ICC had strived to deliver a fan-friendly spectacle, and it has achieved its target. Over one million spectators have passed through the turnstiles over the course of the last seven weeks and our thanks to them and, indeed, to all followers of the game globally for the support they have given the competing sides.

“The ICC’s proactive digital enhancement has attracted an unprecedented 36 million unique visitors to its website to date and has accumulated over 300 million page views. This represents a 10-fold increase on any previous ICC event. A further positive development was the official tournament app, which has been downloaded more than 4.5 million times and has been the number-one sport app in no fewer than 48 countries.

“I believe that the legacy of this tournament will extend across the world and the quality of cricket, enhanced by a strong sense of sportsmanship and fair play, can resonate for the next generation of cricket followers.

“I would like to thank all our global, official and local commercial partners, including ICC’s broadcast partners STAR Sports for their continued patronage and support. Without their support, the ICC cannot put up these great events. Our thanks, as ever, to the various strands of the media for their support and extensive coverage they provided, which has helped the ICC to further promote the game.

“Congratulations to our Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Umpires and Match Referees, who have once again displayed a high level of officiating throughout the competition. The curators and ground-staff who produced quality pitches across all 14 also deserve special mention.

“Finally, a special word of thanks to the unsung heroes of ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 – the team of volunteers in each of the cities whose assistance, courtesy and hospitality added enormously to the feel-good factor around the event.

“As we reflect on the success of ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, it has reinforced 50-over cricket as a hugely exhilarating format of the game, which attracts a large global following. It is with confidence that we look forward to ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, which will be staged in the UK.”

WSB Regular Season Week 11: Results

Morocco Atlas Lions continue winning streak after home win over Ukraine Otamans


A classic in Casablanca eventually resulted in a second successive World Series of Boxing (WSB) victory for Morocco Atlas Lions after they defeated Ukraine Otamans 3-2.

Uzbekistan’s second ranked Light flyweight (49 kg) Hasanboy Dusmatov took his season record to 6-0, and put immense pressure on number one ranked Patrick Barnes after he won every round against Moroccan debutant Yassine Zaher.

Mohamed Hamout then evened up the scoring in the second fight of the night when he beat Ukraine’s 3-2 Mykola Butsenko.

Hamout won the first three rounds on every scorecard, before Butsenko was forced to pull out through injury in round four.

5-0 Uzbek Hurshidbek Normatov restored Ukraine’s lead on the night, and earned crucial points for himself in the Middleweight (75 kg) race for Rio.

After comprehensively outpointing 1-3 Atlas Lion Said Harnouf, Normatov keeps his Olympic hopes alive.

Morocco pulled back the scoring to 2-2 after Heavyweight (91 kg) Amine Azzouzi won by unanimous decision over Ukrainian debutant Arsenity Azizov.

The last fight of the night was at Light welterweight (64 kg), a divison Ukraine had failed to win a single match in this season, and where Morocco’s representative Hamza El Barbari had also lost all five of his outings throughout the campaign.

After over 20 rounds without a victory in Season V, El Barbari finally achieved success when he earned a unanimous points verdict against 0-2 Dmytro Grynchenko.

An emotional El Barbari was close to tears after the match, and he deserves all the platitudes after a remarkable performance.

Morocco Atlas Lions host China Dragons next week, while Ukraine Otamans welcome Algeria Desert Hawks.

Astana Arlans Kazakhstan magnificent in Miami as they defeat USA Knockouts

Astana Arlans Kazakhstan, WSB

An excellent away performance in Miami resulted in a 5-0 whitewash victory for Astana Arlans Kazakhstan against USA Knockouts.

This is Kazakhstan’s eleventh successive win in Season V of the World Series of Boxing (WSB) while the American team have now lost four of their last five matches.

The first bout of the evening was a close one, and had huge significance for the rest of the match,

Temirtas Zhussupov was awarded the fight on two scorecards by just one point, while American Light flyweight (49 kg) Joshua Franco edged the bout by a solitary point on the third card.

Meirbolat Toitov then temporarily headed to the top of the Bantamweight (56 kg) rankings after defeating USA’s Francisco Martinez on points.

Martinez began the weekend second in the Bantamweight rankings, and won the first round in Miami, but Toitov took control of the action from then on and sealed the victory.

The win for Toitov hugely increases his chances of qualifying for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games via WSB, though with just one match of the Regular Season to go, Martinez may have lost his opportunity.

Kazakhstan’s win was secured at Light welterweight (64 kg) as Samat Bashenov moved up the WSB rankings when he earned a split decision verdict over Tyrek Irby.

Meiirim Nursultanov then moved to third in the Middleweight (75 kg) standings after beating American debutant Kalvin Henderson who displayed a lot of potential in their bout.

Nursultanov is just one point behind Arlen Lopez and Hurshidbek Normatov with one match to go for the Middleweights.

The closest division in WSB is the Heavyweight (91 kg) weight class, where only one fighter will qualify for Rio 2016 via the competition.

After Cuba’s Erislandy Savon won on points in China, Kazakh Vasiliy Levit sealed his sixth win of the campaign to stay level with the Domadore in the rankings.

For the first time this season Levit went the distance with an opponent, as USA’s Adrian Taylor performed well in the first and last rounds.

In two weeks time the Olympic qualification for all of these weight classes will be determined, and the mayhem in Miami has set everything up perfectly for an entertaining end.

Astana Arlans Kazakhstan visit Puerto Rico Hurricanes next week, while USA Knockouts meet Azerbaijan Baku Fires.

Mexico Guerreros clinch sixth successive win after beating Russian Boxing Team

WSB, Mexico Guerreros defeat British Lionhearts in London
WSB, Mexico Guerreros defeat British Lionhearts in London

A superb home performance in Aguascalientes resulted in a 3-2 victory for Mexico Guerreros over Russian Boxing Team.

This was the sixth straight victory for Mexico in the World Series of Boxing (WSB), while Russia slip to their second consecutive defeat.

Mexican Light flyweight (49 kg) Joselito Velázquez Altamirano enjoyed his fifth win of the season by convincingly outpointing 3-1 Vasilii Egorov.

4-0 Russian Vladimir Nikitin was on the right side of a split decision verdict after his Bantamweight (56 kg) bout with Sergio Alfredo Chirino Sánchez, despite losing the majority of the first two rounds.

The win for Nikitin moves him up the Bantamweight rankings, while Sánchez will take heart from pushing a very accomplished boxer very close.

Third ranked WSB Light welterweight (64 kg) Raúl Curiel García then won his fifth match of Season V to stay in the hunt for Rio 2016 Olympic qualification via WSB.

After snapping the undefeated streak of Vitaliy Dunaytsev, the Mexican star is now just one point behind Vincenzo Mangiacapre and Gaybatulla Gadzhialiyev with a single match to go in the Regular Season.

Russia’s Petr Khamukov is perhaps pound for pound the most powerful puncher in WSB, and the Middleweight (75 kg) earned his fourth successive stoppage victory when he finished Mexican debutant Héctor Octavio Aguirre Martínez in round four of their bout.

Khamukov’s win not only evened up the scoring on the night for his team, but it also kept him in touch with the top ranked Middleweights in the competition.

The Guerreros eventually achieved their 3-2 success at Heavyweight (91 kg) when 2-0 Julio Cesar Castillo gave Evgeny Tishchenko his first loss of the season.

Mexico Guerreros next travel to Cuba Domadores, while Russian Boxing Team host Algeria Desert Hawks.

Buoyant British Lionhearts seal away win against Algeria Desert Hawks

WSB, Desert Hawks, ALGERIA

British Lionhearts enjoyed their first away victory of Season V in the World Series of Boxing (WSB) as they defeated Algeria Desert Hawks 3-2 in Blida.

Harvey Horn won his first WSB match in the opening bout as he outpointed Algerian Light flyweight (49 kg) Zoheir Toudjine.

Lionheart Bantamweight (56 kg) Sean McGoldrick then became the first Welsh boxer to achieve a victory this season with a split decision win over Fahem Hammachi.

McGoldrick won the fight by a single round according to two judges, while the third awarded it to Hammachi.

The overall British victory was secured at Light welterweight (64 kg) when Samuel Maxwell earned his fourth win of the campaign as he edged another split decision verdict against Ahmed Boudiaf.

Algeria’s Boudiaf won the first round, but Maxwell responded well and did enough to impress two of the watching judges at ringside.

A third split decision occurred in the fourth fight of the evening, and this time home star Ilyas Abbadi upset Britain’s highly rated 3-2 Anthony Fowler.

Although one judge gave every round to Fowler, the other two felt that Abbadi had won by a single point.

The last fight of the night saw Desert Hawk Samir Maslouh enjoy his first WSB win against Aboulaye Diane at Heavyweight (91 kg).

Italia Thunder masterful in Milan after thrashing Argentina Condors 5-0

Argentina Condors vs Puerto Rico Hurricanes
Argentina Condors vs Puerto Rico Hurricanes

An excellent performance in Milan from Italia Thunder resulted in a 5-0 whitewash victory over Argentina Condors.

Ireland’s Patrick Barnes has been one of the best boxers in the entire World Series of Boxing (WSB) this season, and the Thunder representative won his sixth fight of the campaign against Junior Zarate.

Barnes won every round in the match, and remains at number one in the Light flyweight (49 kg) rankings with just one bout to go.

The Irish star is two points ahead of nearest rival Hasanboy Dusmatov who also won this weekend, and if Barnes wins his last match of the Regular Season he is all but guaranteed to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Another Irish fighter who has put himself in position to reach Rio through WSB is Michael Conlan, who moved to second in the Bantamweight (56 kg) rankings after dominating Argentina’s 0-3 Ignacio Perrin.

Two Bantamweights will qualify for the Olympic Games, and after Francisco Martinez lost on Friday night, Conlan will be confident of his chances to compete in Rio next year.

Italy’s Vincenzo Mangiacapre is also on the cusp of Olympic qualification, and his win over Ronan Nahuel Sanchez took him back to the top of the Light welterweight (64 kg) rankings.

Mangiacapre’s victory also secured the overall success for Italy which is important for their chances of qualifying from Group B.

Another Italian triumph took place at Middleweight (75 kg) when Raffaele Munno outpointed Christian Zarate.

The Thunder whitewash was confirmed in the last bout of the evening as Italian Heavyweight (91 kg) Fabio Turchi beat Dario Alcapan.

Italia Thunder host Rafako Hussars Poland next, while Argentina Condors welcome Caciques Venezuela.

Azerbaijan Baku Fires defeat Rafako Hussars Poland 3-2 in Gdansk

An enthralling, tense and fascinating World Series of Boxing (WSB) battle in Gdansk was eventually won by Azerbaijan Baku Fires who defeated Rafako Hussars Poland 3-2 in Gdansk.

Although the Polish Franchise narrowly missed out on the overall victory, they displayed their excellent potential against the Season IV runners-up.

Poland’s Dawid Sebastian Jagodzinski enjoyed his second win of the season at Light flyweight (49 kg) as he beat Rasul Saliyev on points.

Azerbaijan bounced straight back at Bantamweight (56 kg) when Magomed Gurbanov achieved his fifth consecutive WSB victory over Sylwester Kozlowski.

The Pole won the first round against the top ranked Bantamweight, but Gurbanov’s class shined as the bout progressed.

With just one match to go in the Regular Season, Gurbanov is well on course to qualify for Rio 2016 through WSB.

Light welterweight (64 kg) Gaybatulla Gadzhialiyev is also a favourite to reach Rio via this competition, and the WSB veteran lived up to his high ranking with a supreme win against Damian Tadeusz Kiwior.

Just one point separates the top three Light welterweights, and second placed Gadzhialiyev has his destiny in his own hands.

The Middleweight (75 kg) division is even closer, as one points separates the top four fighters in the weight class.

Poland’s third ranked 5-1 Tomasz Jablonski kept his Rio chances alive as he defeated Jaba Khositashvili via split decision.

Two judges awarded Jablonski every round of the fight, while the third had Khositashvili winning by a point.

Jablonski’s win evened up the scoring in Gdansk, and with just one match to go in the Regular Season for the Middleweights, he remains in the hunt for Olympic qualification.

The Baku Fires ultimately secured their fifth triumph in six WSB matches at Heavyweight (91 kg) after third ranked Abdulkadir Abdullayev stopped Rain Karlson in round two of their bout.

Rafako Hussars Poland travel to Italia Thunder next, while Azerbaijan Baku Fires host USA Knockouts.

Caciques Venezuela continue impressive home form with win over Puerto Rico Hurricanes

A marvelous World Series of Boxing (WSB) American derby in Maiquetía was won by the South American Franchise Caciques Venezuela 3-2 over Puerto Rico Hurricanes.

This was Venezuela’s fifth home win of the Regular Season, and they will be delighted in the manner of the victory.

Yoel Finol enjoyed his fourth win of the season at Light flyweight (49 kg) after dominating every round against Anthony Chacon Rivera.

The Hurricanes evened up the scoring in the second fight of the night when Bantamweight (56 kg) Hector Luis Garcia Mora defeated José Vicente Azocar.

Venezuelan Light welterweight (64 kg) Luis Arcón then outpointed Jan Rivera which enabled his team to retake the lead.

2-0 French Middleweight (75 kg) Christian M’Billi Assomo enjoyed his second successive stoppage in the competition when he stopped Jose Endry Saavedra Pinto in round four of their bout.

M’Billi Assomo has been a superb acquisition for Puerto Rico, and his star is shining after another impressive performance.

Heavyweight (91 kg) Alfonso Flores secured Venezuela’s fifth home win of the campaign by stopping Gabriel Richards in the third round of their meeting.

Caciques Venezuela next visit Argentina Condors, while Puerto Rico Hurricanes host Astana Arlans Kazakhstan.

Ahly, GSP and Dark horses Vision complete quarterfinal line up at Women’s African Club Champs

2015 Women’s African Club Championship- Day 3

Cairo, Egypt, March 29, 2015- Giants Ahly and organisers Shams both from Egypt, Defending champions GS Petroliers of Algeria, FAP of Cameroon, Revenue Authority of Rwanda and Uganda’s Vision booked their tickets to the quarterfinal of the 2015 Women’s African Club Championship following the third and last day of the preliminary round held at October Hall in Cairo, Egypt on Sunday.

The 6 teams will be joined by Kenya Pipeline and Tunisia’s Carthage who already secured their qualification tickets earlier on Saturday.

Hosts Shams of Egypt set their second win against Saltigue of Senegal 3-0 (25-18, 25-13, 25-16) to lead Pool A followed by Revenue Authority of Rwanda who were in rest, but secured their tickets to the quarterfinal. Saltigue ended their campaign at the third position.

Ahly of Egypt overpowered Kenya Commercial Bank “KCB” 3-0 (25-18, 25-10, 25-23) to lead Pool B followed by GSP second as both teams proceeded to the quarters leaving KCB in the third position.

Pipeline already secured the top of Pool C with 2 victories ahead of FAP who claimed their first win against Kutlwano of Botswana 3-1 (25-20, 25-20, 22-25, 25-19) as both teams confirmed top 8 finish.

Pool D featured a third win for Carthage of Tunisia over Injis (Cameroon) 3-0 (26-24, 25-19, 25-19) to top the pool as the only team in the competition to have three victories. Vision wrote the history after they beat ARSU (Seychelles) 3-2 (24-26, 25-20, 20-25, 25-22, 15-11) to finish second and catch the top 8 in their first ever participation at the African peak event. Injis finished third and ARSU came at the bottom of the pool.

After a rest day on Monday, the competition will be resumed on Tuesday with the quarterfinal matches as Shams plays Vision, Carthage meet Revenue, Ahly face FAP and Pipeline line up against GSP in the peak of the programme.

GSP team with the officials
GSP team with the officials

Pool A
Shams (Egypt) v Saltigue (Senegal) 3-0 (25-18, 25-13, 25-16)

Organisers Shams of Egypt topped the fighting Saltigue of Senegal 3-0 (25-18, 25-13, 25-16) in 62 minutes to finish in the first position of Pool A with a win- loss ratio of 2-0. Saltigue dropped to 0-2 to end at the third position.

Shams attacker Aya Abdelmaksoud was outstanding in spiking from all net positions and succeded to score 22 points as the match scorer. Binetou Sow contributed 12 points for Saltigue as best scorer from losers side

 International Referee Naglaa Talaat from Egypt
International Referee Naglaa Talaat from Egypt

Pool B
Ahly (Egypt) v KCB (Kenya) 3-0 (25-18, 25-10, 25-23)

Six time African Champions Ahly of Egypt used their spike service and the unstoppable hits to down Kenya’s KCB 3-0 (25-18, 25-10, 25-23) in 65 minutes. Ahly improved their win- loss ratio to 2-0 to lead Pool B and confrim qualification to the quarterfinal, while KCB dropped to 0-2 to play for 9 to 12 positions.

The young middle blocker Mariam Metwally who replaced the injured Engy Elshami was the match scorer with 13 points including 4 kill blocks. Naomi Too led KCB scorers

Pool C
FAP (Cameroon) v Kutlwano (Botswana) 3-1 (25-20, 25-20, 22-25, 25-19)

FAP (Cameroon) fought for 107 minutes to cruise past Kutlwano (Botswana) 3-1 (25-20, 25-20, 22-25, 25-19) and secure the qualification ticket to the quarterfinal. FAP improved their win- loss ratio to 1-1, while Botswana team dropped to 0-2. Early on Saturday, Kenya Pipeline confirmed qualification as head of the pool with 2-0 record.

FAP’s outside hitter Simone Bikatal played a great role in the victory not only with her 25 points scored during the match but also through her wise leadership throughout the match. Karabo Molefna led Kutlwano’s scorers with 18 points.

FAP celebrating
FAP celebrating

Pool D
Vision (Uganda) v ARSU (Seychelles) 3-2 (24-26, 25-20, 20-25, 25-22, 15-11)
Carthage (Tunisia) v Injis (Cameroon) 3-0 (26-24, 25-19, 25-19)

Vision of Uganda rebounded twice from set behind in their way to see off ARSU of Seychelles in grueling tiebreaker 3-2 (24-26, 25-20, 20-25, 25-22, 15-11) in 132 minutes of thrilling action.

The victory improved the Ugandan team record to 2-1 to qualify to the quarterfinal in their debut at the prestigious competition, while ARSU dropped to 0-3 to finish at the bottom of the pool. After the injury of the Ugandan team setter in the first set they suffered a lot to come back after losing the first set to draw 1-1 after great efforts from the match scorer Josphine Nammanda and Goanita Nabbuto. ARSU came ahead 2-1 again after their attacker Marielle Bonne played her best. Again Vision emerged in the fourth set and tiebreak to clinch the tough victory and secure the qualification for the quarterfinal.

Carthage of Tunisia overcame the shaky start to pull off a straight sets victory 3-0 (26-24, 25-19, 25-19) over Injis of Cameroon to top Pool D the clean sheet of 3-0 Injis dropped to 1-2. Tunisian star Fatma Agrebi led her team and match scorers with 12 points, while Honorine Djakao led Cameroonian side with 9 points.

Injis team started the match in their best performance as their veteran outside hitter Rose Nkot played a great role to give her team the advance, but the Tunisian experience settled the situation narrowly 26-24. It was easier for the Carthage there after to advance towards a straight sets win.

Quarterfinal Programme on Tuesday March 31, 2015

Quarterfinal 1-8

18:00 Shams (EGY) 1st A x 2nd D Vision (UGA)
16:00 Carthage (TUN) 1st D x 2nd A RRA (RWA)
20:00 Ahly (EGY) 1st B x 2nd C FAP (CMR)
14:00 Pipeline (KEN) 1st C x 2nd B GSP (ALG)

Quarterfinal 9-16
12:00 Saltigue (SEN) 3rd A x 4th D ARSU (SEY)
3rd D x 4thA 3rd D- Injis (CMR) winner
3rd B x 4th C 3rd B- KCB (KEN) winner
3rd C x 4th B 3rd C- Kutlwano (BOT) winner

Mitchell Starc Named As Player Of The ICC Cricket World Cup 2015

Australia fast bowler Mitchell Starc was today named as the player of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.

Starc was the unanimous choice of a select group of experts* following his sensational form that helped guide his side to its fifth title in 11 tournaments. The 25-year-old left-armer took 22 wickets at 10.18 runs per wicket with an economy rate of 3.50 runs per over. His best performance came against New Zealand in Auckland when he finished with six for 28.

During their deliberations, the members of the panel discussed several names, highlighting such players as New Zealand’s inspirational captain Brendon McCullum and his team-mates Trent Boult and Martin Guptill, as well as Kumar Sangakkara of Sri Lanka for his four consecutive centuries.

Mitchell Starc photo credit: Royal Challengers Bangalore
Mitchell Starc
photo credit: Royal Challengers Bangalore

*The selection panel that chose the player of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 consisted of:

Geoff Allardice (ICC General Manager – Cricket)
Andrew Alderson (Journalist, New Zealand Herald)
Harsha Bhogle (Broadcaster)
Richard Kettleborough (Member of Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Umpires and ICC Umpire of the Year 2014)
Chloe Saltau (Journalist, The Age)
Michael Vaughan (Former England captain and broadcaster)

NTF Unveils Russian-Born New Nigeria Tennis Star

The Nigeria Tennis Federation (NTF), has unveiled the Russian-born Melissa Ifidzhen, who is due to make her debut for Nigeria at the forthcoming ITF/CAT African U18 Championship billed to hold in Cairo, Egypt from the 5th -10th of April.

According to the president of the NTF, Engr. Sani Ndanusa, the 16-year-old right hander, who was born of Nigerian father and a Russian mum, started to play tennis at the age of five.

She was a member of the Russian National Team U12 and has won several titles including the European Championship in 2010. She was also the Russian champion for the U12 in 2010.

Some of her achievements so far in what is promising to be a glittering career include being a finalist at the Argayon Cup U16 Belgium while she was also the champion in the singles and doubles of the Hitec Bouneweg Junior Open U14.

Melissa Ifidzhen
Melissa Ifidzhen

Few months ago, she also reached the final in both the single and doubles of the Steinfort Tennis Europe Junior Open U16 held in Luxemburg.

Also in 2014 she was a finalist in single’s event of the Governor Cup U16 in Russia where she bagged gold in the doubles event.

Ifidzhen, who is anxious to make her debut for Nigeria, among other achievements, was also a finalist at the Malta ITF U18 World Ranking Tournament and also reached the semifinal in the doubles event of the Ozerov Cup held in Russia.

“Women tennis in Nigeria will undoubtedly develop to a great height because of the influence of the global star prospect of Melissa. Her profile is absolutely wonderful because this is the type of profile that superstars like of Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova post as a junior player and we can only hope that she gets to the top in the next few years,” Ndanusa stated.

Pipeline And Carthage Booked Quarterfinal Tickets At Women’s African Club Champs

2015 Women’s African Club Championship- Day 2

Record Holders Kenya Pipeline and Tunisia’s Carthage secured their tickets to the quarterfinal of 2015 Women’s African Club Championship after the competition day 2 held at October Hall in Cairo, Egypt on Saturday.

The Kenyan team saw off Kutlwano of Botswana 3-0 (25-11, 25-4, 25-13), while the Tunisians overcame Vision (Uganda) 3-0 (25-19, 25-11, 25-16) as both teams went to their second victory in Pools B and D respectively.

Revenue Authority of Rwanda played their best volleyball to overwhelm Saltigue of Senegal 3-0 (25-11, 25-17, 25-14) in what is considered a match of qualification for the quarters in Pool A.

GS Petroliers of Algeria regained their rhythm to achieve the first victory over KCB (Kenya) 3-0 (25-20, 25-14, 25-10) after losing the opening against their African Rivals Ahly of Egypt in Pool B.

Injis of Cameroon regained their consistency to beat ARSU (Seychelles) 3-1 (19-25, 25-16, 25-18, 25-20) and regain the hopes of a second round ticket.

Six tickets to the quarterfinal are still in action in Day 3 of the competition on today.

RRA Rwanda
RRA Rwanda

Pool A
Revenue (Rwanda) v Saltigue (Senegal) 3-0 (25-11, 25-17, 25-14)

Rwanda’s Revenue Authority played fantastic volleyball to overcome Saltigue (Senegal) 3-0 (25-11, 25-17, 25-14) in 72 minutes. The Rwandans improved their win- loss ratio to 1-1, while the Senegalese team began their campaign with 0-1.

Efficient attacker Serphine Mukantambara led the winner’s scorers with impressive 20 points; While Sow Binetou led the losers with 9 points.

GSP team with the officials
GSP team with the officials

Pool B
GS Petroliers (ALG) v KCB (Kenya) 3-0 (25-20, 25-14, 25-10)

After losing against Ahly of Egypt in day 1, Algeria’s GSP regained their rhythm and improved their mistakes to beat Kenya Commercial Bank 3-0 (25-20, 25-14, 25-10) in 77 minutes. The defending champions led by outside hitter Zohra Ben Salem who came as the match scorer with crucial 16 points and setter Fatma Okazi controlled the match through the spike service and the skillful combinations by the net. GSP improved their record to 1-1, while KCB started their matches by 1-0 ratio.

Pipeline coach instructing his team
Pipeline coach instructing his team

Pool C
Pipeline (Kenya) v Kutlwano (Botswana) 3-0 (25-11, 25-4, 25-13)

Seven time African champions Pipeline of Kenya claimed their second win against Kutlwano of Botswana 3-0 (25-11, 25-4, 25-13) in 57 minutes. The great difference of experience settled the situation for the winners using their veteran stars specially the opposite spiker Ruth Jepngetich who scored 13 points. The Kenyan team improved their win- loss ratio to 2-0 to book the first ticket of the pool in the quarterfinal, while Kutlwano begin the competition with 0-1.

ARSU (SEY) attacking against Carthage (TUN)
ARSU (SEY) attacking against Carthage (TUN)

Pool D
Carthage (Tunisia) v Vision (Uganda) 3-0 (25-19, 25-11, 25-16)
Injis (Cameroon) v ARSU (Seychelles) 3-1 (19-25, 25-16, 25-18, 25-20)

Carthage (Tunisia) claimed the first ticket of Pool D for the quarterfinal after they cruised past Vision (Uganda) 3-0 (25-19, 25-11, 25-16) in 84 minutes. The Tunisians improved to 2-0, while the Ugandan dark horses dropped to 1-1 and keep their fight for the second ticket in the competition debut. The sisters Fatma and Rahma Agrebi played a great role in this victory till their coach used some substitutes in the third set.

Day 3 Programme on Sunday March 29, 2015

Pool D 10:00 ARSU (SEY) X Vision (UGA)
Pool D 12:00 Carthage (TUN) X Injis (CMR)
Pool C 14:00 Kutlwano (BOT) X FAP (CMR)
Pool B 16:00 Ahly (EGY) X KCB (KEN)
Pool A 18:00 ASC Saltigue (SEN) X Al Shams (EGY

ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 Breaking Records And Capturing Hearts

Statistics reveal the unprecedented success of tournament

ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 has been a record-breaking tournament and has cemented the event’s position as one of the most popular sporting spectacles in the world, according to statistics released today.

With two double-centuries, seven scores in excess of 150 and 38 centuries, there has been no shortage of batting prowess on display in Australia and New Zealand over the past seven weeks. And 28 four-wicket hauls, including two hat-tricks, mean the bowlers have played their part, too.

On the field, players and team officials have reported being delighted with the quality of pitches, outfields and training facilities.

ICC Cricket World Cup 2015  Hosted by Australia and NZ. Matches at the MCG. Sth Africa batting India fielding, photo credit Rhondda
ICC Cricket World Cup 2015
Hosted by Australia and NZ. Matches at the MCG. Sth Africa batting India fielding, photo credit Rhondda

The pick of the group stage matches from an attendance point of view was the India versus South Africa game on 22 February at the Melbourne Cricket Ground at which there were more than 86,000 people cheering on their respective teams, a phenomenal result given that neither of the host teams were involved.

The good news doesn’t stop there as people have been tuning in to ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 in greater numbers than ever before. Broadcast by 44 licensees, in seven languages across 220 territories, the India versus Pakistan group match drew an approximate television audience of more than 288 million in India alone, while the Australia versus England match was watched by 2.1 million people in Australia.

There are 10 radio licensees broadcasting the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 matches live into 80 territories and for those following the tournament on new media, the website has attracted 26.25 million unique visitors accumulating an incredible 227 million page views, which is a significant increase on any previous ICC event. And the tournament app has so far been downloaded 3.6 million times and has been the number-one sports app in no fewer than 48 countries.

David Richardson, photo credit
David Richardson, photo credit

ICC Chief Executive David Richardson said: “These numbers provide a tangible measure of the success of the event – this Cricket World Cup has been the mostt followed and best attended cricket event in history. All over the world, hundreds of millions of fans have been enthralled by the quality of cricket on show, the exploits of the world’s top players and the colour of the festival across both host nations.

“We are delighted with how the tournament has gone so far. It is a tribute to the hard work of many people and, of course, the way the teams have delivered on the field of play. It has been great to see so many traveling fans from all competing teams but the way the people of Australia and New Zealand have embraced the event so wholeheartedly has been extremely gratifying and enhances their countries’ reputations as great sporting nations.

“With nearly 1,400 members of the media attending the event, it’s fair to say that, all in all, the cricket-loving public around the world have been very well served. And we now look forward to a fitting finale on 29 March – hopefully another special occasion for the game.”

3SC’s Woeful Performance, Happy Days Ahead-Ladoja Assures Supporters

A former governor of Oyo State and Accord gubernatorial candidate in the April 11 elections, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, has promised to pay adequate attention to the financial and welfare needs of Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) of Ibadan if he is elected into office.

He made the promise in Ibadan in a statement released by the Director-General of his campaign, Hon. Deolu Adeleke, while reacting to the woeful start in the on-going premier league by the darling team of Oyo State, due to lack of financial support by the incumbent administration in the state.

“Reports reaching me indicate that the government has not paid the salaries of 3SC players and workers for December 2014,January and February 2015.

“Neither has the Ajimobi-led government allocated money for players’ recruitment for the new season. And we all expect the team to do well.

“How can the players play on an empty stomach? Neglecting this crucial arm that gives joy to thousands of people is wicked,” the statement said.

shooting Stars of Ibadan

Senator Ladoja recalled that during his tenure between 2003 and 2007, his administration allocated generous funds to the team so much that for a long time, the team led the premiership log and was going to win the title in 2005 if not for the political crisis that engulfed the state.

“The glory days of Shooting Stars are around the corner. My administration will revamp and revive the team. It is the pride of, not only Ibadan and Oyo State, but of the Yoruba nation,” the statement added.

Senator Ladoja said he was sad to learn that 3SC not only lost its first match away to Wikki Tourists of Bauchi by 0-2, but was also defeated at home by Heartland of Owerri by 2-1.

“Such results are unacceptable to the soccer-loving people of Oyo State. We will reverse it.”
He called on the numerous supporters and fans of the team to vote for him and other Accord party candidates in the elections and ensure glorious future for their darling club.

Ahly Upset Defending Champions GSP At Women’s African Club Champs Opening

2015 Women’s African Club Championship- Day 1

Opening ceremony
Opening ceremony

Six time champions Ahly of Egypt started their 2015 Women’s African Club Championship in the right way after the beat defending Champions GSP of Algeria 3-1 (21-25, 25-17, 25-23, 25-20) in the competition opening in October Hall in Cairo, Egypt on Friday.

In another peak face off Pipeline of Kenya flew past FAP of Cameroon 3-1 (25-15, 20-25, 25-20, 25-16) in another epic encounter.

Organisers Shams started their campaign victorious as they took over the emerging Rwandan Revenue 3-0 (25-19, 25-17, 25-17).

The opening Ceremony was attended by CAVB President Dr Amr Elwani, the deputy Minister of Youth and Sports Dr Ashraf Sobhi, Control Committee President Nasiwu Sadik and Egyptian VB Fed President Foad Abdel Salam.

CAVB President Dr Amr Elwani  speaking During the opening ceremony
CAVB President Dr Amr Elwani speaking During the opening ceremony

Pool A

Shams (Egypt) v Revenue (Rwanda) 3-0 (25-19, 25-17, 25-17)

Organizers Shams of Egypt dominated all the skills to overcome Revenue of Rwanda 3-0 (25-19, 25-17, 25-17) in Pool A in a match lasting 78 minutes. Opposite attacker Aya Abdel Maksoud scored 17 points as the best scorer of the match to give her team a big boost in the match. Serphine Mukantambara led the Rwandan team scorers with 15 points.

Shams team were better in reception and backline defence from the start to win the most difficult first set, but thereafter they used their combinations led by the setter Doaa to win the second and third set in easier way.

Organizers Shams Celebrating
Organizers Shams Celebrating

Pool B

Ahly (Egypt) v GS Petroliers (ALG) 3-1 (21-25, 25-17, 25-23, 25-20)

Ahly of Egypt rebounded back after losing the first set to overcome defending champions GSP of Algeria 3-1 (21-25, 25-17, 25-23, 25-20) in the most exciting match on opening day.

The Cuban opposite spiker Yunieska Robles aided the winner with her unstoppable hits at the crucial time of each set and scored impressive 20 points to lead the match scorers. Zohra Bensalem led GSP scorers with 17 points.

The Algerian team started the match in their optimum performance as they used the spikes of Zohra and the blocks of Aisha Mezmate to win the first set. Ahly players rebounded back and improved their defence to win three successive sets in their way to win 3-1.

Pipeline coach instructing his team
Pipeline coach instructing his team

Pool C

Pipeline (Kenya) v FAP (Cameroon) 3-1 (25-15, 20-25, 25-20, 25-16)

Kenya Pipeline fought for 104 minutes to clinch a valuable victory against FAP of Cameroon 3-1 (25-15, 20-25, 25-20, 25-16) in a big show for the record holders. The Kenyan opposite attacker Esther Wangechi contributed 16 points for her team as top scorer just equal to Simone Bikatal from FAP’s side who scored the same number of points.

After Pipeline started aggressively and won the first set, FAP came back with goods in the second set led by Bikatal to draw 1-1 due to frequent reception and digging mistakes before the Kenyans returned back through their efficient blockers to win the match 3-1

Shams team with the officials
Shams team with the officials

Pool D

Vision (Uganda) v Injis (Cameroon) 3-1 (13-25, 25-15, 25-23, 25-15)

Carthage (Tunisia) v ARSU (Seychelles) 3-0 (25-17, 25-9, 25-13)

Vision Volleyball Club of Uganda set the first surprise as they defeated the experienced Injis team from Cameroon 3-1 (13-25, 25-15, 25-23, 25-15) in 103 minutes of thrilling fighting. Injis started the match with the best performance to win the first set after the great spikes from Rose Ngo Nkot. Vision team rebounded back in the second set and succeeded to lead the net action through their attacker Josephine Nammanda and won 3 consecutive sets in their way to win their first match in their debut at the African event.

Carthage of Tunisia hammered ARSU of Seychelles 3-0 (25-17, 25-9, 25-13) in a match full of skills from the winners. Tunisian hitter Rahma Agrebi led her team scorers with 10 points, while Gerina Bonne was ARSU’s scorer with 7 points.

The Tunisian team used the experience of their tall players by the net as well as the skills to overwhelm the situation completely specially after the competitive first set.

ARSU (SEY) attacking against Carthage (TUN)
ARSU (SEY) attacking against Carthage (TUN)

Pool Composition

Pool A: Shams (EGY)- Revenue (RWA)- Saltigue (SEN)

Pool B: GSP (ALG)- KCB (KEN)- Ahly (EGY)

Pool C: Pipeline (KEN)- FAP (CMR)- Kutlwano (BOT)

Pool D: Carthage (TUN) – Vision (UGA)- Injis (CMR)- ARSU (SEY)

GSP team with the officials
GSP team with the officials

Day 2 Programme on Saturday March 28, 2015

D 10:00 Injis (CMR) X ARSU (SEY)
C 12:00 Pipeline (KEN) X Kutlwano (BOT)
D 14:00 Vision (UGA) x Carthage (TUN)
B 16:00 KCB (KEN) X GSP (ALG)
A 18:00 Revenue (RWA) X Saltigue (SEN)

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WSB Regular Season Week 11 (28.03.2015): Previews

Algeria Desert Hawks and British Lionhearts battle for success in Blida

WSB, Desert Hawks, ALGERIA

The bottom two teams of Group A in the World Series of Boxing (WSB) compete in an important match which could ultimately determine who suffers the wooden spoon at the end of the Regular Season.

Algeria are the eighth and last team in the group, but have competed in one less match than seventh placed British Lionhearts who have lost all five of their away matches this season.

Week four of the campaign was the last time the British Franchise won a WSB match, a 4-1 victory against Algeria in London.

Chalane Hocine, Blida is the venue for this Group A clash, where on Saturday 28th March fans across the world can watch the action free, live and on demand from 19:00 (GMT +1) at

The action begins at Light flyweight (49 kg) where both Algeria and Britain have failed to win a match in the weight class this season.

0-2 Desert Hawk Zoheir Toudjine meets 0-1 Harvey Horn in a fight which could shape the rest of the evening.

Fahem Hammachi makes his first appearance of the season at Bantamweight (56 kg) for Algeria, but will he win against Lionheart Sean McGoldrick?

McGoldrick will hope to become the first Welsh fighter to win in Season V, and the 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medalist achieved three victories in Season III of the competition.

Britain’s 3-2 Samuel Maxwell responded well to losing two WSB matches in a row by putting on his best performance of the season two weeks ago against Ukraine’s Mger Oganisian.

This week he faces Light welterweight (64 kg) Ahmed Boudiaf who has achieved success in both of his home matches for Algeria.

3-1 British Middleweight (75 kg) Anthony Fowler lost his first match of the season two weeks ago, and his top five ranking, so a victory over Ilyas Abbadi is essential if he is to have any chance of qualifying for Rio 2016 via WSB with just two matches to go.

Abbadi was stopped in one round by Cuba’s Arlen Lopez a fortnight ago, but prior to that had won his first two matches of the season.

The last bout in Blida is a Heavyweight (91 kg) clash between 0-1 home favourite Samir Maslouh and 0-1 Lionheart Aboulaye Diane.

Who will produce magic in Maiquetía when Caciques Venezuela host Puerto Rico Hurricanes?


A South vs North American derby is one of the many highlights in week 11 of the World Series of Boxing (WSB) as Caciques Venezuela host Puerto Rico Hurricanes.

Both of these teams debuted this season, and each has acquitted themselves very well in the competition.

Venezuela have won four of their five home matches, while Puerto Rico are just one point behind third placed USA Knockouts in the Group B table.

Estadio Polideportivo José María Vargas, Maiquetía is the venue for this Group B clash, where on Saturday 28th March fans across the world can watch the action free, live and on demand from 20:00 (GMT -4.5) at

Two exciting Light flyweights (49 kg) open the action as 3-1 home star Yoel Finol, who has won all three of his home matches, meets 2-1 entertainer Anthony Chacon Rivera.

After two away defeats to begin his WSB career, Caciques Bantamweight (56 kg) José Vicente Azocar has earned victory in his two home matches, including a first round knockout over Argentina’s Elias Nahuel Gonzalez.

This week he meets Dominican fighter Hector Luis Garcia Mora who makes his debut for the Hurricanes.

1-3 Venezuelan Light welterweight (64 kg) Luis Arcón’s last victory was against Poland’s Damian Tadeusz Kiwior a month ago, and he will aim to continue the momentum against 3-2 Puerto Rican Jan Rivera who has lost both of his away matches in Season V.

France’s Christian M’Billi Assomo is one of the most exciting prospects in all of boxing, and the Middleweight (75 kg) performed exceptionally in his WSB debut a fortnight ago when he stopped Argentina’s Sergio Alberto Lebensztajn.

The Hurricane may face a difficult task in achieving a second successive stoppage however, as his week 11 opponent is the undefeated Jose Endry Saavedra Pinto who memorably defeated USA’s Anthony Campbell in week two.

Caciques Heavyweight (91 kg) Alfonso Flores was stopped in his first two matches of the campaign, but returns after an eight week absence to fight Gabriel Richards who is on a two fight winning streak.

Mexico Guerreros look for sixth successive win against Russian Boxing Team

Mexico Guerreros, WSB

Mexico Guerreros are one of the form teams in Season V of the World Series of Boxing (WSB) with the North American Franchise undefeated in five matches.

This week they meet Russian Boxing Team whose own unbeaten run was snapped last week by Cuba Domadores.

Many of the fighters competing in this fixture have aspirations to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games via WSB, and with just two matches to go in the Regular Season for the Mexican competitors in action this is a very important match for all concerned.

The Russian fighters actually have three more matches in the Regular Season however, following the postponement of their week one clash against Algeria Desert Hawks.

Gimnasio Olimpico De Aguascalientes, Aguascalientes is the venue for this Group A clash, where on Saturday 28th March fans across the world can watch the action free, live and on demand from 20:30 (GMT -6) at

4-1 Mexican Light flyweight (49 kg) Joselito Velázquez Altamirano is currently ranked third in the weight class, five points behind leader Patrick Barnes.

As only one Light flyweight will qualify for Rio through WSB, Altamirano needs an impressive win over Russia’s Vasilii Egorov who has won all three of his matches this season at home.

Russian Bantamweight (56 kg) Vladimir Nikitin is 3-0 in Season V, and could enter the rankings if he defeats Mexico’s 0-1 Sergio Alfredo Chirino Sánchez.

The Light welterweight (64 kg) division is incredibly close this season, and two Olympic quotas are available for that weight.

4-1 Guerrero Raúl Curiel García is ranked third, just one point behind the top two placed fighters Vincenzo Mangiacapre and Gaybatulla Gadzhialiyev.

Garcia is also only one point ahead of fourth ranked Yasnier Toledo, and with all four of these boxers competing this weekend, a win for the Mexican is essential.

He has to defeat the unbeaten Vitaliy Dunaytsev to stay in Rio contention, and Dunaytsev has looked impressive this season defeating the likes of Samuel Maxwell and Hamza El Barbari.

Despite having only competed in three bouts so far in Season V, Russia’s Petr Khamukov is fifth in the Middleweight rankings, and he has a match in hand on his main rivals as well.

Khamukov has stopped all three of his opponents so far in the campaign, and a fourth against Mexican debutant Héctor Octavio Aguirre Martínez could catapult him up the Middleweight rankings.

The Heavyweights (91 kg) close the evening in Mexico as 1-0 home star Julio Cesar Castillo Torres meets 3-0 Evgeny Tishchenko.

Will Argentina Condors win their second consecutive match when they meet Italia Thunder?

Mexico Guerreros, WSB

Italia Thunder welcome Argentina Condors to Rome in week 11 of the World Series of Boxing (WSB).

The Argentine Franchise will be full of confidence after winning their first match of the season last week, and they also drew with Italy earlier on in the campaign.

Italy need a victory here to put pressure on the third placed USA Knockouts to give themselves a chance of qualifying from the group stages.

Additionally, three fighters from the Italian Franchise are strongly in contention to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games through WSB, and need to win their bouts in this fixture.

Discoteca Alcatraz, Milan is the venue for this Group B clash, where on Saturday 28th March fans across the world can watch the action free, live and on demand from 20:00 (GMT +1) at

Ireland’s Patrick Barnes has won all five of his matches this season, and stands at the top of the Light flyweight (49 kg) rankings with 25 points.

Only one fighter will qualify for Rio 2016 via WSB at this weight class, but Barnes is in pole position to do so.

Two points ahead of nearest rival Hasanboy Dusmatov, if the Irish star defeats 2-1 Junior Zarate in Milan he will be on the cusp of qualification with one match to go

Another Irish fighter with Olympic dreams is Michael Conlan, who is third in the Bantamweight (56 kg) rankings.

Two quotas for Rio 2016 are available from this division, and the 3-2 Olympic medalist is just three points behind second placed American Francisco Martinez, with number one placed Magomed Gurbanov a further point ahead.

Conlan needs to win well against Argentina’s 0-2 Ignacio Perrin to remain in the hunt, but the Irish star usually performs very well when competing under pressure.

Light welterweight (64 kg) Vincenzo Mangiacapre is ranked number one in his weight class, but only one point separates the top four fighters.

Mangiacapre controls his own destiny however, and if he beats 1-2 Ronan Nahuel Sanchez he will head into the final match of the Regular Season with much confidence.

Both 0-1 Italian Raffaele Munno and 0-2 Christian Zarate look for their first win of the campaign at Middleweight (75 kg), while the night closes with a Heavyweight (91 kg) bout between 1-1 home star Fabio Turchi and 0-2 Condor Dario Alcapan.

Olympic dreams on the line as Rafako Hussars Poland meet Azerbaijan Baku Fires

Logo RAFAKO Hussars Poland. WSB

Rafako Hussars Poland host Azerbaijan Baku Fires this week in the World Series of Boxing (WSB) with much to fight for.

The Azeri Franchise have won four of their last five matches, and are looking to maintain second place in the Group B table.

Meanwhile, fighters on both teams have just two more matches to compete in the Regular Season, and many of the boxers on show in this match have a burning ambition to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games through WSB.

Hala Widowiskowo-Sportowa AWFiS, Gdansk is the venue for this Group B clash, where on Saturday 28th March fans across the world can watch the action free, live and on demand from 20:30 (GMT +1) at

Azerbaijan’s 4-0 Magomed Gurbanov tops the Bantamweight (56 kg) rankings by a single point over America’s Francisco Martinez, but crucially leads third placed Michael Conlan by four points.

If Gurbanov wins his penultimate Regular Season match over Poland’s Sylwester Kozlowski he will take a giant step towards qualifying for Rio 2016.

The Light welterweight (64 kg) weight class is one of the most intense divisions in WSB this season, and Azerbaijan’s 4-1 Gaybatulla Gadzhialiyev is second in the rankings, level on points with top placed Italian Vincenzo Mangiacapre.

Gadzhialiyev’s other rivals including Raúl Curiel García and Yasnier Toledo are just a point behind, so the WSB veteran needs a convincing victory against 1-3 Damian Tadeusz Kiwior to give himself the best chances of staying in the top two heading into the final match of the group stages.

Poland’s Tomasz Jablonski lost his first bout of the campaign two weeks ago to Meiirim Nursultanov, but still stands at the top of the Middleweight (75 kg) rankings with his destiny firmly in his own hands.

Only two points separates the top four fights in the division however, so anything other than victory over Jaba Khositashvili would be a disaster for the talented 4-1 fighter.

A superb Heavyweight (91 kg) shootout will close the night in Poland, as Rain Karlson meets fourth placed Abdulkadir Abdullayev.

Only one Heavyweight will qualify for Rio 2016 through WSB, so a loss for either man in this fixture will definitely spell the end of their hopes.

The action begins in Gdansk with a Light flyweight (49 kg) contest between Poland’s 1-4 Dawid Sebastian Jagodzinski and 0-1 Rasul Saliyev.


Abia Warriors Football club of Umuahia is through to the semi finals of the Abia State Football Association Cup after a 2-0 victory over city rivals, Ibeku United.

Coach Ladan Bosso made six changes from the team which started against Dolphins midweek introducing the likes of Joseph Onuoha, Emeka Joseph, Dosso Alhassane and Osita Egbo and were made to work hard before overcoming their less advertised opponents.

Bolaji Sakin converted a first half penalty and the Premier League hopefuls held onto the lead until substitute, Torty Okorie netted the assurance goal in the dying minutes.


The Warriors will now face Enyimba Feeders of Aba who made it to the last four also with a hard fought 2-0 victory over Olokoro United of Umuahia.

The other semi final encounter will feature Enyimba International of Aba, the defending champions against the winners of the quarter final match between Abia Warriors Youth Team and Diamond FC of Umuahia.

In his reaction, Secretary of Abia Warriors, Mr. Oliver Ndife commended his boys for a good show and expressed confidence that the team will reclaim the trophy which they lost last year to Enyimba International after lifting it in 2013.