Golovkin survives scare to regain IBF title
NEW YORK (AFP) — Gennady Golovkin reclaimed his IBF title on Saturday, defeating Sergiy Derevyanchenko by a unanimous decision in a bruising middleweight fight at Madison Square Garden. Golovkin knocked Derevyanchenko down in the first round and cut him over the eye in the second but had to dig deep to beat the stubborn Ukrainian, who made his opponent look all of his 37 years.
“It’s a bad day for me but a huge experience,” said Golovkin. “After the first round I didn’t think this was an easy fight. I told myself this is a tough fight.”
With the vacant middleweight title on the line, Derevyanchenko fought a brave fight, landing solid body shots and getting Golovkin in trouble several times.
He recovered quickly from the knockdown but it didn’t help him in the scoring department in what was a surprisingly close fight.
One judge scored it 114-113 and the other two had it 115-112 for Golovkin.
The 37-year-old Golovkin improved to 40-1-1 as he regained the belt he first won in 2015.
Golovkin defended the title with wins against Dominic Wade, Kell Brook and Daniel Jacobs and a draw against Mexico’s Canelo Alvarez.
Golovkin was stripped of the IBF title last year when he failed to make a mandatory defence against Derevyanchenko, opting instead for a rematch with Alvarez — who handed Golovkin the first defeat of his career.
The 33-year-old Derevyanchenko, who falls to 13-2 with 10 KOs, was hoping to score a huge upset and dim the prospects for a third Golovkin-Alvarez bout in 2020.
The shadow of another Alvarez fight has loomed large over this bout.
Alvarez is making a November 2 return to the ring against light heavyweight titleholder Sergey Kovalev in a fight that will see Alvarez move up two weight divisions.
Golovkin, who contends that Alvarez “ran away” from a rematch, was clearly wearied by repeated questions about Alvarez in the build up to Saturday’s bout.
DOHA (AFP) — Sifan Hassan surged to her second gold medal of the World Championships with victory in the 1,500 meters on Saturday, shrugging off the doping controversy that has embroiled her banned coach Alberto Salazar.
The 26-year-old Ethiopian-born Dutch runner romped home in a world leading championship record time of 3min 51.95sec to take gold, with 2017 champion Faith Kipyegon of Kenya claiming silver and Ethiopia’s Gudaf Tsegay bronze.
Her winning time was the sixth fastest in history, just under two seconds adrift of Genzebe DiBaba’s world mark of 3:50.07 set in 2015.
It was Hassan’s second gold medal of the championships following her win in the 10,000m, making her the first woman to successfully double in the two events.
It capped a tumultuous week for Hassan, who was left stunned after Salazar’s four-year doping ban was announced on Tuesday.
Salazar was barred from the championships following the ban and his athletes from the Nike Oregon Project training group were ordered to immediately cease all communication with him.
“It’s a very hard week for me,” Hassan told the BBC.
“I was so just angry and I could not talk to anyone. I just ran all out.
That hard work can’t be beaten by anything.
“It’s what makes me angry, I have been clean all my life. I work hard, I’m not an emotional person but it makes me so mad.”
Qatar faces rocky road to 2022 World Cup
DOHA (AFP) — Despite triumphs on the track, Qatar has come under fire for its hosting of the World Athletics Championships with questions raised over Doha’s ability to deliver the football World Cup successfully in three years’ time.
Perhaps the most stinging offtrack criticism of the 10-day event which concludes Sunday was sparked by the spectacle of a near-empty stadium during the opening days, raising fears for attendances in 2022.
“It’s a classic mega-event failing, believing that ‘if you build it, fans will come’“said Simon Chadwick, professor of sports enterprise at Britain’s Salford University.
Crowds at the 1976 Montreal Olympics and the 2004 Games in Athens also failed to meet organizers’ expectations despite ambitious stadium construction, he noted.
International Association of Athletics Federations chief Sebastian Coe has come under fire for the dismal crowds that turned out in Doha to watch blue-riband events including the men’s and women’s 100 meters.
“The crowd is an easier subject to talk about rather than some of the more insightful stuff around the events,” said Coe, who attacked what he viewed as negative media coverage.
Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands celebrates after winning the women’s 1,500m final at the IAAF World Athletics Championships 2019 at the Khalifa Stadium in Doha on Saturday.