Rungvisai-Chocolatito rematch is set for Sept. 9 in Carson
CARSON (AP) — Srisaket Sor Rungvisai has agreed to defend his WBC super flyweight title in a rematch with Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez at StubHub Center's famed outdoor ring Sept. 9.
Promoter Tom Loeffler confirmed the matchup and venue for the main event of the HBO show Thursday. The rematch will be the main event in a tripleheader of fights between the world's top 115-pounders.
Rungvisai (43-4-1, 39 KOs) won the 115-pound title in March with a stunning victory over the previously unbeaten Gonzalez, who was dropped by the Thai challenger in the first round. Rungvisai hung on for a majority decision to claim the title in a punishing 12-round bout, beating his Nicaraguan opponent 114-112 on two judges' cards at Madison Square Garden.
Gonzalez (46-1-0, 38 KOs) was widely considered the world's top pound-for-pound fighter before the loss, which is already considered one of the top fights of the year. The WBC ordered an immediate rematch.
The card at the outdoor ring south of downtown Los Angeles also features the U.S. debut of WBO 115-pound champion Naoya Inoue (13-0, 11 KOs) of Japan. He will take on Antonio Nieves of Cleveland. Inoue already has defended his title five times since taking it from Omar Narvaez in December 2014.
The HBO telecast will open with Carlos Cuadras taking on fellow Mexican 115-pounder Juan Francisco "El Gallo" Estrada. Cuadras (36-1-1, 27 KOs) lost his WBC super flyweight belt to Gonzalez in September 2016, but the Mexico City native gained his first international fame from his gritty performance.
Shevchenko's world travels lead to title shot at UFC 213
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Valentina Shevchenko has no idea how many countries she has visited or how many millions of miles she has covered in her lifelong pursuit of insight, enlightenment and new martial arts skills.
Fighting is her profession, but the quest for knowledge is another great passion for a Kyrgyzstan native from a fighting family. She now calls Peru home, but trains for her fights largely in Thailand and the U.S.
Shevchenko might spend her life roaming the globe, but her travels culminate Saturday in Las Vegas when she fights bantamweight champ Amanda Nunes in the main event of UFC 213.
"My opinion, for a sportsman, it's very important to travel," Shevchenko said. "To travel for training in different gyms with different people, each country, each gym, it's like its own school. And to have the opportunity to fight and to train with many different opponents, it gives more experience. ... I have visited so many beautiful countries (and met) so many good spirits around the world. I would like to travel all the time."
Nunes and Shevchenko meet in the main event of International Fight Week, the UFC's annual weeklong celebration of its sport in its hometown. The fights start Friday night with a full card at T-Mobile Arena, highlighted by Justin Gaethje's much-anticipated UFC debut against veteran Michael Johnson and the final fight of the UFC's long-running competition reality show, "The Ultimate Fighter."
Hacking shows Mo Farah flagged for suspicious blood data
MOSCOW (AP) — Data posted by Russian-linked hackers show four-time Olympic gold medalist runner Mo Farah's blood readings were once flagged by track's governing body.
The blood findings were part of his biological passport. Such passports, unlike traditional drug tests, track athletes' blood data for signs of doping over a long period. A later sample was tagged "normal" by the IAAF.
A single suspicious passport sample on its own isn't considered grounds for a ban and doesn't mean any trace of a banned substance was found.
The data posted by the Fancy Bears group include alleged IAAF correspondence from April 2016 that lists Farah among athletes whose blood data was considered suspicious.
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency is investigating Farah's coach, Alberto Salazar, who has been accused of skirting anti-doping rules while training some of his athletes.