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Several professional boxers have lost bouts to young amateurs in the recent Olympic qualifying tournament in Venezuela and have also been stripped of their pro rankings at the same time. In the lightweight qualifying final, former IBF Flyweight Champion Amnat Ruenroeng of Thailand was stopped by Mexico’s 21-year-old Lindolfo Delgado Garza. Ruenroeng has a pro record of 17-1 with 5 Kos and is currently ranked number eight by the WBO at flyweight and number nine by the WBC. The Thai boxer, who was world champion just six weeks ago, was knocked out in the second round by Garza. However, luck was on Ruenroeng’s side as earlier wins in the qualifying tournament meant he had already earned a berth to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Scotland’s Andy Murray and Serena Williams of the U.S. won the Wimbledon men’s and women’s singles titles respectively at the All England Tennis Club in London. Murray, who is ranked number two in the world, beat Milos Raonic of Canada by scores of 6-4, 7-6, 7-6 on July 10th while the top-ranked Williams beat fourth-ranked Angelique Kerber 7-5, 6-3 a day earlier. The 29-year-old Murray has now won two Wimbledon singles events as he also took it in 2013 and has three Grand Slam titles in all in 11 finals. The 25-year-old Raonic, who was born in Montenegro and moved to Canada at the age of three, was playing in his first Grand Slam final. He’s also the first Canadian male to play in a Grand Slam final.
Barcelona and former Argentina captain Lionel Messi was sentenced to 21 months in prison this week for tax fraud and there are now fears that he may leave the Spanish La Liga. The 29-year-old, who retired from international football recently after Argentina’s Copa America Cup Final loss to Chile in a penalty shootout, reportedly defrauded the Spanish authorities of approximate 4.1 million euros. The soccer player’s agent and father Jorge Messi was also handed a jail sentence for committing tax fraud between the years 2007 and 2009. The pair will also be fined millions of euros, but unlike the common man, their 21 month sentences mean they won’t end up serving any time in jail since terms of less than two years in Spain can be served on probation.
Portugal has been crowned soccer champions of Europe after their 1-0 win over host nation France in Saint Denis on July 10th. Portuguese fans feared the worst for their side after team captain and star Cristiano Ronaldo was taken off the Stade de France pitch on a stretcher in the first half. However, goaltender Rui Patricio made a string of great saves before getting some help from the goalpost in the 90th minute to keep the score at 0-0 after 90 minutes. Substitute Eder then stunned the home supporters with the winning goal on a low 20-yard drive into the bottom corner in the 109th minute.
The NHL’s free agency period didn’t kickoff until July 1st, but there was a whirlwind of activity in the few days before it began. The biggest unrestricted free agent this summer was expected to be 26-year-old centre Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning as several teams were interested in his services and were willing to pay upwards of $10 million per season. However, Stamkos did the sensible thing and re-signed with Tampa for eight years at a total of $68 million on June 29th.
There were also two huge trades that day as the Montreal Canadiens sent defenceman PK Subban to the Nashville Predators for defenceman Shea Weber. This deal had many Canadiens fans up in arms since Weber is four years older than Subban and is under contract until he’s 40 years old. Subban’s deal expires when he’s just 33. Weber’s annual earnings use up $7,857,142 of the salary cap though while Subban’s is $9 million per season. Subban is the highest-paid defenceman per season and is entering the third year of an eight-year $72 million deal. Weber is entering the fifth year of a 14-year deal worth $110 million.
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