ROUND-UP: Joshua “tired”; Jamshed guilty; Davis humbled; Gregg wins; and Blake’s IPL ambitions
International Round-up: Boxing champion details health issues; Cricketer Nasir Jamshed guilty of bribery conspiracy; Anthony Davis humbled to join Lakers ‘50 men’ Kobe Bryant and LeBron James; Kyle Gregg wins Richard Stewart Memorial Rally in Jamaica; and Yohan Blake plotting IPL entry after athletics retirement.
BOXING: Anthony Joshua was “tired” and “drained”
Unified world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua said a health issue left him “tired” and “drained” in the build-up to his June defeat by Andy Ruiz Jr.
Joshua, 30, reclaimed his world titles in Saudi Arabia on Saturday, dominating the Mexican over 12 rounds.
Conspiracy theories had circulated after his initial defeat, one of the biggest shocks in heavyweight history.
“I had some issue with my health which I was going through for a long time,” Joshua told the 5 Live Boxing podcast.
The Briton added: “I didn’t know what was wrong with me. I felt so tired and drained and thought it must be down to training.
“In the changing room before the fight I got a bucket of ice and was putting my head in it thinking ‘why do I feel so tired?’
“The responsibilities of being world champion are difficult. All that stuff, feeling so tired, dealing with obligations.
“Now I have energy, I haven’t missed a session.” (BBC Sport)
CRICKET: Nasir Jamshed pleads guilty to bribery conspiracy
A professional cricketer has pleaded guilty to conspiring to bribe other players to spot-fix in a Twenty20 match.
Nasir Jamshed, 30, from Walsall, in the West Midlands, was the target of bribery but then acted as a go-between, encouraging others in return for money.
Jamshed, who has represented Pakistan over 60 times, changed his plea during his trial at Manchester Crown Court. He and two other men will be sentenced in February.
Last week Yousef Anwar, 36, of Littlebrook Avenue, Slough, Berkshire, and Mohammed Ijaz, 34, of Chippingham Road, Sheffield, admitted conspiring to offer bribes to professional cricketers, ahead of their trial at the same court.
Prosecutor Andrew Thomas QC said that as part of a National Crime Agency investigation, an undercover police officer infiltrated the network by posing as a member of a corrupt betting syndicate.
That led to the uncovering of an attempted fix in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) in 2016 and an actual fix in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) in 2017, with opening batsmen agreeing to not score runs from the first two balls.
Jamshed was targeted for the BPL and then encouraged others to spot-fix in a fixture between Islamabad United and Peshawar Zalmi in Dubai in February 2017. (BBC Sport)
NBA: Humbling to join Kobe and LeBron, says Davis
Anthony Davis said it was “humbling” to join Kobe Bryant and LeBron James in producing a 50-point game for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Davis and the Lakers have been in outstanding form so far in the 2019-20 NBA season, and that continued on Sunday as the former New Orleans Pelicans star put up exactly 50 points in a 142-125 defeat of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The names of Bryant and James – the only other Lakers to achieve this feat in the past decade – were put to the 26-year-old in the locker room after.
Davis replied: “It means a lot. There are some greats who came through here, so to be in a class with guys like that – especially so early in my career, my first year here – is humbling.
“I’m definitely excited to be in that class.”
Davis had 27 points by halftime and revealed he was then encouraged to go for 50 by his team-mates.
“I’ve had nights where I started off like that and ended up with like 30, didn’t score in the second half,” he said. “But the shot was feeling good tonight. We were very well rested.” (Sportsmax)
RALLY: Kyle Gregg wins Richard Stewart Memorial Rally Jamaica
Kyle Gregg said he could not have asked for a better ending to the year following his dominating victory on the weekend in the Richard Stewart Memorial Rally Jamaica in Bog Walk St Catherine.
Gregg and co-pilot Marcia Dawes took the early lead on Saturday and dominated the 22-stage rally, which concluded on Sunday evening.
Gregg and Dawes completed the stages in 1:49:12.012, well clear of Thomas Hall and James Lechler, 1:50:15.966 and Timothy Stewart and Stephen Gunter 1:51:46.012.
Gregg, who is also Jamaica’s driving champion on the Dover circuit, expressed gratitude at the end of the gruelling two-day event.
“This year, Dover Thundersport champion and Jamaica Rally Champion. I couldn’t ask for anything better. The course was a lot tougher, new stages, new configurations, so it was a level playing field,” he told Sportsmax.TV on Sunday.
“This year the competition was great. It was a very competitive field. Basically, five of us could have won the rally.” (Sportsmax)
ATHLETICS: Yohan Blake has IPL ambitions
Yohan Blake, the second-fastest man in history, could be set to play T20 cricket for the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), once he hangs up his spikes.
Blake, a self-confessed fan of cricket, said in a recent interview that he would love to play in the IPL once his athletics career is over. However, him playing for the RCB franchise might come down to a different kind of speed.
Blake expressed his desire to play T20 cricket, and specifically, for the RCB franchise in a recent interview with media in India, where he has been promoting the Road Safety World Series.
“I have two more years left in track and field and then its cricket for me,” Blake said. “I would love to feature in franchise cricket; I would even love to own a franchise in India. And most importantly, play for either Kolkata Knight Riders or the Royal Challengers Bangalore.” (Sportsmax)