Category Archive: Boxing / UFC / MMA

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Sep 24

When is the German election 2017 and what time will we know the result?

When is the German election 2017 and what time will we know the result?Germany votes this month in the last in a series of elections in key Western countries. The polls are predicting an easy win for Angela Merkel, who is trying to secure a historic fourth term as chancellor. But after shock results saw the rise of political outsiders Donald Trump in the US and Emmanuel Macron in France, Britain’s vote to leave the EU and Theresa May left clinging to power in Britain less than a year later, nothing can be taken for granted. When is is the 2017 German election? German elections are always held on a Sunday, and this year the country votes on September 24. Exit polls are quick and highly accurate, and we should have a pretty clear idea of who has won shortly after voting ends. But the business of coalition building can take much longer, and it could be weeks or even months before a new government is formed. French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US President Donald Trump during the 2017 G20. Credit: AFP How does the German electoral system work? Germany has a parliamentary system, like the UK, and like our Prime Minister, the chancellor is the leader who can control a majority in parliament. The system is very similar to the British one: there is no US-style electoral college, and no second round as in France. The one key difference is Germany’s proportional representation system, which makes absolute majorities rare. This means the struggle to secure power doesn’t end on election night: that’s when the hard work of forming a coalition begins. As in the UK, the leader of the party which wins the most seats gets the first opportunity to build a government. The German Bundestag, the national parliament of the Federal Republic of Germany. Credit: Reuters Who are the key parties and leaders? At 63, Mrs Merkel is the “last woman standing” of a generation of Western leaders. When she first came to power, in 2005, Tony Blair was Prime Minister and George W Bush was US president. Mrs Merkel has led her centre-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party to three straight election victories, and is looking for a fourth. One confusing detail is that the CDU doesn’t field candidates in Bavaria, but instead campaigns jointly with its more conservative Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU). The two parties automatically go into coalition together, and any seats the CSU wins count towards Mrs Merkel’s tally. They are currently leading the polls on around 40 per cent. The main challenger is Martin Schulz, the 61-year-old former president of the European parliament. An EU ideologue and staunch Brexit opponent, Mr Schulz was hailed as the man who could take on Mrs Merkel when he became leader of the centre-left Social Democrat party (SPD) in March, but his challenge has faded since, and the party is polling around 23 per cent. Profile | Martin Schulz The rival CDU and SPD are currently in coalition together, but are fighting against each other in the election. Both say they do not want a repeat of the current “grand coalition”. The anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany party (AfD) was seen as the main threat to Mrs Merkel for much of last year. But support for the party has plummeted in the polls amid infighting and a series of high-profile gaffes.  Björn Höcke, a senior party figure, caused outrage earlier this year when he called for Germany to stop feeling guilty for the crimes of the Nazis. Following that. Frauke Petry, the party’s popular leader, was sidelined in an internal coup earlier this year, and replaced by two joint chancellor candidates: Alexander Gauland, a divisive figure from the far-Right of the party, and the less well known Alice Weidel. The party’s support has dropped to just nine per cent in the polls. Other parties to watch for include the liberal Free Democrat Party (FDP), who were in coalition with Mrs Merkel from 2009 to 2013 and are thought to remain her preferred partner. The party is making something of a comeback since losing all its seats in 2013, and is currently at around eight per cent in the polls. The Left Party, a potential coalition partner for Mr Schulz, are currently also polling around eight per cent, as are the Greens, who could go into coalition with either of the major parties. What is at stake in this election? It is no exaggeration to say this election could have a serious impact on the future of Europe. While the choices are not as dramatic as in the French election — none of the parties advocate a “Dexit” — Germany is the EU’s biggest economy and pre-eminent power. German influence has increased in recent years, to the extent that Berlin often seems the real centre of power, not Brussels. Since his election, Mr Macron has openly courted Mrs Merkel in a bid to re-energise the Franco-German axis that once dominated the EU, and secure her support for far-reaching reforms that could lead to much deeper integration. In the wake of turbulent rhetoric from Mr Trump, Mrs Merkel has declared Europe must take responsibility for its own future, which some have seen as a sign she is ready to press ahead with a European army. Angela Merkel in pictures Will Angela Merkel remain as Chancellor? The polls certainly indicate she will — but after the polls got Brexit and the US and British elections wrong, no one is taking victory for granted, least of all Mrs Merkel. That said, she has made a remarkable comeback since her support crumbled in the wake of her controversial “open-door” refugee policy two years ago. With her personal approval ratings back at levels usually only enjoyed by “African dictators”, in the words of Spiegel magazine, Mrs Merkel has proved that you write her off at your peril.  Still, the feeling persists that a new major terror attack, or a repeat of the Cologne New year sex attacks of two years ago could derail her campaign. Profile | Angela Merkel What will happen if she loses? If Mrs Merkel loses it will be the end of an era, but Germany would probably carry on much as before. The only man who has a realistic chance of beating her is Mr Schulz, according to the polls, and while they differ on certain issues, the two are actually remarkably similar. The head of one of the country’s main polling institutes described Mr Schulz as “Merkel with a beard” earlier this year. In that sense, the German election is very different from those in France, where the gulf between Mr Macron and the anti-EU Marine Le Pen was much wider, or the US, where Mr Trump pledged to overturn much of his predecessor’s legacy — even if he hasn’t actually done so yet. Mrs Merkel and Mr Schulz are much closer in both temperament and policy terms than Mrs May and Jeremy Corbyn. The extremes have failed to break through to the mainstream in Germany. The Left Party, which wants a hard-left agenda similar to Mr Corbyn’s, remains a minor party polling less than 10 per cent. The far-Right AfD has even less impact, because all the other parties have vowed not to go into coalition with it, meaning its only route to power would be a highly unlikely absolute majority — and it’s only on nine per cent. In some ways, it’s a sort of election that has become old-fashioned, with the two main parties fighting to occupy the centre ground. Mr Schulz wants to spend more on social security than Mrs Merkel. She wants to spend more on defence than he does. But they agree on an overall direction for the country. Why should Britain care about the result? The election could have a significant impact on Brexit, and on the sort of deal Britain can secure. Germany is the most powerful voice in the EU, and it has traditionally been one of the UK’s closest allies within the bloc. Mrs Merkel has made it clear she will not compromise on certain key issues such as freedom of movement. But she is seen in Westminster as a pragmatist who will look to secure the best deal for Germany and the EU, and who is not interested in “punishing” Britain. Mr Schulz, by contrast, is an EU ideologue who owes his political career to Brussels and spent most of it there. As president of the European parliament, he made his opposition to Brexit clear. Last year he threatened to impose the “hardest Brexit possible” if the parliament was not given a say in negotiations. While he has not indicated whether he will continue to follow this line now he has moved into German politics, a Schulz victory would be viewed with nervousness by some in Westminster. More generally, Germany is one of the UK’s most important trading partners, and Britain has a vested interest in a stable German economy. Germany is also a key Nato ally, taking part in international air operations against Islamic State, and a vital part of the alliance’s bulwark against Russian aggression in Europe.

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Sep 24

Trump Threatens North Korean Leader, Godfather Style

Trump Threatens North Korean Leader, Godfather StyleTrump’s jibes followed a U.N speech by North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho.

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Sep 24

Carl Frampton: Belfast boxer reveals Frank Warren as new promoter

Carl Frampton reveals that Frank Warren will be his new promoter and that he is set to return to action in Belfast before Christmas.

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Sep 24

Joseph Parker targets Anthony Joshua after Hughie Fury is beaten

WBO world heavyweight champion Joseph Parker is targeting a unification fight against Anthony Joshua after beating Hughie Fury.

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Sep 24

Campbell fails in world title bid against Linares

Britain’s Luke Campbell loses his WBA lightweight title fight to Jorge Linares on a split decision in Inglewood, California.

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Sep 24

Melania Trump dazzles in Dior suit for meeting with Prince Harry

Melania Trump dazzles in Dior suit for meeting with Prince HarryPrince Harry and Melania Trump finally met ahead of the opening ceremony for this year’s Invictus Games on Saturday.

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Sep 23

Parker beats Hughie Fury to retain WBO heavyweight title

Joseph Parker beats Britain’s Hughie Fury on points to retain the WBO world heavyweight title in Manchester.

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Sep 23

Hughie Fury denied WBO heavyweight title but Joseph Parker flattered by score

• New Zealand champion takes split decision, 118-110, 118-110, 114-114
• Tyson Fury remonstrates with officials over margin against his cousin

Hughie Fury had a chance to bring the WBO version of the world heavyweight title back into the family fold here on Saturday night but the young Mancunian let the champion, Joseph Parker, rumble to a victory that owed more to persistence than the dominance reflected in two of the scores.

The 114-114 returned by one judge was way closer to reality than the two scores of 118-110 that ensured the title would return to New Zealand – even though the unbeaten champion will remain in the UK to campaign for a shot at Anthony Joshua’s titles. From this vantage point, Parker won the first round and the last six, sharing one, and just giving up the other four.

Related: Joseph Parker beats Hughie Fury to retain WBO world heavyweight title – as it happened

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Sep 23

U.S.-backed forces capture big gas field in Syria's Deir al-Zor: senior commander

By Suleiman Al-Khalidi AMMAN (Reuters) – U.S.-backed forces said on Saturday they had seized a major natural gas field in Syria’s Deir al-Zor province from Islamic State militants in rapid advances since the start of an operation earlier this month to…

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Sep 23

5 key players to watch during the Ravens-Jaguars game in London

Not a Jaguars or Ravens fan, but still tuning into the London Game this weekend?

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Sep 23

The Latest: Iraq recaps opposition to planned Kurdish vote

The Latest: Iraq recaps opposition to planned Kurdish voteUNITED NATIONS (AP) — The Latest on the United Nations General Assembly (all times local):

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Sep 23

Joseph Parker beats Hughie Fury to retain WBO world heavyweight title – as it happened

New Zealand’s Joseph Parker won a majority decision after a scrappy contest to retain his WBO world heavyweight belt at the Manchester Arena

12.11am BST

Related: Hughie Fury denied WBO heavyweight title but Joseph Parker flattered by score

11.58pm BST

Hughie Fury was going to be interviewed in the ring, but technical difficulties called a halt. Now, he’s changed his mind. It’s an underwhelming end to a fight that wasn’t a classic. Credit to Hughie Fury for taking a champion the distance, and fair play to Joseph Parker for getting the job done. We’ll have a report up shortly. Thanks for joining me. Bye!

11.54pm BST

Parker stopped short of calling out Anthony Joshua in that interview – hard to see who else he would target as a champion in the UK. On tonight’s evidence, Parker has very little in his locker that would bother AJ.

11.51pm BST

Joseph Parker speaks: “Fury moved well, he was awkward. I caught him with the harder punches, and feel I won the fight fairly. It’s a great result, but I want to go back to New Zealand and have a bit of a break now. I feel that this opens up big fights here, we can come back and set up another big fight.”

11.44pm BST

Joseph Parker wins on points! Two judges score it 118-110, the other 114-114. Curious scorecards – two giving 10 rounds to Parker, one calling it a draw – but that’s the right outcome.

11.41pm BST

Fury’s entourage, including a suited Tyson, storm the ring in celebration. That may be premature – my rudimentary scorecard has Parker 115-113 up, winning seven rounds to five. After a scrappy, slow-burning fight, who can say for sure?

11.39pm BST

Round 12: After Fury gets in first with a jab, Parker lands the cleanest shot of the fight with a fierce right hook. Another big right-hand from Parker, then an uppercut from Fury as his opponent looks to land a few more clean blows. Fury clings on until the final bell, and now we await the judges’ verdicts…

11.36pm BST

Round 11: The judges will have their work cut out to score some of these scrappy exchanges, particularly here, as a tired-looking Fury slows down, lingering on the ropes too long. Parker lands a couple of blows to the body late in the round. The champion is in the ascendancy…

11.32pm BST

Round 10: Three rounds left, and it’s been a close contest – but Parker seems to be the man with the momentum. Impressive, given that he looked puffed after about 30 seconds. Fury repels more hefty punches from Parker, and gets the crowd involved with a couple of nice combinations. Fury’s footwork has helped him to steady the ship. Can he do enough in the last two rounds to tip the balance his way?

11.26pm BST

Round nine: Fury’s corner are urging him to do a little more, and land a few more shots in these closing rounds. Parker unleashes a nifty combination and has Fury on the ropes, but the challenger regroups quickly. Two rights in quick succession from Parker, and the second lands. Fury absorbs it but he’s lost this round, and may be slipping behind overall.

11.22pm BST

Round eight: Fury lands another with his right, then keeps Parker chasing him around the ring. Parker is rocked as he tries to move forward, but regroups, lands a jab to the chest and launches another flurry. It’s ugly stuff, but it’s helping the champion keep his nose in front in these closer rounds.

11.19pm BST

Round seven: Fury reaches halfway level, at worst, on the scorecard, and with the cut clearing up – but he may need to offer a bit more than defence to get the job done. It’s a scrappy round that follows the pattern so far, Fury keeping his distance, Parker lunging in without much success.

11.15pm BST

Round six: “Don’t worry about the cut, it’s nothing,” says Peter Fury, convincing nobody. His son looks less nimble on his feet, but has his jab working again early in the round. Fury lands that uppercut again, and Parker responds with his right. The champion launches a right hook as he goes on the attack. Fury looks a little ragged, his pteruge riding up to his ribs, and Parker probably shaded that round too.

11.11pm BST

Round five: McDonnell informs the judges that the cut was caused by an accidental clash of heads, as both fighters grappled on the ropes. Fury is still bleeding as Parker goes on the offensive – and McDonnell warns both fighters as things get a little ugly in the middle of the round. Parker leans in and delivers a scruffy right-hander that lands. The champion takes that round, arguably his first of the contest.

11.06pm BST

Round four: Parker can’t get his feet moving, and Fury catches him again with an uppercut. He looks easily the more comfortable man in these opening rounds, but Parker does land a left hook late in the round – and Fury has a cut over his right eye…

11.03pm BST

Round three: Parker is getting closer, but Fury disrupts his rhythm with a sneaky right-hander, and the champion is back to swinging and missing. Fury’s jab is keeping his opponent at bay, and he’s right in this fight early on.

10.59pm BST

Round two: Parker’s corner urge their man to lead with the jab and think ahead, but he still looks sluggish and Fury lands a jab of his own to the body. The challenger is staying on the defensive, and not taking any risks.

10.55pm BST

Round 1/12: Fury has a height advantage and is moving well, meaning plenty of Parker’s flurries don’t land. He’s also innovating with his shorts – a black-and-gold tribute to a gladiatorial skirt is the best way I can describe it. Oh, and gold gloves.

10.53pm BST

Parker, in black shorts with red trim, is on the offensive early against Fury.

10.48pm BST

Marcus McDonnell from Twickenham might sound like a promising young welterweight, but he’s actually tonight’s referee. Parker’s ring walk also exposed a swathe of empty seats, previously kept out of shot.

10.46pm BST

A lot more fun from Parker, who sports a headband, flanked by what I can only describe as two well-built, middle-aged shirtless men. His entrance music starts with a haka, then slides into hip-hop. 8/10.

10.45pm BST

Fury is out first, in a black and gold outfit with a gladiatorial air to it. His backing music is a mournful classical number. Now it’s time for the champ…

Here’s Hughie. #ParkerFury

10.40pm BST

When Wilson switches it up from the Samoan anthem to ‘God Defend New Zealand’, a fair few in the crowd join in. So safe to say we have some Kiwis in attendance tonight.

All in all, the anthems last about 15 minutes, and they manage to miss out the Irish one that was announced at the start. Let’s press on…

10.36pm BST

A welcome spot of farce here as singer Benson Wilson arrives in the ring to perform the Samoan and New Zealand national anthems – but the tape’s not ready, so it’s ‘God Save the Queen’ first while he stands and waits. All a bit awkward. Here’s a song about boxing:

10.31pm BST

@niallmcveigh what’s the crowd looking like? Next to no promotion in nw that I saw.

There had been reports of slow ticket sales, but it looks pretty full on the night.

10.28pm BST

It’s Murray who gets the points decision, 96-93 – despite Fagan knocking him down in the second – and that means that next up, it’s the main event!

10.26pm BST

Hughie Fury has been speaking ahead of the fight:

“I’m very relaxed, I’m confident, everything’s gone to plan. It’s done me the world of good to be off, there’ll be no ring rust from me. I’m not really bothered about what Parker brings, I know I’ve got an answer.”

10.20pm BST

The final undercard fight is nearing a conclusion, with Joe Murray taking on Matty Fagan in a 10-round super-lightweight fight. Murray is the more experienced man but was on the back foot early on – he may have just done enough.

10.17pm BST

Hughie Fury is the more famous name on these shores, but what of the defending champion? Joseph Parker has honed his craft on the other side of the world, fighting outside New Zealand for the first time since 2014 – save for a quick jaunt to Samoa. Parker has made one successful defence of his belt, but has come to the UK in an effort to boost his profile:

“I feel like the UK is where the heavyweight scene is at, at the moment. We want to be a part of it. We feel it’s important to come here and make a statement.”

9.55pm BST

“You could add a (c) to the fact it’s being shown on YouTube, which is the Fury family having form for postponing and cancelling bouts,” says Peter Davis. “Definitely put off some of the mainstream broadcasters from showing it. It’s a real shame.”

It certainly has happened – in Hughie’s case, he has had some mitigating health concerns, including a blood disorder that’s kept him out of the ring for 18 months.

9.37pm BST

So far tonight, we’ve seen Ireland’s Peter McDonagh defeat Shayne Singleton on points. McDonagh has enjoyed a late renaissance in his career – now 39, he’s unbeaten in 11 fights after what had looked to be a journeyman career. Jimmy Kelly floored Stiliyan Kostov in the fourth to win the WBO inter-continental super-welterweight title and, while I’ve been typing this, Yorkshire’s Josh Wale has beaten Don Broadhurst to defend his British bantamweight title. Broadhurst was knocked down in the 10th and failed to beat the count.

6.36pm BST

The WBO world heavyweight belt is on the line but in truth, tonight is about earning a shot at Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder, the division’s supreme fighters. It’s also being shown exclusively on YouTube, a sign of (a) the changing face of sport broadcasting and (b) this bout’s lack of pay-per-view punch.

Joseph Parker is the defending champion, edging out Andy Ruiz Jr to claim one of the belts that Tyson Fury vacated. Tyson’s cousin, Hughie, is the hometown challenger hoping to bring the title back into the family. Parker is ranked 5th among the world’s heavyweights by Ring magazine while Fury the younger does not feature in the top 10.

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Sep 23

Trump pressures U.S. senators to back Republican healthcare bill

U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday blasted Senator John McCain for dealing a possibly fatal blow to the latest Republican attempt to dismantle Obamacare.

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Sep 23

Iran tests new medium-range missile, defying US warnings

Iran said on Saturday that it had successfully tested a new medium-range missile in defiance of warnings from Washington that such activities were grounds for abandoning their landmark nuclear deal. State television carried footage of the launch of th…

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Sep 23

Turkey OKs military intervention, warns Iraqi Kurds on vote

Turkey OKs military intervention, warns Iraqi Kurds on voteISTANBUL (AP) — The Turkish parliament on Saturday renewed a bill allowing the military to intervene in Iraq and Syria if faced with national security threats — a move seen as a final warning to Iraqi Kurds to call off their Monday independence referendum.

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Sep 23

U.S. Flies Bombers Off North Korea Coast in Show of Force

U.S. Flies Bombers Off North Korea Coast in Show of Force“We are prepared to use the full range of military capabilities”

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