DeGale stays on track with 11th-round win

first_imgJames DeGale stayed on course for a world title fight with an 11th-round stoppage of Gevorg Khatchikian at Bristol’s City Academy.Making the third defence of his WBC Silver super-middleweight title, DeGale dominated most of the fight, although he endured some difficult moments in the seventh round.He eventually managed to finish off his previously unbeaten opponent, flooring him twice – both times with body shots – in the penultimate round, prompting the referee to stop the contest two seconds before the bell.The fight was intended to be a warm-up for a final eliminator for a shot at the world title held by WBC champion Sako Bika.That planned eliminator against Badou Jack was scheduled for later this year but DeGale’s already troubled path to the world title he craves appeared to become foggier when Jack suffered a shock defeat 24 hours earlier.Jack was beaten in the first round by unheralded American veteran Derek Edwards – his first defeat – leaving DeGale’s immediate future unclear.The Harlesden man at least kept his side of the bargain, although underdog Gevorg Khatchikian was no pushover in what was a huge step up in class for the Netherlands-based Armenian.DeGale was sloppy in a second round in which he was carelessly caught with shots and cut near his left eye.Having switched off, he emphatically switched back on in the following round, landing with a number of body shots and a stiff left-right combination to the head.More shots to the body seemed to hurt Khatchikian in the fourth, and in round five two solid uppercuts and another big left from DeGale also had an effect.There were anxious moments in the seventh, however, when DeGale was backed up against the ropes and appeared to be stunned after being tagged with a right uppercut and a couple of follow-up shots.To his credit, DeGale responded strongly and in the following round it was his opponent who looked groggy as the Olympic gold medallist landed to body and head.Khatchikian was also on rubbery legs – again largely the result of thudding body shots – in the ninth, and two rounds later he could take no more.Having been stung by a shot to the jaw, he went down after another accurate body shot and having bravely battled on, he soon found himself on the canvas again.He climbed to his feet to beat the count for a second time, but the referee had seen enough, leaving DeGale safely past what could yet turn out to be the last obstacle on the way to a world title challenge.With Jack now out of the picture, DeGale’s promoter Mick Hennessy, backed by the British Boxing Board of Control, is lobbying the WBC for DeGale to be installed as the mandatory challenger to Bika without the need for an eliminator.See also:Confident DeGale eyes world title shotDeGale eyes world title after joining HearnFollow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Continue reading

2010: ‘we’ve pulled it off before’

first_imgSpeaking at a luncheon hosted by the IMC, Johnston answered the doubters by saying that South Africans had established an unbeatable track record for “fixing what others have written off as terminally broken, and for finding solutions where others have despaired.”Not many outside observers believed South Africans would come together the way they did in 1994, Johnston noted – some had even predicted a bloodbath; but South Africans in their millions turned out to vote in the country’s first democratic elections, and apartheid passed away peacefully.Besides this, and its formidable assets, Johnston said, South Africa had the ability to spend over US$2-billion (R14-billion) on stadiums and other infrastructure for the World Cup, as well as policing and other needs.Speaking at the same luncheon, Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said South Africa would be using the staging of soccer’s showpiece tournament to accelerate some of its major infrastructure projects, especially those involving transport.Regardless of how SA’s football team performed in 2010, Mlambo-Ngcuka said, the country would be the winner in “infrastructural development”.The Deputy President told the world’s press leaders that the government was aware of its shortcomings in fighting poverty, HIV/Aids and crime, but was doing everything in its power to address this.At the same time, the government was also aware of the negative perceptions that persisted in the international media despite the advances South Africa had made in reconstruction and development in the first 13 years of its democracy.“There is a need to project our successes better,” Mlambo-Ngcuka said, adding that this was the rationale behind the formation of the International Marketing Council of SA.SouthAfrica.info reporterlast_img read more

Continue reading

SA to spend billions on infrastructure

first_imgThe funds South Africa is borrowing are not being used to fund failed banks, as is taking place in the United States and Europe, but to construct roads and power stations, classrooms and wards, modernise technology and transform public service delivery, Manuel noted. The Bus Rapid Transit system will receive R12-billion over the next three years. Government spending of R787-billion on public infrastructure over the next three years will push South Africa’s budget deficit to 3.8 percent in 2009, Finance Minister Trevor Manuel announced on Wednesday. Of the budgeted R787-billion for the next three years, R390-billion will be spent by state-owned enterprises, Manuel said. Unpopular choices pay off The government’s prudent spending policy in the past meant it could now spend on things such as transport, health and education where other governments were not able to. In 1996, South Africa’s public debt was 48 percent of GDP and rising, and the National Treasury came up with a macroeconomic strategy which confronted the problem boldly and decisively. The state airline has been fraught with financial difficulties in the past, with the government having to come to its aid on numerous occasions. Delivering his 2009/10 Budget speech in Parliament in Cape Town, Manuel said that decreased demand for South African commodities and lower outputs, coupled with decreased domestic growth, meant the government had to borrow more funds in order to finance planned public infrastructure projects. “Reducing the budget deficit was neither easy nor popular . but it was the right thing to do, and the outcome is that year by year the burden of debt service costs has declined and resources have been released to spend on education, health care, housing and infrastructure. Road, railways, classrooms, clinics … The 2009 Budget makes a further R6.4-billion available for public transport, roads and rail networks; R4.1-billion for school buildings, clinics and other provincial infrastructure projects; and R5.3-billion for municipal infrastructure and bulk water systems. “This also means that today we are able to respond to the economic downturn boldly and decisively.”center_img Housing and the eradication of informal settlements remain at the forefront of the government’s infrastructure investment plans, he said, adding these issues significantly affected both employment and poverty reduction. The R25-billion Gautrain project, which recently enjoyed a successful maiden test run with journalists aboard, is nearing completion, with the link between Sandton and the OR Tambo International Airport to be completed by early 2010. “Together with investment in roads and public transport, these constitute one of the largest areas of expansion of public sector spending, and are rightly prioritised as part of our response to the current deterioration in employment and economic activity.” “We are also budgeting R1.6-billion for South African Airways to support its turnaround strategy, which includes reducing costs and improving efficiency,” Manuel said, adding: “I am sure that the House will agree with my hopes that this will not be a recurring allocation.” “Although the budget deficit will rise to 3.8 percent of gross domestic product [GDP] next year, debt service costs will remain moderate over the next three years, at about 2.5 percent of GDP,” Manuel said. “In the past three years, the municipal infrastructure grant programme has spent about R32-billion. Over the next three years, infrastructure grants to municipalities total R67-billion, and a further R45-billion will be spent on the Breaking New Ground housing programme. The government will also allocate R25-billion over the next three years to the Rail Commuter Corporation to invest in new trains and introduce new train routes. The budget for rail safety inspectors to reduce accidents and delays is also being increased. “This is possible because we had the courage to make the right choices over the past decade.” State-owned enterprises 11 February 2009 Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Continue reading