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Tuesday 22 August 2017

Macklin sets eyes on bout with Lee

BOXING: Matthew Macklin reckons he is set for a bout with fellow Irishman Andy Lee next year.

Macklin, faces Jorge Sebastian Heiland in a WBC world middleweight title eliminator in Dublin next month (November 15), for the chance to meet Puerto Rico's WBC middleweight champion Miguel Cotto.

However, he feels it is only a case of when not if he gets to go head-to-head against Lee.

"The time's getting a lot closer for the fight needing to happen. He's fighting (Matt) Korborov for the world title in December and I'm bringing big-time boxing back to Ireland here at the 3Arena.

"So if Lee wins, yes we'll fight, and if he doesn't win then it is still a big fight, so I think the time's getting close."

Macklin's immediate focus though is the challenge of Argentine southpaw Heiland, which Macklin concedes is a win-or-bust bout.

"This is it now. If I was to lose to someone like Heiland at this stage of my career that would be it for me.

"But I'm not even contemplating retirement because I'm fully sure, fully confident of winning and moving on to another crack at a world title. There's still a few chapters left in this story," added Macklin.

Williams battles past Ivanovic

tennis: Serena Williams shook off the rust and a feisty challenge from Serbia's Ana Ivanovic to open the defence of her WTA Finals title with a 6-4 6-4 victory in the opening match of the elite eight-player tournament yesterday.

In the second match, Romania's Simona Halep joined Williams at the top of the Red Group standings after the world number four brushed aside Canada's Eugenie Bouchard 6-2 6-3 on the purple hardcourt at Singapore's Indoor Stadium.

"I am really excited with how I played tonight. I have been working hard all my life for nights like this and I love it," said Williams. "I was fighting as hard as I could and I think I am losing my voice from all of those 'come ons' I was shouting."

Steroids in Kenya's supplements

RUGBY UNION: Steroids have been found in supplements given to players on Kenya's fast-improving rugby sevens team, according to a report that calls for disciplinary proceedings against head coach Paul Treu and five members of his staff.

The report by a task force set up by the government to investigate allegations of doping in Kenyan sport says there are "strong suggestions" that Treu of South Africa and his assistants have violated anti-doping rules after introducing the supplements to players.

There was "a concoction they (the coaches) gave players to drink at the beginning and end of training," said Moni Wekesa, the chairman of the task force that investigated.

The report says the Kenyan players would stop taking the supplement a few days before competing.

Wekesa said that tests performed on the supplements in January were positive for steroids, and the Kenya Rugby Union was immediately informed. The KRU then handed over all the supplements and stopped giving them to players, Wekesa said.

Moffett to make his WRC debut

motor sport: Josh Moffett will make his WRC debut next month when he takes his Group N Mitsubishi Lancer across the Irish Sea to tackle the final round of the championship at the Wales Rally GB.

The 22-year-old Monaghan driver is hoping to try and build on his gravel experience on the challenging Welsh stages.

"I really enjoy driving on gravel," said Moffett. "I suppose the only downside is that forestry rallies in Ireland tend to be quite short which is no fault of their own, that's just how it is. I'd love to challenge myself by doing a full three-day gravel rally and gauge my pace against new Group N competitors. Competing against professional drivers on the Circuit of Ireland this year has given me the confidence to try and push myself and I'm really looking forward to Wales."

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