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Friday 24 November 2017

Ali celebrates 70th birthday

BOXING: Muhammad Ali may be slowed by the ravages of his human frailty, but his star quality remains undimmed in the USA.

'The Greatest' will enjoy his 70th birthday today with admirers and well-wishers set to turn out in their thousands in his Kentucky hometown.

Former US President Bill Clinton sums up what Ali symbolises to Americans.

"He made boxing exciting for people," he said. "He made it part theatre, part dance, and all power. He was unique."

George Foreman, whose epic duel with Ali helped define both men's careers, said he believes there should be a special day to celebrate his old foe's greatness.

"There should be Muhammad Ali Day in America, because he will go down as one of the great American heroes," he said.



Pakistan rip into England batters

CRICKET: England made a woeful start to life as the world's number one Test team as Pakistan ripped into their top order in the first Test in Dubai.

Andrew Strauss' side lost Alastair Cook (3) and Jonathan Trott (17) on the way to 31-2 after the first hour.

Captain Strauss (19) was next to fall, to Saeed Ajmal, and the Pakistani bowler soon added Ian Bell (0) and Kevin Pietersen to his scalps as England limped to 53-5 after 29 overs, with Dubliner Eoin Morgan and Matt Prior attempting to steady the score.

Morgan fell for 24 but Prior, with solid support from the tail, made 70 not out to help the tourists to 198 all out. Off-spinner Saeed finished with career-best figures of 7-55.

In reply, Pakistan reached 42-0 with few alarms, leaving England facing an uphill battle to save the Test.



Haye staying in shape for fight

Boxing: David Haye has confirmed he is staying in shape in case a fight with one of the Klitschko brothers is agreed.

Haye, who lost to Wladimir Klitschko in a heavyweight unification bout last summer, officially retired in October but has been involved in informal, on-off negotiations over a fight with his brother, WBC champion Vitali, ever since. "I'm going to stay in shape if that call comes," said Haye.



Behan gets grant

OLYMPICS: The Olympic Council of Ireland announced the allocation of €20,000 grant aid to Irish Olympic gymnast Kieran Behan to help him in his preparations for the London Olympic Games.



Greipel wins stage

CYCLING: Andre Greipel overcame fierce crosswinds and soaring temperatures of 39°C to win the 149km first stage on the Tour Down Under today.

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