BERLIN, Germany - World heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko has been forced to withdraw from his mandatory defence against Canada's Bermane Stiverne after injuring his right hand in training. "The champion has stressed he won't be able to fight Stiverne on the date scheduled for his mandatory defence," said the world boxing council (WBC) in a statement with Klitschko having been due to fight Stiverne later this year.
JOHANNESBURG, Gauteng - Egypt whipped Uganda 3-0 on Wednesday in a World Cup warm-up 450km from a bloody security forces crackdown on supporters of ex-president Mohamed Morsi. The friendly between the 'Pharaohs' and the 'Cranes' went ahead in the Red Sea resort of El Gouna while politics-induced nationwide violence left at least 149 people dead.
LONDON - Rickie Lambert scored with his first touch as an England player to earn a 3-2 win over old enemies Scotland in a gripping friendly game at Wembley on Wednesday. An old-fashioned target man, the 31-year-old Southampton striker had not even played in England's second tier until 2011, but he settled an absorbing match with a 70th-minute header just four minutes after rising from the bench.
WELLINGTON - Experienced hooker Nathan Friend has achieved his wish of staying at the Warriors beyond this NRL season after signing a one-year extension. Friend, 32, will play his third year at the Auckland club in 2014. It will be his 14th season in the NRL following stints at Brisbane, Melbourne and the Gold Coast.
Aust beats NZ
AUCKLAND - Australia have drawn first blood in the Oceania men's basketball championship, coming from behind to beat New Zealand 70-59 in a high-octane clash in Auckland. With NBA guard Patty Mills contributing a game-high 20 points, as well as five rebounds and four steals, the Boomers turned around some poor first-half shooting that had them trailing 39-32 at the main break.
BELFAST, Northern Ireland - Martin Paterson's first-half goal gave Northern Ireland a surprise 1-0 win over Russia in their World Cup qualifier on Wednesday at Windsor Park. The victory gave manager Michael O'Neill some relief after he only managed to record five draws and four defeats in his first nine matches in charge, while Russia missed an opportunity to leapfrog Portugal at the top of Group F.
PAKISTAN cricketer Mohammad Asif has apologised for his involvement in a 2010 betting scandal after publicly accepting his guilt for the first time. Asif was jailed in 2011 and banned for seven years, two suspended, for bowling deliberate no-balls for money during a Test against England at Lord's.