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Sunday, August 17, 2014

WBC title shot

CARSON, California - The way Anthony "The Dog" Dirrell describes it, Australian champion Sakio Bika is an irritating, but predictable, obstacle in the way of the WBC super middleweight title and the big paydays that will follow. "He's taking food out of my family's mouth - period," Dirrell, who grew up in the depressed, crime-ridden industrial city of Flint, Michigan, and overcame non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2007, told AAP.

"You do that to me, I make it personal."

Toulon wins

PARIS - Defending champions Toulon began life after Jonny Wilkinson with a battling 29-15 victory at Bayonne on Friday on the opening day of the new Top 14 season.

Having retired from the sport after helping the French giants to a domestic and European double last season, Toulon still looked impressive with vast resources of superstars to call on.Matt Giteau, playing in the fly-half position vacated by Wilkinson, kicked all of the champions' points with Argentina winger Martin Bustos Moyano enjoying a 100 per cent success rate with the boot for Bayonne.

Coach confident

MANCHESTER, England - Wayne Rooney believes he is ready to play a lead role in Louis van Gaal's Manchester United revolution after being appointed as the team's new captain. Van Gaal named Rooney as the United skipper on Tuesday and he will wear the armband as permanent captain for the first time in Saturday's Premier League opener against Swansea at Old Trafford.

No decision yet

PARIS - Rafael Nadal, who has been sidelined with a right wrist injury, will decide early next week whether or not to play in the US Open where he is defending champion, his management said Friday. "Decision on US Open participation for @RafaelNadal postponed till early next week. No decision today or tomorrow," tweeted a spokesman for B1PR, the Spanish star's representatives.

Suarez pays

BARCELONA, Spain - Luis Suarez trained with his Barcelona team-mates for the first time on Friday and then admitted he was still paying for his "mistake" in biting Italy's Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup. After getting the green light from the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), the Uruguayan striker was the centre of attention as he took part in his first training session with the Catalan club.

Bolt holds retirement

RIO DE JANEIRO, - Sprint superstar Usain Bolt revealed on Friday that he will put back his planned retirement until 2017 at the request of his sponsors. The six-time Olympic gold medallist and 100m and 200m world record holder had intended to retire from the track after the 2016 Rio Olympics, but he told a news conference on Friday that he will compete for a further extra year. "I think I'm going to do another year. My sponsors asked me to do one more year, so I will compete until 2017," said the 27-year-old Jamaican.

If he sticks to his plan then Bolt's last competition is likely to be the 2017 world championships in London.

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