IBF STRIPS NEW CHAMPION FURY OF BELT
The IBF stripped British boxer Tyson Fury of its world heavyweight belt because he was breaking rules by meeting Wladimir Klitschko in a rematch in his next fight. Fury was supposed to meet the IBF's No. 1 contender, Vyacheslav Glazkov, in a mandatory defense but couldn't because he was contractually obligated to meet Klitschko.
The IBF said in a statement Wednesday that the contract it received for the Klitschko-Fury bout on Nov. 28 didn't have a provision for a rematch, and if it had been aware of one, then it would have allowed a rematch only after a mandatory defense. If Klitschko and Fury had not agreed, the IBF said, then it would not have sanctioned the title fight.
Fury took the IBF, WBA and WBO titles from Klitschko, who exercised his option for an immediate rematch.
Official: Brazil crises will affect Games
The political and economic chaos in Brazil will "inevitably" affect next year's Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, a senior IOC official said as Brazilian organizers declared that preparations remain on track. With the opening ceremony less than eight months away, Brazil is dealing with severe recession, impeachment proceedings against President Dilma Rousseff and a massive corruption scandal involving state-run oil company Petrobras. "They have political and economic difficulties," IOC vice president Craig Reedie said. "Inevitably, they will affect the Games. There are challenges." He spoke after Rio organizers made their latest progress report to the IOC. The Brazilians outlined the progress they have made in venue construction over the past year, saying most of the facilities are ready for South America's first Games.
Spain, England lead Champions League
Spain and England placed three teams each in the Champions League round of 16 draw next Monday. Chelsea and Arsenal advanced with wins Wednesday to help the English Premier League keep pace. Germany and Italy each have two teams after Roma edged Bayer Leverkusen for second place in their group behind defending champ Barcelona, which thanks to Lionel Messi's 80th Champions goal tied Bayer Leverkusen 1-1. Six countries share the other places, including newcomer Gent of Belgium. Zenit St. Petersburg and Dynamo Kiev will be kept apart by a UEFA rule blocking Russian and Ukrainian teams being drawn together. Seeded teams: Real Madrid, Wolfsburg, Atletico Madrid, Manchester City, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Zenit St. Petersburg Unseeded teams: Paris Saint-Germain, PSV Eindhoven, Benfica, Juventus, Roma, Arsenal, Dynamo Kiev, Gent.
MORE SOCCER: Swansea fired manager Garry Monk after the team's slump in the English Premier League, ending his two-year run. The Welsh club has won just one of its past 11. … West Brom Albion and Tottenham have been charged by the English Football Association after a melee involving both teams during the 84th minute of their EPL match Saturday. The teams have until Friday to respond.