Pakistan PM Imran Khan wins trust vote; Opposition demands resignation


The floor test took place without the Opposition boycotted the voting, making it easier for Khan to secure the required numbers

Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday comfortably won a trust vote in the National Assembly, boycotted by the Opposition, days after the ruling party’s high-profile candidate suffered an embarrassing defeat in the hotly-contested Senate elections.

Khan secured 178 votes in the 342-member lower house of Parliament during a special session called after he voluntarily sought a trust vote following the defeat of his finance minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh in Wednesday’s elections to the upper house.

 

The floor test took place without the Opposition as the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), an alliance of 11 parties, boycotted the voting, making it easier for Khan to secure the required numbers.

Khan decided to take a vote of confidence after Shaikh was defeated in the Senate election by former prime minister Yusuf Raza Gilani. The Opposition demanded the Prime Minister’s resignation after the debacle.

Addressing the House after securing the trust vote, the 68-year-old cricketer-turned politician thanked all lawmakers from his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party and allies for supporting him.

Earlier, foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi earlier tabled a single-point resolution that the House reposes confidence in Prime Minister Khan.

 

Speaker Asad Qaiser announced the result, saying Prime Minister Khan had been elected to the post with 176 votes following the 2018 general elections. “Today, he has secured 178 votes,” Qaiser said.

The ruling coalition led by PTI had 181 members but after the resignation of one of its lawmakers, its strength was reduced to 180. The Opposition coalition has 160 members in the House. One seat was vacant. According to the breakdown, 155 PTI lawmakers out of 156 voted in favour of Khan.

Not impressed by the expected outcome of the floor test, top Opposition leaders demanded Khan’s resignation and holding of fresh elections.

Chief of the PDM Maulana Fazlur Rehman said that the vote of confidence has no meaning.

 

“This was not a confidence vote. We know which agencies watched the members of the assembly the entire night. [We know] who knocked on the doors of each member to ensure they were present,” he said.

His reference was towards reports that the government kept its members in lodges in Islamabad under strict watch so that all of them are present in Parliament during the floor test.

He challenged Khan to “be courageous and ask the public to cast a vote of confidence [by] conducting a new election”.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Maryam Nawaz said Khan’s days as prime minister were numbered.

She said it was “now just a matter of time when he will go”.

 

Pakistan Peoples Party leader Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said Khan had been exposed after the defeat in the Senate seat and the vote of confidence was meaningless.

“We have already won and time for change has come,” he said.

Earlier, unruly scenes were witnessed outside Parliament building when supporters of the ruling alliance tried to disrupt a press conference of Opposition leaders belonging to the PML-N.

Addressing the assembly after his win in a wide-ranging speech, Khan said “no one can stop Pakistan’s progress.”

He spoke in detail about the abyss of moral decay the country has fallen in and asked the people to help him in his struggle to pull the nation out of it.

 

“The people can fight against corruption and not just the law,” he said, and urged the judiciary and anti-corruption watchdog to give stern punishment to law evaders and corrupt elements.

He vowed to continue his struggle for a just society and announced to do it alone even all party members left him. “I was the captain who fought till the last ball. So I will continue to fight till the last ball,” he said.

Khan criticised Opposition leaders, especially former president Asif Ali Zardari and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, for their alleged involvement in corruption and trying to destabilise his government.

He said all the current problems were due to the misrule and mismanagement of the previous two governments of the Pakistan Peoples Party and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz.

 

“It was the darkest decade of Pakistan’s history,” he said, terming them as “thieves” who were blackmailing his government.

He once again slammed the Election Commission of Pakistan for failing to stop vote buying in the Senate election. “We knew that votes were being purchased and the ECP did nothing,” he said.

Khan also announced plans to bring electoral reforms to ensure complete transparency in elections.

“We are doing things; we are fully engaged with overseas Pakistanis so they can cast votes, and secondly, we are bringing electronic machines… We are bringing this system so that the one who loses, accepts defeat,” he said.

 

Khan said Pakistan would come out of the problems and become great. “Nobody can stop this country from making progress…because it has huge potential,” he said.

He confessed being under pressure due to inflation and rising prices but assured that the government was working to reduce the prices. He said one of many upcoming steps would be to subsidise the poor people. Another step would be to launch a scheme so that no one goes to bed hungry.

Khan is the second Prime Minister in the history of Pakistan who went to the National Assembly for a voluntary vote of confidence, Geo TV said.

Then prime minister Sharif had sought a voluntary vote of confidence from Parliament after his reinstatement was granted by the Supreme Court in 1993.

 

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Adelaide Strikers v Melbourne Stars; Rashid Khan bows out in style


Rashid Khan signed off from BBL10 in style as Adelaide Strikers jumped to third with a crucial win against Melbourne Stars at Adelaide Oval on Monday night.

Playing his 50th BBL match and last of the campaign because of one-day international duties with Afghanistan, Rashid captured two key wickets in consecutive balls to set the Strikers on their way to a five-wicket victory.

He was then at the crease when Ryan Gibson (22 not out) struck the winning runs with six balls left.

A year after taking a hat-trick to dismantle the Sydney Sixers, spin wizard Rashid turned the match against the Stars on its head by bowling Nick Larkin (18) and then having game-breaking captain Glenn Maxwell caught at backward point playing a loose shot from the first ball he faced.

It sent Melbourne spiralling to 3/52 in the ninth over and while Marcus Stoinis avoided Rashid’s hat-trick attempt by smashing a boundary, much of the damage had been done.

The Stars managed to conjure a competitive 7/149 from their 20 overs following sixes from the final two balls of the innings by Nic Maddinson (48 not out).

But Adelaide ran the target down on the last ball of the 19th over when substitute fielder Tom O’Connell spilt a tough chance.

Rashid finished with 2/29 from his four overs, giving him 16 wickets for the season.

Wes Agar (2/19) was the pick of the Strikers bowlers, while fellow quick Daniel Worrall also claimed two wickets.

Jon Wells (36 from 27 balls) top scored for Adelaide, combining well with Gibson for a vital 37-run partnership for the fifth wicket.

Adelaide’s much-needed win gave it a 5-5 record while the Stars slumped to 3-5, with one no result.

TIME TO STRIKE

It was a big night for the Strikers, with their win followed by the news that they have been handed three more home games in BBL10.

Due to wind up their five-match home campaign against the Stars, a change in schedule forced by state border closures has seen their final three regular season games relocated from Victoria and New South Wales to Adelaide Oval.

They will be played against Brisbane Heat (January 21) and Sydney Thunder (January 24 and 25), greatly enhancing the Strikers’ finals prospects.

NO SPICE

Stars import Andre Fletcher’s horror BBL10 campaign continued against the Strikers.

Having scored a bitterly disappointing 87 runs in eight innings before last night with a highest score of 18, opening batsman Fletcher made just 12 before hitting a full toss from Agar straight down Gibson’s throat at mid-on.

West Indian Fletcher, nicknamed “The Spiceman’’, scored from only two of the 12 deliveries he faced.

Both scoring shots were sixes but his inability to keep the scoreboard ticking over put Melbourne under early pressure.

RELIEF FOR WELLS

Striker Jon Wells was a relieved man when Stars danger man Stoinis was caught by Jake Weatherald at point for 47 from the bowling of Agar.

The catch came from the first ball Stoinis faced after Wells had dropped a simple catch from him at fine leg.

With powerful hitter Stoinis looming as the Stars key man with the bat and getting after spinner Danny Briggs, he offered an easy chance to Wells.

But the skied ball slipped through his fingers, prompting a rare show of emotion from Strikers coach Jason Gillespie, who struggled to hide his disappointment.

But the drop did not cost the Strikers, as Stoinis, whose runs came from only 31 balls and included three sixes, played a poor shot from the next delivery he faced, giving Agar the standout figures of 2/2 from two overs.



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Striker defeat Stars, Glenn Maxwell golden duck, Rashid Khan departure, get him out first ball


The Adelaide Strikers have claimed a five wicket win with an over to spare over the Melbourne Stars in the BBL clash at Adelaide Oval.

The Stars could barely get going, falling in a heap at 6/111 with 2.5 overs remaining with some late hitting from Nic Maddinson getting them away.

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But the man the Stars regularly rely on to get them away, Glenn Maxwell, fell to a second straight golden duck, splicing an off-drive to Danny Briggs at gully off Rashid Khan.

As the Afghan star finished up with the Strikers for the season before going on international duty, he once again reminded the BBL of his ability.

But for the Striker’s, Maxwell’s wicket was exactly the plan — at least according to former Australian Test opener Matthew Renshaw.

Speaking to Channel 7’s BBL coverage, he was asked “What plans have you got for The Show?”

“Hopefully get him out with the first ball with a little wrong’un,” Renshaw responded.

Like he willed it into existence, Maxwell was headed straight back to the pavilion.

He wasn’t alone however with Marcus Stoinis the next man out for 47 off 31 balls.

Without the allrounder’s innings, the Stars would have been much worse off.

Mark Waugh was not happy with the Stars’ performance.

“I’ll tell you what it’s been, terrible batting. Bowling OK, batting dreadful. Take away Stoinis, awful,” Waugh said.

Strikers’ Wes Agar went for six runs off his first three overs, while Daniel Worrall went for just four in his first two overs.

Agar ended up with 2/19, while Worrall nabbed 2/28 and Khan got 2/29.

Bizarrely though, the Strikers struggled with the bat as well falling to 3/65 at the end of the first 10 overs to lose the Bash Boost to the Stars.

But Jono Well’s 27-ball 37, and Ryan Gibson’s 22 not out off 13 balls saved the day as the Strikers moved into third spot with the Stars staying in seventh.



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Bangladeshi-Muslim Nibir Khan experiences his first Australian Christmas in Central Queensland


In my 24-year life, I have never had an opportunity or reason to celebrate Christmas.

I have also never had the opportunity to visit an Australian city that wasn’t metropolitan.

In a year where a lot has gone wrong for the world, the stars aligned for me and I got the chance to spend Christmas in Rockhampton with the Morrissons.

I met Euan Morrisson through university and he was kind enough to extend an invitation.

Being from a Bangladeshi-Muslim culture, I was sure the experience would be something different and a great way to cap off the year.

I have lived in Dhaka, Bangladesh for most of my life.

When I moved to Brisbane for university four years ago, I felt like I was the only person that lived there — it felt so empty.

Growing up in Bangladesh, Nibir was shocked at how sparse the landscape is in Queensland.(Supplied: Euan Morrisson)

Whenever Euan spoke of Rockhampton, it conjured a very specific image in my head.

It was similar to the image of Mexico you see in Hollywood movies — a barren place with a yellowish tint over dry, arid land.

If Brisbane seemed empty to me, then you would forgive me for thinking there was nothing in Rockhampton at all, and nobody living there.

‘A head full of preconceived ideas’

In my head, Rockhampton was a place akin to a scene out of Crocodile Dundee.

But these weren’t the only preconceived ideas I had about my trip — I also had some notions of what the people were going to be like.

Having known Euan for about three years, I knew what he and his immediate family were going to be like, but anyone else, I didn’t know.

My parents were immigrants in Sydney during the 90s, and not all of their experiences in their new country were pleasant.

Pauline Hanson was at the top of her game, making controversial statements about immigrants.

She is from Queensland, and the funny thing about preconceived notions is that they can work both ways.

In a way, I think her antics in general put some notions about Queensland and Queenslanders into my family’s mind.

After all, they were trying to be New South Welshmen, so their dislike of cane toads and Queensland Maroons was not out of place.

I also had some expectations about Christmas itself.

I lived in Sydney until the age of three and experienced a few occasional brushes with Mr Claus, but nothing significant.

My parents and I moved back to Dhaka and I stayed there until I started at the University of Queensland about four years ago.

Growing up in Dhaka, December 25 was just another day — although it was a public holiday.

A family sit around a table at Christmas.
Nibir Khan (R) enjoys his first Christmas lunch with the Morrisson family in Rockhampton.(Supplied: Evan Morrisson)

But watching Hollywood movies can give you a picture of Christmas.

You expect Christmas to be white — to have snow tinsel and mistletoe everywhere. You expect a fireplace and a chimney for Santa to deliver your presents.

Truth be told, I knew this trip was not going to be anything like that in reality, but it’s very difficult to erase or undo notions that have been reinforced in your mind for so long.

So, with a head full of preconceived ideas, and a general discomfort — I boarded a plane to Rockhampton on December 23.

Waving a warm welcome

When I got off the tarmac and walked into the airport, my views already began to change. There were cars everywhere, the airport itself was bustling with people coming home for Christmas.

As we drove towards the Morrisson residence, we even encountered some traffic. It seemed a lot like Brisbane really, just with a lot more open space.

Once we got to the house, I was amazed to see the sizes of the properties they had here.

The Morrissons live on 5 acres of land, with more empty council land behind their house.

Man stands at lookout with view behind him.
Nibir visited the Mt Archer lookout in Rockhampton.(Supplied: Euan Morrisson)

A trip to the Mt Archer lookout revealed Rockhampton’s layout — a place much closer to a city than the barren wasteland I had imagined.

The people here are warm and lovely.

I hadn’t met anyone outside of the family yet, but I noticed while driving, how everyone waved at each other.

That idea seemed really pleasant to me, especially since I grew up in a place where that would be impossible — not because the people were terrible, but because if they started doing that, all everyone would ever do is wave.

Later that night, the Morrissons had a bonfire and some people came over.

The initial introductions were a bit awkward, as initial introductions tend to be, but once the ice broke, everyone was welcoming and curious about who I was and what I was doing there.

So within 12 hours of reaching Rockhampton, I had evidence the city wasn’t a wasteland filled with unfriendly people.

A family sit down for Christmas dinner.
Nibir noticed sharing a meal and reuniting with family are central to the Christian holiday.(Supplied: Euan Morrisson)

No snow, no chimney, no fireplace

What else could change? Well, the Christmas celebrations themselves weren’t classic Hollywood either.

There was no snow (surprise, surprise), there was no chimney for Santa to climb down, no fireplace at all, in fact.

The only similarities to a “classic” Christmas was the tree and all the presents that lay beneath it.

Another common thread were the family gatherings and social ties.

It has been a long time since I have been able to go back to Dhaka for a celebration and being amongst a family that was similar to mine felt good.

But I noticed several differences in the way my own family and Euan’s family celebrates festivals.

Christmas lights on a home.
Gazing at Christmas lights on homes around Rockhampton is one of the Morrisson family’s favourite festive traditions.(ABC News: Nibir Khan)

Christmas here seems to be more of a celebration of tradition, and religious rituals aren’t all that much of a focus.

For example, the Morrissons’ Christmas tradition includes listening to Christmas songs (Hi-5 in particular) and driving around Rockhampton to gaze at Christmas lights — we didn’t say grace or go to any masses.

Christmas seemed like a reason to get the family together and share a meal.

At the end of the day, it struck me how similar the Morrisson Christmas was to our Eids — the main Islamic festivals — back home.

The differences, although almost always focused on, are only superficial at best.

Yes, we probably eat different types of meat and cook different kinds of food.

We pray to different gods (if any at all) and our rituals are different.

I expected to walk into an unfriendly town and witness a classic Hollywood-style Christmas, but instead I walked into a family reunion in a town where people were warm and welcoming.

I guess the only way to find out about the realities of certain places and people is to try to experience them.



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Prime Minister Imran Khan says Pakistan Army is a state institution which works under him


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has asserted that the Army is a state institution which works under him, amidst Opposition’s allegations of the powerful military establishment’s interference in the country’s politics and elections.

Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), a 11-party opposition alliance, has been holding massive rallies since its inception in September to seek Khan’s ouster and press the military to stop interfering in politics. The PDM has been accusing the Pakistan Army of installing “puppet” Prime Minister Khan through a manipulated election in 2018.

The Army, which has ruled Pakistan for more than half of its 70 plus years of existence, has hitherto wielded considerable power in the matters of security and foreign policy. However, the military has denied meddling in the country’s politics. Khan also denies that the army helped him win the election in 2018.

According to the ‘Lahore Declaration’ signed by the Opposition parties on Monday, the military establishment had stolen the people’s mandate in the 2018 election and imposed a “hybrid and inefficient” government on the masses.

In an interview to SAMAA TV on Friday, 68-year-old Khan rebutted accusations that he does not have any real authority and said that the Pakistan Army is a state institution, which works under him.

On Opposition’s claims that the government wouldn’t hold if not for the support from the powerful establishment, the cricketer-turned-politician said he is the country’s democratically elected prime minister and so the institutions back him.

The PDM has set a January 31 deadline for Khan to step down or face a long march to Islamabad. The coalition pledged that it will make sure that there is no interference of the institutions of “the establishment and intelligence” in politics and at the same time it will make the security institutions stronger on the professional lines.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz supremo and three-time former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, 70, has been repeatedly blaming Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and spy agency ISI chief Lt Gen Faiz Hameed of meddling in Pakistan’s political affairs.

Sharif was ousted from power in 2017 by the Supreme Court court on graft charges. The PML-N chief, currently out on bail, has been living in London since November last year after he was allowed by the courts and the government to go there for a period of eight weeks for medical treatment. But he did not come back, while his lawyers told the court that he was still recovering.

Khan said the Opposition does not want to hold talks with the government and is instead pressuring the Army to send a democratic government packing. This can be called treason, he said.

The real reason, Khan said, is that the Opposition wants all cases against them to be withdrawn and they be given an NRO-like concession.

National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRP) was issued by former military dictator Pervez Musharraf to withdraw cases against Benazir Bhutto in 2007.





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Cricket Australia, BBL 2020-21: Rashid Khan could miss half of Big Bash League


The Big Bash could be without the world’s best T20 spinner Rashid Khan in the closing stages of this year’s tournament, including the finals.

An international ODI series between Afghanistan and Ireland has been scheduled for January and, if called up to play, tight border restrictions could make it impossible for several players in the BBL to return in time to rejoin their teams.

The Melbourne Stars on Wednesday confirmed the signing of Afghanistan spinner Zahir Khan, who will move south for the BBL season after playing with the Brisbane Heat last summer.

The 21 year-old left-arm wrist spinner is expected to be available for the full BBL season.

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The world’s best T20 spinner Rashid Khan could miss half of the BBL


The Big Bash could be without the world’s best T20 spinner Rashid Khan in the closing stages of this year’s tournament, including the finals.

An international ODI series between Afghanistan and Ireland has been scheduled for January and, if called up to play, tight border restrictions could make it impossible for several players in the BBL to return in time to rejoin their teams.

The Melbourne Stars on Wednesday confirmed the signing of Afghanistan spinner Zahir Khan, who will move south for the BBL season after playing with the Brisbane Heat last summer.

The 21 year-old left-arm wrist spinner is expected to be available for the full BBL season.

But his availability, and that of at least three other key Afghan players, could be severely compromised after the announcement of the series against Ireland in the UAE from January 18-23.

Adelaide Strikers weapon Rashid, Mujeeb Ur Rahman (Brisbane Heat) and Mohammad Nabi (Melbourne Renegades) have all signed to play the entire BBL season but could be required for their country.

Given Australia‘s border restrictions require all international visitors to quarantine for two weeks, it would be impossible for the Afghan players take part in the final stages of the BBL, which finishes on February 6.

Rashid, the number one ranked T20 bowler in the world who has taken 56 wickets in 40 matches for the Strikers, could miss the final five games, depending on when he needs to leave Australia, plus the finals.

The Strikers are yet to receive confirmation that Khan would be required for the games against Ireland and remain hopeful he will be available for as many games as possible.

Getting the best international players to the BBL this year has proved challenging for all teams, with many baulking at the prospect of more time in a playing bubble.

English star Jofra Archer opted against coming back for the Hobart Hurricanes, while others chose not to play because they couldn‘t bring their families for the two-month stay in Australia.

South African jet AB deVilliers and countryman Dale Steyn are two who played last year but won’t return.

And several English players who have signed BBL deals, including star openers Jason Roy, who has joined the Perth Scorchers, and Jonny Bairstow at the Stars, will also be late starters for the tournament because of a series against South Africa in December.

The extra 14-days quarantine they will have to do on arrival in Australia means they won’t be available until after Christmas.

New Stars spinner Khan joins Bairstow and West Indian Nicholas Pooran on the club’s international roster.

“I’m really looking forward to playing for the Stars during this BBL season. The squad is looking strong, and I’d like to thank the club for giving me the chance to be part of it,” he said.

The Stars have one more international player to announce.



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Fight Talk: Kell Brook, Amir Khan, Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder, Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez


Amir Khan has said the unthinkable, Tyson Fury is fed up with talking about a certain person, Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez is the kind of free agent you may love to snap up on Championship Manager and Floyd Mayweather is annoying modern-day stars.

We also need to ask: When is a heavyweight really a ‘bridgerweight?’

Here’s our latest Fight Talk round-up.

Backing the enemy…

By any measure 2020 has been a strange year but the sight and sound of Amir Khan lending support to his bitter domestic rival Kell Brook felt all kinds of wrong.

The pair have traded words (sadly never punches) for what feels like forever and with Brook set to face WBO world welterweight champion Terence Crawford on Saturday, Khan has said the unthinkable.

“I wish Kell all the very best to put a stop to his reign,” Khan told Seconds Out Boxing.external-link

“He can do that, Kell’s a good fighter and I’ve always respected him. As a Brit, we have to support our own. Even though we’ve not looked eye to eye, I’m rooting for him.”

Some saw class…

A tweet says Khan has done the right thing to support Brook

Some saw an agenda…

A tweet from Elton Joe Box says Khan wants to fight Kell brook if Brook beats Crawford.

And some just want to move on.

A tweet says Khan and Brook are irrelevant

Fury’s had it with Wilder…

If Khan and Brook are warming to each other, the relationship between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder gets colder with every conspiracy theory, tweet and word uttered.

Wilder has blamed his ring-walk suit and his own team for his defeat to Fury in February. He has also said he had his water spiked and that his opponent had weights in his gloves.

Fury now seems to have had enough of the saga and wants to squash any hope of a trilogy bout.

“He will never get a shot at me now. Finished,” Fury told boxing journalist Gareth A Davies.external-link “For what he has said. Losing is one thing. I don’t even want to give him any air time. That’s it for him.”

A big belt for big (ish) men…

Oleksandr Usyk could be well placed to compete in the new weight division
Oleksandr Usyk could be well placed to compete in the new weight division

Things could be looking up for Wilder though. He may get to shoot for a world title again against a far smaller man than Fury.

That is because the WBC is set to introduce a new weight divisionexternal-link to sit between cruiserweight and heavyweight, with fighters falling between 200lbs and 224lbs eligible.

The new category will be called the ‘bridger’ division – although social media is unanimously in the ‘please no more belts or weight divisions’ camp.

However, Tony Bellew – a former cruiserweight world champion who enjoyed heavyweight success too – sees merit in a new weight category.

“Some heavyweights are in the land of the giants and no fighter in my opinion should lose purely because of size,” Bellew told Boxing Social.external-link “And the most important thing is boxing should be made a safe sport. This will help.”

Canelo makes his business personal

“It was always a deal that was too good to be true,” said 5 Live Boxing’s Steve Bunce.

Just two years ago Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez signed the most lucrative contract in boxing – one that was due to last five years and net him around £278m.

Now the much-decorated Mexican has exited the deal with streaming service DAZNexternal-link and will go it alone as a free agent. He has even jettisoned Golden Boy promotions, and rumours over his next opponent are rife.

Bunce summed it up: “We are not like any other sport. Boxing is the hardest sport to plan for if you are a television executive. DAZN probably drew up a fantastic list of Canelo opponents. Not one of them landed. What a business.”

The contract chaos could prove fruitful for Britain’s Callum Smith and John Ryder though as they are now reportedly in line for a shot at a fighter viewed as boxing’s golden ticket.

The Athletic's Mike Coppinger says two British fighters could be in line to face Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez
The Athletic’s Mike Coppinger says two British fighters could be in line to face Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez

Warm images, cold words…

Lopez posted images of him alongside Lennox Lewis (left) and trainer Freddie Roach
Lopez posted images of him alongside Lennox Lewis (left) and trainer Freddie Roach

Teofimo Lopez warmed our hearts this week in posting images of him in his formative years alongside greats of the trade like Lennox Lewis and trainer Freddie Roach.

“Little did these champs know they were taking a picture with ‘The Future of Boxing,'” wrote Lopez, who is now the sport’s breakout star after his win over Vasyl Lomachenko.

He was less complimentary about another legend – Floyd Mayweather.

Lopez is linked with a fight against one of Mayweather’s own stars Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis and he did not take the fact Mayweather thinks Davis is the main attraction in that bout very well.

“I collected all the belts and I’m the ‘B side?’ You’re crazy man,” Lopez told IFL TVexternal-link.

“I will be blunt, I think Floyd is still trying to find ways to stay relevant. He uses ‘Tank’ and talks to the media for him. Let ‘Tank’ be his own man. I think Floyd is crazy.”

Somewhere in Lopez’s attic there must be a childhood photo of him with Mayweather in his prime. We may need to wait a while to see it.

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Meatworker Mohammed Khan acquitted of beheading murder of friend and co-worker Syeid Alam



A central Queensland meatworker has had his murder conviction quashed, after the Court of Appeal found there was reasonable doubt about whether he was responsible for killing another man four years ago.

In February, Mohammed Khan was sentenced to life in prison for murdering his friend and co-worker 33-year-old Syeid Alam in Rockhampton in 2016.

Mr Alam’s headless body was found on the banks of the Fitzroy River in April 2016, 11 days after he went missing.

His head was found nearby, wrapped in a pair of jeans.

On Friday, the Queensland Court of Appeal quashed Mr Khan’s conviction, ordering a verdict of acquittal be entered.

In their published reasons, the Appeal Court judges said the Supreme Court trial’s central issue was whether the jury could be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that it was Mr Khan who killed Mr Alam.

‘No forensic evidence’

During the Supreme Court trial in Rockhampton, the court heard evidence that Mr Khan’s wife had been having an affair with Mr Alam’s brother, Sha Alam, and naked photos of her were either sent to or taken by Sha Alam.

A potential motive the Crown suggested was that Mr Khan killed Syeid Alam in an act of revenge for the affair, because Sha Alam lived in Sydney and was difficult to reach.

But the Court of Appeal found there was evidence Syeid Alam and Mr Khan remained friends after Mr Khan learnt of the affair.

The judgement states although Mr Khan’s mobile phone connected to a tower near where Mr Alam’s body was found on the night of April 5, 2016, it did not prove that he was there.

The court also found a jury could not safely conclude CCTV footage played during the trial definitely showed Mr Khan’s vehicle.

The Court of Appeal said the beheading was likely to have produced a “substantial amount of blood”, but there was a lack of any forensic evidence linking Mr Khan to the dead man.

“The Crown’s case was that the appellant was the person who decapitated the deceased,” the judgement states.

“Yet there was no forensic evidence from any of the samples taken in the appellant’s house or car that would lend support to his being present at the time.

The Court of Appeal ruled the guilty verdict be set aside and a verdict of acquittal be entered in its place.



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