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Andre Ward thrashes Mikkel Kessler for WBA's 168-pound title

He wins his first world championship belt in a unanimous decision, a stunning upset victory in his hometown of Oakland.

November 22, 2009|Wire Reports
  • Andre Ward celebrates after defeating Mikkel Kessler by a unanimous technical decision in a WBA 168-pound title bout Saturday night in Oakland.
Andre Ward celebrates after defeating Mikkel Kessler by a unanimous technical… (Jed Jacobsohn / Getty Images )

Andre Ward claimed the WBA 168-pound title with a unanimous technical decision over Denmark's Mikkel Kessler on Saturday night in Oakland, adding his first world championship belt to his Olympic gold medal with a stunning upset victory in his hometown.

Ward (21-0, 13 KOs) announced his arrival among the world's elite boxers with a dynamic thrashing of Kessler (42-2), the WBA champion for most of the last five years and the early favorite to win the Super Six super-middleweight tournament.

Zsolt Erdei of Hungary won the WBC cruiserweight title with a majority decision over Giacobbe Fragomeni in Kiel, Germany.

Erdei vacated the WBO light-heavyweight title to fight at cruiserweight for the first time, and managed to do just enough against the 40-year-old Italian. Two judges had it 115-113 for Erdei, while the third scored it 114-114.

MOTOR RACING

Busch wins title in Nationwide Series

Kyle Busch made it a double dose of celebration, winning the Nationwide Series championship before completing a lap and capping his night at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Fla., with his ninth trip to Victory Lane.

Busch held off a hard-charging Carl Edwards to win the 300-mile race. The two NASCAR stars finished first and second in the final standings. Busch needed only to start the race to win his first NASCAR title. When the green flag dropped on the race, Busch was the champion.

GOLF

Rainstorms cut into final LPGA event

More rain on already saturated grounds at the Houstonian Country Club in Richmond, Texas, washed out play at the LPGA Tour Championship, forcing tour officials to cut the season-ending event to 54 holes. More than 1.4 inches of rain fell on the course from Friday morning until the decision was made to call off play Saturday at 1:30 p.m. CST.

Play was expected to resume this morning to complete the second round. A cut will be made to the low 70 scores and ties, and a third round and final round will be played starting at 7 a.m. on Monday.

Tournament leader Lorena Ochoa, who can win her fourth straight LPGA player-of-the-year award with a win this week, has not hit a shot in competition since Thursday.

Lee Westwood maintained his two-shot lead at the Dubai World Championships after shooting a six-under 66 in the third round in Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Rickie Fowler shot a five-under 67 at Del Monte, and former PGA champion Mark Brooks had a 69 at Spyglass Hill in Pebble Beach to share the third-round lead in the Callaway Golf Pebble Beach Invitational.

SOCCER

Irish give up hope of replaying game

Ireland has given up hope of a World Cup playoff replay against France because of Thierry Henry's hand ball. Henry's deliberate handling set up a goal for William Gallas in Wednesday's 1-1 draw that sent France to next year's tournament and knocked out Ireland.

The Irish appealed to the French federation to agree to a replay but were turned down Friday.

"We regret that despite our best efforts for a replay, which would have restored the integrity of the game in front of a worldwide audience, our calls appear to have fallen on deaf ears at the French Football Federation," Football Assn. of Ireland Chief Executive John Delaney said Saturday.

ETC.

Rochette, Abbott win Skate Canada

Canadian champion Joannie Rochette used the strength of her dominating short program to hold on to win the Skate Canada title in Kitchener.

She had an overall score of 182.90, a season high, followed by American Alissa Czisny with 163.53. Laura Lepisto of Finland won bronze with 158.52.

American Jeremy Abbott landed a quad jump and won the men's title with a total score 232.99, edging Japan's Daisuke Takahashi.

John Napier beat U.S. teammate Steven Holcomb to win a World Cup two-man bobsled race on his home track at Lake Placid, N.Y.

Napier and brakeman Charles Berkeley defeated Holcomb and brakeman Justin Olsen by 0.26 of a second with a combined two-run time of 1 minute 53.62 seconds.

The United States qualified for the 2011 Rugby World Cup with a 27-6 win over Uruguay in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

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