It is exactly 35 years since Wrestlemania I took place and never has the mantra 'the show must go on' been more apt than in the world of WWE.

While the globe has been ground to a halt by the coronavirus pandemic, Vince McMahon's global sports entertainment behemoth has continued with its weekly television shows Raw and Smackdown filmed in the absence of live audiences at the company's performance center.

Indeed, WWE's flagship event Wrestlemania is going ahead in the same fashion despite the breakout of COVID-19, which curtailed hosting the show at the original location of the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, Florida.

Fan favourites including John Cena, Becky Lynch, Bray Wyatt, Charlotte Flair, Edge, Randy Orton and Bill Goldberg are scheduled to appear on a bumper card shown over Saturday and Sunday this weekend.

But there will also be the presence of former NFL star Rob Gronkowski, who is slated to serve as host of Wrestlemania 36.

The ex-New England Patriots tight end – who helped his buddy Mojo Rawley win the 'Andre the Giant Battle Royal' during the Wrestlemania 33 pre-show – is not the first athlete to show up in WWE. Here we take a look at some others.

WAYNE ROONEY

England and Manchester United's record goalscorer had a run-in with Wade Barrett during a November 2015 edition of Monday Night Raw.

Preston fan Barrett, incensed by what he felt was a dive by Rooney in an FA Cup tie between his team and United nine months prior, said the now Derby County midfielder embarrasses his son "every time you step on a football pitch". Rooney retaliated with a slap.

RONDA ROUSEY

"Ronda's gonna kill ya..." was the chant emanating around Levi's Stadium as the fearsome Ronda Rousey stepped between the ropes at Wrestlemania 31.

Accompanied by WWE great Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, now a worldwide movie star, UFC icon Rousey was involved in a spat with the legendary Triple H and his wife Stephanie McMahon.

Three years later, Rousey partnered Olympic gold medallist Kurt Angle to defeat 'The Game' and 'The Billion Dollar Princess'. In January 2018, she became an in-ring regular and won Raw's women's title, which she dropped to Lynch a year ago.

SHAQUILLE O'NEAL

Better known for slam dunks, former Los Angeles Lakers star Shaquille O'Neal got in a choke slam at Wrestlemania 32.

The four-time NBA champion had a stare down with the Big Show, before the two combined to slam the 'Big Red Machine' Kane.

RICKY HATTON

Ricky Hatton earned hordes of fans throughout a brilliant boxing career.

In November 2009, 'The Hitman' stepped into a different kind of ring to host an episode of Raw from Sheffield Arena.

Hatton even donned the gloves to land a knockout punch on Chavo Guerrero Jr., with whom he had feuded on the evening.

FLOYD MAYWEATHER JR.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. has beaten them all in the boxing ring, as his 50-0 record proves.

But it was a true case of David vs Goliath when Mayweather, approximately 5'7" and 150lbs, came up against the 7'2", 500lb giant The Big Show at Wrestlemania 24.

Despite the notable size advantage, Big Show was distracted by a member of Mayweather's entourage hitting him with a chair and 'Money' delivered a telling blow, albeit while wearing brass knuckles, to knock out his huge opponent.

PETE ROSE

Pete Rose is a legend of the baseball world, holding MLB's all-time hits record and winning the World Series on three occasions.

Rose was part of the 1970s Cincinnati Reds team that earned the nickname 'The Big Red Machine'.

But his run in with WWE's own 'Big Red Machine' Kane during the late 1990s and 2000 have become the thing of wrestling folklore.

On one such occasion at Wrestlemania 15, Rose was disguised as a chicken and earned a beatdown from Kane, including his devastating tombstone finishing manoeuvre.

MIKE TYSON

'Iron' Mike Tyson is no stranger to a WWE ring.

'The Baddest Man on the Planet' had an infamous showdown with 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin, one of the all-time greats in WWE, on an episode of Raw and had seemingly sided with one of the company's most famous stables D-Generation X before one of its members Shawn Michaels faced Austin at Wrestlemania 14.

However, during the event Tyson showed his true allegiance, counting the pin for Austin and clocking Michaels. Some 12 years later, Tyson buried the hatchet with his DX foes, unveiling a shirt with their logo on and knocking out Chris Jericho during a Raw segment.

MUHAMMAD ALI

Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee - did you know this boxing legend starred in WWE?

Okay, sure, back then it was known as WWF when Ali was one of the guest referees at the first Wrestlemania at New York's Madison Square Garden for the main event between 'Hollywood' Hulk Hogan and A-Team star Mr. T versus 'Mr. Wonderful' Paul Orndorff and 'Rowdy' Roddy Piper.

BROCK LESNAR

Few men strike fear in their opponents quite like Brock Lesnar, who is as well known for his two stints in WWE as he is for being a former UFC heavyweight champion.

Lesnar is a multi-time champion in the organisation and will defend his WWE title against Drew McIntyre this weekend.

TYSON FURY

'The Gypsy King' recently crowned his own personal road to recovery by knocking out Deontay Wilder to become the WBC heavyweight champion.

The big-talking Briton warmed up for that bout by enjoying a short run in WWE, feuding with 'The Monster Among Men' Braun Strowman, which resulted in Fury in earning a count-out win over his huge opponent at WWE's Crown Jewel pay-per-view last October.

Billy Joe Saunders has had his boxing licence suspended after he offered advice to men on how to hit their female partners during the coronavirus lockdown.

Saunders demonstrated boxing techniques on a punching bag in a video posted on social media and was seen explaining what to do if "your old woman is giving you mouth" and how to "hit her on the chin".

Promoter Eddie Hearn said he was "appalled" by the WBO world super-middle champion's "idiotic" actions.

The British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) on Monday suspended the 30-year-old Brit, who will face a hearing.

A statement from  BBBofC general secretary Robert W. Smith said: "The British Boxing Board of Control having considered comments made by Billy Joe Saunders on social media have suspended his boxer's licence pending a hearing under the Board’s misconduct regulation, at a time and venue to be confirmed as soon as possible."

Saunders issued an apology on Twitter and insisted he does not condone domestic violence after receiving a backlash online.

Hearn told talkSPORT on Monday: "I haven't spoken to him. I spoke to his management team last night. I was appalled really.

"It was so idiotic, it was so frustrating because I know Billy well. He's a really good kid, with a really good heart. 

"He does a lot for the community, he does a lot for charity, but every now and again he does the most stupid things. 

"The world has changed and realised about all kinds of different things, about how you need to treat people.

"It's always with Billy. He spent the weekend down at the NHS, delivering food packages, and meeting people. It's one step forward, four steps back with Billy Joe Saunders and it is frustrating.

"He's got this mentality where it's me against the world. Sometimes you can have a conversation with him and say, 'Bill, what are you doing?' And sometimes that can make it worse. I leave him alone now and when I talk to him, I will be telling him, 'You're a prat, what are you doing?'.

"I can only tell you he does have a good heart, he didn't mean anything in the video, but you just can't do it, especially when you're in his position. It's unacceptable for Joe Bloggs down the street to do it. It's much more unacceptable for a world champion boxer to be doing it.

"Thinking you're having a laugh, or not having a laugh, young people are watching that video. People who are in abusive relationships are watching that video. You cannot do it, it's unacceptable."

Saunders has been awaiting a decision as to whether he or fellow Briton Callum Smith would fight Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez next, although a third bout between the Mexican great and his rival Gennadiy Golovkin has since reportedly moved closer to being finalised.

The heavyweight fights between Dillian Whyte and Alexander Povetkin and Oleksandr Usyk and Dereck Chisora have been called off due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Whyte was due to step into the ring with Povetkin for an interim WBC heavyweight world title showdown at the Manchester Arena on May 2, but the fight will not go ahead.

The British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) on Monday further extended its suspension of boxing events until the end of May, with the United Kingdom in lockdown.

Matchroom Boxing stated that the bout has been rescheduled for July 4, although that is subject to how long the ongoing crisis lasts for. 

Usyk was set to do battle with Chisora at The O2 in London on May 23, but that has also been called off and no new date has been agreed.

A BBBofC statement said: "The British Boxing Board of Control has further extended its suspension of boxing tournaments under its jurisdiction for the month of May.

"We will continue to follow the government and medical authorities' advice and keep the situation under review, and when possible explore all options available to find a way of lifting the suspension when conditions permit."

Katie Taylor's world title showdown with Amanda Serrano was due to be on the undercard for Whyte's battle with Povetkin.

 

 

 

Eddie Hearn was "appalled" by "idiotic" video footage that appeared to show Billy Joe Saunders offering advice to men on how to hit women during the coronavirus lockdown.

In the footage, the WBO world super-middleweight champion demonstrates boxing techniques on a punching bag and can be seen explaining what to do if "your old woman is giving you mouth" and how to "hit her on the chin".

Saunders later issued an apology on Twitter and insisted he does not condone domestic violence after receiving a backlash online.

Hearn, Saunders' promoter, labelled the video as "unacceptable".

"I haven't spoken to him. I spoke to his management team last night. I was appalled really," Hearn told talkSPORT.

"It was so idiotic, it was so frustrating because I know Billy well. He's a really good kid, with a really good heart. 

"He does a lot for the community, he does a lot for charity, but every now and again he does the most stupid things. 

"The world has changed and realised about all kinds of different things, about how you need to treat people.

"It's always with Billy. He spent the weekend down at the NHS, delivering food packages, and meeting people. It's one step forward, four steps back with Billy Joe Saunders and it is frustrating.

"He's got this mentality where it's me against the world. Sometimes you can have a conversation with him and say, 'Bill, what are you doing?' And sometimes that can make it worse. I leave him alone now and when I talk to him, I will be telling him, 'You're a prat, what are you doing?'.

"I can only tell you he does have a good heart, he didn't mean anything in the video, but you just can't do it, especially when you're in his position. It's unacceptable for Joe Bloggs down the street to do it. It's much more unacceptable for a world champion boxer to be doing it.

"Thinking you're having a laugh, or not having a laugh, young people are watching that video. People who are in abusive relationships are watching that video. You cannot do it, it's unacceptable."

Saunders has won all of his 29 professional fights and Hearn said last month the 30-year-old was awaiting a decision as to whether he or fellow Briton Callum Smith would fight Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez next, although a third bout between the Mexican great and his rival Gennadiy Golovkin has since reportedly moved closer to being finalised.

Billy Joe Saunders issued an apology after a video emerged of him showing men how to hit women during the coronavirus lockdown.

Thirty-year-old Saunders can be seen explaining what to do if "your old woman is giving you mouth" and how to "hit her on the chin".

In the footage, the WBO world super-middleweight champion demonstrates boxing techniques on a punching bag.

But Saunders later insisted he does not condone domestic violence, and said sorry to anyone offended by the video after receiving a backlash online.

"I would never condone domestic violence and if I saw a man touch a woman I would smash him to pieces myself," he wrote on Twitter.

"I have a daughter and if a man laid a finger on her it would be [sic] end well. Apologies if I offended any women stay blessed."

Saunders has won all of his 29 professional fights and his promoter Eddie Hearn said last month the 30-year-old was awaiting a decision as to whether he or fellow Briton Callum Smith would fight Mexican great Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez next.

The father of British boxer Anthony Yarde has died after contracting coronavirus.

The 28-year-old, who last year put up a valiant effort in a losing battle for Sergey Kovalev's WBO light heavyweight title, announced the news via an Instragram story.

Yarde said his father had no underlying health problems and warned people to take the threat of COVID-19 seriously.

"I'm a very private person and tbh I'm still in shock but maybe this can help people stay home," he wrote.

"My dad passed away from this virus yesterday and he was fit with no health issues.

"The more people go out and mingle the longer this isolation will last and the more it will spread.

"I'm not a doctor but I do know if you stay home you are less likely to catch it or pass it on. It's seriously not worth the risk."

Yarde, who has a 19-1 record, is slated to face Lyndon Arthur at the O2 Arena on July 11.

There have been 17,089 confirmed coronavirus cases in the UK, with 1,019 people having died.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has said there is no evidence to suggest members of Turkey's team contracted coronavirus during the Boxing Road to Tokyo event in London.

Just three days of action were possible at the Copper Box Arena before the competition was brought to a premature halt on March 16 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Turkish Boxing Federation accused the IOC Boxing Task Force of being irresponsible for allowing the European qualifier to go ahead in the circumstances, with reports saying two of their fighters and a coach have tested positive.

While expressing sympathy for those who have been taken ill, the task force feels there is nothing to suggest they were infected during the competition.

An IOC Boxing Task Force statement said: "Yesterday, the IOC Boxing Task Force (BTF) received news reports regarding participants of the Boxing Road to Tokyo European qualifier held in London from 14 to 16 March 2020, who reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 following a return to their country.

"Most importantly, the BTF wants to express its sympathy for the affected athletes and officials and wishes them a very speedy and full recovery, and the BTF is in close contact with their respective National Olympic Committees. 

"Some news reports appeared to draw a connection between the affected participants and the Boxing Road to Tokyo European qualifier held in London. The London event was suspended 10 days ago, on 16 March 2020, and the BTF is not aware of any link between the competition and the infection.

"Many participants were in independently organised training camps in Italy, Great Britain and in their home countries before the competition started on 14 March 2020 and have returned home a while ago so it is not possible to know the source of infection.

"The BTF notes, that at the time of the European qualifier in London there were many sports and other events going on in Great Britain because there were no governmental restrictions or advice on public events in place.

"Nevertheless, in cooperation between the BTF and the Local Organising Committee, precautionary measures before, during and in the follow-up phase of the event were implemented and the event was suspended when the COVID-19 situation developed further.

"Safeguarding the well-being of the athletes, officials and all other participants has always been a top priority for the BTF."

The Los Angeles Lakers and Megan Schutt will look back fondly on their previous achievements on March 26 - but Ken Norton will not be circling the date in his calendar.

A star-studded Lakers team achieved a memorable NBA feat 48 years ago, while Schutt made Australian cricket history in 2018.

However, for Norton, this day will bring back painful memories of a chastening defeat to heavyweight rival George Foreman.

Take a look back at the some of the most notable sporting moments that occurred on this down the years.

 

1972 - Lakers set the benchmark

Led by head coach Bill Sharman and with a roster including Elgin Baylor, Wilt Chamberlain and Jerry West, the Lakers set an NBA benchmark by defeating Seattle.

The 124-98 triumph saw the Lakers finish the regular season with a 69-13 record, at the time giving them the best win percentage (.841) posted by a team.

Their record stood for 24 years until Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls posted a 72-10 campaign, while the Golden State Warriors went even better with a 73-9 mark in 2015-16.

1974 - Foreman keeps streak going

Norton was known for being a tough nut to crack. The heavyweight had two titanic battles against Muhammad Ali in 1973, the legendary pair recording a win apiece.

However, Foreman wasted little time in dealing with Norton the following year, the WBA and WBC champion retaining his titles in Caracas, Venezuela, with a stunning second-round stoppage.

It was a 37th knockout win for Foreman, improving his record to 40-0. The winning run ended later in 1974, though, as he was famously beaten by Ali in 'The Rumble in the Jungle'.

2018 - Schutt locks down India

Schutt became the first Australian woman to take a Twenty20 hat-trick at international level, in the process helping secure victory over India in Mumbai.

The seam bowler had conceded 10 runs from four deliveries before finishing her first over with the wickets of opening duo Smriti Mandhana and Mithali Raj.

However, Schutt was forced to wait to complete her treble, returning to the attack later in the innings at the opposite end to get Deepti Sharma caught in the deep. Australia, who had made 186-5 earlier in the game, triumphed by 36 runs.

Eddie Hearn believes Anthony Joshua would have "no problem" facing Tyson Fury or Deontay Wilder in a December heavyweight unification fight a year on from his previous bout.

Joshua is due to put his world heavyweight titles on the line against IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on June 20.

Hearn, the Brit's promoter, knows that is unlikely to go ahead due to the coronavirus pandemic, given there is no knowing when sport will resume and Spurs still have a Premier League season to finish.

Fury and Wilder were due to do battle for a third time in July, but the WBC champion's co-promoter, Bob Arum, said the trilogy fight could be put back to October.

Hearn does not feel Joshua would have an issue stepping straight into a titanic showdown in search of a sweep of the titles at the end of the year if there is a drastic change of plan.

He told BBC Radio 5 Live: "Right now our plan is to fight Pulev in June or July then fight Fury or whoever holds the WBC belt at the time.

"If the Pulev fight can't take place we may end up seeing that fight [against Fury] happen later this year.

"It wouldn't be ideal for AJ boxing in December to have been out for a whole year going into a fight like that but I don't think he would have a problem with it."

Joshua won a rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr. in Saudi Arabia last December to regain his WBA, IBF and WBO straps.

Bob Arum says there is no chance Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder will fight in July and the bout could take place early in October due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Wilder took up the option of completing a trilogy with Fury after losing his WBC belt to the Brit in Las Vegas last month.

July 18 had been stated as a potential date for a third battle between the two at the MGM Grand, but Fury's co-promoter ruled out any possibility of that going ahead amid the COVID-19 crisis

Asked if the fight could be staged in fourth months' time, Arum told ESPN: "Clearly not. We don't even know if the MGM will even be open by then.

"You could not guarantee the fighters that the event would take place on that date. We couldn't convince them or ourselves.

"Where were they going to train for it? It just made no sense. You just have to take a step back. How are you going to sell tickets?

"It's absolutely ridiculous to say the fight is on when the Brits can't even get there.

"So everybody has to take a step back. Boxing is not isolated. It's part of what's happening in the world. So possibly the fight will be in early October."

March 25, 2013 proved a momentous day for Tiger Woods following a rocky few years.

An all-time golf great, Woods' career appeared to be spiralling out of control towards the end of the 2000s.

But he was back at the top of the pile in March 2013, signalling an impressive renaissance.

It was also a notable – albeit controversial – day for Mike Tyson back in 1995, as the infamous boxer was released from prison after being convicted of rape in 1992.

Below, we look at those and the other major events to happen in the sporting world on March 25.

 

1958 - Sugar Ray Robinson claims historic fifth title

The phrase "pound-for-pound" essentially came into being because of Sugar Ray Robinson – a fighter whose performances in the welterweight and middleweight divisions earned him renown. A professional boxer in the 1940s, 50s and 60s, Robinson is regarded by many as the greatest of all-time and on this day in 1958 he became the first in history to win a world championship five times when he defeated Carmen Basilio.

1982 - Wayne Gretzky reaches 200 points for season

Wayne Gretzky's influence on ice hockey is unrivalled and he remains comfortably NHL's all-time leading points (goals and assists) scorer in history, with 2,857 – more than 900 clear of his closest challenger Jaromir Jagr. One of his finest accomplishments was becoming the first player to rack up 200 points in a single season during 1981-81, helping Edmonton Oilers to their first NHL title. He reached 200 with an assist early on against Calgary Flames, before adding another three points in that encounter. Gretzky finished the season with 212, 107 more than anyone else on the team.

1995 - Mike Tyson released from jail

After serving less than half of his six-year sentence for rape, Mike Tyson was released on March 25, 1995. He went on to ease through comeback fights against Peter McNeeley and Buster Mathis Jr, with Tyson's management accused of organising "tomato cans" to secure straightforward victories upon his return.

2013 - Tiger Woods regains world no.1 spot

After dominating golf in the 2000s, Woods endured a turbulent period from late 2009. Persistent injury problems, issues in his private life and struggles with a new swing all played a part in Woods dropping to 58th in November 2011. In March 2013, he was back on top thanks to victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, beating Justin Rose by two strokes.

2018 - Steve Smith punished for sandpaper gate

In March 2018, some Australia players were caught out in arguably the most infamous cricketing scandal ever. After admitting involvement in Cameron Bancroft's attempts at ball-tampering with sandpaper, captain Steve Smith was handed a one-match ban and fined 100 per cent of his fee by the International Cricket Council on March 25. That was just the tip of the iceberg, however. Smith and vice-captain David Warner were both banned for a year by Cricket Australia (CA), while Bancroft was given a nine-month suspension for his part in what CA labelled "cheating".

Dillian Whyte has no doubt he could knock out Anthony Joshua if he were granted a huge domestic rematch with the heavyweight champion.

Ahead of his Manchester bout with Alexander Povetkin, presently scheduled for May 2, Whyte wants to maintain his momentum and earn a shot at fellow Briton Joshua.

IBF, WBA and WBO champion Joshua is the only person to have defeated Whyte (27-1), having knocked him out in 2015.

But Whyte believes the outcome will be different in a second meeting, citing his superior skillset to Andy Ruiz Jr.

Ruiz stunningly stopped Joshua in New York last June, only to lose the December rematch in Saudi Arabia.

"If Ruiz can knock him out, I can 100 per cent knock him out, because I'm a harder puncher than Andy Ruiz, pound-for-pound," Whyte said to Sky Sports.

"I've got better feet than him as well, and better boxing technique than Andy Ruiz. He's got fast hands, but his feet are slow.

"I've shown also in fights that I can come back from being down on the scorecards and I carry knockout power in the later stages of the fight as well, which is a big thing for a heavyweight.

"A lot of heavyweights can only get you in one to six rounds. If they don't get you early, then that's a wrap for them.

"I showed you that I can get you round one, round two, round three, round four, or even round 11 and round 12, I can get you."

Eager not to get lost in the shuffle once again, Whyte is mandatory champion for the WBC, whose champion Tyson Fury is pencilled in for a third battle with Deontay Wilder and is also being targeted by Joshua.

Oleksandr Usyk is another name in the heavyweight title mix, but amid multiple lucrative opportunities, there remains one standout for Whyte if he could pick an opponent to fight for all the belts.

"I would love to fight Joshua again, at a drop of a hat,” added Whyte.

"It's one of the biggest fights out there. I'm in the game to have the biggest fights and the most meaningful fights. I'm trying to make history.

"Imagine, to get one shot at all the marbles at once, how unreal that would be after all this nonsense - out of nowhere, me and Joshua fight, I knock him out and became undisputed champion of the world."

Oleksandr Usyk is keen to take on either Anthony Joshua or Tyson Fury to end British dominance of the heavyweight division.

Fury completed a stunning seven-round demolition of knockout specialist Deontay Wilder in Las Vegas last month to collect the WBC title, while countryman Joshua holds the other three major heavyweight belts after avenging his defeat to Andy Ruiz with a comprehensive points win last December.

Usyk, who is like Fury undefeated and has a London 2012 gold medal in common with Joshua, cleaned out the cruiserweight division and has similar designs having stepped up to take on boxing's big men.

"I work hard on it," he told Sky Sports of his desire to hold all the heavyweight titles, with a scheduled May 23 bout against Dereck Chisora next on the agenda for the 33-year-old Ukrainian.

That fight, along with Joshua's IBF mandatory against Kubrat Pulev at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on June 20 could yet fall victim to coronavirus cancellations.

Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn this week said the Pulev bout being shelved could lead to an immediate showdown with Fury.

Usyk, who is next in line with the WBO to challenge Joshua, is not overly concerned with such machinations.

"I want to fight both," the quicksilver southpaw replied when asked if he had a preference out of the two reigning champions.

"The last thing I think about is who will fight who. No predictions."

Usyk's step up to boxing's blue riband division has been checked by injury niggles, with a bicep problem delaying his heavyweight debut – a seventh-round stoppage of American journeyman Chazz Witherspoon that remains his only outing since knocking out Tony Bellew on a final cruiserweight assignment in November 2018.

"I need to stay active. I need to box," he added. "If your vocation is passive, it's not good. If you stay active, it's very good. This is my active vocation."

Despite events having to take place behind closed doors and restrictions on travel outside the country, Australia's major sporting leagues continue to plough on manfully amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Football, rugby league and Australian rules football are all vying for centre stage this weekend.

A look further afield means we've also got all you cricket and boxing fans covered.

Western Sydney Wanderers v Sydney FC – A-League

Normally one of the feistiest fixtures on the A-League calendar, the empty stands of Bankwest Stadium will feel particularly incongruous for the latest instalment of this local argument.

Sydney are sitting pretty at the top of the standings – seven points clear of Melbourne City and with three games in hand – but their only two A-League defeats this season have come courtesy of a pair of 1-0 defeats to the Wanderers, with Mitchell Duke the matchwinner on both occasions.

Roosters v Sea Eagles, Sharks v Storm – NRL

It's week two in the NRL and correcting false starts will largely be the order of the day on Saturday.

Sydney Roosters were beaten 20-14 by Penrith Panthers and will hope to make amends at home to Manly Sea Eagles, themselves dispatched 18-4 by Melbourne Storm.

It means the Storm travel with a spring in their steps to face Cronulla Sharks, who fell short in a 22-18 thriller against South Sydney Rabbitohs last time out.

New Zealand Warriors, who have remained in Australia due to travel restrictions back home, are also in action against Canberra Raiders.

Melbourne City v Sydney FC – W-League

Melbourne City were the dominant force in the W-League this term, topping the table undefeated, and head into Saturday's Grand Final as strong favourites to win their fourth title in the past five seasons.

City earned the right to host the match by demolishing Western Sydney Wanderers 5-1 in their semi-final, while there was a certain symmetry to Sydney FC progressing via a 1-0 win against Melbourne Victory.

Greater Western Sydney v Geelong - AFL

The first round of action in the AFL sees last season's beaten Grand Finalists Greater Western Sydney host Geelong – the 2019 minor premiers.

Elsewhere Essendon entertain Freemantle, Sydney Swans travel to Adelaide Crows and Gold Coast Suns take on Port Adelaide.

Tibo Monabesa v Toto Landero – WBC International light-flyweight title

The coronavirus outbreak has led to the vast majority of elite boxing action in the United Kingdom and the United States being cancelled, but there is an international contest of some intrigue in Indonesia.

Monabesa (20 wins, one defeat, two draws) is seeking to get back in world title contention having won successive bouts on the back of his sole career loss to Japan's undefeated WBC light-flyweight king Hiroto Kyoguchi.

Jakarta's home favourite will have game Filipino Landero (11-4-2) for company in the squared circle.

Rangers v Mountaineers, Matabeleland Tuskers v Mid West Rhinos – Logan Cup

Mountaineers can draw level with Mashonaland Eagles at the top of Zimbabwe's first-class cricket competition if they can see off a Rangers side languishing in last place and winless in six matches this season.

It's also day one of four when Mid West Rhinos travel to face Matabeleland Tuskers. Rhinos all-rounder Neville Madziva is the top run-scorer in the Logan Cup this season – his total of 361 including a maiden red-ball century.  

Anthony Joshua could fight Tyson Fury next if the coronavirus pandemic means his upcoming bout with Kubrat Pulev is delayed, according to Eddie Hearn.

WBA, WBO and IBF world champion Joshua is due to take on Bulgarian Pulev at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on June 20.

Complications caused by COVID-19 could mean that date is changed to July 25, though much will depend on when the Premier League restarts.

Football in England’s top flight is now postponed until April 30 at the earliest and Spurs may not be able to provide their venue if the halted 2019-20 season runs until later this year.

Hearn is focusing on finding a solution to the Pulev dilemma, but also sees another option where a blockbuster bout with undefeated WBC champion Fury takes place next.

Fury is contractually obliged to take a third bout with American Deontay Wilder, but Hearn thinks everything is fluid in the current climate.

"Well I think, all of a sudden, does the Joshua-Fury fight start taking priority, maybe over a Pulev fight, if the Pulev fight extends beyond the summer, " Joshua’s manager Hearn said to Sky Sports.

"There's so much that could happen right now. Anything is possible.

"But contractually Deontay Wilder is going to want his fight next, whether that's in July or whether there's a force majeure that takes that to October, November wherever.

"Right now, for us, we are fighting Kubrat Pulev, June 20, and it could be July 25, but everything is uncertain at the moment, whilst the country and the world tries to contain this pandemic."

All fights for Hearn’s Matchroom stable for the month of April are postponed.

But, as things stand, the Dillian Whyte v Alexander Povetkin and Dereck Chisora v Oleksandr Usyk fights, scheduled for May 2 and May 23 respectively, have not been moved.

Hearn added: "May is going ahead, but we also understand that we have contingencies in place.

"[We could] move Dillian Whyte to the middle of June, to move Derek Chisora-Usyk back into the end of June, early July, and of course Anthony Joshua, who was due to go June 20, at Tottenham Hotspur football club.

"Really relies on the run of the Premier League now, because if the Premier League extend their season, Spurs will need their stadium.

"We already have a reserve date that we're discussing with Spurs of July 25 for Anthony Joshua against Kubrat Pulev at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium."

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