Amir Khan says he is “disappointed” after Floyd Mayweather choose to fight Andre Berto in September. “I’m disappointed not to have got the fight for what is the third time after having been one of the frontrunners. “However, there are many big fights out there for me and I’m going to continue working hard to establish myself at the top of the welterweight division.”
Ajax were the big casualty in Tuesday’s Champions League third qualifying round, losing 4-5 on aggregate to Austrian side Rapid Wien. The tie was poised at 2-2 after the first leg. But in the second-leg the Dutch side conceded two early goals at the Amsterdam Arena and Louis Schaub goal 13 minutes from time gave Rapid a 3-2 victory.
Partick Thistle’s new signing Mathias Pogba – brother of Juventus midfielder Paul – aims to make a name for himself in Scotland’s top flight. Pogba, 24, has signed a one-year deal. with the Scottish Premiership outfit. However, much like Dundee United’s Rodney Sneijder, the striker knows he cannot be mentioned without reference to his more famous brother. “Definitely as a footballer you would like to be known as you, not as the brother of Paul,” he told BBC Scotland. “Everybody has been talking about my brother, but now it would be nice to say ‘OK, Mathias Pogba is here’.” Pogba could have an immediate opportunity to make his own mark, with Thistle’s upcoming league game this Sunday at home to Celtic. So what about the prospect of a winning debut goal on live television against the defending champions? “I pray to God all that could happen,” he said.
Bournemouth have signed former Leeds United forward Max Gradel from St Etienne for an undisclosed fee. The Premier League newcomers have agreed a four-year deal with the 27-year-old, who had a loan spell with the Cherries in the 2007-08 season. Ivory Coast player Gradel began his career at Leicester City and moved to Leeds in 2010 after a brief loan stint. He joined St Etienne 18 months later and was their leading scorer in Ligue 1 last season with 17 goals.
Angel Di Maria says he is “very happy” to be joining Paris St-Germain from Manchester United, a year after the Old Trafford club paid a British record £59.7m for him. The Argentina midfielder, 27, had a medical in Qatar on Tuesday ahead of his 63m euro (£44.3m) move. He later told beIN Sports: “I am very happy to join Paris St-Germain. They’re very important.” Neither club has yet confirmed that the player’s move has gone through. Aspetar, a specialist sports hospital in Doha, announced on its Twitter feed on Tuesday that the player was there “for a medical test ahead of a proposed move”. Di Maria added: “They made it to the quarter-finals of the Champions League, so my objective was to arrive to Paris and to help them through the quarter-final barrier, because they have struggled in the past two seasons. “I will try to do the best I can to help the club in those objectives and reach the final stages of the Champions League.”
Undefeated Floyd Mayweather will attempt to match Rocky Marciano’s record of 49 unanswered victories against Andre Berto on 12 September. Former welterweight champion Berto has 30 wins and three losses before his bout with his fellow American. “Promise you this I’m gonna be as ready as I’ve ever been. Don’t act surprised on 9/12,” tweeted Berto, 31. Britain’s Amir Khan had hoped for a September bout with Mayweather, 38, after beating Chris Algieri in June. Khan thought he was “closer than ever” to securing a meeting with the sport’s pound-for-pound king after his success over American fighter Algieri and Mayweather’s own points defeat of Manny Pacquiao in their lucrative meeting in May. However Mayweather has instead opted for an opponent who has lost three of his last six fights, with Berto suffering reverses to Victor Ortiz and Robert Guerro – both of whom have also been beaten by Mayweather – as well as Jesus Soto. “I always bring my A-game and this fight against Andre Berto is no exception,” said Mayweather. “He’s a young, strong fighter who is hungry to take down the best – 48 have tried before and on 12 September, I’m going to make it 49.”
New Nigeria coach Sunday Oliseh is determined to show he has the managerial ability to disprove the critics who say he lacks the experience needed for the job. The 40-year-old former Borussia Dortmund and Juventus midfielder signed a three-year deal last month and succeeded Stephen Keshi, who was sacked at the start of July. Oliseh coached the Belgian lower league side Vervietois between 2008 and 2009 and since then he’s been working as a pundit, sport consultant and Fifa Technical committee member. “People are saying say I’ve never coached at this level before,” Oliseh told BBC World Service. “The only answer I can give is, can they name to me one African former player that has been able to coach any first division team in Europe? “It’s not a question of lack of effort, I got my coaching badge from the English Football Association more than five years ago, I’ve been working with the Fifa technical study group so it’s not through lack of trying. “It’s a question of the fact that at this moment there doesn’t seem to be opening for African coaches in Europe. “Eventually we will get there, I am very optimistic. We will break the barriers someday.”