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Page 55 stories Vardy double puts Leicester on the cusp Jamie Vardy scored twice as leaders Leicester won at Sunderland to move within three victories…

Page 55 stories

Vardy double puts Leicester on the cusp

Jamie Vardy scored twice as leaders Leicester won at Sunderland to move within three victories of their first top-flight title.

Vardy coolly slotted in the first, before outpacing the opposition defence and tucking home a second deep into injury time.

The hosts’ best chance fell to substitute Jack Rodwell, who somehow blazed over from just eight yards out.

Sunderland remain 18th in the Premier League table, four points from safety.

Leicester’s remarkable surge towards the title shows no signs of slowing up after a battling victory over relegation-threatened Sunderland.

Foxes goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel said there is “no pressure” on his side in the run-in and there were certainly no signs of nerves at the Stadium of Light, even after going ahead in the 66th minute.

England internationals Danny Drinkwater and Vardy combined for the striker’s 20th league goal of the season, the first Leicester striker to reach the milestone in the top flight since Gary Lineker in the 1984-85 season. His 21st in injury time was superb, leaving Patrick van Aanholt floundering before going round Vito Mannone to slip the ball into an open net.

Claudio Ranieri’s men have now won their past five league games without conceding, picking up their 14th clean sheet of the campaign. They have lost just three of their 33 league games so far.

The supporters stayed inside the ground well after the final whistle chanting “we’re gonna win the league” and it now seems only an astonishing collapse will stop them from lifting the trophy.

Joshua wins world heavyweight title

Anthony Joshua stopped Charles Martin in two rounds at London’s O2 Arena to claim the IBF heavyweight title in only his 16th professional fight.

The Briton floored his American opponent with a peach of a right-hand counter and after Martin was knocked down again, the referee called a halt.

The 26-year-old is his country’s sixth bona fide heavyweight world champion.

Joshua is also just the fourth man to win a pro heavyweight world title while still a reigning Olympic champion.

And he is the first Briton to win both the super-heavyweight Olympic gold and a version of the world heavyweight title – London-born Lennox Lewis was fighting for Canada when he won the 1988 Olympic super-heavyweight title in Seoul.

Joshua’s victory now brings a super-fight against fellow Briton and WBA and WBO champion Tyson Fury a step closer.

Champion Martin, who was making the first defence of the title he won in January, entered the ring wearing a tall crown, a fur-trimmed, velvet cape and a smile as broad as his shoulders. But the smile soon disappeared.

Some thought previously unbeaten Martin, 29, would trouble Joshua with his southpaw stance – he was the first left-hander Joshua had faced in the paid ranks – but he barely threw a punch in anger.

It took Joshua half of the first round to find his range but when he did, he landed with three or four big right hands that appeared to rattle the champion.

The challenger staggered Martin with a sweet left hook early in the second, before a beautifully timed right put him on the seat of his pants.

Martin rose at eight but after another massive right put him down again, referee Jean-Pierre van Imschoot counted him out on his feet, one minute and 32 seconds into the round.

Dortmund’s draw puts Bayern on verge of title

Shinji Kagawa’s superb chip was not enough to prevent Borussia Dortmund drawing 2-2 at Schalke on Sunday, edging Bayern Munich towards a historic fourth straight Bundesliga title.

The draw in Gelsenkirchen leaves Pep Guardiola’s Bayern seven points clear of second-placed Dortmund in Germany’s top flight with five games left.

The Bavarians are hoping to become the first club to win the Bundesliga title four years in a row.

Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel gambled by resting star forwards Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Marco Reus and Henrikh Mkhitaryan from his starting line-up.

Borussia play Liverpool away on Thursday in the Europa League quarterfinal return leg at Anfield, after the first match ended in a 1-1 draw.

The game at Schalke’s Veltins-Arena burst into life after a goalless first half when Japan midfielder Kagawa put Dortmund ahead with a perfectly-timed chip over Schalke goalkeeper Ralf Faehrmann on 49 minutes.

It sparked Schalke into life as they equalised two minutes later when German junior international Leroy Sane, who has been linked with Manchester City, smashed home his shot.

Sloppy defending allowed Dortmund to go back in front when Schalke’s Roman Neustaedter was out-jumped by Matthias Ginter from a free-kick and the defender headed home on 56 minutes.

There was plenty of bite in the derby between the neighbouring clubs, who are only 50kms apart.

Dortmund defender Sokratis brought down Schalke striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar in the area on 66 minutes and the Dutch striker nailed the spot kick.

Denmark midfielder Pierre-Emile Hoejbjerg, on loan to Schalke from Bayern, was lucky to escape with only a yellow card when he hacked down Mkhitaryan in the 71st minute.

Schalke replacement Max Meyer had the chance to win the game in added time when he fired over the bar with the goal at his mercy.

The draw leaves Schalke seventh, just outside the European places for next season, while Dortmund’s 68 points from 29 league games is a club record for this stage of the season, although Bayern have 75.

Pacquiao beats Bradley in ‘final’ fight

Manny Pacquiao beat Timothy Bradley by unanimous decision in what the Filipino says is the final fight of his career.

All three judges scored Pacquiao winner by 116-110 on Saturday in the match between the pair in Las Vegas.

Pacquiao, 37, knocked down American Bradley, 32, in the seventh and ninth rounds in the third welterweight meeting between the two.

“I’ve made a commitment to my family that I’m going to retire after this,” said Pacquiao.

Pacquiao, who bounced back from a split-decision defeat by Bradley in 2012 with a decisive win two years later, looked the more menacing fighter after a cagey opening round.

Bradley landed occasionally but Pacquiao caught the American on the chin in the second round and stretched his lead further with a knockdown in the seventh.

A second knockdown followed in the ninth, despite a Bradley left-hook wobbling the Filipino a round earlier, as Pacquiao coasted home in the 66th fight of a career in which he has won world titles at six weights.

“Maybe I enjoy being a retired man, serving the people, helping the people,” added Pacquiao, who said before the fight he wishes to concentrate on a political career in the Philippines.

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