Ring girls dumped from Joshua vs Ruiz rematch in Saudi Arabia 'out of respect for local customs'

The rematch between Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia will be without a familiar sight for boxing fans after promoters ruled that ring girls will be absent.

Mexican-American fighter Ruiz Jr defends the world heavyweight titles he so sensationally won from Joshua earlier this year when the pair meet again at a purpose built 15,000-seater stadium in Diriyah on December 7, in an event dubbed ‘The Clash on the Dunes’. 

READ MORE: Anthony Joshua v Andy Ruiz Jr rematch confirmed for Saudi Arabia in December

Out of respect for strict local customs which require women to cover up, promoters have confirmed there will not be bikini-clad ring girls present to hold up cards in between rounds, TMZ reports.

The WWE faced a similar dilemma at its Crown Jewel event earlier this year, when it opted for more modest attire for its female athletes.

Brit fighter Joshua will be aiming to reclaim the WBO, WBA, IBF and IBO belts he so stunningly lost to 29-year-old Ruiz Jr, a short-notice replacement, at Madison Square Garden back in June.  

Joshua, 30, had been unbeaten heading into that bout but suffered a the seventh-round stoppage defeat after being put down four times.

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Naked sushi girls & celeb pals: Heavyweight champ Ruiz Jr. throws lavish birthday bash (VIDEO)

Both fighters are already in Saudi Arabia as they gear up for one of the biggest boxing events the region has ever hosted.

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Johnson pledges to toughen up sentencing after London Bridge attack launched by CONVICTED terrorist

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pledged to bolster prison sentences for criminals who commit serious and violent offenses, following Friday’s terror attack in London, carried out by a convicted terrorist.

On a visit to the scene of the deadly attack on Saturday, Johnson said that people convicted of terrorism offences should not be allowed out of prison early. His comments came after it was revealed that attacker Usman Khan had been released from prison last year before he’d served his full sentence.

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Police officers aim at a man who had stabbed a number of people, on London Bridge, November 29, 2019 in this still image obtained from a social media video
Rehabilitation gone wrong? London police confirm attacker’s ID, terrorism conviction & early release

“I think that the practice of automatic, early release where you cut a sentence in half and let really serious, violent offenders out early simply isn’t working, and you’ve some very good evidence of how that isn’t working, I am afraid, with this case,” Johnson said.

Khan was shot dead by police after stabbing five people in the area around London Bridge on Friday. Two persons have died from their wounds. He was released from jail on licence in December 2018, having been convicted of terror offences, including plotting to attack the London Stock Exchange in 2010.

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The man grabbed the narwhal tusk from a wall in Fishmongers Hall. © HLOBlog/ Ruptly
London Bridge hero grabbed 5ft NARWHAL TUSK off wall to confront terrorist (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)

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Cash flies, windows shatter: Hapless bank robbers try to blow ATM up in Kiev… but overdo it on explosives (PHOTOS)

A brazen bank heist in Ukraine’s capital went awry after raiders tried to blast their way into a cash-laden ATM – but the charge they set was way too powerful and took its toll on the office’s interior… and on the robbers’ loot.

The as-yet unknown culprits had broken into a branch of Ukraine’s state-run Oschadbank, having in their sights an ATM at the front door. They planted explosives on the tamper-proof machine, at which point things went profoundly wrong.

The explosion that rocked Kiev early on Saturday morning was so powerful that it caused the ceiling to collapse and the door and windows to shatter. The ATM itself was torn apart, with multiple banknotes scattered all over the place.

Police believe the robbers had to retreat before they grabbed all the cash they could and made off in an old Volkswagen Passat. It’s still unknown how much money was stolen; officers have recovered CCTV footage from the site and placed additional patrols on roads leading out of Kiev.

Oschadbank’s offices have been targeted by thieves in other cities across Ukraine. Back in September, an ATM was blown up in the city of Kharkiv – that heist turned out to be unfortunate as well, with the perpetrators losing roughly 300,000 hryvnias ($12,500) while making good their escape.

Trying, and failing, to break into ATMs using more intellectual methods appears to be a growing trend among criminals. Last year, it emerged that experienced ATM robbers in Russia reportedly offered training courses for interested parties, in turn receiving a share of the spoils from every successful robbery.

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Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway in Oscar-winning film Bonnie and Clyde, 1967 © Global Look Press
Russian ATM robbers offer master courses for beginners

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Seduced by the law: Female cop in India uses old photo & phony marriage proposal to nab on-the-run murder suspect

A murder suspect on the run from the law has been caught, after a female police officer offered to marry the wanted criminal. Police were waiting when the man arrived at what he thought would be his wedding ceremony.

Police in Chhatarpur, northeast India, had been hunting a man wanted for murder and other crimes. While authorities found themselves unable to track him down, a source informed them that the suspect had been looking for a bride – a piece of intelligence that was used to hatch an ingenious scheme.

A female officer, identified in local media as Sub-Inspector Madhavi Agnihotri, reportedly forwarded an old photo of herself to the alleged killer. After several telephone conversations, she was able to convince the man that she was seeking a husband, and proposed that the pair marry.

Unbeknownst to the suspect, police were waiting at the temple where the wedding ceremony was to take place.

A purported photograph of the arrest shows Agnihotri – who chose to wear her police uniform instead of a wedding dress – standing beside the visibly unhappy groom-to-never-be.

The suspect was swiftly brought before a local court and sent to jail.

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A ‘cursed’ superfight? Why UFC fans will be desperate for Khabib vs Ferguson to actually happen this time

For years, the prospect of a fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson has appeared to be cursed but now that the UFC have officially paired them for a FIFTH time, will it be worth the wait?

It was confirmed late on Friday that Khabib Nurmagomedov, the UFC lightweight champion, will defend his crown against Tony Ferguson in April and if this is a familiar sentence to read, that is because this has happened – and subsequently fallen apart – on no fewer than four previous occasions. 

OFFICIAL: Tony Ferguson signs to face Khabib in UFC lightweight title fight in April

Rarely has a fight which has such important ramifications for their division seemed to be so difficult to set. But here we are once again, nearly five years after the UFC first attempted to book both fighters against each other, and despite the formalities being agreed for April 18 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, past experience suggests fight fans will be forgiven for believing this will be reality only when the two fighters set foot on the octagon canvas in a few months’ time. 

And if you need a refresher as to why this has been an almost impossible fight to arrange, consider the following.

The Ultimate Fighter 22 Finale – December 11, 2015

Well over a year after what was to that point the biggest win of Nurmagomedov’s career against Rafael Dos Anjos (and after two aborted attempts to arrange a fight with Donald Cerrone), the UFC made their first attempt at booking Khabib v. Ferguson but it was scuppered a couple of months out by a rib injury suffered by the Dagestani grappler. Ferguson instead fought Edson Barboza in a fight he won by second round submission.

UFC on FOX 19 – April 16, 2016

Let’s try this one again, shall we? With both fighters fit and available, the UFC tried to reschedule the fight for the main event of a card in Tampa, Florida, but once again the fight was scrapped – this time 11 days before they were due to compete.

Zuffa LLC / Getty Images



This time it was Ferguson who was ruled out after suffering a lung complaint. Instead, Khabib fought promotional newcomer Darrell Horcher at a catchweight of 160lbs and won the fight by second round TKO.

UFC 209 – March 4, 2017

Third time’s a charm, surely? Not quite. Once again the fight gods inflicted their will on the Khabib-Ferguson rivalry, this time cancelling the bout on its eve after a particularly difficult weight cut for the Russian fighter saw him hospitalized and deemed medically ineligible to fight. 

Getty Images / Zuffa LLC



UFC 223 – April 7, 2018

OK, it can’t possibly fall apart again can it? Yes it can. This time around, and less than a week out from the fight, it was announced that Ferguson has suffered a serious knee injury after he tripped over a cable in a television studio while promoting the fight.

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© Ed Mulholland
Khabib Nurmagomedov becomes Russia’s first UFC champion

Ferguson was replaced by featherweight champion Max Holloway who was also later deemed medically unfit to fight after New York State Athletic Commission officials determined that his weight cut would be unsafe. Al Iaquinta was instead drafted in to fight Khabib on just hours’ notice and was defeated by unanimous decision. 

UFC Brooklyn – April 18, 2020

So, here we are again. It would quite frankly defy logic if this fight was to fall apart once more, although those words echo similar incredulous reactions to the last time the fight was cancelled. And the time before that, too.

If we put all of the history between the two fighters and their apparent inability to stay healthy at the same time to the side for one moment, in terms of divisional importance and a true signifier of the most dangerous threat at 155lbs this fight has no equal.

Ferguson is one of the few fighters in the lightweight division who, on paper at least, is capable of posing serious threats to Nurmagomedov on the ground – the wheelhouse from which the Russian’s strategy is formed. 

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‘Time to give the fans what they want’: Ferguson teases Khabib showdown with epic video as fight edges closer to confirmation

By the time the fight takes place (we write with crossed fingers), Ferguson will be on a 12-fight, eight-year winning streak and when you hold that up in the light against Nurmagomedov’s perfect 28-0 record (12 of those wins being in the UFC) this is a fight that HAS to take place lest the spectre of a ‘cursed’ fight between the division’s two most in-form fighters become theater in its own right. 

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Front page fail: Telegraph blasted for smearing clumsy headline over photo of London Bridge HERO

The Telegraph is facing severe criticism for covering its front page with a photo of the brave man who stripped the London Bridge attacker of his knife alongside a headline which appeared to point the finger of blame at the hero.

“Terror returns to London Bridge,” screamed the main headline on the British daily newspaper alongside a photo of the man holding one of Usman Khan’s blades, which he dispatched to safety as he joined a group of citizens in tackling the jihadist.

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The man grabbed the narwhal tusk from a wall in Fishmongers Hall. © HLOBlog/ Ruptly
London Bridge hero grabbed 5ft NARWHAL TUSK off wall to confront terrorist (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)

The combination of the photo and the strange choice of words caused a great deal of confusion and anger on social media, as many pointed out that it made it appear as if the man in the photo was the knife attacker.

Journalists and other people who work in the news industry were particularly baffled by the front page, with many noting that the paper appears to have defamed the man.

“Does this fella want to be on the front of a national newspaper like this? If you’ve not seen the video of a man being shot to death you’d be forgiven for thinking this guy was the perpetrator,” tweeted Athletic writer Sam Lee.

“Not sure if I’d just risked my life and disarmed a murdering terrorist I’d be happy with this front page,” added ITV News presenter Steve Scott, while radio presenter Alex Belfield described it as “appalling journalism.” 

A number of brave civilians teamed up to subdue Usman Khan after the extremist embarked on his murderous rampage in the London Bridge area on Friday. Those involved in taking down the knife attacker reportedly included a convicted murderer on day release, a man with a fire extinguisher, and a Polish chef called Luckasz armed with a narwhal tusk.

Khan stabbed five unarmed people during his cowardly assault. Two of his victims died from their injuries.

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McGregor tells Cerrone to 'enjoy Christmas dinner' – before firing first warning ahead of January showdown

As Conor McGregor mind games go it was on the tame side but the Irishman has already fired his first warning to Donald Cerrone ahead of their showdown at UFC 246 in Las Vegas.

McGregor’s long-awaited Octagon return was finally confirmed this week with the news he would throw down with Cerrone in a welterweight bout T-Mobile Arena on January 18.

Return of the Mac: Conor McGregor to face Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone in January UFC comeback

Taking to social media, Cerrone issued a reminder of why he is a firm favorite among MMA fans, listing the achievements from his 50-fight pro career.

“Let this Soak in! This will be my 51st MMA fight and I plan to add new numbers to all these list come January 18,” the 36-year-old wrote to his 1.6 million Instagram followers.  

What followed was a run-down of Cowboy’s UFC accomplishments:

“I hold the all-time UFC record for wins with 23.

“I hold the all-time UFC record for finishes with 16.

“I hold the all-time UFC record for post-fight bonus awards with 18.

“I hold the all-time UFC record in knockdowns with 20.

“I hold the all-time UFC record with seven knockouts via kicks.”

In response, the 31-year-old McGregor offered a hint of deference and even extended his best wishes for Christmas – before vowing he would face Cerrone “with bullseye vision.”

“Good man Donald, enjoy the Christmas dinner. Happy holidays to you and the family, from the McGregor’s here in Ireland.

“See you in 20/20  with bullseye vision,” McGregor wrote.

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‘It’s a miscalculation’: UFC pundit Sonnen reveals why McGregor might be making major mistake with Cerrone bout

The pair will face-off more than four years after they traded jibes ahead of McGregor’s bout against Jose Aldo back in 2015.

The pair’s octagon activity could barely have been more contrasting in 2019, with McGregor not fighting since his defeat to Khabib Nurmagomedov in October of 2018, while Cerrone has fought four times this years.

He has lost the last two of those fights, suffering a second-round stoppage loss to Tony Ferguson in June and a first-round TKO defeat to Justin Gaethje in September.

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Sputnik / AFP
‘Finally, I get my hands on him’: Donald Cerrone reacts as Conor McGregor bout confirmed

McGregor has outlined his plans for a three-fight ‘season’ in 2020, starting with Cerrone and potentially moving on to newly-crowned ‘BMF’ Jorge Masvidal, before culminating in a rematch with Khabib.

Wishful thinking or not, the mind games have already begun for the first fight on McGregor’s 2020 list.  

Source: NEWS

‘He may see a REAL ballistic missile soon’: Pyongyang riducules Shinzo Abe’s poor knowledge of rockets NK fired into Sea of Japan

North Korea had some bold words for the Japanese PM, who mistook a long-range multiple rocket launch system, just tested by Pyongyang, for one of its ballistic missiles. Even civvies can spot the difference, an official quipped.

The reclusive state claimed that it has successfully tested an extra-powerful multiple rocket launcher under a watchful eye of Kim Jong-un, after both projectiles traveled a certain distance and landed in the Sea of Japan on Friday.

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FILE PHOTO: People watch a TV broadcast showing a file footage for a news report on North Korea firing two projectiles, possibly missiles, into the sea between the Korean peninsula and Japan, in Seoul, South Korea, October 31, 2019. © REUTERS/Heo Ran
North Korea launches two unidentified projectiles toward Sea of Japan – S. Korean, Japanese military

Tokyo habitually slammed the test as it did on multiple occasions in the past, with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe referring to it as “a ballistic missile launch” that endangers Japan and the world. Intentional or not, the gaffe touched a nerve in some bigwigs in Pyongyang.

“It can be said that Abe is the only one idiot in the world and the most stupid man ever known in history,” proclaimed a top official at the North’s foreign ministry, as quoted by KCNA.

Even civilians who have no clue about missiles are better aware of the North Korean engineering prowess than the Prime Minister of Japan, the publication asserted. A difference between a ballistic missile and a multiple launch rocket system, which is a conventional weapon, can be seen “with a single glance.”

Quoting a Korean saying that “a fool makes a rod for himself,” the message dropped a subtle hint, warning that Abe “may see what a real ballistic missile is in the not too distant future and under his nose.”

North Korea has stepped up tests of strategic weapons amid stalling denuclearization talks with the US. Preciously, in November it tested “super-large multiple rocket launchers” and carried out “real war-like drills” involving two coastal artillery units.

North Korea has consistently tested multiple-launch rocket systems © KCNA / Reuters



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'Don't let Roma happen again': Footage reveals Messi’s ill-fated warning to Barca teammates before they collapsed at Liverpool

Lionel Messi warned his Barcelona teammates to avoid a repeat of their collapse against Roma at half-time during last season’s UEFA Champions League semifinal defeat to Liverpool, new footage has revealed.

Messi and Barcelona crashed out of the tournament after suffering a 4-0 second leg defeat at Anfield, having won the first game 3-0 at the Nou Camp.  

With the team 1-0 down at half-time at Anfield, captain Messi attempted to rouse the team, warning them they must avoid the same fate as befell them a year previously when they were dumped out of the Champions League quarterfinals after a famous comeback by Roma. 

“Come on, guys, let’s take a step forward,” Messi is heard saying in footage shared by Marca from the club’s new documentary on Rakuten TV.

“We can’t pass up this opportunity. Give it your all, we’re there.

“We’re going to start [the second half] strong. Remember, what happened at Roma was our fault, no one else’s,” he adds.

“Don’t let the same thing happen again. It was our fault and nothing more.”

Action Images via Reuters



Messi’s words proved in vain as Liverpool ripped Barca apart in the second half, adding a double from Georginio Wijnaldum and a second of the game from Divock Origi.

Footage online has shown the aftermath of the defeat as the Barcelona players sat in stunned silence in the away dressing room at Anfield.

Messi in particular was said to have been so distraught at the loss that he was seen wandering round the Anfield corridors in tears.

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© Action Images via Reuters / Carl Recine
Inconsolable Messi ‘broke down in tears’ in Barca dressing room after shock Liverpool defeat

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Smeared by ‘Israel lobby’? Dutch cartoonist scoffs after being branded ‘Nazi sympathizer’ over Netanyahu caricature

A Jewish group is up in arms over a Dutch cartoon that suggests Benjamin Netanyahu is trying to use claims of anti-Semitism against Jeremy Corbyn for his own political benefit. The cartoon’s artist has defended his work.

The caricature, published in De Volkskrant, a major Dutch daily, depicts the Israeli prime minister holding a stone labeled “anti-Semitism charges” in one hand and reading an indictment for corruption in the other.

UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn is opposite him, saying: “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.”

While the cartoon seems to suggest that Netanyahu has used accusations of anti-Semitism directed against Corbyn in order to deflect from his own corruption scandals, the Israeli prime minister has remained – at least publicly – largely silent on the issue.

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FILE PHOTO © Flickr / Elliot Brady
BBC received over 1,500 complaints of bias against Jeremy Corbyn after Panorama episode

The Netherlands-based Center for Information and Documentation on Israel (CIDI) said the cartoon’s statement was “absurd” and “reaffirms the anti-Semitic stereotype that Jews are more loyal to Israel than countries where they live.” 

Responding to the accusation, cartoonist Jos Collignon said that he was being labeled as a “Nazi sympathizer” for criticizing Israel and its leader.

When allegations of anti-Semitism occur, the Israel lobby is never far behind… There is no point linking modern-day opponents to atrocities from the past. We’re all being labeled as Nazi sympathizers.

Although Netanyahu has remained tight-lipped on the issue, many have pointed to Israeli links to the Labour anti-Semitism scandal. A BBC documentary on the heated political topic features two unnamed interviewees, who also appeared in an Al Jazeera documentary on the Israel lobby’s influence in UK politics. One of the individuals interviewed by the BBC about Labour’s alleged institutionalized anti-Semitism was a former employee of the Israeli Embassy.

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