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Wilder files $5 million suit over canceled Povetkin fight

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NEW YORK  — Heavyweight boxer Deontay Wilder and promoter DiBella Entertainment have filed a $5 million lawsuit against Russian Alexander Povetkin and his promoter.

Wilder and DiBella filed suit alleging breach of contract Monday in U.S. District Court of New York. Wilder, the WBC champion, and mandatory challenger Povetkin were scheduled to fight May 21 in Moscow but the fight was postponed indefinitely when the Russian tested positive for Meldonium.

The banned substance is a blood-flow drug that historically was used to improve Soviet soldiers’ endurance.

The suit seeks damages of no less than $5 million and names Povetkin and promoter World of Boxing LLC, run by Andrei Ryabinsky. YahooSports first reported the suit.

Wilder was scheduled to make $4.369 million for the fight. He’ll face Chris Arreola July 16 in Birmingham, Alabama.

In a Twitter post Monday, Ryabinsky said: “There will be several of our lawsuits at the start of next week. It’ll be a real rumble.”

The suit said Povetkin was tested three times in early April, but didn’t test positive for the drug until April 27.

Wilder’s camp became concerned that Povetkin might be doping in late March, calling it “highly suspicious” that Povetkin had traveled to Spain, the suit said. Spain, according to the suit, is not traditionally regarded as a place for boxers to train but “is notorius as an epicent of doping.”

Ryabinsky had earlier predicted the Wilder-Povetkin fight “should take place by the end of the year.” Wilder’s promoter Lou DiBella opposes talk of rescheduling before a WBC ruling.

Tennis star Maria Sharapova is appealing a two-year ban after testing positive for Meldonium.

Pacquiao plans to return to the ring Nov. 5

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LAS VEGAS (AP) Manny Pacquiao isn’t ready to give up his night job just yet.

Pacquiao, who said before his last fight in April that he would retire, now plans to return to the ring in November against an opponent who has yet to be selected.

Promoter Bob Arum said Tuesday that Pacquiao got permission to take a break from his new duties as a senator in the Philippines to take another fight. It will be held Nov. 5, likely in Las Vegas.

“He likes to fight and he likes the attention,” Arum said of Pacquiao’s return.

Pacquiao looked impressive in his last fight in April, returning from a layoff to knock down Timothy Bradley on his way to a unanimous decision. After the fight he wavered on his previous plans to retire.

“If you ask me to come back I don’t know,” Pacquiao said. “I may be enjoying retired life. I’m not there yet so I just don’t know.”

Pacquiao, who was formerly a congressman in his native country, was elected to the Senate in May and there were fears that increased duties would prevent him from fighting again.

But Arum said the head of the Senate told Pacquiao he was free to fight after the country’s budget is settled on Oct. 15.

“He would train in the Philippines and leave on the 16th to come to the U.S., train for two weeks and then come to Vegas,” Arum said. “The only issue is getting an arena for the fight.”

Arum said he is talking with MGM Resorts about an arena to host the fight. He had reserved the Mandalay Bay arena for Oct. 15, but Pacquaio can’t leave his Senate duties that early.

The fight also could be at the UNLV campus arena, he said, though UNLV would have to move a scheduled basketball exhibition from the date.

There were reports that Pacquiao might fight Adrien Broner, but Arum said he wanted the same money as Pacquiao, which was a non-starter. Another possible opponent would be Jesse Vargas, who fights for Top Rank, and holds a piece of the welterweight title.

Pacquiao was off for nearly a year after losing in May 2015 to Floyd Mayweather Jr., healing from a shoulder injury. But he seemed reinvigorated after beating Bradley in April in a performance that got good reviews from most, including trainer Freddie Roach.

“When I see Manny Pacquiao like that, this is the best Manny Pacquiao,” Roach said after the fight. “He hasn’t missed a beat. I would like to see him fight again.”

Laila Ali, Jaime Foxx pay tribute to Muhammad Ali

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Laila Ali paid tribute to her late father, sports icon Muhammad Ali, during the BET Awards on Sunday at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

Ali, a retired boxer herself, started to choke up as she spoke about her father’s legacy and the outpouring of support since his death at the age of 74 on June 3 after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.

“My father, Muhammad Ali, lived his life with conviction and purpose,” Ali said. “He is known as the greatest athlete of all time, a man who fearlessly faced opposition both in and outside the ring.”

Actor Jamie Foxx, who starred in the 2001 biopic about the icon’s life, “Ali,” as Ali’s cornerman Drew Bundini Brown, also spoke about the legend, noting that he stood up when no one else was doing so.

After getting a standing ovation, Ali stood in front of a photo of her father holding her as an infant and talked about her father’s evolution in his heart, mind and spirit over the course of his lifetime.

“These past few weeks my father’s generosity and love has been matched by a worldwide outpouring of love and reverence for him and our entire family,” Ali said.

“If he was here today, he would humbly ask you to pray not just for our family, but for all of mankind.”