- Deontay Wilder defended his WBC belt with ease and called out Anthony Joshua
- Heavyweight champion charged through Bermane Stiverne in brutal fashion
- Wilder said: 'I declare war upon you (Joshua). Do you accept my challenge?'
Published: 01:47 EDT, 5 November 2017 | Updated: 01:54 EDT, 5 November 2017
When Deontay Wilder finally took off the gold mask he wore into the ring, he displayed a fierce scowl.
That look never disappeared from his face as he knocked out the only man who'd ever gone the distance with him.
Wilder sent Bermane Stiverne to the canvas three times in the opening round to defend his WBC heavyweight title Saturday night at Barclays Center.
Deontay Wilder eviscerated Bermane Stiverne to defend his WBC title in Brooklyn
The champion charged through his opponent in the first round in devastating fashion
After the fight Wilder called out Anthony Joshua and said he was 'declaring war'
'So much frustration, it just seemed like my career, it's been crazy . so many guys using PEDs,' Wilder said. 'I just want to prove that I am the best. I know I am the best, but I wanna prove I am the best.'
There wasn't much question of that in the Showtime card that ended in spectacular fashion.
The 32-year-old Wilder jabbed through much of the first round while Stiverne, who hadn't fought in two years, moved slowly and cautiously around the ring. Suddenly, Wilder lashed out with a huge right that felled Stiverne (25-3-1).
Already, Wilder was celebrating, but Stiverne got up. Unwisely, it turned out, because another big right as part of a flurry of punches sent the 38-year-old challenger back down.
Wilder wore an intricate gold mask on his walk to the ring before the victory
Wilder paid his opponent no respect as he stood him down and stared during the bout
At that point, Wilder climbed atop the ropes in a neutral corner, shouting at Stiverne's trainer to end things.
When they didn't, another right and then a mammoth left hook sent down the challenger for the final time with his 'Alabama Slammer.'
'One champion, one face, one name, he goes by Deontay Wilder,' the WBC champ said.
Wilder won the belt from Stiverne in 2015 in a 12-round decision. He repeatedly insisted Stiverne would go down and out early in this one.
Wilder kept his word.
He is 39-0 with 38 knockouts.
Wilder now can set his sights on something he has been promising throughout 2017: unifying the heavyweight belts. He wants England's Anthony Joshua, the WBA/IBF champ, sometime next year, and was busy issuing challenges after disposing of Stiverne.
'I've been waiting on that fight for a long time now,' he said. 'I declare war upon you. Do you accept my challenge?
'I know I'm the champion, I know I'm the best. Are you up for the test?'
The American is immensely powerful and made short work of his challenger
Stiverne crumpled in a heap following his demolition in the very first round of the fight
This was Wilder's sixth defense, and his most ferocious. Stiverne, who last fought on Nov. 14, 2015, outpointing Derric Rossy, never had a chance. He was a substitute for Jose Ortiz, who failed a drug test.
Stiverne did not land a punch and never should have bothered showing up.
Earlier, Sergey Lipinets won a unanimous decision over Akihiro Kondo for the vacant IBF junior welterweight title, a decision that was lustily booed by the crowd of 10,924 at Barclays Center.
In a bout featuring lots of action but lots of missed punches, the 28-year-old Lipinets of Kazakhstan won despite dealing with a cut on the forehead that bled for the final six rounds. He won 118-111 on one judge's card and 117-111 on two others even though Kondo, fighting outside of his native Japan for the first time, carried much of the action in the second half of the bout.
The AP scored it 115-113 for Lipinets, who is 13-0. Kondo fell to 29-7-1, losing for the first time in nine fights.
'The head butt really impaired my vision and it led to me walking into some stupid shots,' Lipinets said.
The referee had a tough job wrestling the heavyweight off his challenger after the KO
Wilder is aiming for bigger things and wants to take on Anthony Joshua in his next fight
Shawn Porter pummeled Adrian Granados for most of 12 rounds in a lopsided fight. There were more clinches in the first round of that fight than in the entire Lipinets-Kondo matchup.
Porter is in line for another welterweight championship opportunity; he held the IBF crown in 2013-14. He improved to 28-2-1 in a bout that had little style, but plenty of action. The judges all had it 117-111 for Porter.
'He gave me a little trouble here and there,' said Porter, who wants a rematch with WBA champ Keith Thurman, who beat him at Barclays Center last year. 'I hurt my left hand in the sixth round, but I kept using it. I had to use my jab. It took a toll on me and by the 10th round I just couldn't throw it anymore.'
Granados is now 18-6-2.
In what was billed a heavyweight eliminator, Dominic Breazeale (19-1, 17 KOs) stopped Eric Molina after eight rounds. Molina, exhausted after taking a battering in the eighth, had his arms hanging over the ropes when the round ended. A ringside doctor then stopped it.
Molina (26-5) previously has lost to both Wilder and to WBA-IBF champion Anthony Joshua. Breazeale also has lost to Joshua.
'Deontay is who I want to face,' Breazeale said.
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Australia: Scott Morrison saga casts scrutiny on Queen’s representative
In the past fortnight, Australia has been gripped by revelations that former Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison secretly appointed himself to several additional ministries.
The move has been labelled a “power grab” by his successor as prime minister, and Mr Morrison has been scolded by many – even his own colleagues.
But the scandal has also dragged Australia’s governor-general into the fray – sparking one of the biggest controversies involving the Queen’s representative in Australia in 50 years.
So does Governor-General David Hurley have questions to answer, or is he just collateral damage?
Governors-general have fulfilled the practical duties as Australia’s head of state since the country’s 1901 federation.
Candidates for the role were initially chosen by the monarch but are now recommended by the Australian government.
The job is largely ceremonial – a governor-general in almost every circumstance must act on the advice of the government of the day. But conventions allow them the right to “encourage” and “warn” politicians.
Key duties include signing bills into law, issuing writs for elections, and swearing in ministers.
Mr Hurley has run into trouble on the latter. At Mr Morrison’s request, he swore the prime minister in as joint minister for health in March 2020, in case the existing minister became incapacitated by Covid.
Over the next 14 months, he also signed off Mr Morrison as an additional minister in the finance, treasury, home affairs and resources portfolios.
Mr Morrison already had ministerial powers, so Mr Hurley was basically just giving him authority over extra departments.
It’s a request the governor-general “would not have any kind of power to override or reject”, constitutional law professor Anne Twomey tells the BBC.
“This wasn’t even a meeting between the prime minister and the governor-general, it was just paperwork.”
But Mr Morrison’s appointments were not publicly announced, disclosed to the parliament, or even communicated to most of the ministers he was job-sharing with.
Australia’s solicitor-general found Mr Morrison’s actions were not illegal but had “fundamentally undermined” responsible government.
But the governor-general had done the right thing, the solicitor-general said in his advice this week.
It would have been “a clear breach” for him to refuse the prime minister, regardless of whether he knew the appointments would be kept secret, Stephen Donaghue said.
Critics push for investigation
Ultimately, Mr Hurley had to sign off on Mr Morrison’s requests, but critics say he could have counselled him against it and he could have publicised it himself.
But representatives for the governor-general say these types of appointments – giving ministers the right to administer other departments – are not unusual.
And it falls to the government of the day to decide if they should be announced to the public. They often opt not to.
Mr Hurley himself announcing the appointments would be unprecedented. He had “no reason to believe that appointments would not be communicated”, his spokesperson said.
Emeritus professor Jenny Hocking finds the suggestion Mr Hurley didn’t know the ministries had been kept secret “ridiculous”.
“The last of these bizarre, duplicated ministry appointments… were made more than a year after the first, so clearly by then the governor-general did know that they weren’t being made public,” she says.
“I don’t agree for a moment that the governor-general has a lot of things on his plate and might not have noticed.”
The historian says it’s one of the biggest controversies surrounding a governor-general since John Kerr caused a constitutional crisis by sacking Prime Minister Gough Whitlam in 1975.
Prof Hocking famously fought for transparency around that matter – waging a lengthy and costly legal battle that culminated in the release of Mr Kerr’s correspondence with the Queen.
And she says the same transparency is needed here.
The Australian public need to know whether Mr Hurley counselled the prime minister against the moves, and why he didn’t disclose them
The government has already announced an inquiry into Mr Morrison’s actions, but she wants it to look at the governor-general and his office too.
“If the inquiry is to find out what happened in order to fix what happened, it would be extremely problematic to leave out a key part of that equation.”
Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull – Mr Morrison’s predecessor – has also voiced support for an inquiry.
“Something has gone seriously wrong at Government House,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
“It is the passive compliance along the chain… that did undermine our constitution and our democracy… that troubles me the most. This is how tyranny gets under way.”
PM defends governor-general
Prof Twomey says the criticism of Mr Hurley is unfair – there’s was no “conspiracy” on his part to keep things secret.
“I don’t think it’s reasonable for anyone to expect that he could have guessed that the prime minister was keeping things secret from his own ministers, for example.
“Nobody really thought that was a possibility until about two weeks ago.”
Even if he had taken the unprecedented step to publicise the appointments or to reject Mr Morrison’s request, he’d have been criticised, she says.
“There’d be even more people saying ‘how outrageous!'” she says. “The role of governor-general is awkward because people are going to attack you either way.”
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has also defended Mr Hurley, saying he was just doing his job.
“I have no intention of undertaking any criticism of [him].”
A role fit for purpose?
Prof Hocking says it’s a timely moment to look at the role of the governor-general more broadly.
She points out it’s possible the Queen may have been informed about Mr Morrison’s extra ministries when Australia’s parliament and people were not.
“It does raise questions about whether this is fit for purpose, as we have for decades been a fully independent nation, but we still have… ‘the relics of colonialism’ alive and well.”
Momentum for a fresh referendum on an Australian republic has been growing and advocates have seized on the controversy.
“The idea that the Queen and her representative can be relied upon to uphold our system of government has been debunked once and for all,” the Australian Republic Movement’s Sandy Biar says.
“It’s time we had an Australian head of state, chosen by Australians and accountable to them to safeguard and uphold Australia’s constitution.”
But Prof Twomey says republicans are “clutching at straws” – under their proposals, the head of state would also have been bound to follow the prime minister’s advice.
“It wouldn’t result in any changes that would have made one iota of difference.”
Australia election: PM Morrison’s security team in car crash in Tasmania
A car carrying the Australian prime minister’s security team has crashed in Tasmania during an election campaign visit.
Four police officers were taken to hospital with “non-life threatening injuries” after the car and another vehicle collided, authorities said.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison was not in the car, but the accident prompted him to cancel the rest of his campaign events on Thursday.
The other driver involved was not hurt.
Tasmania Police said initial investigations suggested the second car had “collided with the rear of the police vehicle, while attempting to merge”. It caused the unmarked security vehicle to roll off the road.
The two Tasmania Police officers and two Australian Federal Police officers were conscious when taken to hospital for medical assessment, the prime minister’s office said.
“Family members of the officers have been contacted and are being kept informed of their condition,” a statement said.
“The PM is always extremely grateful for the protection provided by his security team and extends his best wishes for their recovery and to their families.”
Australians go to the polls on 21 May. Mr Morrison – prime minister since 2018 – is hoping to win his conservative coalition’s fourth term in office.
Polls suggest the opposition Labor Party, led by Anthony Albanese, is favoured to win. However, Mr Morrison defied similar polling to claim victory at the last election in 2019.
Mr Morrison’s Liberal-National coalition holds 76 seats in the House of Representatives – the minimum needed to retain power.
Political observers say the cost of living, climate change, trust in political leaders, and national security will be among key issues in the campaign.
In recent weeks, the prime minister has faced accusations of being a bully and once sabotaging a rival’s career by suggesting the man’s Lebanese heritage made him less electable. Mr Morrison has denied the allegations.
Mr Albanese stumbled into his own controversy this week when he failed to recall the nation’s unemployment or interest rates.
Sydney airport warns delays could last weeks on third day of travel chaos
Long queues at Sydney airport’s domestic terminals have continued for a third day, with some passengers missing international connections, as the airport warns delays resulting from a surge in travellers and a shortfall in security staff could continue for weeks.
Chaotic scenes were reported in the departure halls as early as 4.30am on Saturday, with some frustrated travellers, many of whom heeded the pleas of airport chiefs to arrive at least two hours before their domestic flight was due to take off, claiming only one security line was operating.
While the queues that formed early on Saturday are understood to have cleared later in the morning, the airport apologised to affected travellers.
“Traffic numbers are picking up and the close contact rules are making it hard to fill shifts and staff the airport. We appreciate your patience,” Sydney airport said on its Twitter account.
A wave of families travelling as the term two school holidays begin this weekend, combined with close contact rules that are understood to be taking out about 20% of security shifts in any given day, are driving the problem.
Certis, the company that Sydney airport contracts for its security operations, is desperately trying to recruit personnel, while the airport has reallocated back office, IT and retail workers to the departure hall to comb queues so they can prioritise passengers at risk of missing their flight.
“We are working around the clock to resolve these issues and have teams in the terminals bringing passengers forward in order of priority,” a Sydney airport spokesperson said.
He added that the airport is “anticipating it will [be] busy right through the school holiday period and peak over the Easter and Anzac Day weekends, in some cases at 90% of pre-Covid passenger levels”.
“We’re deeply grateful to passengers for their ongoing patience and we’re sorry to everyone who has been inconvenienced,” the spokesperson said. “We would also like to thank passengers for getting to the airport early and treating staff and each other with kindness and respect.”
The Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce was forced to clarify comments he made on Friday that passengers were “not match fit” and that those forgetting to remove laptops and aerosols from their bags at the security check contributing to the delays.
“Just to be clear, I’m not ‘blaming’ passengers,” Joyce said. “Of course it’s not their fault,” he said.
Qantas shed thousands of staff during the pandemic, and outsourced ground crews in a decision that was challenged in court.
On Saturday, Qantas also apologised to a Melbourne family left stranded in Sydney, after domestic flight delays caused them to miss an international trip.
Javiera Martinez, her partner Daniel Capurro and their three children were supposed to be flying to Chile on Friday to visit relatives they had not seen in three years.
But after their 8am Qantas flight from Melbourne was delayed by half an hour, baggage handling and airport transfer delays in Sydney meant they couldn’t make their 11.30am LATAM Airlines flight to Santiago.
Martinez said the airline’s procedures at the airport were chaotic.
“We think Qantas didn’t behave appropriately. I got berated by the person at the counter – they never apologised, they never assumed any responsibility at all,” she said. “It was a rude conversation. We have been mistreated badly I would say.”
The PCR tests they need to travel have now expired and they will have to take them again as they wait for seats on the next flight to Santiago from Sunday.
The airline has apologised and paid for a night’s accommodation in Sydney.
“We sincerely apologise that the family missed their connecting flight on another airline due to delays moving through Sydney airport on Friday,” a Qantas spokesperson said.
The family is among many affected by hold ups amid the busiest travel period in two years, with Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane airports warning passengers to arrive two hours before domestic flights.
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