Ireland face battle for World Cup

first_img Press Association South Africa and the United States are expected to pose the greatest threats to Ireland’s £100million bid to host Rugby World Cup 2023. The Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) has confirmed an all-Ireland bid to stage the world contest in nine years’ time. The Northern Ireland Executive and Irish Government are underpinning the joint bid to secure rugby’s global showpiece. World Rugby expects the 2023 hosts to be selected in 2017, leaving Ireland quick off the mark in acclaiming their intentions. “This is an exciting announcement that further underscores the enormous prestige, appeal and benefits of hosting Rugby World Cup for both unions and governments alike,” said a World Rugby spokesman in response to Ireland confirming their intentions so quickly. Ireland’s bid will be for sole staging of the tournament, and will not include any help from the likes of the Welsh or Scottish Rugby Union. Dublin’s Aviva Stadium, Ulster’s Kingspan ground at Ravenhill and Limerick’s Thomond Park will form the centrepiece venues. Ireland’s bid will also draw upon a host of Gaelic football stadia, with the 82,300-capacity Croke Park in Dublin at the forefront of that collaboration. Political administrations in Ireland’s north and south have given the bid the green light after a 10-month preliminary assessment exercise. Irish premier Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Stormont’s First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness joined IRFU boss Browne to announce the bid in Armagh on Friday. England will host next year’s World Cup before the tournament descends on Japan in 2019, with World Rugby making good on long-held promises to grow the game beyond traditional heartlands. South Africa staged one of the most memorable tournaments in 1995, the hosts holding off New Zealand to claim glory under the jubilant and politically-poignant scenes of Nelson Mandela proudly sporting a Springboks shirt. New Zealand held the inaugural 1987 tournament, repeating hosting duties in 2011, while England will become the second nation to claim the honour twice, with 2015 following 1991. World Rugby could well aim to send the 2023 tournament back to a traditional rugby hotbed, after the 2019 shift to Japan: and that would leave South Africa strong contenders. The rugby-mad nation received a huge infrastructure boost for the FIFA football World Cup staged in 2010, so would argue much of the preparation work is already in place. Rugby’s rapid rise in America was cemented by New Zealand’s decision to face the US Eagles at Chicago’s Soldier Field en route to their November European tour. Chief executive Philip Browne said the IRFU and two Irish governments will expect to commit £100million to underwrite the possibility of staging the tournament. “It has been out there that South Africa has stated an interest, Italy has bid in the past and stated an interest again, while Argentina has stated interest too, and also the USA,” said Browne. “We are under no illusions it’s going to be competitive and we have to put our best foot forward. “At this stage we haven’t had to tender documents, we won’t get those for another 12 months or more. “For the Japan World Cup the guarantee tournament fee which has to be paid to Rugby World Cup is £96million. “One assumes we are going to have to pay at least that, probably more.” Governing body World Rugby will not officially launch the bidding process for Rugby World Cup 2023 host status until next year, and have not even finalised a timeline for applications. Ireland are the first nation to launch a bid for the 2023 tournament, but must now await further instruction from World Rugby on when to make any official tender. last_img read more

​Jaime Munguia vs. Gary O’Sullivan odds, prediction, betting trends for middleweight fight

first_imgHere’s a guide to everything you need to know about betting on the ​Jaime Munguia vs. Gary O’Sullivan fight, including updated odds, trends and our prediction.MORE: Join DAZN to watch Munguia vs. O’Sullivan & 100+ fight nights a year​Jaime Munguia vs. Gary O’Sullivan oddsJaime Munguia: -1981Gary O’Sullivan: +1006Total rounds: 5.5Munguia is a heavy favorite to win his first bout as a middleweight. He is nearly a 1 to 20 favorite per the boxing betting odds, and he is expected to be just the third fighter to knock out O’Sullivan. Oddsmakers are very skeptical this fight will go the distance with an over/under of 5.5 rounds. The former WBO light middleweight champion is 23 years old, but he has plenty of experience for a boxer his age. Munguia turned pro at the age of 16, and he won the WBC Latino light middleweight title less than two years ago. He claimed the WBO light middleweight strap just three months later with a fourth-round TKO, and he defended the belt successfully five times before making the move up in weight. He is 34-0 ahead of this fight with 27 of those victories coming by knockout.O’Sullivan is 30-3 with 21 knockout wins. He is 12 years older than Munguia, but he has taken part in less bouts as his career has followed a more traditional path. O’Sullivan claimed the WBO International middleweight title in July 2012, but he lost the strap to Billy Joe Saunders a year later. He claimed another minor belt when he dominated Antoine Douglas to win the WBO Intercontinental middleweight belt in December 2017, but he suffered a first-round knockout at the hands of David Lemieux in his last big fight in September 2018.MORE: Get the latest boxing odds and betting trends from Sports InsiderAn Irish boxer gave Munguia his toughest test There is likely to be a little trepidation from Munguia’s corner as the only boxer to genuinely test him during his time as a light middleweight was Dennis Hogan. In a bout that Munguia was supposed to win easily, Hogan gave the champion all he could handle. They met in Monterrey, Mexico in April of last year, and Munguia did not look like himself in his lone title defense on home soil.  Most pundits believed that Hogan won the bout. Hogan landed the bigger blows and Munguia was constantly asking his corner whether he was ahead, but the judges gave the champion a majority decision. Munguia stated afterwards that he believed the fight was a draw, indicating that he felt he could have easily lost the fight. That might give him cause for pause against another Irish boxer in O’Sullivan.More than a mustacheO’Sullivan is most known for his distinctive facial hair. When he first steps into the ring, he looks like a boxer from the previous century, but underestimate him at your peril. Although he has yet to win a major belt, he dismantled an up and comer that was supposed to easily get past him in Douglas two years ago, and he has formidable power.In addition to dealing Douglas his first defeat, O’Sullivan recently knocked out another up and comer in Berlin Abreu, and he can upset Munguia if the younger boxer isn’t prepared mentally and physically. What’s next?Munguia’s camp wants to use this fight as a springboard to set up a major bout with one of the big names in the middleweight division. He had initially agreed to fight Gennady Golovkin in place of Canelo Alvarez before that was quashed by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, but a convincing Munguia victory could earn him a coveted bout with GGG, Alvarez, or Demetrius Andrade. After dominating the light middleweight division for almost two years, Jaime Munguia is looking for another challenge. Munguia will be moving up to the more competitive middleweight division this Saturday when he makes his debut fight at the weight class against the exciting Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan. A partisan crowd will be cheering on Munguia at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, and you can catch the fight exclusively on DAZN.This bout will headline a card on Saturday, January 11, 2020, and coverage will start at 7 p.m. ET with the main card scheduled to start at 9 p.m. ET. Munguia and O’Sullivan are expected to enter the ring at 11 p.m. ET to cap off the evening.last_img read more

Clear Lake council to discuss early retirement incentive program

first_imgCLEAR LAKE — Clear Lake’s City Council tonight will discuss establishing an early retirement incentive program. The voluntary program would assist eligible city employees who wish to retire but cannot do so because of medical insurance coverage concerns. To be eligible, participants would have to be current full-time or full-time equivalent employees who are age 56 or older and have not less than 25 years of continuous employment with the city. Those who would participate in the program at age 60 would remain up to five years or when they become Medicare eligible on the city’s group health insurance plan under a single policy. Employees can choose to continue family health coverage by paying the difference between the cost of the family plan and the city’s contribution toward a single coverage premium. An employee who retires prior to age 60 can utilize post-retirement accumulated paid leave conversion credit to pay health insurance premiums. If that would be insufficient to cover the cost of health insurance to the age of 60, the employee would be responsible for the full premium until age 60, at which point the premium for a single policy would be covered by the city.Eligible employees must retire from city employment between August 1st and September 30th of this year, with notice of intent to retire having to be filed prior to July 17th. The Clear Lake City Council meets tonight at 6 o’clock at City Hall.last_img read more