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British MMA star, Jahreau Shepherd is dead

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British MMA fighter, Jahreau Shepherd has tragically died.

The 30-year-old welterweight champion, nicknamed ‘The Nightmare’ is believed to have died suddenly on Saturday, with no cause of death yet confirmed.

Shepherd’s death was confirmed by his MMA promoters ‘the Contenders’ in a tweet via its official Twitter account on Sunday.

“The tweet read

“Everyone at Contenders is absolutely devastated to hear of Jahreau Shepherd‘s death.

“Jay, our welterweight champion, was hugely talented and great fun to be around, a big personality with a huge smile and infectious laugh.

“Inside the cage, he was destined for the top – a champion in three different organizations with heavy hands and a warrior’s heart.

“Our thoughts are with all his family and friends at this terrible time. Rest in peace, champ.”

Also, MMA commentator, Michael Morgan in a tribute to him via his Twitter account said he was shocked when he received the sad news of Shepherd’s demise.

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He said

“Absolutely shocked to hear the news this morning.

“A true gentleman inside and outside the cage.

“Rest in peace UKMMA’s Jahreau Shepherd.”

The 30-year-old from London defeated Quinten de Vreught in February to be crowned welterweight champion at Contenders 29.

He was well known for his pace and aggression and was also a member of the London Fight Factory.

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QPR rejects Crystal Palace bid for Eze

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Crystal Palace have had a £12m offer rejected by QPR for winger Eberechi Eze but remain in the running to sign him.

West Ham and West Brom are also interested in the England Under-21 forward who is eligible to play for Nigeria, with Championship side QPR looking for £18m.

The 22-year-old began his career at Millwall and scored 14 times in the Championship this season.

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While it is understood Palace’s bid was lower than QPR’s valuation, the Premier League side are reportedly expected to make a better offer.

However, continued interest remains from West Ham boss David Moyes and Slaven Bilic of newly-promoted West Brom, after the Croatian guided his side to promotion last month following a 2-2 draw at the Hawthorns on the final day of the season.

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Eze scored a brilliant individual goal for the visitors on the day and is believed to have impressed Bilic.

Palace’s move for Eze is reportedly linked with the uncertain future of Wilfried Zaha, who is keen to leave Selhurst Park.

They have yet to receive any formal bids for the Ivory Coast international, with the 27-year-old having three years left on his deal at the club.

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Anthony Joshua to fight Pulev in December

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Boxing heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua will defend his titles against contender Kubrat Pulev the first week of December.

Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn said this on Monday, according to ESPN.

The fight was originally scheduled for June 20 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London but was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We know AJ’s only going to fight once this year, so we want to give ourselves the best opportunity to bring in a crowd, and that would obviously be the later the better,” Hearn told ESPN.

“But it’s still not a gimme at all. There’s still a very strong chance that AJ will have to fight behind closed doors.”

Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) owns the WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight titles and is the sport’s biggest attraction in terms of gate revenue.

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He often performs in front of massive crowds in facilities like Wembley Stadium, but in 2020 that simply may not be in the cards. He hasn’t fought since defeating Andy Ruiz in Saudi Arabia last December.

“Bearing in mind he’s only going to fight once this year, I just feel as we might as well give ourselves every chance to have a crowd and that will be the first weekend of December,” added Hearn.

There also are plans in the works for Joshua to face WBC champion Tyson Fury, but Pulev (28-1, 14 KOs), the IBF’s mandatory challenger, is up first.

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CAF announces date, venue for final match

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The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has abandoned plans to play the semi-final and final matches of the 2019/2020 African Champions League in a single venue.

The continental football ruling body has now set a date of Oct. 16 and Oct. 17 for the continental decider.

Cameroon had been earmarked to host the final stages of the competition.

But, following their withdrawal, CAF confirmed the semi-finals will be played over two legs on a home and away basis, with the final potentially at a neutral venue.

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Both semi-finals feature Moroccan clubs against Egyptian opposition as Raja Casablanca take on Zamalek, while Wydad Casablanca meets Al Ahly.

The first legs of both ties will be played in Morocco on Sept. 25 and Sept. 26, with the return legs in Egypt on Oct. 2 and Oct. 3.

Should the two winners be from the same nation then the final will be in that country in mid-October.

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But, if not, CAF has asked member associations to bid to host the decider at a neutral venue, setting a deadline of Aug. 17 for interested parties.

CAF has also confirmed the dates for the African Confederation Cup’s closing stages that will be played in Morocco.

Pyramids of Egypt meet Horoya from Guinea in Casablanca on Sept. 22, while on the same day there is an all-Moroccan clash between RS Berkane and Hassania Agadir in Rabat.

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The final will be staged at the Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium in Rabat on Sept. 27.

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