Selby to defend title despite mother's death

LONDON - Britain's Lee Selby will defend his International Boxing Federation (IBF) world feather weight belt on Saturday against Argentine challenger Jonathan Victor Barros despite his mother dying on Tuesday. The 30-year-old Welshman -- who has held the title since 2015 -- has been hailed as a 'brave young man' by his manager Jamie Sanigar for not withdrawing after his mum Frankie passed away. "Lee and the team have made the decision that they will proceed with the contest on Saturday," Sanigar was quoted as saying by the BBC. "Lee is a brave young man and he's here to do a job on Saturday." It is not the first time tragedy has struck Selby as his older brother Michael drowned nine years ago, leading the boxer to go 'on a binge of drugs and drinking' before turning his life round.–Agencies

Messi vows to do 'best' under Valverde

TOKYO - Barcelona star Lionel Messi shied away from making major promises for the coming season Thursday, pledging only to do his "best" under new coach Ernesto Valverde. Messi said he was not familiar with Valverde's style, but voiced cautious hope. "Well, I say the exact same thing I say all the time," he said at the team's celebration of a new sponsorship deal with Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten at its Tokyo headquarters. "Whenever I start a new season, there is a very clear-cut goal, which is FC Barcelona would do its best," said the Argentina international, who recently extended his contract with the Catalan giants. "Personally, I am very happy and looking forward to starting a new season," he said. "Everything will become new. We are hearing a lot about his very good reputation."–Agencies

Brighton sign Austrian defender Suttner

LONDON - Austrian international full-back Markus Suttner became Premier League debutants Brighton's third signing of the close season on Thursday after joining from German outfit Ingolstadt. The 30-year-old spent the majority of his career at Austria Vienna before moving to Germany and has signed a three-year contract with Brighton for an undisclosed fee. Brighton manager Chris Hughton -- in Austria preparing the team for their Premier League campaign -- said Suttner had been a player he had fancied for a while. "Markus is someone we have been aware of for some time, and I am pleased we have managed to complete the transfer at this stage, and he is now able to join us for the second half of the week," Hughton told the club website. "He has a great level of experience internationally.”–Agencies

Grand National legend Carberry dies

DUBLIN - Tommy Carberry, one of only four men to ride and train the winner of the world's most famous steeplechase the Grand National, has died aged 75 after a long illness, his family announced. Carberry, who saw four of his seven children including daughter Nina become successful jockeys in their own right, rode L'Escargot to victory in the 1975 Grand National to deny his great rival Red Rum his third successive victory. Following that triumph Ireland was made to wait 24 years for another victory in the race, with the Carberry family ending the drought as Bobbyjo, trained by Tommy and ridden by his son Paul, came home clear in 1999. "As the massive crowd cheered me on the run-in I stole a quick glance at the big screen and saw I was ten lengths clear coming to the line. The feeling was incredible."–Agencies

LAHORE: Obaidullah Qaiser and M Yusuf Moazzam, who represented Pakistan as young journalist and young footballer respectively, in Football for Friendship (F4F) programme 2017 in St. Petersburg, Russia, in a group photo with other team members. Both Pakistani kids excelled and held Pakistan flag aloft during the entire programme.