Croatia boss Zlatko Dalic gave Kalinic his marching orders days after the Nigeria win Croatia have yet to decide whether Nikola Kalinic will receive a medal for his participation at the World Cup.Kalinic was dismissed from the squad after refusing to come on as a substitute during Croatia’s tournament opener – a 2-0 victory over Nigeria. 1 With Croatia making it through to the final against France on Sunday – a game you can listen to live on talkSPORT at 4pm – the players will receive either a gold or silver medal.On whether the AC Milan forward will receive a medal, Croatia’s director of communications told ESPN Brasil: “Let’s see. The players will decide.”FIFA’s 2018 World Cup regulations do not specify who should receive a medal.Article 52.8 states: “Fifty medals will be presented to each of the top three teams in the final competition, i.e. gold medals to the winners, silver medals to the runners-up and bronze medals to the team ranked third.”Croatia manager Zlatko Dalic said in a statement that Kalinic was asked to enter the game in the 85th minute of the Nigeria game.However, Kalinic cited a back injury as the reason why he did not want to play but Dalic suggested the injury was used as an excuse to hide his frustration at being left out of the starting XI.The team have won three knockout round games that have lasted 120 minutes but they have played the lion’s share of the tournament with 22 players instead of 23.
OBERHAUSEN, GERMANY – Wladimir Klitschko made the 16th successful defense of his IBF, WBO, and IBO heavyweight, championships, as well as the title bestowed upon him by Ring magazine, by knocking out overmatched Alex Leapai in five rounds.Leapai was an unlikely “Rocky Balboa”-type longshot but, unlike the movie, the underdog was just that. The six-foot-six Klitschko battered his much smaller opponent around the ring before disposing of him in the fifth round.It was Klitschko’s 20th straight win, elevating his professional record to 62-3 (52 wins by knockout). A pro since 1996, Klitschko has dominated the heavyweight division along with his older brother, Vitali, for the better part of the past two decades. The brothers, who vowed never to fight one another and stayed true to their word, both hold PhDs in sports management.The elder Dr. Klitshcko vacated his portion of the heavyweight throne, retiring from boxing, and is a member of the Ukranian Parliament and leader of the Ukranian Democratic Alliance for Reform. Both Klitschko Brothers, in fact, are active in Ukranian politics.With big brother Vitali out of boxing, the younger Klitschko is undoubtedly the most dominant fighter in the sport. Rare has been the occasion when the heavyweight boxing champion had virtually no competition. Even the undefeated Rocky Marciano, the “Greatest” Muhammad Ali, and the ferocious Mike Tyson had some scares. But Klitschko, whose three losses all came by knockout at the hands of fighters who, at best, can be called mediocre, has learned how to protect his suspect chin: he simply doesn’t give any fighter a chance to zero in on it.A fight in May features top contenders for Vitali’s vacated title, Bermaine Stiverne and Chris Arreola squaring off, the winner to fight Wladimir. Stiverne may be the best heavyweight in the world today – retired or otherwise – not named Klitschko. Though he would be an underdog in a fight against big Wlad, at least it might be a competitive one worth watching. TweetPinShare0 Shares