BC-AP Sports Digest
The supervisor is Jake Seiner, followed by Rebecca Miller at 9 a.m. The New York sports desk can be reached at 800-845-8450, ext. 1630. Sports Photos, ext. 1918; graphics, ext. 7636; agate, ext. 1635. For up-to-the minute information on AP’s coverage, visit Coverage Plan at https://newsroom.ap.org . For access to AP Newsroom and other technical issues, contact AP Customer Support at apcustomersupport(at)ap.org or 877-836-9477. All times EDT.
For many, the World Cup is as much about the chance to explore a new country as packing in as many games as possible. The “PodcastOne Sports Now” guest host Rob Harris takes listeners on a tour of Russia as he travels from city to city covering the tournament for The Associated Press.
A separate World Cup Digest will be sent.
MMA--UFC 226-HOLLOWAY OUT
LAS VEGAS — UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway’s representatives say he is dropping out of his title defense against Brian Ortega at UFC 226 this weekend due to apparent concussion symptoms. Holloway’s management team announced the decision in a statement issued three days before the bout. By Greg Beacham. SENT: 710 words, photos.
They are the unsung stars of Russia’s World Cup, the legions of migrant workers from Central Asia who perform menial jobs for low pay in often precarious conditions, and face routine police harassment and ethnic profiling. They form a pillar of the economy and aid Vladimir Putin’s geopolitical strategy, and without them, Russia might not have managed to host a World Cup at all. By Angela Charlton. Length and timing uncertain.
NIZHNY NOVGOROD, Russia — After the hand of 2010 and the teeth of 2014, Luis Suarez looks like he’s gotten his head right for Uruguay at this World Cup, which could be his last. By Gerald Imray. SENT: 650 words, photos.
MOSCOW — FIFA’s patience with Diego Maradona’s World Cup antics has finally run out. Soccer’s world body said it “strongly rebukes” comments by the Argentina great criticizing American referee Mark Geiger’s handling of England’s win against Colombia in the World Cup round of 16. It was yet another controversial moment involving Maradona at the tournament. By Graham Dunbar. SENT: 430 words, photos.
MOSCOW — England coach Gareth Southgate has been working to change the mindset of a country that is credited with inventing soccer but has been so scarred by failures. By Global Soccer Writer Rob Harris. SENT: 920 words, photos.
SOC--WCUP-FRANCE-MBAPPE VS. HENRY
It seems Kylian Mbappe and Thierry Henry are linked by destiny. Henry is France’s leading scorer with 51 goals and among the great forwards of the modern era, while the 19-year-old Mbappe is the new French sensation tipped to become perhaps even the world’s best. If he scores against Uruguay in the World Cup quarterfinals on Friday, Mbappe will surpass Henry and become the first France player since 1958 to score four goals in a single tournament. By Jerome Pugmire. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos. Timing uncertain
SOCHI, Russia — It took an angry-looking bird to get Brazilians hooked on their World Cup mascot. Brazil historically never fully embraced the tradition of mascots in sports, but things changed when the soccer federation — inspired in part by Chicago Bull’s “Benny the Bull” — turned its cute-looking canary into a mean figure that represents the fans’ anger following the humiliating World Cup loss at home four years ago. By Tales Azzoni. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Timing uncertain.
Sweden striker Marcus Berg has scored everywhere he has played in his long career. Just not at the World Cup. His coach is keeping faith in the 31-year-old journeyman despite a string of misses in Russia. By Michael Corder. Length, timing uncertain.
MIXED MARTIAL ARTS
MMA--UFC 226-MIOCIC RETURNS
LAS VEGAS — Stipe Miocic is in the midst of the most impressive heavyweight title reign in UFC history. He takes on light heavyweight champ Daniel Cormier at UFC 226 in the latest challenge to his remarkable steadiness atop a notoriously tumultuous division. Miocic attributes his success to his grounding in his native Cleveland, where he still works regular weekly shifts as a firefighter and paramedic. By Greg Beacham. SENT: 850 words, photos.
Gamble in any casino in Las Vegas and the house always has an edge. So why should the new WNBA team in Sin City be any different? The Aces have the advantage of a quirky scheduling anomaly this season that gives them six home games when their opponent is finishing off a back-to-back. That’s over a third of Las Vegas’ home contests this year. By Basketball Writer Doug Feinberg. UPCOMING: 910 words, photos by 3 a.m.
A look at what’s happening around the majors. UPCOMING: 400 words, photos by 3 a.m.
— BBO--BASEBALL CAPSULES
— SOC--MLS CAPSULES
Thursday’s Time Schedule
Miami at Washington, 7:05 p.m.
Texas at Detroit, 7:10 p.m.
Baltimore at Minnesota, 8:10 p.m.
Chicago White Sox at Houston, 8:10 p.m.
Atlanta at Milwaukee, 8:10 p.m.
San Diego at Arizona, 9:40 p.m.
L.A. Angels at Seattle, 10:10 p.m.
St. Louis at San Francisco, 10:15 p.m.
New York at Washington, 7 p.m.
Indiana at Dallas, 8 p.m.
Los Angeles at Minnesota, 8 p.m.
Connecticut at Phoenix, 10 p.m.
Chicago at Las Vegas, 10 p.m.