Waving flags, carrying banners, and chanting ‘‘there will be no Cup,’’ at least 1,000 demonstrators protested in Sao Paulo on Saturday against the World Cup that Brazil will host later this year. On its Facebook page, the Anonymous Rio protest group billed ‘‘Operation Stop the World Cup’’ as this year’s first act against the soccer tournament. The demonstrators gathered in front of the Sao Paulo Art Museum for about one hour before heading out to another part of the city chanting slogans against the tournament. During the demonstration, several protesters chanted ‘‘If we have no rights, there will be no Cup.’’ ‘‘By rights we mean the people’s right to decent public services,’’ said university student Leonardo Pelegrini dos Santos. ‘‘We are against the millions and millions of dollars being spent for the Cup. It is money that should be invested in better health and education services and better transportation and housing.’’ . . . Colombia striker Radamel Falcao is in a race against time to get fit for the World Cup after undergoing knee surgery in Portugal, with his doctor giving him a better than 50-50 chance of making it. Falcao, known as El Tigre, is Colombia’s star player, and the hopes the country places on him merited a bedside visit from Colombia’s president Juan Manuel Santos.
Pacquiao to fight Bradley in April
WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley and Manny Pacquiao have agreed to fight again April 12 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, announced promoters Bob Arum and Todd duBoef of Top Rank and Michael Koncz of MP Promotions. Bradley won a split-decision against Pacquiao on June 9, 2012 at the MGM Grand to win the welterweight title. The 35-year-old Pacquiao, from the Philippines, is 55-5-2 with 38 knockouts. The 30-year-old Bradley, from California, is 31-0 with 12 KOs . . . German cruiserweight Marco Huck stopped compatriot Firat Arslan in the sixth round of their rematch to successfully retain his WBO belt in Stuttgart for the 12th time. American referee Mark Nelson stopped the bout 1 minute, 56 seconds into the sixth round. Huck improved to 37-2-1 (26 KOs) while Arslan dropped to 33-7-2 (21 KOs).
Michigan gives Rawls, 2 more, release
Michigan running back Thomas Rawls is one of three players who have been granted a release by the school. Rawls along with safety Josh Furman and defensive tackle Richard Ash can now transfer. Rawls had a career-low three carries for 12 yards and a touchdown last season as a junior. Furman started three games last season as a junior. He was reinstated to the team in April of 2012 a week after he was found not guilty of assault and other charges. Ash was a seldom-used reserve . . . Maryland has hired former LSU assistant Greg Studrawa as offensive line coach. Studrawa spent the last seven seasons as offensive line coach with the Tigers.
Stamkos starts light contact drills
Tampa Bay Lightning star Steven Stamkos has done light contact drills for the first time since breaking his right shin last November. A member of Canada’s Olympic team, Stamkos hopes that he will be able to play with the Lightning and then participate in the Sochi games next month. He has been out since he was injured Nov. 11 at Boston and needed surgery . . . Olympic silver medalist Will Claye won the triple jump in the New Balance Games in New York with an Armory-record mark of 55 feet, 11 inches. In the 600 meters, Duane Solomon edged American-record holder Erik Sowinski with a time of 1 minute, 16.67 seconds. Sowinski finished in 1:16.78. Olympian Kim Conley won the women’s mile in 4:24.54, and Shaunae Miller took the women’s 300 in 36.40 — both Armory records. Britain’s Lee Emanuel won the men’s mile in 3:54.30 . . . The Indians will unveil a statue of slugger Jim Thome at Progressive Field on Aug. 2. Thome, the team’s career leader in home runs, is being immortalized with the statue in his signature pose pointing his bat toward the pitcher. Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Feller is the only other Cleveland player to receive such an honor.