Inside Lines: Hamed barred by Warren as punch is thrown in ticket row
Sunday 31 July 2011
The former world featherweight champion "Prince" Naseem Hamed was conspicuous by his absence at the Liverpool ringside when the fighter he manages, the unbeaten Commonwealth Games light-heavyweight gold medallist Callum Johnson, appeared on Frank Warren's recent promotion.
That is because he has been barred from all Warren shows following an earlier incident when he was involved in an altercation with one of the promoter's staff over tickets. A punch was thrown, and while Warren declines to discuss the incident he confirms that Hamed is no longer welcome at any of his tournaments.
It is the second time they have fallen out. Naz famously split with Warren, who had guided him to the world title, in the Nineties, They got back together again when he became a manager last year, but it seems the rapprochement has been short-lived.
Hamed, 37, who retired in 2002, subsequently served a 15-month jail term for a serious motoring offence. He is now a wealthy property developer and lives in a mansion close to Wentworth golf course.
DeGale's pole position
He controversially lost his British super-middleweight title to George Groves, but the Olympic champion James DeGale may have emerged the real winner.
Some nifty footwork by Frank Warren sees a chastened "Chunky" fight the Polish holder, Piotr Wilczewski, for the European belt in September. A win will make him the WBO No 2, with a world-title shot likely. Thus Groves, who next fights at York Hall in October, will have been neatly gazumped.
Sometimes the best punches are thrown outside the ring – and we don't mean by Naz.
End of the ice age
It is more than a quarter of a century since one of Britain's greatest Olympic triumphs. The perfection of T&D – Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean – may to some still seem a load of old Bolero but it engrossed the nation, earning one of the biggest TV audiences for a sports event.
Alas, since then the sport has been on thin ice in Britain and finally seems to have fallen through it with the news that the elite skating academy at Nottingham's National Ice Centre, where T&D were nurtured, is to stop exclusive coaching of ice dancers from September due to cost and a lack of top-class coaches.
Surely this signals the last waltz for ice dancing in Britain, especially as the couple who had been groomed as heirs to the T&D mantle – the Scottish brother-and-sister act John and Sinead Kerr, have decided to call it a day. Once T&D, the balletic brilliance of John Curry and the sequinned skills of Robin Cousins saw Britain revel in a golden ice age, but now it's a chilling prospect for Sochi 2014.
Bring on Bojo
OK, so the year-to-go Trafalgar Square celebrations may have had faint echoes of the hilarious mockumentary Twenty Twelve now being repeated on BBC2, but it was worth it just for the sight of Boris Johnson making the shoulders of that old sobersides Jacques Rogge, the president of the IOC, shake with laughter.
Suggesting London is so ready it should call a snap Olympics was a gem. Just like Bojo. If perchance he isn't re-elected next May they should declare him honorary mayor for the opening ceremony. He might make even Princess Anne crack a smile.
When she lifted the lid of the box containing the new Olympic medals you might have thought she was opening a tin of pungent dog food for the corgis.
No Coe area
Even Homer nods, so perhaps Lord Coe can be excused a rare aberration. When he said in an interview last week that he hoped Jessica Ennis would outshine Usain Bolt on the day of the men's 100m final, he got his dates muddled.
It is the women's 100m final which coincides with the final day of the heptathlon, as several readers have pointed out. Oh, and if you are wondering why his lordship didnot join other celebs in aninaugural dip in the new Olympic pool, he had a good excuse. He can't swim.
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