Inside Lines: Haye-Klitschko in doubt again over 'issues to be resolved'
Sunday 01 May 2011
The proposed superfight between David Haye and Wladimir Klitschko may still be in doubt.
The pair were formally due to tie the knot for their fistic nuptuals with press conferences in Hamburg, where the bout was scheduled for 2 July, and London this week. But last night these were suddenly cancelled with the Hayemaker organisation saying: "There are still issues to be resolved."
The on-off fight was announced last month but has twice been postponed before because of injuries to first Haye and then Klitschko. It seems the fight game's other glove affair has ended in divorce too. Floyd Mayweather Jnr's trial on serious charges of domestic violence has again been delayed until July. The likelihood is that Manny Pacquiao is tired of waiting for a £50m showdown, which would be the richest in history, and that fans will witness the valedictory appearance of the greatest fighter of this generation against the veteran Shane Mosley (the last man to fight Mayweather, a year ago) in Saturday's Sky-TV WBO welterweight title fight in Las Vegas.
As trainer Freddie Roach says: "We are going to lose him to politics for sure." So the Pacman versus the Money Man sadly won't happen, since Pacquiao, 32, intends to focus on his career in parliament in the Philippines and Mayweather contemplates a possible 34 years in jail if he is convicted.
Be a sport, give us a twirl
With belly dancing, hip hop and something called sambo (apparently a martial art favoured by Vladimir Putin) now on the fat-burning menu at our local sports centre, perhaps we should not be raising an eyebrow on learning that cheerleading classes are becoming the in thing in schools sports. For boys as well as girls.
Yes, pom-poms, twirling batons et al. And of course it really is a sport – with Olympic aspirations. Or so we are assured by a Brit who runs the Tokyo-based International Federation of Cheerleading.
Simon Graver, 32, who gave up his job at a local council to start cheerleading for cheerleading while on a working holiday in Japan, says it is surprising how popular it is globally. It has a world championship coming up in Hong Kong in November, with teams judged on technical ability, presentation and, above all, athleticism.
"Like most people I thought it was all Dallas Cowboys, high kicks and pom-poms, but there is much more to it," he insists. "The skills involved leave no doubt that cheerleaders are athletes by the very definition of the word. It is a sport for anyone aged six and upwards, women, men and families – we have mixed as well as all-girl teams – and it is becoming very popular in schools and colleges throughout Europe and Asia, as well as the US."
But playing musical cheers in the Olympics? "Why not, it's as much a sport as, say, rhythmic gymnastics." Or, who knows, even belly dancing. So come on, give us a twirl.
Twickers in a twist
While no one at the cash-strapped British Olympic Association wants to see Sir Clive Woodward scrum down again at Twickenham, least of all his great champion Lord Moynihan, there is no doubt that his £300,000-a-year sports director's wedge would be a welcome saving.
Certainly there could be no attempt to match the half-a-million salary believed to be on offer for the RFU post.
Just a couple of months ago Moynihan assured us Woodward would be staying put, but now he doesn't seem so confident. One wonders whether Sir Clive's commitment to Olympism has been diluted following the BOA's unseemly spat with Seb Coe at Locog.
Although this did not directly involve him, it is believed to have caused him some concern. He had plenty to mull over as he took his pew along with 23 other sporting guests (half of them from the horsey world) in Westminster Abbey on Friday.
Whatever happens, Woodward will think it through tactically. He is never one to get his Twickers in a twist.
Twitter ye not
One of Woodward's duties at the BOA is to supervise coaching. But we doubt he is involved in the latest mentoring wheeze.
A promotional organisation has been asked to create a How to Twitter guide for Olympic athletes. It is an inevitable sign of the times, but we sympathise with Harry Redknapp when he said he had been told one of his Tottenham players had done something on Twitter, "whatever that is".
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