Inside Lines: Warren plea to Khan: 'You'll be better off back with me'
Sunday 20 June 2010
What has happened to Amir Khan's American dream? Since leaving British promoter Frank Warren in January he has fought only once, an easy win over non-puncher Paulie Malignaggi in New York – a fight given to ITV for nothing – and will not be in the ring again until December. Bolton's WBA light-welterweight champion, who has also been the subject of a sleazy tabloid exposé over his sex life, was due to meet veteran Cuban warhorse Joel Casamayor in Manchester or London on 31 July but the bout has been pulled by his US promoters, Golden Boy, because of lack of interest by pay-per-view TV. Sky were unhappy with the opponent and did not think it would sell in the aftermath of the World Cup. Their next available date is not until December. Warren believes Khan has made "the biggest mistake of his career" in joining Golden Boy and asks: "Why doesn't he come back? I'd love to promote him again. I bear no grudge. It doesn't seem Golden Boy are doing him any favours by keeping him on the sidelines for so long. It's crazy. It is also dangerous when you are a young, developing fighter to be so inactive. I know he got less for fighting Malignaggi than I paid him for his last fight and some others with me. The move just doesn't make sense." Meanwhile, Britain's other WBA world champion, heavyweight David Haye, looks like fighting Audley Harrison on 13 November while Vitali Klitschko is set to meet the giant Haye beat, Nicolay Valuev. As we've said before, funny old game.
Tanni woos Lords
Ever heard of Baron Shutt of Greetland? No, neither have we. But he's the new sports spokesman in the House of Lords. We can't trace any particular sporting interests of the 68-year-old Lib Dem peer from Pudsey so we await his future pronouncements with interest. Lord Shutt presided over last week's Olympics and sport debate, where the star turn was debutante Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson. The baroness spoke passionately about the need for greater provision of sporting opportunities in and out of school for disabled kids and called for women to have more top jobs in sport. Would she not be the ideal Lords spokesperson? The UK Sport chair, Baroness (Sue) Campbell, who, like Tanni, said she would sit as a crossbencher, interestingly was seen on the Labour benches. Wonder why?
Boost for the bid
New sports minister Hugh Robertson, who made a flying visit (economy class) to watch England's World Cup opener against the USA, may have given the 2018 World Cup bid a boost by finding common ground with Fifa member Jack Warner. No Anglophile, the maverick Trinidadian greeted Robertson with a hug, declaring: "We are both new ministers in a coalition now." Warner has been appointed minister for works and transport in Trinidad's coalition. "We had a good chat, mainly about great Trinidadian cricketers," says Robertson, no mean batsman himself.
Taking the pee
Journeying with Seb Coe last week, we pass a pub on the road from Leeds to Bradford curiously named The Cock and Bottle. "Hmm," muses the good lord. "Sounds like a dope-testing centre."
It's no joke
Message from an aggrieved football fan: "We couldn't even beat that crap team... I'm ashamed to be Algerian."
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