This last week I started reading three recent boxing autobiographies or biographies, but didn’t get far with any of them. They weren’t awful, but weren’t good either – plodding, literally blow-by-blow accounts offering little insight into the moral, emotional and financial complexities of what Mike Tyson has memorably called “the hurt business”.
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Sunday 29 November 2009
Richard Caborn, the ex-sports minister, may be peeved at being jocked off England's 2018 World Cup first team as he is one of sport's ace networkers, but he is out of touch in suggesting that Gary Lineker should be brought in "to do a Seb Coe" and lead the bid. As reported here, Lineker has made it clear he does not have the time or the inclination. Caborn thinks it is time for Lord Triesman – a babe lost in the wood of sports politics – to go, and he is not alone there. The sidelining of Caborn seems to be one of the reasons that the Premier League's Sir Dave Richards, his Sheffield pal, has dropped himself from the bid board, though some may consider this no great loss. As the bid rolls on its wobbly way towards South Africa and the World Cup draw, suggestions continue to flood in for personalities to add some pep. These range from Arsène Wenger to Tony Blair. (Oh no, I hear you cry.) Interestingly, the one made here last week, that Sir Alex Ferguson at least should join a host of ambassadors voluminous enough to scoff the chocolates at a Ferrero Rocher soirée, seems to have met with approval. And far less choking over the haggis and neeps from across the border than we might have anticipated. Apart from his unrivalled stature in the English game, Fergie is no mean orator, speaking with passion and without notes, as anyone who heard his moving tribute to Sir Bobby Robson will testify. And should the FA have any parochial qualms about recruiting him to the cause, they should be reminded that a predecessor of Triesman's as chairman of the FA was a Scot, Sir Andrew Stephen, who sacked World Cup winner Sir Alf Ramsey. One call to Old Trafford from Triesman could mean England's fading 2018 hopes are given a Glasgow kiss of life.
Sunday 22 November 2009
Head coach Kelvyn Travis has left the British Amateur Boxing Association in another major upheaval following the appointment as performance director of top pro trainer Robert McCracken, the former middleweight title contender who mentors world champion Carl Froch. McCracken's arrival followed the short-lived appointment of Kevin Hickey, who had himself replaced Terry Edwards, jocked off despite GB's glowing record of achievements. His departure was confirmed to The Independent on Sunday yesterday by the BABA chairman, Derek Mapp. "The situation is that Rob is merging his position and that of head coach. Kelvyn has done a good job up to now but you can't have two people standing on the same pedestal." The hiring of Travis, 60, like that of the 67-year-old former Olympic coach Hickey – who had been out of the game for 20 years – as performance director over him was contentious. Once Audley Harrison's cornerman, Travis was involved in a fracas in which a rival coach had his jaw broken. Mapp insists that Jim Davison, respected No 2 to Edwards and Travis, is staying on despite rumours he was quitting. So it seems the turbulence that has followed the departure of Edwards and most of his Olympians rumbles on. Despite the attractions of the new pro-am World Series, the amateurs have now lost another young star to the paid ranks in 19-year-old welterweight Ronnie Heffron, a surefire tip for 2012. Heffron, the former ABA champ, makes his pro debut for Frank Warren on Amir Khan's world-title bill in Newcastle on 5 December. Meantime, the BABA are demanding he repays £16,000 they claim to have invested in his future. "Seconds out", if there are any left!
Monday 09 November 2009
*He had the talent, speed and ability to beat the guy. It took guts to come from cruiserweight and fight a man mountain like he did. He stuck to his guns. - Frank Bruno (former world champion)
Monday 09 November 2009
Sunday 25 October 2009
Sunday 19 July 2009
The doors of the last chance saloon closed firmly behind the battered features of Enzo Maccarinelli, the former WBO world cruiserweight champion when he lost for the third successive time.
Sunday 19 July 2009
Sunday 12 July 2009
There are worried frowns among employees of UK Sport and Sport England after a pledge by David Cameron that the Tories would scrap or slim down Britain's proliferation of quangos if they win the next election. However, the two Government-backed sports bodies seem safe – relatively speaking. Shadow sports minister Hugh Robertson says it makes "little sense" to undertake any major restructuring in advance of London 2012 which might disrupt athlete preparation. But this does not mean there would not be changes under a Conservative government which would take a serious look at administrative costs and, particularly in the case of Sport England, the employment of consultants and expenditure on surveys which runs into millions. "We would want to ensure the maximum amount of money heads towards the front line," says Robertson. It is also likely the two bodies would be brought together under one roof, while retaining their separate identities, both as an economy measure and "to deliver a fully joined-up sports structure". So it will still take two to quango.
Sunday 14 June 2009
Friday 15 May 2009
In Beijing it was an unexpected gold medal, three months ago it was unexpected jeers for his professional debut and tonight James DeGale performs in front of British boxing's most informed crowd when he climbs through the ropes at the Odyssey Arena, Belfast, for his second fight.
Sunday 26 April 2009
Boris Johnson likened it to a visit by the man from Del Monte. Well, the men from Lausanne, they say "Yes". When the International Olympic Committee inspectors called last week they found everything in London's Olympic garden bearing fruit and beginning to ripen nicely. "Astounding," Dennis Oswald, the co-ordination commission chairman, called it. The green shoots of recovery may not be sprouting on the economic front but the good news is that 2012 plans are ahead of schedule and so far on budget – though the bills have yet to start rolling in. London's mayor really seems to have caught the sporting bug. On Tuesday he'll be at the Croydon Judo Club to outline his plans for increasing grass-roots sports participation. Bojo in the dojo! That should be fun, a much-needed commodity he is bringing to a Games already in danger of taking itself rather too seriously. Let's hope he's still around to keep us smiling in 2012.
Sunday 12 April 2009
The future of trailblazers Team Bath, the first university side to reach the first round proper of the FA Cup for 122 years, is uncertain following their decision to resign from the Blue Square Conference at the end of the season.
Thursday 09 April 2009
Amir Khan will fight for a proper world title just months after it looked like his journey from idol to contender to obscurity was over.
Wednesday 08 April 2009
Britain's Amir Khan will face Andreas Kotelnik of Ukraine for the WBA world light-welterweight title in June, his promoter Frank Warren said today.
Tuesday 17 March 2009
Joe Calzaghe yesterday won his fight over money with his former manager Frank Warren. Mr Justice Wyn Williams dismissed Warren's claim for £1m from the fighter and ruled at the High Court that he should pay Calzaghe around £2m in unpaid fees.
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