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David Haye and Dereck Chisora should say sorry to regain some dignity

» vantise 10/31/14 10:22:26  » soccer » comments: 0

vantise This was not a press conference, it was a cross between a pantomime and a health warning. Even from a distance, the farce and menace shimmered on a sad day among too many down the years for the old business of boxing.

As they stood in front of the fight writers and cameras, separated by a steel gate taller than both of them, David Haye and Dereck Chisora – whose only fights with each other were gloveless in Munich three months ago and with ill-considered bile intermittently since – made it clear they cared little for the moral objections to what will be little more than a street fight in a ring.

There will be no reconciliation afterwards. This will not be like Haye's non-event fight with Audley Harrison, when pre-fight animosity curdled into inertia as soon as the bell went and ended in hugs and cuddles afterwards. Nor will it be like Haye's fight with Wladimir Klitschko, when the Londoner let himself down against the champion and compounded his poor performance with an excuse only a politician would be proud of.< Chelsea Jerseys 2014/2015 /p>

No, this is a fight built on pure hate. It will be ugly: before, during and after. The ludicrous element of Frank Warren bringing in the Luxembourg Boxing Federation will leave the lads at BoxNation having a laugh but they had better hope nothing goes wrong on the night. It is expected there will be 40,000 bloodthirsty punters at Upton Park on 14July and they will take some serious watching.

Already the social networks are buzzing, with both excitement and trepidation.

Mike comments on Facebook: "I'm looking forward to this. Upton Park here we come!"

But, as Billy points out on another thread, Haye is a Millwall fan. What a gift for any hooligans left at the club to mix it up with the hard men from West Ham they so despise? "It's not rocket science to realise that these two sets of supporters don't need much of an excuse for violence."

Another said: "This fight should be in a car park somewhere out the back of a pub and … put up on YouTube – at least that way the fans won't get robbed. I don't th Cheap Bayern Munich Soccer Jersey ink Haye or Chisora deserve to make a penny out of this."

These are the legitimate voices of fans, for better or worse. And, if sauce were needed for the goose, Chisora is a Tottenham supporter.

Haye and Chisora speak the language of the old terraces. Haye says he will inflict a, "slow, concussive beating" on his opponent — who, don't forget, threatened in Munich to shoot him. They are already both beating up their sport and, if they are ever to be taken seriously as boxers again, they should do the very thing of which they are clearly incapable: apologise.

They should say sorry to each other – which would restore a semblance of dignity to proceedings but destroy the sole reason for staging a tear-up between two enemies who plainly feel they are unaccountable to any authority.

And they should say sorry to the sport that has provided them with a living – which would be to assume that they had even a vague sense of responsibility.

The press conference hit a low when Chisora said: "I saw David Haye Inter Milan Jerseys 2014/2015 a couple of weeks ago and he pulled a knife." Haye's reply? "I was eating a steak. It was in a restaurant."

There is an excuse for everything in their universe. They are like football thugs: never wrong.

It does not matter much who was at fault in their original brawl but the harsh light that shone on them in that incident tore away the facade of respectability that is necessary for boxing to have any claim as legitimate sporting entertainment in a civilised society.

By going ahead with the fight – after legal advice, no doubt, but against all the tenets of good taste and without the sanction of the British Boxing Board of Control – Warren has taken the biggest risk of his career. You have to wonder why he is still bothered after 30 years at the top of his business.

"This is not the end of British boxing," he said. "It is the biggest fight of the year and the fact of the matter is that the fight is legal, lawful and will go ahead … I believe it will be a sell-out."

It already is. Irredeemably.

Blindfold boxing, IPL impudence and Steve Davis' snooker chat show

» vantise 10/31/14 10:21:17  » soccer » comments: 0

vantise 1) Haye v Chisora? Pah! How about some blindfold boxing from 1949?

2) Random football clip dept: Frank Rijkaard's 16 Serie A goals for Milan; Harry Redknapp: bobbling wing wizard; Paolo Di Canio's duet with Toploader; and if you haven't seen it: Sport Recife's Tobi gets booked … moonwalks in protest.

3) RIP MCA. Here are the Beasties showing off their skateboarding on MTV Sports in 1 Real Madrid Jerseys 2014/2015 992.

4) Before the fall came the rise: an hour-long documentary charting Tiger Woods's amateur golf career, including his 1994 US Amateur title at Sawgrass. Speaking of which, here's a feature on the famous 17th island hole ahead of this week's Players' Championship (including the seagull v Steve Lowery in 1998).

5) Steve Davis and his snooker chat show from the 1980s. A snooker chat Cheap Bayern Munich Soccer Jersey show!

6) New sport/ritual of the week: Vanuatu land diving.
Our favourites from last week's blog

1) Steve Smith and probably the best fielding you will see in the IPL this year. And as West Indies come to England again, a timely trip into the vaults for this feature on Carl Hooper.

2) RIP Rashid Yekini.

3) Badminton rally excellence Exhibit A … and badminton rally excelle Barcelona Jerseys 2014/2015 nce Exhibit B.

4) This Liverpool fan took Andy Carroll's disallowed goal against Chelsea rather badly.

5) If there's one place you don't want an off-road motorbike pile-up, it's probably up here.

6) And please be upstanding for this Euro 2012 anthem, straight out of Poland.

Spotters' badges: Godinho, Flantiff, RedThunder, redrag, ToffeeDan1, signor, nomadicmatt.

Talking Horses

» vantise 10/31/14 10:20:04  » soccer » comments: 0

vantise Will Hayler: Absinthe (100-30) and Graham Lee took the flag-started opener on the second day of Chester's May meeting to give Donald McCain another winner after his one-two in Wednesday's Chester Cup.

"This time last year I was riding around Aintree. It's mad, isn't it, but happy days," said Lee, who only turned to riding on the Flat six weeks ago. Lee described the going as "perfect jumping ground" which says it all.

Yes, yes, they're only small fields, particularly after all of the non-runners, but that still doesn't make it any less annoying that another two of Chester's races on Thursday will be started by flag start rather than stalls. It's simply an unnecessary extra risk for punters. Surely there's a way to board over the grass and prevent the turf from being chewed up when the stalls are put into position?

Of course Chester couldn't have done anything about the unprecedented levels of rain they have received, but surely the problems with vehicles getting stuck in the infield - leading to a seven-minute delay for the opener - could have been foreseen? Along with the disappointing lack of GoingStick readings in the build-up to the meeting, it is starting to seem all a bit amateurish. And that's not like a slickly-run operation like Chester.
11am Weather hits racing again as Goodwood is abandoned

Tony Paley: The weather continues to play havoc with racing and Thursday's fixture at Goodwood has been abandoned due to a waterlogged track. Course officials there were forced to call off the eight-race Flat meeting following 19 millimetres of overnight rain.

The meeting at Wincanton goes ahead as scheduled after course officials moved forward a proposed 8am inspection. Although the Somerset circuit sustained 11 mill Germany Team Soccer Jersey imetres of overnight rain, the jumps meeting has been given the go-ahead earlier than expected. The going is currently heavy, soft in places.

There was similarly good news at Yarmouth which was given the go-ahead following a 7.30am precautionary inspection. While course officials will remain on weather watch, the Flat fixture has defeated the elements. The going is heavy following six millimetres of overnight rain, with racing due to commence at 5.20pm.

Clerk of the course Richard Aldous said: "We might be in some trouble if there is a lot more rain, but the forecast is for the weather to hopefully stay dry."

The two races on Ascot's round course on Friday evening have been abandoned due to a waterlogged track. Ten millimetres of overnight rain has hit the Berkshire circuit hard - although the remainder of the card, due to be staged on the straight course, remains fit for racing. Racing is now due to commence at 5.25pm, rather than the intended 4.10pm start.

Ascot are also in action on Saturday, with the two races on the round course subject to an inspection, the time of which has yet to be announced, on raceday morning.

Clerk of the course Chris Stickels said: "At the moment the round course is waterlogged and unraceable. Friday's races on the round course have therefore been abandoned, and we are not sure we are going to be able to go ahead with them on Saturday. We want to give it every chance so the most sensible thing to do is to call an inspection on Saturday morning.

"The straight course is soft, heavy in places, but the forecast is promising. Based on the forecast, we'd be confident the straight course will be fine."

Hexham's meeting on Saturday is also under threat and is now subject to a 2pm course Cheap Inter Milan Soccer Jersey inspection on Friday. The Northumberland circuit is currently waterlogged in places following an inch of overnight rainfall. A further seven millimetres of rain has been forecast during Thursday.

Clerk of the course James Armstrong said: "It's not great at all. We could see a lot more rain [on Thursday], which is not promising. If it looks like it's improving we'll give it until Saturday morning, but it is a showery outlook."
Thursday's best bets, by Will Hayler

The unkind have often compared Chester to a dog track and after another night of heavy rain, the turf will be swampier than the sand at Wimbledon for the second day of the May meeting.

My in-depth preview to the day's TV racing on Channel 4 is here. Meanwhile, reports suggest that the centre of the course is so sodden that track officials will not be allowing parking on the infield - perhaps in order to prevent the cars from sinking.

As such, it's worth repeating my regular mantra that unpredictable results tend to occur more frequently on extremes of going. This is not the day to prove yourself a betting superstar.

Nobody will be more upset if the meeting can't be completed than Dr Marwan Koukash, who has well over two dozen horses entered over the course of the three days.

He already has a 50-1 winner on the board and expectations are high – his and mine – ahead of Gabrial's (3.05) run in the seven-and-a-half furlong handicap. You can read more about my views on that contest and the other televised races here.

It's very hard to dislike Koukash, who comes across as a thoroughly decent chap in every interview he does (I loved hearing him play down his involvement in the sport when he owns more than 100 horses) and I'll also be rooting for his Calaf (4. Arsenal FC Jerseys 45) in the closing contest. First and second in two starts over course and distance last year, he seems to have improved again this season and is proven to handle soft ground.

Meanwhile, Weekend Millionair (6.35) holds solid claims at Wincanton. Although he had a gruelling race when a brave second in Ireland a fortnight ago, his season only started in the spring and he should still be fresher than his main rivals this evening – an important asset at this stage of the season where horses can suddenly lose their form at the end of a long campaign.
Tipping competition, day three

Already a handy second, Yossarian24 had both Ile De Re (10-1) and Confessional (5-1) to put him on a fine score. But waltersobchak and millreef are close up, having paired Ile De Re with Rosslyn Castle (7-1). Glavintoby, chris1623 and sandiuk all had Confessional and Rosslyn Castle.

Today, we'd like your tips, please, for these races: 2.50 Goodwood, 4.15 Chester, 4.45 Chester.

This week's prize is a pair of Premier enclosure tickets to Sandown for the evening of Thursday 31 May, when the track stages the Brigadier Gerard and other classy races. It is always a relaxed and thoroughly enjoyable occasion. Those of you who don't win can buy tickets here.

As ever, our champion will be the tipster who returns the best profit to notional level stakes of £1 at starting price on our nominated races, of which there will be three each day up until Friday. Non-runners count as losers. If you have not joined in so far this week, you are welcome to do so today, but you will start on -6.

In the event of a tie at the end of the week, the winner will be the tipster who, from among those tied on the highest score, posted their tips earliest on the final day.

Signing of the season: Premier League 2011-2012 review

» vantise 10/31/14 10:17:39  » soccer » comments: 0

vantise Welcome to guardian.co.uk's review of the 2011-12 Premier League season. An extraordinary campaign is nearing its end and we would like you to help us choose your favourite goal, the best signing and the best manager, as well as seven other categories.

We have nominated some contenders, but this is just to get the discussion going: we would like your suggestions so that we can compile the best into final polls that you can vote on. The season doesn't finish until Sunday afternoon so the nomination blogs will be up and running later that evening, with the polls open from Monday 14 May. Thanks.
Papiss Cissé

Cissé just edges out his Newcastle team-mate Demba Ba because of the incredible impact he's managed after such a small amount of time in English football. It's often said that foreign imports need six months to adapt to the rigours of the Premier League and that there's no value in the January transfer market. The S Argentina Team Soccer Jersey enegalese striker has put lie to both of those with 13 goals in as many Premier League appearances since signing in January, and has also put to shame all those who come back from the Africa Cup of Nations too "drained" to perform week in week out.
Juan Mata

His performances were the one bright spark at Chelsea under André Villas-Boas, and he has continued in that vain on the club's remarkable run to the Champions League final. Pinched from under the noses of Arsenal during the summer, he has excelled on the wing and also playing behind the front man – providing pace, guile and goals from midfield, as well as enjoying a potentially fruitful relationship with Fernando Torres that could see both Spaniards thrive at Stamford Bridge next season.
Nikica Jelavic

Another January signing who needed no time whatsoever to find his feet. Everton have been crying out for a goalscorer for years – but it is safe to say fans did not expect much when M Cheap Arsenal Soccer Jersey oyes raided beleaguered Rangers for their top scorer. Jelavic paid back his new manager with a string of important goals helping Everton to an FA Cup semi-final and above Liverpool in the table.
Michel Vorm

It took Swansea until five days before the start of the season to find a replacement for their goalkeeper Dorus De Vries – who had turned down a new contract to sign for Wolves. In came Michel Vorm from Utrecht. Renowned for his penalty saving ability, he conceded four goals in his first game, against Manchester City, but made 11 saves, more than any keeper in a single game than in the previous Premier League season. He saved a Ben Watson penalty in his next game and never looked back, keeping 13 clean sheets, and providing a Fantasy League bargain for any canny armchair managers. Dorus De Who?
Paul Scholes

There was bemusement when Paul Scholes was recalled from his retirement to bolster United's title challenge – but bolster it he Manchester United Jerseys 2014/2015 did, demonstrating to anyone who doubted just how valuable a player he has been throughout Sir Alex Ferguson's successful years in Manchester. His first appearance saw a 3-2 FA Cup victory against City, and he scored in his second – but it has been the way he has kept the midfield ticking over with his metronomic passing that has really impressed. Not just one of the signings of the season, one of the best free transfers in history.

Honourable mentions to Sergio Agüero (a rare big money signing that did not disappoint) and Mikel Arteta (managed to keep Arsenal ticking during a season of chaos and they are still yet to win a game without him in the side).


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