Bryan Armen Graham

Author's details

Name: Bryan Armen Graham
Date registered: January 21, 2015
URL: http://www.theguardian.com/sport/boxing

Latest posts

  1. Roger Federer defeats Stan Wawrinka for historic Indian Wells title – live! — March 19, 2017
  2. Floyd Mayweather’s van burned outside Birmingham hotel during UK tour — March 6, 2017
  3. Transgender-friendly toilets planned for 2020 Olympics in Tokyo — March 1, 2017
  4. Serena Williams insists: ‘I would be nothing without my sister Venus’ | Bryan Armen Graham — January 29, 2017
  5. Léo Santa Cruz beats Carl Frampton for WBA world featherweight title – as it happened — January 29, 2017

Author's posts listings

Mar 19

Roger Federer defeats Stan Wawrinka for historic Indian Wells title – live!

11.28pm GMT

“What can I say? This has been a fairytale week once again,” Federer says. “I came here for the first time 17 years ago. To be the champion again, I can’t tell you what it means to me.”

“It’s been a fairytale week once again”@rogerfederer living the dream again at #IndianWells.#BNPPO17 pic.twitter.com/0e0UftAkDu

11.19pm GMT

“I would like to congratulate Roger,” a tearful Wawrinka says. “He’s laughing, he’s an asshole but it’s OK.”

Fighting back tears, Wawrinka adds: “I’ve lost some tough ones against you, but when you played the final in Australia, I was your biggest fan. So congratulations on your comeback and congratulations on today.”

Stan (half-crying): “Congrats Roger…he is laughing he is an asshole” pic.twitter.com/bjMbtolz2x

11.19pm GMT

Roger Federer’s dream season continues. He’s now beaten Wawrinka for the Indian Wells title to move to 13-1 on the year and 6-0 against oppoents in the top 10. That’s his best showing to start the year since 2004 when he went 18-0 and finished No1.

11.11pm GMT

Second set: Wawrinka 4-6, 5-7 Federer

At 15-love, Wawrinka nets a shot from the baseline for 15-all. He sends Federer scampering from end to end on the next point with a series of angles shots before Federer errs, but Wawrinka misfires on the next point for 30-all and now Federer is within two points of the title. Federer is all over Wawrinka’s serve but Stan muscles his way back into the rally and wins the point for 40-30. But now Wawrinka sends a forehand from the baseline sailing for deuce. And now Wawrinka dumps a backhand into the net and Federer has a championship point! The crowd swells and then quiets. Wawrinka’s serve graces the netcord: let, first service. Then a fault. Fed jumpes on a second serve, sends Wawrinka scampering and closes out the point with a routine volley winner!

11.04pm GMT

Second set: *Wawrinka 4-6, 5-6 Federer (*denotes next server)

At 30-love, Federer nets a backhand early in a baseline rally. Wawrinka then pounces on a second serve and forces Federer into an error from the baseline for 30-all. A chance here for Stan? Federer faults and he’ll have a big opportunity on a second serve at 30-all. But Federer dials in a service winner and wins the next point to hold for 6-5. Now Wawrinka will serve to force a tiebreak while Federer will try to break to win the title.

11.01pm GMT

Second set: Wawrinka 4-6, 5-5 Federer* (*denotes next server)

At 15-love, a lovely backhand winner followed by an ace makes it 40-love. That’s 10 consecutive points on Wawrinka’s serve. Federer answers with a forehand winner followed by a double fault which Wawrinka challenges unsuccessfully, but a service winner gives Stan the hold.

10.57pm GMT

Second set: *Wawrinka 4-6, 4-5 Federer (*denotes next server)

Three quick points for Federer and followed by an angled winner off a serve-and-volley to cap a love hold in just over a minute. Now Wawrinka will serve to stay in the match.

Federer holding serve like… pic.twitter.com/2q52y0qj8C

10.55pm GMT

Second set: Wawrinka 4-6, 4-4 Federer* (*denotes next server)

Wawrinka answers with an easy hold of his own. We’re moving right along here: 18 games played in just over one hour.

10.53pm GMT

Second set: *Wawrinka 4-6, 3-4 Federer (*denotes next server)

Another routine service game for Federer. Both players are serving well, but the difference between the countrymen is on second-serve points. Federer is 23 of 30 on the first serve (77%) compared to 23 of 31 for Wawrinka (74%); but he’s 11 of 17 on second serve (65%) compared to 8 of 22 for Stan (36%).

10.49pm GMT

Second set: Wawrinka 4-6, 3-3 Federer* (*denotes next server)

At 40-15, Wawrinka overcooks a forehand from the baseline. Then Federer hits a winner for deuce and suddenly the first Hugely Important Point of the match is upon us. A service break here would no doubt put Federer within touching distance of the title. Wawrinka alleviates the tension with a thunderous ace, then follows it up with a service winner for the crucial hold.

10.44pm GMT

Second set: *Wawrinka 4-6, 2-3 Federer (*denotes next server)

Wawrinka with a glimmer of a chance as Federer falls behind 15-30 after his first double fault of the match. But he rattles off two quick points before pushing Wawrinka nearly off the court with a blistering second serve and winning the point easily for the hold. So much for that. The break consolidated, Wawrinka will serve at 2-3.

10.41pm GMT

Second set: Wawrinka 4-6, 2-2 Federer* (*denotes next server)

Wawrinka quickly falls behind love-30 and Federer has a half-chance here to move level. Wawrinka mistimes his approach but Federer dumps his passing shot into the net for 15-30. A gift for Stan as Federer had all the room in the world to set up triple break point. Nevertheless, Federer wins the next point and will have two looks at a break point. He needs only one, passing Wawrinka with a forehand for the break to get back on serve in the second.

10.36pm GMT

Second set: *Wawrinka 4-6, 2-1 Federer (*denotes next server)

At love-15, a gorgeous touch volley winner by Federer, who is now 8-of-10 on net approaches (compared to 0-of-1 for Wawrinka). I mean, seriously.

Federer (@TennisTV ) pic.twitter.com/axJBvKTHNY

10.34pm GMT

Second set: Wawrinka 4-6, 2-0* Federer (*denotes next server)

At 40-30, a backhand gets away from Wawrinka and Federer has taken it to deuce. What a crushing blow if Stan fails to consolidate the break here. A backhand winner by Federer paints the baseline and now he will have a chance to break right back. Wawrinka sends a shot from the baseline long and appears to have been broken … but he challenges it and it was in! Deuce. Now another winner by Federer on a net approach and he’ll have a second look at a break point. A divine volley from Federer, but Wawrinka attacks Federer’s backhand on the next point and saves it for deuce. Federer goes for a cross-court forehand winner but misses by inches and Wawrinka wins the next point for the hard-won hold to back up the break. This is high-level stuff from two top operators, perhaps the two finest hard-court players in the sport at this moment in time.

10.27pm GMT

Second set: Wawrinka 4-6, *1-0 Federer (*denotes next server)

What a start for Wawrinka, who wins the first three points on Federer’s serve and now has three break-point chances. At love-40, this is only the second break point that Federer has faced in the entire tournament. He saves the first, then the second when he wrong-foots Wawrinka from the baseline. But he sends a backhand from the baseline long and after 42 consecutive holds of serve at Indian Wells, Federer has finally been broken. What a recovery for Wawrinka after being broken to end the first set.

10.22pm GMT

First set: Wawrinka 4-6 Federer

Federer wins a point to put Wawrinka in a love-15 hole, but Stan answers with an ace out wide – his third of the afternoon – for 15-all. Wawrinka hits a winner for 30-15, but Federer gets the best of a baseline rally for 30-all and he’s two points from the set. Interesting. Wawrinka appeared to hit an ace but opted not to challenge it. Wawrinka goes long on a running forehand from the baseline and Federer has his first break-point chance of the day – and it’s a set point. Then Wawrinka sends another forehand long from the baseline on the longest rally of the match and he’s broken to lose the first set!

That set point had everything @rogerfederer takes first blood.#BNPPO17 pic.twitter.com/yV1GtJsPxP

10.16pm GMT

First set: *Wawrinka 4-5 Federer (*denotes next server)

Wawrinka gets it to 30-all for the first glimmer of hope on Federer’s serve, but it’s quickly denied as Federer wins two quick points. Now Wawrinka will serve to stay in the first set.

10.14pm GMT

First set: Wawrinka 4-4 Federer* (*denotes next server)

At 15-love, Wawrinka delivers a beautifully placed flip lob on an approach to win a point. What a gorgeously wrought shot. He then rattles off two quick points for the love hold.

10.11pm GMT

First set: *Wawrinka 3-4 Federer (*denotes next server)

Another love hold for Federer, who continues to push the lightning-quick pace. He’s lost only two points on his serve, none on his second serve.

10.10pm GMT

First set: Wawrinka 3-3 Federer* (*denotes next server)

Another easy hold for Wawrinka, who’s dealing on his serve – albeit far better on the first serve (9 of 10) than second (3 of 8).

10.07pm GMT

First set: *Wawrinka 2-3 Federer (*denotes next server)

A third straight crisp service game for Federer, who’s now won 12 of 14 points on his serve. Five games in 12 minutes has set quite a pace for this final.

.@rogerfederer brought his tennis racquet AND his paint brush today #BNPPO17 pic.twitter.com/9TZEQUsDXb

10.05pm GMT

First set: Wawrinka 2-2 Federer* (*denotes next server)

A stress-free hold for Wawrinka, who survived that tricky end of the court serving into the setting sun with no apparent distress. He’s been made to work a bit harder on his service games but no moments of real danger yet.

9.59pm GMT

First set: *Wawrinka 1-2 Federer (*denotes next server)

Another immaculate service game from Federer: a love hold in barely over a minute capped by his first ace of the match. He’s won eight of nine points on his serve and now the pressure is on Wawrinka once more.

9.56pm GMT

First set: Wawrinka 1-1 Federer* (*denotes next server)

At 30-all, Wawrinka dials in a 134mph ace down the middle, then follows with a 137mph serve that Federer can’t return in play.

9.53pm GMT

First set: *Wawrinka 0-1 Federer (*denotes next server)

A breeze of a service game for Federer, who sprints ahead to a 40-love lead after a serve-and-volley on the opening point. He loses a point on an unforced but closes it out on the next point. Two picturesque backhand winners in the game. Remember: he has not been broken yet in this tournament and has faced just one break point.

9.48pm GMT

The conditions on court: 94F with a 6mph breeze. Not much longer now.

9.45pm GMT

Federer has won the coin toss and elects to serve. The players are warming up now and should be under way within the next few minutes.

Shake or not Shake ? Shake !!! #Fedrinka ❗️ pic.twitter.com/gu2XQ1vued

9.43pm GMT

The players have emerged from the tunnel and are on the court. Federer noted during the on-camera interview with ESPN’s Brad Gilbert that it’s only the second time he’s met Wawrinka in a final and he’s yet to beat his countryman at this stage of a tournament. That’s a generous way to cast his 19-3 advantage in the all-time head-to-head, but no less honest.

9.29pm GMT

Elena Vesnina has just finished off Svetlana Kuznetsova for the women’s title. On 8 February of last year, she was ranked No122. Tomorrow, she will move to a career-high No13.

Federer and Wawrinka will be on court imminently and we’ll be under way shortly. At last!

8.48pm GMT

Here’s a look at the statistics for both Federer and Wawrinka at Indian Wells entering the final. (Stats in italics indicate tournament leader.)

Wawrinka v Federer
29 Aces 29
61% (230 of 380) 1st-Serve Percentage 59% (129 of 226)
73% (167 of 230) 1st-Serve Points Won 82% (106 of 129)
59% (88 of 150) 2nd-Serve Points Won 64% (62 of 97)
87% (53 of 61) Service Games Won 100% (37 of 37)
67% (16 of 24) Break Points Saved 100% (1 of 1)
34% (84 of 245) 1st-Serve Return Points Won 29% (40 of 137)
50% (69 of 137) 2nd-Serve Return Points Won 52% (56 of 107)
26% (15 of 58) Return Games Won 29% (11 of 38)
31% (15 of 48) Break Points Converted 65% (11 of 17)

8.30pm GMT

Elena Vesnina has just taken the second set from Svetlana Kuznetsova to level the women’s final and force a decider. Which means we’re at least 40 minutes away from the men’s final.

Some more odds and ends, courtesy of the ATP’s crack media relations staff:

7.58pm GMT

Federer owns a 19-3 advantage in the head-to-head series with Wawrinka, including a commanding 14-0 edge on hard courts. He won their most recent meeting in a five-set Australian Open semi-final in January and their two previous meetings at Indian Wells in the 2011 quarters and 2013 fourth round. Wawrinka’s lone win over Federer in a final came in the 2014 Monte-Carlo Masters.

Three of the Big Four – all but Murray – have accounted for 12 of the past 13 Indian Wells title. The lone exception? When Ivan Ljubicic, who currently is Federer’s coach, won the title in 2010.

7.49pm GMT

Hello and welcome to the Indian Wells final between Stan Wawrinka and Roger Federer. Today’s all-Swiss showdown marks the first final between two countrymen at the Masters event since Andre Agassi defeated Pete Sampras in 2001.

The third-seeded Wawrinka is playing in his first final at the Palm Springs tournament, while the ninth-seeded Federer enters the seventh final of his career here without having dropped a set or even lost a service game. This is the oldest combined final in tournament history between Federer (35yrs 7mos) and Wawrinka (31yrs 11mos) – and the winner will become the oldest champion in tournament history by surpassing Jimmy Connors, who was 31yrs, 5mos when he won here in 1984.

7.11pm GMT

Bryan will be here shortly.

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2017/mar/19/roger-federer-stan-wawrinka-indian-wells-final-live

Mar 06

Floyd Mayweather’s van burned outside Birmingham hotel during UK tour

West Midlands police are investigating a fire that engulfed a vehicle belonging to the retired boxer outside a posh Birmingham hotel as an arson attackAuthorities are investigating a fire that engulfed a vehicle belonging to Floyd Mayweather Jr outside…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/mar/06/floyd-mayweather-van-fire-uk-arson

Mar 01

Transgender-friendly toilets planned for 2020 Olympics in Tokyo

Tokyo’s city government is planning on installing gender-neutral bathrooms in at least seven of the 11 Olympic venues it is constructing for the 2020 Games

Tokyo’s metropolitan government is seeking to install gender-neutral public restrooms in the venues it is constructing for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics.

While daredemo toire (“everyone’s toilets”) suitable for either men or women have existed for several years in Japan, they have previously been designed as larger spaces designed to accommodate patrons in wheelchairs.

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/mar/01/tokyo-2020-olympics-transgender-friendly-toilets

Jan 29

Serena Williams insists: ‘I would be nothing without my sister Venus’ | Bryan Armen Graham

Straight out of the notorious Los Angeles neighbourhood of Compton, the incomparable sister act show yet again that they dominate women’s tennis

There is by now a numbing effect to the decades‑long dominance of Serena Williams, who on Saturday captured the Australian Open championship for a seventh time to finally eclipse Steffi Graf’s record for major titles in the Open era, all but silencing the few stubborn holdouts who referenced the record book to deny that she is the best there’s ever been.

Related: Australian Open 2017: day 13 – women’s singles final – in pictures

Related: What the Williams sisters mean in America today | Derrick Clifton

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2017/jan/29/serena-williams-venus-williams-womens-tennis

Jan 29

Léo Santa Cruz beats Carl Frampton for WBA world featherweight title – as it happened

5.30am GMT

That’s all for now! Thanks as always for following along with us and be sure to read Steve Brenner’s full report from ringside here.

Related: Léo Santa Cruz outpoints Carl Frampton for WBA featherweight title

5.21am GMT

Santa Cruz indeed outthrew the now former champion by a wide margin. From our Steve Brenner, who is ringside:

Frampton threw 592 punches compared to the 884 coming his way. Frampton landing with only 28 of his jabs compared to 81 from the Mexican.

5.07am GMT

“It was a very tough fight,” Frampton says. “Some of the rounds were close but I feel like Léo probably deserved it.

“I want to apologize for the traveling support, but the better man deserved it. I’m gutted. I’m gutted. He told me what he was going to do. Sometimes I felt the brawler was outboxing hte boxer. It’s one-all, we have to do it again.

5.04am GMT

“Before the first fight, I wanted revenge,” Santa Cruz says. “I did what I had to do. I knew it was going to be another tough fight and like I said, let’s make it a third fight. I always knew how to use my distance and everything. I like to give my fans a great fight. I’m sorry for my fans, but that was the way to beat Frampton. If I had went in, he would have counter-punched me all night.

“My head was telling me to go for it and pressure, but my dad was telling me box him.

Trilogy? Let’s make it happen. #FramptonSantaCruz2 #Boxing pic.twitter.com/fHx9tcHhPQ

4.59am GMT

One judge scores it 114-114, but the other two have it 115-113 in favor of the winner … Léo Santa Cruz! What a fight! Stand by for the in-ring interviews.

https://twitter.com/ShowtimeBoxing/status/825569645889351680

4.56am GMT

The Guardian has scored it 115-113 to Frampton but, my, the scores for this one appear to be all over the map. Who knows what to expect when the official scores are revealed in a few moments’ time.

4.55am GMT

Frampton clearly feeling he needs this round, wasting no time in moving forward and throwing shots upstairs and down. A thudding right to the body by Frampton! Frampton throwing a bevy of punches but not landing cleanly, but Santa Cruz fires back with better precision. It’s Santa Cruz’s round with a minute to go. They both look fresh – somehow! – but Santa Cruz is doing the better work off the back heel. Another classic from these two warriors! Santa Cruz trying to pick Santa Cruz off as he rushes inside but Frampton is adamant! He did more to take the fight to Santa Cruz in the final round and I’ve given it to him.

Guardian’s unofficial score: Frampton 10-9 Santa Cruz (Frampton 115-113 Santa Cruz)

4.51am GMT

Into the championship rounds we go. The accuracy seems to have gone down as both fighters’ punches are missing the target. I’m told – having no access to the punch stats – that Santa Cruz has thrown nearly 300 more punches through 10 rounds. That favors the challeger, especially in Vegas. Frampton really sitting on his punches late in the round and doing fine work upstairs, perhaps enough to nick the round near the end. This really could go either way but I’m going to tip it to Frampton based on his work near the end of the frame.

Guardian’s unofficial score: Frampton 10-9 Santa Cruz (Frampton 105-104 Santa Cruz)

4.47am GMT

More two-way action from the opening bell. How are these guys taking so much punishment and moving forward? Santa Cruz more accurately early but now a big exchange that Frampton got the better of. Santa Cruz now punishing Frampton with counters. A close round with a minute to go. So close, this round and the fight. A knockdown in the last seven minutes could seal it for either man. The action slows as the clock ticks down. The bell rings. Another close one! I’ve given it to Santa Cruz but it was close! The scores for this one, should it go the distance, will be all over the map.

Guardian’s unofficial score: Frampton 9-10 Santa Cruz (Frampton 95-95 Santa Cruz)

4.44am GMT

“You’re a round down,” Frampton’s trainer Shane McGuigan tells his fighter between rounds. “Get the little shots off on the inside, not the one big one.” Frampton continues to move forward after the bell rings. Santa Cruz has seemed to abandon the jab-first game plan and it’s played into Frampton’s hands, but he’s still landing big shots when Frampton walks inside. Big left hook by Santa Cruz! The first clear round in some time and an easy one to score for Santa Cruz. The challenger’s footwork was markedly better in that round, putting himself in position to make Frampton pay again and again.

Guardian’s unofficial score: Frampton 9-10 Santa Cruz (Frampton 86-85 Santa Cruz)

4.39am GMT

What a fight. Both men committed to the head and body. What had started as a pitched battle from the outside is now a showcase of in-fighting. Frampton backs up Santa Cruz against the ropes and wails away! He’s walking Santa Cruz down. Frampton now consistently winning these exchanges. Seems like Santa Cruz is giving Frampton the inside. A lower volume round but Frampton is doing more.

Guardian’s unofficial score: Frampton 10-9 Santa Cruz (Frampton 77-75 Santa Cruz)

4.36am GMT

Another big exchange that Santa Cruz gets the better of, but Frampton continues to lead the attack. Santa Cruz fighting well off the back heel, but Frampton will be awarded for taking the fight to the challenger. Now Santa Cruz moves forward and pecks away with that left jab. He’s so much more accurate it seems, using it both as a rangefinder and a power punch. Frampton looking for that counter but he can’t seem to land it. Santa Cruz’s output is down, it seems by design, but Frampton continues to move forward and has done just enough to take it. Feels like Santa Cruz has won the easy rounds to score while Frampton has taken the close ones. Will the judges agree if it goes to the cards?

Guardian’s unofficial score: Frampton 10-9 Santa Cruz (Frampton 67-66 Santa Cruz)

4.31am GMT

Frampton doing great work early here, a fine left hook upstairs. He’s coming forward and landing punches but Santa Cruz is game, swatting back. Frampton finally committing to the body but Santa Cruz answers in kind. Another close round with a minute to go! A great fight! The crowd is loving it! Frampton nicks another close one by doing more to step forward and taking the fight to Santa Cruz.

Guardian’s unofficial score: Frampton 10-9 Santa Cruz (Frampton 57-57 Santa Cruz)

4.28am GMT

Frampton still staying to the outside but venturing more into the pocket. Santa Cruz sticking to the game play, using that jab to the head and body. He is staying busy and we should remember these Vegas judges traditionally have given value to volume. He is the busier fighter. Santa Cruz measuring distance so well, but he barrels in after the clapper sounds in the final 10 seconds and lets lose a flurry of punches, many of which miss … but the roars from the crowd may well influence the judges. Another close round but Santa Cruz takes it.

Guardian’s unofficial score: Frampton 9-10 Santa Cruz (Frampton 47-48 Santa Cruz)

4.23am GMT

Frampton really looking for that left hook but Santa Cruz keeping that jab in his face. Even when it doesn’t land, it’s enough of a distraction to disrupt his game plan. Good right to the body by Frampton, but he takes a left hook to the head moments later. Frampton barrels in but Santa Cruz throws a boatload of punches; unclear how many landed. Oh dear, a tough one to call for the judges for sure. This is even all the way with 30 seconds left. Frampton down as the fighters get tangled up by the end of the round by the referee correctly rules it a slip. This one truly could have gone either way. I’d score it 10-10 if I could but I won’t since they won’t and I’ll tip it to Frampton for the bigger shots early. But clip and save this one if it goes to the scorecards.

Guardian’s unofficial score: Frampton 10-9 Santa Cruz (Frampton 38-38 Santa Cruz)

4.19am GMT

Frampton closing the distance better here early on, avoiding Santa Cruz’s ramrod jam with head movement. Probing, probing. Santa Cruz fighting off the back heel so much better than in their first meeting, using feints and deception. A counter left by Santa Cruz right after a sharp left by Frampton. Good left by Frampton who’s moving better this round. The round is up for grabs with 30 seconds left. Frampton really pushing the action here at the end, landing a sharp shot to the chin. A very close, competitive round but Frampton may have nicked it.

Guardian’s unofficial score: Frampton 10-9 Santa Cruz (Frampton 28-29 Santa Cruz)

4.15am GMT

Santa Cruz really snapping that jab, fighting from the outside and not neglecting the body, especially when Frampton deigns inside. Frampton’s face already looking a bit red. Santa Cruz’s volume punching making a difference early. Santa Cruz continuing to score with those straight shots upstairs. A good left by Frampton interrupting Santa Cruz’s rhythm toward the end of the round, but Santa Cruz closes the round with a good double left hook. Less decisive and more tactical than the first Santa Cruz still busier and still doing more.

Guardian’s unofficial score: Frampton 9-10 Santa Cruz (Frampton 18-20 Santa Cruz)

4.12am GMT

Santa Cruz with a more tactical approach than in the first fight, measuring and refraining from closing distance. Santa Cruz really trying to use his reach advantage to keep Frampton on the end of his jab. A good combo by Santa Cruz! Frampton walking into punches early on. They trade near the end of the round and it’s Santa Crauz who gets the better of the exchange! A good right by Frampton there at the end but an easy round for Santa Cruz, who it seemed (without seeing the punch stats) outthrew and outlanded the champion.

Guardian’s unofficial score: Frampton 9-10 Santa Cruz (Frampton 9-10 Santa Cruz)

4.05am GMT

The fighters are being announced right now. Frampton closes as a minus-160 favorite, Santa Cruz as a plus-130 underdog at the MGM Grand sports book.

4.01am GMT

The fighters are making their ringwalks now. Santa Cruz first, then Frampton, who makes his approach to Gala’s Freed from Desire.

3.49am GMT

Not much longer now. Here’s a look at the tale of the tape between Frampton and Santa Cruz.

Carl Frampton v Léo Santa Cruz
23/0/0 (14)-0 w/l/d 32/1/1
14 Knockouts 18
29 Age 28
125lbs Weight 125lbs
5ft 5in Height 5ft 7in
62in Reach 69in
Orthodox Stance Orthodox
Belfast, Northern Ireland Hometown Rosemead, California

3.42am GMT

That was a stomach-turning knockout. But Yahoo Sports! scribe Kevin Iole reports that Zlatičanin is upright and made it to the locker room on his own.

FYI, @mikeygarcia being interviewed and @DinamitDejan1 walked to the dressing room under his own power. He looked OK

3.34am GMT

Mikey Garcia has just knocked out Dejan Zlatičanin to capture his third world championship, this one at lightweight. The Californian delivered a right uppercut followed by a right hand for a third-round knockout that’s left the Montenegrin unconscious on the canvas. He’s on his feet after more than a minute but, yeesh, this is a brutal trade.

BOOM. @mikeygarcia drills @DinamitDejan1 and is now a 3-division world champion. #ZlaticaninGarcia #Boxing pic.twitter.com/BgkmgY3MQQ

3.21am GMT

Lots of questions surrounding tonight’s main event. Steven Doran checks in, via email:

What’s your predictions for tonight Bryan mate ? I’m saying frampton to win unanimous decision with both fighters touching the canvas

I was worrying more about him, about his health, how he was doing, if he was going to be able to go to the fight with me. Or if he was even going to wake up the day after, tomorrow, to be there with us because cancer is a very dangerous disease that you could be here with us today, or tomorrow you won’t be.

2.47am GMT

On Friday, Frampton became the first ever fighter from Northern Ireland to be named Fighter of the Year by the Boxing Writers Association of America. The Belfast native earned the honor for his victories over two previously undefeated fighters in 2016: Scott Quigg and Santa Cruz.

Earlier this month, Frampton was given the same honor by the Ring Magazine.

Carl Frampton named Ring Magazine’s Fighter of the Year for 2016. pic.twitter.com/68TRviY4tE

2.23am GMT

Hello and welcome to tonight’s rematch between Carl Frampton and Léo Santa Cruz for the WBA featherweight title. Six months ago, Frampton upset the American three-division champion by majority decision in Brooklyn and tonight they’ll do it again. We’re at least an hour out from the main event, but you can catch up on the highlights from the first fight here.

10.39pm GMT

Bryan will be here shortly. In the meantime, read Steve Brenner on why Frampton believes he has the upper hand:

A higher force may be looking out for the 28-year-old yet everything he possesses to see off the dangerous, rangy Santa Cruz – he is two and a half inches taller and boasts an extra seven inches in reach – is already nestled in his locker. The move from super-bantam to featherweight before that first meeting ratcheted up the risk factor. The results culminated in arguably the fight of 2016 and Frampton being named the best boxer over the past 12 months.

Related: Carl Frampton believes he has upper hand against Leo Santa Cruz

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2017/jan/28/carl-frampton-leo-santa-cruz-boxing-wba-live

Jan 28

Serena Williams beats Venus Williams to win the Australian Open – as it happened

10.32am GMT

That’s all for now. Thanks as always for following along with us and be sure to check out Russell Jackson’s full match report from Melbourne Park.

Related: Australian Open: Serena Williams beats sister Venus for record 23rd slam title

10.31am GMT

Serena shows off some special footwear in the wake of her record-breaking title. Those are custom Jordan 1s with the number 23 emblazoned on the heel.

Serena changed into these icy custom Jordan 1s commemorating her record-breaking 23rd major for the trophy ceremony. pic.twitter.com/YK2SMP7U8D

10.25am GMT

Serena will return to No1 in Monday’s rankings after ceding the top to Angelique Kerber after the US Open. Venus will climb to No11.

Serena will return to No. 1 in Monday’s rankings. Venus will rise to No. 11. pic.twitter.com/dXkkUD9JYz

10.18am GMT

Serena Williams now steps forward and lifts the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup for the seventh time. “I really would like to take this moment to congratulate Venus, she’s an amazing person,” the 23-time major champion says. “There’s no way I would be at 23 without her. There’s no way I would be at one without her. There’s no way I would be anything without her. She’s the only reason the Williams sisters exist.

“I definitely think she’ll be standing here next year. i don’t like the word comeback but she’s never left.”

10.14am GMT

Venus now addressing the crowd: “Serena Williams, that’s my little sister, guys.”

“I’ve been right there with you, some of them I lost right there against you,” Venus says. “I’m enormously proud of you, you mean the world to me.”

10.12am GMT

Serena becomes the first player to win the Australian Open without dropping a set since Maria Sharapova in 2008. She’s now won a preposterous 10 grand slam titles since her 30th birthday, the most by far in the Open era. The only other players on the list: Margaret Court (three), Martina Navratilova (two), Chris Evert (two), Billie Jean King (two), Ann Jones (one), Li Na (one), Flavia Pennetta (one) and Virginia Wade (one).

10.06am GMT

Serena Williams wins 6-4, 6-4 for her 23rd major title, most of any player in the Open era. Nike sure didn’t waste any time, running this spot on ESPN in the first ad break after the match ended.

Greatest ever. @serenawilliams #justdoit pic.twitter.com/NrU4R4k0yD

10.03am GMT

Second set: Serena 6-4 Venus

A sizzling backhand winner from Venus makes it love-30, but she blocks a serve into the net on the next point for 15-all. Venus then outlasts Serena on the longest point of the match – a 24-stroke rally, longest of the match – for 15-30 and the crowd is on their feet! An unforced error by Venus on another long rally makes it 30-all and Serena is now two points from the title. Now another unforced error gives Serena a championship point. There’s that fist pump. Then Serena forces Venus into an error and it’s finished! She falls to the court with her arms raised! Venus comes around the net to embrace her younger sister. History has been made!

Related: Australian Open: Serena Williams beats sister Venus for record 23rd slam title

9.55am GMT

Second set: *Serena 5-4 Venus (*denotes next server)

Venus hits an overhand smash winner, but Serena follows with a forehand winner for 15-all. Serena then just misses on a cross-court backhand from the baseline and Venus dials in an ace for 40-15. A Serena miss gives Venus the game, but now the world No2 will have a chance to serve for the championship, the No1 ranking and the record for most grand slam titles in the Open era. No pressure.

9.52am GMT

Second set: Serena 5-3 Venus* (*denotes next server)

Serena consolidates with a clinical love hold including a thunderous ace down the middle on the second point, her 10th of the match. Venus will now serve to stay in the tournament.

9.49am GMT

Second set: *Serena 4-3 Venus (*denotes next server)

Venus feeling the heat serving at 15-30 but responds with a thudding ace down the middle. Serena then gets the best of her sister on a 16-shot rally – the best point of the match so far – to give herself a break-point chance. Venus saves it by forcing Serena into an error for deuce, but Serena pounces on a second serve for a winner and has another break chance. This time she capitalizes, crushing a backhand winner for a break that could prove fatal the way she’s been serving.

9.43am GMT

Second set: Serena 3-3 Venus* (*denotes next server)

A delicate touch volley by Venus makes it 15-all, but a series of loose points gives Serena an easy hold. Still on serve in the second.

9.40am GMT

Second set: *Serena 2-3 Venus (*denotes next server)

A comfortable hold for Venus capped by a thudding ace. We’ve now gone eight games without a break of serve after service breaks in four of the first five games.

9.37am GMT

Second set: Serena 2-2 Venus* (*denotes next server)

Serena opens with an unforced error from the backhand side but rattles off three straight points for 40-15. She then mixes in a double fault for 40-30 – her fifth of the match – but Venus nets a forehand on the approach to gift Serena the hold.

9.32am GMT

Second set: *Serena 1-2 Venus (*denotes next server)

Venus falls behind love-30 on her serve then mixes in a double fault to give Serena three looks at a break point. She wipes away the first two then crushes a forehand winner on the approach for deuce. She forces Serena into an error on the next point then pounds another forehand winner for the crucial hold from love-40 down. What an escape!

9.28am GMT

Second set: Serena 1-1 Venus* (*denotes next server)

Serena on a roll now. She’s thuds and ace for 30-love then a service winner for 40-love and she’s now won 11 straight points on her serve extending back to the first set. Serena mixes in a pair of unforced errors from the backhand side but wins the next point to seal the hold.

9.26am GMT

Second set: *Serena 0-1 Venus (*denotes next server)

Venus with a drama-free hold to open the second set, capping it with an emphatic backhand winner. Serena continuing to attack the second serve: Venus is a scant 2-for-11 on those points.

9.22am GMT

First set: Serena 6-4 Venus

Serena responds with her easiest game of the match, holding at love and capping it with consecutive aces to finish off the first set in 41 minutes.

9.18am GMT

First set: *Serena 5-4 Venus (*denotes next server)

Serena continues to pressure Venus, but the elder sister fights back from love-15 and 15-30 down to finish off the hold. Serena will serve after the changeover for the first set. No small matter, given Serena is 20-0 lifetime in grand slam finals when she wins the opener.

9.15am GMT

First set: Serena 5-3 Venus* (*denotes next server)

Venus opens the game with a gorgeously struck forehand winner on the run, then forces Serena into an error for love-30. Venus then sends a forehand long from the baseline to cap a lengthy rally, with Serena following with a 113mph ace out wide for 30-all. Venus then makes another backhand error and Serena consolidates the break with a winner. Venus now to serve to stay in the first set.

9.12am GMT

First set: *Serena 4-3 Venus (*denotes next server)

At 15-all, Venus thuds an ace but then follows with a double fault for 30-all. Serena then delivers a backhand volley winner to earn another break-point chance, capitalizing with a backhand winner for the break. Serena moving her feet far better now than she was earlier in the match and now within touching distance of the opener.

9.08am GMT

First set: Serena 3-3 Venus* (*denotes next server)

Venus hits a forehand winner then Serena makes another unforced error to make it love-30. A big chance for Venus here, but she makes an error then watches as Serena booms an ace for 30-all. Another unforced error for Serena makes it 40-30 before Serena finishes off the hold. Still on serve in the first.

9.05am GMT

First set: *Serena 2-3 Venus (*denotes next server)

More error-strewn play from Serena as Venus is able to negotiate the first hold of the match. Still, they’re on level terms with Serena to serve at 2-3.

9.01am GMT

First set: Serena 2-2 Venus* (*denotes next server)

Serena’s second ace makes it 30-love, but an ensuing error and a Venus backhand winner makes it 30-all. Venus then makes an error, but Serena double-faults for deuce. More nerves. Now another double-fault for Serena! That gives Venus a break-point chance, but she saves it with a thudding 101mph ace down the T. Now Serena makes another unforced error from the backhand side to give Venus another look at a break … and yet another double fault gifts Venus the break! Four service games, four breaks of serve. Serena has been broken eight times in six matches over the fortnight, now she’s been broken twice in the past 21 minutes.

8.55am GMT

First set: *Serena 2-1 Venus (*denotes next server)

Serena clearly tense here with so much at stake: not least the No1 ranking that she ceded last fall to Angelique Kerber after a three-and-a-half-year run on top. At 15-all, Venus double-faults but then follows with a forehand winner for 30-all. She then makes another error to give Serena another look at a break point, but saves it with a forehand volley winner for deuce. Venus moves within a point of the game with another winner but Serena answers and we’re back to deuce. Venus loses the next point to give Serena a break-point chance, but Venus saves it with backhand winner. (A furious Serena, who slipped on the baseline, promptly lays waste to her racket and walks to fetch a replacement.)

Court = 1, Racquet = 0 #Serena vs #Venus #AusOpen pic.twitter.com/If59ZX0bYD

8.47am GMT

First set: Serena 1-1 Venus* (*denotes next server)

Serena forces Venus into two more errors from the backhand side, but a double fault and a backhand error of her own makes it 30-all. Serena then mixes in her first ace, but then sprays a backhand wide on the first extended rally of the night for deuce. Serena misses off the netcord and Venus will have a chance to break right back. And she does, sending a forehand long from the baseline! Back on level terms in the opener.

8.42am GMT

First set: *Serena 1-0 Venus (*denotes next server)

A foreboding start for the elder Williams as she’s broken in her opening service game. She makes a pair of errors from the backhand side before getting on the board with an ace. Then Serena makes it 15-40 with a backhand winner to set up a pair of break-point chances. She needs only one, taking the early edge with a running backhand winner to pass Venus.

8.37am GMT

Hello and welcome to the Australian Open final between the Williams sisters: Venus-Serena XXVIII. The players are nearly done warming up. Some quick stats on their history:

2.43pm GMT

Bryan will be here shortly. In the meantime, read about the ultimate American folk tale:

The story reads like a tall tale, no matter how many times it’s repeated – too incredible to be true and growing only more preposterous with each passing year.

Related: Venus and Serena Williams create a new chapter in this remarkable family story

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2017/jan/28/serena-williams-venus-australian-open-womens-final-live

Jan 27

Venus and Serena Williams create a new chapter in this remarkable family story

In Melbourne on Saturday, the sisters with 29 grand slam titles between them will add No30 to the Williams family ledger – and they’re not done yet

The story reads like a tall tale, no matter how many times it’s repeated – too incredible to be true and growing only more preposterous with each passing year.

A young father of three in Compton stumbles on a tennis match one Sunday while channel-surfing, struck by astonishment as the winner, a Romanian player named Virginia Ruzici, is presented with a $40,000 check. He decides right then his next two daughters – whom it should be noted were still unborn – will be professional tennis players.

Related: Resurgent Roger Federer defies age and expectations to dazzle Australia | Kevin Mitchell

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jan/27/venus-serena-williams-tennis-melbourne-final-story

Jan 16

Serena Williams may be world No2 but she is as dangerous as ever

She’s lost the No1 ranking and is nearer to 40 than 30, but only a fool would doubt Serena as she returns to Melbourne with history in sight

Ten years ago this week, Serena Williams arrived at Melbourne Park a faded champion on the brink of irrelevance, a silhouette of the player who had won seven grand slams from 1999 to 2005. The 25-year-old from Compton had played only 15 events in 26 months, dogged by injuries and distractions and a depression brought on in no small part by the murder of her half-sister, Yetunde Price, only a mile from the public courts where a young Serena first picked up a racket. She had gone more than two years since playing in a final as her ranking sank to No136 in the world. The abyss was staring back.

Behold the withering assessment of former Wimbledon champion Pat Cash that ran in the Times of London on the eve of the tournament, since taken down from the newspaper’s website but thankfully preserved in a cached version as a monument to the folly of man. The 742-word obituary wrote off Williams as a player with “a limited attention span”, lacking the “fortitude” and “application” to return to the top. The sport had moved on in her absence, he assured, with proof positive in the emergence of Maria Sharapova, Amelie Mauresmo, Jelena Jankovic, Nicole Vaidisova and Ana Ivanovic. “They are the new winning breed,” it reads. “They are tall and hit the ball just as hard as the Williams sisters, if not harder.”

Related: ‘We must continue to dream big’: an open letter from Serena Williams

Related: Australian Open women’s form guide: the players to watch in Melbourne | Molly McElwee

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jan/16/serena-williams-australian-open-2017-tennis

Jan 04

James DeGale believes he will win IBF-WBC unifying fight with Badou Jack

• DeGale believes title-unifying win will set stage for homecoming fight
• ‘The plan is to beat Badou Jack and have a big fight at home’

James DeGale is no stranger to winning in an opponent’s backyard. Now the southpaw known as Chunky is looking to play the road warrior once more with his eyes on a triumphant homecoming this year.

DeGale, who holds the IBF’s version of the super middleweight title, is out to unify belts against the WBC holder Badou Jack in the main event of a stacked card at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on 14 January.

Related: Sport calendar 2017: your essential guide to the next 12 months

Related: Muirfield members face their demons again: is it time to let the ladies in? | Marina Hyde

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jan/04/james-degale-ibf-badou-jack-wbc-

Dec 19

Everton v Liverpool: Premier League – as it happened

10.16pm GMT

That’s all for now. Thanks as always for following along with us and be sure to check out Andy Hunter’s full match report from Goodison Park here.

Related: Sadio Mané’s injury-time winner earns Liverpool dramatic derby victory

10.14pm GMT

Liverpool move to second in the table, six points adrift of Chelsea. The final match statistics don’t exactly suggest a match to remember. (And it most certainly wasn’t.) But the ending could very well be a pivotal moment in the Reds’ campaign.

10.07pm GMT

A massive win for Liverpool, the sort of match that can breathe life into a title charge. “It’s a great feeling to come here on derby day and win. There’s no better place to win away from home, really,” Jordan Henderson says. “The second half, I thought we dominated throughout. We could have scored a couple more, but in the end, we’re delighted with the 1-0 win.”

Adds Mane: “I’m very happy to score the winning goal or the team, but I think the work rate for the team was great today. I think we deserved to win.”

9.59pm GMT

And there’s the final whistle. A chippy and dramatic finish to the 227th Merseyside derby, a tangle finally settled by a late Mane winner that was, to be fair, all Daniel Sturridge.

9.57pm GMT

90 min+10: We’re into the 100th minute … not much longer now.

9.57pm GMT

90 min+7: Liverpool very nearly doubles their pleasure when Firmino is put in by Mane and Coleman clears it off the line.

9.54pm GMT

Daniel Sturridge’s long-range shot from outside the area rings off the right post and Mane is in the right place at the right time to deposit it cleanly into the back of the goal. A flare has come down from the away end as the crowd erupts followed shortly by an Everton fan who attempts to invade the pitch. Bedlam at Goodison Park!

9.50pm GMT

90 min+2: Everton win a free kick but it’s played short and Barkley’s, er, speculative shot sails high into the night. Goal kick for Liverpool.

9.48pm GMT

90 min: The corner is easily cleared and, yes, the fourth official confirms there will be eight minutes of stoppage time.

9.47pm GMT

89 min: Another corner for Liverpool, who desperately need three points. Word coming from the tunnel area is there could be as many as eight minutes of injury time.

9.44pm GMT

86 min: A free kick for Liverpool, Henderson and Milner standing over it. Played short to Milner who plays it into the area, but nothing comes of it. Well defended by Everton.

9.43pm GMT

84 min: Liverpool win a free kick but then Barkley kicks the ball away to prevent the Reds from taking it quickly. He’s on a yellow and walking a thin line but he manages to avoid the referee’s book, if not Henderson’s ire, for the stroke of churlishness.

9.40pm GMT

82 min: Two substitutions for Liverpool as Origi and Lallana make way for Daniel Sturridge and Emre Can, who is back from a knee injury.

9.38pm GMT

80 min: Firmino with a brilliant volley on goal and Robles fully extends to make the save!

Firmino close! pic.twitter.com/uf7U5nsLWH

9.37pm GMT

79 min: Sturridge, with seven goals in 12 career appearances against Everton, is now warming up by the Liverpool bench.

9.36pm GMT

77 min: More pressure from Liverpool. Firmino attempts a highlight-reel overhead kick but it’s nowhere near the target and Everton will have a goal kick.

9.34pm GMT

75 min: Liverpool win a corner when Lallana’s pass to Origi is well defended and deflected out. The corner is headed clear but Liverpool have a throw-in and restart play in the final third.

9.31pm GMT

71 min: Barry is whistled for a foul near the halfway line and Enner Valencia will now exit fore the teenager Dominic Calvert-Lewin. It’s Everton’s third sub of the match with Liverpool having yet to make their first.

9.28pm GMT

67 min: Ross Barkley has been shown yellow for a vicious late challenge from behind on Henderson near the touchline. That could have been a red. A small melee breaks out when Lovren runs a long way to take objection to the tackle. Coleman picks up a yellow for his part in the extracurriculars. Tempers flaring!

Horrendous. pic.twitter.com/ng135voB82

9.21pm GMT

63 min: Now play has stopped again and it appears second-choice keeper Joel Robles will enter for Stekelenburg, who is gingerly walking off the pitch with assistance. It’s Everton’s second substitution of the match.

9.19pm GMT

60 min: Stekelenburg will stay in but Ashley Williams is taking the goal kick to restart play. It appears he can hardly stand but he will stay in the match, for now at least. Certainly something to keep an eye on as the match moves past the hour mark.

9.18pm GMT

58 min: Firmino flicks to Mane, but Stekelenburg and Baines collide while teaming to interrupt the attack, which they do, and both players are down. Baines up first but Stekelenburg is still receiving medical attention. He doesn’t look well. Looks like a right thigh issue. He may need to come out.

9.14pm GMT

55 min: Lovren cross-checks Lukaku near the halfway line during a change of possession and finds himself in the referee’s book.

9.13pm GMT

53 min: A ball is lobbed forward to Lukaku in the area, who stays in line with the defenders and attempts a nifty head on goal. A good idea with a heightened degree of difficulty, but the shot misses the target. And shortly after it’s Liverpool on the hunt again.

9.10pm GMT

49 min: A series of chances for Liverpool as Firmino puts a lob on goal after a fine feed from Milner. A moment of chaos at the mouth of the goal before the ball is cleared. They’ve now won a corner but it comes to nothing. The visitors have come out firing after half-time.

9.06pm GMT

47 min: Liverpool appear to have caught Everton napping early as Milner breaks free of a weak challenge on the left flank and sends it into the area, but no one is there to collect it.

9.05pm GMT

46 min: The second half is off with one change for Everton: Gareth Barry is on for James McCarthy. Barry is making his 610th appearance in a Premier League match, eclipsing Frank Lampard (609) for second-most ever behind only Ryan Giggs (632).

9.02pm GMT

Not much longer now until the second half is underway. For your half-time entertainment, have a go at our latest quiz on historical British football grounds, then and now.

Related: Football stadiums then and now interactive quiz, part four

8.51pm GMT

There’s the whistle and the first half is in the books. Everton did the better work early on, but Liverpool fought back and ended the first stanza on even terms. Only two real chances to speak of: Lukaku’s blocked effort in the 23rd minute and Origi’s misfire from point-blank range in the 37th. Plenty more to come from Goodison Park!

8.48pm GMT

45 min+1: Milner’s effort toward the far post is easily cleared the half-time whistle that will almost certainly be the final chance of the first half.

8.46pm GMT

45 min: Now Liverpool will have a late chance as Origi is ripped down by Barkley and the referee awards a free kick.

8.45pm GMT

43 min: Everton win a corner and the crowd whips itself into a frenzy. It’s sent toward Funes Mori toward the near post roughly seven yards from the goal, but he can’t send his header toward the target. A wasted chance.

8.43pm GMT

41 min: Play resumes with McCarthy still in. Liverpool enjoying a touch more success in the waning minutes of the first half and you can’t help but wonder if Everton won’t rue failing to convert their early supremacy into something more tangible.

8.42pm GMT

39 min: McCarthy is down for Everton. Play has stopped while he receives medical attention.

8.40pm GMT

37 min: A quick break for Everton and Lukaku plays to the onrushing Coleman, but his cross caroms off the hand of Henderson. The ref signals play on to the horror of the crowd as Liverpool very quickly move into a counter-attack moments later when Origi misses wide from seven yards out off a cross from Clyne, who was set up brilliantly by a dummy from Mane. Oh dear! Not an easy finish by any means but surely Liverpool’s best chance of the match.

8.36pm GMT

33 min: A good chance brewing for Liverpool as the ball is played forward to Origi on the left flank with only one man to beat, but he’s had his pocket picked and Everton are on the counter again.

8.32pm GMT

31 min: Another clumsy challenge for Liverpool as Clyne looks again for Wijnaldum in the area, but he can’t direct it toward the goal before it’s cleared.

8.31pm GMT

28 min: Liverpool’s first shot comes from Wijnaldum, but it misses the target completely. Now the Reds will have a free kick from distance after Baines takes out Origi, but Milner’s poor effort is a non-starter as the referee spots an infraction.

27 – It took Liverpool 27 minutes to have their first touch of the ball in Everton’s box during this game. Timid. #EVELIV

8.27pm GMT

25 min: Now the ball falls fortuitously to Barkley, but his effort sails harmless wide of the left-hand post.

8.25pm GMT

23 min: Lennon carries into the area targets Lukaku with a cross but Klavan arrives in the nick of time to make a sliding block. More danger for Liverpool.

8.23pm GMT

21 min: Liverpool doing a lot of defending through the first 20 minutes, spending vast spells in their own final third. Everton haven’t had a great deal to show for their efforts, but they’ve kept the visitors on the back foot.

8.19pm GMT

18 min: Liverpool finally keeping possession in the final third, stringing together a series of short passes along the right flank and probing the Everton defense, but they’re ultimately dispossessed and Everton are back on the counter.

Chaotic start to the game, but it was all Everton in the opening 15 mins.

Liverpool have spent 72.5% of the game in their own half so far. pic.twitter.com/GIirnKPPvJ

8.17pm GMT

15 min: A quarter hour down and Everton have had the better opportunities, with Liverpool having to develop anything resembling a chance.

8.15pm GMT

13 min: Valencia’s free kick smashes directly into the wall and caroms backward past the halfway line. A wasted effort. Still, an inspired start for Everton before their home crowd while Liverpool have seemingly failed to answer the bell.

8.14pm GMT

12 min: Now Firmino trips Gueye and Everton are awarded a free kick roughly 25 yards outside the area. The Brazilian was perhaps lucky to avoid a booking there.

8.13pm GMT

8 min: Everton pressing and keeping Liverpool on the back foot. Just now Coleman picks out Barkley in the area, aided by Henderson’s missed chance at an interception. But Barkley can’t turn on goal with the ball and Liverpool dodge a bullet.

8.09pm GMT

6 min: Firmino is dispossessed and Lukaku is released down the right-hand side. The crowd swells but the Belgian’s cross sails harmlessly out of the danger area.

8.05pm GMT

4 min: An incisive-looking Everton with the first half-chance of the match after the initial feeling-out period as a cross is swung in to Lukaku, but Lovren arrives just in time to head it out of danger.

8.03pm GMT

1 min: And we’re off! Everton attacking from right to left in blue shirts and white shorts, Liverpool from left to right in the familiar all-red kits.

Good to hear 80s classic “Blue Monday” at Goodison, but no tribute to the last four seasons’ Liverpool teams – 99 Red Balloons @BryanAGraham

7.58pm GMT

The players have taken the pitch and first kick is only minutes away. The atmosphere in Goodison Park is positively electric!

7.56pm GMT

Liverpool statistician Ged Rea has put together a master compendium of numbers ahead of today’s derby. Among other arcana, we’re reminded the last player to score a hat trick in a league derby at Goodison was Ian Rush in a 5-0 victory in November 1982. (Of course, he scored four that day.)

7.24pm GMT

Here’s a look at today’s teams. Only one change for Everton as Ramiro Funes Mori enters for Phil Jagielka, who is suspended for today’s match after being sent off during injury time of the midweek win over Arsenal. No changes for Jürgen Klopp’s side, which means he will continue to ride the recently recalled Simon Mignolet in goal.

7.17pm GMT

Hello and welcome to Mersey Monday with Everton and Liverpool set to face off for the 227th time in their timeworn rivalry. The Reds, currently joint third in the table and nine points adrift of leaders Chelsea, arrive at Goodison Park fresh off a 3-0 victory over Middlesbrough on Thursday. Meanwhile, Ronald Koeman’s men are riding high after an inspired come-from-behind win over Arsenal one day prior.

Kickoff is just over 40 minutes away. We’ll have plenty more to come, including the teams, between now and then.

12.11pm GMT

Bryan will be here shortly. In the meantime, here’s Divock Origi on the game:

It will be a war, so we go there in a very positive way. You want to win this game, you know it will not be easy, it is a derby so it will be special and a very big and important game for us as a club also. We have to prepare it well.

Related: Merseyside derby will be ‘a war’, says Liverpool striker Divock Origi

It would be great to beat Liverpool because then I could be on Sadio Mané’s back all the way through the African Nations. Sadio is a real one for taking the mickey, a real character. Every time we go away on international duty he calls me dwarf and he’s only a little bit taller than me. If the result goes the wrong way on Monday he’s going to be even worse. I can’t let that happen.

Related: Idrissa Gueye: I can’t let mickey-taker Sadio Mané get one over me | Andy Hunter

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/live/2016/dec/19/everton-v-liverpool-premier-league-live

Nov 23

Celtic 0-2 Barcelona: Champions League – as it happened

9.44pm GMT

That’s all for now. Thanks as always for following along with us. Here’s Ewan Murray’s full match report.

Related: Lionel Messi scores twice as Barcelona send Celtic crashing out of Europe

9.43pm GMT

Borussia Mönchengladbach have drawn 1-1 with Manchester City. That result propels the German side into the Europa League with a third-place finish in Group C and leaves Celtic on the outside of European football looking in.

9.40pm GMT

There is the final whistle and Barcelona are your official Group C winners, sealing passage to the knockout stage ahead of Manchester City, who finish second. It was a fairly pedestrian victory for the Spanish champions tonight despite a brave challenge from the hosts.

9.37pm GMT

90 min+2: Barca simply cruising to the finish line here. An uninterrupted sequence of passes leaves Celtic mere spectators.

9.33pm GMT

90 min: The fourth official signals for four minutes of added time.

9.33pm GMT

89 min: Rakitic shown yellow for a foul as Celtic charge forward.

9.32pm GMT

88 min: Armstrong shown yellow for a foul that upturns Messi near the touchline. Frustrations boiling over for Celtic.

9.31pm GMT

85 min: Barca keeping possession with maddening efficiency as time runs short on the hosts.

9.28pm GMT

83 min: Messi with a mazy run through a gaggle of Celtic defenders before slipping a pass to Suarez, whose shot from point-blank range surely should have been a third Barcelona goal. Instead, he misses the target.

9.26pm GMT

79 min: Rakutic wins a corner and takes it for Barca, but nothing comes of it. The Spanish champions seem to have warded off Celtic’s best offerings and are simply in mop-up mode with just over 10 minutes remaining.

9.21pm GMT

76 min: Now the final sub of the match as Neymar walks off for the Turkish star Arda Turan. A fantastic day for the Brazilian, whose assist to Neymar in the 24th minute helped Barca break the deadlock.

9.18pm GMT

73 min: Barca answer with their second switch as Marlon enters for Pique.

9.16pm GMT

72 min: Rodgers makes his third and final substitution as Roberts enters for McGregor.

9.15pm GMT

71 min: Both Lustic and Neymar are shown yellow after a flare-up near the touchline. Neymar will miss the next match, but it’s doubtful he’ll mind too much with Barca already through to the next stage.

9.13pm GMT

69 min: These fans have not budged one inch as Celtic continue, scoreline notwithstanding, to put on one of their best Champions League performances of the year. Celtic win a corner and play it short but now Barca have dispossessed them and are on the counter-attack.

9.10pm GMT

66 min: Now Barca will make their first substitution as Digne enters for Jordi Alba.

9.10pm GMT

65 min: Free kick is played to Dembele, who can’t put it on target and manages to bang heads with Pique in the process.

9.08pm GMT

63 min: Another switch for Celtic as Bitton enters for Rogic. Free kick coming up for the hosts.

9.08pm GMT

58 min: The slim margins of the game were on clear display there. Dembele was so close to leveling the score for the hosts, then moments later Barca struck to, it would seem, put it out of reach.

9.01pm GMT

Messi calmly beats the keeper from the spot and Barcelona’s lead is double, putting Celtic’s chances at three points tonight in serious jeopardy.

9.00pm GMT

54 min: Izaguirre is whistled holding onto Suarez in the area and a penalty is awarded to Barcelona!

8.58pm GMT

53 min: Another golden chance as Forrest plays a ball into the area for Dembele, surrounded by a gaggle of frozen Barca defenders. But he heads the ball directly into the hands of Ter Stegen. Celtic will scarcely get a better chance than that!

8.56pm GMT

49 min: McGregor with an attempt on goal for the hosts but a relatively drama-free save for Ter Stegen.

8.55pm GMT

48 min: Barca concede a free kick on a Neymar foul and Dembele has a shot parried away after the restart. Can’t say enough about the cauldron-like atmosphere here.

8.49pm GMT

46 min: And the second half is under way at Parkhead with one change: James Forrest in for the injured Scott Sinclair.

8.34pm GMT

There’s the whistle and time is called on the opening half. Yet another superb finish from Messi is all that separates the sides after an inspired showing from Brendan Rodgers’ men.

8.32pm GMT

45 min: The fourth official signals for one minute of stoppage time.

8.30pm GMT

42 min: Sinclair is hacked down by Jordi Alba, who’s shown yellow for the foul. Medical staff trot out to treat him, but he will stay in the match for now. That would be a crucial loss for Celtic.

8.29pm GMT

40 min: Messi plays it into Suarez, whose header is turned away by the keeper. How near Barca were to doubling their advantage there!

8.26pm GMT

37 min: Animated gestures from Barcelona coach Luis Enrique along the touchline for Rakitic and Sergi Roberto to play higher up and wider on the pitch, thus opening more space for Messi in the center.

8.23pm GMT

36 min: Moments later Celtic are back on the attack and Dembele lets rip a right-footed shot from just inside the area and Ter Stegen makes the save. Best attempt of the day for the hosts so far.

8.23pm GMT

35 min: Simunovic is dispossessed by Messi in Celtic’s own final third and Barca move into attack quickly, but the hosts clamp down and snuff out the attack.

8.21pm GMT

32 min: Sinclair a touch early on a run yet again and ruled offside by the linesman.

8.19pm GMT

30 min: A half hour down and Celtic have shown far better than in the first meeting but still no serious chances on the Barca goal.

8.15pm GMT

27 min: Celtic will have a free kick after Brown is sent airborne on a Gomes foul, but nothing comes of it.

8.12pm GMT

A typically beautiful goal as the ball is played across the area to Neymar at the corner of the area, who picks out an onrushing Messi and lobs the ball into the perfect spot for the Argentine striker to deliver it inside the near post past the keeper from short range. Simply sublime.

8.10pm GMT

23 min: Messi is hacked down and Sviatchenko is shown yellow for the foul. Free kick to Barca.

8.09pm GMT

22 min: Gomes has a go on goal but it’s out for a Barca corner. Neymar plays it short to the near post, not entirely intentionally it seems, but it causes confusion and a scary moment for Celtic before it goes out for another corner. Neymar plays it short again but this time it’s cleared past the halfway line.

8.06pm GMT

19 min: Jordi Alba makes a well-timed run onto a through ball into the area near the left side of the goal and plays it to the far post, where Rakitic tries to head it on goal but misses the target. Probably the best chance of the match for either side so far.

8.05pm GMT

17 min: A good spell of possession for the visitors here as they keep it in the middle third and make Barca chase. But they’re unable to penetrate the Celtic defense and are ultimately dispossessed.

8.03pm GMT

14 min: A poor pass by Ter Stegen goes straight to Sinclair, who’s been excellent today, but he fails to make Barca immediately pay. Celtic manage to keep it in the final third for another half minute, but there’s nowhere to go for Armstrong and he’s ultimately dispossessed and the Spanish champions go to work again. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of Celtic supporters are singing The Fields of Athenry in full throat.

7.58pm GMT

11 min: The ball is through to Sinclair and a golden opportunity here for Celtic … but the flag goes up as he’s ruled offside.

7.57pm GMT

10 min: Messi has a shot blocked. Lots of two-way action so far with the ball going up and down the pitch.

7.55pm GMT

8 min: A note from Jim Lines, via email:

Yes, FCB have a sponsorship deal with Replay Jeans, resulting in the South American triumvirate and the La Masia production line arriving at games clothed in denim. As someone who was once so enchanted by the mas que un club culture, this sartorial sacrifice saddens me.

7.54pm GMT

7 min: More from Sinclair, who plays it into the Barca area toward Dembele before it’s headed beyond the goal line for a corner. Sinclair takes it but it’s quickly cleared out of danger.

7.53pm GMT

6 min: Sinclair takes on two Barcelona defenders and slaloms around them into the area before he’s dispossessed. A moment of inspiration from the Celtic winger! They’ll need more of those.

7.51pm GMT

4 min: Celtic pressing high up early on, but Barca have kept possession in the minutes since and are probing the hosts from the middle third. A momentary threat as Neymar carries the ball into the area and centers it to Messi, but he leaves it and Celtic clear it safely out of danger.

7.48pm GMT

1 min: Celtic kick off and will attack from left to right in traditional home kits with Barca going from right to left. A deafening sound from the crowd at Parkhead. What atmosphere!

7.43pm GMT

The players are emerging from the tunnel. We should be under way in the next few minutes and will pick it up with minute-by-minute coverage from there.

7.41pm GMT

You’ll Never Walk Alone rings through the stands at Celtic Park. Here’s a look at today’s teams.

7.21pm GMT

Hello and welcome to today’s group-stage match between Celtic and Barcelona at Parkhead. It wasn’t a particularly pretty scene when these teams met earlier in the competition and the Spanish champions cruised in a 7-0 laugher at the Camp Nou, but Brendan Rodgers has told Celtic they must forget the past and create new memories today:

We can’t live in the past. In order to get a result against a team at this level you need to bring your A-game. You need to play the game of your life and hope you get that bit of luck.

4.40pm GMT

Bryan will be here shortly, in the meantime here’s Ewan Murray on a Celtic talent who didn’t quite make it:

Tony Watt lasted 80 minutes of the game between Hamilton Academical and Heart of Midlothian on Monday. The only surprise for the 2,339 in attendance was that the Hearts forward featured for that long. Watt could barely have been less effective, just as he could not have looked any less interested.

Watt’s struggle had sadly poetic timing. With Barcelona back in Scotland for a meeting with Celtic, memories are inevitably conjured of 7 November 2012. It was then Watt, as an 18-year-old substitute, burst through before blasting home the crucial second goal as Neil Lennon’s team defeated Barça 2-1. Even for a club so immersed in big occasions, this stood out as one of the finest in Celtic’s history.

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/live/2016/nov/23/celtic-barcelona-champions-league-live

Nov 06

Manny Pacquiao v Jessie Vargas: WBO welterweight championship – as it happened

  • Pacquiao challenges for Vargas’ WBO welterweight title
  • Tweet Bryan at @BryanAGraham or email him

5.24am GMT

That’s all for now. Thanks as always for following along with us. Here’s a look at tonight’s full fight report.

Related: Pacquiao tops Vargas to regain title as Mayweather watches from ringside

5.13am GMT

“My aim every round was to knock him out,” says Pacquiao during an in-ring interview with Stephen A Smith. “I feel happy.”

Adds the new WBO welterweight champion: “After this I’m going back to Philippines to go work. But for the next fight, I’ll talk to Bob.”

5.07am GMT

Pacquiao wins a unanimous decision by scores of 114-113, 118-109 and 118-109.

5.06am GMT

Pacquiao landing shots amid chants of Man-ny! Man-ny! from the crowd. Another knockdown near the end of the round but again it’s ruled a slip. A one-sided beating of a champion a decade his junior. Pacquiao, at 37, just may be the best active fighter in the welterweight division.

Guardian’s unofficial score: Vargas 9-10 Pacquiao (Vargas 109-118 Pacquiao)

5.02am GMT

Pacquiao looking incredibly energized here. More in-and-out movement keeps Vargas off balance then a huge overhand right from Pacquiao. Vargas has slowed down a lot here. Pacquiao caught flush by Vargas while rushing in but he takes it well. Still, a scary moment. Pacquiao lands with a right near the end of the round and goes down, but the referee rules it a slip. It looks as if their feet were tangled but that easily could have been ruled a knockdown. Easy round for Pacquiao.

Guardian’s unofficial score: Vargas 9-10 Pacquiao (Vargas 100-108 Pacquiao)

4.58am GMT

Pacquiao looking comfortable now, countering at will, landing punches from all sorts of angles. A double hook, a straight left, an uppercut. He seems to have figured Vargas out completely. He’s outlanding and outthrowing him. Vargas to his credit has shown no quit, it’s just a different class of fighter before him.

Guardian’s unofficial score: Vargas 9-10 Pacquiao (Vargas 91-98 Pacquiao)

4.53am GMT

Two hard overhand lefts by Pacquiao but Vargas is unbowed. He’s still trying to win this fight, not simply exit the ring upright like so many previous Pacquiao opponents at this stage. Yet Pacquiao continues to frustrate Vargas and make him miss and he wins another round. Crucially, the Nevada State Athletic Commission has ruled the cut over Vargas’ eye was caused by a punch. That means if the fight is stopped as a result of the cut, Pacquiao will be awarded the victory without going to the scorecards.

Guardian’s unofficial score: Vargas 9-10 Pacquiao (Vargas 82-88 Pacquiao)

4.49am GMT

Vargas connects with a massive straight right but Pacquiao fires back with a flurry of punches. A clash of heads but it appears to be accidental. Pacquaio really punishing Vargas here with blinding speed and now he’s opened a cut above the champion’s right eye. Clearly a Pacquiao round.

Guardian’s unofficial score: Vargas 9-10 Pacquiao (Vargas 73-78 Pacquiao)

4.45am GMT

Better work from Pacquiao right out of the gate: a jab, a hook. An array of straight lefts. He’s picking up the pace and scoring with accuracy. A clear round for Pacquiao. When he’s active, he’s clearly the better fighter. When he sits back, he allows Vargas to control the pace and the action.

Guardian’s unofficial score: Vargas 9-10 Pacquiao (Vargas 64-68 Pacquiao)

4.42am GMT

Pacquiao connects with a left hand and Vargas is showing a lot of swelling on the right side of his face, but he responds with a hard right that catches Pacquiao flush! Now another right by Vargas! It’s only taken him half the fight but he’s finally found range with it. He’s controlling distance a bit better and on our card he’s won his second round in a row.

Guardian’s unofficial score: Vargas 10-9 Pacquiao (Vargas 55-58 Pacquiao)

4.38am GMT

Good straight left by Pacquiao but it doesn’t seem to affect Vargas, who now is ramping up the aggression. He barrels forward and throws a series of punches. None seem to connect with substance but it’s better than waiting for Pacquiao to bring the action. Pacquiao landing punches here and there but Vargas looking more confidence and returning when he can. The closest round yet and Vargas has really managed to keep it on even terms, just enough to nick it.

Guardian’s unofficial score: Vargas 10-9 Pacquiao (Vargas 45-49 Pacquiao)

4.34am GMT

Vargas just looks slower and he’s expended a lot of energy simply keeping Pacquiao at bay, so it’s a problem that won’t resolve itself. He lands a nice right early on but continues to miss wildly with the left hook. The constant in-and-out, herky-jerky movement of the challenger is just too much to keep up with. Another good right by Vargas near the bell. That was his best round but I’ve still got to tip it to Pacquiao.

Guardian’s unofficial score: Vargas 9-10 Pacquiao (Vargas 35-40 Pacquiao)

4.29am GMT

Vargas rattled here and Pacquiao starts to open with combinations. A flurry of punches moves Vargas back but he stays on his feet. Oh and Manny is really letting his hands go now: punches in bunches from all angles. Now the crowd is chanting: Man-ny! Man-ny! Pacquiao warned for a low blow. Vargas connects with a stinging shot near the end of the round, perhaps his best shot of the fight, but it’s not enough to take the third. Pacquiao sure doesn’t look like the fighter who is 10 years older.

Guardian’s unofficial score: Vargas 9-10 Pacquiao (Vargas 26-30 Pacquiao)

4.24am GMT

Vargas opening up more here with a few tenatative combinations but failing to connect with anything substantive. Pacquiao bobbing and weaving, looking for an opening and keeping Vargas on the back foot simply with feints. Vargas misses with a wild right and Pacquiao lands a stinging counter. And down goes Vargas! A straight left by Pacquiao drops the champion to roars from the crowd near the end of the round.

Guardian’s unofficial score: Vargas 8-10 Pacquiao (Vargas 17-20 Pacquiao)

4.20am GMT

Pacquiao fires a few right jabs. Vargas’ advantages in height (six inches) and reach (five) are apparent, but he looks tighter and on edge. A body shot from Vargas, who is boxing and staying disciplined, measuring distance with the lead left. Good counter left by Pacquiao, who is circling the champion and looking for an opening. A compact uppercut by Pacquiao near the end of the round and it’s a solid start for the challenger

Guardian’s unofficial score: Vargas 9-10 Pacquiao

4.16am GMT

Final instructions from referee Kenny Bayless and there’s the opening bell! We’ll pick it up from here with round-by-round coverage.

4.11am GMT

Here comes Vargas. He’s smiling, walking fast to the ring in a red robe with gold trim. Michael Buffer is making the fighter introductions. Not much longer now.

4.08am GMT

Manny Pacquiao is making his walk to the ring first as the challenger. He’s smiling from ear to ear, as he does, wearing a black robe with yellow trim and looking relaxed. He kneels in a corner in prayer as the lights go down for Jessie Vargas’ entrance.

4.00am GMT

Anthem time at the Thomas & Mack Center: Mexico first, then the Philippines, then the United States.

3.57am GMT

Oscar Valdez has defeated Hiroshige Osawa by a technical knockout to retain his WBO featherweight title. The stoppage came at the 1:50 mark of the seventh round.

Meanwhile, Mayweather is hugging Top Rank’s Todd DuBoef at ringside as camera flashes pop in a frenzy. It’s not an invitation for Mayweather-Pacquiao II but it sure feels like a save the date: 6 May 2017.

3.50am GMT

Floyd Mayweather has just arrived at the Thomas & Mack Center to watch tonight’s main event from ringside. Oh boy. Bear in mind Vargas, one of the first major signees to Mayweather’s then-nascent promotional outfit, has a friendly relationship with Floyd. But brace yourselves for a call-out if Pacquiao manages to win in spectacular fashion.

3.38am GMT

Osawa down midway through the fourth on a massive left hand from Valdez. He’s up and the Mexican is looking to close the show as referee Vic Drakulich inspects the action closely. Impressively, Osawa is back on his feet and in the fight. He makes it out of the fourth round but he’s down 40-35 on the Guardian’s unofficial card.

3.34am GMT

We’re only two rounds into Osawa-Valdez and it’s already become clear which way this one’s going. Valdez, the 25-year-old from Mexico who competed in the Beijing Olympics when he was 17, connected with a pair of stinging rights in the second that rocked Osawa badly. Just a one-sided beating so far that I don’t see lasting too much longer.

3.16am GMT

Jessie Magdaleno has just unseated Nonito Donaire for the WBO junior featherweight title by a unanimous decision. Two judges scored it 116-112 while the third, Adalaide Byrd, incredibly had it 118-110. Magdaleno clearly won the fight but no sane observer could argue he won 10 rounds out of 12.

Only one more undercard bout between now and the main event: Oscar Valdez and Hiroshige Osawa for Valdez’s WBO featherweight title.

3.07am GMT

Both fighters made weight yesterday afternoon ahead of tonight’s main event. Pacquiao came in at 144.8lbs, well under the welterweight limit. Vargas tipped the scales at 146.5lbs.

2.48am GMT

Hello and welcome to tonight’s WBO welterweight title fight between Manny Pacquiao and Jessie Vargas from the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.

Pacquiao, the Filipino senator and eight-division world champion, is back in action for the first time since an impressive win over Timothy Bradley in April. After that fight he announced a retirement that few believed would stick. So here he is, fighting for the WBO’s version of the 147lb title currently held by Jessie Vargas, who claimed the vacant belt with an upset of Sadam Ali by ninth-round knockout in March.

1.45am GMT

Bryan will be here shortly.

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2016/nov/05/manny-pacquiao-jessie-vargas-fight-live

Nov 01

Borussia Mönchengladbach v Celtic: Champions League – live!

7.26pm GMT

Here are a look a today’s teams.

This evening’s official #UCL #BMGCEL teamsheet. #COYBIG pic.twitter.com/A0SnRP3NAZ

7.15pm GMT

Hello and welcome to the Champions League group-stage clash between Borussia Mönchengladbach and Celtic. Tonight represents a moment of truth for Brendan Rodgers’ side if they hope to see through any European dreams. They’re currently bottom of Group C with one point through three matches and desperately need a victory away from home to climb past Gladbach (on four points) into third.

On a lighter note, the Bundesliga side have posted this on their official Twitter feed in response to the now famous sign outside a Glasgow pub last week.

We tried… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ #fohlenelf #UCL #BMGCEL pic.twitter.com/dpjMtRy2uq

2.43pm GMT

Bryan will be here shortly. In the meantime, here’s why Celtic are missing some key players for the game in Germany:

Rodgers acknowledged the difficulty of keeping a squad together for any length of time. “It’s also the job within the club that we can have this pipeline of players, if we lose one or two, that we’re ahead of the game and ensuring we can replace them.

Related: Celtic’s Touré, Simunovic and Griffiths miss trip to Borussia Mönchengladbach

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/live/2016/nov/01/borussia-monchengladbach-celtic-champions-league-live

Oct 25

Olympic boxing champion Claressa Shields to make pro debut in November

  • Two-times Olympic champ to make pro debut on 19 November
  • Shields is only American boxer to win consecutive Olympic golds
  • Roc Nation signee will make debut on Kovalev-Ward undercard

Claressa Shields, who at the Rio Games became the first American boxer to win consecutive Olympic gold medals, announced on Tuesday she is turning professional.

The 21-year-old from Flint, Michigan – a winner in 77 of her 78 amateur fights – will make her pro debut on the undercard of the Sergey Kovalev-Andre Ward show at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on 19 November.

Related: Claressa Shields wins second straight Olympic boxing gold for USA

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2016/oct/25/claressa-shields-boxing-olympics-professional-debut

Oct 12

Adrien Broner ‘is OK’ despite threats to take his own life, adviser insists

  • Former champion shared posts suggesting intent to take his own life
  • Broner’s longtime adviser Sam Watson tells the Guardian: “He’s OK”

Former four-division title-holder Adrien Broner shared a series of alarming posts on social media on Wednesday that suggested he was planning to take his own life, though a longtime adviser to the boxer reached by the Guardian insists “he’s OK”.

The 27-year-old fighter posted a photo of a handgun inside a vehicle with the caption “I’m going home I love y’all” on Instagram. That came hours after a post that simply read: “3PM I’m doing it I’m sorry to my family and friends but I don’t want to be here no more this shit too much”.

I’m going home I love y’all

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2016/oct/12/adrien-broner-suicide-threat-instagram-adviser

Sep 29

Danny Willett’s Ryder Cup made harder by brother’s foolish words

• Masters champion likely to receive unwanted attention over controversy
• Heckling good-natured during practice and US players in forgiving mood

The scorched-earth screed from the brother of Danny Willett eviscerating American fans on the eve of the Ryder Cup might not have caused a full-blown international incident but there is no question the Masters champion will face additional heat when the three-day competition gets under way on Friday at Hazeltine National Golf Club.

Pete Willett, the English school teacher whose irreverent live commentary of his brother’s April win at Augusta earned him a measure of notoriety, came under fire after writing a piece for nationalclubgolfer.com that refers to American fans as “cretins” and “fat, stupid, greedy, classless, bastards”.

Related: Darren Clarke’s fury as Willett’s brother blasts US Ryder Cup fans

Related: Ryder Cup 2016 Diary: Phil Mickelson deploys bizarre backtrack

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2016/sep/29/danny-willett-ryder-cup-harder-brother-foolish-words

Older posts «