Tag Archives: ali

Muhammad Ali latest: Picture of legend watching Super Bowl as family deny "death" reports

Legend Ali pictured enjoying Super Bowl after his family deny he is 'close to death'

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Ali, pictured with wife Lonnie, was very frail during his appearance at the London 2012 Olympic opening ceremony

Warning signs: Ali, pictured with wife Lonnie, left, was very frail during his appearance at the London 2012 Olympic opening ceremony, pictured right with Liberty director Shami Chakrabarti

Danger: Former world champion Ali last had a public health scare after the funeral of boxing great Joe Frazier

Danger: Former world champion Ali last had a public health scare after the funeral of boxing great Joe Frazier

Masters 2013: John Higgins beats Ali Carter at Alexandra Palace

Higgins Masters Carter with fine victory to book quarter-final spot at Ally Pally

By
Nick Metcalfe

PUBLISHED:

22:09 GMT, 14 January 2013

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UPDATED:

22:09 GMT, 14 January 2013

John Higgins fought back from 2-0 behind to beat Ali Carter and book a place in the last eight of the Masters at Alexandra Palace.

Higgins, winner of this great event in 1999 and 2006, lost the second frame despite Carter needing two snookers, and seemed really up against it at that stage.

The Scot soon found his feet however, firing in a clearance of 117 to reduce Carter's lead, and then winning the fourth frame to level at 2-2.

Job done: Higgins came from 2-0 down to beat Carter on Monday

Job done: Higgins came from 2-0 down to beat Carter on Monday

Higgins soon went 3-2 up, and then he won the sixth frame with a 97 to take control of the match.

Carter pulled one back with an 83, and looked set to win another when he was first in with 54 in the ninth frame, but he missed a pink to middle, and Higgins made him pay with a 65 clearance to seal his win.

'I was thinking Ali was going to pull it back to 5-5 because I was beginning to feel the pressure a bit, but luckily I held myself together,' Higgins said afterwards.

On his poor start, he added: 'I was still feeling okay. I hadn't missed much and felt fine and that's half the battle. It's only you and your mind out there and I was still in the game so you just get on with it.'

Arsenal weighing up January move for Simon Mignolet from Sunderland

Arsenal weighing up January move for Sunderland's Mignolet as back-up for Szczesny

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UPDATED:

14:49 GMT, 23 December 2012

Arsenal are calculating a January bid for Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, to give Arsene Wenger the back-up he needs.

First-choice at the Emirates, Wojciech Szczesny, is still one of Wenger’s favourites, but the Gunners boss has lost confidence in bench-warmers Lukasz Fabianski and Vito Mannone.

Fabianski is free to seek a new club in January and while Mannone has presented competition for Szczesny, may opt to find first-team football elsewhere.

Target: Sunderland's Belgian goalkeeper Simon Mignolet is wanted by Arsenal

Target: Sunderland's Belgian goalkeeper Simon Mignolet is wanted by Arsenal

Still No 1: Wojciech Szczesny is still considered to be the first choice keeper at Arsenal

Still No 1: Wojciech Szczesny is still considered to be the first choice keeper at Arsenal

Wenger is believed to be prepared to lodge 5million for Mignolet, who is likely to be a more cost-effective target than preferred custodian, Liverpool’s Pepe Reina.

The Belgian has made 18 appearances this season, kept six clean sheets and is said to be a target for Chelsea.

Arsenal reserve stopper Damian Martinez has been singled out by Wenger as a key prospect and will be promoted to become the first team’s No 3, potentially creating a very attractive second-choice place.

Chief scout Steve Rowley has ruled out bidding for Wigan’s Ali Al-Habsi and Asmir Begovic of Stoke, on the grounds of their erratic and inconsistent performances.

Wigan"s Jordi Gomez resists urge to hit back at fans

Wigan's Gomez keeps stum over fans' abuse after hitting treble in Reading win

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UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 25 November 2012

Jordi Gomez resisted the temptation to use his first hat-trick as an opportunity to take a pop at the Wigan fans who regularly abuse him.

The Spaniard had scored just seven goals in three seasons prior to his match-winning treble in the Latics' thrilling 3-2 defeat of Reading.

And his lack of goals made him a target for home fans frustrated at his lack of end product in a Wigan shirt.

Make mine a treble: Jordi Gomez celebrates his third goal against Reading

Make mine a treble: Jordi Gomez celebrates his third goal against Reading

After joining Fernando Torres as the only Spaniards to score Premier League hat-tricks, he had the perfect opportunity to answer back.

But Gomez, 27, bit his lip and preferred to reflect on a clinical series of finishes rather than the abuse he endured early on for miss-placing several passes.

He said: 'I'm used to it and it makes me stronger than ever.

'I can't say anything to them because they are free to say what they think and I'm just trying to play my football and give my best. I did that. I scored three goals.'

No-one was more relieved to see Gomez score the stoppage time winner than Ali Al-Habsi.

Gaffe: Wigan's Ali Al Habsi looked to have cost his side the win

Gaffe: Wigan's Ali Al Habsi looked to have cost his side the win

Having earlier been beaten by Sean Morrison's header, he contrived to fumble a simple catch under his own crossbar from Hal Robson-Kanu's blocked shot over his own line to allow Reading to equalise.

That had looked costly until Gomez latched onto Arouna Kone's ball and powerfully struck the winner.

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez said: 'It is not unusual for keepers to make mistakes, it is just that you are not used to seeing Ali do it. That was the surprise.

'It was good to see the players want to help him out by scoring another goal.'

Chris Kirkland joins Sheffield Wednesday

Former England cap Kirkland joins Sheffield Wednesday on a free

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UPDATED:

22:04 GMT, 23 May 2012

Chris Kirkland has agreed a two-year contract with Sheffield Wednesday.

The goalkeeper – who made one appearance for England in 2006 – will join when his Wigan deal expires next week.

The 31-year-old said he is ‘chomping at the bit’ over the move after spending the last two seasons playing second fiddle to Latics No 1 Ali Al-Habsi.

'Chomping at the bit': Kirkland has only played seven league games in the last two seasons

'Chomping at the bit': Kirkland has only played seven league games in the last two seasons

World snooker championships 2012: Ronnie O"Sullivan edges in front of Neil Robertson

O'Sullivan bursts past Robertson but Aussie clings on heading into final session

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UPDATED:

17:26 GMT, 2 May 2012

Ronnie came from behind to carry a two-frame lead into the crunch final session of his Betfred.com World Championship quarter-final against Neil Robertson.

Trailing 5-3 overnight, O'Sullivan went on a six-frame burst to lead 9-5 before Robertson gave himself a chance for when they returned at 7pm by taking the final two of the afternoon.

The winner needs 13 to set up a semi-final starting on Thursday against Matthew Stevens, a 13-5 winner over Ryan Day this morning.

Leg up: Ronnie O'Sullivan edged in front of Neil Robertson at the Crucible on Wednesday afternoon

Leg up: Ronnie O'Sullivan edged in front of Neil Robertson at the Crucible on Wednesday afternoon

Close encounter: O'Sullivan holds a slender lead

Close encounter: O'Sullivan holds a slender lead

Robertson would have known O'Sullivan was well capable of turning their match around, given the way the three-time champion played in the middle session of his second-round match against Mark Williams.

But being aware of O'Sullivan's threat is one thing and being able to stop him entirely another, so by the interval Robertson had seen his opponent fire in breaks of 44, 47, 97, 62 and 42 to nudge into a two-frame lead.

He looked sure to make a century in the second frame of the afternoon but fell three points short, seeming to refuse the chance of a ton after failing to make a kiss in the way he wanted.

Rather than play a double, O'Sullivan nudged the white off a red and into the middle pocket.

The lead was extended to four frames as O'Sullivan, without being quite at his best, punched in enough small breaks to plunge Robertson further into trouble.

The Australian, world champion two years ago, desperately needed to take the final two frames and finally halted O'Sullivan's run before ending the session with a morale-boosting break of 63, his previous highest of the session having been a mere 29.

Ali Carter, the 2008 runner-up, returns with a 9-7 lead over qualifier and Crucible debutant Jamie Jones, who fired back-to-back centuries during their morning session.

Among the balls: Aussie Robertson fought back late on to peg back O'Sullivan

Among the balls: Aussie Robertson fought back late on to peg back O'Sullivan

World Snooker Championship 2012: Judd Trump defeated by Ali Carter

Crucible favourite Trump dumped out in shock 13-12 defeat to Carter

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UPDATED:

16:49 GMT, 30 April 2012

UK Champion Judd Trump has been dumped out of the World Championships in the last 16 by Ali Carter in a stirring 13-12 defeat at the Crucible.

Last year's runner-up was 12-9 ahead but lost the match 13-12.

Trump had chances in a marathon deciding frame and at one stage needed four snookers, getting three of them. But Carter crossed the line, claiming a famous win.

He's had a stinker: Trump's world title shot has ended in the quarter-finals

He's had a stinker: Trump's world title shot has ended in the quarter-finals

Trump fell short on a maximum break attempt in the 19th frame of the match, when he reached 96 after 12 reds and blacks.

He said: 'The maximum attempt summed up the match. It didn't happen for me.

'I never felt good out there. I never really got going in either of my matches.'

Heading through: Carter is into the last eight after his shock win

Heading through: Carter is into the last eight after his shock win

Carter bemoaned his luck during the
match, clapping one shot sarcastically when Trump missed with a
high-pace pot but somehow found a snooker.

'I've played the game a lot of years and I felt when it mattered at 12-12 it was going to turn for me,' Carter said.

Famous victory: Carter celebrates while Trump finds it too difficult too watch

Famous victory: Carter celebrates while Trump finds it too difficult too watch

Famous victory: Carter celebrates while Trump finds it too difficult to watch

Trumped! The favourite for the tournament has been knocked out

Trumped! The favourite for the tournament has been knocked out

Premier League chairman claims FIFA and UEFA stole football from England

You stole football from us! Premier League chairman in extraordinary rant at FIFA and UEFA (before falling fully clothed into swimming pool!)

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UPDATED:

17:46 GMT, 14 March 2012

Premier League chairman Sir Dave Richards has accused FIFA and UEFA of stealing football from England.

He went on a tirade on Wednesday in Qatar at a sporting conference, with FIFA vice president Prince Ali Bin Hussein of Jordan and International Cricket Council chief executive Haroon Lorgat looking on.

In an extraordinary rant, Richards repeatedly told his audience that the world had England to thank for the sport.

And his day took another bizarre twist when he fell into a swimming pool while fully clothed at a Doha hotel later on.

According to eye-witnesses, he was helped out of the pool by Bolton chairman Phil Gartside.

Rant: Premier League Chairman Sir Dave Richards (third from left) claimed FIFA and UEFA had stolen football from England

Rant: Premier League Chairman Sir Dave Richards (third from left) claimed FIFA and UEFA had stolen football from England

'England gave the world football. It gave the best legacy anyone could give. We gave them the game,' said Richards, also an FA board member.

'For 50 years, we owned the game. We were the governance of the game. We wrote the rules, designed the pitches and everything else.

'Then, 50 years later, some guy came along and said you’re liars and they actually stole it. It was called FIFA.

'Fifty years later, another gang came along called UEFA and stole a bit more.'

The Premier League distanced itself from its chairman's comments in a statement which read: 'Sir Dave is attending the conference
in a private and personal capacity and his comments in no way reflect
the views of the Premier League.'

Blatter

Platini

Theft: Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini are the heads of FIFA and UEFA, the organisations Richards has accused of stealing football from England

After his initial rant, Hussein
reminded Richards that there was still a debate over whether the Chinese
or the English invented the game, but Richards leapt to the defence of
his country.

'It started in Sheffield 150 years ago,' Richards said.

'We started the game and wrote the rules and took it the world.

'The Chinese may say they own it but the British own it and we gave it to the rest of the world.'

Hussein tried to diffuse the tension by saying the game now is owned by everyone, not just one country.

'The point I’m trying to make is the whole world loves the sport and it is the most popular sport,' Hussein said.

'We have to continue to work on developing it and obviously competing and helping our youth.'

Not our view: The Premier League has distanced itself from Richards' comments

Not our view: The Premier League has distanced itself from Richards' comments

Richards attended the conference to share his Premier League experience with others at a discussion on new frontiers in sports.

'This exchange could well have taken place in the cricket boardroom about who owns the game,' said Lorgat, who has been a strong advocate of expanding the game of cricket to new regions.

'It is less about ownership and more about of what is good for the game.'

Richards’ comments are not likely to go down well with Qatar, who won the bid to host the 2022 World Cup by suggesting it was time for the sport to move beyond traditional markets in Europe to new areas like the Middle East.

Steve Davis beats Ali Carter at Welsh Open

Davis back to his best to beat Carter and make last 16 at Welsh Open

Steve Davis revealed his motivation was to keep his ranking lower than his age after producing one of his best performances in recent years to knock Ali Carter out of the first round of the 888 Welsh Open.

Carter led three times in the all-Essex clash, but Davis' tactical mind remains sharp and he managed to ally it with a wonderful display of break-building, compiling two centuries as he set up a last-16 clash with Shaun Murphy.

'I played with a certain amount of freedom and took my chances,” Davis, currently ranked 43rd in the world, told www.worldsnooker.com. “My dad, who is still my coach, said that I'm playing well enough in practice for it all to come together in a match, and that happened today.

Looking good: Steve Davis beat Ali Carter

Looking good: Steve Davis beat Ali Carter

'I don't like it when I lose, but when it goes right it's lovely and I have to enjoy the moment. My aim now is to keep my ranking lower than my age and to see how long I can keep that going.

'You have to look at every match as, at best, the toss of a coin. I could keep winning or I could go out in the next round.'

Carter led 1-0 after a 68 and, after Davis responded with 61 to level the match, the world number 11 moved ahead once more.

Davis produced a vintage 121 clearance, though, to leave the players level once more at 2-2.

He had to come from behind again after Carter took frame five with an 83, but he levelled with 63 and then produced his second century clearance, 117, to take the match.

Judd Trump cruised through 4-0 against Fergal O'Brien to set up a clash with the winner of Stuart Bingham's match with Mark King.

Trump took the opening frame despite a kick when on a break of 58, and he made a 61 in the second before returning to finish the frame off with some exhibition shots.
He took the third after O'Brien jawed a long red and saved his best for last, wrapping up the match with a break of 104.

John Higgins was another high-profile winner this evening, with 4-1 win over Liang Wenbo, while Ding Junhui hammered Mark Davis 4-0 in the morning.

Shaun Murphy overcame Mark Joyce 4-2 after a slow start, coming from 2-0 down with breaks of 65, 71, 71 and 89 to turn the match around, while Tom Ford overcame Graeme Dott 4-2.

Muhammad Ali at 70: The Greatest is still fighting – Jeff Powell

Even at 70, The Greatest is still fighting the good fight

Every one of the 350 people who gathered at the Muhammad Ali Center for the great man’s 70th birthday dinner party had a personal story to tell.

We exchanged recollections as we wished him well. He nodded as he rummaged through his memories, the mind apparently as bright as ever even though that lyrical Louisville Lip has been silenced by Parkinson’s.

The Greatest has done with talking. We all do it for him.

The Greatest: Muhammad Ali welcomes guests to his 70th birthday party

The Greatest: Muhammad Ali welcomes guests to his 70th birthday party

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His legendary trainer Angelo Dundee, now 90, bustled up in his wheel-chair, recollected how the last time they spoke Ali had said how much he missed the gym, the training, the fighting.

Dundee told him: ‘If you’re thinking of a come-back I’ll have to ask them to put in elevators at ringside so I can get up to your corner.’

They produced a limited edition t-shirt on Saturday night which proclaims: 1942 – The Greatest Year Of All Time.

No argument from the rest of us who, like Ali, were born that year.

None of us are getting any younger but we are linked in time and coincidence.

Can it really be 39 years ago this week that I first got to know him quite well

He spent the evening before his 33rd birthday at the Royal Albert Hall, having flown to London to watch the British champion he was to fight a month later in Las Vegas.

Joe Bugner duly warmed up by beating one Rudi Lubbers and as Ali hurried out I chased after him to seek his opinion of the performance.

‘I’m in a hurry,’ he said. ‘But jump in my limousine and I’ll tell you how Mr Bugner will be defeated by The Greatest.’

That he did, as we drove to his hotel. Ever hungry for an audience, he invited me up to his suite where he held court for hours, only pausing in his brilliant monologue as we toasted his birthday at midnight.

Masterclass: Ali, as promised, comfortably beat Joe Bugner in Las Vegas

Masterclass: Ali, as promised, comfortably beat Joe Bugner in Las Vegas

Then he said: ‘Stick with me and you too can be The Greatest.’

He had a habit of foretelling the round in which his challengers would fall – our ‘Enery Cooper included – so he is entitled to get the odd prediction wrong.

There is only one Greatest. But what Ali has done, in all his overwhelming self-belief, is convince all who cross his path to endeavour to be the best we can.

That January night in 1973 we looked we looked out from a penthouse in the London Hilton across Hyde Park.

Dream team: Ali at his 70th birthday party with his trainer Angelo Dundee

Dream team: Ali at his 70th birthday party with his trainer Angelo Dundee

Last Saturday here in Louisville the view from atop his Center was of a freezing Ohio River.

The supreme athlete, the ultimate world heavyweight champion, is a somewhat frail figure now but he remains a magnetic presence. Still the Pied Piper as thousands flock to his public appearances and cheer him from the streets where he grew up.

There can be no denying that he Is in the final stages of his disease. But he is still fighting the good fight.

Praise me: Ali was never afraid to proclaim his greatness to the world

Praise me: Ali was never afraid to proclaim his greatness to the world

There is no telling how long he has left. What I do know is that these last 39 years have been enlivened beyond measure by encounters with Muhammad Ali.

Simply, they have flown by. As fast as the quickest hands in heavyweight history.