Tag Archives: blessing

Carl Frampton to fight Kiko Martinez in Belfast on February 9

Frampton out to finally nail down rival Martinez at the third time of asking

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UPDATED:

14:33 GMT, 12 December 2012

Hands up: Carl Frampton will bid to beat Kiko Martinez in Belfast on February 9

Hands up: Carl Frampton will bid to beat Kiko Martinez in Belfast on February 9

Carl Frampton will hope to make it third time lucky when he takes on European super-bantamweight champion Kiko Martinez in Belfast on February 9.

The Northern Irishman has twice seen a clash with the Spaniard called off, most recently in September when Frampton instead stopped Canadian Steve Molitor inside six rounds.

The 25-year-old is unbeaten in 15 fights and will also put his Commonwealth title on the line at the Odyssey Arena.

'He's pulled out on me twice so I
have a score to settle with him there,' said Frampton. 'It’'s a great
fight for the fans and one that I have craved for a long time. I had too
much for Steve Molitor and he was a step-up, so I am confident I can
beat Kiko and do so in style.

'Martinez
pulling out in September was a blessing in disguise really as I have
been able to mature and learn even more and on February in front of
another packed crowd at home, I’m looking to make another statement
ahead at the start of a big year.'

Martinez has not fought since July but is now working with middleweight world champion Sergio Martinez's promotional company.

And the 26-year-old intends to silence the home crowd and halt Frampton's planned march towards world honours.

'I
do not read much into Carl beating Molitor as he took the fight at late
notice and that’s his only fight of 2012,' he said. 'I will beat him by
KO – there’s no alternative outcome.

'It
is not my fault that we have not been able to do this fight so far.
There have been many circumstances around that but I know that the
Belfast fans will come out and support Carl as always and it will be an
electric atmosphere.'

Frampton’s
manager Barry McGuigan added: 'We’re pleased this fight is going to
happen. I’ve always said that Kiko is a danger from first bell to last
and I believe it’s a harder fight than Molitor. Styles make fights and
this one is going to be a barn-burner, and the team is confident that
Carl will win, and win in style.'

Meanwhile,
Martin Lindsay will lock horns with Lee Selby on the undercard for the
British and Commonwealth featherweight titles, a fight which was also
originally scheduled for September before Selby fell ill.

Roberto Di Matteo: West Brom sack was a good thing…

Di Matteo: Getting sacked by West Brom was a good thing… look where I am now!

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UPDATED:

16:58 GMT, 16 November 2012

Roberto Di Matteo has admitted his sacking by West Brom may have been a blessing in disguise as he prepares for his first return to the Hawthorns as Chelsea boss.

Di Matteo insisted he bore no grudges over his controversial dismissal in February 2011, which has ended up working out spectacularly well both for the Baggies and him personally.

The Italian lost his job after a lengthy run of bad results, although he had just led them back into the Barclays Premier League at the first attempt and they were not even in the relegation zone.

On the ball: Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo in training with Fernando Torres (right) at Cobham on Friday

On the ball: Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo in training with Fernando Torres (right) at Cobham on Friday

However, replacement Roy Hodgson did turn their campaign around – ultimately earning him the England job – while Di Matteo's subsequent adventures are now the stuff of legend.

His astonishing Champions League and FA Cup triumphs with Chelsea last season led to him being appointed manager full time and gave him licence to be philosophical about his Hawthorns demise.

'Look at where I'm sitting now, so I'm not so sure it was a bad thing,' said Di Matteo ahead of tomorrow's Barclays Premier League game between the sides.

The 42-year-old added: 'That's football. That's life.

Remember me Di Matteo's Chelsea side take on his former club West Brom at the Hawthorns on Saturday

Remember me Di Matteo's Chelsea side take on his former club West Brom at the Hawthorns on Saturday

'In a manager's career, you're going to get the sack at some point if you have a long career.

'It's happened to everybody in the industry, and it makes you stronger. It doesn't mean you're not a good coach or a good manager.

'There are many examples of good managers where it didn't work out with a club. They were successful before and were again after.'

Asked if he held any grudges over his dismissal, he said: 'No grudges, no. Not at all.

Nice brew, Roberto Chelsea's manager looks relaxed at his Friday press conference

Nice brew, Roberto Chelsea's manager looks relaxed at his Friday press conference

'I had a great time. I worked with a lot of good people there. The supporters were very kind to me as well. I had almost two years there.

'Despite the fact that last season's game was not a good memory, because we lost, I can reflect on good memories there.'

The game Di Matteo mentioned saw West Brom seal his fate for a second time, but it worked in his favour that time as he was promoted from assistant manager at Chelsea to caretaker boss, with Andre Villas-Boas the fall guy.

Di Matteo said of the March upheaval: 'That defeat led to a reaction. It was a very difficult time we found ourselves in.

'I was asked to fill in until the end of the season, and I was very pleased to help the club.'

Di Matteo masterminded the greatest climax to a season in Chelsea's history but he could find himself under real pressure if they fail to win tomorrow after three league games without a victory.

He said: 'For us, every week and every game is a match that defines our path, really. Last week the game against Shakhtar [Donetsk] was a defining game.

'This one now, in the league against West Brom, then the Champions League and Manchester City.

'Every game we play can define our season, and the games after too.'

European Championships: Jo Pavey wins 10,000m silver in Helsinki

Joy for Jo as Pavey scoops Britain's sixth medal in 10,000m in Helsinki

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UPDATED:

15:42 GMT, 1 July 2012

Jo Pavey has won Britain's sixth medal of the European Championships with silver in the 10,000 metres in Helsinki.

Pavey was unable to stay with eventual champion Dulce Felix of Portugal when she made the decisive break with eight laps to go, and found herself third at the bell behind Ukraine's Olha Skrypak.

But the 38-year-old Devon athlete
overtook Skrypak in the home straight to secure silver in 31 minutes
49.03 seconds, with Ireland's Fionnuala Britton in fourth.

Silver lining: Jo Pavey came second behind Portuguese winner Dulce Felix in the women's 10,000m final in Helsinki

Silver lining: Jo Pavey came second behind Portuguese winner Dulce Felix in the women's 10,000m final in Helsinki

Pavey's team-mate Charlotte Purdue was sixth in 32mins 28.46secs, with Gemma Steel ninth in 32:46.32.

Pavey only returned to track action after her Olympic marathon gamble backfired in April.

She opted to miss the London Marathon and hope that her time from last year's race was enough to claim the last available place alongside Paula Radcliffe and Mara Yamauchi, but watched on TV as both Claire Hallissey and Freya Murray eclipsed her time, with Hallissey subsequently selected.

'It's been a real blessing in disguise,' said Pavey, who is likely to run both the 5,000 and 10,000m at the Olympics.

Joy of six: Pavey scooped Britain's sixth medal of the European Championships

Joy of six: Pavey scooped Britain's sixth medal of the European Championships

'I would have taken a marathon place if I was given it because it would have been a massive gamble not to accept it.

'It was kind of nice not to have any choice and it's made me feel young. I'm really thrilled to get a medal. Doing track this year after two years on the road has been really fun.'

Hopes of another medal in the men's 4x100m relay lasted barely 10 seconds however, with Christian Malcolm on the first leg and Dwain Chambers on the second failing to exchange the baton – another relay failure coming the day after the women's team were disqualified and failed to secure a place at their home Olympics.

West Brom"s Shane Long reveals heart scare

Long speaks of heart scare for first time after making return against Wigan

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UPDATED:

00:28 GMT, 19 March 2012

Shane Long has spoken about his heart scare after returning to West Brom’s starting line-up for the first time in two-and-a-half months on the day Fabrice Muamba collapsed at White Hart Lane.

The 25-year-old Republic of Ireland striker underwent emergency tests when he suffered chest pains in February. His condition was diagnosed as pericarditis, a swelling of fibres around the heart, and it was brought under control by a course of anti-inflammatory tablets.

‘It was worrying,’ said Long, who started for the first time since New Year’s Day in the 1-1 draw at Wigan after the heart scare followed a back injury.

Scare: Shane Long (right) was discovered to have a heart problem

Scare: Shane Long (right) was discovered to have a heart problem

‘I got up and next thing I felt chest
pains. I couldn’t breathe or run properly. I thought it was a digestion
problem at first that morning, but I knew there was something wrong
then. I was thinking all sorts of things.

‘I had every test done under the sun to find out what it was and took
two or three weeks to recover from it. I’ve had my MOT test so I know
I’m okay.

‘I was in good hands and they assured me there was nothing too serious wrong. I was diagnosed fairly quickly.

‘Everything happens for a reason. It would have been a lot worse if it
had happened right at the end of the season and I missed the European
Championships over it. It was a blessing in disguise because it gave my
back more time to heal and I feel better for it now.’

All clear: Roy Hodgson said West Brom ensured Long was not in danger

All clear: Roy Hodgson said West Brom ensured Long was not in danger

As he prepared to recall Long on Saturday, West Brom boss Roy Hodgson
described how the club’s medical staff went into ‘overdrive’ when the
6.5million summer signing told them of the symptoms.

‘Anytime anything affects the heart region it’s a concern,’ said
Hodgson. ‘Of course it is important to check those things out because a
heart problem is not like having a sore ankle or knee.

‘In the end, there was never any question that his heart was in any way other than perfect shape.’