Tag Archives: commonwealth

Haroon Khan wins his debut fight

Younger Khan follows in Amir's footsteps by winning debut fight on points over Fidoe

Martin Domin


21:10 GMT, 27 April 2013



08:49 GMT, 28 April 2013

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Haroon Khan's bid to follow in the footsteps of big brother Amir began seamlessly on Saturday night with a points victory over Brett Fidoe in Sheffield.

The 21-year-old made his professional debut just hours before his elder sibling's clash with Julio Diaz and never looked in serious trouble at the Motorpoint Arena.

Boxing at super flyweight, Khan was however too eager to impress at times – an accusation levelled at his brother throughout his career – but came through unscathed.

Beating: Haroon Khan, left, throws a left hook against Brett Fidoe

Beating: Haroon Khan, left, throws a left hook against Brett Fidoe

Representing Pakistan, Khan won bronze at the Commonwealth Games in 2010 and is now working under Salford-based trainer Oliver Harrison who guided Amir to a 17-fight undefeated professional career before their sudden split in 2008.

Fidoe, meanwhile, began his career with successive defeats at the tail end of last year before halting the slide with his sole victory to date in February.

Such was the ease with which he was expected to be deposed, the 22-year-old already had his next assignment lined up – against an unbeaten prospect in Manchester in just 13 days time.

Eyeing him up: Although Fidoe boxed well in the last round, Khan was a runaway winner

Eyeing him up: Although Fidoe boxed well in the last round, Khan was a runaway winner

Making his debut six months after turning professional, Khan was afforded a warm welcome by the simmering crowd and he looked determined to give them something to cheer about from the first bell.

Abandoning his jab, he repeatedly attempted to land the overhand right, only for Fidoe to slip it with ease.

The few punches that did land came from Khan however and that pattern continued into the second session.

Intent: Khan throws a punch but Fidoe manages to duck in time

Intent: Khan throws a punch but Fidoe manages to duck in time

At the start of the third stanza, Khan threw an eye-catching three-punch combination and although the first two missed the target, the third, a left, landed flush.

He had further success when he switched downstairs to the body and had by this time built up a commanding lead.

To Fidoe's credit, he came out swinging for the final three minutes and deserved the consolation of winning the round only to be forced to share the spoils as the referee awarded Khan victory by 40 points to 37.

Thomas Stalker will make his boxing debut next month

EXCLUSIVE: Stalker to make professional debut against journeyman Laight

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Professional bow: Former Olympian Thomas Stalker (pictured) who fought at London 2012, will make his debut at London's York Hall on February 23rd

Stalker, 28, will also fight on the undercard of Tony Bellew’s WBC world title eliminator against Isaac Chilemba at Liverpool’s Echo Arena on March 30.

The Sportsmail columist was controversially beaten in the quarter-finals at the London Games last year but previously won European and Commonwealth gold medals.

On turning professional, Stalker said: ‘I feel I am going to be exciting to watch as a professional boxer. I felt it was time for me to turn professional now and see how far I can go. I have done everything I could possibly do as an amateur, bar winning an Olympic medal.

Robbed: Stalker lost a controversial points decision to Munkh-Erdene Uranchimeg of Mongolia at the Games

Robbed: Stalker lost a controversial points decision to Munkh-Erdene Uranchimeg of Mongolia at the Games

‘Even though I didn’t medal myself, as a team I have captained the most successful amateur boxing team we have ever had and that was a big thing for me.

‘Since the Olympics I haven’t had a goal and I have been a bit depressed, especially seeing the other lads doing all sorts of stuff but now I have that hunger back and to get in that ring and fight is going to be amazing.

‘The one for me is going to be March, boxing a homecoming in Liverpool. It is going to be amazing for me to be boxing in front of all my friends and family in Liverpool and that is when I will really feel like a professional.’

Pedigree: He is, however, a former Commonwealth Games gold medallist and World Championships bronze medalist

Pedigree: He is, however, a former Commonwealth Games gold medallist and World Championships bronze medalist

Dereck Chisora to return to the ring on March 16 – as long as he is granted license

Chisora hopes for ring return in March – as long as he receives licence from British board

Martin Domin


12:50 GMT, 14 January 2013



13:52 GMT, 14 January 2013

Heavyweight bad boy Dereck Chisora will return to the ring at Wembley Arena on March 16 – if he is cleared to fight by the British Boxing Board of Control.

The Londoner was stripped of his licence last year after a shameful brawl with David Haye at a post-fight press conference in Munich in February following his defeat by WBC world champion Vitali Klitschko.

The two protagonists settled their differences in the ring at Upton Park in July under the auspices of the Luxembourg Boxing Federation when Haye stopped the 29-year-old in the fifth round.

Back in the ring: Dereck Chisora hopes to be fighting again in March

Back in the ring: Dereck Chisora hopes to be fighting again in March

Chisora, who has taken anger management classes in a bid to convince the Board he is fit to hold a licence, expects to hear shortly whether he will be cleared to fight on the same card as world champions Ricky Burns and Nathan Cleverly and Commonwealth champion George Groves.

'I've been keeping quite busy,' he said. 'I've been in the gym and I've been running.'

Chisora will hope that victory over 10 rounds in March – against an opponent yet to be named – will propel him back among the contenders for a world title or set him up to challenge David Price for his British and Commonwealth belts.

The undefeated Liverpudlian is open to the idea of fighting Chisora but must first face American Tony Thompson on home soil on February 23 at the Echo Arena.

Greg Rutherford on how Olympics changed his life

Greg the baker has recipe for success… Olympic hero Rutherford on how life has been very different since Super Saturday

) — but it was also the
shortest winning mark for Olympic gold since Randy Williams’ 8.24m in

‘People said I came out of nowhere,’
says Rutherford, ‘but I thought: “Hang on. I’ve been a professional
athlete for eight years. I’ve been a world top 10 athlete for five or
six.” It’s a bit frustrating.

Jump to it: Rutherford competing at the London Olympics in August

Jump to it: Rutherford competing at the London Olympics in August

‘It wasn’t the longest distance in the world, but I did what I needed to do on the day to win.

‘I want to be classed as one of the
greatest ever long jumpers, which means I have to go out there and jump a
hell of a lot further than I have done. I still genuinely believe, at
26, that’s possible.’

Rutherford at the Beijing Olympics in 2008

Rutherford at the Beijing Olympics in 2008

However, five years ago Rutherford
contemplated walking away from athletics, after a 2007 season heavily
disrupted by injury culminated in him failing to qualify for the final
at the World Championships in Osaka. But Rutherford won the British
title to book his place in Beijing only to finish 10th at the Olympic
Games as he failed to reach 8m.

‘I didn’t perform in Beijing,’
admitted Rutherford. ‘Emotionally I wasn’t in a good place (after his
grandfather died). But in 2009 I broke the British record, in 2010 got a
Commonwealth silver medal, had a great year in 2011 and, all of a
sudden, it was starting to work.

‘So I thought: “Well, I can’t give up
now, because I’ve got the greatest competition of my life next year.”
And thank goodness I didn’t.’

Rutherford credits Dan Pfaff, the
American ‘super-coach’ whose contract with UK Athletics expired in
December, as a ‘ridiculously important’ part of his development.

Later this month, however,
Rutherford, will move from his hometown of Milton Keyes to Phoenix in
Arizonza to continue working with Pfaff. It will be another huge change
for the self-titled ‘Ginger Wizard’.

‘I can’t wait,’ said Rutherford.
‘When I joined Dan he told me he wanted me to have a PhD in long jump by
the time I retired — that’s how well he wanted to teach me.

‘Technically, I’m still not a great
long jumper. I think there’s a hell of a lot more for me to learn.
Hopefully I’ve got another Olympics, maybe two, in me, so it’s

Greg Rutherford is supported by Home House: www.homehouse.co.uk

David Price to fight Tony Thompson in February at Liverpool Echo Arena

Price to fight Thompson in February in latest stepping stone towards world title shot



20:33 GMT, 18 December 2012

David Price will take the next step towards a challenge for a world title when he faces American veteran Tony Thompson on February 23 at Liverpool's Echo Arena.

The 29-year-old heavyweight has enjoyed a successful year, stopping all four of his opponents in impressive style.

But he will face the biggest test of his career to date when he tackles Thompson, 41, who lost to Wladimir Klitschko for the second time in July.

Impressive: David Price has won all four of his heavyweight fights this year

Impressive: David Price has won all four of his heavyweight fights this year

Price began the year without a title but needed just 73 seconds to beat John McDermott for the English belt and less than four rounds to add the British and Commonwealth straps by stopping Sam Sexton.

A brutal 82-second demolition of Audley Harrison followed before he defended his titles again last month against Matt Skelton.

Different class: Tony Thompson (right) has twice lost to Wladimir Klitschko (left)

Different class: Tony Thompson (right) has twice lost to Wladimir Klitschko (left)

Thompson meanwhile has lost three of his 39 contests and has stopped 24 of his opponents.

Price’s promoter Frank Maloney said: ‘This is the right fight at the right time for David and one where a win will propel him even higher.

‘Thompson still has ambition and I am certain that he will come to win and score a major upset.’

When they were young…the 12 heroes who made us feel proud in 2012

When they were young: The 12 heroes who made us feel proud in 2012


23:56 GMT, 15 December 2012



00:27 GMT, 16 December 2012

Tonight the BBC Sports Personality of the Year will be announced to an audience expected to top 15 million viewers.

And in a year of extraordinary sporting achievement, at London 2012 and beyond, the final 12 contenders represent the cream of British sport.

NICK HARRIS and MARTHA KELNER talked to the people who know them best to find out what they were like … when they were young.


Age: 36

Nominated: For winning two gold medals at London 2012, in the team sprint and keirin, to become the British sportsman with the most Olympic gold medals in history (six), overtaking Sir Steve Redgrave’s five.

Chris Hoy

Future knight: A young Chris Hoy shows off one of his first prizes

Parents: David and Carol. Mum Carol says: ‘I am just as proud of the way Chris conducts himself when he loses, when things don’t go to plan or an opponent comes up with a moment of brilliance.

'Chris is able to handle winning and losing equally and I value that in life.

'When I hear Chris described as a true “Olympian”, that means more to me than all of the medals and honours.

Great Britain's Chris Hoy celebrates winning Gold in the Mens Team Sprint Final

Olympic glory: Hoy celebrates winning Gold in the men's team sprint final. He also won the keirin

'He was brought up simply to do things as well as possible and treat other people properly, whatever the circumstances.’

Plans for future: ‘I’m definitely not going to Rio,’ says Hoy. ‘Nothing will top London.’ He hopes to cap his career on a high at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Scotland.


Age: 18

Nominated: For winning gold in the 400m freestyle, one of the most thrilling swimming races of the summer, and another gold in the 200m individual medley to add to her two Paralympic titles won at Beijing in 2008.

Parents: Steve and Val. ‘It sometimes gets a bit surreal, you have to give yourself a pinch,’ says Val of the moment she saw her teenage daughter collecting her fourth Paralympic gold medal.

Ellie Simmonds Age 7


Golden girl: Ellie Simonds' infectious smile was there to see at the age of seven. She went on to pick up two golds in 2012 with the 400m freestyle final considered to be one of the most exciting races of the Games

She remembers having to say goodbye when Ellie went away before Beijing for a month’s training camp in South Africa.

‘She was only 12, my little baby, but she’s very mature and loved it.’

If Ellie does not win Sports Personality, Val is backing Mo Farah.

‘I’m a keen athletics fan and used to watch it all the time before swimming took over our lives,’ she says.

Plans for the future: ‘She certainly has plenty more years to carry on swimming and get on the Sports Personality list again,’ says Val.


Age: 33

Nominated: For winning three wheelchair racing gold medals on the track this summer, before topping it by becoming road race champion, the final gold of the Games and his sixth Paralympic medal in total. He has also won the London marathon six times.

Parents: Jackie and David, a former soldier from Belfast, brought up David, who was born with a severing of the spinal cord, in a similar way to his three brothers.

Britain's David Weir

David Weir age 11.

Triple gold: David Weir aged 11 (right) and in action during this summer celebrated his success with his mum in a quiet pub

‘I never mollycoddled them,’ says Jackie.

‘We brought him up to expect taunts and told him not to worry because all kids get them, don’t they’ David would join in with everything.

‘When his mates had a kickaround, David would go in goal and use his sticks to save the ball,’ says Jackie.

He celebrated winning his fourth gold in London by having a quiet drink with his mum in their local pub in Richmond.

Plans for the future: He is not thinking about defending his titles in Rio in 2016 yet but the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow are on the agenda.


Age: 35

Nominated: For winning a fourth Olympic gold this summer to confirm his status as the world’s greatest ever sailor.

Parents: Roddy and Susan. Roddy was a renowned sea captain and Ben was bred for maritime glory, given his first taste of sailing on a family holiday to Cornwall when he was eight.

Ben Ainslie

Britain's Ben Ainslie

Incredible career: Ben Ainslie has announced his Olympic retirement admitting he will never beat the buzz of Weymouth

/12/16/article-2248817-145DA7F8000005DC-915_306x454.jpg” width=”306″ height=”454″ alt=”Fourth time lucky: Katherine Grainger celebrates her gold medal after missing out in 2000, 2004 and 2008″ class=”blkBorder” />

Fourth time lucky: Katherine Grainger celebrates her gold medal after missing out in 2000, 2004 and 2008

Fourth time lucky: Katherine Grainger celebrates her gold medal after missing out in 2000, 2004 and 2008, and in her youth (right)

They knew how upset I was when we didn’t win gold at Beijing. All a parent wants is for their child to be happy, and seeing me so unhappy was very difficult for them.’

Plans for future: Says she remains undecided whether to attempt to win a fifth Olympic medal and second gold in Rio.

‘I’m certainly not burning my bridges and deciding that I won’t be at the next Olympics. I’m looking forward to getting back in a boat in 2013 and making a fresh start.’


Age: 25

Nominated: For becoming the first British man in 76 years to win a Grand Slam singles title (the US Open), having just won Olympic singles gold at Wimbledon, just a few weeks after losing on the same court against Roger Federer in the Wimbledon men’s singles final. Also won Olympic doubles silver.

ANDREW MURRAY TENNIS PLAYER FROM DUNBLANE. ANDREW IS PICTURED HERE AGED 8. Andrew Murray pictured during his first round Boys' Singles victory over Mykyta Kryvonos at the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis

Andy Murray

Emotional year: After bursting into tears at Wimbledon, Andy Murray went on to grab gold in London 2012 before picking up his first grand slam

Parents: Judy and Will. Judy has been a consistent presence at courtside throughout his career after both parents, despite their divorce, helped him in his early years, funding his attendance at a Barcelona academy.

‘Both of my parents made a lot of sacrifices to give me and [brother] Jamie the opportunity to play tennis,’ he says.

Plans for future: Will certainly want to defend his Olympic crown in Rio in 2016 if fit and healthy but the demands of the singles circuit — and four Slams each year — will take precedence before then, starting with the Australian Open early in 2013.


Age: 32

Nominated: For becoming the first Briton to win the Tour de France and for winning the time trial gold medal at London 2012.

Olympic cyclist Bradley Wiggins aged 2 on his first ever bike

Road racer: A two-year-old Bradley Wiggins on his first ever bike

Parents: Linda and Gary. His father was an Australian cyclist who drank heavily, was violent to Linda and who abandoned the family when Wiggins was two.

Linda supported her son’s fledgling career, taking him to Paris to see the Tour when he was 13.

When he won, he pointed to Linda and said: ‘Some dreams do come true. My old mum over there

Her son has just won the Tour de France!’

Bradley Wiggins

Hot favourite: Wiggins is the bookie's favourite to scoop Sports Personality of the Year after winning Olympic gold as well as the Tour de France

Plans for future: Wiggins has said he wants to return to track cycling for the 2016 Games in Rio. Whether he goes for another Tour de France triumph depends on whether Team Sky pick him or Chris Froome as their No 1.


Age: 30

Nominated: For becoming the first-ever female Olympic boxing champion, a feat she celebrated with a chicken wrap at Nando’s.

Nicola Adams

Olympic boxer Nicola Adams aged three.

Record breaker: Nicola Adams became the ever female boxing champion this summer

Parents: Mother Dee and father Innocent split up when Nicola was a child. When Dee could not get a babysitter, she took Nicola and brother Kurtis to an aerobics class.

Nicola, who had watched videos of Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier with her dad, joined in with a boxing class instead.

‘It has been really tough for Nicola being a female boxer,’ says Dee. ‘I thought, “She’s doing this for her country and she isn’t getting the recognition she deserves”. But now she has made history. It is amazing. I am just so proud of her.’

Plans for the future: Back in training with TeamGB boxers in Sheffield. Next up are the European Championships, then the 2014 Commonwealth Games, where women’s boxing is debuting. Plans to defend her Olympic title in Rio.


Age: 26

Nominated for: Coping with the pressure of being the face of the Games and dominating the Olympic heptathlon, before sealing victory in the 800m.

Jessica Ennis

Jessica Ennis - aged 4

Super Saturday: Ennis played a huge role in one of the greatest nights of sport this country has ever seen

Parents: Vinnie and Alison took Jessica and younger sister Carmel to an athletics summer camp when she was 10.

‘I think they just wanted to get rid of me for a bit,’ jokes Jessica. But while Carmel did not like running, Jess thrived.

‘She always wanted to stand on the top of a podium and I’m just so proud of her,’ says Vinnie.

‘After all those years of going to low-key meetings when she was little with the rain and the snow and the early mornings, it has all come together and it’s just brilliant.’

Plans for the future: A spring wedding to childhood sweetheart Andy Hill means a delayed start to the 2013 outdoor season. Has not ruled out defending her heptathlon title in Rio but may switch to the hurdles.


Age: 23

Nominated: For winning his second major and being part of Europe’s winning Ryder Cup team.

Parents: Father Gerry McIlroy worked 100 hours a week and mother Rosie did night shifts at a factory in their native Holywood, in Northern Ireland, to save to send Rory to competitions in the US as a junior.

Rory McIlroy on his local golf course aged nine

Rory McIlroy f

In form: Rory McIlroy bagged his second major while playing his part in a hugely emotional Ryder Cup

It has paid off already but there could be a further 200,000 windfall for Gerry and three friends, who bet 400 at 500-1 that the then 15-year-old would win The Open before 2014.

‘It’s ridiculous really, isn’t it’ says Gerry. ‘You realise you can make more money on the golf tour in one week than some people make in a lifetime.’

Plans for the future: Greg Norman believes Rory McIlroy is more likely to break Jack Nicklaus’s record of 18 major wins than Tiger Woods. Golf will feature at Rio 2016, so McIlroy could add Olympic gold to his impressive medal cabinet.


Age: 35

Nominated: For winning four cycling gold medals in the Paralympics, including Britain’s first gold of those Games in the Velodrome, having narrowly missed selection to compete for Team GB at the Olympics.

Sarah Storey

 Sarah Storey

Ruling the roads: Storey picked up a phenomenal four gold medals at the Paralympics

Parents: John and Mary Bailey, who wore T-shirts at the Games listing every gold medal their daughter had ever won in swimming and cycling, as well as being ‘the Under-14s Cheshire table tennis champion’.

Storey was born without a functioning left hand and was bullied at school.

‘When I was at my lowest, my parents told me to keep looking to the future, that everything would be all right,’ she says. ‘It was the best lesson anyone could have taught me.’

Plans for future: Says that defending her four Paralympic titles at Rio 2016 would be ‘the ultimate dream’.


Age: 29

Nominated: For winning a historic Olympic 5,000m and 10,000m distance double in London and making the Mo-bot his trademark.

Parents: Father Muktar left Somalia as a young man to settle in London and met Mo’s mother, Amran, during a holiday in his homeland.

Mo Farah

Mo Farah,14

Party time: Mo Farah (aged 14 – right) created one of the most iconic images of London 2012

They married and brought Mo to London as an eight-year-old for the opportunity of a more prosperous life after weighing up the cost of parting him from his twin brother, Hassan, and two older brothers who remained in Somalia.

When Mo arrived at Feltham Community College as an 11-year-old he was barely able to speak English.

‘I was giving a javelin lesson and trying to instill some discipline into the boys,’ says PE teacher, Alan Watkinson.

‘I walked on to the field and Mo was swinging on the crossbar.’ Mo went the wrong way round the athletics track the first time he ran — but soon found his direction.

Plans for the future: Could run the marathon as well as the 10,000m at Rio in 2016, but that would be a tough challenge.

George Groves confident of stopping Glencoffe Johnson

I'm going to knock him out! Groves confident of stopping Johnson for only second time in his career



18:22 GMT, 14 December 2012

George Groves hopes to sound a warning to the super-middleweight division by becoming only the second fighter to stop Glencoffe Johnson at London’s ExCel Arena tomorrow night.

Groves headlines the bill after Ricky Burns’ WBO world lightweight title defence against Jose Ocampo was abandoned for contractual reasons.

It will be the unbeaten 24-year-old’s second outing of a year interrupted by back and nose injuries and the significant cut sustained during his six-round stoppage of Francisco Sierra in July.

Tough: Johnson pushed Froch all the way when they met in 2011, losing by majority decision

Tough: Johnson pushed Froch all the way when they met in 2011, losing by majority decision

Johnson is a 43-year-old veteran of 70 fights and while he has lost 17 times, he only failed to last the distance against Bernard Hopkins in 1997, providing Groves with a target for the fourth defence of his Commonwealth belt.

'I’m ranked highly with all the four major sanctioning bodies so now I’ve arrived in world class I want to build on those rankings,' he said.

'I want to keep my options open with all the organisations so that if any door opens, against any of the champions, I can jump straight in. We’re already knocking loudly.

'Clearly Glencoffe knows how to survive and stopping him would make a huge statement. I do expect to stop him but don’t expect him to just fall over.'

Groves will defend his Commonwealth title against the veteran Jamaican on Saturday

Groves will defend his Commonwealth title against the veteran Jamaican on Saturday

Groves has victories over James DeGale and Paul Smith on his 15-fight record, but Johnson is indifferent in his assessment of his opponent.

'From what I’ve seen I’m not impressed as such, but I respect George as an unbeaten prospect with a lot of potential,' the Jamaican said.

'The way I look at it, the fight isn’t about George Groves. Right now, I feel good about what I can still do. If I fight smart I’m the better fighter. It’ll be up to the judges to do their jobs correctly.'

Groves's biggest win came against rival James DeGale at The O2 Arena in May 2011

Groves's biggest win came against rival James DeGale at The O2 Arena in May 2011

Prospect: Beijing 2008 Olympian Billy Joe Saunders is also on the bill

Prospect: Beijing 2008 Olympian Billy Joe Saunders is also on the bill

Billy Joe Saunders defends his Commonwealth middleweight title and fights for the vacant British belt when he meets former unlicensed boxer Nick Blackwell.

The 23-year-old 2008 Olympian turned professional at the same time as DeGale and Frankie Gavin, but is viewed by many as the most promising of the trio.

'I didn’t really get pro boxing at first. I thought that as long as I stayed hydrated and ate fresh food, I’d be okay. But now I really live the life, take all the right vitamins and supplements,' he said.

He added: 'I’ve not really shown what I’m about in the ring but people at our gym have seen a big improvement.

'Hopefully Blackwell will hang around long enough for me to really show my classy boxing.'

Rendall Munroe retires from boxing

End of the road for Munroe as English fighter hangs up his gloves after Quigg defeat



12:30 GMT, 13 December 2012

Rendall Munroe has retired from boxing following defeat to Scott Quigg last month.

The 32-year-old, who won 24 of his 28 contests, challenged for the super-bantamweight world title against Japan's Toshiaki Nishioka in 2010.

But he suffered his first stoppage loss to Quigg on the undercard of Ricky Hatton's unsuccessful comeback in Manchester and has decided to hang up his gloves.

Last bell: Munroe (right) has called time on his boxing career

Last bell: Munroe (right) has called time on his boxing career

'I'm always positive and forward thinking and I've had a great career. I am 100 per cent proud of what I have done,' Munroe said.

'I was English, Commonwealth, European and WBA international champion and a world title contender.'

Munroe was stopped in the sixth round by Quigg who displayed an impressive array of devastating body shots.

The pair originally met in June but a nasty cut above Munroe's right eye, which required nine stitches, stopped the contest in the third round, resulting in a technical draw.

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



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.

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.

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.

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.'

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.'

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.

Sir Chris Hoy set to return to training in Australia after "grim" stomach virus

Hoy set to get back on track Down Under after trip to hospital with 'grim' stomach virus



21:39 GMT, 11 December 2012

Six-time Olympic champion Sir Chris Hoy will resume training this week after being hospitalised for 24 hours last weekend with a severe stomach virus.

The 36-year-old is currently training with a selection of British cyclists in Perth, Western Australia, as he considers whether to continue on until the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

The Scot arrived early last week and began to feel progressively worse with gastrointestinal problems before he was taken to hospital in Subiaco, Perth, on Saturday.

Weighing up his future: Sir Chris Hoy is in training in Perth, Western Australia

Weighing up his future: Sir Chris Hoy is in training in Perth, Western Australia

Hoy, one of 12 on the shortlist for BBC Sports Personality of the Year, was discharged on Sunday after being given rehydration treatment and medication and he returned to the gym for a light session today.

'I'm glad to be getting better and almost feel back to normal now after a pretty grim few days,' Hoy, who is taking part in the Rotterdam Six Day event from January 3 to 8, said on his website.

'It's always frustrating when you're on a training camp and you can't train if you're injured or unwell.

'This is the first block of serious training I've done since the Games, but it could've happened at a far worse stage of the season though so it's not too much of a problem.

'It'll be good to get a solid couple of weeks training in before Christmas, and I'm really looking forward to racing in the first week of January in Rotterdam.'

Hoy added on his Twitter page: 'Had a rough weekend with a stomach virus, including a night in the hospital. Pleased to say I'm on the mend and back training now.'

Meanwhile, a World Series Cycling project featuring 10 grand prix races across the globe could be in place as soon as 2014.

What a summer: Hoy is back in full training for the first time since the Olympics

What a summer: Hoy is back in full training for the first time since the Olympics

The group are optimistic of successful negotiations with the UCI, the world governing body, over plans for 10 four-day events, which would run alongside the three Grand Tours – of Italy, France and Spain – and six of the established one-day races.

The grands prix would include a time-trial, rolling stage, mountain stage and sprint stage, with all events taking place from Thursday to Sunday. Jonathan Price, chairman of London-based sports promoters the Gifted Group, told Press Association Sport: “We want to see races up and running in 2014.

'We've already had discussions with broadcasters, we're confident there's a real appetite for this product.

'We're now going to start some serious discussions with potential host locations to get our first race up and running.'

After three and a half years of planning, WSC, registered as a company in Luxembourg, is close to implementation.

The first meeting with teams was held before the Tour de France in Rotterdam in 2010, with eight contracted teams confirmed yesterday as Garmin-Sharp, Liquigas-Cannondale, Movistar, Omega Pharma-QuickStep, Rabobank Cycling Team, Radioshack-Nissan-Trek, Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank and Vaconsoleil-DCM.

Financial backing is being provided by
Czech billionaire businessman Zdenek Bakala, who owns Mark Cavendish's
Omega Pharma-QuickStep team.

Pure gold: Hoy won two medals in London

Pure gold: Hoy won two medals in London

Bakala has led talks with the UCI since March, and, despite the world governing body being occupied by the ongoing fallout of the Lance Armstrong scandal, a conclusion to negotiations is close.

'We see this as something we wanted to do with them, because we believe it was something the marketplace wanted and was good for the sport,' Price added.

'Those discussions have been positive and I hope we're getting close now to a conclusion to them.

'Clearly they have a lot on their plate right now – that probably hasn't helped – but even against that backdrop the discussions have been positive.'

The structure can be compared to that of tennis, where the top male players feature in the ATP Masters 1000 events and the four grand slams, with the WTA Tour running alongside. In cycling, plans are similar, with a commitment for a parallel women's series.

The Giro d'Italia, Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana would be part of the project alongside one-day races Milan-San Remo, Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, Amstel Gold Cup, Liege-Bastogne-Liege and Tour of Lombardy, with a points system to award the leading rider and team at the end of the season.

Riders would race a maximum of 88 days per season, while there is a commitment for an anti-doping programme in a bid to eradicate the use of performance-enhancing drugs from the sport.

Tour de France organisers the Amuary Sports Organisation, who also run races such as the Tour of Qatar and Paris-Nice, have not yet been consulted. It could be a potential stumbling block.

Price added: 'In terms of our 10 grands prix, we don't need any other race organiser on board. We no more need ASO's approval to do that than Coca-Cola needs Pepsi's approval to launch a new product.'

Price is confident a restructuring of cycling's calendar will only improve the sport, with many races on the current calendar struggling.

'Judgement has been passed on a lot of the other races,' he said.

'A lot of those races are dying and they're not dying because we've come up with a concept of a format that's driven by what television, sponsors and fans want.

'They're dying because the marketplace has cast judgement on them.

'If you want to progress as a sport and if you want to develop, you need to respond to what the marketplace want and if you don't you die.'

Meanwhile, Britons Geraint Thomas, Luke Rowe and Ian Stannard are part of Team Sky's seven-man squad for the season-opening Tour Down Under. Two-time Olympic team pursuit champion Thomas will race with Rowe and Stannard in Adelaide in January.