Tag Archives: dawson

Tony Bellew v Isaac Chilemba rematch Carl Froch undercard May 25

Bellew to get second shot at Chilemba as rematch is arranged for Froch undercard

By
Martin Domin

PUBLISHED:

13:38 GMT, 8 April 2013

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UPDATED:

17:14 GMT, 8 April 2013

Tony Bellew's rematch with Isaac Chilemba will be held on May 25 at the O2 Arena on the undercard of Carl Froch's world title unification fight with Mikkel Kessler.

The Liverpool light heavyweight was devastated when the original meeting was scored a draw last month.

The winner of the second bout will earn a shot at the winner of WBC champion Chad Dawson's clash with Adonis Stevenson on June 8.

Gutted: Tony Bellew felt he deserved to win his first fight with Isaac Chilemba

Gutted: Tony Bellew felt he deserved to win his first fight with Isaac Chilemba

Promoter Eddie Hearn revealed both men were keen to have the rematch as soon as possible.

'There was no winner, so we need to find one,' he said.

'Many people thought Tony won, some thought Chilemba won. It's a fight both need to get off their back.'

Draw: Bellew took his foot off the gas after the opening rounds

Draw: Bellew took his foot off the gas after the opening rounds

The winner of the rematch will likely challenge for the world title in September.

Meanwhile, George Groves' opponent for the same night, along with further details of the undercard, will be announced this week.

Wilfried Zaha can prove himself before he joins Manchester United, says Stuart Pearce

Zaha will show he can handle the big time ahead of United move, says Pearce

and has yet to score but Pearce is set to play him as a central striker in tonight’s friendly against Romania at Wycombe.

The past few months have been high pressure for Zaha. He made his senior England debut in Sweden, joined Manchester United for 15million, was loaned straight back to Palace and earlier this week he was banned for one game by the FA after making an offensive gesture to Leeds supporters.

SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEO

Supported: Stuart Pearce is confident Wilfried Zaha can impress

Supported: Stuart Pearce is confident Wilfried Zaha can impress

Pearce, though, has no concerns about Zaha’s mental strength and is expecting him to play a significant role at Euro 2013.

‘We asked Wilf to play centre forward
(against Sweden) last month rather than his natural wide position and we
might do on that again,’ said Pearce. ‘I have to bear in mind that a
lot has happened to Wilf in a short space of time.

‘He’s still one of the younger boys
and will be involved in the next qualification campaign. I’m delighted
with how he’s come in, he seems happy.

Under pressure Zaha's profile has grown considerably this season

Under pressure Zaha's profile has grown considerably this season

ENGLAND UNDER 21 v ROMANIA

ENGLAND (4-2-3-1): Butland; Smith, Dawson, Wisdom, Bennett: Henderson, Shelvey: Sterling, Lansbury, Townsend: Zaha.

Kick-off: 7pm, Adams Park

Referee: Jonathan Lardot (Belgium)

TV: LIVE on ESPN from 6.30pm

'I’m seeing the same kid as I did a
couple of months ago. I think Wilf is one of those nice easy going lads
and not much worries him.

‘That’s the impression I get. We see
exactly the same in him as his football.

'Whether he’s gone to United or
stayed at Palace I’ll view him as the same player that’s learning,
maturing and will get better and better.’

It is likely Pearce will play a strong
team tonight and that will include Danny Rose, who will win his first
cap since being sent-off during the Euro 2013 qualifier against Serbia
in October; the Sunderland defender was also subjected to horrific
racial abuse that evening.

Centre forward Pearce says Zaha may have to play through the middle

Centre forward Pearce says Zaha may have to play through the middle

‘What went on in Serbia had nothing to
do with me not picking Danny,’ said Pearce. ‘I just needed to look at a
couple of others. He is suspended for the first game of the
Championship so we’ll have to start with another left back.

‘But he’s too important to me to leave
him out (this summer) for one game. We have Tom Ince missing the first
game, too, but the only way I’d leave someone out is if they were
suspended for all three group games.

'We are playing to win, so I’m
planning to play five games.’

VIDEO: RAHEEM STERLING SCORES TWO WONDER GOALS IN ENGLAND U21S TRAINING

Bernard Hopkins wins the IBF light-heavyweight title against Tavoris Cloud

Record-breaking Hopkins defies odds to win world title at age of 48

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

10:19 GMT, 10 March 2013

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UPDATED:

10:53 GMT, 10 March 2013

Bernard Hopkins broke his own record again by becoming the oldest man to win a world title after beating Tavoris Cloud on points to claim the IBF light-heavyweight crown.

Hopkins (53-6-2, 32KO wins) benefited when Cloud was cut over his left eye in the sixth round, which the referee ruled an accidental clash of heads but replays showed the gnarled veteran opening up the wound with a left hook.

Record: Bernard Hopkins (left) connects with a punch on Tavoris Cloud during their IBF light heavyweight fight

Record: Bernard Hopkins (left) connects with a punch on Tavoris Cloud during their IBF light heavyweight fight

Fighting spirit: Bernard Hopkins poses for a photo after claiming the title at the grand old age of 48

Fighting spirit: Bernard Hopkins poses for a photo after claiming the title at the grand old age of 48

The 48-year-old, who has been linked
with a bout against Wales' Nathan Cleverly, took control against his
fellow American thereafter and was victorious by scores of 117-111,
116-112, 116-112 to the delight of fans in the Barclays Center, New
York.

The former undisputed middleweight champion first became the oldest boxer to hold a portion of the world title when he defeated Canada's Jean Pascal for the WBC light-heavyweight championship in May 2011.

Back-foot: Hopkins (left) tries to fend off a punch from Tavoris Cloud during the first round with the

Back-foot: Hopkins (left) tries to fend off a punch from Tavoris Cloud during the first round with the

Endurance: An exchange of blows between Cloud (left) and an upright Hopkins

Endurance: An exchange of blows between Cloud (left) and an upright Hopkins

He was comfortably beaten by Chad Dawson
in April last year – leading many to speculate his retirement – but his
latest victory has once more galvanised his career.

Bobbing and weaving: Cloud (right) tries to avoid another big swing from Hopkins

Bobbing and weaving: Cloud (right) tries to avoid another big swing from Hopkins

Conversing: Hopkins (right) and Cloud give each other their opinions just after the enthralling fight

Conversing: Hopkins (right) and Cloud give each other their opinions just after the enthralling fight

Loving life: The legendary boxing promoter Don King watching on with glee at the result

Loving life: The legendary boxing promoter Don King watching on with glee at the result

Tottenham 1 Manchester United 1 match report

Tottenham 1 Manchester United 1: Dempsey dramatic injury-time equaliser cuts Red Devils' lead over City to five points

PUBLISHED:

17:54 GMT, 20 January 2013

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UPDATED:

18:07 GMT, 20 January 2013

Clint Dempsey scored a dramatic equaliser deep into injury-time to rescue a point for Tottenham at a snowy White Hart Lane.

Robin van Persie clinically headed home in the 25th minute and that looked like the winner all the way until the 92nd minute when American Dempsey converted Aaron Lennon's cross to snatch a point for Spurs.

More to follow

Saviour: Clint Dempsey struck deep into injury-time to rescue a point for Spurs

Saviour: Clint Dempsey struck deep into injury-time to rescue a point for Spurs

Saviour: Clint Dempsey struck deep into injury-time to rescue a point for Spurs

Match facts

Tottenham: Lloris, Walker, Dawson, Caulker, Naughton (Assou-Ekotto 64), Lennon, Parker (Huddlestone 80), Dembele, Bale, Dempsey, Defoe.

Subs Not Used: Friedel, Vertonghen, Sigurdsson, Livermore, Townsend.

Booked: Dawson.

Goals: Dempsey 90.

Man Utd: De Gea, Rafael, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Jones, Carrick, Cleverley (Valencia 74), Kagawa (Rooney 62), Welbeck, Van Persie.

Subs Not Used: Lindegaard, Anderson, Giggs, Smalling, Hernandez.

Booked: Carrick, Evra, Rafael, Rooney.

Goals: Van Persie 25.

Att: 35,956

Ref: Chris Foy (Merseyside).

Clinical: Robin van Persie scored his 22nd goal of the season after 25 minutes

Clinical: Robin van Persie scored his 22nd goal of the season after 25 minutes

Clinical: Robin van Persie scored his 22nd goal of the season after 25 minutes

Leap: Gareth Bale jumps for the ball in the north London snow

Leap: Gareth Bale jumps for the ball in the north London snow

Over the edge: Bale falls into the crowd

Over the edge: Bale falls into the crowd

Challenge: Mousa Dembele and Michael Dawson tackle Van Persie

Challenge: Mousa Dembele and Michael Dawson tackle Van Persie

Spurned: Jermain Defoe missed a good opportunity in the second half

Spurned: Jermain Defoe missed a good opportunity in the second half

Sir Alex Ferguson of Manchester United looks on

Sir Alex Ferguson of Manchester United adjusts his hat

Wrap up warm: Alex Ferguson looked uncomfortably cold at White Hart Lane

Doubt: Snow forced match officials to call an inspection at 2.50pm

Doubt: Snow forced match officials to call an inspection at 2.50pm

Doubt: Snow forced match officials to call an inspection at 2.50pm

Hard work: Groundsmen clear snow from the playing surface at White Hart Lane

Hard work: Groundsmen clear snow from the playing surface at White Hart Lane

Cold Two fans shelter from the snow ahead of the match

Cold Two fans shelter from the snow ahead of the match

Freddie Flintoff wants to open chip shop in London

From battering boxers to battering fish: Flintoff intends to open a chippy in London

By
Sunni Upal

PUBLISHED:

10:37 GMT, 3 January 2013

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UPDATED:

12:07 GMT, 3 January 2013

Freddie Flintoff is so unhappy with the quality of fish and chips shops in London that he wants to open his own.

The former England cricketer is in talks with TV producers about a news series, potentially on Sky One, where he runs a chippy in London with wife Rachael.

A source said: 'Freddie isn’t impressed with the quality of fish and chips shops down south and wants to open his own up in London selling market-fresh fish.

What's this garbage Flintoff is said to be unhappy with the quality of chippys down south

Enlarge

Fishy Flintoff

What's this garbage Flintoff is said to be unhappy with the quality of chippys down south

'He would be front of house but the business would be run by his wife Rachael, who has a background in catering and events.'

The move would be the latest in Flintoff's post-cricket career after he won on his professional boxing debut in Manchester last year.

Flintoff has been a regular on Sky's A League of Their Own as well as starring in ITV4 series Freddie Flintoff Versus The World.

Enlarge

King of the ring: Flintoff celebrates beating Richard Dawson

King of the ring: Flintoff celebrates beating Richard Dawson

Experience: Rachael has worked in the catering industry

Experience: Rachael has worked in the catering industry

Ex-England and Yorkshire cricketer Chris Old opened a fish and chip restaurant in Cornwall

Ex-England and Yorkshire cricketer Chris Old opened a fish and chip restaurant in Cornwall

Neil Redfearn could replace Keith Hill at Barnsley

Redfearn could return to old club Barnsley to replace sacked Hill as manager

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UPDATED:

22:37 GMT, 30 December 2012

Former Barnsley winger Neil Redfearn is among contenders to replace Keith Hill as the Championship club's manager.

Redfearn, 47, is currently coaching at Leeds.

Former assistant David Flitcroft, 38, has been put in caretaker charge following Hill's dismissal on Saturday.

Wanted man: Neil Redfearn could return to Barnsley to replace Keith Hill

Wanted man: Neil Redfearn could return to Barnsley to replace Keith Hill

Hill left the club after recording a home defeat against Blackburn.

Josh King, Ruben Rochina and Jordan Rhodes secure the win to cancel out Stephen Dawson's 76th-minute goal.

Caretaker: David Flitcroft (left) has taken the reins at Barnsley after Hill was dismissed on Saturday

Caretaker: David Flitcroft (left) has taken the reins at Barnsley after Hill was dismissed on Saturday

Barnsley 1 Birmingham 2 – Match report

Barnsley 1 Birmingham 2: Davies at the double to give Blues much needed win

PUBLISHED:

17:59 GMT, 26 December 2012

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UPDATED:

17:59 GMT, 26 December 2012

Curtis Davies settled a thrilling Boxing Day contest in Birmingham's favour against fellow npower Championship strugglers Barnsley at Oakwell.

The centre-back nodded the visitors in front amid pouring rain in the 35th minute, only for Jonathan Greening to equalise almost immediately from long range with his first goal since joining on loan from Nottingham Forest last month.

Barnsley were the better side and missed plenty of chances against a Blues outfit who were disorganised defensively, with Craig Davies, a boyhood Blues fan who scored four goals in September's 5-0 rout at St Andrew's, blazing over a second-half penalty after Steven Caldwell's handball.

Head first: Curtis Davies scored both goals for Birmingham

Head first: Curtis Davies scored both goals for Birmingham

Match facts

Barnsley: Steele, Stones, Hassell, McNulty, Golbourne, O'Brien, Greening, Perkins (Done 68), Dawson, Tudgay, Dagnall (Davies 68).

Subs Not Used: Alnwick, Wiseman, Harewood, Cywka, Sinclair.

Booked: Tudgay.

Goals: Greening 38.

Birmingham: Butland, Robinson, Caldwell, Davies, Hancox, Hall (Gomis 85), Mullins, Reilly, Elliott, Zigic, Redmond (Burke 53).

Subs Not Used: Doyle, Ibanez, Morrison, Jervis, Delfouneso.

Booked: Elliott.

Goals: Davies 35, 77.

Attendance: 9,191

Referee: Carl Boyeson

Latest Championship table, fixtures and results

And the hosts were punished almost immediately as Curtis Davies, unmarked from another set-piece, converted his fourth header in six games to clinch matters in the 77th minute.

It was only a second win in nine games for Lee Clark's 19th-placed side and just their third away victory of the season.

The Tykes missed out on the chance to record back-to-back league wins for the first time in 2012 after Saturday's 2-1 win at Millwall ended an 11-match winless run, and they are now second-bottom in the table without a home win since September 1.

Barnsley enjoyed the better of proceedings early on, Jim O'Brien seeing an effort blocked by Curtis Davies although the visitors did force a succession of three corners in which they failed to prosper.

Birmingham's young England goalkeeper Jack Butland kept the score down at St Andrew's in September and he was twice called upon here in the opening exchanges.

First he got down low to deny Stephen Dawson before a better save kept out Marcus Tudgay's header.

Points in the bag: Davies celebrates his brace

Points in the bag: Davies celebrates his brace

Luke Steele was still to be called upon as the half-hour mark passed, with Barnsley much the stronger.

But, out of nowhere, Curtis Davies – as he did in Saturday's 2-2 draw against Burnley – headed Birmingham in front.

Robert Hall delivered another excellent set-piece, Birmingham's main threat, which Davies nodded home unchallenged at the near post.

However, the lead did not last long as Birmingham's frailties in defence were fully exposed.

Barnsley applied pressure almost straight from kick-off with Dawson seeing a strike blocked and, with the visitors struggling to fully clear their lines, the ball broke for Greening, who converted low from distance.

The soaking wet playing surface was hardly helping matters but Barnsley continued to enjoy the better of matters in the first half, despite Blues enjoying another three successive corners.

The visitors' defence was exposed again within a minute of the restart but a swift move ended when Chris Dagnall could only slide the ball behind.

Tykes defender Bobby Hassell tried his luck from fully 40 yards but Butland recovered to save comfortably.

Chris Burke was introduced off the bench for Birmingham and he added a fresh attacking dimension.

John Stones saw an effort blocked by a late Blues tackle and, with the game flowing from end to end, Barnsley were awarded a spot-kick in the 73rd minute for a somewhat harsh handball decision against Caldwell.

But Craig Davies, who had only been on the pitch five minutes, blazed his spot-kick high over the bar.

A superb stop from Butland kept out a header from fellow sub Matty Done before Curtis Davies then settled matters in the 77th minute via another inch-perfect delivery from Hall.

Stoke City defence among best in Europe

Europe's meanest defences: Bayern, Juventus, PSG, Malaga and… Stoke

|

UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 23 December 2012

It was not the prettiest way to earn a point, but Stoke City will not care about that. The goalless draw for Tony Pulis’s side at Tottenham was their eighth consecutive match unbeaten – their best run since returning to the top flight in 2008.

‘You have to respect them,’ said Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas. ‘I admire other types of football, but you have to respect Stoke.’

The foundation of their form has been defence: the best in the Barclays Premier League in terms of goals conceded (just 13 in 18 games) and clean sheets (nine). Here is a closer look at what Villas-Boas calls one of the ‘best defences in Europe’.

Cornered: Kyle Walker of Spurs faces a wall of Stoke defiance

Cornered: Kyle Walker of Spurs faces a wall of Stoke defiance

HARD WORK

Stoke’s work-rate is frightening. They chase and hurry their opponents, closing them down within seconds, and get back into position quickly. They tired a little during the second half against Tottenham, but you could not help but applaud and admire Stoke’s work ethic and intensity at White Hart Lane.

‘We do work very, very hard,’ said Pulis. ‘There’s a great spirit among the lads. They’ve had a Christmas party by themselves – everybody turned up and had a great night and they took the wives out and had a great night with their wives.’

CONSISTENT SELECTION

Ryan Shawcross and Robert Huth have started every Premier League game in central defence for Stoke this season. Compare that to Steven Caulker of Spurs, who has partnered Michael Dawson, William Gallas and Jan Vertonghen.

Leading by example: Captain Ryan Shawcross marshals the back four

Leading by example: Captain Ryan Shawcross marshals the back four

Stoke’s success is based on each player knowing their role in the system, while the manager offers constant reminders as he barks instructions from the touchline.

‘We spend a lot of time on our system,’ said Pulis. ‘And if the players don’t, they don’t play.’ Simple.

DEFENDING DEEP

Stoke’s back four seem to squeeze the final third of the pitch, leaving no space behind for their opponents to exploit. It took Tottenham at least 20 minutes to realise Jermain Defoe was not going to be effective playing as the most advanced striker because there was no opportunity to sprint on to a through ball – or anything delivered over the top.

Emmanuel Adebayor was sent up to do aerial battle with Shawcross and Huth, but there was no chance for Defoe to pounce on the second ball.

WHO’S GEOFF CAMERON

Stoke’s right back on Saturday used to play for Rhode Island Stingrays. The USA international has been quietly impressive since his move from Houston Dynamo last summer. Not many players frustrate Gareth Bale so much that he moves to the right wing.

The gaffer: Pulis gives his instructions from the touchline

The gaffer: Pulis gives his instructions from the touchline

64 keeping it clean.jpg

HEIGHT

Aaron Lennon had no chance on Saturday, did he Stoke’s back four lines up like a rugby second row: Cameron (6ft 3in), Huth (6ft 3in), Shawcross (6ft 3in) and Wilkinson (5ft 11in). They seize advantage at corners and set-pieces and force opponents to play the ball to feet.

PLAYING ON THE COUNTER

Stoke counter-attack with pace, power and discipline, something Kenwyne Jones and Jon Walters did particularly well on Saturday. But Stoke average less than a goal a game this season as the joint lowest scorers in the top flight along with QPR and Aston Villa. They have scored only 15 goals.

NO-ONE LIKES US, WE DON’T CARE

Stoke revel in their reputation as the so-called enemies of football. It can work against them sometimes when it comes to refereeing decisions, but Tottenham knew exactly what to expect on Saturday and yet still could not break them down.

Villas-Boas said: ‘If it was easy, then Stoke wouldn’t have one of the best defences in Europe. They’ve proved that. There’s no space behind, they’re well organised, they do well on the counter and through crosses they are taller than you.

‘When you play through passes, they outnumber you.’

Scott Parker and Benoit Assou-Ekotto return for Tottenham v Swansea

AVB ready to welcome back Parker and Assou-Ekotto against Swansea

|

UPDATED:

18:32 GMT, 14 December 2012

Andre Villas-Boas has been given a boost with the return of Scott Parker and Benoit Assou-Ekotto to first-team training ahead of Tottenham's clash with Swansea on Sunday.

England midfielder Parker has not played a single match this season after suffering an Achilles injury during Euro 2012.

Scroll down for video

Back in business: Scott Parker (left) has not played a single game this season

Back in business: Scott Parker (left) has not played a single game this season

Hair we go: Benoit Assou-Ekotto (left) returned to first-team training a couple of days ago

Hair we go: Benoit Assou-Ekotto (left) returned to first-team training a couple of days ago

But Spurs' player of the year last season has featured at reserve and U21 level this week and is in contention for the Swans visit to White Hart Lane.

Manager Villas-Boas hinted that the returning players are likely to start from the bench rather than as part of the first team.

Assou-Ekotto meanwhile has only been able to play three matches this term, the latest of those on September 1, thanks to a knee injury.

The 28-year-old left-back tweeted: 'Training with the team today! I hope I'll remember the name of everyone.'

Centre-back Jan Vertonghen has been playing in his position and although he has coped well, will be happy to move back to his regular spot sooner rather than later.

Gareth Bale will train on Saturday but his hamstring injury is likely to keep him out of the match, along with Younes Kaboul who has a knee problem.

However centre-back Michael Dawson is likely to play after beating his own hamstring injury.

Provisional Spurs squad

Friedel, Lloris, Gomes, Cudicini; Walker, Naughton,
Assou-Ekotto, Gallas, Caulker, Dawson, Vertonghen; Lennon, Sigurdsson,
Townsend, Falque, Carroll, Mason, Livermore, Sandro, Huddlestone,
Dembele, Parker; Dempsey, Adebayor, Defoe.

VIDEO: Parker and Assou-Ekotto could be ready for Swansea

Play Video

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David Price would beat Tyson Fury – Thomas Stalker

Price beat Fury before and I'd back him to do it again before taking on the Klitschkos

|

UPDATED:

22:54 GMT, 12 December 2012

Thomas Stalker captained the Team GB boxing squad at the London Olympics and reached the quarter-finals in the light-welterweight division.

Here, in his first column for MailOnline, he discusses the latest news from the ring and his own future in boxing.

Talking point: Thomas Stalker at the Institute of Sport in Sheffield where Team GB boxers are based

Talking point: Thomas Stalker at the Institute of Sport in Sheffield where Team GB boxers are based

Tyson Fury has been slagging off David Price on Twitter.

I
can understand Tyson building the proposed fight up to put bums on
seats and earn a big pay day but David Price will beat him and beat him
well.

I fought on the same
card when Pricey beat him last time. There was a great atmosphere. It
was in the ABA North West Counties finals in Wythenshawe Forum,
Manchester in 2006 and the place was ram packed to the rafters.

Repeat performance: Heavyweight David Price (right) hopes to face rival Tyson Fury

Repeat performance: Heavyweight David Price (right) hopes to face rival Tyson Fury

There
were two big crews of fans from Liverpool and Manchester and I think it
was almost as tasty outside the ring as in. Pricey totally outboxed
Tyson that night and he will do the same. He may be 6ft 8ins tall but
Pricey moves like a middleweight, he's lean and he's got great
technique. Tyson is good but I think Pricey is the best equipped to take
on the Klitschkos if they hang around.

Flintoff deserves respect… but should quit while he's ahead

Freddie Flintoff has been getting some stick off the boxing fraternity.

He's been called a sideshow and I know many fighters thought Freddie's fight with Richard Dawson would be disrespectful to the sport but I disagree. I've been watching Freddie's documentaries on his training and build-up and for me he's been good for boxing.

I don't agree with him grabbing the headlines as if he was top of the bill at Manchester but I suppose with the hype that was inevitable.

Respect: Freddie Flintoff won on his professional boxing debut in Manchester last month

Respect: Freddie Flintoff won on his professional boxing debut in Manchester last month

To me, he took it seriously. He showed heart and courage to take that on. It was like Ricky Hatton's fight the other week, the end result wasn't the important factor. Ricky wanted to answer questions about himself in the ring and Freddie did the same. And you have to say he did well.

Everyone knows he's not going to be a contender for the world heavyweight champion, it was a one-off and he and Barry McGuigan spoke sensibly about it afterwards saying 'That's it now. Finished'. But I was impressed. He showed no fear and he handled his nerves on the day of the fight really well. I know how difficult that is. Now he has seen how hard it is to get into that ring.

You'll always have fans in the street thinking they can do it but until you punch the bags, step in to take that first punch, do that first spar or do the training, you don't realise how hard this game is.

It's a tough business and I think now Freddie should just keep up his training but retire.

Decision time

I've got a big decision to make over the next few weeks.

I have offers to turn professional and have held talks with Khan promotions, Matchroom and a couple of others.

If I go it's a big step because it would mean leaving the Great Britain Olympic set-up and that would be a very sad day.

Devastated: Stalker lost at the quarter-final stage of the London Olympics

Devastated: Stalker lost at the quarter-final stage of the London Olympics

I've done everything with this team bar win a medal. The group is like a second family. We train together, eat together, even live together in a flat in Sheffield so these are people I have a great affection for.

If I turn professional I can't have UK Lottery funding any more, I'm on my own. If I stay I have the funding, the lifestyle and the offer of a coaching job once my fighting days are over.

It's a big risk but I know that if I don't turn professional I'll always be asking 'what if' It's something that may haunt me. I want to test myself, see how far I can go and that is where I am leaning.

People may know I was bitterly disappointed not to win a medal in the summer and it still hurts me every day. If I'd won I wouldn't be thinking of turning professional. The nature of the Olympics has meant those who won medals have had doors opened, great commercial offers and I could have used that while also doing TV work. It would have given a regular income and I could have stayed with the GB set-up.

Weighty issue: Stalker must decide whether to turn professional or remain with Team GB

Weighty issue: Stalker must decide whether to turn professional or remain with Team GB

Weighty issue: Stalker must decide whether to turn professional or remain with Team GB

Whatever happens I will be fighting in February. That's the target whether pro or amateur. It could be in Bulgaria or Hungary or wherever the promoter's bill. I don't know the opponent yet but I have to be ready, that's the business I'm in.

Hopefully, I'll make the right decision in time for Christmas.

One to watch

I saw Hughie Fury who is Tyson's younger cousin fight the other day. He won gold in Armenia in the Youth World Championships as a super heavyweight, beating Narender Berwal from India and that's a great achievement.

The guys from these countries are all improving now and they're tough opponents. Hughie's big but looks a real thinker as well as a hitter and mover. He will be a good bet for gold at Rio or maybe the Olympics after that.