Tag Archives: francisco

Amir Khan: Lose Carlos Molina fight and Floyd Mayweather dream is over

Lose against Molina and dream of Pacquiao or Mayweather fight is over, admits Khan

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UPDATED:

17:47 GMT, 31 October 2012

Amir Khan believes he must score a convincing win in his comeback against unbeaten Carlos Molina next month or kiss goodbye to any chance of super-fights against the likes of Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather.

Khan's career has lurched dangerously off course in the past 11 months, with his deeply controversial points defeat to Lamont Peterson last December followed by a crushing fourth round knockout loss against Danny Garcia in July.

Those twin setbacks have left Khan with no margin for error as he prepares to face Molina in the American’s backyard at the Los Angeles Sports Arena on December 15.

Comeback: Amir Khan (second left) fights Carlos Molina (second right) on December 15

Comeback: Amir Khan (second left) fights Carlos Molina (second right) on December 15

Fighting talk: Khan speaks during a media conference for his upcoming fight

Fighting talk: Khan speaks in Los Angeles on Wednesday during a media conference for his upcoming fight

'There’s always pressure when I fight but I definitely have to win this because if I lose, I’m done,' Khan said. 'This is a fight I need to win, 100 per cent. If I don’t win it I’m done. It’s that simple. The big super-fights I’ve always dreamed about won’t be there if I lose this. Pacquiao, Mayweather — forget it'

In an attempt to revitalize his fortunes, Khan took the bold step of ditching revered trainer Freddie Roach in favour of the quietly-spoken San Francisco-based Virgil Hunter.

The 25-year-old Bolton light welterweight has been in camp at Hunter’s gym in Oakland and is reveling in the austere surroundings, where Hunter’s house rules a ban on swearing.

'It’s a very tight community in that gym. You need to have people there you trust. Virgil keeps it very limited and that’s what I like about it,' Khan said. 'You’re not bothered about who’s watching, you’re not training for a crowd, or fans.'

A whole lot of glove: Molina signs autographs at the Los Angeles Sports Arena on Wednesday

A whole lot of glove: Local boy Molina signs autographs at the Los Angeles Sports Arena

Khan was forced into an impromptu sparring session in early October when a gang of thugs attempted to steal a Ranger Rover he had been driving with his brother in Birmingham.

The confrontation ended abruptly with one of the would-be thieves being knocked out cold by Khan.

'I walked out of this caf and I opened the car door and these guys jumped in the car ahead of me and said “This ain’t your car mate,”' Khan said.

'It was a courtesy car I’d be given so at first I did a double take and thought, “Maybe it’s not my car”. Then I saw something in the back seat that I’d put there and I knew it was my car. Then the guys started saying – “We’re not getting out the car. You’re going to have to buy it off us”. I had the car keys so I wasn’t too worried. I thought it was a joke. But then it got a bit serious and one guy came out aggressively and said “What are going to do” And he jabbed me in the face. It wasn’t hard. He barely scratched me really. He tried to swing again and I knocked him out.

Golden Boy: Fight promoter Oscar De La Hoya builds up the light welterweight fight

Golden Boy: Fight promoter Oscar De La Hoya builds up the light welterweight fight

'I hated it to be honest with you. I never fight outside the ring. We’re born fighters, we’re taught how to fight.

'So when someone tries to fight you they’re making a big mistake. That’s when it got messy because they came out with baseball bats and sticks and smashed the rear window. They must have been drunk or high or something.'

Meanwhile Khan, who is engaged to New York student Faryal Makhdoom, has shrugged off revelations about his private life after allegations in The Sun he had been partying hard with other women in Marbella in August.

Khan insisted his fiance trusted him.

The wrong man to mess with: Khan revealed how he was forced to fight off a gang who tried to steal his car

The wrong man to mess with: Khan revealed how he was forced to fight off a gang who tried to steal his car

'She’s cool, she knows the truth because I didn’t do anything honestly,' Khan said. 'She doesn’t believe anything that the papers say because I’m honest to her. I don’t lie and she knows there’s always going to be stuff written about me.

'It’s a distraction when you’re preparing for a fight. But my fiance and my family haven’t really spoken to me about it.'

Sports pictures of the day: October 29

Sports images of the day: Our picture editor's selection

UPDATED:

14:59 GMT, 29 October 2012

Each day, MailOnline sports picture editor Dave Muir will choose his favourite photographs from around the world in the past 24 hours.

Enjoy today's selection right here…

The St.Louis cheerleaders perform during the NFL International Series match between the New England Patriots and the Rams at Wembley

The St.Louis cheerleaders perform during the NFL International Series match between the New England Patriots and the Rams at Wembley

The San Francisco Giants celebrate beating the Detroit Tigers in the World Series

The San Francisco Giants celebrate beating the Detroit Tigers in the World Series

River Plate fans mock Boca Juniors with a inflatable flying pig during the Superclasico in Buenos Aires

River Plate fans mock Boca Juniors with a inflatable flying pig during the Superclasico in Buenos Aires

Japan's Naoko Fujioka punches Mexico's Victoria Argueta in the sixth round of their WBC minifly bout

Japan's Naoko Fujioka punches Mexico's Victoria Argueta in the sixth round of their WBC minifly bout

Serena Williams holds her WTA Championship trophy after her victory against Maria Sharapova in Istanbul

Serena Williams holds her WTA Championship trophy after her victory against Maria Sharapova in Istanbul

San Francisco Giants beat Detroit Tigers 4-3 to win Baseball"s World Series

Giants complete sweep to beat Tigers and secure second World Series in three years

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UPDATED:

07:45 GMT, 29 October 2012

The San Francisco Giants secured a second World Series title in three years on Sunday night, defeating the Detroit Tigers 4-3 in 10 innings at Comerica Park to seal a four-game sweep in the best-of-seven series.

Detroit headed into game four looking to become the first team in World Series history to overturn a 3-0 series deficit, San Francisco having dominated the first three games.

The Tigers produced by far their best account of the series in forcing the game to extra innings before the Giants got over the line, Marco Scutaro singling home the tie-breaking run in the 10th inning before Sergio Romo closed out the win.

Big win: The Giants are improbable champions after spending most of October battling against elimination

Big win: The Giants are improbable champions after spending most of October battling against elimination

Winning feeling: San Francisco Giants general manager Brian Sabean carries the World Series Trophy

Winning feeling: San Francisco Giants general manager Brian Sabean carries the World Series Trophy

Miguel Cabrera’s two-run homer in the third inning had handed the Tigers the lead for the first time in the series, the Triple Crown winner’s blast putting his side 2-1 up after San Francisco had gone 1-0 ahead on an RBI triple from Brandon Belt.

But Buster Posey stepped up three innings later with a two-run homer of his own to get the Giants back in front.

Delmon Young responded with a solo shot to make it 3-3 in the bottom of the sixth on the first pitch from Matt Cain, but that was as good as it got for Detroit.

Power players: The Giants clinched their second World Series title in three years

Power players: The Giants clinched their second World Series title in three years

Let the celebrations begin: San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy holds the Commissioner's Trophy

Let the celebrations begin: San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy holds the Commissioner's Trophy

Scutaro, in settling the contest with the go-ahead single with two outs in the 10th, became the first player in 15 years to win the World Series with an extra-innings hit.

He struggled for words soon after the game was all over, telling Fox Sports: ‘I don’t know what to say right now. We just won the World Series! It’s hard to explain. It’s priceless.'

Reflecting on the Giants’ tricky path to glory – they won six elimination games in the post-season – he added: ‘That’s what makes it so special – the way we did it. We were always against the wall. We just came through the first series, the second series… and now we’ve swept the Tigers.’

Victors: The San Francisco Giants celebrate on the mound after sweeping the Detroit Tigers to win the World Series on Sunday

Victors: The San Francisco Giants celebrate on the mound after sweeping the Detroit Tigers to win the World Series on Sunday

Losing control: Detroit Tigers' Austin Jackson loses his bat during the seventh inning

Losing control: Detroit Tigers' Austin Jackson loses his bat during the seventh inning

After winning 8-3 in game one at AT&T Park and then posting consecutive shutouts to take command of the series, Posey admitted game four had been by far the toughest test.

'Tonight was a battle,' he said on Fox Sports. 'Tonight was a fitting way for us to end it.

'Those guys played hard – they didn’t stop. It’s an unbelievable feeling.'

We've done: San Francisco Giants relief pitcher Sergio Romo celebrates after the Giants defeated the Detroit Tigers in Game 4 to win the MLB World Series

We've done: San Francisco Giants relief pitcher Sergio Romo celebrates after the Giants defeated the Detroit Tigers in Game 4 to win the MLB World Series

Tears of joy: Pablo Sandoval celebrates with a teammate

Tears of joy: Pablo Sandoval celebrates with a teammate

Closer Romo played down his role in seeing out the victory, saying: “I feel beyond blessed, for sure. These guys let me tag along for the ride.'

The Giants certainly hit form at the right time, finishing this month with seven straight wins to clinch the seventh World Series in franchise history.

Pablo Sandoval hits three homers as San Francisco win World Series opener

Sandoval hits three homers as Giants tame Tigers in World Series opener

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UPDATED:

08:20 GMT, 25 October 2012

Pablo Sandoval became only the fourth player to hit three home runs in a World Series game as the San Francisco Giants opened the best-of-seven series with an 8-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers at AT&T Park.

The third baseman went deep in his first three at-bats on Wednesday night – the first two off Justin Verlander and then a third against reliever Al Alburquerque – to get his name alongside Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson and Albert Pujols in the record books.

Take that: Pablo Sandoval hits a home run off Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander

Take that: Pablo Sandoval hits a home run off Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander

World Series schedule

Game 2 – October 25 – San Francisco
Game 3 – October 27 – Detroit
Game 4 – October 28 – Detroit
Game 5 – October 29 – Detroit
Game 6 – October 31 – San Francisco
Game 7 – November 1 – San Francisco

Tigers ace Verlander lasted only four innings and 98 pitches as the Giants assumed control, charging into a 6-0 lead by the end of the fifth.

They never looked like relinquishing their advantage, Barry Zito restricting Detroit to one run and six hits over 5 2/3 innings.

Sandoval told Fox Sports: 'When you're a little kid you dream of playing in the World Series. And my dream has come true.'

Make mine a treble: Sandoval smashed three home runs as the Giants won Game One of the World Series

Make mine a treble: Sandoval smashed three home runs as the Giants won Game One of the World Series

Make mine a treble: Sandoval smashed three home runs as the Giants won Game One of the World Series

The 26-year-old Venezuelan felt the fact the Giants only secured their place in the World Series on Monday night – with a 9-0 victory over the defending champion St Louis Cardinals in the National League Championship Series decider – meant they hit the ground running.

'We played our last game two days ago,' he said. 'We had a day off and we came here still hot.'

Here we go: San Francisco star Sandoval rounds the bases after hitting a home run

Here we go: San Francisco star Sandoval rounds the bases after hitting a home run

Detroit manager Jim Leyland accepted there was little his team could have done to keep Sandoval at bay.

'He just had one of those nights where everything we threw, he hit,' Leyland said.

'We have to tip our hats to him. It was unbelievable.'

Three and easy: Sandoval looks to the sky after hitting his third homer in San Francisco's victory

Three and easy: Sandoval looks to the sky after hitting his third homer in San Francisco's victory

NFL"s Minnesota Vikings will play Pittsburgh Steelers in home game at Wembley in 2013

Minnesota Vikings to play Pittsburgh Steelers in NFL home game at Wembley next year

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UPDATED:

22:02 GMT, 16 October 2012

The Minnesota Vikings will play the Pittsburgh Steelers at Wembley Stadium next year with the NFL to announce plans to stage a second regular-season game during the 2013 season.

The Vikings, currently 4-2 and second in NFC North, will play the AFC North serial Super Bowl winners – who are 2-3 and third in their division – on September 29, 2013.

Franchise quarterback: Christian Ponder plays in Sunday's 38-26 defeat to the Washington Redskins

Franchise quarterback: Christian Ponder plays in Sunday's 38-26 defeat to the Washington Redskins

With the Vikings due to move from the Hubert H Humphrey Metrodome into a new all-purpose stadium in 2016, the franchise are ideal candidates as the NFL look to increase the sport's presence overseas.

Playing games in London would not be a financial burden as the franchise have a flexible lease at the Metrodome without contractual obligations with municipalities or stadium authorities, unlike many NFL teams.

The decision was approved by NFL owners meeting in Chicago.

'Since we started playing regular-season games in London five years ago, we have heard very clearly from our UK fans – they want more football,' said NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

'We are excited to play two games in London and take this next step in the growth of our game. We believe that more football will lead to more fans.'

All day: All-Pro running back Adrian Peterson is grabbed by Redskins cornerback Richard Crawford

All day: All-Pro running back Adrian Peterson is grabbed by Redskins cornerback Richard Crawford

Do-it-all receiver: Percy Harvin

Do-it-all receiver: Percy Harvin

'This is a unique opportunity for the Vikings organisation to highlight our brand on an international level,' said Vikings owner and president Mark Wilf.

'We are thrilled that our players and Steelers fans around the world will be able to enjoy the atmosphere at historic Wembley Stadium,' said Steelers president Art Rooney II.
Last week, the NFL announced that the Jacksonville Jaguars will host the San Francisco 49ers on October 27 next year.

The contest will be the first of the Jaguars' four regular-season home game in the UK, to be competed in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

And with the St Louis Rams set to face the New England Patriots next month, the news is a further boon for UK-based NFL fans.

Since 2007, nine teams have played in London since the first annual game between the Miami Dolphins and the New York Giants.

NFL"s Minnesota Vikings will play home game at Wembley in 2013

NFL announce Minnesota Vikings will play home game at Wembley in 2013

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UPDATED:

18:45 GMT, 16 October 2012

The Minnesota Vikings will play at Wembley Stadium next year as the NFL have announced plans to stage a second regular-season game during the 2013 season.

The Vikings, currently 4-2 and second in NFC North, will play one of their eight home fixtures against an as-yet unannounced opponent.

Franchise quarterback: Christian Ponder plays in Sunday's 38-26 defeat to the Washington Redskins

Franchise quarterback: Christian Ponder plays in Sunday's 38-26 defeat to the Washington Redskins

With the Vikings due to move from the Hubert H Humphrey Metrodome into a new all-purpose stadium in 2016, the franchise are ideal candidates as the NFL look to increase the sport's presence overseas.

Playing games in London would not be a financial burden as the franchise have a flexible lease at the Metrodome without contractual obligations with municipalities or stadium authorities, unlike many NFL teams.

All day: All-Pro running back Adrian Peterson is grabbed by Redskins cornerback Richard Crawford

All day: All-Pro running back Adrian Peterson is grabbed by Redskins cornerback Richard Crawford

Do-it-all receiverl: Percy Harvin

Do-it-all receiverl: Percy Harvin

Last week, the NFL announced that Jacksonville Jaguars will host the San Francisco 49ers on October 27, 2013.

The contest will be the first of the Jaguars' four regular-season home game in the UK in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

And with the St Louis Rams set to face the New England Patriots next month, the news is a further boon for UK-based NFL fans, who have seen nine teams play in London since the first annual game in 2007 between the Miami Dolphins and the New York Giants.

Sports pictures of the day: October 8

Sports images of the day: Our picture editor's selection

UPDATED:

12:56 GMT, 8 October 2012

Each day, MailOnline sports picture editor Dave Muir will choose his favourite photographs from around the world in the past 24 hours.

Enjoy today's selection right here…

Bobby Labonte and David Gilliland crash during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series auto race at Talladega Superspeedway

Bobby Labonte and David Gilliland crash during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series auto race at Talladega Superspeedway

A cheerleader of the New Orleans Hornets slam dunks the ball during the half time show at the Arena Ciudad de Mexico

A cheerleader of the New Orleans Hornets slam dunks the ball during the half time show at the Arena Ciudad de Mexico

Real Madrid's Pepe heads the ball over teammate Xabi Alonso

San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis (85) cannot make a catch over Buffalo Bills free safety

Up in the air: Pepe heads the ball as Real Madrid take on Barcelona (left) while San Francisco 49ers take on Buffalo Bills (right)

Cincinnati Reds' Ryan Ludwick hits a solo home run during the National League division baseball series against the San Francisco Giants

Cincinnati Reds' Ryan Ludwick hits a solo home run during the National League division baseball series against the San Francisco Giants

Ben Ainslie claims early lead in America"s Cup World Series

Ainslie still has golden touch as Olympian claims early lead in America's Cup World Series

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UPDATED:

18:28 GMT, 5 October 2012

Ben Ainslie has taken an early leader in the America's Cup World Series fleet racing on San Francisco Bay.

In only his second regatta on the
tour Ainslie registered a win and a third place with his team JP Morgan
BAR in the first two heats to open up a five-point lead over Australian
Jimmy Spithill.

Early lead: Skipper Ben Ainslie registered a win and a third place with his team JP Morgan BAR

Early lead: Skipper Ben Ainslie registered a win and a third place with his team JP Morgan BAR

'It comes down to practice and time in the boat, just like anything else,' said Ainslie, who won his fourth Olympic gold at London this summer. 'If you don't train and put the effort in you're not going to get the results.

'We hung on and are delighted to get our first win in this series.' There are five heats left in the San Francisco race with 11 teams competing.

US Open was big turn-off – Derek Lawrenson

The big turn-off! Webb won it… but was there anyone left watching

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UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 18 June 2012

Anyone make it to 4am and the final knockings of the 112th US Open Dare I say it, you, sir or madam – I assume there was no more than one of you – deserve an Olympic medal of your own.

Long before the end there were people on Californian time who had given up. This was an old-style US Open, designed to find the last man standing rather than the week's best golfer and it left an anti-climactic taste in the mouth.

Played out with the dramatic backdrop of mist rolling in from San Francisco Bay, there were times when you were hoping the fog could have been a little thicker, to hide some of the play.

All mine: Webb Simpson (right) with runner-up Graeme McDowell

All mine: Webb Simpson (right) with runner-up Graeme McDowell

Just like in 1987 the winner's surname turned out to be Simpson and, on a lay-out designed to test the patience of a saint, appropriately devout. Scott Simpson, winner 25 years ago, meet your modern-day equivalent, Webb. And so the first winner of the Jack Nicklaus gold medal turned out to be a man who got his start owing to an Arnold Palmer scholarship.

More from Derek Lawrenson…

Derek Lawrenson: Lee's in shape to offer Rory a major thank you
11/06/12

Derek Lawrenson: Tiger sprinkles his stardust on the game again
04/06/12

Derek Lawrenson: How Roger the Lionheart roared to incredible win
28/05/12

World of Golf: English stars deserve more home comforts than just Wentworth
21/05/12

World of Golf: Such a shame that glory for Matt seems a bit flat
14/05/12

Derek Lawrenson: Rickie's in tune with Golf Boys
07/05/12

World of Golf: Americans in form, so it won't be an easy Ryder
30/04/12

Derek Lawrenson: Former Open champion Curtis finds his salvation with a victory to savour
23/04/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

There's no question Webb Simpson is a
fine young player. A weekend total of 136 shots was a magnificent effort
from the 26-year-old Southern gentleman. He almost won the US Tour
money list last year, only to be denied by Luke Donald's heroics in the
final event.

Simpson was powerless once more as Graeme McDowell and Jim Furyk both went to the 18th needing a birdie to set up an 18-hole play-off. This time he was not to be denied as he sat in the locker room with his heavily pregnant wife, Dowd – the impending arrival is likely to keep him from playing in The Open next month.

Not long after the denouement the organisers put out a statement declaring their joy that a week that had seen a pitcher from San Francisco's baseball team throw a perfect game had ended with the perfect golf tournament.

No argument with the baseball. Matt Cain never gave up a run or a base hit. He met baseball's criteria for perfect. The golf The crowd were perfect, as was the weather and the host city. But Olympic, built on the side of a hill and containing too many fairways that are too hard to hold, is the worst course on the US Open rota.

If this was so good, why was there not a single representative from the world's top 10 in with a chance to win at the end Lee Westwood got closest but his fate sums up this venue. Trying to keep a drive down the right-hand side in order to hold the tilted fifth fairway on the left, he got it wrong by about five yards, his ball finished up a lone cypress tree and was never seen again. No wonder the luckless bridesmaid of major championship golf played the last 12 holes with a nagging thought: 'Here we go again.'

Still searching: Lee Westwood remains without a major after another near miss

Still searching: Lee Westwood remains without a major after another near miss

What happened to McDowell and Furyk at the 18th gave two more illustrations of this flawed Olympic test. A short par four, they both hit good-looking tee shots but neither could locate yet another tilted fairway, missing by no more than six inches to finish in a half-inch layer of rough. That is all that was needed to rule out any chance of imparting the necessary spin to go for a hole cut right at the front of the green. Their only hope now for a birdie was a long holed putt or a dramatic chip-in.

Yes, it's golf, but is it really golf as we want to know it

US OK

Was it really only last August that a US writer was asking plaintively of Lee Westwood: 'Do you think in our lifetime we will ever see an American win another major' Since then Keegan Bradley, Bubba Watson and now Webb Simpson have stepped up to the plate.

The US golfing revival is now full-blown. Heavy underdogs at the start of the year, they might even start favourites at the Ryder Cup in September.

Quote of the week

'When I played at Olympic in 1998 I finished 27th and maxed out every ounce of talent I had. Now I've finished fourth, two shots off the winning score, having had two four-putts on the first day and feeling like I could easily have been a number of shots better. So that's a nice place to be.'

How good to see Padraig Harrington back in the mix at a major on Sunday and playing well.

Back to his best: Padraig Harrington made a late charge at the Olympic Club

Back to his best: Padraig Harrington made a late charge at the Olympic Club

US Open 2012: Casey Martin qualifies 14 years after creating golf cart history

American Martin secures US Open spot, 14 years after making history in buggy

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UPDATED:

11:04 GMT, 5 June 2012

All smiles: Casey Martin celebrates after qualifying for the US Open

All smiles: Casey Martin celebrates after qualifying for the US Open

American Casey Martin, who made history in 1998 by being allowed to use a golf cart to play in the US Open, will be back at the Olympic Club in San Francisco next week after winning a qualifying event.

The 40-year-old suffers from Klippel Trenaunay Weber syndrome, a birth defect in his right leg, and successfully sued the PGA Tour in 2001 for the right to use a cart during competition.

He has not played professionally for six years and is now the University of Oregon men's golf coach.

'I don't play golf, really,' said Martin.

'Going back to the US Open It's surreal.

Take a ride: Martin was allowed to use a golf cart to assist him in 1998

Take a ride: Martin was allowed to use a golf cart to assist him in 1998

Golf blog

'I think there will be a lot of attention, but controversy no. We've been through all of that.'

He finished 23rd 14 years ago.

American Ryder Cup captain Davis Love and German Alex Cejka were among other players to make it through sectional qualifiers around the United States.