Tag Archives: homecoming

Carlos Tevez shows Hammers Irons sign to West Ham fans

Hammers hero Tevez hails 'fantastic relationship' with fans after 'Irons' sign

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UPDATED:

20:09 GMT, 4 November 2012

Carlos Tevez has spoken of his 'fantastic relationship' with West Ham supporters after being given a rapturous homecoming from the Upton Park faithful on Saturday.

The Manchester City striker was given a brilliant reception by Hammers fans ahead of Saturday's 0-0 draw.

A place in his heart: Carlos Tevez held his crossed arms aloft showing a Hammers sign to the fans of his former club

A place in his heart: Carlos Tevez held his crossed arms aloft showing a Hammers sign to the fans of his former club

And the Argentina striker responded by giving the cross-armed 'Hammers' salute, a move that delighted home fans.

The Tevez love-in continued during
the game as West Ham fans chanted, 'There's only one Carlos Tevez' and
'Carlos Tevez, he wants to come home'.

Tevez's goals kept West Ham in the Premier League in 2007 – something fans of the East London club have never forgotten.

Appreciated: West ham fans responded by singing songs praising Tevez, whose goals saved them from relegation in 2007

Appreciated: West ham fans responded by singing songs praising Tevez, whose goals saved them from relegation in 2007

Class act: Tevez shone for Manchester City at Upton Park, despite being unable to make the crucial breakthrough for his team

Class act: Tevez shone for Manchester City at Upton Park, despite being unable to make the crucial breakthrough for his team

And the former Manchester United forward said: 'I have always had a fantastic relationship with the West Ham supporters.

'They were singing my name before the game and that's why I did that (Hammers salute), in tribute to them.

'I've always felt really at home there.'

All smiles: Tevez shared a joke with George McCartney (left) before kick-off at Upton Park

All smiles: Tevez shared a joke with George McCartney (left) before kick-off at Upton Park

Tevez played 84 minutes against his old employers but could not add to his tally of four Premier League goals for the campaign.

Carl Froch: I have it all to lose against Yusaf Mack in Nottingham

Froch admits he has it all to lose against underdog Mack at Nottingham homecoming

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UPDATED:

14:26 GMT, 11 October 2012

Carl Froch admits he has 'everything to lose' when he defends his IBF super-middleweight title against unfancied American Yusaf Mack next month.

The Nottingham veteran defends his belt for the first time on November 17 after becoming a three-time world champion by obliterating Lucian Bute in May.

Froch was a betting underdog against Bute but finds himself regarded as the overwhelming favourite against Philadelphian Mack, who has never beaten an elite fighter and is dropping down in weight for the bout.

Homecoming: Carl Froch (right) and his next opponent Yusaf Mack at the Capital FM Arena in Nottingham

Homecoming: Carl Froch (right) and his next opponent Yusaf Mack at the Capital FM Arena in Nottingham

Even the self-styled 'Cobra' admits he knows little about the low-profile challenger but is well aware he cannot take Mack lightly when they meet at Nottingham's Capital FM Arena.

'I've got nothing to win and everything to lose,' Froch, 35, said. 'From that point of view I've got to keep myself focused and keep that determination and desire strong to make sure that when I'm in the gym I'm doing the work and when I'm hitting the punchbag, really gritting my teeth and putting in the work.

'I could have stayed in bed this morning and not bothered because I've had this press conference today and I'm in the gym later today.

'But I got up and did my five mile run at a good pace to make sure I'm on the case, because I need to be.'

World class: Froch beat Lucian Bute in May to win the IBF super-middleweight title

World class: Froch beat Lucian Bute in May to win the IBF super-middleweight title

Froch, (29-2, 21KO wins) added: 'I've had a little look at him and some of his fights. I know what he does, I know what he gets up to. He looks like a decent, tidy boxer-fighter. He's got fast hands and has only ever lost to the best in the world, really.

'You've got to say they're the best in the world – Tavoris Cloud, who is the IBF light-heavyweight champion, Glen Johnson who is a big, strong, tough, hard fighter. I know all about him because I fought him.

'So I've got to give this guy respect and take him very seriously because this is his world title fight and his big opportunity to come over here and cause an upset so I know that he's going to be training and running harder than ever for this. Whatever you've seen of him before, add 20 per cent for this fight. So I've got to be ready, and I will be.

Face off: Froch (right) and Mack go toe-to-toe in Nottingham to promote their forthcoming fight

Face off: Froch (right) and Mack go toe-to-toe in Nottingham to promote their forthcoming fight

'It looks like he's in good shape. He's not as tall as I thought he was, we seem to be about the same height. He's a big lad, with a very muscular upper body, so I can see why he's a light-heavyweight. But he looks like he can do super-middleweight quite easily so he may be at his best in this division. We'll see, but I can't take any chances.'

Mack (31-4-2, 17KO wins) has no concerns about dropping half a stone to secure his shot.

'I'm going to stick to my gameplan and do what I've got to do,' he said. 'Nothing's changed due to coming down in weight, it's just about keeping it basic and replicating what I'm doing in training when the time comes in the ring.

Fighting fit: The Nottingham Cobra insists he is working hard to be in the best possible shape for the fight

Fighting fit: The Nottingham Cobra insists he is working hard to be in the best possible shape for the fight

'I'm still able to eat what I want despite having to drop the extra weight.

'Froch is an A-grade fighter, he comes to fight. But on November 17 he's going to be in front of a real fighter who isn't going to fade.'

Ricky Hatton comeback: Michael Katsidis wants to fight Hitman on November 24

Hatton v Katsidis Dangerous Aussie fighter ready to take on returning Hitman

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UPDATED:

12:05 GMT, 25 September 2012

Aussie ring warrior Michael Katsidis is ready to step up and challenge Ricky Hatton in the former two-weight world champion's return on November 24.

The Hitman, who is back after a three-year absence, is expected to announce on Friday his opponent for his eagerly-anticipated comeback at the Manchester Arena later this Autumn.

Despite losing four of his last five bouts, Katsidis would provide a stern test should Hatton opt to take on the dangerous lightweight.

Comeback kid: Ricky Hatton is returning to the ring on November 24 at the Manchester Arena

Comeback kid: Ricky Hatton is returning to the ring on November 24 at the Manchester Arena

'At this stage there have been no discussions,' Katsidis' representative Matthew Tripp told the BBC.

'But it is something we would consider depending on the purse and depending on the weight.

'It wouldn't be a problem to fight in Manchester. Michael has been over to Britain and he's won two world titles over there.

'We have had nothing from their camp at the moment. But 24 November would give us enough time – Michael is in full training at the moment.'

The 32-year-old from Queensland is a former two-time WBO interim lightweight champion but can step up to light-welterweight.

Dangerous: Aussie Katsidis destroyed Kevin Mitchell in May 2010 at Upton Park

Dangerous: Aussie Katsidis destroyed Kevin Mitchell in May 2010 at Upton Park

He famously destroyed Kevin Mitchell at Upton Park in 2010 before falling to Scottish lightweight king Ricky Burns in a unanimous points defeat in London last year.

Despite not yet naming his opponent, Hatton has nearly sold out the Manchester venue with very few tickets remaining for his homecoming.

But a mouth-watering showdown against the all-action Katsidis would certainly see them snapped up in no time.

Andy Murray arrives in Dunblane for homecoming parade

Welcome home, champ! Murray arrives in Dunblane celebrate US Open title and Olympic gold medal

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UPDATED:

14:50 GMT, 16 September 2012

Andy Murray arrived in his hometown of Dunblane on Sunday to a hero's welcome.

The Scot clinched his first Grand Slam title on Monday by beating Novak Djokovic in a thrilling five-set final at the US Open in New York.

That followed an Olympic gold medal won earlier this summer by the British No 1, when he beat Roger Federer – the man who toppled him in an emotional Wimbledon final back in July.

Homecoming: Murray is welcomed back home by adoring crowds in Dunblane

Homecoming: Murray is welcomed back home by adoring crowds in Dunblane

Homecoming: Murray is welcomed back home by adoring crowds in Dunblane

Crowds lined the streets of Dunblane as Murray was paraded around the town, showing off his medals, meeting fans and signing autographs.

Six-time grand slam champion Boris Becker believes Murray could end up with a similar career haul after breaking his duck at the US Open.

Becker acknowledged a 'golden' period for Murray since taking on Ivan Lendl, who won eight grand slam singles titles in his own playing days, as his coach.

The German told BBC Radio Five Live's
Sportsweek programme: 'Andy is 25 and has matured, he has played for a
number of years at a high level, and the hiring of Ivan Lendl was
golden.

'They're making
a great team, he had a great Wimbledon final and won the Olympic gold
medal, beating Djokovic and Federer along the way.

'I
don't think Andy Murray played his best tennis at the US Open. He found
a way to win and he played his best tennis when it mattered most.

Champion: Andy Murray celebrates his US Open win in New York on Monday

Champion: Andy Murray celebrates his US Open win in New York on Monday

Champion: Andy Murray celebrates his US Open win in New York on Monday

'It's a life-changing moment for him, the monkey is off his back now and he can breathe a little bit.'

Becker's
grand slam haul included three Wimbledon titles and three further
successes on the hard courts of the United States and Australia, with
the French Open the only major to elude him.

The 44-year-old expects Murray's career to unfold along similar lines and can also see him challenging seriously for the world No 1 ranking as early as next year.

'I think he'll win a couple more grand slams and be challenging for the No 1 ranking in the world,' he said. 'He's always challenging, three of the four grand slams suit him, so I wouldn't be surprised if he wins two, three, four or five more.

'I think the ranking position is clear at the moment, Djokovic or Federer will be No 1 at the end of the year, but I wouldn't be surprised by May or June if it's awfully close.'

Sheffield United to name stand after Jessica Ennis

All stand for Jess! Olympic golden girl Ennis honoured by Sheffield United

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UPDATED:

09:49 GMT, 31 August 2012

She captured the hearts and imagination of the whole nation with her heptathlon gold at the London Olympics and now Jessica Ennis is being honoured by her favourite football club.

Sheffield United has announced the Steel City's golden girl is to have a stand named after her at Bramall Lane.

The double-tier Bramall Lane Stand, which serves as the away end, is to be re-christened 'The Jessica Ennis Stand' this weekend.

Our Jess: Ennis was greeted by 20,000 fans on her homecoming in Barker's Pool, Sheffield

Our Jess: Ennis was greeted by 20,000 fans on her homecoming in Barker's Pool, Sheffield

New name: The Bramall Lane End at Sheffield United will now be called 'The Jessica Ennis Stand'

New name: The Bramall Lane End at Sheffield United will now be called 'The Jessica Ennis Stand'

Ennis, 26, is a Blades supporter like her family and fiance Andy Hill.

Club owner Kevin McCabe said: 'It is an appropriate and fitting tribute to re-name our Bramall Lane double tier stand after one of the finest athletes this country has ever produced.

'Jessica and her family are Unitedites and after discussions with them we all agreed that renaming the Bramall Lane stand after her would provide an additional sporting legacy from the London Games, a permanent reminder that will hopefully act as an inspiration to other youngsters to come forward and achieve their dreams through sport.'

He added: 'I have been fortunate enough to meet Jessica and her family. They are wonderful ambassadors for this city and sport. I am delighted Sheffield United and our fans can support and recognise Jessica through the re-naming of the stand.'

Golden Girl: Ennis was awarded with the Freedom of Sheffield by the city council

Golden Girl: Ennis was awarded with the Freedom of Sheffield by the city council

The stand will be officially renamed at Saturday's home League One match with Bournemouth on Saturday, where Jess will be represented by her sister Carmel.

Jess said of the honour: 'Winning the gold medal at the Olympics was amazing, and to be honest it still hasn't really sunk in.

'It is also wonderful and totally unexpected to have further recognition from within Sheffield and from the football club.

'I met Kevin McCabe at the civic reception in Barker's Pool and he mentioned that the club would like to recognise me winning the gold medal.

'I never expected when I started out in athletics in Sheffield all those years ago that I would have a football stand at Sheffield United named after me.

'I can't be at the match on Saturday but look forward to coming down on a match day very soon when I can see for myself how the stand looks as well as being able to meet supporters.'

All-round star: Ennis won the 800m to confirm gold in the seven-event heptathlon at the Olympics in London

All-round star: Ennis won the 800m to confirm gold in the seven-event heptathlon at the Olympics in London

Ennis was greeted by 20,000 fans at a civic reception in Sheffield city centre on August 17 and was presented with the Freedom of the City.

Her plaque on the city's Walk of Fame was also updated to acknowledge her gold medal success.

And the Royal Mail painted a postbox near the Town Hall gold in her honour.

Rafael van der Vaart Hamburg move scrapped

Van der Vaart homecoming on scrapheap after Hamburg chief cancels 9.5m deal

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UPDATED:

23:15 GMT, 23 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Rafael Van Der Vaart’s wish to return to Hamburg has been scuppered after the club’s billionaire benefactor decided against bankrolling it.

Encouraged by earlier assurances that they could count on financial backing from 75-year old local businessman Klaus-Michael Kuehne, Hamburg registered their interest in Tottenham midfielder Van der Vaart and were in advanced talks with about signing him for 9.5million.

But they were forced to ditch their interest after Kuehne, whose wealth from his transportation and logistics business makes him Germany’s seventh richest man, pulled the plug on the deal.

No go: Rafael van der Vaart's move has been scuppered

No go: Rafael van der Vaart's move has been scuppered

Club officials confirmed last night they couldn’t hope to proceed without Kuenhe’s input and that the transfer was off.

The about-turn is a setback for van
der Vaart, whose wife works near Hamburg and who admitted just two
months ago that he ‘still loves the club’ after spending three seasons
there, prior to joining Real Madrid.

Kuenhe seemed to be urging Hamburg to
follow up their long-standing interest in van der Vaart earlier this
summer when he said: ‘I am an investor for new players and definitely
available. Hamburg must land a big transfer, because that will attract
more top players and make us even stronger.’

Asked whether it was his intention to sell the Holland international, the Portuguese said: 'No, on the contrary. He's a player of great importance for us, a player I count on.

'I'm not sure if Hamburg are interested but he's a player who at the moment is not for sale. Anything can happen but he's a player we are counting on.'

Spurs put great effort into landing Gylfi Sigurdsson this summer amid strong interest from Liverpool.

Plans: Andre Villas-Boas wants to keep Van der Vaart at the club

Plans: Andre Villas-Boas wants to keep Van der Vaart at the club

Villas-Boas seems to have a lot of faith in the former Hoffenheim player, but denied that Van der Vaart is no longer in his first-team plans.

'Rafa was very unlucky because when he came from his vacation after the Euros he got injured in the game against LA Galaxy so he missed most of our pre-season in America and Sigurdsson was with us all pre-season,' Villas-Boas said.

'He couldn't therefore play against Watford and Valencia so he came back late for selection and it was pretty straightforward to select Sigurdsson for the Newcastle game.

'Now Rafa has trained with us all week and he's looking strong and in contention.'

LONDON OLYMPICS 2012: Louis Smith doubts he"ll compete at Rio Games

I doubt I'll go on to compete at Rio Games, says Britain's gymnastics hero Smith

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UPDATED:

14:35 GMT, 18 August 2012

Gymnast Louis Smith admits he is savouring the post-Olympic whirlwind but revealed London is likely to be his last Games.

The 23-year-old won silver on the pommel horse and helped Great Britain's men to their first Olympic team medal in a century, but despite not adding a gold medal to the bronze he won four years ago in Beijing, Smith says he now wants to focus on another side of his life.

'Rio 2016 is a long time away and it feels a lot longer now I'm 23 and I'm going to be 27,' Smith said.

A Brit special: Louis Smith and decathlon legend Daley Thompson visit Huntingdon Gymnastics Club on Saturday

A Brit special: Louis Smith and decathlon legend Daley Thompson visit Huntingdon Gymnastics Club on Saturday

'I'm not a real spring chicken anymore, I'm getting on. I'm quite a family man and I can't wait to settle down. Am I going to be earning enough money to provide a good future for the time I need to settle down

'Now is a unique opportunity to set up a business and get my name out there while people know who I am and really set the rest of my life up. If I'm still doing gym for four years it's very hard to do both at the same time so I really have to think hard about what I want to do.

'The last four years has been fantastic and I've done a lot of media and it's hard to balance the both. I'm really ambitious and I want to do a lot more in the next four years than I did in the previous four years.'

Smith, who is being honoured with a homecoming in Peterborough today, suffered a dip in form after he broke up with a previous girlfriend and decided to avoid a similar thing happening in the run-up to London 2012 by staying single.

Now, the gymnast who is as famous for his swagger as his complicated pommel horse routines, is ready to see what else life has to offer.

Stunning: Smith performing on the pommel horse during the London Olympics

Stunning: Smith performing on the pommel horse during the London Olympics

Smith said: 'I can't wait to start mingling and chatting to girls and going on dates. I've only been on two dates in my life. That was before London. It was probably a couple of months after I split up with my ex-girlfriend I went on a couple of dates but I thought: 'You know what, I'm not going to bother with all this. I'm just going to chill out and see what happens after the Games.

'I think it's important to savour this moment and milk it. I've got a unique opportunity to do lots of work but it's important to focus on what I want to do in the future.

'I definitely want to go into some business work and media. I would love to do something in fashion. I think I'm quite stylish and I've got a lot of ideas in my head. I don't really know where to get started. I'd like to own my own business as well like a fun gym so I've got a lot to think about really.'

But for now, Smith at least wants a bit of time to reflect on his Olympic achievements.

He said: 'I go on holiday tomorrow to Spain so that should be a nice break because it's been non-stop since the Olympics.

'I'm so sad that all this Olympics thing has finished. It's been seven years – I've been training since 2005 for this moment and the fact that it's all done is almost a bit sad.

Newcastle"s Davide Santon wanted by Lazio

Homecoming Lazio target Toon defender Santon after one year on Tyneside

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UPDATED:

06:25 GMT, 2 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Davide Santon could be on his way back to Italy after one disappointing at Newcastle, with Lazio leading the chase.

The full-back moved to Tyneside last summer in a 5million deal from Inter Milan but was hampered by injuries.

Once one Italy's most hailed young players under Jose Mourinho, Santon mustered just 19 indifferent appearances at Newcastle.

Night on the Toon: Davide Santon is being chased by Serie A giants Lazio

Night on the Toon: Davide Santon is being chased by Serie A giants Lazio

Last week the versatile full-back insisted he was happy on Tyneside and that he was ready to kick-on when the new campaign kicks off later this month.

He said: 'I'm really good. I have recovered from a knee injury and now I’m facing the pre-season with Newcastle at my best.

'I am fine here, now I know what the coach wants and I’m ready to play a great season. I think we can fight for a place in the next Champions League, it’s hard but we can do it.

'AS Roma wanted me but Newcastle replied that I was not for sale and I am glad of this.'

However fresh interest from his homeland may yet prove decisive if Newcastle continue with their recruitment policy over the summer.

Andy Carroll ready for Newcastle return

Show me the way home! Miffed Carroll ready for Toon return after snub

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UPDATED:

23:31 GMT, 16 July 2012

Andy Carroll has paved the way for a dramatic return ‘home’ by admitting that he wants to re-join Newcastle.

Having harboured hopes he would be able to convince Brendan Rodgers of his suitability for the new Liverpool, Carroll has now been forced to reluctantly accept that he must move on to play regular football.

Homecoming: Carroll looks set for a switch back to Newcastle

Homecoming: Carroll looks set for a switch back to Newcastle

Newcastle had an approach to take the England international on a season-long loan firmly rebuffed by Liverpool on Sunday night but they will now be expected to come back with another offer after receiving encouraging noises from Carroll’s entourage.

West Ham United, Fulham and Aston Villa have all stated their interest to varying degrees but it would appear Carroll would only want to go back to the Sports Direct Arena.

According to an unnamed friend, who was quoted in Monday’s Newcastle Evening Chronicle, Carroll is annoyed that he hasn’t had an opportunity to impress Rodgers.

'Annoyed': Carroll wanted the chance to impress Brendan Rodgers

'Annoyed': Carroll wanted the chance to impress Brendan Rodgers

‘From a professional point of view Andy is miffed that he wasn’t given the chance to show what he can do in front of new manager Brendan Rodgers,’ a close friend of Carroll’s said.

‘He was expecting to get at least pre-season to show what he could offer him. He ended last season on a high and wanted to continue that.

‘Now Newcastle are interested and Andy wants to come home. He’s already told Liverpool that too. He’s surprised Liverpool don’t want him anymore and doesn’t want to be where he is not wanted.’

Acrimonious departure: Carroll upset Magpies fans when he left in January 2011

Acrimonious departure: Carroll upset Magpies fans when he left in January 2011

Acrimonious departure: Carroll upset Magpies fans when he left in January 2011

As Liverpool paid 35million for Carroll in January 2011, they will play hard ball with any club enquiring about the striker and will not sell him on the cheap.

Liverpool would be looking to recoup at least half of what they initially paid for Carroll and will only do business if they receive a serious permanent offer or a loan deal with a commitment to buy.

Rodgers is looking to make additions to Liverpool’s squad and is keen on both Fulham’s Clint Dempsey and Joe Allen of Swansea but he admitted last week that his restructuring would not be done with huge amounts of cash.

Improving: Carroll scored for England at Euro 2012 after an indifferent season for Liverpool

Improving: Carroll scored for England at Euro 2012 after an indifferent season for Liverpool

Were Liverpool to offload Carroll, then, they would have more room for manoeuvre in the transfer market but no deal will be done until their valuation is met.

Carroll was not on Liverpool’s flight to Boston on Monday, as he is still on holiday and is expected to report back next week following his exertions at Euro 2012.

Reunion: Alan Pardew managed Carroll for a short spell in 2010-11

Reunion: Alan Pardew managed Carroll for a short spell in 2010-11

There is no suggestion that this saga will be resolved quickly and West Ham boss Sam Allardyce is refusing to give up hope of luring Carroll to Upton Park, despite the 23-year-old’s reticence.

'We would dearly love to have Andy Carroll with us but it is a complex situation,’ said Allardyce. ‘He is in no hurry; he doesn’t have to make a quick decision if he doesn’t want to. If Andy is going to leave Liverpool, he can wait and see how many (clubs) are interested.’

Amir Khan won"t be relegated to undercards, say Golden Boy

Khan still in demand to headline shows despite brutal knockout

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UPDATED:

22:02 GMT, 15 July 2012

Amir Khan will not be demoted to undercard status following the dramatic loss of his world title here in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Golden Boy, his US promoters, have not given up hope of a rematch with his knockout conqueror, even though there is no clause to that effect in the contract and Danny Garcia’s confrontational father has ruled out the possibility.

Richard Schaefer, Golden Boy chief executive, held out a range of opportunities, saying: ‘The rematch is the biggest fight out there in the welterweight division. but we will have to sit down with Team Garcia and Team Khan to see if they want to pursue that.

Beaten up: Amir Khan receives medical attention after losing to Danny Garcia

Beaten up: Amir Khan receives medical attention after losing to Danny Garcia

‘Alternatively, they could each have one fight before meeting again.’

For Khan, that would probably mean an England homecoming in a domestic clash with someone like Kell Brook.

If the Garcias resist the rematch, Schaefer can see Khan ‘moving on up to welterweight where there are any number of potential opponents’.

He added: ‘Think Devon Alexander (if he beats Randall Bailey), Robert Guerrero, or even a rematch with Paulie Malignaggi, whom Amir has beaten, but who has looked good again and won another world title since stepping up to the 147lb division.

Rocked: Khan reacts to being ht by Garcia

Rocked: Khan reacts to being ht by Garcia

‘That would draw a big crowd in the new arena in Brooklyn.

‘One thing for sure is that Amir will not become an undercard fighter. He’s too exciting for that. After this fight, who wouldn’t want to see him again With Amir you never know what’s going to happen, even if you sometimes feel you have to protect him from himself.

‘Of course you want to win, but the TV networks are beginning to see that it can be better to lose a thriller than win a stinker. HBO have said they want him back.

Down and out: Khan is knocked down by Garcia

Down and out: Khan is knocked down by Garcia

‘He’s not going to the back of the line just because he’s lost two fights. He’s a main event fighter.’

Khan, who was examined in hospital but then discharged, admitted: ‘I became complacent after winning the first two rounds so well. Looking back, I started carrying my hands too low and Danny took advantage with a fight-changing shot. I felt I could have carried on but I respect the referee’s decision to stop the fight.’

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Garcia said: ‘I needed to go in with a great fighter to show how good I am. I’ve done that thanks to Khan. He still kept throwing punches that hurt when he was in trouble but I would have died rather than have to go back to the hard streets of Philadelphia.’