Tag Archives: infection

Ricky Burns versus Miguel Vazquez rescheduled

Burns' title clash with Vazquez rescheduled for April after Mexican eats dodgy seafood

By
Martin Domin

PUBLISHED:

01:10 GMT, 4 March 2013

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UPDATED:

21:05 GMT, 4 March 2013

Ricky Burns' world title unification fight against Miguel Vazquez has been rescheduled for April 20.

The Scot was due to tackle the IBF lightweight champion at Wembley Arena on March 16 but the Mexican has been suffering from a severe viral infection after contracting food poisoning from seafood.

Nathan Cleverly's mandatory world light-heavyweight title defence against Robin Krasniqi has also been moved to the later date.

Disappointed: Ricky Burns' fight with Miguel Vazquez has been rescheduled for April 20 at Wembley Arena

Disappointed: Ricky Burns' fight with Miguel Vazquez has been rescheduled for April 20 at Wembley Arena

A doctor's report dated February 25, seen by Sportsmail, revealed that Vazquez presented with a temperature of 40C along with sickness and a fast heart rate. He was advised to rest for at least 10 days.

Promoter Frank Warren said: 'It’s very unfortunate that Vazquez has had to withdraw so close to the fight, but it is on medical grounds, which is beyond my control, due to his viral infection, and we have his doctor’s certificate confirming this.

'Therefore I have had to postpone the fight, not canceled as stated in some media reports, to Saturday April 20 at Wembley Arena. Everybody is disappointed by this postponement, but we have worked hard to ensure that Ricky’s unification fight still goes ahead.'

Burns, who holds the WBO belt, had earlier revealed his disappointment at the news.

He tweeted: 'Absolutely gutted this fight ain't happening, another training camp n it's fell through! Not only that, feel sorry for the fans, my friends and family who have now booked tickets, flights and hotels for 2 fights for it to fall through. Sorry every1!'

Switch: George Groves will announce his move to rival promoter Matchroom

Switch: George Groves will announce his move to rival promoter Matchroom

The 29-year-old had been due to fight first Liam Walsh and then Jose Ocampo last December but both pulled out at short notice.

His fight with Vazquez was announced in January but last month the Mexican cast doubt over whether it would go ahead.

'There
is nothing concrete,' he said. 'I am waiting on the response from the
promoters. If they come to an agreement, there will be a fight.'

The announcement follows the shock defection of George Groves to rival promoter Eddie Hearn which is expected to be confirmed on Monday.

The super-middleweight was also due
to fight on the London card but will instead fight a week earlier at the
same venue on Matchroom's 'London's Finest' bill.

Last man standing: Nathan Cleverly's title defence against Robin Krasniqi has also been rescheduled

Last man standing: Nathan Cleverly's title defence against Robin Krasniqi has also been rescheduled

A statement from Warren Promotions
confirmed: 'George Groves has withdrawn from the Wembley Arena show
promoted by Frank Warren on Saturday March 16.

'Groves was due to challenge for the vacant European super-middleweight title against Mohamed Ali Ndiaye that Mr. Warren won the purse bid for on January 11.

'Groves has stated that he is not interested in boxing for the EBU title at this moment and would like to take his choice of fights in another direction.

'Mr Warren would like to wish George all the best with his career and looks forward to working again with him in the near future.'

Cleverly is also reported to have been suffering from a virus which left him unable to train for five days while Dereck Chisora remains hopeful of returning to the ring next month but has yet to have his hearing with the British Boxing Board of Control after his license was revoked last year.

Rafael Nadal out of Abu Dhabi exhibition tournament with virus

Virus delays Nadal's comeback as former world No 1 forced out of Abu Dhabi tournament

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UPDATED:

17:12 GMT, 25 December 2012

Rafael Nadal's long-awaited return from injury has been delayed further after he pulled out of this week's exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi with a virus.

The 11-time Grand Slam champion made the announcement on his Facebook page on Christmas Day saying he was 'very disappointed' to miss out after seven months on the sidelines with a left knee problem.

Nadal has not played since suffering his shock second-round exit at Wimbledon to unheralded Czech Lukas Rosol.

Blow: Rafael Nadal's comeback has been delayed due to a virus

Blow: Rafael Nadal's comeback has been delayed due to a virus

Despite the setback Nadal, 26, claimed he had recovered from his knee problem and that doctors had advised his withdrawal after a stomach infection had caused his illness.

'Everything was ready and I am eager to return to competition but the doctors have forbidden me from competing in Abu Dhabi due to a stomach infection that has left me with a fever,' Nadal wrote.

'My recovery has gone well – my knees are better – and I was eager to return to competition. I'm sorry for my fans in the Emirates and throughout the world. I hope to be there the coming year.

'I am very disappointed that I will not be able to compete in Abu Dhabi this year.'

Nadal had made a slower-than-expected recovery from his knee problems in the summer to delay his return.

The 26-year-old attempted to ease any concerns that this latest blow represented a further setback, saying his rehabilitation remained on course ahead of the start of the Australian Open on January 14.

'My rehab has gone well, my knee feels good and I was looking forward to competing,' he said. 'Unfortunately doctors have informed me that my body needs to rest in order to fight this stomach virus.'

Rory McIlroy wins DP World Tour Championship

Double delight for McIlroy as Race to Dubai winner seals DP World Tour Championship

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UPDATED:

17:34 GMT, 25 November 2012

All week Rory McIlroy had talked about his determination to finish the season in grand style, but surely even he didn't dream of winning the DP World Tour Championship in such breathtaking fashion.

Dressed in Tiger red, what transpired on a stunning Sunday afternoon on the Earth Course was right up there with anything Tiger produced in his prime.

As expected, a wonderful battle unfolded between him and an Englishman.

Scroll down for interview video

What a year: Rory McIlroy celebrates his DP World Tour Championship and race to Dubai victories

What a year: Rory McIlroy celebrates his DP World Tour Championship and race to Dubai victories

Say cheese: Caroline Wozniacki captures McIlroy's big moment

Say cheese: Caroline Wozniacki captures McIlroy's big moment

But while world No 2 Luke Donald was troubled by a sinus infection and would finish in a tie for third, it was Justin Rose who came through to play the round of his life.

Rose's 62 not only lowered the course record by two shots, it was two better than any round he had previously played in his career.

When he signed off after one of the putts of the season on the 18th, he was two clear of McIlroy, who had just birdied the 14th.

Remember the way Woods used to sense danger and respond accordingly That power now lies with the remarkable Northern Irishman, who followed that birdie with four more to win by two strokes.

After watching Ian Poulter finish their fourballs match at the Ryder Cup on Saturday with five birdies, here he had produced a similar thrilling spree of his own. Watched by record crowds here, it made for a captivating show.

Size does matter: McIlroy gets to grips with the huge prize he scooped for winning the race to Dubai

Size does matter: McIlroy gets to grips with the huge prize he scooped for winning the race to Dubai

Big finish: McIlroy birdied the last to put the cap on a fantastic few days at the Earth Course

Big finish: McIlroy birdied the last to put the cap on a fantastic few days at the Earth Course

That's my boy: Wozniacki was there to watch Rory succeed in Dubai

That's my boy: Wozniacki was there to watch Rory succeed in Dubai

Race to Dubai – final standings

1 Rory McIlroy 4,445,925
2 Justin Rose 3,035,589
3 Louis Oosthuizen 2,567,581
4 Peter Hanson 2,435,109
5 Ian Poulter 2,079,331
6 Branden Grace 2,015,889
7 Luke Donald 1,912,004
8 Francesco Molinari 1,784,477
9 Graeme McDowell 1,566,840
10 Paul Lawrie 1,538,907
11 Nicolas Colsaerts 1,406,284
12 Lee Westwood 1,346,441
13 Matteo Manassero 1,284,926
14 Marcel Siem 1,102,673
15 Thorbjorn Olesen 1,054,682
16 Charl Schwartzel 986,270
17 Rafa Cabrera Bello 975,406
18 David Lynn 973,614
19 Jamie Donaldson 926,885
20 Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano 888,277

And so all the spoils went to McIlroy on the final afternoon of the European Tour season, as he claimed 838,000 for the tournament to go alongside the 629,000 bonus that was already his for winning the Race to Dubai.

'It is a great way to end a great year,' said McIlroy. 'I came here with that intention and to pull it off feels tremendous.

'It was a dream finish, managing all those birdies and a wonderful way to go into my break. Now I can really enjoy it.'

There were many shots down the stretch that were memorable but his play at the 17th and 18th holes, in particular, stood out.

Tied with Rose standing on the 17th tee, he produced a bullet of an iron shot that finished 6ft short of the flag and he holed the birdie putt.

Then, at the par five 18th, and with
the green clearly reachable in two, the 23 year old emphasised his
growing maturity by resisting the temptation to grandstand and playing
for a par five.

As it turned out, he pitched from 85 yards to 12ft and holed the birdie putt to make it a two-stroke triumph rather than one.

It was Rory's day, then, but it was difficult not to feel an ounce of sympathy for the two Englishman left in his wake.

Donald didn't need to say anything about the sinus problem that has dogged him throughout his career. You could see it in his bloodshot eyes and hear it in his voice.

He's put if off for years but no longer…he will have a sinus operation in a fortnight.

What a round: Justin Rose finished with a 62 to claim second place behind McIlroy

What a round: Justin Rose finished with a 62 to claim second place behind McIlroy

As for Rose, his experienced caddie Mark Fulcher called his man's 62 'the greatest round of golf I have ever seen in my life.'

It contained a signature finish, too, as Rose had a putt from all of 100ft at the last. About three-quarters of the way, there was a ridge the ball had to just fall over if it was to finish next to the hole.

As Rose said:'It was one of those hero or zero putts, where you look like an idiot if the ball stops just short of the ridge but thankfully it just crawled over.'

He gave a joyous clenched fist salute when it almost went in, before heading for the practice ground.

At worst, it looked like he would be in a play-off. But then came Rory and a year that was already celebratory had just been given a glorious exclamation point.

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Darts ace Ted Hankey forced to deny legless jibes after missing the board twice – watch the video

Which doubles was he going for Darts ace forced to deny 'legless' jibes after missing the board twice (and bookies refund bets)

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UPDATED:

15:28 GMT, 14 November 2012

Ted Hankey has blamed a chest infection for his 'legless' display in Tuesday's Grand Slam of Darts.

The two-time BDO world champion averaged just 59 as he crashed to a 5-0 defeat against Michael Van Gerwen.

Hankey appeared dishevelled and confused on the Oche and had to be corrected by the score caller when requiring 35 to win the first leg, he hit an eight and thought he still needed 25.

Under the weather: Ted Hankey struggled through his match

Under the weather: Ted Hankey struggled through his match

Hankey lost the first leg after Van Gerwen hit double 1 and his performance rapidly deteriorated.

Paddy Power decided to refund just over 2,000 to punters who had backed him.

A Paddy Power spokesperson said: 'Hankey, looked (ahem) well off the pace missing the board twice and only
averaging a meagre 59 on his way to a 5-0 hammering at the hands of Van
Gerwen.

'Having looked at the footage it's clear to us that Hankey was aiming at the wrong types of doubles, those who backed him never got a run for their money and the only fair thing to do is to refund them their stake.'

Ted Hankey

But Hankey's manager
David Stevenson dismissed claims he was not fit to play.

He said: 'About 3 hours before the game Ted complained of feeling
dizzy and light headed. He said that as he started his walk on his legs went
like jelly and he felt as weak as a kitten. Ted's infection had put pressure on
all his senses, most particularly his balance and eye-sight as he could barely
see out of his left eye.

Struggle: Ted Hankey crashed to 5-0 defeat

Struggle: Ted Hankey crashed to 5-0 defeat

'Ted wanted nothing more than to play,
especially after finding some form the day before and is absolutely gutted as he
feels he's let everyone down who has supported him. Ted thought finishing the
game was the right thing to do, so instead of retiring he saw the game out. Ted
would personally like to thank all his fans for their wonderful comments of
support.'

Hankey was diagnosed with a severe chest
infection by his doctor on Wednesday, and has been prescribed antibiotics and rest.

Seeing double with beer darts

Ryan Bertrand will not use Twitter again

Bertrand will not return to Twitter after debacle over explicit post

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UPDATED:

17:22 GMT, 14 October 2012

Ryan Bertrand has told his friends he will never use Twitter again and deleted his account after the controversy which erupted over his reaction to claims he had withdrawn from the England squad with a sore throat.

The illness turned out to be a viral infection which prevented him playing any part in Friday's World Cup qualifier with San Marino and on Sunday he was also ruled out of Tuesday's trip to Poland.

No return: Ryan Bertrand deleted his account

No return: Ryan Bertrand deleted his account

In the immediate aftermath of his first withdrawal becoming known, Bertrand said: 'Just to clarify…. Its not a “sore throat” Im ill. swollen glands in my neck… And constant headache for 3 days now and freezin cold.

'Do you think a “sorethroat” could stop me being apart of a match for my club or country #yourf******nuts this is what every boy dreams of.'

Although Bertrand was far more vague than Cole, who has accepted a misconduct charge after making a direct attack on the FA, he quickly realised his error.

'sorry if i offended anyone by swearing as i don't encourage that type of language,' he said, 'was just disappointed at the thought of people thinking i only have a sore throat.. which is not the case…'

Bertrand deleted his account after deciding his presence on the popular social networking site was a hassle he could do without.

His international team-mate Phil Jagielka insists there is no chance of him opening a Twitter account and becoming embroiled in similar controversy.

The Everton defender admits he is not a fan of social networking and does not participate.

Not for me: Phil Jagielka does not want to use Twitter

Not for me: Phil Jagielka does not want to use Twitter

Jagielka said: 'I don't have a Twitter account. There is maybe one in my name but it is not me. I've never been a fan of Twitter.

'I don't really get why people do it but that's up to them. I have never had Facebook, Myspace, any of those things.

'For me it is a bit more trouble than it's worth and I won't be signing up anytime soon.

'A lot of players love doing it, I can see why they do it. For me, it is not worth the hassle.'

London 2012 Games: Christine Ohuruogu right on track

Ohuruogu right on track to grab another Olympic medal

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UPDATED:

20:40 GMT, 21 June 2012

Upbeat: Christine Ohuruogu

Upbeat: Christine Ohuruogu

Eleven months have passed since
Britain's only reigning Olympic track champion won in her own event, the
400 metres, five years since she improved on her best time. Yet, going
into the trials, Christine Ohuruogu talks of it as final preparation for
going to London 'to grab something I want'.

Far behind her are the days when in
Osaka and Beijing she caught the rest of the world flat-footed and
open-mouthed. Long gone are world and Commonwealth titles she once
owned.

She ended last year ranked 17th in
the world. Her best this year of 50.69sec ranks her ninth, outside the
likely Olympic finalists. World leader Sanya Richards-Ross has beaten
her in 14 out of 15 career races. Yet, none of the statistics disturb
Ohuruogu.

'I am pretty content with what is
happening,' she said. 'I am happy I am on track. It's not a time to get
over-anxious. I don't regard it as defending something (in London). I am
going to grab something I want, something the rest of the world wants,
and that really motivates me.'

She believes that rivals like Richards-Ross are ahead because they have simply run more often – tonight's race will be only her fourth of the season – but she won her world title, remember, after just two preparatory races.

Her fastest run this summer was her latest in New York when she ran with a slight chest infection. 'Another solid run and that's what you want, solid performances progressing,' she added. 'I try not to drag 2008 into my planning and preparation.

'Lloyd (Cowan, her coach) keeps a mental note of times then and now, but I've tried to break the connection. There were things that were relevant then to my training that I don't need now. My body is older. It's not as if I have been in a hole for a couple of years. I have been working, but things didn't work out how I planned.

'I am not a different person to what you saw before. I know I can run a better race than in 2008. That's what I'll try to do. What I want is to go there and give the best performance I can, to know I've done everything possible.'

Dave Mackay in hospital after chest infection

Spurs double-winner Mackay recovering in hospital after chest infection

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UPDATED:

21:51 GMT, 11 June 2012

Tottenham's 1961 double-winner Dave Mackay is recovering in hospital from a chest infection, the London club have confirmed.

Edinburgh-born Mackay, who won five trophies with Spurs in the 1960s, was admitted to a hospital in Nottingham on Saturday.

The club said in a short statement about the 77-year-old's condition: 'We all wish Dave a speedy recovery.'

Making a recovery: Dave MacKay is in hospital

Making a recovery: Dave MacKay is in hospital

Kenny Dalglish slams Liverpool players ahead of FA Cup final

Sort out bad attitude or you can forget winning FA Cup! Dalglish slams Kop flops

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UPDATED:

00:09 GMT, 2 May 2012

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish criticised his players' attitude after a much-changed side lost at home to Fulham but also questioned his own decision-making.

With Saturday's FA Cup final against Chelsea in mind the Scot made nine changes – leaving out the likes of Luis Suarez, Steven Gerrard and Craig Bellamy – but saw his team lose to Martin Skrtel's fifth-minute own goal.

Prior to the match Dalglish had challenged his squad to play for cup final places but admitted after the tally of dropped points at home reached an incredible 30 that he may have made a mistake.

CLICK HERE TO READ DOMINIC KING'S MATCH REPORT
Plenty to ponder: Dalglish watched his second-string side lost at home to Fulham

Plenty to ponder: Dalglish watched his second-string side lost at home to Fulham

'Their attitude was not right and if you get a bad attitude you are going to get a bad performance and that is what we got,' he said. 'I think that is an accurate appraisal.

'I am culpable as well as I changed a lot of players to try to give everyone an opportunity to get in the frame for Saturday.

'I suppose by doing that it was a contributory factor to what happened but you can only be fair. I tried to be fair and give everyone an opportunity – maybe I was wrong.

'There were one or two positives but there were too many negatives. We cannot play at that tempo, we have to play at a quicker tempo than that. We deserved nothing.'

Fulham recorded their first win at Anfield after 30 previous attempts and the only down side was manager Martin Jol was not there to see it as he missed his second successive match with a chest infection.

Net result: Skrtel's own goal was enough to seal the points for Fulham

Net result: Skrtel's own goal was enough to seal the points for Fulham

Net result: Skrtel's own goal was enough to seal the points for Fulham

However, unlike Saturday's woeful 4-0 defeat at Everton, first-team coach Billy McKinlay was expecting an easier phone call to his boss.

'Hopefully I'll have a better conversation with him than I did after the game on Saturday and that performance will cheer him up a bit,' he said.

'He was close to coming today but an extra day or two was needed to shake off this chest infection.'

McKinlay said he was not aware of Fulham's previously poor history on Merseyside – they had not won in 48 league visits to the city's two clubs.

'I wasn't aware. I don't worry about history or statistics too much,' he added. 'The response to Saturday's poor performance was evident and they deserve the plaudits.

Kop that! Liverpool have squandered a whopping 30 points at Anfield so far this season

Kop that! Liverpool have squandered a whopping 30 points at Anfield so far this season

Kop that! Liverpool have squandered a whopping 30 points at Anfield so far this season

'I am delighted. Many things pleased me tonight: the performance, first and foremost, with the result a consequence of that. I couldn't be more pleased. Everything which could go wrong went wrong on Saturday but tonight there were lots of pleasing things.'

The demoralising defeat prompted former Liverpool midfielder Jan Molby to say claim money has to be spent on players in the summer if they are to challenge for Barclays Premier League.

Liverpool take on Chelsea in the FA Cup final on Saturday looking to add to their earlier success in the Carling Cup and Molby feels that despite a poor league campaign two trophies would still signify a good season for Kenny Dalglish's side.

He told said: 'This season we can't deny it (being a cup side), hopefully that'll change next year. Sometimes you fall into seasons and you do particularly well.

'Sometimes you do particularly well in away games whereas Liverpool have fallen into doing well into cup competitions. I hope that is not going to be the way going forward, I hope we are going to get back to doing very well in the Premier League next season but if we can win two cups this year then it has been an extremely successful season.'

Voting with their feet: There were many empty seats around Anfield for the visit of the west Londoners

Voting with their feet: There were many empty seats around Anfield for the visit of the west Londoners

Voting with their feet: There were many empty seats around Anfield for the visit of the west Londoners

Ex-Denmark international Molby, who spent 12 years at Anfield and won two FA Cup finals, reckons the competition is still the best in the world and thinks the fans may rather see their side lift silverware than compete for a top four position in the league.

'Well I think it is the biggest there is,' he said. “We can talk about the Champions League and World Cup but I think this is the biggest. I have had no better feeling in my career than walking around Wembley after having won the FA Cup, that was the ultimate.

'I think it is really difficult because when you go to Wembley the feeling is great and the day lives in the memories of the fans – it has been six years since Liverpool have won anything so I think the fans would take a couple of trophies this season and then exchange those for a top four finish next season.'

Former Liverpool striker Fernando Torres has found form for the first time since his controversial move to Chelsea last January and Molby is under no illusions that the Champions League finalists will offer a tough test and that a winning goal from their former hero would hurt the Liverpool fans.

'There are a number of players you have to be worried about, Chelsea have shown over the last few weeks how good they are,' he said.

Repeat performance: Dalglish will be hoping to make it three wins in three recent visits to Wembley

Repeat performance: Dalglish will be hoping to make it three wins in three recent visits to Wembley

Repeat performance: Dalglish will be hoping to make it three wins in three recent visits to Wembley

'Fernando Torres is one of them, we know what he can do we know what he is capable of on his day, I just hope they start with (Didier) Drogba.

'I don't know if the pain will be easier to take if it is Drogba and not Torres (who scores a winning goal for Chelsea) but I hope it is a great game and I hope that Liverpool win.'

The 48-year-old Molby played under Dalglish during the Scot's first managerial reign at Anfield and is of the opinion there remains no better man for the job.

He said: 'I think as we stand here he is 100 per cent the right man, that might change in the long term; it is a project, it is going to take time.

'I hope the owners have more money and more appetite for spending in the summer because that is the only way I can see us getting closer to the top teams. As far as Kenny goes he is most definitely the right man.'

Firing blanks: It was another frustrating evening in front of goal for Carroll

Firing blanks: It was another frustrating evening in front of goal for Carroll

Tony Bellew beats Danny McIntosh

Bellew makes good on promise to destroy McIntosh with stunning fifth-round KO

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 27 April 2012

Tony Bellew reignited his world title chances with a devastating fifth-round TKO of Danny McIntosh to regain his British light-heavyweight crown at the Liverpool Echo Arena.

Bellew, out of action since losing his unbeaten record to Nathan Cleverly at the same venue for the WBO 175lb title in October last year, shook off the ring rust with a clinical performance in front of his hometown fans.

Bellew knocked down the challenger in round four and a brilliant overhand right ended the contest immediately after.

Tony Bellew celebrates beating Danny McIntosh

Tony Bellew celebrates beating Danny McIntosh

Bomber: Tony Bellew impressed as he defeated Danny McIntosh

The Bomber improved his record to 17-1, with 11 knockouts, and he will surely be champing at the bit for another shot on the world stage.

A return bout with Cleverly is perhaps the most obvious choice but Bellew insisted prior to Friday's fight that the Welshman has thus far shown little interest in engaging hostilities once more.

Nevertheless, the 29-year-old has not let future lucrative bouts affect his preparation in his build-up to facing McIntosh, who fell to 13-3.

Bellew labelled his domestic rival 'pathetic' for failing to turn up to Wednesday's press conference and vowed to make him pay in a bout that was supposed to take place two weeks ago but was suspended after McIntosh picked up a chest infection.

No coming back: Bellew delivered a devastating knock-out blow

No coming back: Bellew delivered a devastating knock-out blow

After a tentative opening in which both men landed decent right hands, Bellew stepped up his effort to deliver on his promise.

The Liverpudlian used his accurate jab to good effect and landed several crisp combinations before an overhand right hand towards the end of round two staggered McIntosh, who barely survived as Bellew went for the kill.

The champion was landing at will in the third round and McIntosh took to spitting out his gumshield after another concussive right hand found its mark.

Feel the force: Bellew (right) looked in impressive form against McIntosh

Feel the force: Bellew (right) looked in impressive form against McIntosh

He was down in round four after being pummelled along the ropes, but Bellew was denied the chance to end the fight by the bell once again.

McIntosh would not be saved a third time as Bellew ended an explosive contest with a tremendous finish.

Lunging forward, McIntosh left himself wide open and Bellew took advantage in clinical fashion with a right hand that sent the 32-year-old sprawling, with referee Terry O'Connor calling an immediate halt to proceedings 38 seconds into the round.

England strikers MUST stake claim for Ukraine

Stake claim for Ukraine! Strike duo must seize chance of Euro 2012 spot

When the three strikers still in the England squad have less than 90 minutes of international football between them, the withdrawal of Wayne Rooney with a throat infection could be considered something of a blessing this week.

It will not make beating Holland in Wednesday's friendly any easier. On the contrary, the confidence of Dutch boss Bert van Marwijk must be growing with each bulletin that comes from the FA. First they lose a captain, then a manager and now half the team.

But when the encounter at Wembley is also a key part of England’s preparation for this summer’s European Championship — and the last proper test given they face Norway and Belgium in the final run-outs before meeting France in Donetsk on June 11 — caretaker manager Stuart Pearce needs to make good use of it when it comes to his forwards.

Up for grabs: Danny Welbeck and Daniel Sturridge have a big opportunity to impress in the England friendly against Holland

Up for grabs: Danny Welbeck and Daniel Sturridge have a big opportunity to impress in the England friendly against Holland

With Rooney suspended for the group games against France and Sweden and Darren Bent out for three months with an ankle injury, Holland is a huge audition and an opportunity England could do with Danny Welbeck seizing.

Welbeck is a super player and has impressed at Manchester United this season. But he has played just 50 minutes of international football — only 14 of which were competitive — and that must change.

Daniel Sturridge is another option, even if he often plays wide for Chelsea. He, too, is an emerging star but his international opportunities have been even more limited: he has played just 32 minutes, as a substitute in last November’s friendly against Sweden.

When the third striker still standing is the untried Fraizer Campbell, the concern for Pearce, Harry Redknapp or anyone else, is legitimate. This is not a situation any manager would welcome so close to a major tournament.

It highlights the reliance England have on Rooney but also exposes how unprepared the team appear to be, even if it would be wrong to blame the FA for what has happened with John Terry and Fabio Capello.

Capable: Welbeck has already impressed in action for the Three Lions

Capable: Welbeck has already impressed in action for the Three Lions

WHO IS THE BETTER OPTION, STURRIDGE AND WELBECK

Sturridge: He has scored 11 goals in 30 games for Chelsea this season and, after four in 15 for England Under 21s, won his only senior cap to date from the substitutes’ bench in the 1-0 friendly win against Sweden last November.

Welbeck: The Manchester United man has nine goals in his 30 appearances for his
club this term. He made his England Under 16 debut at just 14 and a
year later was playing for the U17s. Has three senior caps, but is yet
to start or score.

As Pearce said last week, England are where they are and it is his job to try to make the most of this match against the World Cup runners-up, even if he should have included more senior defenders, like Joleon Lescott.

Welbeck is the one Pearce needs to focus on, even if it would be interesting to see Sturridge make an impact as well, perhaps out wide as a second-half replacement for the in-form Theo Walcott.

James Milner, a midfielder Pearce believes is potential captaincy material, yesterday expressed a view probably shared by a number of players in commenting on the loss of Capello.

‘It’s not ideal timing changing manager going into a major tournament,’ he said. ‘But as players we can’t control that. All we can control is how we play and hopefully do as well as we can.’

Big job: Temporary boss Stuart Pearce

Big job: Temporary boss Stuart Pearce

He dismissed concerns about the lack of experience among the forwards and the fact that two of the squad’s three centre halves have not appeared for England in that position. ‘I don’t think it’s a problem,’ he said. ‘The players are here because they are top players.

‘Danny Welbeck and Studge (Sturridge); their form this year is fantastic and they are playing for top teams. Welbs has played up front for England. He can play up there on his own.

‘Studge at Chelsea, a lot seems to be going through him. They are three very good players. That’s not an issue for this side. The centre halves the same. We’ve got the suspension of Wayne to deal with in the summer but it gives someone else a chance and it is a great opportunity.’

Pearce called a team meeting yesterday morning and those who played on Sunday, particularly those involved in the 120-minute Carling Cup final epic, were told they were not expected to perform for 90 minutes tomorrow.

That, it was thought, might point to someone other than Steven Gerrard being named captain but by last night Pearce had given no indication of his intentions.

Gerrard remains the strong favourite, even if Milner said he would be happy to take on the extra responsibility. ‘If I’m asked to do the job I will jump at the chance,’ he said.

Opening the door: Wayne Rooney will miss the first two games of Euro 2012

Opening the door: Wayne Rooney will miss the first two games of Euro 2012

Milner also gave his opinion on the appointment of Capello’s successor: in his view, the next manager does not necessarily have to be English. ‘It’s an England team full of England players,’ he said. ‘But as players you want the best man for the job. You just want the best people you can, from the manager to the physio to the kit man.’

On a positive note, Rooney declared yesterday that the squad, at least, is in better shape than two years ago.

‘As a team we go to the Euros better off,’ he said. ‘I feel we’ll be a lot better than we were against Germany at the World Cup. The goal is to try to win the competition — it’s been a long time since England won one.

‘Hopefully we can do well in the two matches I’ll miss. Then hopefully the manager brings me back and I’ve got a chance to help us do well. That’s obviously my aim. I think, as a team, we aim to try to do that. It will be down to the new manager who he takes to the finals.’

First, though, the current manager needs to help Welbeck establish himself as an England centre forward.