Tag Archives: poisoning

Ricky Burns leaves Frank Warren

Burns continues Warren exodus as world champion 'quits' following Vazquez delay

By
Martin Domin

PUBLISHED:

09:54 GMT, 7 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

10:14 GMT, 7 March 2013

Ricky Burns has reportedly become the latest boxer to leave promoter Frank Warren.

The Scottish world lightweight champion has become increasingly frustrated after his unification fight with Miguel Vazquez was rescheduled for April 20.

Burns, 29, had been due to face the Mexican on March 16 at Wembley Arena but Warren released a doctor's certificate which claimed Vazquez was suffering from food poisoning.

Quit: World champion Ricky Burns has left promoter Frank Warren

Quit: World champion Ricky Burns has left promoter Frank Warren

Alex Morrison, Burns' manager, said: 'I regret it has come to this because I have known Frank for nearly 40 years, but it has to be for Ricky's sake.

'I felt we had to do something to stop Ricky stagnating. Two fights have been called off after he has trained hard for them and it was not even certain that the bout with Vazquez would have gone ahead on April 20.

'In fact, I now doubt very much that fight was ever going to happen. Vazquez was supposed to be sick but five days later I'm told he was seen sparring in the States.

Split: Burns with Warren

Split: Burns with Warren

'There were also a lot of issues I wanted settled before Ricky fought again and these were not concluded satisfactorily. I'm quite sorry this has happened, but I have to safeguard Ricky's future and he feels himself that he now wants to move in another direction.'

Burns has not fought since he stopped Kevin Mitchell in Glasgow in September and was left disappointed when first Liam Walsh and then Jose Ocampo pulled out of a proposed bout in December.

Should his departure be confirmed, Burns will follow in the footsteps of George Groves who defected to Matchroom earlier this week after pulling out his European super-middleweight title fight with Mohamed Ali Ndiaye.

Kell Brook, Tony Bellew and James Degale have also left Warren's stable in recent years.

A spokesman for the promoter declined to comment when contacted by MailOnline this morning.

Socrates dead: Farewell the genius Doctor who made football better

Farewell the genius Doctor who made football better

If the tall, elegant figurehead of Brazilian football in the 1980s had to die too young then at least he chose the most aptly named place in which to do so.

Socrates passed away on Sunday in the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo.

What’s in a name

Legend: Socrates won 60 caps for Brazil but never lifted the World Cup

Legend: Socrates won 60 caps for Brazil but never lifted the World Cup

Socrates Brasileiro Sampaio de Souza Vieira de Oliveira was anything but the caricature footballer who kept his brains in his boots.

The Doctor — the pseudonym given him because he insisted on graduating in medicine before turning professional at 25 — based his version of Brazil’s Beautiful Game on intelligence and philosophy more than skill and samba.

In the spirit of the true bohemian intellectual, he failed completely to fulfil his strolling mastery of the game . . . and has now fallen, a fatal victim of his louche lifestyle at just 57.

The official cause of death is given as septic shock following food poisoning.

Success: Socrates is mobbed after scoring for Brazil

Success: Socrates is mobbed after scoring for Brazil

The reality is that all the years of hard drinking and heavy smoking had left that gangly body too weak to recover from a dodgy stroganoff. That followed two previous spells in hospital since August as he awaited a liver transplant which never came, while reflecting: ‘I have looked upon alcohol as a partner in my life.’

Now his end comes to seem as inevitable as it is poignantly in character.

Socrates — all 6ft 4in of him — bestrode the midfield with unhurried disdain. It was that aloofness which gave him the time to stroke his signature long passes to the likes of Zico and Falcao, the Brazilian poster boys of the decade. It was that air of semi-detachment which, despite his height, left him unnoticed as he ambled forward to score priceless goals — 22 of them in his 60 appearances for his country.

Perhaps the beard and the headband deceived opposing defenders into taking him lightly, to their cost.

Tall order: Socrates (right) before Brazil played Argentina in 1982

Tall order: Socrates (right) before Brazil played Argentina in 1982

Socrates was nothing if not serious. Once, in company with the equally profound Brazilian manager Joao Saldanha, we sat for hours drinking brandy and coffee at a pavement cafe in Rio talking politics and poverty rather than football and the Mundial.

Perhaps he knew in his soul he would be denied the ultimate glory. He was supposed to captain a then rampant Brazil to World Cup triumph in Spain 82.

He scored against Italy but was sent home by Paolo Rossi’s hat-trick.

The cherished armband was taken from him in Mexico 86 and the aura of melancholy genius settled upon him permanently when, in his last game for Brazil, he missed the first penalty in a quarter-final shootout against France.

Drinks are on me: Socrates pulling pints during his time with Garforth Town

Drinks are on me: Socrates pulling pints during his time with Garforth Town

Later — although he won a smattering of club honours with Botafogo, Corinthians, Flamengo and Santos, though not with Fiorentina in one bleary social season in Italy — he chose to write a bizarre postscript to a fascinating career.

Socrates came out of retirement in 2004 to travel to Garforth Town, that non-League tributary in northern England. He played 12 minutes as a substitute against Tadcaster Albion before returning to his medical practice and his football and political commentating in Sao Paulo.

We should have expected nothing less — or more — from a man who idolised Che Guevara, John Lennon and Fidel Castro. When he named one of his six sons Fidel, his mother chided him for giving the boy such a burden.

He replied: ‘Look what you did to me.’

Not that he failed her. This Socrates will for ever be remembered as the thinking man’s footballer.