Tag Archives: promoters

Ricky Burns fights Jose Gonzalez May 11 Glasgow

Scotsman Burns to defend world title against unbeaten Gonzalez in Glasgow

By
Martin Domin

PUBLISHED:

12:04 GMT, 26 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

12:19 GMT, 26 March 2013

Ricky Burns will defend his WBO lightweight world title against Jose Gonzalez at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow on May 11.

The Scot, who recently defected from Frank Warren to rival promoter Eddie Hearn, has been out of action since beating Kevin Mitchell last September.

Burns, 29, had been due to face IBF champion Miguel Vazquez in London before switching promoters.

On home soil: Ricky Burns will defend his world title in Glasgow in May

On home soil: Ricky Burns will defend his world title in Glasgow in May

Burns had little choice but to face Gonzalez after the WBO threatened to strip him of the title if he looked elsewhere.

The governing body set a deadline of midnight last night and Eddie Hearn and Gonzalez’s promoter Peter Rivera agreed terms and contracts were signed.

'I’m really looking forward to May 11,' said Burns. 'He’s a big puncher with a great KO record, but I’ve been in with big punchers before and that doesn’t worry me in the slightest. It’s great to have the date and name sorted now so I can just focus on getting myself in great shape for a big night in Glasgow.'

Gonzalez, 29, has won all 22 of his professional contests, with 17 coming inside the distance.

'I'm very glad for this opportunity and it’s a dream come true fighting for the world tittle as the mandatory challenge,' he said. 'I'm not worried about fighting in Burns’ homeland. I'm preparing greatly for this fight and I'm sure I will bring the world title to my country.'

Hearn added: 'It’s been a tough few days and we’ve had plenty of obstacles to overcome, but I’m delighted to bring Jose Gonzalez to Glasgow for what I feel will be the beginning of a new era for Scottish boxing.

'Gonzalez is ranked No 1 in the world, undefeated and comes with a dangerous reputation. It’s imperative that we deal with our mandatory challenger to pave the way for big unification clashes but I believe Ricky will face his toughest test yet on May 11.

'We need the support of all the Scottish people as we begin a new journey and cannot wait to raise the roof of the stunning new Emirates Arena.'

Ricky Burns versus Miguel Vazquez cancelled

World champion Burns 'guttted' after unification title fight against Vazquez is called off

By
Martin Domin

PUBLISHED:

01:10 GMT, 4 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

08:07 GMT, 4 March 2013

Ricky Burns' world title unification fight against Miguel Vazquez is off.

The Scot was due to tackle the IBF lightweight champion at Wembley Arena on March 16 but the two parties were reportedly unable to agree terms.

Burns, the WBO belt holder, has not fought since he stopped Kevin Mitchell in Glasgow last September.

Disappointed: Ricky Burns' fight with Miguel Vazquez has been called off

Disappointed: Ricky Burns' fight with Miguel Vazquez has been called off

The 29-year-old was told the news by
promoter Frank Warren at the end of an already difficult week in which
super-middleweight George Groves split from his promotional outfit.

Burns 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!'

His manager, Alex Morrison, told The Scottish Sun: 'While there is talk of it being rescheduled within 30 days, Ricky and I are very unhappy.'

Burns 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.

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

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

'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 news 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.

Of the three title fights scheduled for March 16, only Nathan Cleverly's mandatory defence against Robin Krasniqi remains.

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

Last man standing: Nathan Cleverly faces Robin Krasniqi on March 16

Last man standing: Nathan Cleverly faces Robin Krasniqi on 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.'

Dereck Chisora, the shamed
heavyweight who was stripped of his licence last year after brawling
with David Haye, was due to return on the same night but is yet to have his hearing with the British Boxing Board of Control.

Audley Harrison Prizefighter return, Ricky Hatton on Let"s Dance for Comic Relief: Jeff Powell boxing column

Big mouth Audley is BACK but vows to let his fists do the talking, Price ready for Thompson and how Hatton entertained us

-Jeff-Powell-Ricky-Hatton-Manny-Pacquiao-more.html”>Jeff Powell's review of 2012, with Ricky Hatton, Manny Pacquiao and more
24/12/12

JEFF POWELL: De La Hoya on his way as Golden Boy applies for British license
17/12/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

Harrison has returned to London from his Los Angeles home to take part in the Prizefighter tournament at York Hall, Bethnal Green on Saturday.

But he has told promoter Eddie Hearn: 'Don't expect a word out of me before the night. I won’t be saying anything at the pre-fight media events.

This time I will be doing my talking with my fists.'

To which we can only say: Hear, Hear.

Harrison has kept us entertained down the years with his ego-centric monologues but after his collapses against David Haye and David Price the time really has come for him to throw punches,
not phrases.

Hearn says: 'Audley loves talking so it will be interesting to see if he can go through with this. I might help him by bringing some tape to the press conference and sticking it over his mouth.'

Promoters normally expect the boxers to help them market their shows and in that sense there are few better salesmen than Harrison. But Hearn is happy that the biggest name in his eight-man Prizefighter line-up has already sold out York Hall in record time.

Hearn says: 'We regularly sell out Prizefighter, usually with the last batch of tickets going in the week before the event.

'But this time the tickets all went within three days of the announcement that Audley is taking part. Maybe some fans want to see him knocked out but whatever the reason he still draws a crowd.'

Last time out: Harrison lasted just 82 seconds in Liverpool last October when David Price knocked him out

Last time out: Harrison lasted just 82 seconds in Liverpool last October when David Price knocked him out

A-farce: British boxing fans were left feeling short-changed after David Haye cruised to a three-round box office win over Harrison in 2010

A-farce: British boxing fans were left feeling short-changed after David Haye cruised to a three-round box office win over Harrison in 2010

Golden hour: Harrison was triumphant for Great Britain at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games

Golden hour: Harrison was triumphant for Great Britain at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games

Whether, at 40 now, this will be his last chance to do just that will depend upon how he fares on Saturday.

The winner has to win three three-round fights – quarter, semi and final – and if Harrison fails as spectacularly as he did against Haye and Price he could be forced into reluctant retirement.

However, a heavyweight Prizefighter triumph rescued his career once before and Harrison is such an enigma that it could happen.

The biggest dangers to him appear to be Martin Rogan, another former Prizefighter champion, the experienced Essex-based Pole Albert Sosnowski and American knock-out artist Travis Walker.

Ready to rumble: Martin Rogan

Hard-hitting: Travis Walker

Huge threats: Martin Rogan and hard-hitting American Travis Walker (right) are also in action at York Hall

The evening will also see the professional debut of Tom Stalker, the captain of Britain's successful boxing team at the 2012 Olympics.

Stalker's four-rounder against Kristian Laight will fill the gap between the second Prizefighter semi-final and the final.

Hearn says: 'It has seemed a bit unfair that the winner of the second semi has had so little time to recover. So we would like to fit in an attraction like this at every Prizefighter.'

Show time: Tom Stalker will make his professional debut on the Prizefighter card in Bethnal Green

Show time: Tom Stalker will make his professional debut on the Prizefighter card in Bethnal Green

Stalker fell angrily short of a medal at the London Games but his style would appear to be more suited to the professional game.

Nevertheless – be it morbid curiosity or not – Big Audley is the main attraction.

If this is to be his swansong, it would be churlish not to wish him well.

Prizefighter will be live on Sky Sports on Saturday night.

Price is all right and ready for Thompson fight

Contrary to a bizarre flurry of tweets suggesting that the fight is off, David Price is scheduled to continue his steady ascent towards a world heavyweight title shot by fighting American Tony Thompson in his home city of Liverpool on Saturday night.

Promoter Frank Maloney has condemned the rumours as a mischievous attempt to disrupt Price's progress but says: 'Although this has cost us a couple of days of ticket selling we still expect another big night in Liverpool.'

Thumbs up: David Price, who watched his beloved Liverpool thrash Swansea 5-0 on Sunday, will fight Tony Thompson this weekend

Thumbs up: David Price, who watched his beloved Liverpool thrash Swansea 5-0 on Sunday, will fight Tony Thompson this weekend

Maloney is guiding Price along a similar path to that by which he led Lennox Lewis to world heavyweight domination and the fight with Thompson – who is threatening to ruin those well-laid plans – represents another step in the right direction.

Two of Thompson's three defeats in a 39-fight career came at the fists of Wladimir Klitschko, who Price hopes to challenge for the majority of alpha-belts late this year or early in 2014.

Price v Thompson is live on BoxNation Saturday night via Sky Ch 437 or Virgin Ch 546.

Murray out to ruin the party for Martinez in Argentina

Martin Murray's audacious attempt to relieve Argentina's Sergio Martinez of the WBC world middleweight title in Buenos Aires will be screened live on BoxNation on April 27.

This is a fight which merits a wide audience and Murray deserves his chance to shine on international television.

Martinez is the world's outstanding middleweight and one of the top five pound-for-pound fighters in boxing today. But he is in his late 30s and Murray is hoping that this will be the night when he slips slightly into decline.

Tough nut: Martin Murray will travel to Argentina later this Spring to fight Sergio Martinez

Home favourite: Martinez will be hoping to give the people of Argentina cause for celebration when he puts his world title on the lone against Murray

Showdown: Martin Murray faces a daunting task in Argentina when he collides with Sergio Martinez (right)

Argentina's president is promoting the event, in a football stadium, as part of a national day of celebration.

Murray must also expect increased hostility from the large crowd at a time when the dispute over the Falkland Islands is heating up once more.

But if they were looking for a no-risk festivity they could have picked an easier oppnonent.

Murray is a hard man and at the very least he will put Martinez through a fierce physical test.

Thanks for entertaining us, Ricky

Ricky Hatton was almost as big a hit in his first performance on Let's Dance for Comic Relief as he used to be in the ring.

Sinisterly clad as a member of the group Kiss, the Hitman threw himself into his routine with all the gusto which characterised his fights.

His choice of tune was appropriate – the Robbie Williams hit Let Me Entertain You. Hatton has never failed to do that.

Scroll down to watch the video

Let's dance: Ricky Hatton performs on BBC's Let's Dance for Comic Relief

It's a knockout: Despite a brilliant routine to 'Let Me Entertain You', Hatton was voted off by the judges

It's a knockout: Despite a brilliant routine to 'Let Me Entertain You', Hatton was voted off by the BBC judges

His appearance drew a large TV audience – just as his big fights always sold out.

But the most encouraging sight for his legion of followers was that he looked in good physical condition and very happy three months after his retirement.

Hatton promised he would not revert to his binge-boozing and junk eating after his one-fight comeback and the signs are that he will keep his word.

VIDEO Hatton enacts Robbie's Let Me Entertain You for Comic Relief

Play Video

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Alexander passes up Money offer to hand Brook title shot

Despite a tweeted approach from Floyd Mayweather, Devon Alexander has promised to rearrange his world welterweight title defence against Kell Brook.

Despite the extra money he could make from fighting Mayweather, Alexander says: 'I owe this to Kell after postponing our fight because of my bicep injury.'

Brook will be even more encouraged to redouble his efforts in training if, as expected in the next few days, Mayweather confirms Robert Guerrero as the opponent for his comeback fight in Las Vegas on May 4.

Alexander versus Brook is being re-scheduled for late April or May.

Defending his title: Devon Alexander

Up for the fight: Kell Brook

Change of date: Devon Alexander (left) will re-arrange his postponed title fight with Kell Brook for April or May

Freddie Flintoff to fight Richard Dawson in Manchester Arena boxing debut

REVEALED: Flintoff set to fight American novice Dawson in debut boxing bout

|

UPDATED:

16:00 GMT, 9 November 2012

Andrew Flintoff is expected to make his professional boxing debut against two-fight novice Richard Dawson, Sportsmail can exclusively reveal.

The 23-year-old heavyweight from Oklahoma remains undefeated but has fought just five rounds in total since his first bout in February.

The American’s promoters expect to receive the contract later on Friday ahead of the fight on November 30 at the Manchester Arena.

One on one: Mike Tyson offers advice to Andrew Flintoff as he prepares for his boxing debut

One on one: Mike Tyson offers advice to Andrew Flintoff as he prepares for his boxing debut

Dawson’s first opponent Jimmy Lane
retired on his stool after the first of four scheduled rounds before he
was declared the unanimous winner against Jamell Williams in August.
Both boxers were deducted points for holding in what was a dull contest
which should give Flintoff hope.

The former England cricket captain
announced in September that he would be trained by Irish boxing legend
Barry McGuigan and his son Shane and his since lost over three stone in
weight during a gruelling regime.

The 34-year-old was granted a licence
by the British Boxing Board of Control but has come in for some fierce
criticism, particularly from promoter Frank Maloney who claimed Flintoff
will ‘shame the fight game’.

Flintoff, meanwhile, had a pep talk from former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson, who paid a visit to his gym.

Watching brief: Tyson with Flintoff's trainer Barry McGuigan

Watching brief: Tyson with Flintoff's trainer Barry McGuigan

‘It was amazing to meet Tyson because
as a kid he was one of my heroes,’ Flintoff said. ‘So to have him come
down to the gym – not only that, but to talk to me about it all was
amazing.

‘He spoke a lot about the emotion of
boxing and it was all relevant to how I was feeling. So to hear it from
Mike Tyson made me realise it was okay for me to feel like that too.

‘He
talked a lot about what he went through pre-fight and in the run up to a
fight; the emotional states he was in and the nerves he experienced
before he fought.

‘He
is obviously one of the best boxers ever, so hearing what he had to say
gave me a lot of inspiration. I went on the pads in the front of him
which was a pretty surreal experience.

Dream team: Tyson and Flintoff pose after the former world champion paid a visit

Dream team: Tyson and Flintoff pose after the former world champion paid a visit

‘I have really taken his comments on
board and I’ve just got my head down and am working hard to make small
improvements each and every day.’

Meanwhile, Denton Vassell will make
the third defence of his Commonwealth welterweight title against Ronnie
Heffron on the undercard in Manchester.

Bradley Saunders will face Peter McDonagh while Matthew Hall, Liam Williams and Lewis Rees will also be in action.

French Grand Prix could return in 2013, says Bernie Ecclestone

Ecclestone: We're ready to sign French Grand Prix deal

|

UPDATED:

12:35 GMT, 28 October 2012

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has stated the French Grand Prix could be back on the calendar as early as next year.

France, the birthplace of the sport, last held a race in 2008, but a lack of money and a failure to improve Magny Cours saw it fall by the wayside.

However, Ecclestone is ready to do a deal that would see the race up and running in 2013 as a replacement for the Grand Prix of America in New Jersey that has had to be delayed by a year due to construction woes.

Hats on: Ecclestone claims the French Grand Prix could return next season

Hats on: Ecclestone claims the French Grand Prix could return next season

After being presented with a painting and a book by Indian Grand Prix promoters to celebrate his 82nd birthday today and asked whether there was a chance of the French GP returning, he replied: 'As far as I'm concerned, yes.

'I'm hoping something can be done in a couple of weeks. We're ready to sign. We have a pen and we're ready to sign the contract.

'Which circuit they are going to use is one thing, and then who is going to pay for it, that's the bottom line.

'But we can do it next year. If they are ready then we can slot it in the calendar.'

Flying the flag: Magny-Cours could play host to the French Grand Prix

Flying the flag: Magny-Cours could play host to the French Grand Prix

Phil Duncan F1 blog

Other than Magny Cours, there is a chance the race could be held at Paul Ricard, which last staged a GP in 1990.

Ecclestone, meanwhile, has also confirmed the prospect of a cost cap being introduced from 2014, with the budget being set at 250million US dollars (155milllion).

Ecclestone added: 'We're looking at the right way to put it in. 'But I hate this word “cut”, just like that. It's not the way to go.

'What we are trying to do is reduce the necessity to spend money to be competitive so somebody can come into Formula One with a sensible budget and be competitive, not having to spend a fortune.

'I am talking about a maximum spend of everything within a Formula One team, driver salaries and whatever, with the exception of marketing.

'Once we have the principle agreed then we can reduce that amount.'

Amir Khan to fight Carlos Molina in Los Angeles on December 15

Return of the King! Khan sets December date with unbeaten Molina in LA

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UPDATED:

23:40 GMT, 5 October 2012

Amir Khan will fight unbeaten American Carlos Molina in Los Angeles on December 15, it was confirmed on Friday night.

The Bolton fighter is taking the fight as a step towards regaining the IBF and WBA light-welterweight titles he has lost over the past 12 months in defeats to Lamont Petersen and Danny Garcia.

Back to business: Amir Khan will return to the ring on December 15 in Los Angeles

Back to business: Amir Khan will return to the ring on December 15 in Los Angeles

It was known that Molina would be his next opponent, however the date and venue remained to be announced, and now fight promoters Golden Boy revealed it would take place at the Los Angeles Sports Arena.

Khan, 25, recently named American Virgil Hunter as his new coach, replacing Freddie Roach who parted company with the former Olympic silver medallist in the wake of July's defeat to Garcia.

Khan is due to hold a press conference in London on Tuesday to discuss his assignment against Molina.

James Degale wants world title

Degale determined to realise world title dream after switching promoters

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UPDATED:

14:42 GMT, 21 September 2012

Forgotten man James Degale is desperate to put a miserable year behind him and establish himself as one of the best super-middleweights in the world.

The 26-year-old Londoner has endured a frustrating spell on the sidelines since defending his European title against Italian Cristian Sanavia in April.

But having parted company with Frank Warren to join forces with Mick Hennessy, Degale is confident he can get his career back on track.

Cruise control: James Degale beat Cristian Sanavia in Denmark in April

Cruise control: James Degale beat Cristian Sanavia in Denmark in April

‘I’ve made my break from Frank Warren and I’m looking forward to the future.’ he told Sportsmail. ‘I spoke to some promoters in England and a couple from overseas before I chose Mick Hennessy.

‘I think I’ve made the right choice; he’s on terrestrial television and he’s been there and done it. He took Carl Froch to his world title so he knows the super-middleweight division inside out.’

Degale returns to action when he defends his belt for the second time at Bluewater in Kent on October 13.

‘I can’t wait to get back in the ring,’ he added. ‘I’ve been so inactive; to have had one fight this year is crazy. I need to be boxing four or five times a year.

‘I’ve been promised fights and shows have been cancelled. There has been a lot of rubbish in the background that people don’t see.

‘To be honest, I can’t say too much because I end up getting in trouble so I’m going to keep quiet. One day I’ll be able to tell the whole story.’

Degale, who expects to fight twice before the end of the year, continues to work with Jim McDonnell at his private gym in Lougthon, Essex.

And he is confident the change of promoters will return him to the public eye.

Olympic champ: Degale with the torch

Olympic champ: Degale with the torch

‘No disrespect to Box Nation, but because I won the European title on that channel, I’m not sure many people saw it; people think my last fight was against George Groves but I’ve had two since then,’ he said. ‘Now that I’m going to be on terrestrial television, hopefully it will boost my profile.’

Degale shot to fame after winning Olympic gold in Beijing in 2008 and made his professional debut the following year.

He won ten fights in succession before losing a contentious majority defeat to bitter rival Groves in May 2011.

But he bounced back immediately to edge the decision against Piotr Wilczewski to win the European strap.

And despite his lengthy lay-off, Degale insists he can reach world level sooner rather than later.

‘I’m very, very confident,’ he said. ‘I’ve been a professional for four years, that’s all. It feels like I’ve been around forever because I’ve been fast-tracked. I’ve been British champion and European champion and there was talk of me boxing for a world title.

‘My plan was to box for a world title this year but that hasn’t happened so it’s knocked my plans back by six to12 months,’

In joining Hennessy, who also looks after heavyweight Tyson Fury, Degale will be in the same stable as Chris Eubank Jnr with whom he had a spat earlier this month.

Eubank Jnr claimed he ‘schooled’ Degale during a sparring session but the elder fighter was keen to set the story straight.

‘It’s all a publicity stunt,’ he insisted. ‘Over a year ago he sent me a Facebook message saying he’s not my friend and that in a couple of years he’d be my rival.

‘He said I should carry on being brash and that our fight would be massive; he kept going on and on.

‘A year later he turned professional
and he’s come down to spar me and I’m doing him a favour. I’m moving him
about [in sparring] but he says he schooled James Degale.

Rivalries brewing: Chris Eubank Jnr (above) and George Groves (below)

Rivalries brewing: Chris Eubank Jnr (above) and George Groves (below)

George Groves lands a punch on James DeGale

‘It’s all a publicity stunt. Professionals don’t do that; he lives on a different planet. He’s a five-fight novice and he’s fighting on my undercard.’

Degale’s rivalry with Groves meanwhile has festered since the pair were amateurs. Groves beat his gym-mate in 2005, a result Degale continues to question, but it was the loser who went on to receive greater acclaim, culminating in his Olympic triumph. A third fight appears inevitable.

‘If the British public demand it and we’re in a position where we have to fight, it will happen,’ Degale confirmed. ‘Imagine me and George Groves on Channel 5; that would be massive.

‘To be honest, he has to be a bit more active. He’s given up his British title and I don’t know where his career is going.’

As far as Degale is concerned, his own career is finally heading in the right direction.

‘It’s exciting times,’ he concluded. ‘This is a fresh start and by next year I’ll be on the verge of boxing for a world title.’

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

Khan still in demand to headline shows despite brutal knockout

|

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.’

Ronnie O"Sullivan"s victory may leave Barry Hearn out of pocket

Rocket Ronnie's big break may leave snooker chief Hearn out of pocket

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UPDATED:

22:46 GMT, 8 May 2012

Ronnie O'Sullivan's priorities in Sheffield on Tuesday were to spend time with his son and to pop in for a cup of tea with Dr Steve Peters as a way of saying thank you for helping him to lift a fourth BetFred.com World Snooker Championship title on Monday.

Snooker's priority is to ensure that the Rocket's six-month break from the game does not become permanent otherwise the remarkable transformation of the sport under the guidance of Barry Hearn may be shunted off course.

O'Sullivan wants a rest. He also wants to be able to play when and where it suits his health and his well-being. In a meritocracy, the term Hearn often uses for his brave new snooker world, that ought to be possible.

On top of the world: O'Sullivan remains snooker's big draw

On top of the world: O'Sullivan remains snooker's big draw

Unfortunately, the 36-year-old's
talents which have never been sharper than during the past fortnight
mean that when Hearn is selling the game to promoters, television
channels and sponsors worldwide, they all come back with one question:
'Is Ronnie going to play'

Without him, just as without Tiger
Woods in golf, a zero falls off the TV ratings and the sponsorship
cheques, yet to expect O'Sullivan to turn up at every tournament in a
calendar which now fills 50 out of 52 weeks for the 2012-13 season is
unrealistic.

O'Sullivan said: 'I've left it pretty
open. I'm going to have a good time off and then I'll assess what's
going on, but I couldn't do another year like I've done this year
because of the sheer volume of tournaments, doing well in them and the
travelling from one to another.

'I'm not putting myself in the same
category as Tiger Woods at all because he's an icon but unless Tiger
Woods is playing in a tournament, I'm not interested.

Take a break: The world champion admits he can't play all the time

Take a break: The world champion admits he can't play all the time

'I don't care if he's 10 over, I just want to watch because I know he's going to do something that no other player can do.

'Barry has been totally honest and
upfront saying that, yes, he is blackmailing players to play but I don't
want to be hearing that from the person who is running the sport I love
to play.

'I'm not saying that snooker needs me but I think snooker will be better with me in it than out of it.'

Hearn's position is also troublesome but he is adamant he will not make an exception for O'Sullivan.

Hearn said: 'The players are not
forced to play. My job is to create opportunities. I haven't got a
problem with Ronnie not wanting to play every week. No-one is forcing
him to do anything.

'I'm the custodian and want to make
sure that snooker is a growing sport. I need Ronnie to play because he's
a genius but I'm not forcing him.'

Bahrain Grand Prix tickets on sale for 2012 F1 race

Bahrain tickets on sale as promoters push ahead with under-fire grand prix

Bahrain Grand Prix officials have started selling tickets for this season's Formula One race in the Gulf Kingdom.

The sale began on Sunday, and is the latest sign the government is determined to hold the grand prix despite ongoing protests.

UniF1ed: Bahrain officials announced the sale of tickets on Sunday

UniF1ed: Bahrain officials announced the sale of tickets on Sunday

Along with the ticket launch, officials announced this year's slogan: “UniF1ed-One Nation in Celebration”.

Bahrain's season-opening race last year was canceled because of the unrest.

This year's race is scheduled for April 22 and the FIA, the sport's governing body, have insisted the event will go ahead.

Trouble: The Gulf Kingdom has been the subject of a mass demonstrations in recent weeks

Trouble: The Gulf Kingdom has been the subject of a mass demonstrations in recent weeks

There have been lingering doubts, though, over the viability of holding the race, given the continued political unrest that has paralysed parts of the capital Manama.

At least 40 people have died in the Shiite-led demonstrations which have targeted the Sunni rulers.