Carl Froch: Celebrates the verdict after hearing he has beaten Mikkel Kessler on points Carl Froch is determined to avenge his only other defeat against Andre Ward after winning his rematch with Mikkel Kessler in thrilling fashion.
Froch atoned for his 2010 defeat at the hands of the Dane with a unanimous decision win after another epic battle between the two super-middleweights at the 02 Arena in London.
“I went over to America and now let’s get him over to England.” Carl Froch on Andre Ward The Nottingham man added the WBA belt to his IBF title and now hopes to land a return bout against the division’s No 1 in Ward, who got the better of Froch on points back in 2011.
Froch travelled to America for the first fight and now wants Ward to follow Kessler’s lead by agreeing to a return bout in the UK.
“I said before this fight that the winner should really be concentrating on moving on and my only other loss was against pound-for-pound number two in the world Andre Ward,” said Froch.
“What a fantastic fighter he is and a great, great champion, but he is there to be beaten.
“But not over in America – let’s get him over here.
I went over to America and now let’s get him over to England.” Respect Froch waged another memorable battle with Kessler and both men were hurt at times as the fight lived up to the hype.
‘The Cobra’ appeared close to a stoppage in the eighth and final rounds, but was full of respect for Kessler, who bravely survived until the final bell.
“It feels really good,” said Froch.
“The only thing that feels bad is that I have had to beat such a real gentleman, a real warrior and real nice man.
“He did hurt me a couple of times; I think everybody saw that.
But I hurt him a little bit more and I thought I deserved the win.
I thought it was unanimously my fight.
“I was close to getting the stoppage towards the end but, when I went in for the finish, what did he do? He fought back with a couple of big, hard shots.
Big respect to him.”
George Groves: Stopped Noe Gonzalez on the undercard to Froch-Kessler II at the O2 Arena George Groves will continue to strive for a perfect performance despite taking out Noe Gonzalez inside five rounds at the O2 Arena in London.
The British super-middleweight always looked to have too much for a South American opponent who had previously challenged for a world title and had only been beaten twice before in his career.
“The only mistake I made was trading a little bit recklessly when I didn’t need to.
At the same time, I love to fight.
As much as I try not to, it always seems to come out – I can’t hide it.” George Groves Groves was well on top by the time he put an end to the bout with a superb right hand down the middle that left the referee with little option but to wave it off, though Gonzalez did get up from the canvas to beat the count.
“I’m only ever really happy with a perfect performance, and I don’t think I’ll ever get one of them.
I’m always concentrating on how I can improve,” he told Sky Sports.
“Today I think I controlled him from the start.
The only mistake I made was trading a little bit recklessly when I didn’t need to.
At the same time, I love to fight.
As much as I try not to, it always seems to come out – I can’t hide it.
“The shots were landing hard; it was a process of wearing him down.
I knew he wouldn’t be able to cope with those shots.
“A few times he showed signs of weakness, but I tried to be patient.
I got the sweet shot and put him away.” Froch fight The 19th straight win of Groves’ career pushes him a little closer to a world title and the Londoner admits he feels ready to step up and take on one of the champions – including compatriot Carl Froch.
“People like Carl Froch are world champions and have been so for a long time.
I understand why people think I’m not quite there,” he added.
“But I’m ranked no 1 in the WBO, two in the WBA and three in the WBC, so they’re not that many guys in front of me.
And when they are put in front of me, I put guys to sleep.
“With Eddie’s (promoter Hearn) help, I’m sure he’ll deliver a world title.
I think I’m ready, I know I’m ready.”
Neymar: Understood to have decided to join Barca Sky Bet Football Betting Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds Football Betting 10 Free Bet Brazil striker Neymar is reported to have decided to join Barcelona this summer.
Santos have accepted two offers for their star player, with Barcelona confirmed as one of the bidders and Real Madrid widely suggested to be the other side in pursuit.
After an initial meeting between club officials, Neymar and the player’s father, no immediate decision on his future was reached, but Spanish media have since reported the forward will be moving to the Nou Camp.
A statement from Santos on Friday night read: “In a meeting with representatives of the management committee of Santos FC, striker Neymar Jr was made aware of the offers received by the club and he will analyse them in the coming days before making a final decision.” The 21-year-old’s contract expires at the end of next season and some reports had suggested an agreement with Barcelona was as good as signed.
Santos vice-president Odilio Rodrigues apparently shares that view, quoted on the website of Spanish sports newspaper Diario AS as saying: “When I went to Barcelona to hear the offer, I learned that Neymar had a verbal agreement that when he finished his contract in 2014 he was going to Barcelona.
“He has a gentleman’s agreement.
He doesn’t have a contract, but a verbal agreement.” The move to Barcelona was reported as a done deal by Marca.com, the website of the sports newspaper that most closely focuses on affairs at Real Madrid.
If Madrid are to miss out on Neymar, they will have to work out a way to contain him during the ‘Clasico’ matches next season.
Barcelona assistant boss Jordi Roura refused to be be drawn on the progress of Barcelona’s chase, but acknowledged the talent of their target.
“Let things run their course,” he said.
“He’s a spectacular player and any club would want him.” It was reported by Marca.com that Neymar’s signing could be announced after Barcelona’s Primera Division match at Espanyol on Sunday night, or during Monday.
Neymar, who trained with Santos on Saturday, is relishing the prospect of a move to Europe, being quoted by Brazilian sports website globoesporte.globo.com as saying last night: “This is an honour, the happiest moment of my life.
I will now think carefully about these two proposals.
“I will decide with my family.
I’m in no hurry.
The decision may come out in five minutes, half an hour or three days.” Neymar, who has already played more than 30 games for his country, has spent his whole career so far at Santos, who have repeatedly fended off interest from a host of European clubs.
The club initially confirmed two bids had been accepted with a statement which read: “Santos FC announces that it has received two offers for the player Neymar da Silva Santos Junior.
“Given the offers and conditions of the player’s contract, the management committee of the club have decided to sell the player.” It remains to be seen whether the transfer will be complicated by the complex nature of Neymar’s ownership arrangement, with various investment groups holding a stake in the player as well as the club.
Ben Foakes and James Foster rescued a draw for Essex in their LV=County Championship Division Two contest with Kent at Chelmsford.
The pair put on an unbroken 142-run partnership for the sixth wicket in 48 overs to lead Essex to 166-5 after they had seemed odds-on to give Kent their first win of the four-day season.
Kent’s hopes were hit by Foakes’ unbeaten 86 and Essex captain James Foster was a more than capable foil as he finished on 52 not out at the close, with the pair gradually wearing down the visitors’ attack.
Mark Davies had set up hopes of a Kent success when he produced a wonderful spell of medium-pace bowling that brought him four top-order wickets at a personal cost of six runs as the home side started their second innings in disastrous fashion.
Five wickets fell in 22 balls as they capitulated to a perilous 24-5 – still 60 runs short of making Kent bat again and with 61 overs minimum still to be bowled.
But Foakes and Foster rebuilt the wreck of the innings with sound technique and resourceful application before the captains eventually shook hands on a draw with 13 overs still available as Kent took eight points from the clash, with Essex settling for seven.
At the start of the day, Kent’s Darren Stevens soon added the nine runs he required to reach his hundred, the fourth time in his last five championship innings at Chelmsford that the all-rounder has recorded a century.
The visitors added a further 82 runs to their overnight total to reach 296 all out, with Stevens reaching 136 before he fell to Ravi Bopara.
Kingsgate Native: Another Group race under his belt Kingsgate Native ended a three-year losing run when taking the Betfred Temple Stakes at Haydock under Shane Kelly.
Not since he landed the same race in 2010 had the remarkable eight-year-old got his head in front, but under a determined drive from Kelly the Robert Cowell-trained 14/1 chance flew home to win by a neck.
Swiss Spirit was another to make late gains, building upon the promise of his reappearance in the Duke of York Stakes in second, with three-year-old performing with considerable credit as the first home of those to race on the far side in fourth.
Sole Power, strongly supported throughout the day with the fast ground expected to play to his strengths, finished just out of the placings in fourth.
“It is really satisfying to see an eight-year-old win a race like this,” said trainer Robert Cowell.
“He had an injury last season, so he didn’t really have a proper break, whereas this time he went to Cheveley Park and I’ve got to say he came back looking fantastic so I suppose that the real work was done there.” Cowell is the third trainer to have had Kingsgate Native in his care after previous stints with John Best and Sir Michael Stoute, but Cowell played down suggestions that he deserved any more credit than those two for bringing the horse back to winning form.
“He won big races for John, he won big races for Sir Michael, and I’m just pleased to have a horse of his calibre in the stable, but it is obviously exciting to see him win like that.”
Christian Atsu: Porto winger a transfer target for Liverpool Sky Bet Football Betting Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds Football Betting 10 Free Bet Sky Sports understands Liverpool are leading the race to sign Porto winger Christian Atsu.
Sky Sports revealed earlier this week an unnamed Premier League club had tabled a bid for Atsu and it is understood that Liverpool are the team in question.
Talks are thought to be continuing between the Reds and Porto as Brendan Rodgers’ side look to win the race for the Ghana international.
However, Liverpool could face competition from Premier League rivals Everton and Arsenal for the highly-rated attacker.
Everton are thought be interested in Atsu especially if current Porto boss Vitor Pereira replaces David Moyes at Goodison Park, while Arsenal are also keeping tabs on the African’s situation.
Atsu has found himself out of favour at Porto in recent months after refusing to sign a new deal at Estadio do Dragao.
The 21-year-old, who sees his current contract expire next summer, has continually rejected offers to extend his deal due to Porto’s insistence to try and increase his release clause to ‘ 30m ( 24million).
Atsu, who has previously expressed his desire to play in England, is expected to make a decision on his future once he plays for Ghana in their upcoming games against Kenya, Sudan and Lesotho next month.
Qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix was a tale of woe for Paul Di Resta, who described it as the most “painful” Saturday performance of his F1 career after dropping out in session one.
The Force India driver lines up 17th on the starting grid, his lowest position since the 2011 Belgian GP, after falling foul of a bad tactical call made by his team.
Intermediates were the tyre of choice in the 20-minute opening session, which took place on a damp track.
However, Force India failed to put a fresh set on the Scot’s car during the closing moments.
The radio messages relayed from pit wall to driver and back on di Resta’s slow-down lap revealed his frustration.
“I apologise for that; that’s a mess,” his engineer admitted.
“You’re joking!” came the response.
Speaking later to Sky Sports F1 ‘s Natalie Pinkham, di Resta confirmed that there was more to his predicament than simple bad luck.
“I think it was a clear thing and there’ll be a few people in the team kicking themselves.
I’m not going to say too much because I’ll say something I probably shouldn’t,” he said.
“There was a clear thing we should have done.
All the other cars did it and we got left out to dry really.
Probably the most painful experience I’ve ever had in qualifying.
“It’s a difficult day ahead tomorrow, with not much hope that you can actually do something.” Underlining di Resta’s frustration was the fact that he had been targeting a place in the top ten on a track where qualifying invariably plays a large part in determining the race result.
“(Qualifying) is a big part of it and today was the key to make sure we did something.
We failed to achieve it when we were P7 this morning, we were very good yesterday,” he added.
“We made big improvement.
I think we were very strong in the wet; it was looking good.
I’d have preferred it had stayed wet as we had the pace to definitely fight.
“We’ll wait and see.
There’s not much I can say.”
Theo Walcott: Believes Arsenal can win the Premier League Sky Bet Football Betting Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds Football Betting 10 Free Bet Theo Walcott believes Arsenal are capable of winning the Premier League next season – and wants his team-mates to have the same confidence in themselves.
The Gunners clinched fourth place – and a potential Champions League spot – on the final day of the season at Newcastle, but Walcott insists they should be aiming higher next campaign.
The England winger told The Sun: “I think this Arsenal team can achieve anything.
“We should be competing for the Premier League every year, that’s our first priority.
“In every competition we can go far – as long as we believe we can.
“We need to realise how good we really are because, at times, we don’t think that.
“When we go a goal down you do see the players stepping up.
And if we do that from the start we can beat anyone.” The 24-year-old also defended manager Arsene Wenger, who has received criticism in light of the club’s eighth year without silverware.
He said: “Every time we don’t perform, he (Wenger) always puts it on himself.
“And at times it’s not fair, because we’re the players that go out there every week.” “I think the boss always had such belief in me from such a young age, so I’m going to repay him by trying to win something.
“He’s a great manager, one of the managers I always wanted to play for.
And having so many years with him, I’ve learned so much.” “In every competition we can go far – as long as we believe we can.” Theo Walcott Walcott, who managed 21 goals in all competitions this season, also spoke of his relief of the conclusion to his contract situation.
The forward signed a new and improved three-and-a-half-year deal in January which means he will remain at the Emirates Stadium until the summer of 2016.
He said: “It was on my mind because it was so close.
Thankfully it’s all sorted.
“It’s nice to see that the club and myself have been very loyal to each other.
“I always said I wanted to stay, it was just picking the right moment because of being on the bench at the start of the season and not playing.
“But I believed I could get back into the team.
I know how good this team is and I feel that when I play, the team is better.”