06.08.2022
Anthony Joshua using ‘Poundland version’ of Oleksandr Usyk in camp for Saudi rematch

Anthony Joshua is sparring with the self-proclaimed ‘Poundland version of Oleksandr Usyk’, Thomas Carty, in preparations for his August 20 rematch with the Ukrainian. Carty (3-0) has been likened to Usyk due to his compact fundamentally sound boxing style and southpaw stance and has been brought into camp to help emulate the former undisputed cruiserweight champion – something he has clearly taken in his stride.

“I’ve described myself as the Poundland version of Usyk,” Carty told Sky Sports. “I learned how to punch properly, and I’ve always had really solid fundamentals.

“I was mobile as well for a big guy and on top of that as I started to mature more I got that bit stronger and because I was punching properly, I’ve got a bit of pop now in the shots. I suppose I’ve developed a kind of slick, power-punching style, which is quite interesting to watch, southpaw, as well so the shots are quite flashy then when you throw them.”

The Irish heavyweight has given rounds to Joshua throughout 2022, not just limited to this training camp and is the perfect partner for Joshua having studied Usyk his whole life.

“I used to pick out guys I could rob some of their moves or emulate some of their moves and Usyk was similar height,” Carty explained. “Similar weight class, left-handed, mobile on the feet, nice straight punches.

“So I’m going to try and copy this guy because he’s doing well for himself. Little did I know [back then] where he’d end up, Olympic champion and world champion in the heavyweight division. It’s a bit crazy because he was a cruiserweight as an amateur, 91kgs, so I used to try and emulate that guy a lot.”

It was that intense studying that secured him a role as one of Joshua’s main sparring partners ahead of the Saudi showdown.

“To say surreal doesn’t even cut it. I’ve never seen another Irish heavyweight sparring Joshua, nobody has really done it and the fact that I was over there for a good few weeks and they were loving what I was doing at 1-0 was really great for the confidence,” Carty said.

“I was asked to do my thing and whatever I naturally do to replicate Usyk they were happy with, there was nothing forced upon me to do this move, or that move. They just wanted me to be myself, be comfortable and be as competitive and good as I could be and that’s what I did.

“It was a really enjoyable experience, and I emphasise surreal because Anthony Joshua, two-time heavyweight champion of the world, is a guy that me and my mates go watch on the telly all the time, every time that he’s fighting, then all of a sudden you’re being brought in to help him prepare.”

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  • 39 минут назад 15.08.2022Sport
    Former Liverpool transfer chief Michael Edwards turns down Chelsea job in major Blues blow

    Former Liverpool sporting director Michael Edwards has reportedly ruled out a move to Premier League rivals Chelsea, dealing the Blues a major blow.

    Todd Boehly has been on the trail of Edwards since he left Anfield at the end of last season, as he searches for the best way to fill the void left by Marina Granovskaia’s exit.

    New co-owner Boehly has boldly shouldered the responsibility of leading Chelsea’s hectic summer of transfer business, with head coach Thomas Tuchel also playing an active role.

    Edwards forged his reputation at Liverpool as an expert negotiator and clinical closer of deals, at the head of a team blending data and eyes-in-the-stand scouting operations with the demands of manager Jurgen Klopp and the club’s financial limitations.

    After their success in recent years and huge signings that have paid off, it is little wonder he figured so prominently on Boehly’s list.

    It has, however, now believed that Chelsea will need to look elsewhere, as Edwards has turned down the potential opportunity, according to The Athletic.

    The same report suggests that Edwards, who joined The Reds in November 2011 following two years at Tottenham, informed Chelsea of his intention to take a break for up to a year to refresh and recharge, so stepping into such a role is not on his agenda for now.

    They will now have to turn their attentions elsewhere and ideally get someone in before the transfer window closes.

    Tuchel and Boehly will remain in control for the time being, in what has been a busy window so far, and will continue to be.

    They have completed the signings of Raheem Sterling from Manchester City for £47.5million and Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli for £34m and stand on the brink of a £50m deal for Marc Cucurella from Brighton, an eye-catching swoop for a left back wanted by Manchester City.

    Other ambitious targets remain active but some have gone, including Sevilla defender Jules Kounde and winger Raphinha of Leeds, who both snubbed the London club for Barcelona.

    Chelsea still also have players who want to leave and their futures remain unresolved with the transfer window due to close in just a few weeks time.

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  • 39 минут назад 15.08.2022Sport
    Barcelona ‘remain keen to sign Bernardo Silva after agreeing personal terms with the Man City star’

    Barcelona are still planning a move for Bernardo Silva this summer despite not yet being able to register all their summer signings due to LaLiga’s financial regulations.

    The Blaugrana view Portuguese midfielder Silva as the icing on the cake for their summer recruitment and, according to Sport, they have been in contact with the player for weeks and have a pre-contract agreement in place.

    However with their corpulent wage bill as yet balanced they have been unable to register £45million defender Jules Kounde so any move for the Portugal international can surely only take place once that issue is solved.

    It has long been Pep Guardiola’s modus operandi to let players leave if they do not want to be a part of his squad, with the likes of Leroy Sane and Ferran Torres recent examples of this.

    With Silva coming close to an exit last summer, there is an agreement between the player and his manager that he will be allowed to leave this summer should a good offer arrive, according to Sport.

    It is believed an offer of around £60m, plus the obligatory performance based add-ons, would be enough to land their man, who has played only 37 minutes so far in City’s opening two games this season.

    It is unclear how Xavi’s side will be able to afford yet another big-money move, having already sold portions of their own in-house production company to finance their £127m summer spree, and even that has not been enough to register all five players.

    But on this occasion the Santpedor coach looks set to change his ways and keep Silva at the Etihad, largely because it would be difficult to bring in a replacement with the end of the transfer window fast approaching.

    Guardiola has shown that Silva is one of the key players in his squad in recent seasons, with the Portuguese being crucial to his side’s Premier League victory last time out, despite not always starting due to the infamous ‘Pep Roulette’.

    City are adamant they have received no contact from Barca and it will surely prove too difficult for Barca to land their target this summer, despite an Instagram post potentially hinting at an end to his Etihad career.

    In the post made by the player himself, Silva appeared to thank the City faithful for all the love and support they have shown him in the past following their 4-0 mauling of Bournemouth, and he was the last player to leave the pitch applauding the fans.

    For Barca, though, the need for Silva is clear. Having struggled in a limp 0-0 opening day draw to Rayo Vallecano, Xavi has been vocal of his need for further recruitment despite already adding five signings including Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha.

    Silva has shown time and time again under Guardiola that he can do exactly that, combining brilliant ball skills, agile dribbling and clinical finishing to produce 48 goals and 50 assists in his 252 City appearances.

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  • 1 час, 54 минуты назад 15.08.2022Sport
    Nuno Tavares shows Arsenal what they’re missing with another star Marseille performance

    Nuno Tavares is continuing to show Arsenal just what they are missing after netting his second goal in two games for Marseille. The Gunners loanee followed up his strike against State Reims last weekend with another in the Ligue 1 outfit’s 1-1 draw with Brest on Sunday.

    After a somewhat unconvincing first season in the Premier League, Tavares was allowed out on loan to gain further top-level experience by Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta this summer. The Spaniard made no secret of his desire to reinforce in the left-back area and moved to sign the versatile Oleksandr Zinchenko before sanctioning Tavares’ loan switch to Marseille.

    However, the Portuguese full-back has promptly set about proving he may well be good enough to feature in Arsenal’s first-team. The 22-year-old Benfica product made a scintillating start to his loan stint with the French outfit last weekend, netting the second in his new side’s 4-1 win over Stade Reims in Marseille’s Ligue 1 season opener.

    If that wasn’t enough to catch Arteta’s eye, the full-back has followed up his debut strike with a second goal in as many matches for his new side. Tavares opened the scoring away to Brest on Sunday evening, volleying home at the back-post after ghosting into the box following a well-worked Marseille corner routine.

    The Portugal Under-21 international then wheeled away with his arms outstretched before finding himself mobbed by his delighted team-mates. The strike was reminiscent of his only ever Arsenal goal, in which he arrived late to net against Manchester United at the back post.

    Following Tavares’ switch to Marseille, Arteta declared he felt confident the move would prove productive for both the player and his parent club. He said: “It’s announced it’s official and for Nuno’s development I think it’s going to be really important.

    “Obviously we have recruited Oleks [Zinchenko] in that position and we have Kieran [Tierney] as well which is two really really good and strong players in that position. We believe Nuno’s best solution was to do that.”

    After joining Arsenal from Benfica in a £7million deal last summer, Tavares was thrust into Arteta’s first-team on more occasions than initially intended as incessant injuries to Tierney ruled him out of action for the majority of the campaign. The full-back appeared somewhat out of his depth in the Premier League however, with Arteta evidently feeling he was quite prepared for the demands of English football just yet.

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  • 1 час, 54 минуты назад 15.08.2022Sport
    Arsenal chief Edu may have already repeated William Saliba transfer masterclass twice

    Arsenal will feel vindicated in their decision to loan William Saliba for as long as they did given his stance in world football now and they may have already repeated that successful plan. Saliba originally signed as an 18-year-old during Unai Emery’s tenure at the Emirates in a deal worth in the region of £27million.

    The initial agreement was for Saliba to spend just one season out on loan back at Saint-Etienne before Mikel Arteta took over from Emery. The Spaniard then expressed “regret” at the start of the 2020/21 season when Saliba was left out of the club’s competitive squads before he was sent to Nice on loan in January.

    It appeared as though Arsenal were getting ready to cut their losses with Saliba seemingly not part of Arteta’s long-term plans. But Saliba joined his third Ligue 1 club on loan last season with Marseille where he soon started to realise his full potential.

    He was named Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year before returning to Arsenal where he has since finally made his Premier League debut and looks set to be a staple of Arteta’s defence. At 21 years of age, Saliba will be seen as someone to play at the back for Arsenal for the long term.

    Arsenal are blessed with plenty of young talent in their squad with the likes of Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and Gabriel Martinelli all making immediate impacts. Some may need to copy Saliba’s route in finding regular football elsewhere to realise their full potential.

    Both Nuno Tavares and Folarin Balogun made the switch to Ligue 1 clubs this summer in search of regular football and the pair have hit the ground running in style. Balogun has two goals and an assist in his opening two games for Stade Reims while Tavares has also scored twice in both games for Marseille.

    The striker is highly-rated by both Arteta and the Arsenal academy with the 21-year-old tipped for a bright future. Arteta made it clear back in March that he regards Balogun as someone capable of leading Arsenal’s frontline for years.

    “I think Flo is doing what he needed to do, and probably we should have done it a little bit earlier,” Arteta said. “It’s always a bit difficult to time when is the best moment to do that. But he’s having the right exposure, he’s playing in a different formation and sometimes a different role under a manager and a club with huge history.

    “You can see how he is developing. This is going to give us more detail about what is the next best move for him to keep developing, because he has developed and we want him to be part of our future. He needed a pathway, he needs that exposure. He needs to go through good and difficult moments, and he needs to be able to adapt and find himself in the dressing room, and develop the importance that is required to play at this level. I think he is doing all of that really well.”

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  • 1 час, 54 минуты назад 15.08.2022Sport
    Thomas Tuchel ignored his own rules as Antonio Conte spat spiraled out of control

    Thomas Tuchel and Antonio Conte are two of the most passionate managers in world football and the Chelsea boss appeared to ignore his own self-imposed rules when it came to facing the Tottenham manager during their explosive spat on Sunday. The two coaches appeared destined to clash in Sunday’s London derby between Chelsea and Tottenham judging from their comments in the pre-match press conferences.

    Speaking on Friday, Tuchel admitted that he doesn’t “believe everything Conte says in games, before games and after games like this”. It came in response to Conte saying there was a “gap” between Chelsea and Tottenham.

    Despite that, the game on Sunday began in a relatively friendly manner as Chelsea took the lead in the first half through Kalidou Koulibaly. But the atmosphere quickly changed in the second half when Conte changed to a back four with Richarlison coming on for Ryan Sessegnon.

    Tottenham soon took control and found their equaliser when Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg fired in from outside the box. Conte jumped up to celebrate in front of Tuchel, sparking furious scenes on the touchline with the fourth official having to separate them both.

    Tensions only increased after that with Tuchel doing his best Jose Mourinho impression by sprinting down the touchline to celebrate Reece James’ late goal. But more drama was to come on the pitch when Harry Kane scored in the dying seconds as the game ended 2-2.

    Tuchel and Conte appeared willing to put their difference behind them with a handshake at the final whistle, but the Chelsea boss didn’t let go of his counterpart’s hand after the Tottenham chief didn’t look him in the eye. Hell broke loose on the pitch as security and coaching staff attempted to separate the two managers again before Anthony Taylor branded a red card to both managers.

    The pair then took small shots at one another in their post-match interview duties and there could be even more fireworks when Tottenham and Chelsea meet again in the league on February 25. Sunday’s clash between Conte and Tuchel was not the first time the pair had met in the Premier League.

    They had previously not met before Conte took over at Tottenham last year with the two teams then playing three games in the space of a few weeks back in January. Speaking at the start of the year, Tuchel admitted that he would have to control his emotions when facing off against Conte.

    “It’s important to know what the game means to the supporters, it’s important to know what it means in the table, but you cannot get carried away by emotions,” he said.

    The Chelsea boss was able to do that as the Blues won 2-0 in the league after they had also knocked Tottenham out of the Carabao Cup. But Tuchel clearly didn’t take his own comments on board when confronted by an animated and boisterous Conte after Hojbjerg’s goal.

    The Chelsea boss saw red as he appeared to lose his cool, but neither manager appeared to apologise for their antics after the match. Now just a few months until the two will face off again in the league and fans will be fascinated to see if there’s more of the same.

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  • 1 час, 54 минуты назад 15.08.2022Sport
    Rafael Nadal can capitalise on Novak Djokovic absence in Cincinnati to close in on record

    Rafael Nadal is making his comeback from an abdominal injury

    Nadal is playing in Cincinnati for the first time in five years, making a last minute decision to enter the tournament after being forced to withdraw from last week’s Masters 1000 in Montreal when he felt a new bout of “discomfort” with his abdominal injury. But his long-time rival Djokovic will be absent, as a result of the rule banning unvaccinated travellers from entering the country.

    It gives the 36-year-old a prime opportunity to close in on the world No 6’s record of most Masters 1000 titles won. The pair were once tied, but Djokovic has since pulled away with 38 trophies to Nadal’s 36.

    And with the two-time Cincinnati champion unable to play for another crown this week, Nadal could win his 37th to narrow his gap with the recent Wimbledon champion and put himself just one title behind the all-time Masters 1000 record.

    The 22-time Grand Slam champion has multiple incentives pushing him on in Ohio this week, as he can also regain the world No 1 ranking for the first time since February 2020 come Monday if he can win the title. Nadal would also need current top-ranked male Daniil Medvedev to lose before the quarter-final but is excited for the chance to play for the ranking.

    “It means a lot to me to have that opportunity. Something that I didn’t expect could happen again,” he said in his pre-tournament press conference on Sunday. But the 2013 champion is tampering expectations on his week in Cincinnati as he continues to feel out his abdominal injury in his first tournament since it forced him out of Wimbledon.

    Nadal is due to play his opening match on Wednesday night, receiving a bye into the second round to face either Borna Coric or a qualifier, and is hoping his first match in more than a month will answer some questions about his fitness. “Of course, I need some more days to analyse how things are going in terms of abdominal feeling,” he explained.

    “Because at the end of the day it’s more than one month without serving and without playing any set. So I need to analyse after every day that the abdominal is still okay with no feeling because, as I said, it’s a dangerous thing.”

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Sport Anthony Joshua using 'Poundland version' of Oleksandr Usyk in camp for Saudi rematch