25.11.2022
Chris Eubank Jr will face Liam Smith in all-British clash on January 21

Chris Eubank Jr will meet Liam Smith in a mouthwatering domestic clash on January 21 in Manchester.

Eubank had been due to face Conor Benn last month, only for his rival to fail a drugs test, forcing the fight to be postponed.

The 33-year-old has moved on to another all-British clash against former world champion.

Smith is coming off victory over Hassan Mwakinyo in September.

Smith said: ‘He’s making a big mistake fighting me. Every time he has stepped up to elite level, he has failed. I am elite and he will fall again on January 21st in Manchester.

‘If he was at 60 per cent for the fight that never was against Conor Benn, then he’ll need to be at 160 per cent to be ready to face me, a former world champion, in front of thousands of my fans in the North West.

‘For Chris this is a high-risk, low-reward. For me, it’s the perfect platform to show I will rule the world again in 2023. He needs to be prepared for the toughest night of his career.’

BOXXER CEO Ben Shalom said: ‘This is the fight that British boxing fans have been calling for.

‘There aren’t many bigger names in the sport than Chris Eubank Jr, who many believe is coming into his prime now. This is his biggest fight in recent memory against a truly world class fighter Liam Smith. Liam is proven at world level and in the form of his life. Many will feel that he is the favourite going into this.

‘It will be a huge occasion for British boxing and we’re delighted to bring this mouthwatering event to the fans in the iconic fight city of Manchester.’

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05.12.2022
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  • 1 час, 9 минут назад 05.12.2022Sport
    Chris Fagan breaks silence over Hawks racism scandal reveals why he refused to talk to players AFL

    Chris Fagan has felt no need to address the accusations of racism with his Brisbane players since returning from voluntary leave, stressing he has a ‘clear conscience’ and has the squad’s trust.

    The Lions AFL coach has denied any wrongdoing with regard to the disturbing allegations at Hawthorn, where he was an assistant to Alastair Clarkson and served as football boss.

    Both coaches will co-operate with an independent investigation into allegations including that a request was made to separate young Indigenous players from their partners, and that pressure was applied for a pregnancy to be terminated for the sake of a player’s career.

    The Lions’ full squad returned to training on Monday, with Fagan publicly addressing the allegations for the first time since they were reported in September.

    ‘Probably the first couple of weeks (I struggled), not really knowing whether it was OK to walk down the street or not,’ he told a press conference.

    ‘But after a while, I realised we can’t live like that. So I’ve just been living normally since that point.

    ‘I’ve got a very clear conscience. They say a clear conscience is the best sedative and I’m sleeping well.’

    Fagan said he never contemplated resigning during his voluntary stand down period and that he signed a confidentiality agreement last Friday ahead of the investigation, which is yet to begin.

    He said there was no need to talk about it to his players, despite the shocking nature of the claims.

    ‘I’ve worked with them for six years. And they trust me, they trust me. So there’s been no need for a conversation,’ he said.

    ‘I know everyone’s really interested in my thoughts on it, and I respect that, but you also have to respect the fact that it’s going to remain private until … the investigation is over.’

    When that will be is anyone’s guess, though.

    ‘We all thought it was going to be over by Christmas time but it’ll go longer than that,’ Fagan said.

    ‘I’m just patiently waiting for my opportunity to speak at the investigation.

    ‘You’d like it to happen soon rather than later. But I’ve got to be patient.

    ‘We’ll just wait and see what the investigation reveals.’

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  • 3 часа, 9 минут назад 05.12.2022Sport
    Socceroos Milos Degenek lashes out at Aussies who didn’t back Graham Arnold’s team at FIFA World Cup

    Socceroos defender Milos Degenek has hit out at Australian media who didn’t back Graham Arnold’s squad during the World Cup campaign and broke down in tears as he described the incredibly close bond between him and his teammates.

    Degenek, who was one of the Aussies tasked with marking Lionel Messi in the Socceroos’ 2-1 loss to Argentina on Sunday morning, gave fans a rare glimpse of his emotional side of himself after the game.

    ‘It’s disappointing that we lost,’ said the heartbroken 28-year-old. ‘And … I don’t know how to say this, but I’d love it if you guys backed us, and no-one wrote a bad word about anyone … and just stood by the boys.’

    Degenek had tears streaming down his face and had to pause briefly to compose himself.

    ‘It’s gonna stick with us forever,’ he said of the World Cup campaign.

    ‘I just hope we made the people proud. I hope it inspires the next generation of kids. Wish we won, made everyone more proud.’

    Asked why he was so emotional, Degenek explained how much the sport means to him.

    ‘I love the game. It’s given me everything,’ he said, the tears restarting.

    ‘Dreams come true. It’s just hard. Back the boys, we’ll do more next time.’

    Degenek was just 18 months old when his family sought refuge in Serbia after fleeing Croatia during the war of independence.

    When he was six, the Kosovo war arrived on his doorstep and his family fled to Australia with very few possessions.

    Football gave Degenek a life he could never imagine and he believes the Socceroos squad is the best he has ever been involved with.

    ‘Doesn’t matter that I wasn’t born in Australia, it doesn’t matter that I’m not 100% Aussie, I feel it. I feel it through these guys,’ Degenek said.

    ‘I’d love to stay with these boys for another two weeks. It’s a band of brothers. It’s more than friends.’

    Degenek, who represented Aussie and Serbian youth teams before sticking with the Socceroos, also spoke briefly about what it was like marking Messi – who is looking to win the only major title to elude him during his career.

    ‘It’s hard to keep the best player that’s ever played the game out of the game,’ he said. ‘We did everything we could.

    ‘If we equalised we could have knocked them out. It’s a testament that we came this far. I hope they win it, so we can say we got knocked out by the winners.’

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    Gareth Southgate admits Harry Kane’s first goal of the World Cup was ‘so important for him and us’

    Gareth Southgate has insisted Harry Kane’s first goal at the Qatar World Cup will be ‘so important for him’, after the striker scored England’s second in their 3-0 win over Senegal on Sunday.

    The goal, which came after an excellent run from Jude Bellingham and a smart cross from Phil Foden, took Kane past Gary Lineker to become England’s highest scorer at major tournaments, with 11.

    The 29-year-old’s overall England tally (52) is now just one behind the Three Lions’ record scorer Wayne Rooney.

    Speaking after the game, Southgate felt the goal would give his striker a boost moving forward. He said: ‘Any centre forward wants to get off the mark, and of course for him it stops all the questions.

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    England’s win puts them through to the quarter finals of the World Cup, where they will face defending champions France after their 3-1 win over Poland.

    Kylian Mbappe continued to show his stunning form for Les Bleus and netted twice in the game, but there will be some concern that Didier Deschamps’ side are yet to keep a clean sheet.

    Looking ahead to the next game, Southgate said of France: ‘They’re an outstanding team with a phenomenal tournament record and some outstanding individuals, so without a doubt we’ll have to find our highest possible level.’

    The quarter final will be played in the Al Bayt Stadium on Saturday, December 10 at 7pm GMT.

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  • 5 часов, 8 минут назад 05.12.2022Sport
    Gareth Southgate hails England’s ‘ruthlessness’ after reaching the World Cup quarter-finals

    Gareth Southgate hailed England’s ‘ruthlessness’ after their 3-0 win over Senegal in the World Cup Round of 16.

    The Three Lions secured their passage to the quarter-finals where they will face France next Saturday.

    After a poor start to the game from England, Jordan Henderson broke the deadlock for Southgate’s side after 38 minutes, before Harry Kane added a second on the stroke of half-time.

    Bukayo Saka confirmed the victory in the 57th minute, as England eased to the win at the Al Bayt Stadium.

    Following the game, Southgate highlighted England’s ability to take their chances as his most pleasing takeaway from the performance, while he also admitted his side were under par during the first part of the game.

    ‘I think the ruthlessness of our execution (was my favourite part),’ Southgate told ITV.

    ‘But the way the team worked off the ball, and without the ball. I think in the end we were a bit sticky with the ball in the first 25-30 minutes.

    ‘Senegal had a lot of energy, they pressed well, their shape was good. And really our best opportunities came from winning the ball from them.’

    Henderson’s opener for the Three Lions capped a fantastic performance from the Liverpool skipper after his selection had received criticism from fans ahead of the game.

    And Southgate was full of praise for the midfielder, insisting he is extremely important to England.

    He said: ‘I thought Jude and Hendo in particular were outstanding in that aspect of the game.

    ‘They’re both forward running, forward thinking midfield players. Hendo doesn’t get many friends but I think he has been outstanding.

    ‘He’s such a leader, he knits the team together, around the camp he’s brilliant. And I think his performances have been top draw for us.’

    England will now face France in a blockbuster quarter-final clash next Saturday evening (7pm GMT).

    Dider Deschamps side impressed in their 3-1 win over Poland with Kylian Mbappe scoring twice to reaffirm his position as the current top scorer at the World Cup.

    When looking ahead, Southgate was full of praise for Les Bleus who are the World Cup holders and said it would be a tough occasion for England.

    He added: ‘They’re an outstanding team with a phenomenal tournament record.

    ‘And some outstanding individuals, so without a doubt we’ll have to find our highest possible level.’

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  • 5 часов, 9 минут назад 05.12.2022Sport
    FIFA may re-think three team groups for the 2026 World Cup in North America featuring 48 team field

    FIFA is reconsidering its options on how to divide teams in the 2026 World Cup, with groups of three and four on the table.

    Arsene Wenger, FIFA’s Director of Global Football, said the global football governing body is reconsidering how they’ll group teams for the tournament in four years.

    That tournament will see the World Cup field expand from 32 teams to 48 teams for the first time in its history.

    Wenger said no decisions have been made yet, but that a decision could come soon from the FIFA council.

    ‘This is not decided, but it will be 16 groups of three, 12 groups of four, or two sides of six groups of four, like you organise two 24-team [tournaments],’ Wenger said on Sunday.

    ‘I will not be able to decide that, it will be decided by the FIFA Council, and I think it will be done in the next year.’

    Calls to reconsider FIFA’s original plan for the tournament – with 16 groups of three teams – came as action at this World Cup has produced surprises such as Japan and South Korea advancing out of tough groups.

    The 16 group format would prevent multiple teams advancing out of each group. It would also bring an end to the simultaneous fixture ending that produced the drama in Groups C, E, and H at this World Cup.

    In addition to being the first World Cup hosting 48 teams, the 2026 edition of the tournament will be the first to have three host countries – with games being held in Canada, Mexico, and the United States.

    Games will be played in Vancouver and Toronto in Canada and in the cities of Monterrey, Guadalajara, and Mexico City in Mexico.

    Meanwhile, the United States will host matches in Seattle, the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Atlanta, Miami, Philadelphia, New York, and Boston.

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  • 5 часов, 9 минут назад 05.12.2022Sport
    Graham Arnold’s Socceroos job will be in limbo for at least a MONTH despite World Cup success

    Graham Arnold’s tenure as Socceroos coach will be unresolved for at least a month as Football Australia review the World Cup campaign.

    Arnold’s contract ended when the Socceroos were knocked out in Qatar with a 2-1 loss to Argentina in a round of 16 clash.

    The Socceroos boss is now on holiday as he weighs his future.

    ‘I just want to go away, have a good holiday, have a break and see what happens,’ Arnold said after the Argentina game.

    ‘I haven’t even thought about it (my future). I need a rest and no doubt I will have good discussions then with the organisation.’

    FA chief executive James Johnson said those discussions and other staffing matters would be part of an in-depth review into Australia’s cup campaign.

    ‘We look forward to discussing our plans for the next World Cup cycle with Graham when he returns to Australia following a well-deserved break,’ Johnson said.

    ‘This thorough review will take place over the coming weeks and be presented to the board of Football Australia for consideration in the New Year.’

    Arnold has called for more government funding, focused on junior development, to build on the momentum of the Socceroos’ World Cup run.

    Arnold’s Aussies were just the second Socceroos outfit to advance to the knockout phase, following the 2006 edition.

    His Socceroos were the first to win two games at a single edition and also the first to keep consecutive clean sheets.

    The Australians, ranked 38th in the world, downed Tunisia and Denmark while losing to reigning title holders and world No.4 France and world No.3 Argentina.

    Arnold wants a headquarters built for Australia’s national teams and an expanded A-League to offer greater opportunity for young footballers to turn professional.

    ‘There’s only one thing the A-League needs to do and it’s play more football,’ he said.

    ‘They don’t play enough, 25, 26 games (in a season) isn’t enough, 12 teams isn’t enough.

    ‘We need to give kids more opportunity to be professional footballers and play more football.

    ‘The quality of the A-League … the boys here have shown, they have come from the A-League and they can match it on the world stage.

    ‘I’m a firm believer in it. And we have got those young kids coming through, they have got to be ready.’

    FA chief Johnson lauded the achievements of Arnold and his players.

    ‘The performance … has demonstrated we can compete on the world stage,’ Johnson said.

    ‘There has never been a more exciting time for Australian football.

    ‘We will now use this platform to continue forging forward and grow as a football nation, with player development at the centre of this.’

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Sport Chris Eubank Jr will face Liam Smith in all-British clash on January 21