England win the first T20 of their return to Pakistan after 17 years

Alex Hales ended his international exile in style with a half-century that put England 1-0 up in the Twenty20 series against Pakistan.

Nottinghamshire batter Hales celebrated his return with 53 off 40 deliveries and although he was dismissed immediately after reaching his milestone, his innings was enough to make the result under the floodlights of the National Stadium a formality.

The 33-year-old, playing his first England match since being dumped at the start of the World Cup-winning summer of 2019 following the failure of a recreational drugs test, could not match the fluency of Pakistan’s Mohammad Rizwan, who earlier struck a 46-ball 68.

Crucially, though, he dogged it out until just 17 runs were required at less than a run a ball, falling to a miscue to mid-off off Haris Rauf immediately after his seventh boundary had taken him to that comeback 50.

Earlier, Moeen Ali, captaining in the country of his heritage with Jos Buttler recovering from injury, won a crucial toss. Statistics show that 60% of floodlit T20s in Pakistan are won by teams chasing.

And so Pakistan were condemned to their first-ever loss in white-ball internationals in Karachi with four balls in hand when Harry Brook, the dominant partner in a 50 stand with Hales, launched Shahnawaz Dahani through the covers for his seventh boundary.

The Yorkshireman finished on 42 not out and highlighted why England believe his versatile game is suited to next month’s bid to win the World Cup.

Both teams had come into a contest, the proceeds from which will go to Pakistan’s flood relief, incorporating new faces.

Ben Duckett had not featured in any format for England since the week after Hales’ absence began while Luke Wood enjoyed a stunning debut with three wickets at the death of Pakistan’s 158 for seven.

It completed an innings of two halves for the Pakistanis in their first home match against England on their own soil since 2005.

Despite their outstanding records in T20 cricket, Pakistan’s openers Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan came into this series under a cloud of negativity.

Babar retains a ranking of three in the world rankings but has had his place within the national side questioned amid accusations in Pakistani cricket circles of slow scoring, with some suggesting it is a legitimate tactic for opponents to keep him in rather than try to dismiss him.

Stung by the criticism, he produced a counter-punch to race into the 20s from 10 balls, and was seemingly putting an horrific Asia Cup campaign in which he mustered just 68 runs in six innings behind him.

Similar accusations of ball-chewing were levelled at Rizwan, owner of the highest T20 international batting average by anyone to have played 20 innings, although when he burst into life here after a cautious beginning, things looked ominous for a much-changed England team.

But Adil Rashid altered the momentum of the innings in the 10th over when he speared a googly through Pakistan captain Babar’s defence.

From 85 for one, Pakistan lost their way as Haider Ali and Shan Masood, making his debut in this format following a strong season with Derbyshire, heaped pressure on Rizwan with their inability to find the boundary.

It encouraged Rizwan to leave his crease with fatal consequences, as Phil Salt completed the easiest of stumping off Moeen, in between the departures of the other two as Pakistan lost all three for 11 runs in the space of 11 deliveries.

It forced the hosts to readjust their ambitions on a pitch that slowed up considerably once the ball got softer and left England, with Hales the conductor of the chase, needing to score at less than eight an over to mark the historic occasion with a series-opening success.

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  • 15 минут назад 03.10.2022Sport
    Jose Aldo says Conor McGregor drunk called his private jet to ‘talk s***’

    Jose Aldo has revealed that Conor McGregor once drunk called his private jet to ‘talk s***’ to him during the run up to their iconic fight in 2015.

    The Brazilian and the Irishman shared what was one of the most bitter rivalries in UFC history, which was eventually came to a head after a long-running build up that saw the pair travel the world to promote the fight.

    The bout was due to be held in July 2015 before being postponed by five months after Aldo had to pull out with a rib injury, further intensifying the bad blood between them.

    But the pair eventually met in December in a dramatic fight that ended after just 13 seconds.

    McGregor landed a brutal left hook on his opponent, knocking Aldo out to end his five-year reign as the UFC featherweight champion.

    The feud was intensified by the delayed run-up to the fight, with the pair visiting five countries across 12 days promoting the event.

    McGregor, who is one of the best trash talkers in the sport, even stole Aldo’s featherweight belt at a promotional event in Ireland and declared himself the ‘King of Dublin’.

    But it seems that wasn’t the only bit of taunting he did, with the Brazilian admitting on the Connect Cast Podcast that Notorious used to hilariously call Aldo when he was drunk to trash talk him.

    ‘It was funny, because the guy [McGregor] drinks a lot,’ he said.

    ‘He drinks a lot. F*** yeah! He probably even likes to drink gasoline.

    ‘Bro, he’d call our private jet completely drunk, just taking shit. F*** it was funny, he’s a good person because he does understand the other side. He understands the other person. But he’s a guy with a vision.’

    Even before the fight it was clear there was deep animosity between the pair, who refused to touch gloves and went straight into combat.

    But it seems the duo have long since settled their rivalries, with McGregor even calling the Brazilian ‘a real legend’ on Twitter.

    Aldo also paid homage to the former UFC champion, recalling the the brutal left hook that sent him to the floor during their long anticipated meeting at UFC 194.

    ‘It was his merit,’ Aldo said. ‘I was going in, like it or not he [McGregor] has more reach than me, he had thrown a 1-2 already that I dodged and answered very quickly and he got spooked.

    ‘And I said, “Now it’s time to go in, Mike Tyson style brother”. When I went in, straight away, everything was spinning.’

    The former featherweight champion has since fought 12 times, winning six of those bouts, before retiring in September with a fight record of 31-8-0, following a loss to Merab Dvalishvili.

  • 15 минут назад 03.10.2022Sport
    World Cup: 10 players who DON’T play in Europe who can steal the show

    As the footballing world draws to a standstill for the first-ever winter edition of the World Cup, all eyes will be on the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Harry Kane in a tournament largely dominated by those who play their club football in Europe.

    But within the 32 teams who battled for qualification across six confederations are a number of enticing talents – who fall outside of that category – looking to make their mark, particularly with the January transfer window looming.

    The Qatar World Cup, which gets underway on November 20 and runs until December 18 – with top-flight English football then resuming a week later – will be the perfect setting for those perhaps not quite in the spotlight to either become a star, or to remind the world of their quality.

    The action will now come thick and fast until the tournament’s opener between Qatar and Ecuador, with a jam-packed schedule of top-flight football to come until the players officially leave for international duty.

    With that in mind, Sportsmail takes a look at the top-10 players playing their club football outside of Europe who can make a mark at the 2022 World Cup.

    We start with Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, who has certainly made a headline or two during his extensive spell as his nation’s No 1 shot-stopper.

    The 37-year-old, who only last week became Mexico’s most-capped goalkeeper with 130 appearances, initially suffered disappointment as he acted as deputy to Oscar Perez at the 2010 World Cup, despite being tipped to start.

    Ochoa has since become a permanent fixture in the Mexico XI, however, putting in exceptional performances at both the 2014 and 2018 World Cups.

    In 2014, Ochoa became a sensation after his stunning performance in Mexico’s goalless draw against Brazil, after which opposition striker Fred insisted the keeper had made ‘four miracles’ throughout the game.

    Included was a quite sensational save to deny a dumfounded Neymar, who looked on in disbelief as his goal-bound header was somehow clawed away by the flying Mexican.

    Ochoa was then at it again in 2018, producing nine saves as Mexico stunned Germany in their tournament opener. Again, he caught the attention of the masses with a fingertip save to nudge a Toni Kroos free-kick onto the bar.

    Now playing his club football for Club America, where he first played as a youngster before moving to Europe, Ochoa will hope to make the headlines once more this winter.

    Next up we have Garang Kuol, an 18-year-old Australian starlet who will certainly look to impress in the next couple of months.

    Kuol is perhaps a controversial pick, given he has just been signed by Newcastle, who saw off competition from Barcelona to land their man, but the youngster won’t be playing English football until after the World Cup.

    Newcastle boss Eddie Howe has revealed he could be integrated into the squad sooner than expected should he perform well at the tournament, however.

    The Premier League-bound star currently plays his football with Aussie club Central Coast Mariners, where he scored within seven minutes of his introduction during his debut last year.

    Newcastle had tracked the teenager for some time but had to act swiftly as Stuttgart made a bid and Barcelona proposed a two-year loan.

    The Magpies, however, won the race for the Socceroos star and agreed a $515,000 (£300,000) fee with the Aussie side.

    Though playing his international football for Australia, Kuol was born in Egypt, where his family had fled from Sudan, before moving Down Under when he was six.

    Kuol was called up to the Australia squad for the latest international break, becoming the youngest star to do so since Harry Kewell, making a substitute appearance in their 2-0 win over New Zealand.

    And with a huge future ahead, the starlet will look to make an impression in Qatar over November and December.

    Next up is Argentina attacker Thiago Almada, who impressed during his senior debut during the most recent international break.

    Almada featured in Argentina’s 3-0 win over Honduras, earning praise from seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi.

    ‘Thiago is very fresh,’ Messi sad. ‘He’s a very fast player who can play 1v1. He’s clever and isn’t afraid of anything.’

    Playing his club football for Atlanta in the MLS, Almada, 21, has been lethal in front of goal this season, scoring six goals and providing 11 assists in 27 games.

    The midfielder has certainly justified his league record £13.5million transfer fee, shining since making the move from Argentine first division side Club Atletico Velez Sarsfield.

    Almada was an unused substitute in Argentina’s subsequent 3-0 win over Jamaica, but the youngster will hope his enticing cameo will ensure him a place on the plane to Qatar.

    Crucially, Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni is a big fan of Almada, wanting to shape La Albiceleste’s future around him. The Argentina coach has even encouraged the player to seek a move abroad to one of Europe’s top leagues in the future.

    Next up we have a player who will be featuring in the tournament opener between Qatar and Ecuador in versatile attacker Akram Afif.

    The winger, who can also play up front, is undoubtedly the star man for Qatar; he will need to be at his very best if they are to see off two of Ecuador, Senegal and the Netherlands and progress to the knockout stages.

    Afif now plays his football in Qatar with Al Sadd, but the prolific forward did venture to Europe for a brief spell, initially signing for Belgian side Eupen in 2015.

    In 2016, he then became the first Qatari-born signing in LaLiga history when he moved to Villarreal, but he never managed to make an appearance for the Spanish club.

    Instead, he went on loan to Sporting Gijon, before spells back at Eupen and Al Sadd and finally returning to the Qatar club.

    Nevertheless, with 76 goals and 63 assists for Al Sadd in only 124 games, as well as 24 goals in 83 games for his country, Akram Afif will certainly be Qatar’s most potent threat as they look to shine on home soil this winter.

    Remember him? You certainly will if you’re an Arsenal fan, having spent seven years with the north London club between 2011 and 2018.

    Indeed, a longer stint than legendary winger Robert Pires, but things certainly didn’t go to plan for the winger at Arsenal.

    Campbell would make just 40 appearances in total, going on loan to Lorient, Real Betis, Olympiacos, Villareal, Sporting Lisbon and again to Real Betis before finally leaving Arsenal in 2018 and joining Frosinone on a permanent deal.

    The 30-year-old, who received hefty praise from Arsene Wenger during his time at Arsenal, is now playing his football in Mexico with Club Leon, but perhaps he’ll have one eye on a Premier League return should he perform well at the World Cup.

    For his country, Campbell resembles quite the opposite of a forgotten man, having scored the decisive goal that sent Costa Rica to the World Cup back in June.

    Costa Rica defeated New Zealand 1-0 in a closely-contested affair to qualify for their third-straight tournament, having most notably reached the quarter-finals in 2014.

    Campbell, a cult hero for his country, has scored an impressive 25 goals in 117 outings for Costa Rica, and though housed in the ‘Group of Death’ alongside Spain, Germany and Japan, he will be looking to make a name for himself once more.

    Sticking with Costa Rica and we have another blast from the past in 37-year-old Bryan Ruiz.

    The midfielder is now very much in the twilight years of his career – and the World Cup will be his final opportunity to dazzle.

    Ruiz competed in the Premier League with Fulham for four years, before moving to Sporting Lisbon, Brazilian side Santos and finally Costa Rican outfit Alajuelense.

    He memorably scored the winner in a major upset against Italy at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil – that saw Costa Rica progress at the Italians’ and England’s expense – before also finding the net in the last-16 victory over Greece.

    But now, Ruiz insists he will hang up his boots at the end of the year, bowing out in the best way possible by captaining his country at the World Cup.

    Speaking of his retirement, Ruiz said: ‘For us, players of a generation that is coming to an end, so to say, it is nostalgic and very emotional to have this opportunity and to know that for many years we have given our best effort in the national team.

    ‘We have achieved important things, we have even cried for some failures we have had during this process.’

    Another player who recently graced the Premier League is former Stoke and Liverpool attacker Xherdan Shaqiri.

    The 30-year-old is currently playing in the MLS for Chicago Fire, where he has notched an impressive seven goals in 28 outings this season.

    The well-traveled attacker is shortlisted for the MLS End of Year Awards, nominated for the Landon Donovan MLS MVP category, such has been the quality of his performances.

    But it’s not just at club level where Shaqiri has excelled, also playing a pivotal role for his Switzerland side.

    Shaqiri scores three goals in five games as Switzerland made it to the quarter-finals of Euro 2020, before eventually bowing out to Spain on penalties.

    The 30-year-old has failed to hit the target for Switzerland since, however, despite playing in four World Cup qualifiers, two international friendlies and six Nations League games.

    Regardless, having scored 26 goals in 108 games for Switzerland, the former Inter Milan and Bayern Munich star will certainly be on the plane, and he’ll be looking to impress on the big stage once more.

    With Cameroon qualifying for the World Cup, having missed out on the 2018 tournament in Russia, striker Vincent Aboubakar will look to put on a show.

    The 30-year-old is perhaps best known for his six-year spell at Porto, where he scored an impressive 58 goals and provided 16 assists in 125 games.

    Aboubakar also scored 35 goals in 67 games during a fruitful period with Besiktas, and sits as Cameroon’s second-top goalscorer, behind Samuel Eto’o on 56, with 33 goals.

    He was at his scintillating best as Cameroon secured third place at AFCON earlier in the year, scoring eight goals in seven games, the second-biggest tally at a single AFCON tournament.

    The striker has now swapped Europe for the Middle East, playing his football for Al Nassr, where he has scored 10 goals in 30 games since arriving in 2021 on a free transfer.

    Likely to be supported by Bryan Mbeumo and Toko Ekamb on the wings, an exciting attacking trio will look to give Brazil, Switzerland and Serbia a tough challenge.

    Gareth Bale, who is surely the most notable of all the World Cup stars playing their club football outside of Europe, simply has to make the list.

    While the attacker was jeered for much of his Real Madrid career, the same could never be said for his beloved Wales, who are firmly at the forefront of his mind as he enters the final stages of his career.

    Now at 33 years old, a rejuvenated Bale has moved out to the States, switching Madrid for Los Angeles FC as he bids to be in the best possible shape for the impending tournament.

    ‘We have a plan in LA with what we’re doing. We’re not doing too much straight away,’ Bale recently said.

    ‘Every footballer wants to play as much as they can but we’re being clever and building myself up for the last important part of the season. Hopefully that should put me in great shape for the World Cup. I think I’ll be a lot fitter.’

    Wales, who play their tournament opener against the United States on November 21, will certainly hope so, being the nation’s all-time top scorer with 40 goals.

    Bale was integral as Wales made history by qualifying for Euro 2016 before eventually reaching the semi-final, and he was equally as influential as they qualified for the World Cup, netting the only goal as they beat Ukraine in the play-off final.

    Competing the list is USA centre-back Walker Zimmerman, who has established himself as a clear starter in Gregg Berhalter’s side in recent months.

    The 29-year-old plays for Nashville SC and has done since 2020, previously enjoying spells at Los Angeles FC and FC Dallas.

    Zimmerman played a fundamental role in USA’s World Cup qualification, which they sealed despite finishing behind Mexico and Canada.

    The defender – a two-time MLS Defender of the Year – has scored three goals in 31 appearances for his country, and his impressive form form for Nashville this season saw him picked for the MLS all star game against Liga MX All-Stars.

    Zimmerman, who played the full 90 minutes in both of USA’s recent international friendlies, insists his side are out to make a statement in Qatar.

    ‘None of us have a lot of World Cup experience. People can hit on us for that or think that that is a disadvantage,’ Zimmerman recently said.

    ‘But I also know how eager we are to get out there and prove to people what we have in this group.’

    Being in the same group as England and Wales, Zimmerman will certainly have plenty of eyeballs on him this winter.

  • 15 минут назад 03.10.2022Sport
    Phil Foden is ‘set to sign a new six-year contract with Manchester City as soon as THIS WEEK’

    Phil Foden is reportedly set to follow his superb hat-trick in the Manchester derby by signing a new Man City contract this week.

    Foden became even more of a hero at City after scoring his first career hat-trick against rivals in the stunning 6-3 victory over Manchester United on Sunday.

    In doing so, the 22-year-old reached 50 goals under Pep Guardiola, at an even younger age than Lionel Messi did.

    And the good news is set to continue, with City hopeful that Foden will put pen to paper on his new contract as early as this week following lengthy negotiations with the club, according to The Athletic.

    The forward, who is a local lad and a City fan, has never looked to leave the Etihad but talks over signing a new contract were delayed due to a change in his management.

    However, a deal is now very close to being confirmed, The Athletic reports, with the 22-year-old expected to sign for six more years once the last details are finalised.

    His current contract is set to expire in 2024 and Sportsmail reported in August that City had tabled an offer of a six-year contract extension, worth £225,000-per-week.

    He played an instrumental part in City’s demolition of rivals United on Sunday alongside Erling Haaland, who also scored three to become the first player to net hat-tricks in three successive home matches.

    Foden, who joined the club at aged four, signed his first Academy scholarship with the club in 2016 and is currently valued at £132m by CIES Football Observatory analysts.

    The England forward has risen through the ranks at the Etihad, making his Premier League debut against Tottenham Hotspur at the mere age of 17, while also becoming the club’s youngest-ever goal scorer in the Champions League in 2019.

    Since then Foden, who won the 2021 PFA Young Player of the Year Award, has become one of the most exciting young prospects in European football, having played over 180 games for City, scoring 51 goals and making 35 assists across all competitions.

    The forward has won four Premier League titles with the club in his short career to date, which is already more than some of the greatest players have achieved during their careers.

  • 16 минут назад 03.10.2022Sport
    Jamie Carragher hits out at ‘laughable’ criticism of Erik ten Hag after United’s defeat at City

    Jamie Carragher has hit out at criticism of Erik ten Hag’s non-use of Cristiano Ronaldo as ‘laughable’.

    Ronaldo, 37, was an unused substitute in Manchester United’s 6-3 defeat away at Manchester City on Sunday leading to some pundits to criticise Ten Hag’s decision not to introduce the player.

    Asked why he didn’t play Ronaldo, Ten Hag told reporters after the game that it was ‘out of respect for his big career’ that he wasn’t introduced at half-time or thereafter.

    This sparked wild criticism from former player Roy Keane on Sky Sports who accused the Dutchman of showing Ronaldo a lack of respect in his refusal to use him outside of European competition.

    Keane said: ‘I think Man United are showing disrespect to Ronaldo. I think he should have been let go before the [closing] of the window.

    ‘Okay, you’re the manager, you need options but you don’t hold onto Ronaldo to sit on the bench. He’s one of the greatest players ever.

    ‘He’s played him in one or two European games. It’s just going to get uglier as the season goes on.’

    Meanwhile, Graeme Souness on Monday morning told talkSPORT that he would have played Ronaldo at City as opposed to Marcus Rashford because ‘time is not your friend’ in football and the manager needs results now.

    ‘Time is not your friend in football, you have to be winning games today,’ he said.

    ‘It’s not about waiting for Marcus Rashford to become the player that most people believe he can be. It’s not about giving [Anthony] Martial, because of his age, a place in the team over Ronaldo. It’s about today in football. Yeah, I would have [played] Ronaldo.

    ‘Marcus Rashford, when he first burst into the team as a young player you thought “he’s the real deal”. He’s stood still. If you were to ask me today, next week, big game – for all his shortcomings, Ronaldo, I would have played him in front of Rashford.’

    However, Carragher did not agree with his Sky Sports colleagues.

    Writing on Twitter, the former Liverpool and England defender said the idea that Ten Hag ‘got it (his team selection) wrong’ by not playing Ronaldo at City was ‘laughable’.

    ‘The idea that Erik ten Hag got it wrong yesterday by not playing Ronaldo is laughable!’ he wrote.

    ‘Ronaldo played at Brentford when it was 4-0 at half-time. It’s not a dig at Cristiano Ronaldo, but Rashford’s pace on the counter attack as we saw vs. Arsenal [and] Liverpool was the best option.’

    Going into the derby, United had won their previous four games following the ignominious early season defeat at Brentford.

    As noted by Carragher, Rashford scored three goals across the wins over Liverpool and Arsenal, repaying Ten Hag’s faith in him over the Portuguese superstar.

  • 16 минут назад 03.10.2022Sport
    Premier League clubs ‘want to relax restrictions on signing players from abroad’

    All 20 Premier League clubs have reportedly unanimously supported proposals to relax restrictions on their ability to sign players from abroad – and believe the FA are warming to the idea.

    According to The Athletic, the subject of relaxing rules on signing foreign players was raised at a recent meeting of representatives from every Premier League club.

    The report goes on to claim that FA chief executive Mark Bullingham also attended the meeting on September 21 and signalled to have an altered stance to the Football Association’s long-held opposition to relaxing the restrictions in place.

    The current rules on Premier League clubs signing players from abroad were put in place in January 2021 following Britain’s departure from the European Union, which saw the Governing Body Endorsement (GBE) system introduced by the FA.

    This heavily affected which players Premier League teams could sign from outside the United Kingdom, with clubs no longer able to recruit foreign footballers under the age of 18 while English clubs needed to meet a GBE criteria before being granted clearance to complete a transfer.

    A GBE is relatively easily obtained for a regular international or a star player at a top club, but other players need to accumulate 15 points or more, based on a scoring system, which takes account of the quality of the league and competitions they are playing in.

    Should the necessary 15 points be met, the price of the player involved in the deal with inevitably go up as a result.

    Under this points system, leagues around the world are placed into bands and players performing in the higher bands can claim more points. Brazil, Mexico and Argentina’s top leagues have been placed in band three, improving the chances of those players meeting the required standard.

    However, this also poses a challenge for clubs wanting to invest in players from lower European leagues such as Bundesliga 2 in Germany, or Ligue 2 in France.

    While it is argued that this forces top-flight English clubs to invest money back into lower league football as they search for new talent, it hasn’t stopped Premier League clubs from pumping millions into Europe for new players.

    Of the eye-watering £1.9billion spent by Premier League clubs this summer, 62 per cent of that money ended up outside the English system with much of it inflated by a restricted talent pool, further depriving lower league sides of money.

    Foreign teams are also recruiting players and then sell them on for large amounts of profit to English sides, further putting British clubs at a disadvantage.

    The Athletic have gone on to report that the ‘crazy’ profits demanded by foreign clubs has come as a result of the ‘extra tax’ created by the FA and the government, resulting in tens of millions of pounds being taken from the English game.

    It is argued that softening the restrictions would help English clubs financially, with the lowering of the GBE points bar making it easier for Premier League clubs to sign talent from abroad.

    The FA have supported the GBE system with the notion that it protects the England men’s team – but reports suggest there is no statistical evidence that foreign players harm the national team setup or the English pyramid in general.

    This issue of relaxing the rules is said to have been discussed at September 21 meeting with Bullingham reportedly acknowledging that the topic should be ‘studied’, with the FA appearing to consider a different approach.

    Formal proposals are yet to be devised, the report claims, with the next stage to see the FA, Premier League and EFL come together and agree to an aligned approach to present to the UK government.

  • 16 минут назад 03.10.2022Sport
    Tyson Fury starts training camp for his fight on December 3 – but he still doesn’t have an opponent!

    Tyson Fury has shared a picture of himself back in boxing training ahead of his December 3 fight, despite the fact he has no opponent in place.

    The Gypsy King had been scheduled for a bout dubbed the ‘Battle of Britain’ with fellow English heavyweight Anthony Joshua, before calling an abrupt end to the contract negotiations last week.

    He has since been tipped to face German boxer Mahmoud Charr, but with nothing confirmed as of yet, fans are eagerly awaiting an official fight announcement.

    On Monday morning, Fury posted on his Instagram: ‘Day 1 of camp!’ Accompanying the caption was a picture of himself, his team of trainers and brother Tommy standing inside the ring.

    It was a clear indicator that the Gypsy King is preparing for his return to boxing in December, where he is now expected to face Charr. Meanwhile Tommy is expected to finally face-off with internet-personality-turned-boxer Jake Paul next year.

    It comes as the latest twist in a strange series of events after Fury seemed in place to fight Anthony Joshua, before claiming his compatriot had ‘not signed’ the contract.

    The Gypsy King said: ‘Well guys, it’s official: D-Day has come and gone. It’s gone past 5 o’clock [on] Monday, no contract has been signed. It’s officially over for Joshua. He is now out in the cold with the wolfpack. Forget about it.’

    However, Fury returned to social media to claim that Joshua had one final opportunity to sign the contract and gave the heavyweight a 48-hour window to do so.

    When that time-frame passed, Fury told fans the Battle of Britain clash was off for a second time in four days. He said AJ had ‘ducked’ the fight and referred to the 32-year-old as a ‘s***tbag’.

    The Gypsy King subsequently called out Mahmoud Charr for a fight in December – claiming the German heavyweight is a ‘man who wants to fight’.

    Fury said: ‘Mahmoud Charr, it seems now that AJ is finally out, he’s ducked his way out and a s***tbag, coward, and you’re the man who wants to fight, so I like that.’

    With the ‘Battle of Britain’ thrown in jeopardy, Anthony Joshua could now face fellow Brit Joe Joyce, after the latter issued a call-out via social media.

    Stating that while December 3 would be ‘tight for me’ for a match with Fury, he laid down the gauntlet for a dust-up with Joshua later in the month.

    Joyce wrote: ‘If Fury and AJ aren’t fighting then I’ll step in. December 3rd is tight for me @Tyson_Fury, but @EddieHearn you can give your new best mate @frankwarren_tv a call and I’ll take the 17th slot with AJ. Easy fight to make!’

    He recently became the first boxer to stop Joseph Parker, when he knocked out the New Zealand fighter in Manchester last weekend.

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