Issue 294 | February 22 2013
a life in limbo David Haye and the ďŹ ght that may never happen
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issue 294, February 22 2013 radar 06 The Miracle on Ice This week in sporting history, the USA ice hockey team’s win over the unbeatable Soviet Union
08 Rugger reads
In between games of egg-chasing, pick one of these top books
oFeatures this coming week
16 David Haye Love him or hate him, the former heavyweight champion’s career is in limbo – and his future depends on the decision of a Klitschko
Cover image: Chris Floyd/Trunk Archive. This page: Scott Heavey/Getty Images, Staff/AFP/Getty Images
25 Alex Goode
On why, ahead of their meeting with France, England’s Grand Slam hopefuls are keeping their feet firmly on the ground
33 The Capital One Cup final Michu reflects on his first season in England and his first appearance at Wembley, and the Dalai Lama wishes Bradford well
39 Johnny Rea
The World Superbikes rider on the new season, and why Valentino Rossi has an easier job than him
Sony’s new Xperia Z is a full HD smartphone with a five-inch full HD display on a full HD page
Snow+Rock pick out the best skis to wear while humming the Ski Sunday theme on the slopes
Our selection of roll-ons roll into town, accompanied by questionable Oasis punning
60 Games Tomb Raider gets the origin story treatment, and God Of War: Ascension sees Kratos break free of his chains | February 22 2013 | 03
Radar Celtic v Club 12 (cancelled) Importance: 0 Rivalry: 5 This weekend would have marked the 17,000th Old Firm derby of the season, if Rangers hadn’t been smacked down to the Third Division. We probably wouldn’t have watched it anyway.
Man City v Chelsea Sunday 1.30pm Importance: 3 Rivalry: 2 English football’s plutocrats go top hat to top hat with the Premier League runners-up prize the only morsel left on the table. Seems money can’t buy you everything. Not every year, anyway.
p06 – This week in sporting history: 1980’s Miracle on Ice
p08 – We get all misty-eyed over When Rugby was Rugby
Big game hunting A
ll over the continent, fans of Europe’s biggest clubs are preparing for some of the most important games of their seasons. Whether it’s trophy challengers locking horns, local rivals renewing their animosity or a bit of both, there are some seriously titanic clashes taking place this week. Here we’ve mapped out some of the best that Europe has to offer, from Barcelona and Real vying to reach the Copa del Rey final to Manchester City and Chelsea battling for the Premier League runners-up spot. And let’s spare a thought for poor old Rangers, who instead of playing their great rivals Celtic – as originally scheduled – instead face a trip to Berwick-upon-Tweed. Ouch.
Feyenoord v PSV Sunday 11.30am Importance: 4 Rivalry: 1 Challenging with Ajax for the Dutch title, these clubs from Rotterdam and Eindhoven are currently separated by just three points at the top of the Eredivisie.
PSG v Marseille Sunday 8pm Importance: 3 Rivalry: 5 Although the big-spending Parisians are eight points clear of Marseille in third, Le Classique’s fierce rivalry always generates tension, and often violence, with hundreds of arrest over the years.
Inter v AC Milan Sunday 7.45pm Importance: 4 Rivalry: 5 Mario Balotelli returns to his former club, whose fans were recently fined for racist chants about the former Man City striker. Expect fireworks. And not in the bathroom. Barcelona v Real Madrid Tuesday 8pm Importance: 3 Rivalry: 5 Both clubs are probably more focused on the Champions League, but this Copa del Rey clash is still the biggest rivalry in Europe, with the score standing at 1-1 from the first, fascinating leg.
04 | February 22 2013 |
what is it good for? The USA hockey team beat their USSR counterparts during the Cold War. We take a look at some other occasions sport and politics have mixed throughout history... moSCoW mUTiny 1980 Just a few months after the hockey game (left), the UsA and 60 other countries announced their boycott of the 1980 summer olympics in moscow, in response to soviet troops occupying Afghanistan. the russians responded by boycotting the lA games in 1984, along with 15 of their allies. Albania and iran somehow ended up refusing to attend either olympics. we’re not quite sure how that happened.
this week A in sporting history
1980 the mirAcle on ice
06 | February 22 2013 |
t the height of the Cold War, the USA and USSR were, in the political sense, two evenly matched superpowers. It was quite different on ice – the Soviet Union had won every World Championship and Olympic gold for 16 years, and lost just one of their previous 28 matches. So, when the US faced them in the Winter Olympics at Lake Placid, a home victory looked unlikely for all but the most fervent patriots. The only people in America who saw what followed live were the 8,500 in the stadium, because ABC only aired it hours later. The USA were 2-1 behind with seconds to go in the first period, but equalised on the buzzer after a mistake by star keeper Vladislav Tretiak, who was promptly subbed. They took a 4-3 lead with 10 minutes remaining and
hung on for a famous victory that paved the way to the gold medal. ABC decided to show their next match live.
Also this week 1964 A cocky 22-year-old called Cassius Clay is crowned world champ in a surprise win over Sonny Liston. He is later fined for his rant at the weigh-in: “You’re a tramp. I’m gonna eat you up.”
1972 Alex Higgins becomes the youngest world snooker champion at the tender age of 22, on his first attempt. At the time, the Hurricane was living in an abandoned house in Blackburn.
2010 Sachin Tendulkar makes history by making the first ever double-century in an ODI, against South Africa.
SoUTh AFRiCA ShUnned 1964-1991 perhaps the quintessential example of sport’s occasional power over politics, the boycott of south African athletes over the issue of apartheid began with the country’s exclusion from the 1964 olympics, and ended with the abolition of the segregation rules in June 1991. As the Un kept a roster of all sportspeople who competed in south Africa, pressure on the regime grew, and white south Africans named the sport boycott as the third most damaging consequence of apartheid in a 1977 survey. south Africa’s rugby world cup win in 1995 is also given a lot of credit for healing the wounds left by the policy, to the point where the country was able to succesfully host a football world cup in 2010 as a truly united nation.
Steve Powell /Getty Images
The FooTbAll WAR el SAlvAdoR v hondURAS, 1969 three games played against a backdrop of mass el salvadorean immigration into honduras were the spark that lit the fuse of this central American conflict. part of qualifying for the 1970 world cup, the games in June 1969 resulted in mass rioting and, after the third game, a suspension of all diplomatic ties between the two neighbouring nations. the so-called Football war would follow just a few weeks later.
Don’t worry, it’s not all about Guscott
ith the Six Nations returning this week after a well-earned break, we’ve picked out three of the best newly released rugby reads...
When rugby Was rugby Full of iconic images from the Daily Mirror’s rich photographic archive, When Rugby Was Rugby offers a nostalgic trip down a very muddy memory lane. From the sport’s eponymous beginnings at Rugby School to the rise of professionalism via the first organised games of the 19th century – which were seemingly played in Victorian prison garb – this glossy coffee table book offers a thorough if rose-tinted record of the gentleman’s game. One thing’s for sure – the kits are a lot more practical these days. By Neil Palmer, £20 (Haynes)
Bob Wilson: middle name, Primrose
calon: a journey to the heart of Welsh rugby Calon means heart in Welsh, and it’s a fitting title – perhaps no other nation has taken rugby to its heart more deeply than Wales. Author Owen Sheers spent a year with the young team that carries the hopes of that nation, telling the tale in a beautifully written book that covers the Grand Slam win of 2012. By Owen Sheers, £14.99 (Faber and Faber)
125 years of the british & irish lions: the official history Updated ahead of the summer tour, this weighty book covers the entire history of rugby tours to the Antipodes, from 1888 to the present day. We can’t think of a better way to brush up on your Lions knowledge. By Clem and Greg Thomas, £20 (Mainstream)
08 | February 22 2013 |
hat’s the collective noun for a group of football legends? The reason we ask is that a whole team (is that right?) of them will be in town next week for the London Football Legends Dinner and Awards, in support of the Willow Foundation charity. Set up by Bob Wilson (pictured) and his wife Megs, the foundation gives seriously ill 16 to 40-year-olds life-enhancing special days. Sport is an official supporter of the event, which will be attended by stars such as Ian Wright, Jimmy Greaves and Sir Trevor Brooking. London Football Legends Dinner and Awards, Thursday February 28 at Park Plaza Riverbank, London. Tickets from £160 per person. Visit willowfoundation.org.uk/FootballLegends
Radar Editor’s letter Back to the wall: will Arsenal be walking in a Wenger wonderland much longer? www.sport-magazine.co.uk @sportmaguk facebook.com/sportmagazine Free iPad app available on Newsstand
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Arsenal’s two options Win something – quickly – or get a new manager. The Gunners are being backed into a corner
h, Arsenal. You do make life difﬁcult for yourselves sometimes. And when Arsène Wenger gave that press conference this week, it merely added fuel to the ﬁre. I’ve said on this page before that I believe Editor-in-chief the English game owes a great debt to Simon Caney Wenger, and it’s sad to see him being vilified @simoncaney and lampooned by so many – including Arsenal’s own supporters. Now, I’ve learned over the years that Arsenal fans can be a sensitive bunch, but I have a pal who has supported them since Pat Rice was a plucky full-back, and who can be relied upon to offer a rational view. He didn’t let me down when I asked him. And he made the very valid point that there are only two possible outcomes for Arsenal now: they either win a trophy soon or get a new manager, and the latter does not guarantee the former.
The thing that saddens him most is the way the supporters have split. “Personally I never want us to lose a throw-in, but I’ve spoken to people who want us to lose so it expedites change,“ he said. “I cannot fathom that reasoning, I find it bewildering.“ The problem for Arsenal fans is that their team’s performances this season have been so dismally inconsistent. “The whole situation, and any defence I may put up of Arsène, is shot down by some execrable performances this year,“ says my mate. And, ultimately, the manager is accountable for the results. Wenger pushed the boat out to keep Theo Walcott, but Arsenal really still need Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie, too. Whoever takes over needs to ensure Arsenal are not a selling club; in Jack Wilshere, they have the jewel in the crown of English football, and he simply must stay. But is this job now just a poisoned chalice?
This Sunday’s Capital One Cup ﬁnal is a great story. Swansea, who have come up from the bottom tier to the Premier League, against Bradford City, who have done just the opposite. Too often our big Wembley ﬁnals become nothing more than an annoying inconvenience to the so-called big clubs, but this year the League Cup will genuinely mean something to both sets of players and supporters. I’ll root for the underdogs, but a Swansea win would be great for football too. Whatever the circumstances surrounding the tragic death of Reeva Steenkamp last week, there was something ghoulish about the way so many news programmes chose to focus on the damage done to Oscar Pistorius’ ’brand’. Tiger Woods damaged his brand. Lance Armstrong damaged his. In this case, a young girl was killed, but it seems that several people forgot that fact.
Editorial Editor-in-chief: Simon Caney (7951) Deputy editor: Tony Hodson (7954) Art editor: John Mahood (7860) Subeditor: Graham Willgoss (7431) Senior writers: Sarah Shephard (7958), Alex Reid (7915) Staff writers: Mark Coughlan (7901), Amit Katwala (7914) Picture editor: Julian Wait (7961) Digital designer: Chris Firth (7952) Production manager: Tara Dixon (7963) Contributors: Del Gentleman, Mark Richardson, David Lawrenson Commercial Agency Sales Director: Iain Duffy (7991) Business Director: Kevin O’Byrne (7832) Advertising Managers: Steve Hare (7930), Aaron Pinto del Rio (7918) Sales Executive: Joe Grant (7904) Distribution Manager: Sian George (7852) Distribution Assistant: Makrum Dudgeon Head of Online: Matt Davis (7825) Head of Communications: Laura Wootton (7913) Managing Director: Calum Macaulay PA to Managing Director: Sophia Koulle (7826) Colour reproduction: Rival Colour Ltd Printed by: Wyndeham Group Ltd © UTV Media plc 2012 UTV Media plc takes no responsibility for the content of advertisements placed in Sport magazine £1 where sold Hearty thanks to: Garry Hayes, Angela Acquaye
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Reader comments of the week
10 | February 22 2013 |
Argh got my head stuck in @Sportmaguk and missed my change on the train. Extra 1/2 hour of reading time. #fail
After reading @Sportmaguk interview with @LauraTrott31 I continue to look up to her and I also really want one of these Thermomix things!
@simoncaney was it deliberate having a wifi ad behind @sirrkj? “The problem with today is people expect to hear from you”... #solitude
The @Sportmaguk is absolutely class today. Great read @simoncaney @amitkatwala @sarahsportmag
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@simoncaney it takes a big man to admit when he might have got it a bit wrong @Sportmaguk #RVP
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Nowt so dangerous as Le Coq in a corner
n the old days, a three-game week was not uncommon, primarily because nobody had quite realised that this was too much for our bodies to handle. The feeling of waking up on a Wednesday morning, still feeling horribly battered from the Sunday before and knowing you had to play another big match that evening, was gruesome – and anyone who claims they loved it is fibbing. Except me: I loved it because I was the best pro ever. These days, though, the players are protected, as much from themselves as from anybody else. But back then, in the golden age of recklessness, nobody was bothered, so we just got amongst it. I recall with a horrid vividness sitting in the London Irish changing rooms at what would normally have been bedtime, mourning a massive loss in a game we were surely due to win. And all the while knowing we had to play Leicester that Saturday, and that they hadn’t lost in a long, long time. These were tough times and our boss, Francois Pienaar, was three miles short of happy. We were told to be at the clubhouse by 10am the next morning, and to bring our match boots and gumshields. We arrived feeling smashed to bits, having not slept a wink and knowing that we were going to be flogged. Pienaar stood up, looking livid and strapped head to toe for training. “Last night was disgraceful and we all need to take a good look at ourselves,” he said. “We are going to do just that. I want you all at the pub by midday –
12 | February 22 2013 |
they’ve got mirrors there, so we can have a good look.” What a hero. We did go to the pub, we did stay out until stupid o’clock, and we did beat Leicester that Saturday, against all the odds. But my aim here is not to lament the past. Well, it is a little bit – we did have a rare old time. No, all I want to do is ensure that nobody writes off the wounded beast that is the French team. You’ll hear Stuart Lancaster and his charges repeating this sentiment right up until kick-off on Saturday, but do not assume this is merely a standard, media-trained one-liner. Just ask the All Blacks, or the Australians, or the English. Actually, ask anybody who has come a cropper against this mob, and they will tell you the same thing: nobody wants to face a French team in a corner, because the weapons at their disposal are as good as any on earth, should they choose to use them. But their romantic allure and mystique has grown over generations because, simply, they might be god awful too. When the All Blacks play, we know that – bar the very occasional blip – we will see excellence; when the Springboks play, we know there will be brutality; and when the Argentineans play, we know we will see passion to bring tears to the eye. But with the French, we have absolutely no idea. I think this is bloody wonderful, and it’s why they’re my favourite team to watch in the whole world. @davidflatman
It’s like this…
’m a very liberal man. Gay marriage? Fill your boots. Drugs? Legalise and tax them. Immigration controls? Everybody round to ours, because we’re having a party. The England women’s cricket team… hang on a minute. You’ve gone too far there. What? There’s just been a World Cup, and the cash-strapped BBC sent people out to India to cover it? In stadia with so many empty seats that the spectators amounted to witnesses? And the Australians won? And none of them tested positive? Well, there’s your story – and here’s me thinking that American racing driver Danica Patrick is the only female sport star really making a difference. You might not have heard of her, but then you probably haven’t heard of Anya Shrubsole – who, despite almost lending her name to one of the best anagrams ever, was the leading wicket-taker at the latest Women’s World Get-Together Thing. The difference is that, rather than peddling her trade in a gender-specific event, and after posting a qualifying lap with an average speed of 196.4mph, Patrick has just become the first woman to take pole position for the Daytona 500 – the most macho event in the most macho sport in America. Beating the men at their own game, you might say. She has her detractors, of course. Robert ‘Robby’ Gordon, once alleged to have taken a four-mile shortcut in an off-road event in Mexico, has previously refused to race her on the grounds that she is too light. “Do the math,” he said, confirming both his idiot status and the fact that there is nothing more than a weight issue between the best male and female drivers. Three-time Daytona 500 winner Jeff Gordon, however, is “proud to sit on the front row with her”. Patrick, in her own words, just wants to “make some more history”. Go Girl! As I believe they are fond of saying in certain parts of the United States of America. @BorrowsSPORT
Planks of the Week Leeds United supporters (erm… Leeds United) Arrive in Manchester for an FA Cup tie dressed like they are on their way to an 1980s theme night while shouting “we are Leeds!” – which, at best, is a bald statement of the bleeding obvious – before looking for United fans to fight. Wrong place. Proceed to chant Don Revie’s name during the game, taking the whole experience back a further decade. And then the idiots take their shoes off. An anthropologist’s wet dream.
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
Flats on Friday
Frozen in time
Back in 1872, the Football Association ruled that only goalkeepers were allowed to use their hands on the field of play. Forty years later, the blasted killjoys added another restriction, that goalies could handle the ball only inside their penalty area. Unless David de Gea knows something we don’t, that’s still the case – and he could have simply caught this ball. Still, you never know when these pesky rule changes may come in. So better safe than sorry, eh?
14 | February 22 2013 |
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
Use your hands, man!
The waiTing game
ormer world heavyweight champion David Haye has a fitness DVD to sell. He’s making a good job of it, too. But he throws punches better. The question is: which will he be doing more of this year? Sport spoke to Haye – as well as some of the biggest names in boxing – and found a man in limbo. Haye is neither here nor there, but somewhere in between. No longer retired, but pinning his hopes of a return to the ring on the decision of a 41-year-old to fight a man almost 10 years his junior, Haye has backed himself into a corner. He has fought his way out of corners before, of course. Only, this time, there’s no indication of when the bell for the next round might ring. The 41-year-old in question is Vitali Volodymyrovych Klitschko, reigning WBC heavyweight champion and one half of the worldruling heavyweight combo that is the Klitschko brotherhood. He is the older sibling of Wladimir, who beat Haye so conclusively in the heavyweight unification fight for the WBA, WBO, IBF, IBO and The Ring heavyweight titles in Hamburg in July 2011. 16 | February 22 2013 |
It was a defeat that looked set to be Haye’s last when he retired a few months later, on the very day he turned 31. Issuing a lengthy statement announcing the end of his career as a professional boxer, the Hayemaker explained that it had been his intention to retire on that date ever since he “first laced up a pair of gloves as a skinny 10-year-old at the Fitzroy Lodge Amateur Boxing Club in Lambeth”. A glittering career was thus concluded. But coming as it did, amid an onslaught of broken-toe jokes and bottle-job allegations, it was an ending that was always going to require a sequel. This is where Haye’s story takes an unexpected twist. Having previously decided Vitali was the only man who could bring him redemption in the ring, a press conference brawl with former British heavyweight champion Dereck Chisora tempted Haye down a different path – one strewn with smashed glass, steel cages and the kind of violence even a boxing ring can’t contain.
When Sport meets Haye, seven months have passed since he emerged triumphant from another
venomous battle with Chisora – this one taking place inside the square circle and without the added weaponry. In the intervening period, he’s eaten bugs in the jungle for reality TV show I’m a Celebrity... and released a fitness DVD encouraging viewers to ‘Box & Tone’ along with him. He’s had to do some equally heavyweight promotional work around said DVD in recent weeks, which ostensibly is the reason we’re in the whitewashed offices of television shopping channel QVC to talk to him. He’s here to film three live slots plugging ‘The Ultimate Fighting Fit Workout’ that will be screened in between clips of the latest magic carpet cleaners and ladies’ high-end fashions. It’s a far cry from his natural habitat – and ours, too. But how far away from the ring is he really? Physically, Haye says he’s in relatively decent shape. “I’ve been doing bits and pieces in the gym, staying healthy so that, when the fight does get agreed, I’m not a million miles away from where I need to be,” he explains. Ah yes, the fight. The one Haye says he was promised by Vitali and his manager Bernd Boente before that press conference ‘altercation’ took place between him and Chisora.
“It was the carrot of the Klitschko fight that got me back in the ring against Chisora,” says Haye. “Boente said: ‘If David fights Dereck, Vitali will fight the winner.’ So I thought: ‘Okay, I can beat Chisora. About two minutes after that, we had that mad scuffle and it went viral – CNN, NBC, Fox News. I got more coverage for beating someone up in a press conference than for any of the fights I’ve ever had. “I never thought I’d fight someone like Chisora for a non-world title fight. I’m a world-title fighter – I have been for many years now. But this was one of those one-off occasions when it wasn’t about the title. It was big news, and news means interest. Interest means ticket sales, and ticket sales mean money. All of that makes for a high-profile fight, and I’m only in the game for high-profile fights.”
And yet, Haye is not in the game at all right now. Having repeatedly insisted that Vitali is the only opponent motivating enough to coax him back into the ring, Haye has not only left the ball in the Ukrainian’s court; he has effectively given him permission to clear off and do as he damn well pleases with it. But ask Haye now what he thinks the chances are of Vitali taking him on, and he says it’s not as distant a dream as some believe it to be. “There’s not much to sort,” he says. “We just need a date and a venue. We agreed the financial terms and contractual terms months ago, but then all of a sudden he fought a guy called Manuel Charr last September who no one had ever heard of. “I’d said I was willing to fight on that date and he said: ‘No, you fought Dereck instead.’ But Vitali said to fight Dereck! He used that as an excuse not to fight me. But it’s up to him – he does what he wants to do. If he doesn’t want to do it, then he doesn’t want to do it. He said he does, though. So hopefully he’s a man of his word.” Boxers are used to periods of inactivity between fights. They relish the time to recover and repair their bruised and battered bodies. But Haye is well beyond that point now. If he still considers himself >
Haye lands one on Chisora in the latter’s post-Klitschko press conference in Munich
Action Images/Andrew Couldridge/Livepic
“BOente said: ‘if david fights dereck, vitali will fight the winner.’ twO minutes after that, we had that mad scuffle. i gOt mOre cOverage fOr Beating sOmeOne up in a press cOnference than fOr any Of the fights i’ve ever had”
Download the free Sport iPad app from the Apple Newsstand | 17
filling the boxing hole
Those who know him best sense it, too. Elliot Worsell – author of Making Haye and someone who has become an integral part of Haye’s support team – believes that while the boxer is privileged in having made enough money to be able to enjoy life and keep himself busy (he’s frequently jetting off to the warmer climes of Dubai, Las Vegas and Miami), he is starting to miss the fight game. “He’s at the stage I expected him to get to where he’s missing the training element and the camaraderie of having people at the gym watching him prepare for a fight,” says Worsell. “He doesn’t get stopped in the street any more by people asking: ‘When are you fighting next?’ I can definitely sense he misses that.” The Guardian’s boxing writer, Kevin Mitchell, believes Haye is simply a showman who’s craving a stage. “I think he misses the attention, the limelight, like all boxers do when they slip away at the end of their career,” he says. “That’s what made Ricky Hatton come back, whatever he says. The roar of the crowd is a very strong pull, and so many have fallen for it down the years. David is no different.” 18 | February 22 2013 |
But isn’t there more to it? Isn’t there also a desire to get back to doing something he dedicated his life to for 20 years? A passion for the sweet science that also makes it hard to spend such a long time away from it? “I love boxing,” says Haye. “I’ll always watch the big fights when they’re on. In fact, I was in Vegas last week to watch a fight. I love mixed martial arts, too – any sort of combat, really. I’ll watch combat sports all day long on YouTube – old boxing matches, kickboxing, whatever it is. I love combat.” Indeed, a few hours after we speak to Haye, Barry McGuigan’s young charge Carl Frampton is boxing for a European title in Belfast. It’s a fight Worsell says would have been “way below David’s eyeline a couple of months ago”. But on this day, Worsell’s phone rings just as the undercard finishes and it’s Haye, asking him what time the main event begins. “He wanted to get home in time to watch it,” says Worsell. “If you’d have said to me last year that David Haye would be rushing home to watch Frampton box for a European title, I would have laughed at you. But suddenly he had a desire to watch a fight, and it didn’t matter who it was or what was at stake – this wasn’t Floyd Mayweather Jr against Manny Pacquiao. And that told me he’s still in love with the game, otherwise
“i love boxing. i was in vegas last week to watch a fight. i love mixed martial arts, too – any sort of combat, really. i’ll watch it all day on youtube” he’d have been swanning off to a nightclub. So I took positivity from that. “There have been times in the past when David has fallen out of love with the hard graft and the training – that’s natural if you spend your whole life dedicated to fighting. But, normally, those times are quickly followed by him falling back in love with it even harder than before, because he misses it and realises how important it is to him. Boxing has defined who he is. There’s been nothing else in his life besides boxing. I don’t think you can ever truly fall out of love with something that has defined you and made you who you are.” Worsell admits Haye was “fighting off demons for months” after his defeat to Klitschko the younger in Hamburg, but watched him come back to knock Chisora out in style last summer. “He did things in that fight, even after a year off, that he hadn’t shown before in his career,” he says. “To me, that showed he’s still improving and that’s one of the things that would make it a bit sad if he never boxed again.” Even Frank Warren – a man who, in his own words, “never had a lot of time for Haye in the past” – was impressed by the fighter he watched pummel Chisora at Upton Park. “His love for the game was > Download the free Sport iPad app from the Apple Newsstand
Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images
to be a boxer (and his recent re-application for a licence from the British Boxing Board of Control suggests he clearly does), then he will surely have reached the stage where the desire to train and rebuild the mind and body that helped him win world titles in two weight divisions is seeping back into his blood. Is it making him twitchy to fight again, we wonder? Haye offers a wry smile, insisting the frustration of waiting for Klitschko is nothing he’s losing sleep over: “If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be,” he says. “If not, then I’ll survive. I won’t miss any meals because of it.” The words come out easily enough – they usually do with Haye – but you sense there’s little substance behind them.
“i don’t regret or Want to Change things – i never look baCk. every deCision i’ve made has Changed me in some Way – sent me doWn a different path”
definitely still there,” says Warren. “And I was surprised by the love he got from that crowd, too. When they respond to you like that, it’s a bit like a drug – you want more of it.”
Weighing up the options
A boxing promoter and manager for more than three decades, Warren is pragmatic on the likelihood of seeing a Klitschko versus Haye mega-fight. While some believe Haye’s bar-room-type brawl with Chisora has forever soured relations with the Klitschko camp, Warren maintains that the only stopping point is cold, hard cash. “The Klitschkos are looking for fights that will generate big income, so providing David can get the guarantees he’d need from UK television to make it work financially, I have a feeling it could happen,” he says. “If not, he either retires or looks to fight someone else.” Neither of those options are particularly attractive to Haye. He has already retired once, that’s true, but not many people believed that Haye would really give his illustrious career such a sloppy full stop as the one he provided in Hamburg. And, if Worsell’s romantic view of Haye’s relationship with boxing is to be believed, the Hayemaker will surely find it more difficult than he’s willing to admit to truly turn his back on boxing. So what of the second option? Haye versus British heavyweight champ David Price or notorious loudmouth Tyson Fury would have a huge domestic appeal, according to Tristram Dixon, editor of Boxing News. “There are plenty of people for Haye to fight, if only he’d beat the drum,” he explains. “Fury is the most viewed boxer in Britain – his link with Channel Five means he gets an average of two million viewers per fight, and that went up to near three million for his bout with Chisora. With that kind of reach and the pay-per-view platform that could be provided by Channel Five’s partnership with Primetime, both guys would make a lot of money from that fight.” For now, Haye is adamant – it’s a Klitschko or nobody: “Only Vitali. Wladimir has said he doesn’t want to fight me, and that’s fair enough. He doesn’t 20 | February 22 2013 |
have to. He beat me fair and square. The way I see it, though, if I beat Vitali and knock him out, I’m sure Wladimir would change his tune about not wanting to fight me.” Dixon believes that, despite Haye’s words, he could still find the motivation to glove up for Fury in the same way he did for the Chisora bout. But former world featherweight champ Barry McGuigan is unconvinced. “He’s already been undisputed world cruiserweight champion and won a heavyweight world title, so he doesn’t really want to muck around,” he says. “Haye feels he merits a direct shot at the world title and, to my mind, he does. “His performance against Wladimir was poor, but he doesn’t need to go down the rungs of the ladder. He’s still a young man and has the punching power to knock anyone out, including the Klitschkos. I think it would be a step back for him to box Fury or Price – they need him more than he needs them.” Haye’s appetite for boxing has been diluted, says McGuigan, by all the shenanigans around it and some of the characters involved. “I don’t think he’s someone who gets up every morning thinking about the game or bursting for the door to get to training,” he says. “I don’t think he’s in love with boxing, which is why he only wants the top man, or he’s going to opt out. That doesn’t surprise me.”
Counting doWn the days
Haye’s single-minded approach is one that Worsell is accustomed to seeing from the former world champion. “He’s very stubborn and, if he wants to achieve a certain goal – like beating Vitali – then that’s all that’s in his mind,” he says. “But I’m more and more sceptical over whether that fight will happen. I’m not hopeful, and I think with each day that passes David becomes even less hopeful.” Should Klitschko bang a final nail into the coffin of Haye’s hopes this year, Worsell believes that could be exactly what the south Londoner needs: “If Vitali did come out and officially retire, or even just say ‘I don’t have any interest in fighting David’, then at least there would be some closure. David would be able to
Haye takes Chisora on again, this time in the ring, knocking him out in five rounds
Feet up: Haye tweeted this picture of himself watching Frampton v Martinez from his sofa earlier this month
sit down and think: ‘How much do I really want to box again? Am I prepared to box someone else and go away and train like I used to for eight weeks, or do I just not have it in me any more?’ “At the moment, because Vitali is dragging it out, David can keep using the line that Vitali is all he’s waiting for. He still has that up there as a kind of dream. But we need it to be less of a dream and more of a reality. “At this point, I’d still be surprised if David was to box someone other than a Klitschko. But, at the same time, I’d be a lot less surprised than I would have been last year.” It would be no surprise at all for Warren, though. The promoter manages Chisora and was responsible for persuading Haye to grant a fight – and a hefty payday – to someone he had frequently dismissed as both “a moron” and “a loser, on every level”. “I’m sure he never had any intention of fighting Chisora until all the nonsense that happened at the press conference,” admits Warren. “But people change their minds. Everything that’s said at the time is how it is, but circumstances change. He’s done very well for himself. But, like most people, I’m sure he’d like to earn more money, and what he does for a living is boxing. So I believe he’ll fight again.” Warren’s words ring true when Haye talks about the direction his life has taken over the past 18 months. Ask him whether he regrets anything – from the embarrassing ruck with Chisora to showering naked in front of the world for reality TV – and he’s adamant that he had reasons for doing it all. “Every decision I made was on the spur of the moment and that’s how I felt at the time,” he says. “I don’t regret or want to change things – I never look back. Have I changed? Every decision I’ve made has changed me in some way – sent me down a >
different path, maybe one I wasn’t anticipating or expecting. But everything happens for a reason, and I’m in a good place. I’ve got this fitness DVD that I’m happy with and I’m working on a range of healthy supplements, trying to pass on some of the knowledge that I’ve needed throughout my career.”
Timing iT righT
Today, he talks of wanting to be in the health and fitness industry – but in the past he’s also mentioned Hollywood as being the his next destination. There’s a definite sense that, as far as life after boxing goes, he is yet to decide where he really belongs. “He does get bored easily,” says Boxing News editor Dixon. “But I don’t think he necessarily has a long-term vision. We’ve heard the stories of him wanting to be the first black James Bond and all that stuff, but it won’t get his competitive juices flowing. He’s applied for his boxing licence again, too. So what’s he playing at if he doesn’t want to fight?” As the days pass, says Dixon, Haye moves further away from the skills, power and impeccable timing that made him a world champion: “The clock doesn’t stop ticking in boxing. Even though he’s still a young guy for a heavyweight – and he’s not really got a high mileage in terms of his number of fights – the longer Haye leaves it, the harder it will be to come back in terms of inactivity and getting meaningful fights.” Worsell has his own worries about the impact Haye’s time out of the ring would have on him, should he fight on: “The timing issue is what I worry about with him, because you only really get that from fighting or sparring. And David famously never did a lot of sparring throughout his career. “Going into the Chisora fight was probably the most sparring he’d ever done. He sparred like an old-school fighter leading up to that, I think, because he’d had so long out of the ring. He needed to feel 22 | February 22 2013 |
what it was like to be punched in the face and get pushed around, because he knew it was going to be a tough physical fight – so he had to be prepared for it. “You can get your timing that way, but ideally you’d be boxing three times a year and that timing would just always be there. Being out of the ring for a year and just hoping you can get that timing back is a risk.”
Long Live The hayemaker
As someone who has seen Haye burdened by the empty agony of defeat and lifted by the wave of euphoria after a victory, Worsell is as much in two minds as the boxer on whether he wants to see him fight again. “I wouldn’t be unhappy either way,” he says. “Simply because he’s had that Chisora win. If that fight had never happened, and he potentially went out on that defeat to Wladimir, I’d have been really disappointed and wanted him to box again. The Chisora fight did provide a sort of closure to his career in a way, if that is the way it’s meant to be.
“But if Klitschko is open to fighting David, I’d be 100 per cent behind him boxing again. If you’re talking about other fighters not named Klitschko, then I’m 50-50. If David suddenly found a thirst for beating those guys, jumped into training camp with gusto and was as inspired as I’ve ever seen him, then absolutely – it would be great to see him fight those guys. But if I sensed he was being drawn into it just because he was fed up or wanted the money, then I’d go the other way. I’d be really sad if it came to that.” Haye is likely to remain undecided until he gets his final answer from the Klitschko camp. Until then, he’ll keep himself busy chasing the sun, making TV appearances and crossing off days in his diary until the fog that’s clouding his future clears. But he’s sure he’s not yet ready to slip silently into obscurity. “People love the Hayemaker or they hate the Hayemaker,” says Haye. “But one way or another, people feel passionate about the Hayemaker. And, for me, that’s good. What I don’t want is for people to think: ‘Oh, he’s a nice guy. I couldn’t care if he fights or not, though. And I couldn’t care watching him.’ I’m not interested in being that guy. I’m interested in getting people to feel one way or another. “Since I went into the jungle, people have seen the real me a bit more. So maybe if I get another fight, I might not feel the need to hype it up like I used to. Maybe I’ll just be me. That’ll be interesting.” If there is to be another fight in Haye’s future, it will be interesting to say the least – whoever is in the opposite corner. And, if there isn’t, be prepared for another PR onslaught... this time plugging the Hayemaker range of protein bars and mealreplacement shakes. Let’s hope Vitali fronts up, then, for the good of us all.
Sarah Shephard @sarahsportmag David Haye’s Box & Tone, the ultimate fighting fit workout DVD, is available via qvcuk.com, priced £9.98, item number 400394 Download the free Sport iPad app from the Apple Newsstand
Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images, 2012 Rex Features
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England arE on coursE for grand slam glory but, With francE in toWn tomorroW, full back alEx goodE tElls us thE mEn in WhitE arE kEEping thEir fEEt on thE ground How big was the win in Dublin for this side? “It was a great step in the right direction for us, because we pride ourselves on improving each week as a group. Everyone talks about the New Zealand game and the Scotland game in terms of how well we played, but the win over Ireland showed the character of the group in the way we rallied when things weren’t going well. People made mistakes, obviously, but we showed composure and took the game by the scruff of the neck when we went down to 14 men. That’s a huge step forward for this team.“
Alex Livesey/Getty Images
How important was that 10-minute period when you were down to 14? “It was big, because a lot depends on how you react to moments like that. We were very good all day at getting behind each other and getting a positive outlook instilled when people made mistakes. No one was angry at James [Haskell, who was yellow-carded]; we just got on with it and said: ’What’s our next job? Let’s go up the other end and get something out of the game.’ The way we responded is a big turning point for this side.“ Is the way you responded also a sign of this team’s ability to self-manage? “Yeah, a lot of people talk about Robbo [Chris Robshaw] as captain, and Owen [Farrell] as a
leader at fly half, but the whole team was in a really good place. No one was panicking, everyone knew their role, everyone knew what was expected of them. We didn’t have to be told before the game that we have to play in their territory, or anything like that. You’re good enough rugby players already to know that, when it gets wet like that, it’s going to be tough. So you dig in and fight hard for each other. Everyone showed great work rate and put pressure on them, and all our decision-making was very good. That was probably the key to the victory.“ Did you expect a busy afternoon when you woke up and saw the weather? “Yeah, it didn’t stop raining from when I woke up. You know what you’re in for, and then when Ronan [O’Gara] came on, it was always going to be even tougher. It’s something I pride myself on, though – the tactical cat and mouse with the opposition 10 – and luckily Mike Brown on the wing was fantastic. We really dealt well with what Ireland threw at us. I’m lucky enough to have had Mike Catt put up hundreds of spiral bombs and kicks that are impossible to catch, so I was used to them.“ How confident is this squad? “Coming into the Six Nations, there was a real spring in everyone’s step – you could tell everyone really wanted to >
| February 22 2013 | 25
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
“we want to put down a marker that we’re the most physical team in international rugby” be there. Training was a bit bubbly and everyone was a bit more enthusiastic because they’d wanted to get back in the camp. That hasn’t changed. I wouldn’t say there’s an arrogance, though. The moment we get arrogant or get above ourselves – or start thinking about games in the future – is a bad time for the group, and that’s when we’ll come unstuck. If we stay humble and work hard for each other, as we have been doing, we’re in the right place.“
You played a lot of rugby at fly half, but seem to have settled at full back. Is that your position now? “Yeah, the transition’s been there for a while now, and I’m very happy with it. People have wondered if I’m going to go back to 10, but I’ve always said that if I’m improving as a 15 and things are going well then there’s no need for me to change. I love being a full back, I love playing for England and I don’t want any of that to change.“
France are next up tomorrow. Have you seen their first two games? “Yeah, I’ve seen their games. There’s nothing more dangerous than a French side that’s been written off, or that has nothing to play for. They have quality – that doesn’t change overnight – and if they take it to you, they can be the best in the world. The key for us is to make sure our defence is spot on.“
People have talked about a new breed of full back, with it becoming a second receiver role. How much does your time at fly half help you in that role? “It gives you a different outlook, definitely, but I wouldn’t say it was a new breed too much – you get different types of full backs, it’s as simple as that. There are wonderfully gifted runners out there who break the line all the time, and I’ve come from a different background because I was a 10 – so [I have] the kicking game, the organising, the first receiver and second receiver stuff. All of that’s not foreign to me, and it means that Owen knows that if he gets caught up in a ruck, or if he’s sorting something out, I can help him out in the 10 slot. The more we get that kind of understanding, the better it will be for the team. At the end of the day, though, a full back’s role is to take his high balls, be secure at the back and come alive in attack. I’m also there to beat people and show my footwork and my strength. That’s something I’ve worked on over the past two years, in terms of my power and my speed. That’s going really well, so hopefully I’ll keep getting chances to show that.“
Defence and intensity seem to be the buzz words around this squad. Is this a team built on its defence? “It’s something we pride ourselves on, yeah. We get energy from our defence and the way we do it – and we defend well – but it’s not something we’ll rest on either. You’ve got to keep working and make sure you’re always at the top of your game. We have a group of guys who want to work for each other, which is a massive thing. And, when we got opened up against Ireland, the way the guys got back and scrambled was fantastic. That was key in that first half. Everyone in the group wants to work for each other, and that makes a big difference. We want to put down a marker that we’re the most physical team in international rugby.“
26 | February 22 2013 |
Speaking of your speed, Saracens advisor Richard Hill said of you: “He’s low slung and the opposition think he’s slower than he is.“ What do you make of that? “To be fair, I always said I wasn’t the quickest as well. A lot of boys think I have this long stride that looks really slow, so they say I’m moving quicker than I look. It’s a compliment, I guess! The key is that everything is done at 100mph at international level, and sometimes you see the likes of Dan Carter, Berrick Barnes – and Owen has really developed it – changing their pace. It’s sometimes best not to be going at 100mph, and to be in control of your speed and of what you’re doing. That’s something I learned as a 10 and is something I can hopefully utilise more at full back, where I get a bit more space and time.“
24.8 england’s starting XV against ireland had an average age of 24.8, with just one player (geoff parling) over the age of 27
Finally, we must ask about the man in charge. What does Stuart Lancaster bring to this group that’s turned you into world-beaters? “He’s just great at speaking to the guys on a level. He lets us be creative and talk about ideas ourselves, and that leads to us having more responsibility and more trust in each other on the field. Other than that, he’s very big on instilling the right mixture of selfbelief and humility. He’ll tell us that we’re better than our opponents, and can beat anyone, but also that we have to get the results to back it up. Stuart’s great at not letting us think beyond the upcoming game, and it’s something we’re thriving on.“ Mark Coughlan @coffers83 Alex Goode was speaking at the launch of the O2 Touch tour organised by the RFU and O2, proud Partner of England Rugby, to get more people involved in rugby. Visit www.rfu.com/O2Touch
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2013 Six Nations
England v FrancE Saturday Six NatioNS: ENglaNd v FraNcE twickENham BBc oNE 5pm
s Stuart Lancaster’s men look to make it three wins out of three at Twickenham tomorrow, we take a look at how they’re shaping up and analyse the task in hand...
EngLAnd If the long, flat Owen Farrell pass that led to Geoff Parling’s try characterised England’s victory over Scotland three weeks ago, then the same can be said for the Courtney Lawes hit on Rob Kearney against Ireland one week later. It was body-on-the-line rugby, with a teammate just two steps away to get over the ball and win the penalty. This England side is being built on honesty, hard work and a genuine sense of team spirit not often seen beyond club rugby. Chris Robshaw embodies that feeling, and his leadership will be important again tomorrow, in the wake of what is likely to be a French backlash. England’s game is founded on doing the basics, and letting the other team make the mistakes. The key, then, is to start well against France and sap them of any belief. A strong defensive display will be important from the off, while the better weather might mean a touch more ball-carrying in the back row and more opportunity for creativity in the backs. Expect to see the centres running clever lines in a
28 | February 22 2013 |
bid to open the French three-quarters up, but it is England’s offloading game in the tight that will cause the most problems. Get that right early on, and France could leave London zero from three.
OnE TO wATch
Chris Ashton Kept pretty quiet by the conditions against Ireland, but Ashton (above) has a spring back in his step. Dry conditions could see him notching his second try of the tournament.
FrAncE As David Flatman explains on page 12 of this very magazine, there are few more dangerous prospects in rugby than a France team with nothing to lose – and that’s exactly what England face tomorrow. Coach Philippe SaintAndre welcomes the evergreen Vincent Clerc back on the wing, which means moving Wesley Fofana into the centres, but it’s up front and in the half-backs where he needs a clearer game plan. Watch France’s first two matches and it seems unclear whether Frederic Michalak or François
Trinh-Duc (when he’s been on the field) is running the back line, while too many half-breaks aren’t being supported. The French have looked out on their feet (not to mention utterly disinterested) at times this year, but Saint-Andre has blamed tiredness for a lot of the issues. A week without a game might refresh his side, while the unthinkable prospect of the Wooden Spoon might help motivate them. Start well, and the strut could return to this French team. After that, anything can happen.
OnE TO wATch
Louis Picamoles While all around him have been losing their heads, the big man has displayed a combination of both power and pace that caused problems for Wales and Italy. England will need to keep him quiet on Saturday.
Our prediction England 22-16 France
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images, David Rogers/Getty Images
England have lost only one Six nations encounter against France since 2006, beating them in five of their six meetings
2013 Six Nations
The loss of Sergio Parisse to suspension (for insulting a referee in a French league match) is a huge blow to Italy’s chances of a second victory in this season’s tournament, but the France win proved this side has more than one trick up its sleeve. Much depends on how they play tomorrow, however. The temptation will be to return to the ball-up-the-jumper game that has seen them pick up wins over the years, but they need to back themselves against a Wales team still some way short of its best. Use their powerful backs to puncture holes, then quick ball to Luciano Orquera could cause problems. The worry is that negativity returns to their game in Parisse’s absence.
One tO watch Andrea Masi The full back will need to counter Welsh threats and keep Italy in the right half of the field to do some damage.
Saturday Six NatioNS: italy v WaleS Stadio olimpico, Rome BBc oNe 2.30pm
Confidence is such a precious commodity in elite sport, and Wales have finally rediscovered theirs after a first win in nine games. Rob Howley’s decision to stay loyal to his Parisian heroes will help build that confidence, but alarm bells will still be ringing because Wales played within themselves in France. One moment of creativity from Dan Biggar led to the match-winning try, but now Wales need to find more of them. The power game they love to use is getting found out, so a Plan B is required.
One tO watch Andrew Coombs Wales’ top tackler (21 tackles and three turnovers) after two rounds has been something of a revelation. Coombs’ commitment will be key to stopping Italy at source and starving them of possession.
Our prediction Italy 12-26 wales
scotland v Ireland scOtland
Yet another of the Jekyll and Hyde teams on display in this year’s tournament, Scotland’s performance in their 34-10 victory over the Italians had coach Scott Johnson purring – if a 50-year-old Aussie can purr, that is. In a similar vein to Wasps at Premiership level, Scotland have such finishing potential in their side that victory is built on doing the simple things well and letting the flyers finish. A powerful display up front, coupled with Greig Laidlaw pulling the strings from nine, will create open spaces – all Stuart Hogg, Sean Maitland and Tim Visser need is the ball coming their way in them.
One tO watch Sunday Six NatioNS: ScotlaNd v iRelaNd muRRayfield BBc oNe 2pm
Greig Laidlaw After so long at 10, Laidlaw is loving life back at nine. The 27-year-old’s quick feet and even quicker hands will be crucial to his team’s attempts at moving the Irish defence around.
With an absentee list longer than most sides’ bench, Ireland will have a much-changed look about them on Sunday; but captain Jamie Heaslip remains and, after the debacle in Dublin, things can’t get any worse for the men in green. The biggest frustration against England was the failure to do the basics and hold on to the ball. With the dangermen Scotland possess, the Irish know that possession is king in Edinburgh. Starve the Scots, and the penalties will start coming. That’s where a certain Ronan O’Gara comes into his own.
One tO watch Craig Gilroy After two tight and nervy affairs, the Ulster winger could well enjoy the open spaces Murrayfield can offer, while his big tackling will be important against Hogg and Visser.
Our prediction Scotland 19-17 Ireland | February 22 2013 | 31
Stu Forster/Getty Images, Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
Italy v wales
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Flying Swan With the Capital One Cup ﬁnal against Bradford City this weekend, Michu looks back on his move to Swansea and reﬂects on why he has been such a success in his ﬁrst season in English football k | February 22 2013 | 33
Ahead of his side’s trip to the Liberty Stadium on the Sunday before Christmas, Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was asked about the dangers posed by Swansea’s in-form forward. “He can play up front or drop into the middle, so he could give us a problem,” replied Fergie, speaking, of course, about Michu. “It was first-class business by Swansea to cherry-pick him. I’d never even heard of him.” He wasn’t alone. While Ferguson was busy breaking the Glazers’ piggy bank to buy Robin van Persie, Swansea quietly spent their summer securing the two signings that would come to define their successful second season in the Premier League. The first, installing the great Michael Laudrup as manager, sent a ripple of excitement through the English game; the second, paying Rayo Vallecano £2m for the little-known attacking midfielder Miguel Perez Cuesta, barely
34 | February 22 2013 |
warranted a mention. Seven months on, a player more commonly known as Michu is in pretty much every fantasy team in the land – and looking forward to making his first appearance at the home of football. “I’ve never played at Wembley, so I’m really looking forward to that,“ he says. “We are favourites, but Bradford have already beaten three Premier League teams and we have only one game against them – not home and away, like we had against Chelsea, to get it right.
They are three categories below us, so we are expected to win, but it will be difficult. Maybe it will take extra time to do it.“
Humble beginnings The respect Michu affords Sunday’s opponents is born not out of the modern footballer’s obligation to say the right thing, but a natural humility fostered in his home city of Oviedo. The 26-year-old was one of a number of footballers – including Juan Mata and Santi Cazorla – to offer financial support to aid Real Oviedo’s battle for survival earlier in the season, and speaks frankly about the parlous state of the game in Spain. “There is no money now in Spain,“ he says. “When Rayo travelled to play Real Sociedad in San Sebastian, the journey on back roads took hours longer than it should have done because the club couldn’t afford the motorway tolls. All the people on the bus were saying: ’This is crazy, where are we going?’ If we’d known what was happening, we’d have made a collection for the tolls.“ No surprise, then, that Swansea were not forced to sell the family silver to buy a
“It is important to have confidence in your own ability, and I always thought I could do well in England”
Pleased to Michu: scoring against Chelsea in the semi ﬁnal (left); holding off Jamie Carragher at Liverpool in the fourth round (above); celebrating a draw with Man Utd (above, right) and scoring in the Swans’ win away at Arsenal
player his manager now believes is worth £30m. “Rayo had no money so they sent a letter out saying I was available,“ Michu reveals. “Swansea’s £2m was like a gift from heaven.“ It’s a phrase many Swansea fans might use in reference to their star man, who signalled his arrival in south Wales with four goals in his first three Premier League starts – including a brace on his debut on the opening day of the season. He now has 18 in 32 appearances in all competitions, his ability to play as either attacking midfielder or lone striker a precious commodity for his manager in a league where time on the ball comes at a high premium. “It is important to have confidence in your own ability, and I always thought I could do well in England,“ says Michu. “Here the game is up and down, box to box, and it is easier for me to find space. There are plenty of chances, and for an offensive midfielder it is ideal. “I have faith in my first touch, and that’s essential over here because you have such little time in the penalty area. A good touch
gives you a great advantage – and playing in a team like Swansea helps me because we like to keep the ball.“
Feasting at the top table Swansea’s ability to do just that is the legacy of a footballing culture put in place by Roberto Martinez and continued by Brendan Rodgers. It is no surprise that Laudrup, one of European football’s all-time greats, espouses many of the same virtues as his predecessors – but the Dane’s greater experience as a player at the very top of the game has perhaps instilled in him a more practical edge. Many wise judges have noted that his team isn’t afraid to adopt a more direct approach when necessary, and it’s hard to argue with the results: Swansea have registered wins at both Anfield and Stamford Bridge in the run to the Capital One Cup final, while Michu himself netted twice in a deserved 2-0 win at the Emirates in December. The expected victory on Sunday would earn the club a ticket to play European football next term, while they currently sit an entirely merited eighth
in the Premier League table. In typically modest fashion, Michu is quick to deflect any credit his manager’s way. “The gaffer was one of my idols when I was growing up,“ he says. “He was a truly great player. As a coach, he allows us the freedom to try things on the field. Yes, we have responsibilities, but the attacking players always have the licence to try a particular skill – and, if we lose the ball, no problem. I like that very much.“ The first picture Michu messaged his older brother Hernan – who also played as a midfielder for Real Oviedo but is now a lawyer – from Swansea was one in which his manager was stood with his arm around him. It paints a picture of mutual respect, even friendship, between player and manager, Spaniard and Dane, forged in the former mining heartland of south Wales. Come Sunday evening, there is every chance that the pair will have combined to bring Swansea City the first major piece of silverware in the club’s history. And that would make the £2m man from Oviedo little short of priceless.
Quotes taken from the Official Capital One Cup Final programme. To order your copy, visit ProgrammeMaster.com or call 08700 20 20 20
OFFICIAL MATCHDAY PROGRAMME
BRADFORD CITY v SWANSEA CITY SUNDAY 24TH FEBRUARY 2013, 4PM KICK OFF WEMBLEY STADIUM
Clive Mason/Getty Images, Clive Brunskill/Getty Images, Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images, Greenwood/AFP/Getty Images
Sunday Capital One Cup Final: BradFOrd City v SwanSea City | wemBley Stadium | Sky SpOrtS 1 4pm
Capital One Cup Final
upset specialists Sport spoke to Mike Harrison of The City Gent – the oldest football fanzine in Britain – who told us how Bradford City might spring a surprise on Sunday Carl McHugh (on the ground) and teammates celebrate his goal in the ﬁrst leg against Villa
who we only got from Kilmarnock in January – has been great.”
Momentum is with them “You just get a feeling about a cup run,” says Harrison. “It isn’t just the results against Arsenal and Aston Villa, as great as they were. We went to extra time against Notts County in the very first round. We were 2-0 down and going out with less than 10 minutes to go against Burton Albion in the third round, and we won that in extra time [scoring in the 84th and 90th minutes, then winning 3-2]. Players and fans go into this game thinking anything’s possible, because we’ve seen it all.”
Claret and amber: the Dalai Lama sent the club a letter wishing them luck in the ﬁnal
A Nahki of scoring “I don’t want to put any pressure on the lad, because he’s only 22 and still learning,” says Harrison of Bradford’s Bermuda international Nakhi Wells. “But he can definitely go on to play at a higher level.” The striker scored the first goal of the semi final against Aston Villa, and that’s far from a one-off. “He’s a goal-scorer: 14 in the league this season and another four in cup competitions,“ says Harrison. “Give him a chance at Wembley, and he’ll take it.”
Swans’ inexperience Harrison is full of praise for Swansea City’s rise through the football league. “They have their own incredible story to match our own this season,“ he says. “They’re a club that have gone about things the right way, but we shouldn’t forget that Swansea were where we are now not too long ago [they were a
fourth-tier club as recently as 2005]. How many times have Swansea played in front of 80,000+ at Wembley? How many of their players have won major trophies? As a club, they’re as inexperienced as we are at playing in a major final like this.”
They won’t want penalties Defensive options “Michu is Swansea’s dangerman,” says Harrison. “[Manager] Phil Parkinson probably won’t assign one player to mark him, but he has a big decision to make in central defence. Rory McArdle had, I think, played more football than any player in the league this season because of all our cup games. He played 39 matches until getting injured two weeks ago, and now we’re not sure if he’ll be fit. Andrew Davies has only just returned from a knee injury, but he’s been excellent since then and Michael Nelson –
Nine lives Bradford City's ruN of peNalty shootout wiNs stretChes BaCk over NiNe CoNseCutive matChes Bradford 2-2 Notts County Football League Trophy Bradford 2-2 Port Vale Football League Trophy Bradford 0-0 Sheff Wed Football League Trophy Huddersfield 2-2 Bradford Football League Trophy Sheff Utd 1-1 Bradford Football League Trophy Hartlepool 0-0 Bradford Football League Trophy Wigan 0-0 Bradford League Cup Bradford 3-3 Northampton FA Cup Bradford 1-1 Arsenal League Cup
36 | February 22 2013 |
“We have the Dalai Lama on our side,” insists Harrison. “For years, we’ve joked that he supports Bradford because he wears claret and amber robes. Last year, he was in Yorkshire and a supporters’ group gave him a shirt with his name on the back. Word got to him that we’re in the final and his people sent us a letter. I have a copy: ’On behalf of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, may I offer you, and indeed the whole team of players for Bradford City, huge congratulations... if His Holiness’ blessing has helped in any way towards your wonderful efforts, I hope it continues to bring good fortune.’”
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“Say it’s 0-0 or level at the end of the game,” says Harrison. “Swansea might get nervous, because just look at our record on penalties [see below]. Would I take penalties? I’d bite your hand off if you offered me that now.”
Order copies of The City Gent via thecitygent. co.uk – the latest issue is a League Cup final special
Alex Livesey/Getty Images, Raveendran/AFP/Getty Images
Taking on The world British World superBikes rider Johnny rea tells us Why, unlike most people, he can't Wait to get Back to Work
orld superBikes rider Johnny rea is patiently explaining to Sport why Valentino Rossi‘s job is much easier than his. The Northern Irishman is well placed to make the comparison – he made the step up from Superbikes to Grand Prix racing on two occasions last year, filling the storied leathers of the injured Casey Stoner at San Marino and Aragon. “Superbikes feels faster because it‘s more raw and aggressive,” says the 26-year-old. “MotoGP bikes are fine-tuned racing machines and, when you go full gas on a GP, the mappings and the fuelling and the electronics make it feel like you‘re riding a scooter off the lights. If you tried to do that on a Superbike, you‘d get high-sided to the moon because it‘s a bit more raw.” We spoke to Rea with him preparing for a return to his day job – when the FIM Superbike World Championship begins anew in Australia this weekend.
Were you happy with your fifth-placed finish in Superbikes last year? “In the end, yes, but we expected to be more competitive as a team. It was clear the package wasn‘t as we expected. I would have been happy with top three, but that got away – so I feel like I didn‘t achieve my own goals. But a massive dream of mine was to win the Suzuka 8 Hours race, and I did.” >
| February 22 2013 | 39
Mirco Lazzari GP/Getty Images
How was your stint in MotoGP? “It was good... but I feel like I didn‘t get a fair crack, because I was bouncing from Superbikes to MotoGP week on, week-off, and the two bikes are completely different. While I had a contract for Grand Prix, my job was to race in the Superbike World Championship, so I tried not to let the GP thing distract me from that. At the same time, I wanted to give a good account of myself, because that‘s seen as the elite class in the sport. I think I did a good job – it was a good experience, but I just feel like I needed more time to understand it. It‘s certainly easier to ride, but to race and find that extra second in MotoGP is much harder than in Superbikes. I went straight in with a seventh and an eighth, so I can‘t complain.”
go, go, go!
The season-opener in Melbourne forms something of an hors d‘oeuvres to the rest of the season, with India‘s move from March to November leaving a big gap in the schedule after the first race. Defending champion Max Biaggi ended last season with something of a whimper, winning it by just half a point over Briton Tom Sykes in a thrilling last round. Marco Melandri was in contention for much of the campaign, but finished just one of the last six races – retiring for various reasons – to finish third overall. Outside the top three, Rea is a contender, as is 2011 champion and Superbikes veteran Carlos Checa.
"i'm 26 now – i've kind of lost that 'young rider' tag. i'm not the 18 year old waiting to go. i need to get my shit together and get it done"
Are there any bike improvements this year? “We‘re using completely new electronics this year, different strategies – which already in the pre-tests have proved to be a big step forward. But the big thing we‘ve suffered with is horsepower, top speed – especially in the high-speed circuits. The guys tell me we plan to have a completely new engine by about Round 3, so there‘s a development plan in place. We just have to wait for it to happen. With these things, you can‘t just click your fingers [and make it happen]. I wish I could. I can come home with fitness testing and everything – I could see my gains as an athlete month by month, but you know when it‘s a big investment in motorcycles it‘s hard just to demand parts to be here right now. And that‘s the most frustrating thing.”
sport, but you‘re on the road. You live out of a suitcase. It‘s nice to come home and put clothes in a wardrobe and watch the trashy TV on weekends and do normal things.”
14 Aragon, Spain 28 Assen, Netherlands
Do you get sick of the travelling? Casey Stoner said similar things, and it turned out to be a major factor in his retirement. “Well I‘m still young enough to enjoy it, and I haven‘t achieved my goals yet. I love the sport and I love motorbikes. I wouldn‘t compare myself to Casey – if my dream got pulled from underneath me, you‘d catch me at a local motocross race racing competitively on a motorbike. It‘s what I was brought up doing, it‘s all I know. I‘ve got no hobbies like, er, fishing, or anything else I wanna be doing.”
12 Monza, Italy 26 Donington, Europe
Last year was a pretty hectic one for you – are you ready to get back to work? “Yeah I had so much going on personally, what with getting married, then the World Superbikes and MotoGP. At the end of the season, I didn‘t want to see another motorbike forever. But as the weeks wore on, I‘d done the whole off-season thing seeing family and friends. I can‘t wait to get back on the bike. We moved house as well in the middle of it all – that‘s probably the most stressful thing you can do. It‘s more stressful than getting married, I tell you.“
What do you have to prepare in advance for the new season? “Well, the things I‘m involved in my team pretty much take care of. You obviously know about the whole cycling uproar with anti-doping and stuff, and the FIM (International Motorcycling Federation) is signed up to the World Anti Doping Association‘s anti-doping code. It‘s really strange, because I‘m on this whereabouts system that means I have to detail exactly where I‘ll be at a certain time every day for three months. I have no idea where I‘ll be! So it‘s a case of trying to book hotels and find addresses for the next three months. I‘m also constantly on the phone to the workshop, checking up on what‘s happening,
4 Silverstone, UK
Februaryi 24 Phillip Island, Australia
Junei 9 Portimao, Portugal 23 TBA 30 Imola, Italy (30th)
Julyi 21 Moscow, Russia
Gabriel Bouys/AFP/GettyImages, Mirco Lazzari GP/Getty Images
How have you been spending your time? “Just enjoying the new house and having friends because it‘s such... it‘s not a selfish
40 | February 22 2013 |
Septemberi 1 Nürburgring, Germany 29 Laguna Seca, USA
Octoberi 6 Magny-Cours, France 20 Jerez, Spain
Novemberi 17 Buddh International Circuit,India
studying a lot of races, making reports on what we could do better.” How do you prepare yourself mentally for that long on the road? “You can‘t, it‘s just experience. Every season, you learn something different about what to do better. I‘m quite OCD; yesterday I was in a bit of a panic because I was packing my bag for 10 weeks, and if you forget something it‘s not like you‘re down the road. It‘s about being prepared. When I first started, I was really lucky to get an opportunity. But I was 15 years old, and the guys I worked with were trailing me round like a son. When you‘re 15, 16, and your parents aren‘t there anymore, you grow up fast – you‘re away hanging out with 30-year-old mechanics, 40-year-old team managers. I had a pretty steep learning curve.” What targets have you set yourself for the 2013 season? “As competitive as the championship is, and being realistic after where we‘ve finished in the past, we target the top three. For sure, I‘ve got personal goals – I‘d love to win. But, being realistic first, we have to crack the top three. We‘ve finished fifth twice in a row, so it‘s definitely possible. I‘ve proved I have the speed and I can win races on any given day. So I just need to put consistency together and hopefully, come October this year, we‘ll be laughing. I‘m 26 now – I‘ve kind of lost that ‘young rider‘ tag. I‘m not the 18 year old who‘s waiting to go. I need to get my shit together and get it done.” Amit Katwala @amitkatwala For the chance to spend a day riding with Jonathan Rea at Donington Park Racing Circuit, and to push yourself further than you thought was possible, visit redbull.co.uk/getyourwings
7 Days OUR PICK OF THE ACTION FROM THE SPORTING WEEK AHEAD
FEB 22-FEB 28 HIGHLIGHTS » Football: Premier League Preview» p44 » Horse Racing: Racing Plus Chase » p46 » Golf: Honda Classic » p48 » Tennis: Dubai Duty Free Championships » p50 » Boxing: David Price v Tony Thompson »p50
Friday RuGBy LeaGue | WORLD CLuB CHaLLeNGe: LeeDS RHINOS v MeLBOuRNe STORM | HeaDINGLey | Sky SPORTS 1 8PM
Rhinos’ revenge? English clubs have an excellent
the bench in that game, insists his
record against Australian sides in
team need to “go up another level”
the World Club Challenge, having
if they are to get the better of the
won six out of the past 10. The
Storm, who beat them 18-10 in the
annual contest between the Super
2010 staging of this fixture.
League champions and their NRL
in its current format, however.
evening, when holders Leeds face
Officials are discussing including
Melbourne Storm at Headingley.
more teams in a Champions
Storm have 11 of their Grand Final-winning team in a squad
League-type format and holding games in Australia.
featuring the likes of Cameron Smith,
The Super League continues on
Billy Slater and Cooper Cronk. Brett
Saturday, with St Helens at Bradford
Finch and Ryan Hoffman, who both
and Hull FC hosting the unbeaten
had spells at Wigan, are also
Warrington (Sky Sports 1 5.45pm).
familiar with English conditions.
On Sunday, the London Broncos go
Leeds will miss injured prop Ryan Action Images / Ed Sykes
This could be the last Challenge
counterparts takes place on Friday
to Wigan looking for their first win
Bailey and could be without Zak
of the season, while Castleford host
Hardaker after the full back
Catalan Dragons. Wakefield Trinity
suffered a thumb injury in their win
Wildcats entertain Huddersfield
over Salford last weekend. Hooker
Giants, and struggling Salford City
Paul McShane (right), who went
Reds are at home to Hull Kingston
over for two tries after coming off
Rovers (Sky Sports 3 6.30pm).
42 | February 22 2013 |
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SATURDAY ARSENAL v ASTON VILLA EMIRATES STADIUM | 3PM
West London takes on Manchester this weekend, with Chelsea playing the current champions and QPR taking on their probable replacements SUNDAY MANCHESTER CITY v CHELSEA | ETIHAD STADIUM | SKY SPORTS 1 1.30PM
It’s easy to overlook, given recent results, that Arsenal are unbeaten in four league games and still within touching distance of fourth place. Their season will most likely live or die by their league form, while Paul Lambert has told his Aston Villa side (admittedly for different reasons) that the next 12 games must be viewed as “12 cup finals”. Don’t expect too much – these two have been involved in more goalless draws than any sides in Premier League history.
SATURDAY WEST BROM v SUNDERLAND THE HAWTHORNS | 3PM
The last time these teams met, Stamford Bridge echoed
Benitez’s opposite number on Sunday afternoon is
The Baggies’ impressive win over
to a chorus of jeers and boos as Chelsea fans offered a
not exactly reclining with his feet up either. Roberto
Liverpool last time out ended a run
hostile welcome to Rafael Benitez, newly installed as the
Mancini’s City side are without a win in their last three
of six games without a win in the
Blues’ manager. It made for an odd atmosphere for a
league games, and are watching on as the title moves
league, and will likely have left
football match, and the end result reflected the feeling of
further out of their reach. Better news is that Vincent
manager Steve Clarke ruing the
apathy around the ground, with both teams settling for
Kompany should be available after his recovery from
interruption of FA Cup weekend.
the point that came with a goalless draw.
a calf injury – and Mancini has put a large amount of
Martin O’Neill will hope the break
Sunday’s match comes three months after Benitez’s
expectation on the shoulders of Sergio Aguero after the
has a positive impact on his side, by
arrival, but the Spaniard is still not sitting comfortably.
striker’s brace helped them to beat Leeds in the FA Cup,
contrast – they are without a win in
Even on Chelsea’s brightest days – and last week’s 4-0 win
promising the Argentinean can “spark them into life”.
three and have managed only one
over Brentford constitutes one of those – undercurrents
With the strong possibility that Manchester United could
goal (a penalty) in those three
of darkness are never far away, with chants for Roberto di
be 15 points clear by the time this match kicks off on
games. If the Baggies bag one, the
Matteo ringing out towards the end of a goalless first half.
Sunday, Mancini will need to hope his wish comes true.
points might well be theirs.
44 | February 22 2013 |
SATURDAY NORWICH v EVERTON | CARROW ROAD | 3PM
SATURDAY QPR v MAN UTD | LOFTUS ROAD | 3PM
SATURDAY READING v WIGAN | MADEJSKI STADIUM | 3PM
Martin Jol paid Stoke a backhanded
The Canaries’ winless streak in
Harry Redknapp and his QPR side
A Jordi Gomez hat-trick handed
compliment after watching his side
the league is up to nine ahead of
are fresh off a return flight from
Wigan three points when these
beaten 1-0 at the Britannia earlier
Everton’s visit this weekend.
Dubai, refreshed and ready to
sides met at the DW, but Royals boss
this season, saying: “They bully
Manager Chris Hughton must be
throw a spanner in the works of
Brian McDermott felt robbed after
teams... it is their style and I admire
scratching his head at how such
United’s bid to win the title. The Rs
having a penalty appeal turned
their style. It’s almost a rugby team.”
a dire run of form hasn’t left the
manager will hope all that sun and
down. With the two sides now
Tony Pulis will be keeping Jol’s
Canaries wallowing in the relegation
sand has washed their previous
comprising two-thirds of the
comment under his perma-fixed
zone. Everton will still be smarting
league outing from his players’
relegation zone, this match has
baseball cap, ready to pull out as
from allowing Oldham back into
minds. A 4-1 trouncing by Swansea
become a six-pointer that neither
soon as the two sides met again.
their FA Cup tie last weekend – a
will not instil much confidence for
manager will want to lose – and, with
Expect much Pulis leaping
result David Moyes won’t have let his
the arrival of the champions elect,
Reading having lost only three times
whenever a Fulham player makes
players get away with lightly. They’ll
who are unbeaten in the league since
at home this season, they’ll be
the slightest contact, then.
be keen to make amends here.
losing to Norwich in November.
confident of avoiding defeat.
SUNDAY NEWCASTLE v SOUTHAMPTON ST JAMES’ PARK | 1.30PM
PReMieR LeAgUe TAbLe
MONDAY WEST HAM v TOTTENHAM | UPTON PARK | SKY SPORTS 1 8PM
10 12 4
9 10 8
11 West Ham
It was an unhappy return for Alain
It seems unlikely that Andre Villas-Boas will risk putting Jermain Defoe back
15 Southampton 26
Pardeu to his former club when
in his striker-starved Tottenham side so soon after the 30-year-old damaged
these sides met at St Mary’s, with
ankle ligaments earlier this month, meaning the buck is likely to stop with
17 Aston Villa
Saints easing to a 2-0 win. The
Gareth Bale (again) on Monday night.
Magpies have won just four times in
The Welsh wonder has notched 17 goals in all club competitions this season
the league since that defeat last
(prior to Spurs’ Europa League second leg tie against Lyon this week), taking
November, but two of those have
some of the heat off Emmanuel “half-a-season-and-I’m-done” Adebayor.
come in their last three: an away
The Hammers, fresh from a winter break in Dubai, will look to get back to
triumph at Aston Villa and a Moussa
winning ways after their defeat to Aston Villa last time out, when the east
Sissoko-inspired win over Chelsea.
Londoners failed to find the goals they needed despite throwing everything
More of the same is required against
they had at Villa in a frantic end to the second half. Job one will be not giving
a Saints side fresh from their own
away any free-kicks within 40 yards of goal, or they risk another Bale beauty
belief-imbuing win over Man City.
flying straight into the top corner.
Excluding penalties, John Terry is the top scoring defender in Premier League history, with 29 goals
Download the free Sport iPad app from the Apple Newsstand | 45
All pictures Getty Images
SATURDAY FULHAM v STOKE | CRAVEN COTTAGE SKY SPORTS 2 12.45PM
7 Days SATURDAY Horse racing | racing Plus cHase | KemPton | cHannel 4 & racing uK 3.50Pm
Galloping grey The imminent Cheltenham Festival looms large over the world of jumps racing right now, but not every horse in training is heading for Prestbury Park next month. One almost certain to skip the four-day meeting is the striking grey Nacarat, who instead heads to Kempton on Saturday for the defence of his Racing Plus Chase crown. The race often marks the transition from winter to spring in the National Hunt season, and Tom George’s 12-year-old loves the sun on his back at the Surrey track – in four runs in this race, he has registered two wins (2009 and 2012), with second and third-placed finishes in between. He is very much a veteran these days, and won’t find it easy to dominate a field featuring improving Grand National entry Wyck Hill, the enigmatic but classy What A Friend and last year’s second Hector’s Choice. But Nacarat is a bold, front-running beast – should they let him have his own way, a hat-trick is not out of the question.
TUESDAY Football | coPa del rey semi Final second leg: barcelona v real madrid | nou camP | sKy sPorts 1 8Pm
Kings of Spain The Champions League might be taking a week off, but you still have the chance to see European giants in action next Tuesday. For that is when Jose Mourinho takes his gallery of struggling excellence to face their fierce rivals for the first of two While they’re 16 points adrift in La Liga, in which they play Barcelona next Saturday (March 2), the Copa del Rey is up for grabs – and a place in the final is at stake in this second leg. The first ended 1-1 after goals from Cesc Fabregas and French defender Raphaël Varane, who impressed with his muzzling of Leo Messi. There are doubts, though, over dodgy keeper Diego Lopez in the Real goal, while Barcelona are flying again after a lull. Expect a tie fit for a king.
46 | February 22 2013 |
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Clásicos in the space of a few days.
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7 Days MONDAY > Snooker | Haikou World open | Haikou Venue, Hainan iSland, CHina | BritiSH euroSport 2 6.30am
THURSDAY > GolF | Honda ClaSSiC | pGa national, Florida SkY SportS 3 8pm
Beating the Trap It ain’t over till it’s over at the Honda Classic. Anyone leading going into the closing holes at the PGA National in Florida knows they’re entering possibly the toughest stretch on the tour. Holes 15, 16 and 17 are known as the Bear Trap – the course was designed by ‘Golden Bear’ Jack Nicklaus – and, on the face of it, two par-3s under 200 yards and a 434-yard par-4 should hold no fears. But every year this trio wrecks cards. There is water everywhere... and where there’s not water, there’s sand. Somehow, Rory McIlroy (below) played the Bear Trap in three under last year, on his way to victory by two shots from Tiger Woods – who closed with a blistering 62 that included an eagle down the 604-yard par-5. All eyes will again be on the Ulsterman, who will be keen to prove that those new Nike clubs do actually work. But expect big things from Lee Westwood too, whose last round here was a 63.
Shaken, not stirred And the game continues its
hand, will likely face holder Mark
traditional snooker joined the
Barry Hearn-led drive into the
Allen in the quarters and one
very modern video viral trend that
modern era when it returns to
from Bingham, Ding Junhui, Mark
is the Harlem Shake when it staged
Haikou for the second time on
Williams and John Higgins in the
its own impromptu boogie – led by
Monday for the World Open –
semis – if he gets that far.
announcer Rob Walker (who else?)
formerly the Grand Prix, until its
– prior to Stephen Maguire’s
first journey east last year.
semi final against Judd Trump at the Welsh Open last week.
Maguire and Trump are on
Matches are best of nine up to and including the quarters, with the semis best of 11 and the final
different sides of the draw but, if
best of 19 for the £85,000 prize.
they are to meet again in China,
Proceedings begin early Monday,
won that tie 6-4, and then ended
The Ace will have to overcome
with a wildcard round featuring
his five-year wait for a ranking title
either world number one Mark
Nigel ‘00-147’ Bond. Tune in to find
with a dramatic 9-8 win over Stuart
Selby, Neil Robertson or Graeme
out if he makes it to the main draw
Bingham in Sunday’s final.
Dott. The ‘Livewire’, on the other
and celebrates with a vodka Martini.
Maguire (above), clearly inspired,
48 | February 22 2013 |
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Ian Walton/Getty Images, Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Strait-laced and staunchly
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7 Days MONDAY > TENNIS | DUBAI DUTY FREE TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS | AVIATION CLUB TENNIS CENTRE, DUBAI | SKY SPORTS 2 10AM
? e c a r e s r o h o Tw erer and Novak Two men – Rog er Fed ht of the past 10 eig n wo e Djokovic – hav Championships, Dubai Dut y Fre e Tennis chance that they e abl son so there is a rea l this year, too. might fight out the fina or Rafa Nadal in rray Mu y With no And at to that dominant the field, the major thre es from the likes of com axis rer Djokovic-Fede n d frie Tsonga and Jua Tomas Berdych, Jo-Wil N Amro AB the of ner win – Martín del Potro
ment in Rot terdam World Tennis Tourna last Sunday. is one of the The Dubai tournament an important also is but ATP 500 Series, of the most ‘warm- up’ event for one m me ets of the Sla and -Gr prestigious non en at Indian Op s season: the BN P Pariba 4. rch Ma on ins beg Wells, which in Dubai. But, as Djokovic should prevail .. l cannot be written off. we know, Federer stil
SAturDAY BOxINg | DAVID PRICE v TONY THOMPSON | ECHO ARENA, LIVERPOOL | BOxNATION 7.30PM
Price check Britain’s David Price is the scourge
Klitschko in 2008, although he was
of boxing’s pensioners. Last year,
less resistant last year when he was
the British heavyweight champ
stopped in six. He may be sliding
blasted out a 40-year-old Audley
slightly, but he has experience at the
Harrison, followed by then 45-year-
top level and can pose problems with
old Matt Skelton. Presumably after
his long southpaw jab. If Thompson
confirming that 64-year-old George
can survive Price’s early power, we
Foreman was definitely retired, he’s
might see Price’s qualities examined
now taking on the 41-year-old
for the first time as a professional.
be misled, however, by how many
birthdays ‘Tony the Tiger’ has had:
Also on Saturday, ghosts of boxing’s
the two-time world title challenger
past gather for a heavyweight
represents a step up for the
PrizeFighter, including former
winners Martin Rogan and that man
The 6ft 8ins Scouser has admitted
They offer erratic entertainment in
the Skelton challenge, but his juices
the tournament format, but interest
are flowing for this one. A latecomer
falls on Tom Stalker’s pro debut.
to the sport, Thompson has lost only
50 | February 22 2013 |
Audley Harrison (Sky Sports 1, 8pm).
to being less than fully motivated by
The British Olympic team captain
three times in 39 fights – two of
failed to win a medal at London 2012,
those defeats coming against the
but has a rich amateur pedigree.
world’s best heavyweight, Wladimir
Opponent Kristian Laight has just
Klitschko. Thompson lasted into the
the 139 career losses and can expect
11th round when he first fought
a 140th on Saturday.
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Marwan Naamani/AFP/Getty Images, Scott Heavey/Getty Images
American Tony Thompson. Don’t
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EXTrA TimE Making the most of your time and money
P60 Lara Croft is back – with a bear – in the Tomb Raider reboot
Splash and grab Sony Xperia Z
About 855,000 phones are dropped down toilets in Britain each year, so it’s about time someone came out with a waterproof smartphone. Sony are the ones to do it, with the Xperia Z. It’s big – so large that it might not even fit down some toilets – with a super-high-res five-inch screen. But, like the Samsung Galaxy SIII, its slim build means it won’t feel too unwieldy unless you have really tiny hands. It’s also futureproof, as well as waterproof, with 4G and contactless technology. And it’s out on Thursday. From £34/mth | three.co.uk
Oregon Scientific ATC Chameleon Action Camera
Those camouflaging lizards are remarkable not only for their costume changes, but also for the ability to move their eyes independently – it’s that trait that gives this tiny action camera its name. Dual lenses move separately for two unique perspectives on whatever you happen to be recording, and a waterproof case (sold separately) means there’s no limit to where that could be. £170 | oregonscientific.com
52 | February 22 2013 |
ion Water rocker Floating Speaker
This is the perfect swimming pool or bathtime companion. It bobs along by your side like a high-tech duckling – but instead of incessantly quacking and trying to eat your bread, it’ll stream music from your phone, MP3 player or any other device you plug into the wireless transmitter up to 100 feet away, or from the built-in FM radio. If they can give a similar treatment to the television, we might never leave the water. £60 | johnlewis.com
Fujifilm FinePix XP60
Rugged, waterproof and available in a range of fluorescent hues, this is the camera we imagine Bear Grylls would use if he decided to inject a touch of colour into his muddy life. It’s shock, freeze and sand-proof, and has advanced features including panoramas and 3D effect images. It might not help you survive in the wilderness, but whoever found your frozen corpse would have a fine-looking record of what had happened to you. £160 | argos.co.uk
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Free Sony headphones worth £299 for the first 1000 customers who pre-order in a 3Store before 25 February.
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K2 AMp Charger
One of our bestselling pistefocused rocker skis, its ‘Speed Rocker’ gives you greater agility with its slightly elevated tip and increased tip length – ensuring perfect carved turns. Triaxial braiding around the wood core keeps the ski torsionally strong so you can charge the piste with confidence. £405.99, with binding
54 | February 22 2013 |
Don’t Be A Slope DoDger
With the ski season hitting its peak, the powder is the place to be. Snow+Rock equipment buyer Phil Gordon picks out a selection of the best skis available at snowandrock.com
White Doctor Ft8
Snowsports innovator Eric Bobrowicz believed there was a market for real skis for real skiers at a real price. He’s just released his fifth White Doctor collection, now available in the UK. The FT 8 is 80mm under foot and has a flat square tail for strong edge grip and contact throughout the arc of the turn. £429.99, ski only
The Katana features a top-end wood core and vertical sidewall construction, with two sheets of titanium. Its 112mm underfoot with a low profile Full Rocker gives the Katana a platform for big landings while maintaining manoeuvrability, making this one of the most versatile super-fat skis on the market. £619.99, ski only
Head rev 80 pro SW
The new Head Rev is a universal ski for all conditions, no matter what the quality of snow or skill of the skier – and no question of freeriding versus carving aspirations. Thanks to Era 3.0 – a combination of technology, shape, and geometry – it is easier to ski in any kind of terrain, so now everyone can be a better skier. £515, with binding
Salomon BBr 8.0
Designed to give new experiences to a variety of skiers, the patented ‘V’ shape, oversized tip and rocker construction allow this ski to carve beautifully on piste, float and glide in fresh snow and still leave you confident when the snow is variable or hard pack. This is a true go-anywhere all-mountain ski. £425, ski only
rossignol pursuit 16
A full camber ski with mindblowing carve potential on any piste in any snow condition. It’s vibration-free at speed, thanks to the way in which basalt, aramid and titanal fibres are woven together, and the IPS H structure ensures all of your energy is transmitted into the turning edges for precision control. £525, with binding
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LIMITED EDITION 500GB CONSOLES WITH 2 MATCHING CONTROLLERS.
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ROLL wIth It
Take your time with our pick of roll-on deodorants and anti-perspirants – in case the choice out there is all too much for you to take
Bulldog Original Deodorant
Loaded with “only the best natural ingredients to deliver all-day protection against underarm odour”, says Bulldog. And, when we asked the hairy beast to back up his claims, he drooled, rolled over and told us his deodorant is enriched with eight essential oils including patchouli, lemon, bergamot and lime. Those limes, incidentally, are from Peru and Mexico “for extra zing”. It also features aloe vera extract, the soothing properties of which hydrate skin, and it’s free from parabens and sodium laureth sulfate. Good dog. £4.99, 50ml | meetthebulldog.com
Natio For Men
Another with a big tick in the natural ingredients column. Lavender cleanses the underarm skin, while benzoin and lemon uplift and purify, says Natio. We’re pretty sure that doesn’t mean you’ll be walking around with your hands in the air (like you just don’t care). £6.40, 100ml | tesco.com
56 | February 22 2013 |
L’Oréal Men Expert Carbon Protect 4 in 1
L’Oréal’s Non-Stop Dry technology prevents sweat and odours, and ensures a feeling of dryness and comfort. Its ‘4 in 1’ formula also takes care of bacteria and helps prevent yellow stains. But not on your tighty-whiteys. £2.69, 50ml | boots.com
Right Guard Extreme Invisible
An invisible, powder-free deodorant that protects clothes, says Right Guard, against the three most common types of underarm stain: white, oily and yellow. If your Sweat Bingo card has a cross on all three, for god’s sake pick one up. £2.29, 50ml | uk.rightguard.com
Nivea Men 48h Stress Protect
Protects against eﬀects of ‘stress sweating’. Sweat triggered by stress, says Nivea, has a rapid onset and smells worse than that brought on by heat or exercise, making it harder to control. Lasts for 48 hours, too. Kudos if you can go that long without a breakdown. £2.03, 50ml | boots.com
Sounds like it’s out of Brian Fantana’s cupboard in Anchorman, but Bluebeards not only uses the natural anti-microbial properties of silver to neutralise odour; it also has a moral compass strong enough to include a male cancer awareness campaign on its box. £3, 50ml | bluebeardsrevenge.co.uk
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Extra time Tillie Thompson
58 | February 22 2013 |
ille Thompson came a-bounding into the Sport oﬃce last week. Not only did the BTCC grid girl bring us a lifetime supply of beef jerky and a larger-than-lifesize cardboard cut-out of herself, but she also left us with a plea to “be nice” to her on this very page. The upstanding gent that your uncle Sport is, we were never going to be anything else – especially when such a pleasingly alliterative name comes to visit bearing authentic American meat snacks. Thompson is, you see, the face of beef jerky brand Jack Link’s (tagline: ‘Feed Your Wild Side’). Thompson feeds her own wild side as a grid girl for Honda’s 2012 BTCC champion and Autosport National Driver of the Year Gordon Shedden. Her goal in life, she says, is to be happy. The secret to which, we now know, is beef jerky and touring cars. And there we were eating pizza in front of the football all this time.
Games In association with
Our favourite action heroine gets her own origins story in the new Tomb Raider, and there’s plenty more to shoot at with our pick of the latest releases
PS3, Xbox, PC
PS3, Xbox, PC
Another outing for Lara Croft – but trust us when we say this isn’t like you’ve seen her before. This reboot of the franchise reintroduces her more as a desperate survivor than a steely heroine. This is Lara’s origins story: what made her the adventurer we all know and love in an epic yarn that switches out previous games’ pyramids and pistols for an emotionally charged ﬁght for survival that would make Bear Grylls quiver in his hiking boots. Set
Gears of War: Judgment
Thick-necked beefcakes Cole and Baird are the focus once again, and the task of stopping the Locust the only way they know how – by using bloody great guns. The big diﬀerence this time is that Judgment is a prequel, meaning this origins story brings the series full circle after the disappointment that was Gears of War 3. Released March 22
60 | February 22 2013 |
While a return to the underwater dystopia of Rapture is sadly not on the cards for the upcoming ﬁrstperson shooter Bioshock Inﬁnite, many hallmarks of the Irrational Games series are present and correct. Adrenaline-fuelled action and razor-sharp gunplay carry along the game’s twisted plot at a rattling pace, with the ﬂying city of Columbia providing the perfect backdrop for a game peppered with some of the most fearsome enemies you’ll ever face. Set in 1912, you assume the role of former Pinkerton agent Booker DeWitt, sent to Columbia to rescue Elizabeth, imprisoned since childhood. Irrationally good. Released March 26
on a South Paciﬁc island, the odds are stacked against a shipwrecked Miss Croft as she negotiates her way past man and beast with a free-aim third-person shooter mechanic. Tomb Raider promises to be a return to form for this series. It’s visually stunning, intense, touching and – in a year when bow-toting protagonists are the action game innovation de jour – this is one adventure you’re really going to want to get your hands on. Released March 5
The simple title of the latest entry in Maxis’ city-building sim should give you an idea of what the studio hopes to achieve: a return to the accessible gameplay that made the series such a success. Control a region that delivers true multi-city scale, play a single city or up to 16 cities at once. Now’s the time to ﬂex your mayoral muscles. Released March 5
PS3, Xbox, PC
God of War: ascension
Set a decade before the original God of War, Ascension follows anti-hero Kratos as he attempts to atone for his past sins and break free of the chains Ares has placed upon him. Expect eyewateringly violent gameplay and a much-needed emotional story, plus multiplayer in which you can take on your mates in a bloody battle to the death. Released March 15
Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2
The original Sniper: Ghost Warrior was nothing to write home about. That hasn’t stopped developer City Interactive taking another shot (yup) at greatness though, with a combat system that revolves around stealth, hand-to-hand assassination and – naturally – sniping. There’s hope but, for now, colour us dubious. Released March 12
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