Chris Eubank Jr: ‘Nothing can match the feeling of having your hand raised after a fight’

19-02-2019 Brighton super-middleweight has one last chance to show that he can live with a top operator on Saturday when he takes on James DeGale in a bout which will leave the loser with nowhere to go“This is the biggest and most important fight of my career,” Chris Eubank Jr says quietly, rocking gently on a plastic chair in a tiny office tucked away in his gym on Hove seafront. He nods intently as he considers his battle against James DeGale at the O2 in London on Saturday night. “It’s definitely the one where I have the most to lose. A loss would leave me in no man’s land. DeGale is in exactly the same position. We both cannot afford defeat. We’re both on the edge and someone’s going to fall.”I have asked just one opening question and Eubank has cut to the heart. He and DeGale are preparing for a bout which will surely leave the loser facing the end of his career. Of course this is boxing and so a controversial decision or a narrow defeat might persuade the defeated fighter that one last shot at redemption is possible. But both men recognise their future, and long-term reputations, could be decided this weekend. Continue reading...

'The whole village is united': Warnock attends Emiliano Sala's funeral – video

19-02-2019 The Cardiff City manager, Neil Warnock, has attended the funeral of Emiliano Sala in the town of Progreso, Argentina. Sala was killed when the aircraft he was flying in crashed on 21 January, en route to Cardiff from Nantes, the player having signed with the Premier League club days earlier Continue reading...

FA Cup quarter-final draw: Man Utd face Wolves in last eight

19-02-2019 Manchester United's reward for beating Chelsea is an FA Cup quarter-final tie at Wolves, while Manchester City are at Swansea.

Football rumours: Zinedine Zidane to replace Maurizio Sarri at Chelsea?

19-02-2019 Today’s tell-all is standing here beside itself As Chelsea embark on a crucial make-or-break nine-day period in their season, the mood of their manager Maurizio Sarri is unlikely to be improved by talk linking Zinedine Zidane with his job. Chelsea entertain Manchester United in the FA Cup tonight and in the wake of humiliating defeats at the hands of Bournemouth and Manchester City, Sarri is a man under pressure. Assorted news outlets say Zidane would be interested in replacing him, but only if he’s guaranteed a £200m war-chest, a major say in recruitment, an assurance that Eden Hazard will stay at the club and the moon in a pail of water. Related: Maurizio Sarri must be given more time to adapt Chelsea, says Gianfranco Zola Continue reading...

The best of Gordon Banks, Tony Romo's gold and Juve's Welshmen | Classic YouTube

19-02-2019 This week’s round-up also features a Nascar crash, the World Club Challenge and parkour1) Farewell, then, Gordon Banks. Where else to start than The Save? Or, A Version Of The Save. Here he is keeping Denis Law out at Wembley in 1967, beating the looping deflection in style. The Pathe news report on 1966 is always worth a look, not least for some jaffas of saves by our man. No patriotic conviviality a few years later when he saved a penalty from Geoff Hurst in a broiling League Cup semi-final between Stoke and West Ham. Enjoy a compilation of his top stops, soundtracked by some delicious 1960s lounge jazz. Certainly more appropriate than Sabrina Vaz (us neither) to go with this clip of the last game Banks played before the car crash that effectively ended his career as a top-class goalkeeper, although as you can see in this Channel 4 interview, he declared the loss of his right eye “not too bad.” Finally … go on then, here it is.2) It’s the rugby league World Club Challenge this weekend, as Wigan take on the Sydney Roosters. Here’s the first official edition of the game, when Widnes turned over Canberra in 1989. And regard the time Wigan won it for the third time, a belter against Brisbane in 1994, featuring the British national anthem as played on a toy Stratocaster. The 2010 edition was a bit weird: Melbourne Storm won the game, beating Leeds Rhinos 18-10 (first half, and second here), only for them to be stripped of the title due to financial irregularities, but rather than give the crown to Leeds it was just…left in the ether. Continue reading...

Maurizio Sarri: I haven't spoken to Abramovich for three weeks – video

19-02-2019 Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri admitted he has not spoken with club owner Roman Abramovich since his side's record-breaking 6-0 loss to Manchester City – or for the weeks leading up to that result.The Italian has come under pressure after a string of poor results that has seen Chelsea slip to sixth in the league. Continue reading...

The breakdown will be a key to who gets into the fast lane at Cardiff | Nick Evans

19-02-2019 England will miss Mako Vunipola on Saturday but they have enough ball-carriers to turn on the power against WalesIt is not uncommon to introduce themes every now and then – we often use them at Harlequins – and one we’ve used recently is called decapitation strike. It’s a military term and it’s all about targeting the key individuals of an organisation and taking advantage of the knock-on effect – watching everything else fall away if you can eliminate their leaders. It could well be a key theme for Wales to target England’s half-backs in a similar fashion on Saturday.Owen Farrell is so influential in terms of how he organises England’s attacking and territorial shape, and he and Ben Youngs would be the two Wales targets. That may look like the Wales scrum-half coming hard off the defensive line, making sure that Farrell has to pass early, negating the ability to bring Billy Vunipola and Manu Tuilagi into the game thus winning the gainline battle. If Wales make him play early then they can bring their defensive line up and shut down England’s options. Continue reading...

The NFL's Kaepernick settlement should just be the start of making amends | Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

19-02-2019 Hopefully the league can now support the values of the US constitution rather than pandering to those who mistake parochialism for patriotismIn one of my favorite sports movies, Vision Quest, the varsity wrestling coach tells his students they can challenge the best wrestler in any weight class if they want to take his place.“Fairest thing in the world,” he smugly tells them. As soon as one kid raises his hand to make that challenge, the coach quickly dismisses the team, pulls him aside, and says: “You’re out of your mind!” Continue reading...

Who is the greatest F1 driver ever?

19-02-2019 After Lewis Hamilton won his fifth world title on Sunday, BBC Sport is asking you just who is the greatest F1 driver ever?

Pep Guardiola: Newport were chanting 'Who are you?' It was nice – video

19-02-2019 Pep Guardiola praised his Manchester City players, in particular Phil Foden, as they beat Newport County 4-1 to reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.Newport had beaten both Leicester City and Middlesbrough on their way to the fifth round of the tournament, and contained the Premier League leaders well for significant spells of the game.  Continue reading...

FA Cup: Chelsea 0-2 Manchester United highlights

19-02-2019 Watch highlights as Manchester United cruise past Chelsea at Stamford Bridge to reach the FA Cup quarter-finals.

Nicky Henderson out of sync with ‘bizarre preparation’ for Cheltenham

19-02-2019 • Local freeze-up and Kempton gallop ban annoy trainer• Henderson upbeat over Buveur D’Air’s Festival prospectsNicky Henderson has complained that his team is having “a bizarre preparation” for Cheltenham, having to cope with an unexpected round of vaccinations, missed prep-runs, localised bad weather and other interruptions to his usual regime. Still, the champion trainer seemed to be keeping his sense of humour as he hosted his annual pre-Festival media morning and evidently still expects to do very well at the race meeting where his 60 career wins is a British record, with Buveur D’Air and Altior heading a long list of classy contenders.“We have got thrown out of sync here,” said Henderson, reflecting on the rule requiring a recent vaccination, introduced in the middle of one night last week. It was “a nuisance”, he added, requiring him to stop exercising most of his string for three or four days, with Cheltenham a month away. Continue reading...

Root joins Murray and Southgate in standing up for social tolerance | Tim de Lisle

19-02-2019 England captain has done cricket a great service – his reaction to a perceived homophobic remark was cool, calm, collected … and rightCricketers call it sledging, or chirping: the business of trying to undermine your opponent with verbal abuse. It’s a dismal habit that shows us sport at its most small-minded and should have been banned long ago. But this week it has done the world a favour.In the Test in St Lucia, the West Indies bowler Shannon Gabriel was bad-mouthing the England captain, Joe Root. What Gabriel said the stump microphone did not catch but it did bring us Root’s reply: “Don’t use it as an insult. There’s nothing wrong with being gay.” Continue reading...