Canelo Álvarez awaits in Rocky Fielding's unlikely shot at glory

16-12-2018 Few will give the 31-year-old Liverpudlian a chance on Saturday when he climbs through the ropes at Madison Square Garden to face Canelo ÁlvarezWhen Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez announced the first opponent of his blockbuster 11-fight, $365m contract with upstart streaming service DAZN, the collective reaction from the general public was unanimous: Who?Few beyond dedicated boxing fans were familiar with Rocky Fielding, the lesser of the two super middleweight champions recognized by the World Boxing Association, the sanctioning body that hands out belts seemingly at will and has done more to cheapen the currency of a world title than any one factor (and it is a high bar). Continue reading...

Football League roundup: Bamford strikes for Leeds as Ipswich toast win

16-12-2018 • Cambridge groundsman gets creative at Abbey Stadium• Sol Campbell celebrates first Macclesfield victory• Ipswich tasted victory at Portman Road for the first time since April as Paul Lambert toasted his maiden victory in charge of the club, thanks to Freddie Sears’s second-half winner against Wigan. A second win of the season was enough to pull Ipswich to within five points of safety and four off struggling Bolton, who lost at home to Leeds. Patrick Bamford stepped off the bench to score the only goal of the game on his comeback from injury, striking just five minutes after replacing Kemar Roofe. Bamford, a £7m summer arrival, celebrated by high-fiving Leeds physio Rob Price, a nod to the medical team after being sidelined with a knee problem since September. Continue reading...

Sport on the BBC: Best of this week's TV & radio coverage

16-12-2018 This week's sport on the BBC includes European rugby union, Carabao Cup quarter-finals, Olympia Horse Show and Sports Personality of the Year.

Jamie George’s late try seals victory for Saracens over Cardiff Blues

16-12-2018 • Cardiff 14-26 Saracens• Owen Farrell on form with two conversions and four penaltiesA year ago this weekend, Saracens slumped to their seventh successive defeat, a run so out of kilter with the norm it was like going back in time to find Henry VIII supping with the Pope. The Premiership champions arrived here nursing a 21-match unbeaten record stretching back to April Fool’s Day having put 51 points on the Blues six days before and won with a degree of comfort, doing no more than they had to on the wettest of afternoons.The Blues fought for 80 minutes rather than the 40 they had at Allianz Park, but Saracens know how to grind out victories. Trailing at half-time, as they had the previous weekend, they absorbed pressure, scored points on their few visits to their opponents’ 22 and, tellingly, survived the loss of the second row Will Skelton to the sin-bin after 62 minutes. Continue reading...

Jacqui Oatley: women's football is generations away from equality, but it's getting there – video

16-12-2018 Broadcaster Jacqui Oatley believes it will take 'a couple of generations' to make football a more equal environment, but that change can already been seen in the women's game. In a short film - part of series produced for Twitter UK as part of its support for Women in Football’s #WhatIf campaign - Oatley said she hopes 'the assumption of knowledge is there just the same [for female reporters, commentators and presenters] as it is when a male voice is delivering.'The 100 best female footballers in the world 2018 Continue reading...

Katie Taylor beats Eva Wahlstrom to defend world titles in New York

16-12-2018 Ireland's Katie Taylor wins every round to inflict a first career defeat on Eva Wahlstrom and defend her world titles at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Danny Cipriani: ‘It’s been the same story for six years, hasn’t it?’

16-12-2018 Fly-half remains philosophical about his England exile and is enjoying his new leadership role at GloucesterIf Danny Cipriani feels messed around by England he hides it well. You might expect confusion, resentment, even betrayal at how he again finds himself on the outside looking in after the briefest of comebacks over the summer but on a chilly afternoon in Gloucestershire there is nothing but positivity from the exiled fly-half.To recap, Cipriani made his first England start in 10 years in their first win in six matches in June but was discarded again for the autumn campaign. It followed his arrest in Jersey but Eddie Jones insisted his latest omission was based on form, all while Cipriani was tearing up trees with his new club, Gloucester. Continue reading...

Christian Eriksen’s late strike gives Tottenham win over Burnley

16-12-2018 Last Tuesday, Tottenham played Barcelona in the Camp Nou for a place in the Champions League knockout stages. On Wednesday, they face Arsenal in a League Cup semi-final. A game against Burnley in front of a half-full Wembley, rain sheeting down and adding an extra chill to an already freezing Saturday, was always going to be what advertising types call a tough sell.Thank the lord then, for Christian Eriksen. For 90 minutes, it was the sort of grim afternoon that might lead everyone to question their life choices, the 0-0 scoreline to that point even less interesting than it might sound. Continue reading...

Stuttgart: Christian Gentner's father dies in stadium after Bundesliga game

16-12-2018 Stuttgart mourn the loss of captain Christian Gentner's father, who died in the stadium after Saturday's win over Hertha Berlin.

Classy Virat Kohli leads India fightback in face of quality Australian bowling

16-12-2018 India reach 3-172 with Kohli looking composed on 82 not outAustralia’s lead by 154 runs at stumps on day two in PerthVirat Kohli has provided predictably composed resistance in the second Test, classily conquering some quality bowling as India reached 3-172 and trimmed Australia’s lead to 154 runs at stumps on day two in Perth.The four-Test series was almost billed as a battle between Australia and Kohli, such were the headlines and hype about the world’s best batsman with an outstanding record in this country. Continue reading...

The 100 best footballers in the world 2017

16-12-2018 Our panel of 169 experts from 63 nations compile a list of the greatest male players in 2017. Click on an individual to read more about their year.• Messi edges Ronaldo to No1 | The data behind our 100 | Watch: our top 10• Meet our panel of judges for 2017 | 2016 edition | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 Continue reading...

Football Focus: Does football have a racism problem?

16-12-2018 Football Focus speaks to former England midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker, journalist Jonathan Liew and Kick It Out's Troy Townsend to debate race, football and the media.

The Fiver | How best to avoid a hiding with a team he clearly thinks isn’t up to the job

16-12-2018 Sign up now! Sign up now! Sign up now? Sign up now!The Fiver would give several pennies for the thoughts of José Mourinho as he sits in the suite he has called home for the past two-and-a-half years at the Lowry Hotel. With the thrill of frightening staff by dressing as a zombie using his shower curtain, snaffling complimentary biscuits and tungsten-tipped screws long gone and being able to take apart and reassemble his Corby Trouser Press quicker than a blindfolded soldier field-stripping an AK47 assault rifle, the Manchester United manager has plenty of time to dwell on the vicissitudes of life, not least how best to avoid a hiding against Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday with a team he clearly thinks isn’t up to the job. Continue reading...

Hockey Men's World Cup 2018: England thrashed by Belgium in semi-finals

16-12-2018 England lose a third straight men's Hockey World Cup semi-final as they are thrashed 6-0 by Belgium in India.

Pete Shelley's Tour de force, Miami's Miracle and Premier Passions | Classic YouTube

16-12-2018 This week’s roundup also features Paul Sherwen, NHL deflections and Dean Jones’s very bad idea1) It wasn’t always widely known, but Buzzcocks’ brilliant Pete Shelley, who died this past week, wrote the music for the iconic Channel 4 Tour de France theme, itself taken from within 1984 track Give It To Me. Another sad passing this week was Paul Sherwen. It’s well worth a listen to the Cycling Podcast’s tribute, while Sherwen recalls how he met his broadcasting partner Phil Liggett.2) The Miami Miracle! Obviously there’s already a Tecmo Super Bowl version out there. Gronk’s still stumbling. More laterals: here’s the Music City Miracle, which always features highly among some of the NFL’s most famous. There are more in college football, including … Miami (!) v Duke, Trinity v Millsaps and the classic: Cal v Stanford. Watch out for that band! More on The Play. Continue reading...

European roundup: Real win amid boos, while Ronaldo seals derby for Juventus

16-12-2018 • Real Madrid fans unhappy despite 1-0 win over Rayo Vallecano• Cristiano Ronaldo penalty seals derby victory against TorinoReal Madrid edged a 1-0 win over minnows Rayo Vallecano, earning a third consecutive La Liga victory and rising to third in the table, but they again failed to sparkle and had to endure booing from their unhappy supporters.Karim Benzema beat a poorly constructed offside trap to score the only goal of the game in the 13th minute. The win put Santiago Solari’s side on 29 points, one clear of fourth-placed Sevilla who host Girona on Sunday and two behind leaders Barcelona and Atlético Madrid. Continue reading...