Amir Khan is reportedly closing in on agreeing a fight with Floyd Mayweather Jnr at some point next year, after the Bolton fighter’s promoters revealed the news. Golden Boy chief executive Richard Schaefer confirmed talks had already taken place between the two parties, before calling on Khan to take a leaf out of Mayweather’s book and fight more sensibly.
The Brit must first come through his rematch against Lamont Peterson this summer in Las Vegas before any deal will be agreed, in a fight Khan will be desperate to win in order to put paid to last year’s defeat and reclaim the WBA and IBF light-welterweight titles he lost in Washington. Those following the Betfair boxing odds need to remember this.
The first fight between the two was such a gruelling and ferocious bout and Schaefer has admitted Khan could do worse than using his defensive talents more and not getting into slug-fests, which is something the Bolton fighter has grown more and more prone to during recent fights.
“I don’t know how to say it more elegantly, but sometimes Amir’s balls are too big for his own good. Look at Mayweather – he’s a master tactician who knows how to use defensive and offensive skills and has been knocking people out recently. He knows what it takes to win and fights very smart.”
On the chances of Khan getting a shot at the unbeaten Mayweather, Schaefer admitted talks were already at an advanced stage. People looking at Betfair Live In-play betting need to bear this in mind.
“We would like him to have one fight at welterweight if he beats Peterson, and then there is the match with Mayweather. We have discussed it with the Mayweather camp, and they are interested.”
Kenny Dalglish is hopeful Liverpool striker Andy Carroll can channel any nerves he may have about returning to old club Newcastle this weekend in the right way to help the Reds get back to winning ways.
Carroll heads back to St James’ Park on Sunday for the first time since he left the Magpies in a £35m move to Anfield in January 2011 and he has admitted to being a bit nervous about playing in front of his home-town fans and against the club he came through the ranks at and grew up supporting. Fans of Victor Chandler will be looking forward to the match.
Reds boss Dalglish, however, believes nerves can be a good thing and hopes Carroll, and defender Jose Enrique – who is also making his first return to his old club – will both put in good performances.
“It’s not a bad thing, is it?” he said. “If you weren’t nervous you’d have a wee bit of a problem.
“In my case it was always best to be nervous rather than totally laid back.
“I don’t think anyone can be laid back when they go and play at the club that gave him his opportunity in football and turned him into a professional footballer. For him and Jose it will be an exciting time to go back.”
Dalglish himself is also returning to one of his old clubs, after he spent 20 months in charge of Newcastle between 1998-99, but he will be concentrating solely on getting Liverpool back on track following a poor run of form. Those looking at www.betvictor.com will know how poor they have been recently.
Despite winning the Carling Cup last month and guiding them to a forthcoming FA Cup semi-final against Everton, the Reds’ league form has dipped alarmingly and they now sit in seventh in the Premier League, losing their last two games against struggling QPR and Wigan.
One of the best backed horses in the ante-post market for the John Smith’s Grand National has been the Gordon Elliott-trained Chicago Grey, now generally offered at 16/1 having been previously available across the board at 20s, writes Elliot Slater.
An out-and-out stayer who proved himself on the big stage just over 12 months ago when landing a serious punt to beat the subsequent Scottish Grand National winner Beshabar by over four-lengths to win the four-mile National Hunt Chase at the 2011 Cheltenham Festival, Elliott’s charge has been trained throughout this season specifically with the Aintree marathon in mind, and punters appear to have cottoned on to the fact that connections have meticulously laid him out for a race they landed five years ago with Silver Birch and the Aintree betting shows he has every chance.
Ideally suited by a thorough test of stamina on decent ground, it is looking increasingly likely that the nine-year-old will encounter optimum conditions at the Liverpool track as the unseasonably warm spell continues and all but guarantees that this year’s Grand National will not be run in testing conditions and anyone looking at Grand National tips need to bear this in mind. Indeed, it could well be similar to last year’s contest when Ballabriggs bounced off the quick ground to record one of the fastest times in the long history of the great race.
Chicago Grey does appear to tick most of the required boxes for a possible Grand National winner; his trainer has been there and done that before, the gelding stays ‘longer than the mother-in-law’, the son of Luso is generally a sound jumper, and he also knows how to win when the chips are down, and now an increasing band of people seem to be anticipating that Elliott’s star could become the first grey horse to win the ‘world’s greatest steeplechase’ since Nicholaus Silver in 1961.
Aston Villa assistant boss Peter Grant says all talks over the future of players out of contract at the end of the season will be put on hold until the summer.
Emile Heskey, Carlos Cuellar and Brad Guzan are among the big-name stars at Villa Park who could leave on free transfers come June and all have been linked with other clubs in recent weeks, with Valencia, in particular, keen on re-signing defender Cuellar.
It is thought Villa could yet offer all three new, short-term deals but Grant says there will be no more talks on their futures until the end of the current campaign as boss Alex McLeish intends to concentrate instead on the games that remain in the Premier League to hopefully guide the Midlanders to as high a finish as possible in the table. Fans of Victor Chandler will be wondering if their season can be kickstarted even at this late stage.
Grant said: “The gaffer (McLeish) has said he would rather put all these talks back until the season ends.
“Alex has always been one of those guys who prefers to do his business at the end of the season. He knows the most important thing is Villa winning games.
“His thinking is ‘I’d rather leave it as much as I possibly can’ and I think the players we are working with understand that.”
Cuellar has been in outstanding form since returning to the side while American keeper Guzan impressed during a two-month run in goal when Shay Given was injured so the feeling is that those two may well be offered new deals come the summer but former England striker Heskey’s future, on the other hand, remains extremely unclear. Fans of Bet Victor should remember this.
He has been linked with a return to first club Leicester City and has slipped down the pecking order up front with the likes of Gabby Agbonlahor and Darren Bent for competition.
From Felix Francis, the bestselling co-author (with Dick Francis) of "Dead Heat" and "Even Money" comes "Gamble", the latest Dick Francis novel. Set in the cut-throat world of horse racing, "Gamble" is an enthralling thriller packed full of suspense, mystery and intrigue. Nick Foxton once won the Grand National, but a terrible accident cut his racing career short. Years later, he is returning to Aintree - as a spectator - when he once more finds himself the centre of attention. Minutes before the big race, Nick's colleague, financial adviser Herb Kovak, is shot dead and the gunman vanishes into the crowd. The police want answers but Nick can't explain why anyone would want Herb dead. Yet when he finds a threatening message crumpled in Herb's coat, Nick begins questioning all he knows about his friend. And on learning that he is the benefactor of Herb's will, Nick is certain that something is not right. A fact confirmed when Nick discovers he's next in the killer's firing line. Packed with all the hair-raising suspense and excitement readers know and love from Dick Francis, "Gamble" is Felix Francis' most heart-pounding thriller yet. "The Francis flair is clear for all to see".("Daily Mail"). "Spare, efficient and unflashy ...inexorably draws you in". ("Daily Telegraph"). "The master of suspense and intrigue". ("Country Life"). "Still the master". ("Racing Post"). Felix Francis is the younger son of thriller-writing legend, Dick Francis, with whom he co-wrote the four most recent Dick Francis Novels, "Dead Heat", "Silks", "Even Money" and "Crossfire", with Felix taking an increasingly greater role in the writing. Sadly Dick died in February 2010 but his work will live on through Felix. "Gamble" is Felix's first solo Dick Francis Novel. Felix trained as a physicist and spent seventeen years teaching A level physics before taking on the role as manager to his father, and then as author. He lives in Oxfordshire.