Monday, 23 December 2013

And the winner is...

In previous years I've attempted to give my fighter of the year award (a.k.a. The Fran) to an 'alternative' pugilist, one who is unlikely to receive the accolade from more traditional quarters. However, this year there can only be one winner - Floyd Mayweather. He's simply the best fighter on the planet - by a country mile. Not giving the award to him would be like not giving it to Sugar Ray Leonard in 1981 or Muhammad Ali in 1974. Even I'm not that silly.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Not a tiger but a cheetah

The fact that Tiger Woods did not even consider withdrawing from the Masters, let alone actually do it:

suggests that golf has now become like pretty much every other professional sport - winning has become the only thing that matters. If you have to cheat to do so, well no problem. A far cry from the days when Bobby Jones, after being congratulated by journalists for calling a foul on himself which ultimately cost him the US Open, famously commented: "You may as well praise a man for not robbing a bank".

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Kick it out

So BBC Radio 5 Live pundit Pat Nevin says that Eden Hazard was correct to kick the Swansea ball boy who antagonised him? Well I agree. And Eric Cantona was equally right to kick the hooligan who shouted personal abuse at him. The FA must apologise to Eric immediately and repay the £20,000 he was fined. Either that or, to be consistent,  Hazard should be banned for an equivalent period of nine months.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

New year, same old story

Last night Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor once again became world darts champion. There simply aren't enough superlatives to describe this man.  I’m not even sure which is my favourite Taylor stat – 16 world titles, the highest ever three dart average in a match (118.66), his world championship semi-final record (played 19, won 19) or the fact that, out of 82 major final appearances, he has lost only eight. Surely the next BBC Sports Personality of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award (an accolade which has previously been given to Frank Bruno) must go to Taylor - the greatest living Briton.

Friday, 21 December 2012

And the winner is…

I’m sure most pundits will be giving their fighter of the year accolade to Juan Manuel Márquez following his scintillating destruction of Manny Pacquiao earlier this month  However, in effect I pre-empted that by honouring Márquez at the end of last year (after he’d been robbed – once again - in the 3rd Pacquiao fight:

Instead, my 'alternative' fighter of the year award (aka The Fran) for 2012 goes to Andre Ward. At the very end of 2011 he dished out a one-sided beating to the very capable Carl Froch, winning the ‘Super 6’ tournament and proving he is far and away the best super middleweight in the world. Now, I’m generally not a huge fan of the ‘intermediate’ divisions – super this and junior that. However, in his only fight of 2012, Ward completely outclassed the light heavyweight champ Chad Dawson (in his first fight since defeating the legendary Bernard Hopkins – in my mind Hopkins’ only legitimate defeat in almost 20 years). So Ward is effectively the undisputed light heavyweight king – without actually having ever fought at 175 pounds. Not only is he deserving of The Fran, he may well be the best (active) fighter, pound for pound, on the planet.