Friday, September 28, 2007

Arsenal make the Rich List

Arsenal's move to its new stadium has seen it emerge as one of Europe's richest three clubs - and that explains just why the Barclays (sponsor) Premier League club is such a valued target for a takeover. Turnover of £200.8 million for the year ending May 31 2007 puts Arsenal into the same strata as Manchester United and Real Madrid. The London club is likely to be in third spot in Europe when the results for the same period are issued for the two other clubs, but the size of its match-day takings and its profitability will make Arsenal real rivals for United and put Real into the shade. In a year's time, when the cash for the new Premier League television deal is counted in, Arsenal and United are likely to be in a league of their own. No wonder Alisher Usmanov, the Uzbek-born billionaire, is circling the Arsenal wagons looking for a way in. Arsenal's results from its season at Highbury showed a turnover of £137.2 million, placing it ninth in the list in Europe. A year on, and turnover has shot up by almost £74 million, and profits are £51.2 million. The move to the Emirates (sponsor) Stadium is by far the biggest reason for the change - the 60,000-seater stadium is returning mouth-watering revenues of £3.1 million a game, more than double the sum achieved at Highbury. There are two notes of caution to be sounded, however, before Arsenal declares itself ready to supersede United. Firstly, there is still a considerable debt - some £260 million - to service even if, given these new figures, that should be comfortable enough. Of the £260 million, £210 million will be repaid at a fixed interest rate of 5.14% over 23 years while the remaining £50 million will be repaid at 5.97% over 25 years. Servicing the debt will cost Arsenal £15.3 million each year. Secondly, more than 10% of the turnover - £23.8 million - came from property development at its old stadium which is being turned into executive homes. That is an income stream that will soon disappear. Even taking those issues into account, the future looks bright - especially now manager Arsene Wenger has committed himself to the club and with the team leading the Premier League. The results also display the financial value of Wenger to Arsenal off the pitch, because his unerring eye for talent consistently allows the club to make a profit in the transfer market. Latest figures reveal an £18.5 million profit in player trading in the year up to May 31 2007, much of that coming from Ashley Cole's move to Chelsea. Next year's should also see a profit in player trading with Thierry Henry's sale to FC Barcelona enabling Wenger to stay in the black again. Arsenal managing director Keith Edelman has promised Wenger up to £70 million to spend - if he wants it. If history is anything to go by, Wenger will not take him up on his offer. However, the real irony of Arsenal's situation is that its success will not deter a hostile takeover bid - by contrast it will increase the chances of that happening.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Undefeated land in Vegas

The records are pristine and spectacular - a combined 81-0 with 55 knockouts. However the stage is now set for "Pretty Boy" Floyd Mayweather or Ricky"The Hitman" Hatton to face a blemish on their record as on Saturday December 8 at the indoor MGM Grand Garden Arena, both boxers are willing to got to war to avoid tasting defeat for the first time in their professional careers. Golden Boy Promotions and Mayweather Promotions are proud to present "Undefeated" - a historic night of boxing featuring two undefeated champions battling for the World Welterweight Championship as Mayweather defends his title. Oscar De La Hoya, president of Golden Boy Promotions commented: "Even though this fight is months away, everyone is already talking about it and breaking it down, trying to figure out who has the edge. It's a great clash of styles between Mayweather and Hatton and I think that translates into a memorable fight that will go down in history as one of the great ones." Mayweather, who most recently defeated De La Hoya at the famous Las Vegas venue, can't wait for the big event, as "Pretty Boy" said: "The MGM Grand is like a second home to me and I'm going to make my fifth appearance here my most spectacular and memorable. I love Vegas, I love the fans at the MGM Grand and I'm gonna show Ricky Hatton that he can't come into my house and try to take what's mine." Hatton, who will have the support from a loyal army of fans, descending from his roots back home in Manchester, England is buzzing about the opportunity to immortalise himself amongst boxing's greats as "The Hitman" looked forward to this eagerly awaited contest, as he commented: "It's always been a dream of mine to fight at the MGM Grand and now I'll finally get my chance. The MGM Grand has been the home to so may great champions and so many great fights. To fight Floyd Mayweather in that famous ring will push me even harder to live up to such a legacy."

Conteh backs Bellew to Shine

British boxing legend John Conteh has backed Tony Bellew to follow in his footsteps - and bring the world light-heavyweight title home to Liverpool. "Bomber" Bellew makes his highly anticipated professional debut at the Nottingham Arena on October 6 following a stellar amateur career in which he won the ABA title. His boyhood hero was Conteh, who won British, Commonwealth, European light-heavyweight titles - and the prestigious WBC World title when he was just 23-years-old. "It's great news that we've got a young guy from Liverpool turning pro, and by the sounds of it he can bang a bit," said 56-year-old Conteh, who will be ringside for Bellew's debut. "It would be fantastic if he could follow in my footsteps, and I'll be watching his career develop with interest. Hopefully one day I can watch him win a world title headlining a show in Liverpool. "It sounds as if he's got his head screwed on because he's signed with the best promoter out there in Frank Warren. "What advice would I give him? Listen to his management team and work hard in the gym, and fight whoever is put in front of him. "It's important for young guys to keep busy when they first turn professional, because the best place to learn is in the ring. "Other than that, I'd say get a good accountant and look after your money, because your career is only a short one." Bellew, 23, who fought out of the world famous Rotunda ABC as an amateur, didn't start boxing until he was 17 having previously represented Great Britain at kick boxing. Of 47 amateur fights, he won 40, 32 inside the distance, and earned the nickname "The Bomber" because of his dynamite punching power. And he is hoping that power will transfer to the professional ranks. "I'm delighted that John has taken time to wish me well, he's always been a big hero of mine," said Bellew, who will be trained by former WBU World Middleweight Champion Anthony Farnell. "To win a world title like he did would be a dream come true."

Khan banks on fan base

Amir Khan is banking on his large fan base to cheer him to victory over Scott Lawton in Nottingham now the fight has been confirmed for a 10.10pm start.There had been concerns that the Muslim religious festival of Ramadan could prevent some fans attending, but with the boxers not entering the ring until well after sundown, it will ensure they get to see their hero in action." It's great news that my fans will get to see me in action and not have to worry about rushing meals and evening prayers," said Khan, who defends his Commonwealth lightweight title on October 6 at the Nottingham Arena." I've had thousands of people e-mailing my website asking what time the fight starts, but there's no need to panic because it's not on until later in the evening." I've got lots of loyal fans coming from Bolton, but I hope this news means the large Asian community in the Midlands will also come out and support me." Every time I've fought the support I've got - from fans of all races and religions - has been fantastic, and it really spurs me on." I know the atmosphere in Nottingham will be equally as electric."Khan himself has been observing Ramadan despite training hard for the first defence of his Commonwealth title, which he won against Willie Limond in a thriller in July.He has special dispensation to eat during daylight hours on the day of the weigh-in and the fight itself, but will make up for the lost time after the end of Ramadan, which finishes nexct week " I've never trained harder for a fight," said 20-year-old Khan, who has compiled a perfect 13-0 record with 10 KOs. " I know just how dangerous Lawton can be, and he'll fancy his chances after seeing the Limond fight. " But I learned a lot in that fight and you are going to see a much-improved boxer on October 6."

McDonagh hopes to Top the Bill

Peter McDonagh has his first fight this year on October 5th aiming to put himself in the frame for the British Lightweight Title.Norwich’s Jon Thaxton defends his British Title against Dave Stewart (Ayr/London) at the York Hall in Bethnal Green, on a Hennessy Sports show inpartnership with Title Sponsors Sky Sports will televise.McDonagh, from Bermondsey, will fight in a four-round bout on the undercard and believes he is good enough to fight the winner of Thaxton-Stewart.The 29-year-old hopes to be given an eliminator for the title after impressively stopping Michael Gomez, the former British super-featherweight champion, for the Irish Lightweight Title, last year.“I've won my last four now and this is a chance for me to look good and show people what I can do,” said McDonagh, who is trained by Paul Cook.“I had a bit of hand damage and have not been able to get a fight which is why I haven’t fought this year. I have been avoided.“This is going to be a big year for me. I want the British Title so will fight Thaxton or Stewart. I deserve a chance after beating Gomez and want an eliminator at least.“I was selected as the opponent against Gomez. But I was given 12 weeks to prepare for it and I showed what I can do. When I step up now, I’m not going to take any chances and will stop people rather than letting it go to points.“Things are going really well under Paul Cook where I have got great sparring with the likes of Kevin Mitchell, Nicky Cook and Colin Lynes.”

Stewart takes to the Alps

Dave Stewart has been training in the Alps for his attempt to follow in the footsteps of his heroes Jim Watt and Ken Buchanan.Stewart aims to become British lightweight champion just like his fellow Scotsmen Buchanan and Watt did in the sixties and seventies.Stewart, from Ayr but based in east London, challenges Norwich's British champion Jon Thaxton at the York Hall in Bethnal Green, on a Hennessy Sports show inpartnership with Title Sponsors Sky Sports will televise.To get himself ready for Thaxton's second defence, Stewart has been training at altitude in France."For me to be British champion would be a dream come true. The likes of Jim Watt and Ken Buchanan held the same belt and they were heroes of mine,” said Dave."Jim Watt may even be commentating for Sky TV on the night at ringside. He is a hero of mine and I always listen to what he has to say."It was really good over there for hill sprints and the altitude made it really hard to train over."We were near Mont Blanc, right up in the Alps, and it has got me in great shape."I’ve got a lot of respect for Jon and I’m prepared to work really hard on the night. I want to test myself against the very best. He’s the number one lightweight in Britain so it’s a real test for me."Stewart lost a previous British title fight to fellow Hennessy Sports boxer Lee Meager last year, but feels he will put up a stronger challenge this time."We’ve both fought Lee but it doesn’t mean a thing,” said Dave. “I’m learning all the time and I’m better educated about the weight now than I was against Lee."I’m a tall lightweight, but I’ve made the weight easy for this fight because I know more about nutrition."

Barker Backs Kessler

Darren Barker is getting ready for his Octiber 5th comeback by sparring with WBA and WBC super-middleweight champion Mikkel Kessler this week.The Barnet Southern Area middleweight champion has not fought since death of his brother, Gary, in a car accident last December.Undefeated Barker, who won a gold medal at the 2002 Commonwealth Games, will return to action on the undercard of Jon Thaxton's British Lightweight Title defence against Dave Stewart at the York Hall in Bethnal Green, in a Hennessy Sports show in partnership with which will be televised live by Sky Sports.The 23-year-old is in Copenhagen helping Kessler’s preparations for his world title unification fight against Britain's Joe Calzaghe in November.“It has been great experience sparring with Kessler and I’m more than holding my own,” said Barker, who is short-listed for the Boxing Writers’ Young Boxer of the Year award.“I'm over here for a week and the quality he has got means the sparring is really beneficial for me. He's at the pinnacle of his game and a double world champion and sparring with someone like that can only bring you on. I've picked up some things which will be useful.“I needed the time out of the ring to get it together but now I'm more hungry than ever.“I'm supposed to be fighting again on November 2. I want to keep winning and then those title fights will come my way.”

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Mendoza targets Dawson

SACRAMENTO, Calif-World Boxing Council No. 1-ranked mandatory challenger Adrian "The Shark" Diaconu, scheduled to fight for a title against WBC lightweight champion "Bad" Chad Dawson at ARCO Arena in Sacramento, suffered a training injury on Thursday forcing him to pull out of the Sept. 29 match.Dangerous light heavyweight knockout artist Epifanio Mendoza (28-4-1, 24 KOs), from Barranquilla, Colombia, has agreed to replace Diaconu and will face Dawson in the Sept. 29 main event."This is a dream come true to have the opportunity to fight Chad Dawson for the WBC light heavyweight title," an obviously enthused Mendoza said after flying into promoter Don King's Deerfield Beach, Fla., headquarters to sign the match contract this afternoon [Sept. 18]. "I have fought in and won numerous national and continental championships but this will be my first world title fight. I plan on taking the title back to Colombia."Fight promoter Don King likened the event to a Rocky movie, but this time it's for real."Adrian Diaconu's misfortune becomes Epifanio Mendoza's opportunity to make history," King said. "Adrian will recover to fight another day and Epifanio has a chance to become a real-life Rocky, just like in the movies. This type of thing happens from time to time in boxing and it adds another level of intrigue into our September 29 main event."The training injury occurred on Thursday [Sept. 13], the day after Diaconu and his trainer Pierre Bouchard had attended Sacramento and San Francisco press conferences promoting the fight on Wednesday [Sept. 12].Diaconu was so anxious to not miss another day of his scheduled training that he took a late-night flight back to Montreal, which arrived on Thursday at 7 a.m. During his sparring session later that day, he injured his right hand. He complained of pain on the base of the hand between his knuckles and wrist.On Friday morning, Diaconu visited Dr. Claude LeBlanc, a noted sports physician in Montreal, who advised him to undergo an immediate M.R.I., which was completed yesterday afternoon [Sept. 17]. The imaging revealed that Diaconu suffered bone contusions on the base of his hand on the third and fourth metacarpals with soft tissue damage in the surrounding areas.After LeBlanc read the results, he advised Diaconu to not participate in his scheduled match with Chad Dawson. He also prescribed rehabilitative treatment for the next few weeks until the injury heals to the point where it can be re-evaluated.A second world championship remains on the card featuring two once-beaten fighters with Luis "El Demoledor" Perez (25-1, 21 KOs), from Nicaragua, making the first defense of his International Boxing Federation bantamweight title opposing British Commonwealth champion Joseph "King Kong" Agbeko (24-1, 21 KOs), from Ghana. Eight bouts are expected to be on the full card. Both world championships will be televised on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING at 10 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast). The event is being promoted by Don King Productions in association with Maloof Sports & Entertainment.Dawson (24-0, 16 KOs), a 25-year-old southpaw from New Haven, Conn., possesses the WBC 175-pound title Roy Jones Jr. held from 1997 to 2004. Dawson upset previously unbeaten Tomasz Adamek (31-0) to win the WBC crown on Feb. 3 in Kissimmee, Fla. In his most recent appearance he made a successful title defense against Jesus "Chuy" Ruiz on June 9 in Hartford, Conn.About Don King ProductionsDon King Productions has promoted over 500 world championship fights with nearly 100 individual boxers having been paid $1 million or more. DKP also holds the distinction of having promoted or co-promoted seven of the 10 largest pay-per-view events in history, as gauged by total buys, including three of the top five: Holyfield vs. Tyson II, 1.99 million buys, June 1997; Tyson vs. Holyfield I, 1.6 million buys, November 1996; and Tyson vs. McNeeley, 1.58 million buys, August 1995.DKP has promoted or co-promoted 11 of the top 15 highest-grossing live gates in the history of the state of Nevada including four of the top five: Holyfield vs. Lewis II, paid attendance: 17,078, gross: $16,860,300 (NOTE: Also second-highest live-gate gross for any event in the history of the world.), date: Nov. 13, 1999; Holyfield vs. Tyson II, paid attendance: 16,279, gross: $14,277,200, date: June 28, 1997; Holyfield vs. Tyson I, paid attendance: 16,103, gross: $14,150,700, date: Nov. 9, 1996; and Tyson vs. McNeeley, paid attendance: 16,113, gross: $13,965,600, date: Aug. 19, 1995.About Maloof Sports & EntertainmentMaloof Sports & Entertainment includes the Sacramento Kings (NBA), Sacramento Monarchs (WNBA) and ARCO Arena. Led by Joe and Gavin Maloof and owned by the Maloof family with a group of long-term partners, the organization is committed to the community in Sacramento and to making a positive, meaningful difference in the lives of families in need and at risk in the Sacramento region.

Williamson to fight McCline

NEW YORK-When boxing promoter Don King could not come to acceptable terms to deliver the services of his heavyweight contender DaVarryl "Touch of Sleep" Williamson to fight unretiring WBC "champion emeritus" Vitali Klitschko, he unknowingly set in motion the circumstances for another fight.Klitschko later announced he was going to face Jameel McCline on Sept. 22 in Munich, Germany, but cancelled the match due to an apparent back surgery on Sept. 9, just five days before McCline was scheduled to leave for Germany, marking the fifth consecutive match in a row where Klitschko has been unable to participate.Promoter Don King has stepped in to fill the void by announcing that Williamson will face McCline as a featured heavyweight attraction on the Oct. 6 WBC heavyweight championship card at Madison Square Garden pitting champion Oleg Maskaev against No. 1-ranked mandatory challenger Samuel "The Nigerian Nightmare" Peter."Williamson versus McCline is a fight made by Vitali Klitschko," King said. "Vitali's people couldn't come to terms with me for Williamson, and Vitali himself did what he usually does, he backed out of a fight, this time with McCline. Now I've brought Williamson and McCline together to prove they are worthy of a world title shot."Williamson, who knocked down Vitali's brother Wladimir in the fourth round when they met in Las Vegas on Oct. 2, 2004, and was ahead on one judge's scorecard when the fight was stopped due to an accidental clash of heads, sparred with Vitali the day before he pulled out of the fight with McCline."I don't know what they [the Klitschko camp] anticipated from me [in sparring] but I will tell you they got their money's worth," Williamson said. "It was competitive on both sides."I sparred with Vitali on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday [Sept. 4, 6 and 7] and didn't notice anything unusual," Williamson said. "I didn't know anything about his injury, which they said happened the next day on Saturday [Sept. 8]. I don't know what happened between Friday and Saturday morning."The 6-foot 4-inch Williamson, ranked No. 4 by the World Boxing Association, will battle 6-foot-6-inch Jameel "Big Time" McCline in a battle of big, tall heavyweights."I am very disappointed that fight with Vitali is not happening on Sept. 22, but I promise that whenever and if ever he steps into the ring with me I will put him on his now supposedly surgically repaired back," McCline said."Now that Vitali's backed out, DaVarryl Williamson has stepped up and he's getting knocked out. There is no way I'm going to be denied on Oct. 6."World Boxing Organization 2006 Manager of the Year Scott Hirsch manages McCline."This is the second time I've gone down the road with Team Klitschko only to lose the bout at the last moment," Hirsch said. "This is also the second time my good friend Don King has stepped in to save the day, delivering fights when the Klitschkos could not."Tickets priced at $400, $250, $150, $100 and $50 (more than 14,000 tickets are $150 or less!) are on sale now at the Garden box office and all Ticketmaster locations or by calling Ticketmaster at 212-307-7171, 201-507-8900, 631-888-9000, or 914-454-3388. Ticketmaster purchases are subject to convenience charges.Williamson (24-4, 20 KOs) from Denver, Colo., is coming off two knockout wins. On May 6, 2006, Williamson scored a fourth-round technical knockout over previously undefeated Mike Mollo and, in his last appearance on July 6, he stopped Maurice Wheeler in round three.This will be Williamson's third fight at the World's Most Famous Arena, winning in back-to-back Garden appearances against former heavyweight champion Oliver "The Atomic Bull" McCall by unanimous decision in 2004 and in a second-round TKO over Derrick Jefferson in 2005 that also earned him the WBC Continental Americas title.Williamson fought one of the best fights of his career when he met Wladimir Klitschko on Oct. 2, 2004. "Touch of Sleep" unloaded a slumberous straight right hand that sent the Ukrainian giant to the mat in round four. Williamson tried to finish him, but Klitschko was able to survive the round.An accidental head butt opened up a nasty cut on Klitschko's forehead in round five. He was able to finish the round, but the ringside physician halted the bout before the beginning of the sixth round, sending the match to the judges' scorecards for a decision. One judge had Williamson ahead 48 to 46, but the remaining two judges favored Klitschko, both scoring the fight 49-47, allowing the fading Klitschko to escape with a split-decision victory.Williamson earned his first and only world title shot on Oct. 1, 2005, facing International Boxing Federation heavyweight champion Chris Byrd, losing by decision in an uninspired bout Williamson claims was due in part to the fact that he and Byrd are friends outside the ring.Williamson, one of the few boxers who can boast having a master's degree as well as being a stand-up comedian, can't wait to get back into a world title match and sees McCline as the stepping stone."I love fighting big guys and I know that I won't have to go look for McCline," Williamson said. "He'll be right there in front of me and my big right hand. I'm risking a lot, and I could just sit on it and wait, but I'm not that type of fighter."McCline (38-7-3, 23 KOs), born in Harlem and residing in West Palm Beach, Fla., last fought in Madison Square Garden on Nov. 13, 2004, against Chris Byrd for the International Boxing Federation heavyweight championship.McCline stunned Byrd with a staggering right hand that floored the champion early in the second round, which almost ended the fight. Byrd amazingly finished the round and the fight, and McCline ended up on the losing end of a razor-thin split decision.Following the loss to Byrd, and a couple of stumbling blocks, McCline put together another string of six wins to earn another shot at world heavyweight championship, this time against Nikolai "Russian Giant" Valuev. At a weight of over 590 pounds, it was the heaviest combined weight for a title belt in history.McCline fought well before suffering a twisted knee just as the bell sounded to end the third round. The freak injury left him unable to continue in the bout.A three-sport high school star that went on to play collegiate basketball, McCline began boxing at a "late stage" and after a two-win, two-loss, one-draw record to begin his heavyweight career, he began to soar through the rankings, putting together a streak of 28 fights without suffering a loss.His first world title fight came on Dec, 7, 2002, against then-World Boxing Organization heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko. McCline lost a hard-fought battle by a 10th-round technical knockout before winning his next three fights to set up the meeting with Byrd.Two other domestically non-televised matches had previously been added to the card. Two-time 147- and 154-pound world champions Jose Antonio Rivera (38-5-1, 24 KOs), from Worcester, Mass., and Daniel Santos(30-3-1, 21 KOs), from Bayamon, Puerto Rico, will square off in an elimination bout to determine the WBA super welterweight No. 1 ranking as well as become mandatory challenger to new WBA champion Joachim Alcine.Polish favorite Andrew Golota (39-6-1, 32 KOs), from Warsaw, will take on Mike Tyson conqueror Kevin "The Clones Colossus" McBride (34-5-1, 29 KOs), from Ireland, in a second special heavyweight attraction.The main event of Maskaev vs. Peter will be televised on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING beginning at 9 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast) and is being promoted by Don King Productions and Duva Boxing in association with Madison Square Garden.

Arsenal's new TV Channel

Arsenal has become the latest Barclays (sponsor) Premier League club to announce the launch of an official television channel by teaming up with Setanta Sports. Manchester United and Chelsea already have their own channels, while Liverpool is also set to launch its own TV offering. Arsenal has signed a six-year deal with Setanta to be the exclusive broadcaster of the new channel, which is planned to launch in December and will become the 10th channel offered as part of the Setanta Sports pack on satellite, where it will be available at no extra charge. On cable, the channel will be available as part of the Setanta Sports pack via Virgin Media, while Arsenal TV will also be available to Setanta customers in the Republic of Ireland.
Arsenal TV will offer delayed coverage of all the club's matches in major competitions including the Premier League, UEFA Champions League, FA Cup and Carling (sponsor) Cup. It will also include behind the scenes access to the club, including interviews with Arsène Wenger and the players, and will broadcast at least six hours of content per day, five days a week. Under the terms of the deal, Setanta will take all subscription revenues whilst Arsenal will retain all gross receipts derived from any sponsorship and advertising on the channel. "Arsenal TV will provide the club with a powerful way of communicating with our fans in both the UK and Republic of Ireland," said Arsenal managing director Keith Edelman. "For the first time supporters will really be able to see behind the scenes at Emirates (sponsor) Stadium. We are aiming to provide quality programming that is not only informative but also reflects the exciting brand of football we play on the pitch." Michael O'Rourke, co-founder and co-CEO of Setanta, added: "We are delighted to be the exclusive broadcaster of Arsenal TV and add the new channel to our ever-expanding Setanta Sports Pack. With the Barclays Premier League season now underway, and our top European action from France, Portugal, Germany and Holland and comprehensive coverage of the Blue Square (sponsor) Premier, Setanta is unbeatable value for all football fans."

Anti-Doping in Professional Golf

Leading Golf Organisations Come Together to Develop Anti-Doping Policy for Golf

St. Augustine, Florida – The major governing organisations in golf today announced that they have agreed in principle to an anti-doping policy for professional golf on a global basis that will be accomplished in two phases.

The first phase of the policy, which has been completed, encompasses the development of The Model Prohibited Substance and Methods List discussed later in this statement, a copy of which is attached.

The second phase of the Policy, which is anticipated to be completed prior to the end of this year, will include general standards for all the fundamental elements of an anti-doping program for golf organisations that become signatories to the Policy, while providing flexibility for such signatories to develop specific policies and procedures necessary or appropriate for their organisations.

Such standards will encompass the Model Prohibited Substance and Methods List, as well as medical waiver procedures, testing protocols, results management, penalties, sanctions and reciprocity of outcomes.

Leading golf organisations who have lent their support, leadership and cooperation for the development of the Policy as a result of their representation on the Board of Directors of the World Golf Foundation and who will, subject to approval by their governing boards, become signatories to the Policy include:

Augusta National Golf Club
The European Tour
Ladies Professional Golf Association
PGA of America
The R&A for The Open Championship
United States Golf Association for the U.S. Open, the U.S. Women’s Open
and the U.S. Senior Open

Other leading golf organisations who have agreed to become signatories to the Policy include:

Asian Tour
Australasian Tour
Canadian Tour
Japan Professional Golf Tour
Sunshine Tour
Tour de Las Americas

The Model Prohibited Substance and Methods List (modified as necessary for individual golf organisations) will be incorporated into the respective tournament regulations of a number of signatories to the policy, effective in 2008. Player education and outreach on the Model Prohibited Substance and Methods List is ongoing and will be given increased emphasis by the signatories of the Policy moving forward.

An Anti-Doping office of the World Golf Foundation will be created in 2008, and will, among duties, coordinate and share information with golf organisations with respect to medical waiver procedures and therapeutic use exemptions under the Policy. Disciplinary procedures and penalties for violations of the Policy will be controlled and administered by the signatories to the Policy, and disclosed to other signatory organizations for consistency and coordination purposes.

Testing protocols will also be within the purview of the individual signatory organisations and will be developed and approved by each organisation on an individual basis. It is anticipated that signatories who will be testing under the Policy will commence and activate their testing programs in 2008.

Model Prohibited Substances and Methods List
Anabolic Agents
Hormones and Related Substances
Agents with Anti-Estrogenic Activity
Diuretics and Other Masking Agents
Beta Blockers
Enhancement of Oxygen Transfer
Chemical and Physical Manipulation

Substances that may be Prohibited
At the Option of the Golf Organization

The Pryce is Right

Welsh scrapper Bradley Pryce has promised to become the next World Champion from the famous Enzo Calzaghe stable of champion. The 26-year-old has already seen gym-mates Joe Calzaghe (WBO World Super-Middleweight), Enzo Maccarinelli (WBO World Cruiserweight), Gavin Rees (WBA World Light-Welterweight) and Gary Lockett (WBU World Middleweight) become world champions, and is determined to follow in their footsteps. And if he succeeds, it will mean the Principality will have an unprecedented five world champions all in one gym and be the hottest area for boxing in the UK. 'Seeing Joe, Enzo, Gavin and Gary do so well is really spurring me on,' said Pryce, who makes the fifth defence of his Commonwealth Light-Middleweight title at the Nottingham Arena on October 6 against Leicester KO king Martin Concepcion. 'They deserve all the praise they are getting, but I want to bring a world title back to the gym as well,' 'Enzo is a great trainer and I know he would be over the moon if I brought another world title into the gym. I don't think there is a better trainer in the world today and his work speaks for itself,' 'Light-middleweight is a competitive division at the moment, but I believe I've got the skills and the heart to go all the way to the top,' 'I'm getting better with every fight. A few years ago I wasn't living the life and it showed when I stepped through the ropes. I lost to guys I'd now beat with one hand tied behind my back,' 'Now I'm in the gym every day working harder than ever. We're a great team down in Newbridge, and I want to become the fifth world champion out of the gym,' 'There's been some great Welsh fighters down the years, but I don't know if we've ever had a better crop. I know we can go down in history as the best of the lot.' Pryce admits he will be up against it when he tackles big-punching Concepcion, after the Midlander iced unbeaten Matthew Hall inside a round last time out. But on the same show Pryce scalped top prospect Anthony Small in the seventh round. 'Concepcion is a puncher, but when you spar with the likes of Joe Calzaghe and Enzo Maccarinelli, then it's going to take someone very special to knock you out,' said Pryce. 'I'm used to taking some heavy shots in the gym, and I'll soak up whatever Concepcion throws and come back even harder at him.' Pryce-Concepcion features on a mouth-watering Nottingham Arena card headlined by Amir Khan's Commonwealth lightweight title defence against Scott Lawton, screened live on ITV1.

Mitchell snaps at Khan

Boxing predator Kevin Mitchell wants to buy a six-foot shark - once he's got his teeth into Amir Khan The Dagenham Destroyer, who holds the Commonwealth super-featherweight title, is desperate for a match up against his big rival. Mitchell will feature on the same card as Khan on Saturday 6th October at the Nottingham Arena, where both stars will be defending their belts. But the run up to the show hasn't been smooth for Mitchell - his much-loved pet Piranha sadly passed away last week And the distraught puncher has vowed to replace the man-eater with an even bigger specimen once he beats Khan. "I love nature documentaries, especially ones about sharks," said Mitchell. "I think we've got a lot in common because once we scent blood we go in for the kill. "There's been talk of a Great White being spotted off the coast of Cornwall, but if people really want to see a top predator in action, then they should check out my next fight. "And I also plan on making fish food of Khan when I get my hands on him. Amir's a good fighter, but he's in for a fright when he faces a puncher like me."Khan's love of sharks stems from watching the late Steve Irwin programmes on the Discovery channel, and he says he is keen to buy one himself. "I love sharks so much that my plan is to eventually buy a black-tipped reef shark, which can grow up to six foot," he explained. "A friend of mine who is in the trade suggested building an aquarium as a wall between the living room and dining room of my house. "I wouldn't do anything without expert advice because sharks are such beautiful creatures and stress can easily kill them. "The aquariums cost about £20,000 to build, so I'll need win some big fights before I can afford it - starting with one against Khan."

Warren on course for record takings

Promoter Frank Warren believes that Joe Calzaghe's super-fight against rival Mikkel Kessler on November 3rd at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium is on course to break the indoor attendance record for a boxing event. Warren announced last week that ticket sales had hit over 30,000 and the record, currently held by Muhammad Ali's 1978 rematch against Leon Spinks at the New Orleans Superdome, is seriously under threat by the massive WBO/WBC/WBA super-middleweight unification showdown to be broadcast live in the UK on Setanta Sports. The Calzaghe-Kessler titan-clash will go ahead at 1am on Sunday morning but Warren believes that the sheer magnitude of the fight will bring out the fans no matter what time the fight starts. In fact, ticket sales have increased. "I was very disappointed to read a negative article in the regional newspaper the Wales on Sunday that said ticket sales were going to be affected by the early morning start time of the fight." Said Warren. " Calzaghe v Kessler is the biggest fight to be held in the UK for years; it's the two best super-middleweights in the world, in their prime, facing each other at one of the worlds biggest and best stadiums." "The fact that over 30,000 tickets have already been sold - and have increased following the head-to-head press conference last week - speaks for itself and we are closing-in fast on the record held by Ali-Spinks II." "Joe's fight against Peter Manfredo in April drew 35,018 to the Millennium Stadium and we are not far off surpassing that figure," Warren added, "In the article the writer also said that American TV broadcaster HBO had 'demanded' that the fight be televised at 1am which is totally untrue. Originally, the fight was scheduled for a later start but we moved it earlier and HBO had nothing to do with this change. I am absolutely delighted that the fight will be televised live on primetime in the US at 9pm on HBO." "When Joe fought Jeff Lacy in Manchester last year the fight was at 2am and we had a near capacity crowd at the M.E.N Arena to watch him put in the best performance by a British fighter that I have ever seen," "Joe is a hero in Wales and the passionate Welsh fans who follow their national rugby and football teams will turn out and back their man in this monumental fight no matter what time." "I will be pressing ahead with all-guns blazing in this promotion to ensure that it is a phenomenal success and with two months to go we are on course to achieve this."

Khan playing it Cool

Boxing superstar Amir Khan will be chilled out before his next fight - after undergoing Cryrotherapy at -120 degrees Celsius.Commonwealth Lightweight Khan is teaming up with his favourite team Bolton Wanderers Football Club to make use of their cutting-edge "liquid air unit".Using liquid air - a mixture of liquid oxygen and liquid nitrogen - imported from Poland and stored at -192 degrees Celsius, the facility helps speed up recovery times after engaging in heavy physical activity.And it means Khan will be ready for a Cold War when he tackles Stoke hardman Scott Lawton at the Nottingham Arena on October 6 in the first defence of his title live on ITV1." I've been told by some of the Bolton players that the benefits of going in the liquid air unit are amazing," said 20-year-old Khan, who now boasts a perfect unbeaten 13-0 record with 10 knockouts." They have had all kinds of aches and pains after a match or intense training session, but have come out feeling like new men." I'll be using it a few times before the Lawton fight to make sure I'm the best possible shape - and I'll definitely be giving him the cold shoulder in a couple of weeks time!Khan - who has worked with Wanderers ever since turning professional more than two years ago - will only spend a few minutes at a time in the unit, as temperatures plummet to -120 degrees, colder than the Arctic in winter." I might take along my woolly hat and scarf just in case it gets too cold and I hope I don't see any Polar Bears!" joked Khan." It can get pretty chilly up here in Lancashire, but this is taking it to a new level, and it's something I plan to do before and after every fight." While it's good for me, I think I'd prefer to be 'chilling' on a beach somewhere, but I'd like to thank Bolton for the support they've shown me all through my career."Pioneered in Japan in 1978, the technology was first used for those suffering with arthritis and joint conditions, but has now been transfered to the field of sports recovery. Khan-Lawton heads up a sensational triple-title card in Nottingham, with Commonwealth light-middleweight champion Bradley Pryce defending against Martin Concepcion and Steven Bell challenging for the English super-featherweight crown against Femi Fehintola.

Lawton looking to upset the Odds

Taking on Amir Khan holds no fears for horse whisperer Scott Lawton - after he tamed a wild gypsy stallion. The former English lightweight champion tackles the Commonwealth king at the Nottingham Arena on Saturday 6th October live on ITV1. And while he admits fighting Khan won't be easy, he says it doesn't compare to the time when he risked his life in scenes straight out of the wild west. "My dad's got some land and we've always ridden horses on it," said Lawton, who show-jumped in his youth. "One day he bought an eight-year-old horse from some travellers, and no one could get on him. "I like a challenge so I said I'd have go. When I got on him he reared right up, kicked his legs and did his best to throw me off. He even sat right down. It was a nightmare. "But I'm pretty determined and I went back every day and got back on him. It was hard work and I could have got seriously injured, but I like a challenge. Now he's as good as gold. "If I can tame a wild stallion, I'm sure I can tame Khan on October 6th." And Lawton also revealed that his horse-riding skills have also been appreciated in America, home of the rodeo. "When the Khan fight was announced, I was actually in Florida on a bit of a break. When I was over there I went to a place where they had a bucking bronco machine. "The guy operating it cranked it right up when I got on, but I managed to stay on to the end. "When I got off he asked me if I'd done any rodeo riding and everyone in the crowd was high-fiving me. "They couldn't believe it when I told them I was actually from England and not Forth Worth!" Lawton, 30, has previously challenged for the British lightweight title against Jon Thaxton, losing on a stoppage after he was forced to open up after being badly cut. He boasts a 24-3-1 record, and says he is confident of beating the man he once cheered on to Olympic success. "I don't think anyone was shouting louder than I was when Amir won that silver medal," said Lawton, who hopes to personally shift as many as 1,000 tickets for the clash. "It was an amazing achievement but amateur success means nothing in the pro ranks. "Obviously he's got amazing speed, and people say that speed kills. But I'm confident that I've got a good enough game plan to beat him. "His fight against Willie Limond has given me some confidence in that he got put down, but I was also impressed by the way he got up and fought back to stop Limond soon afterwards. "People might look at my record and question whether I've got the power to hurt Amir, but I know I hit hard enough to hurt. I'm much better against tall fighters because I'm quite tall myself, and I'm confident I'll give Amir plenty to think about." Khan v Lawton headlines a superb four-title show titled Collision Course that also features Commonwealth Super-Featherweight Champion Kevin Mitchell; Bradley Pryce's Commonwealth Light-Middleweight title defence against Martin Concepcion; the Vacant Super-Featherweight Championship between Stephen Bell and Femi Fehintola plus a quality packed undercard.

Cook on the Comeback Trail

Dagenham's Nicky Cook returns to action on October 13 at York Hall - and says his dream of winning a world title is far from over. Cook, suffered his first professional defeat at the O2 Arena in July, in a challenge for the WBO World Featherweight title. The former British, Commonwealth and European champion showed tremendous heart before falling to class operater Steven Luevano. Refusing to be disheartened by the loss, Cook insists that he can still be a force at world level. "Luevano was a great fighter and he deserved to win," said the 28-year-old. "But he had been beaten before only to come back stronger, and I can take heart from that. "They say what makes you a class act is not how you win, but how you come back from defeat. "I'm still young and I know that I can still be a force at featherweight. "I was unlucky to come up against a fighter at the top of his game, but I'll be working hard in the gym to secure a second world title shot. "I was devastated by the defeat, but the dream's not over yet. I know my promoter Frank Warren can get me another crack, and I can't wait to get back to winning ways." Cook returns to the home of boxing next month in an eight rounder, and is then hoping to get into title contention. Derry Mathews' WBU World Featherweight title defence against Matthew Marsh tops the York Hall bill. Also on the card is Stephen Foster Jnr, 2006 Commonwealth Games Champion Jamie Cox, Vinny Mitchell, Grant Skehill, Eddie Cocoran, Sam Sexton, Billy Saunders and Derek Chisora.

Matthews headlines York Hall

Liverpool hotshot Derry Matthews heads to London's famous York Hall for the second defence of his WBU World Featherweight Championship on Saturday 13th October. The classy 23-year-old, who is one of the leading candidates for the prestigious Boxing Writers' Young Boxer of the Year award, takes on undefeated East Ender Matthew Marsh to be televised live on Setanta Sports. Matthew's is delighted to headline at the home of London boxing and as a big Beatles fan he hopes to get to see the world famous Abbey Road! "It's great to be the main event in the capital for the first time in my pro career and especially at the Mecca of London boxing which is the York Hall. Like all mad Beatles fans, I will of course be going to Abbey Road for a quick photo after I've beaten Marsh!" Said Matthews. "As I'm going into his backyard, I know Marsh will have a strong local following but I will also bring a good crowd with me so it will create an electric atmosphere that will blow the roof off the historic venue," "I've seen quite a bit of Marsh through the amateurs and have followed him through the pro ranks and he is a real good kid," "He will be fighting in front of his home fans so he will really up for the fight and give it his all but I reckon that I'm going to be good for him and will bust him up," Matthew's, known as the Golden Boy, is unbeaten in 18 fights with half his wins coming by knockout. He was a stellar amateur winning 2000 Junior Olympics and 2002 ABA title and as a pro won the English title. He shot to prominence with a commanding performance over Stephen Foster Junior - who also features on the undercard - to win the WBU crown. His last fight was a gruelling blood-fest against Scotsman John Simpson in March when he retained his title in the first defence on points. His exciting style has attracted a star-studded fan base that includes Liverpool FC players Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher who he hopes will be ringside supporting him on the big night. He added, "Steven and Michael are big pals of mine and they try and make it to all of my fights. Liverpool haven't got a game on the day and are at Portsmouth on Monday night so they might be able to make it down which would be fantastic support for me." The card will also see the return of Nicky Cook following his brave challenge for the WBO World Featherweight title last month; Stephen Foster Jnr on his campaign for a rematch against Matthews; 2006 Commonwealth Games Champion Jamie Cox; top prospects Vinny Mitchell, Grant Skehill and Eddie Cocoran; Sports Network's latest heavyweight signing Sam Sexton plus the pro debut of Billy Saunders.

Thaxton takes on Stewart

Jon Thaxton will make the second defence of his British Lightweight Title against fellow Hennessy Sports boxer Dave Stewart at the York Hall in Bethnal Green on October 5. The bout was switched from Norwich to the home of British boxing in a show that will also feature London boxers Darren Barker, George Hillyard and Daniel Herdman, who will be making his professional debut after a promising amateur career. The show will be broadcast live by Sky Sports. Promoter Mick Hennessy is delighted the show will be held at the atmospheric York Hall. “It’s a brilliant fight between Jon and Dave and both have had plenty of notice for it so both will be in excellent shape and I expect a great encounter,” said Mick. “The show was originally going to be in Jon’s home city of Norwich and we had three venues lined up there, but there were complications and in the end we have to had to go to the home of British boxing where good things will happen on October 5th.” Thaxton knows he will have to be on top form to remain Britain's leading lightweight.“ Dave is proven top operator so I’m going to have to be on top of my game to stay British champion,” said Jon. Hennessy is looking forward to the return of middleweight Barker, the 2002 Commonwealth Games Gold Medallist, and debut of light-middleweight Herdman, a former England international amateur boxer. “Darren is looking forward to being back in action and he is one of the finest talents coming through in British boxing at the moment,” said Mick. “Daniel will be making his pro debut after a good amateur career with Repton. He’s got a style that is more suited t the pro game and should be exciting for TV. I’m expecting good things from him." Jon Thaxton feels he has a point to prove in the second defence of his British Lightweight Title against Dave Stewart at the York Hall, Bethnal Green, on October 5th.Thaxton is looking forward to facing his fellow Hennessy Sports boxer at the home of British boxing after admitting he was bothered by flu in his first title defence.Despite stopping Stoke's Scott Lawton in seven rounds in March, Thaxton believes he can do better and has warned Stewart he will be peak condition for him in the Hennessy Sports show which will be televised live by Sky Sports."I'm up for this fight more than any other," said Thaxton. "Everything has gone perfect in training and I'm ready to give a better performance than my last one."The sparring has gone really well and I haven't had any illness for this one which was the problem last time."I reckon I was only 50 per cent of what I should have been for my last fight because I was full of cold."My trainer Graham Everett was close to pulling me out before the fight, but I couldn't do it to my fans in Norwich and my promoter Mick Hennessy."I wasn't really happy with my performance but under the circumstances I was overjoyed at the end of the fight – but mainly because I was relieved just to get through it because I wasn't completely right."Thaxton, who was out-pointed by two-weight world champion Ricky Hatton in a bloody battle for the British Light-Welterweight Title in 2000, believes his strength will ensure he stays British champion when he meets Stewart.London-based Scotsman Stewart was stopped by Lee Meager in a previous British Title shot. Meager then lost to Thaxton in his first defence, but the British champion is not reading too much into recent common opponents."I think this could be a great fight but I know my strength is going to tell on the night," said Thaxton. "He's very tall for a lightweight but I faced a tall opponent last time in Scott Lawton and I worked him down like I'm going to Dave."Just because Dave got stopped by Lee Meager, and I beat Lee Meager, doesn't mean I should beat him. Styles make fights. Lee was good for me because he is a come-forward fighter, but I think I will have to go looking for Dave."

Chelsea's farewell to Mourinho

Chelsea Football Club has published an open letter to its fans.

The letter, which was announced on Chelsea TV, reads as follows:

The Chelsea FC plc board and everyone at the club has appreciated your patience and understanding during what has been a difficult time.

It is only right that we explain the reasons behind José Mourinho leaving Chelsea and also recognise the immense contribution he has made to the club and to English football.

Early this morning we announced that Chelsea and José Mourinho had agreed to part company by mutual consent. The key phrase here is that there was mutual agreement. José did not resign and he was not sacked.
What is clear, though, is we had all reached a point where the relationship between the club and José had broken down. This was despite genuine attempts over several months by all parties to resolve certain differences.

The reason the decision has been taken is that we believed the breakdown started to impact on the performance of the team and recent results supported this view. We did not want this to continue or affect the club further.

Chelsea’s long-term football objectives and ambitions remain unchanged and the appointment of Avram Grant and Steve Clarke is aimed at continuing to achieve those goals.

We also must pay tribute to the great job José did for Chelsea. He has been the most successful manager the club has known and he rightly deserves that place in our history. José has been instrumental in putting Chelsea where it is today, among the leading clubs in European and world football.

He will always be welcome at Stamford Bridge, whether as the guest of Chelsea or as the manager of another club, and he will be given the reception and respect his position in our history deserves.

Chelsea Football Club

Monday, September 10, 2007

Golden Oldies Back World Cup

Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player – the legendary “Big Three” – are inextricably linked to one of golf’s most prestigious Championships – The World Cup. So when the 2007 OMEGA Mission Hills World Cup unfolds at Mission Hills Golf Club in China from November 22-25, the role Nicklaus, Palmer and Player undertook to drive the event centre-stage will be vividly recounted. For Nicklaus, Palmer and Player embraced The World Cup as an event of stately significance. Nicklaus and Palmer played seven and six times respectively – they were unbeaten on the four occasions they were partners – and Player made a remarkable 15 appearances following his first at the age of 20 in 1956 at Wentworth Club, England. Palmer’s first association with The World Cup came in 1960 during a whistle-stop three weeks when he captured the US Open at Cherry Hills, won the World Cup for the United States with the great Sam Snead and played in his first Open Championship at St Andrews where he finished runner-up. “The World Cup played a very important role in the early years of international golf,” said Palmer. “What eventually came out of the World Cup was the series of important international events that we have today. It is an outstanding event. I enjoyed the World Cup, and I enjoyed playing with Sam and then with Jack.” Nicklaus and Palmer were the untouchables in the early 1960s. They won the World Cup for the United States in 1963 in France, in 1964 in Hawaii, in 1966 in Japan and in 1967 in Mexico. Nicklaus recalled: “I guess you could say we made a pretty good team. Too much has been made over the years of our rivalry when we actually spent a lot of wonderful times playing and travelling together including, of course, the World Cup. “I consider Arnold one of my closest friends in the game. Our wives were very good friends and he was always a good companion and a good playing partner. Arnold was always the competitor, but also always the gentleman and friend. “My first taste of the World Cup, or the Canada Cup as it was known then, came with Arnold at St Nom-la-Bretche in Paris. That’s where the Prince of Wales fell off his shooting stick when I holed a long putt! He fell straight over backwards. “Arnold and I won and then again the next year, and I was also fortunate to win the individual title, which we also played for then, in 1963 and 1964. Then after winning twice more with Arnold, I had the opportunity in Florida in 1971 to team with another good friend, Lee Trevino, in what was essentially my back yard in Palm Beach Gardens. We won the team title and it capped a strong three week stretch for me. Lee and I won the team event by 12 shots, I was fortunate to win the individual title again by seven shots and it followed directly after I had won the Australian Open by eight shots and the Dunlop International also in Australia by seven shots. “The interesting tie-in with all three victories is they came with the small ball. That was fun, and the World Cup was fun. Good fun. It was always an enjoyable event. “It was always an honour to be selected for the United States in the World Cup and to represent your country. I liken it to the thrill and honour of representing your country in a Ryder Cup or a Presidents Cup. The competition was always strong but, more importantly, I felt the World Cup brought goodwill to the game and to the countries in which they were played. And because they were played in the right spirit, they were a wonderful showcase for international golf and team golf. I was delighted to be part of it for so many years.” In fact Nicklaus teed up again in the World Cup in 1973 in Spain when he won the title with Johnny Miller and therefore in seven appearances he was responsible for six of the record-breaking 23 wins by the United States. Indeed Nicklaus lost only one World Cup in which he played – in 1965 when Harold Henning and the incomparable Player won for South Africa. Player said: “I remember winning so well with Harold at Club de Campo in Madrid. It was a huge thrill because when you are chosen for the World Cup it is such an honour to represent your country, to travel and meet all the world’s leading players. You played in different countries where golf was starting to grow and become popular and you made lifetime friends of great guys from so many countries. I loved it. “This year everyone should be excited about going to China. What Arnold, Jack and I tried to do all our lives was to promote the game of golf everywhere. The World Cup does that. We must always be thinking about getting more and more people to play golf and there are millions in China who can be encouraged to play. What will that do for the industry.” South Africa, winners also in 1974, 1996, 2001 and 2003, will be bidding for a sixth win when in 2007 a total of 28 two-man teams, each one of a different nationality, compete in the Omega Mission Hills World Cup on the Olazábal Course Course at Mission Hills. This 7,400 yard lay-out was designed by double Masters Tournament champion José Maria Olazábal of Spain. The tournament is a 72-hole stroke play team event. The first and third days are fourball (best ball) play and the second and final days are foursomes play. The defending champions will be Germany who claimed their second World Cup crown in Barbados in December, 2006, when Bernhard Langer and Marcel Siem defeated Scotland’s Colin Montgomerie and Marc Warren in a play-off.