Monday, November 12, 2012

Jungle fever for Hayemaker

Former WBA world heavyweight champion David Haye has become the first active boxer to enter ITV1 show 'I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!', after touching down in the Australian jungle this past weekend. A surprise to many, 'The Hayemaker' signed up for the challenge just months after vanquishing the threat of bitter rival Derek Chisora in the boxing ring, and just months before potentially competing again for the world heavyweight title. “I've been asked to do reality television shows many times in the past, but have always turned them down without a second thought,” said the 32-year-old. “This time round it was different, though. I had nothing planned for November and it all seemed to make sense. “When I asked friends and family they all thought it would be interesting to see me taken out of my comfort zone and to see me squirm in the jungle for a few weeks. They didn't think I would be able to hack life without the luxuries my sport has afforded me over the years. This presented a challenge, and it was one I decided to accept. I've always been somebody eager to test myself and prove people wrong, and I figure that if I stick it out in the jungle for the duration, many people will be surprised.”  It is this challenge element, as well as an empty calendar, that prompted Haye to agree to spending nearly a month in the jungle. Moreover, the format - and the idea of revealing the man behind the game face - also intrigued a boxer accustomed to triumphing in foreign territory. “I've always been a very private person over the years and have never had any intention of letting my guard down, so this is the public's first real opportunity to see the real me,” he admitted. “I can't be certain how people will take to me, but this is the chance to find out. And, in that sense, it's a really interesting experiment. “I've spent most of my life competing in an individual sport, so, admittedly, have never been much of a team player. The whole idea of mucking in and working as a team is something new to me and it is something I will have to get to grips with. But rather than scare me, the idea excites me. I'm a very competitive person and I don't like to lose, no matter what's at stake.”  And while, ultimately, Haye's legacy won't be defined by his placing on a reality television show, he remains a natural competitor and is therefore gunning for the title of 'King of the Jungle'.  “I can't control whether people on the outside like me or not, or whether they choose to vote for me, but I can control how well I do in the challenges, and that is something I plan on doing,” he said. “I've tested myself for years in the ring, often against boxers bigger than myself, so very few tasks tend to scare me. I definitely won't be side-stepping any Bushtucker Trials in the jungle, or fainting if chosen to do one. I'll take each trial in my stride and do my very best.”

Friday, November 02, 2012

Hanson honoured in October

Peter Hanson has been named The 2012 Race to Dubai European Tour Golfer of the Month for October after “winning against the best of the best” by repelling World Number One Rory McIlroy and Ryder Cup colleagues Luke Donald and Ian Poulter to capture the BMW Masters at Lake Malaren Golf Club in Shanghai. Hanson, who receives an engraved alms dish and a jeroboam of Moët & Chandon champagne, captured his second title in three tournaments on The 2012 European Tour International Schedule – rounds of 66-64-70-67 giving him a 21-under par total of 267 – one ahead of McIlroy – and propelling him to second place in The Race to Dubai and to 17th in the Official World Golf Ranking. The Swede, who celebrated his 35th birthday the week after being in the European Team that retained The Ryder Cup at Medinah, was named the October winner by The Race to Dubai Golfer of the Month Panel, comprising members of the Association of Golf Writers as well as commentators from television and radio. The panel also praised Branden Grace and Shane Lowry for their respective European Tour victories at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship and the Portugal Masters; while Padraig Harrington (PGA Grand Slam of Golf) and Thaworn Wiratchant (Hero Indian Open) were singled out for their outstanding performances on the global stage. But it was Hanson who won the final vote following his outstanding victory in China. He said: “I’m a little bit shocked to have won the Golfer of the Month! It is a very nice shock though, and the first time in my career that I have won it so I look forward to putting that trophy in the cabinet at home. “It’s great to be recognised for the victory. I said it when I won that it was the biggest win of my career and the more I look back to the way I performed against the best players in the world – especially Rory who is the undisputed World Number One at the moment – gives me a lot of confidence and satisfaction.” Derek Lawrenson, Golf Correspondent of the Daily Mail, said: “Branden Grace’s achievement in winning for the fourth time on The European Tour was an astonishing feat. Furthermore, does it get any better than winning wire-to-wire at the Home of Golf? Shane Lowry’s victory was equally heart-warming for, after the growing pains he felt during his first two years as a professional, this was clearly an indication that he is now ready to build on all that awesome promise he displayed in winning the Irish Open as an amateur in 2009. “My Golfer of the Month, though, is the classy Swede, Peter Hanson. The men chasing him in the BMW Masters read like a veritable who’s who of the European game but he didn’t flinch for a second, not even when current World Number One Rory McIlroy threw a late charge at him. Winning against the best of the best deserves to carry extra weight and that is why my vote went to Hanson.” James Corrigan, Golf Correspondent of The Daily Telegraph, said: “With a big mention for Branden, who is surely ‘the find’ of this European Tour season, Peter Hanson’s performance in Shanghai was sheer class. It was his first tournament since The Ryder Cup and he held off the World Number One in gutsy style. Behind Rory McIlroy came Luke Donald and Ian Poulter on one of 2012’s stellar leader-boards. Hanson goes from strength to strength.” Hanson follows Branden Grace (January), Paul Lawrie (February), Rory McIlroy (March and August), Louis Oosthuizen (April), Luke Donald (May), Jamie Donaldson (June), Ernie Els (July) and Ian Poulter (September) in winning a Race to Dubai European Tour Golfer of the Month Award this year. All nine will join the November winner in being considered for The 2012 Race to Dubai European Tour Golfer of the Year Award.