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Fighting

Usyk has his sights set on blockbuster fights with Joshua and Fury

Oleksandr Usyk has his sights set on mega fights with Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury after heavyweight clash with Dereck Chisora

  • Usyk hopes victory over Chisora will set him up for blockbuster fights
  • A win would ensure he remains mandatory challenger to Joshua’s WBO title
  • The 33-year-old Ukrainian heavyweight also wants a career in Hollywood

Oleksandr Usyk hopes victory over Dereck Chisora will set him up for blockbuster fights with Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury, and catapult him towards a career in Hollywood.

The Ukrainian headlines this weekend’s show at Wembley Arena, knowing a win would ensure he remains mandatory challenger to Joshua’s WBO title. 

But conquering the heavyweight division is only the first item on the 33-year-old’s bucket list.

Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk takes on Dereck Chisora at Wembley Arena on Saturday

Then he wants to resume a fledgling acting career and take his place alongside the biggest names in film.

‘As long as I am motivated to get up at 5am to train and work hard, I will box,’ Usyk said.

‘The moment I feel I don’t want to get out of bed, I will start thinking about finishing my boxing career and starting on my Hollywood movie career.’ 

Usyk has made cameos in a few movies back in Ukraine and has even taken acting lessons. In 2017, ahead of his fight with Marco Huck in Germany, the 33-year-old was approached by Sylvester Stallone who wanted to cast him in the latest Rocky spin-off, Creed II.

The 33-year-old Ukrainian heavyweight also wants a career in Hollywood 

He turned that opportunity down but, should he continue his unbeaten career, Usyk can become a household name across the boxing world.

Eddie Hearn said: ‘Usyk is so fascinating, he is a star, made for movies. The social media numbers around him – even when he is just dancing – are mad.

‘People moan about Canelo (Alvarez), Gennady Golovkin and Vasiliy Lomachenko not selling fights, in the UK and America, because they don’t speak English. But here you have a guy who doesn’t even need to – it adds to his mystery.

‘He is a very deep thinker, Tony Bellew really liked him before their fight and Derek Chisora does too, that is so rare.’




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Soccer

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has work cut out to make Man United into a force

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has his work cut out to make Manchester United into a force after Chelsea performance

  • Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had seen enough as he walked out to make substitutions
  • He livened things up by introducing Paul Pogba and new man Edinson Cavani
  • Solskjaer is struggling to find the right group of players to win games right now 

There were nearly 54 minutes on the clock when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer left his dugout and stepped on to the side of the pitch at Old Trafford. He had seen enough. We all had.

Solskjaer peered down the touchline and motioned to Paul Pogba and Edinson Cavani, who were warming up by the corner flag in the teeming rain.

Say what you like about Pogba’s form and the fact Cavani had not played a competitive game for seven months, it still felt like quite a power play; a sprinkle of stardust to liven up this most desperate of games.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has his work cut out to turn Manchester United into a force

Moments later, Manchester United’s No 6 and their new No7 were stripped and ready to replace Juan Mata and Dan James.

United had a corner at the time. Bruno Fernandes exchanged passes with Luke Shaw and swung a pass to the near post, where Cavani’s first touch in English football was an instinctive flick to turn the ball into the side-netting. It was as close as United went to a goal all evening and the Uruguayan’s only contribution of note.

Pogba’s arrival in his preferred No10 role pushed Fernandes out to the right and then into a deeper position when the tardy Mason Greenwood came off the bench and in from the cold after two games on the naughty step.

Manchester United have some new signings, and Solskjaer has to find his best group

Last season’s top scorer Anthony Martial was again suspended and his replacement at centre-forward, Marcus Rashford, forced the two best saves of the match out of Edouard Mendy. New £40million signing Donny van de Beek did not even get on the pitch.

There is no shortage of attacking talent in this United squad but Solskjaer has to get the best out of the players at his disposal and fast. United are in 15th place in the Premier League, having failed to win any of their opening three league games at Old Trafford for the first time in 38 years.

Two of them have ended in defeat by Tottenham and Crystal Palace and this goalless stalemate was a difficult watch for even the most committed of supporters. Arsenal and Everton are next up.

Paul Pogba had a good game, and there is hope he can link up well with Cavani this season

Pogba’s performance here was one of the few positives and the hope is that he and Cavani can create the kind of partnership that he enjoyed with Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the 2016-17 season.

‘It’s a nice challenge and a decision to make when you’ve got good players on the bench,’ said Solskjaer. ‘All three games this week he [Pogba] has made a positive impact.

‘He’s been out for a while with coronavirus and maybe I was unfair starting him in a few games but he has done great when he’s come on.

The game ended 0-0, with neither team able to find a breakthrough on a very wet pitch

‘Edinson has been out for a little while. He’s a good presence in the box and he’s going to give us a lot. He gives us something different to what we have of course. He has come in and had a great influence on the training ground already, but we know he needs game time to get his sharpness.

‘I think we started a little bit slow but if anyone was going to be a winner it was us. We decided to get out of the box to get a foothold in the game, but didn’t create too many chances.’

They didn’t and until Solskjaer can find the right combinations among this group of players it will continue to be something of a stop-start season.




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Sports News

Twilight has chance to shine before sales date

David Menuisier is glad of the opportunity to give Autumn Twilight a chance to shine in Group company before his date at the sales next week.

The Buratino colt won his only start to date at Salisbury at the beginning of this month and heads for the Molson Coors Beverage Company Stakes, registered as the Horris Hill Stakes, at Newbury on Saturday.

Menuisier wants Autumn Twilight to show how good he is before the Autumn Horses In Training Sales at Tattersalls.

“He won first time out and he looked very professional. He seems to have come out of the race well,” said the West Sussex trainer.

“He’s entered in the horses in training sales next week – so rather than take it steady, steady, I prefer to run him in a race like this and see how he goes rather than take the easy route.

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“He’ll be going to another yard, so I might as well see how he good he is now.

“He should really enjoy the ground. We’ve been happy with him, so we feel there’s not much excuse really.

“We go there with no pressure. Let’s hope he runs well.”

Jane Chapple-Hyam believes there is more to come from Albadri, who has not troubled the judge since causing a 100-1 upset on his debut at Windsor in August.

However, he has been stepped up in class at Listed and Group Three level in all his three starts since then.

“We think he’s better than he showed last time out,” she said.

“He got caught in the wrong place and couldn’t make ground from where he was.

“If he can return to the form of his run the time before at Newmarket, when he was only beaten three lengths, then you’d have to think he’s got a chance – given the winner that day (La Barrosa) is in a Group One this weekend.”

Among the tough opposition is Roger Varian’s Laneqash – who finished ahead of (subsequent Autumn Stakes winner) One Ruler when second to New Mandate at Doncaster – and John Gosden’s impressive Newmarket scorer Existent.

Raymond Tusk is reported to be back firing on all cylinders after being sidelined since disappointing at Wolverhampton in January.

The Richard Hannon-trained five-year-old, who ran in last year’s Melbourne Cup, returns to action in the Pravha Stakes – formerly known as the St Simon Stakes.

“He’s had one or two niggles,” said Tim Palin, Middleham Park Racing syndicate manager.

“He had a problem with one of his feet just after Wolverhampton – then he cracked a rib in the late spring/early summer.

“We were going to target the Ebor, but we just couldn’t get him back in time.

“He’s moving fantastic now and he’ll be as fit as we can get him at home.

“On ratings he’s got every chance. He should be a player. The ground is a bit of an unknown, especially first time back, but we have to start off somewhere.

“He hasn’t got any penalties to carry now. Last year he struggled a little bit with his Group Two penalty. That’s gone now.

“He’s been doing great at home, and they couldn’t be happier with him.”

Should all go well, the All-Weather Championship Finals on Good Friday could be on the agenda.

Palin added: “All-weather Finals day is a distinct possibility if he could win a fast-track qualifier.

“We’ll see what happens at the weekend. Let’s hope we’ve got our Raymond back, and he runs a big race.”

His rivals include the Andrew Balding-trained pair of Alounak and Natural History as well as Jim Goldie’s Euchen Glen, surprise winner of the Cumberland Lodge Stakes.

Karl Burke believes Gift List has claims to pick up some black type in the Racing TV Stakes, registered as the Radley Stakes.

The daughter of Bated Breath gets her chance in Listed grade after staying on strongly to take second place behind easy winner Just Frank in a valuable 27-runner sales race at Newmarket.

That race was over six furlongs, and she steps back up to seven – over which she was successful in her two previous races.

“She’s in great form. She came out of the race at Newmarket really well,” said the North Yorkshire trainer.

“She’s fresh and well, (and) she deserves the chance to get some black type. That’s what we’re trying to do.

“I’m looking forward to seeing her run. I’m not saying she’s definitely going to win, but she’ll put up a good show.”

Roger Varian’s Setarhe, second to another Burke-trained filly Dandalla in the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot, is among Gift List’s rivals – along with unexposed types including Little Kitten, Little Rollright, and Love Is You.

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Sports News

Champ has Christmas target at Leopardstown

Nicky Henderson has identified the Savills Chase at Leopardstown as a likely Christmas target for Champ.

Last seen lunging late to claim a third win from four starts over fences in a thrilling renewal of the RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March, the JP McManus-owned eight-year-old is this season on the Gold Cup trail.

Champ could kick off his campaign at Aintree before a potential Irish trip.

“Champ is not quite as far forward as some,” said Henderson.

“We have just looked at his wind, but that is all sorted now – however, he is a little bit behind the others in the A-squad.

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“I don’t think he will go to Sandown for the intermediate chase, and we aren’t that keen on the idea of the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury – and I don’t think Kempton is really his track either.

“The Many Clouds Chase at Aintree is a possibility, and there is a serious chance he could go to Ireland for the Savills Chase at Christmas – that is something we have mulled over.”

Henderson’s other leading Gold Cup contender is Santini, who was narrowly beaten by Al Boum Photo in the blue riband last term.

“We are trying to get Santini ready for the Betfair Chase at Haydock – that is the plan at the moment,” added the champion trainer.

“I don’t think he will go to Kempton for the King George, because when he got beaten in the Feltham the other year I didn’t think it was his track that day.

“Going back to Cheltenham for the Cotswold Chase would be the obvious place for him to go after Christmas. The problem with these big chasers is there aren’t many options for them.”

One of the most exciting additions to the novice chasing division this season will be Supreme Novices’ Hurdle winner Shishkin.

“Shishkin did his first piece of more serious work on Saturday, and it went great,” said Henderson.

“We’ve not schooled him over fences yet, beause we are just waiting for the ground to come right on the grass.

“It was a very easy decision to go chasing with him this season. If you look back at when we had Altior in the same position, that was a decision that was much closer.

“He (Altior) could have won a Champion Hurdle, no doubt about it. But he was a year older than Shishkin – and if we were going to go chasing with him we had to go that year and go for an Arkle, not a Champion Hurdle.

“With Shishkin, his career was always going to be chasing – and he is a big, strong horse built for it.

“In Epatante and Buveur D’Air you have two ready-made Champion Hurdle horses.”

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Soccer

Tony Adams claims Arteta has 'problems' with Arsenal star after Man City loss

Tony Adams believes Mikel Arteta has ‘problems’ with Hector Bellerin and has urged the Arsenal manager to switch to a back four after the defeat to Manchester City.

The Gunners were beaten 1-0 at the Etihad Stadium as Raheem Sterling’s first-half goal was enough to secure victory for Pep Guardiola’s side.

Arteta opted to start with a 3-4-3 with David Luiz, Gabriel Magalhaes and Kieran Tierney playing in a three-man defence.

Bellerin, meanwhile, played on the right flank but rarely got the opportunity to press forward as City dominated possession.

And Adams believes now is the time for Arteta to decide on a centre-back partner for Gabriel and move to a traditional four-man defence.

‘I think it’s time for a back four. I’ve been saying it since the start of the season,’ Adams told Premier League Productions.

‘It wins you cup games, it doesn’t win you league titles. If he wants to build for the future.

‘I think he’s got problems with Hector, I think his defending today wasn’t very good at all.

‘But I’d like him to go to a back four. They’ve got Gabriel now, get him a partnership.

‘They’ve been unlucky at the start with Holding going down but get them into a back four.

‘They look like they’ve a holding midfielder now who’s got a bit of presence and build for the future.’

Adams also believes Bellerin and goalkeeper Bernd Leno were at fault for Sterling’s goal in the 23rd minute.

‘Arsenal have pressed them and they’ve played around the press very well,’ said the former Arsenal captain.

‘Hector Bellerin again, and the goalkeeper, I always look at it defensively.

‘Man City were too good, they passed it around, he [Phil Foden] steps inside Hector too easy. The goalkeeper is pushing it into the danger zone, you’ve got to push it away out of the danger zone, and he’s [Sterling] had a tap-in, which is disappointing.’

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Soccer

Klopp has never lost two Premier League games in a row – but how?

Kick-started by a demolition job at the Etihad five years ago, Jurgen Klopp has never lost two Premier League games in a row… so, ahead of the Merseyside Derby and after the 7-2 humiliation at Aston Villa, how have his Liverpool side responded to defeat?

  • Jurgen Klopp has lost 24 Premier League games but never two on the bounce 
  • The Liverpool manager has always revitalised his side following a defeat
  • The Reds’ 4-1 win against Man City after Klopp’s first loss in 2015 stands out 
  • Liverpool have always responded decisively in recent years from a setback 
  • After the heavy loss at Villa, can they avoid defeat in the Merseyside Derby? 

Over five memorable years at the helm at Liverpool, from turning ‘doubters into believers’, one fact stands out: Jurgen Klopp has never lost two Premier League games in a row.

And don’t be misled into thinking that the recent all-conquering Reds have barely lost domestically under Klopp. His first two seasons were hard work and in total, he has lost a grand total of 24 Premier League games. 

But off the back of his joint-worst defeat as Reds manager, following a shocking 7-2 humiliation against Aston Villa two weeks ago, could a second league defeat in a row be in the offing on Saturday? 

Liverpool are looking to bounce back following a shock 7-2 defeat against Aston Villa 

Jurgen Klopp is looking to keep in-tact his record of never losing two league matches in a row

2015-16 – 8 losses

  • 8 Nov – Liverpool 1-2 Crystal Palace 
  • 21 Nov – Man City 1-4 Liverpool
  • 6 Dec – Newcastle 2-0 Liverpool 
  • 13 Dec – Liverpool 2-2 West Brom 
  • 20 Dec – Watford 3-0 Liverpool 
  • 26 Dec – Liverpool 1-0 Leicester
  • 2 Jan – West Ham 2-0 Liverpool
  • 13 Jan – Liverpool 3-3 Arsenal 
  • 17 Jan – Liverpool 0-1 Man Utd
  • 23 Jan – Norwich 4-5 Liverpool 
  • 2 Feb – Leicester 2-0 Liverpool
  • 6 Feb – Liverpool 2-2 Sunderland 
  • 20 March – Southampton 3-2 Liverpool 
  • 2 April – Liverpool 1-1 Tottenham 
  • 1 May – Swansea 3-1 Liverpool 
  • 8 May – Liverpool 2-0 Watford 

2016-17 – 6 losses

  • 20 Aug – Burnley 2-0 Liverpool 
  • 27 Aug – Tottenham 1-1 Liverpool 
  • 4 Dec – Bournemouth 4-3 Liverpool 
  • 11 Dec – Liverpool 2-2 West Ham 
  • 21 Jan – Liverpool 2-3 Swansea 
  • 31 Jan – Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea
  • 4 Feb – Hull 2-0 Liverpool 
  • 11 Feb – Liverpool 2-0 Tottenham 
  • 27 Feb – Leicester 3-1 Liverpool 
  • 4 March – Liverpool 3-1 Arsenal
  • 23 April – Liverpool 1-2 Crystal Palace
  • 1 May – Watford 0-1 Liverpool

This weekend’s Merseyside Derby represents an enormous opportunity for full-of-confidence table-toppers Everton against the Premier League champions, who they have not beaten in 10 years to the day. 

That 2-0 scoreline at Goodison at 2010 represented the first match in the era of current owners Fenway Sports Group. Things have improved considerably since then, to say the least. 

But since his appointment in 2015, just how has Klopp revitalised his side after a league defeat? From crushing blows against the top-guns as well as embarrassing defeats, Liverpool have always responded – though some reactions have been more impressive than others. 

In fact, Klopp’s first defeat as Reds boss was followed up by arguably one of the standout performances under the German to this day. 

A 2-1 home defeat to Crystal Palace on 8 November 2015 had the fortuity of coming before an international break, giving Klopp time to ponder and evaluate his new troops. 

A trip to the Etihad to face Man City was a daunting prospect. But after steamrolling into a 3-0 first-half lead, via the first taste of Klopp’s bombastic high-energy pressing game, Liverpool emerged 4-1 victors with Martin Skrtel putting the icing on the cake late on. 

It was something of a statement victory. While results continued to be inconsistent, the style and mentality was slowly being cemented. 

Even Klopp’s second defeat was followed up by an occasion at Anfield which sticks in the memory, much to the amusement of opposition supporters. 

After a 2-0 loss at Newcastle – with now-Reds midfielder Gini Wijnaldum scoring – a stoppage-time Divock Origi equaliser spared Liverpool’s blushes at home to West Brom in a 2-2 draw. 

That late leveller prompted Klopp to lead his side, hand-in hand, in front of the Kop to thank them for their support. A surprise? Yes. But it was another sign of the tangible link Klopp was looking to form with the fanbase early on. 

Then again, a 3-0 defeat at Watford a week later meant – bluntly – Klopp’s side were in a rut. The Boxing Day follow-up win against Leicester, courtesy of a Christian Benteke header, is perhaps one of the more underrated wins of Klopp’s era. 

Five more defeats would follow in what was a difficult first season for Klopp, with underachievement in the league largely covered up by an inspired run to the Europa League final. 

Martin Skrtel celebrates his goal for Liverpool in a memorable 4-1 win at Man City in 2015 

Klopp leads his team in saluting the Kop after a late goal nicked a point against West Brom 

The following season was no cakewalk either, despite the fact Champions League qualification was secured. Klopp lost on six occasions – but the mantra in which his team responded would come to define a resolute, mentally-strong group of players. 

A fair of February defeats on the road against Hull and Leicester were followed up by wins against north London trio – and top-four rivals – Tottenham and Arsenal, with Sadio Mane stealing the show on both occasions. 

Even after a 2-1 defeat at home to Crystal Palace in April 2017 – the last time Liverpool have lost at home in the league – Klopp’s side did not let that result hinder their top-four pursuit. A win at Watford, memorable for an acrobatic worldie from Emre Can, continued the ascent.  

The German manager has always led his side to a result in the league following a defeat 

KLOPP’S LEAGUE DEFEATS SEPTEMBER 2017-PRESENT 

2017-18 – 5 losses

  • 9 Sep – Man City 5-0 Liverpool
  • 16 Sep – Liverpool 1-1 Burnley 
  • 22 Oct – Tottenham 4-1 Liverpool 
  • 28 Oct – Liverpool 3-0 Huddersfield 
  • 22 Jan – Swansea 1-0 Liverpool 
  • 30 Jan – Huddersfield 0-3 Liverpool 
  • 10 Mar – Man Utd 2-1 Liverpool 
  • 17 Mar – Liverpool 5-0 Watford
  • 6 May – Chelsea 1-0 Liverpool 
  • 13 May – Liverpool 4-0 Brighton 

2018-19 – 1 loss 

  • 3 Jan – Man City 2-1 Liverpool 
  • 12 Jan – Brighton 0-1 Liverpool 

2019-20 – 3 losses

  • 29 Feb – Watford 3-0 Liverpool 
  • 7 March – Liverpool 2-1 Bournemouth 
  • 2 July – Man City 4-0 Liverpool 
  • 5 July – Liverpool 2-0 Aston Villa 
  • 15 July – Arsenal 2-1 Liverpool 
  • 22 July – Liverpool 5-3 Chelsea 

2020-21 – 1 loss so far

4 Oct – Aston Villa 7-2 Liverpool

17 Oct – Everton ?-? Liverpool 

But it was the 2017-18 season when Liverpool first rose to the fore on the European stage under Klopp. 

With Mo Salah setting the world alight in his first season, Klopp guided his side to the Champions League final and another top-four finish. 

But early on, following a crushing 5-0 defeat at the Etihad to City, a Salah strike claimed a point at home to Burnley. 

See, not every response was a winning reversal. At times, Klopp’s side have had to dig in, often grinding out a point late on.  

But as that season wore on, Liverpool were a different animal following a loss. Defeat at Old Trafford was followed by a 5-0 thrashing against Watford (where Salah scored four) while what could have been a damaging loss at Chelsea late in the top-four race was not decisive. 

The Reds saw off Brighton by a four-goal margin on the final day to ease concerns that everything hinged on that final in Kiev. 

But since May 2018, Klopp has turned his promising side into something of a juggernaut. After all, you can’t judge responses to a defeat when you barely ever lose. 

They lost just once in 2018-19, when they finished runners-up to Manchester City with 97 points. 

That defeat came against Pep Guardiola’s side on January 3 – but a Salah penalty at Brighton nine days later meant that was soon forgotten.

Even last season, when Liverpool essentially had the league wrapped up by Christmas, the disappointment of the prospect of an unbeaten season being wiped out did not derail the Reds. 

The surprise 3-0 defeat at Watford was followed by a win against Bournemouth, while indifferent form post-lockdown – but crucially, post title-crowning – still never resulted in two losses on the bounce. 

Every defeat has been a wake-up call under Klopp. No doubt he has been extra demanding of his players in the aftermath and that has resulted in this impressive record.  

However, that could all change come Saturday lunchtime. 

Klopp has only won once at Goodison Park, with the last three encounters being somewhat dire goalless draws. 

So, even without the recent drop in performance, a trip across Stanley Park has been one of Klopp’s bugbears in recent years. Opportunity knocks for Carlo Ancelotti’s Toffees.

Salah’s penalty against Brighton in 2019 meant three points following the loss to Man City 

Salah and strike partner Sadio Mane will be looking to do the damage up top on Saturday

Liverpool were woeful at Villa Park 13 days ago – and that perhaps is kind. A catalogue of mistakes all over the pitch, in a manner unheard of in recent years, means confidence is at a unusual low. Positive coronavirus tests to Thiago Alcantara, Sadio Mane and Xherdan Shaqiri have not helped, though all three players are now back in training.  

The game being quick off the back of an international break should favour Everton too. Alongside four wins out of four, Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s prolific form means this behind closed doors derby should not be scoreless.

Whether Everton can end up on the right side of the scoreline, though, is another matter. Klopp’s Reds have always responded after disappointment and in what is being described as the biggest Merseyside Derby in Premier League history, it would still be a bold call to bet agains the champions on Saturday. 

Liverpool will have to stop Everton forward and current top-goalscorer Dominic Calvert-Lewin




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Fighting

Conor McGregor claims he has accepted rematch with Dustin Poirier

Conor McGregor could make stunning return to UFC after claiming he has accepted a rematch with Dustin Poirier… but insists the fight ‘must happen’ in 2020

  • Conor McGregor took to social media to detail his plans for his return to UFC
  • He claimed on Twitter that he has accepted UFC’s offer to fight Dustin Poirier
  • McGregor stopped Poirier in the opening round in Las Vegas back in 2014
  • McGregor had hung up his gloves for the third time in four years back in June

Conor McGregor has claimed that he has accepted UFC’s offer for a rematch against Dustin Poirier but insists the fight must take place this year.

McGregor once again hung up his gloves in June for the third time in four years, and he has since suggested that he is ready to return to the Octagon after taking to social media to reveal his plans.

After Poirier tweeted McGregor saying ‘Hey @TheNotoriousMMA what’s up’, the Irishman replied: ‘Hello Dustin! I accepted the @ufc offer to fight you, but told them it must happen in 2020.

Conor McGregor has claimed on social media he has accepted a rematch with Dustin Poirier

McGregor wrote on Twitter that the fight must happen in 2020 after replying to Poirier

‘I’m ready for Nov 21st, given that cards recent injury issues, as well as any of the December dates, the 12th and the 19th. I’ll also still donate the $500k to The Good Fight Foundation.’

In their one and only encounter so far back in 2014, McGregor eased to victory after stopping Poirier in the first round in Las Vegas to become a two-weight world champion.

Both McGregor and Poirier had discussed a charity bout to be held in December but they could now go head-to-head for a shot at the lightweight title. 

McGregor hinted at his UFC return in a series of tweets last month after revealing a number of screenshots between him and the sport’s chief, Dana White.

McGregor overcame Poirier back in 2014 after stopping his opponent in the first round

In the messages, it showed that the 32-year-old tried to finalise a return to the Octagon before talks came to a halt earlier this year.

He then sensationally claimed that he was going to fight Manny Pacquiao in his final tweet of his ramble on social media.

‘Anyway all water under the bridge who gives a f***. I’m boxing Manny Pacquiao next in the Middle East,’ claimed McGregor. 




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Soccer

How Man Utd's squad has reacted to another chaotic transfer window

Manchester United reacted to Sunday’s humiliating 6-1 defeat against Tottenham by embarking on a late transfer window trolley dash, but senior first team players are said to feel underwhelmed by the raft of new arrivals.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side finished last season having secured Champions League qualification on the back of an impressive run of form, inspired by the attacking play of academy graduates Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford, as well as January recruit Bruno Fernandes, while Anthony Martial also enjoyed his most prolific campaign for the club, having asserted himself as United’s main striker.

The optimism and momentum generated during June and July has, however, been punctured by a disappointing start to the new season and another chaotic transfer window, overseen by United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.

Solskjaer’s side were well beaten at Old Trafford by Crystal Palace on the opening weekend of the season and were fortunate to edge a five-goal thriller at Brighton a fortnight ago in a match which saw their opponents hit the woodwork on a staggering five occasions.

After Jose Mourinho enjoyed a triumphant and highly satisfying return to Manchester, United reacted by signing four players on deadline day with left-back Alex Telles and experienced striker Edinson Cavani the headline purchases.

Amad Diallo will join in January from Atalanta, meanwhile, and although teenager Facundo Pellistri has been included in Solskjaer’s Champions League squad, the teenage Uruguayan is seen as one for the future.

Donny van de Beek arrived earlier in the summer from Ajax and although the Netherlands international has displayed some encouraging signs, he is being gently eased into the first team by his new manager.

Despite the new arrivals, United’s squad, according to The Athletic, feel Solskjaer has been left without the tools he requires to bridge the gap to Manchester City and Liverpool.

United are likely to remain heavily reliant on their star-studded forward line, having failed to strengthen the centre of a defence which is looking increasingly unfit for purpose, despite the presence of £80million signing Harry Maguire.

Sources claim the England international’s summer arrest and the subsequent fallout from that episode is still weighing heavily on his mind, but more pertinent is the club’s failure to sign a new left-sided centre-half.

Indeed, Solskjaer ultimately missed out on his three priority targets, including Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho who was deemed too expensive by the United hierarchy given his £108million valuation.

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Rugby

‘This club has to unite’: Bulldogs name new chair after bloodletting

Canterbury's new chairman John Khoury insists club officials have been in constant contact with incoming coach Trent Barrett, assuring him the boardroom rowing will have "no impact" when he arrives at the club.

Khoury – one of four remaining members of the football club board after Lynne Anderson, John Ballesty and Paul Dunn quit on Wednesday in the face of a coup from sponsors and voting members – was confirmed as Canterbury's top dog on Friday.

The Bulldogs narrowly avoided the wooden spoon this season.Credit:Getty

"He's very excited about coming to the Bulldogs when his commitments with Penrith finish, just as we are, and we hope he can bring some of that magic with him to the Bulldogs."

Barrett has regularly said he remains committed to the Bulldogs, who signed the former Manly coach to a three-year deal after parting ways with Dean Pay this year.

The Bulldogs missed out on one of their primary recruitment targets when Charlie Staines, who has scored six tries in two NRL games, re-signed with Penrith this week. The club still has a number of roster spots available and will escalate its pursuit of Staines' Panthers teammate, Matt Burton.

The club is also speaking to candidates to fill the three board vacancies to serve alongside Joe Thomas, Adrian Turner and Peter Mortimer. Thomas has been named deputy chairman.

"There's really an opportunity now to get behind the board, we will listen to you and we will meet you despite COVID," Khoury said. "If we can't have the four planned member forums a year, we will work it out if we can do it in members of 50 or 100 – or even online.

"A lot of the membership know I'm easily accessible. The team I'm with are committed to that as well.

"The board is really grateful to Lynne, John and Paul for their contributions, and their decision to stand down was to avoid an EGM and destabilise the club.

"Each of them had a tremendous passion for the club and contributed a lot while on the board. It was a selfless decision that was made to give the club some clean air to move forward with a new coaching staff coming on board."

Khoury ran as part of Anderson's ticket at the volatile 2018 elections, which brought longtime chairman Ray Dib's tenure to an end.

He has been an influential figure in rejuvenating the Bulldogs' junior league pathways, and insisted he will remain involved with the grassroots system, in which he has two children playing.

"It's very much part of my upbringing and we've worked very hard on our junior league numbers," Khoury said. "We have five Australian Schoolboys in our pathways from junior league and we've made finals in Harold Matts and SG Ball.

"I want it to be remembered I came in as a Canterbury man from the membership and if I leave, I leave respected and remain active in the community and Canterbury football club."

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Jack Wilshere has £100,00-a-week West Ham contract terminated

Jack Wilshere has £100,00-a-week West Ham contract terminated by the Hammers after injury-plagued spell at the London Stadium limited him to just 19 games in two years

  • West Ham’s Jack Wilshere joined the club from Arsenal on a free transfer in 2018 
  • The midfielder has struggled with injuries and has played just 19 times since then
  • The London club have now cancelled the player’s £100,000-a-week contract
  • Wilshere had one year left on his deal but this has been ended 10 months early 

West Ham have reached an agreement with Jack Wilshere to terminate the midfielder’s contract at the Premier League club.

The 28-year-old’s time at the London Stadium has been plagued with injury problems and has played just 19 times for the club since joining from Arsenal in 2018, scoring once. 

Sportsmail revealed last month that West Ham had been planning to get the midfielder’s £100,000-a-week salary off the wage bill with his contract coming to an end in the summer of 2021. 

Jack Wilshere has had his West Ham United contract terminated, according to various reports

Wilshere has played 599 minutes in 16 Premier League appearances since arriving at the club with ankle and groin injuries hampering his fitness. 

Despite being fully fit now, Wilshere has not featured in any of West Ham’s Premier League matchday squads this season but has represented the Hammers in the EFL Cup. 

The midfielder, who has been capped 34 times by England, revealed last month that he is open to moving abroad next season to revive his career.

The 28-year-old has struggled with injuries since arriving at West Ham and played just 19 times

The midfielder has been fit in recent weeks but has only featured in the EFL Cup for West Ham

Wilshere told The Times in September: ‘I just want to play games and get back to the level whether that’s at West Ham or somewhere else, different country, a different culture maybe.

‘I still feel like I’ve got something to give whether that will be in England, in Italy, Spain or anywhere.

‘I want to prove people wrong and most of all for myself to see if I can get myself to a high level again. I want to show people what I can do. Any footballer that says he’s happy being on the bench is lying. I want to play.’

Sportsmail revealed in September that West Ham were desperate to rid of Wilshere’s wages 

Wilshere came through the ranks at Arsenal and has been capped 34 times by England

Wilshere moved to the Hammers from Arsenal just over two years ago, the club where he had been since the age of nine. 

Wilshere made 197 appearances for the Gunners in all competitions and helped them win two FA Cup trophies in 2014 and 2015. 

He was widely regarded as one of England’s top young midfielders when he broke into the Arsenal first-team in 2009, but his injury problems began when he picked up a stress ankle fracture in the lead-up to the 2011-12 season. 

It ruled the midfielder out for over a year and Wilshere has been unable to reach 30 league appearances in a single season since then.  




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