Nick Blackwell resurrects from Eubank-induced coma
The Easter break threw up a few big stories in the boxing world, the first of which was Nick Blackwell’s horrific injury whilst fighting Chris Eubank Jr. During the middleweight title fight in Wembley, Eubank Jr. landed some heavy blows to Blackwell’s face. By the tenth round, Blackwell’s eye had swollen to the extent that he had no vision whatsoever. After being taken to hospital he was put in an induced coma because a bleed from his skull was discovered, and woken two days later.
“Eubank Snr inflicted life-changing injuries to Michael Watson in their super-middleweight title fight, and he didn’t want to see that repeated”
Blackwell’s’ injury could well have been worse if Eubank Jr’s coach, Chris Eubank Snr, hadn’t told his son to stop hitting his opponent in the head. Back in 1991, Eubank Snr inflicted life-changing injuries to Michael Watson in their super-middleweight title fight, and he didn’t want to see that repeated. Blackwell has since announced his retirement from boxing, but there remains no hard feelings between the two.
In more positive news, Anthony Joshua managed to claim his first world title after a second round knockout. Having taken a strong right-hander seconds before, Charles Martin couldn’t recover from the knockout punch. The lad sat on canvas laughing to himself like he was front-row at a Gavin Webster gig, reminiscent of Christoph Kramer in the World Cup final. Had he not been counted out he’d have been wanting to play in net and trade shirts with the ref.
“David Haye has suggested that a rematch between Joshua and Dillian Whyte is on the cards”
The future looks bright for Joshua, and having already undertaken some verbal sparring with reigning world champion Tyson Fury, that looks to be his next big test. However in the meantime David Haye has suggested that a rematch between Joshua and Dillian Whyte is on the cards, whilst rumours of Bermane Stiverne, Eric Molina and Dominic Breazeale as part of three man shortlist for Joshua to choose from have been circulating as well. No matter who his next fight is, we can now start to believe the hype.
Jamie Vardy crashes Germany’s Easter party
Just when you thought the expectations of England were going to be realistic. Jules Rimet still gleaming, fans still dreaming but content to move to 50 years of hurt for now. Then Saturday March 26th happened. The Olympiastadion. A rival that has so emphatically dominated us in tournament football they’ve made us believe we can’t take penalties. A friendly that really nobody cares about, and nobody thinks matters other than its better than Saturday night tele. We go 2-0 down. It’s the World Champions, it’s alright, only a friendly anyway…
Then Kane turns into Messi from a poor corner and Jamie Vardy keeps having his party after some actually competent build up. 2-2 in added time. Henderson takes a decent corner. Eric Dier and a bullet header wins the match. He’s won the Euros. We’re going to win the bloody Euros.
“Jamie Vardy keeps having his party after some actually competent build up”
Dele Alli is the new Bryan Robson and Roy Hodgson has his proudest moment as England manager. Only a friendly. Pah, what do they know? We just beat the best team in the world with a bunch of youngsters. Get the flags and the face paint ready, chill the WKDs and check if there’s still going to be room for Rooney in the suitcase.
They’ve had poor qualification anyway? They’re world champions mate. We’re playing a team who had a poor qualification on Tuesday. Vardy again, easy. Shit. Shit again. It’s only a friendly anyway.
We beat Germany. We’re going to win the Euros.
Danny Willett’s late show leaves Spieth crucified
Day four of the 2016 Masters at the revered Augusta National Golf club was a thrilling encapsulation of the fickle nature of the sport. Heading into Sunday’s round, Jordan Spieth, a 22 year-old wunderkind and reigning champion looked set to repeat his triumph from last year. Danny Willett, a vicar’s son hailing from Sheffield, was three shots back in the chasing pack.
As the final round progressed, Spieth looked in masterful touch. Standing on the 10th tee, he led by five shots from Willett. If the Fat Lady wasn’t already singing, she was certainly on the driving range. However, Augusta still had yet to have her say. Spieth bogeyed the 10th and 11th holes, whilst Willett birdied the 13th and 14th. The lead had been cut to just one stroke and suddenly after three-and-a-half days of Spieth dominance, the tournament had come alive.
“Three holes. Six shots dropped. Spieth’s chances of regaining his title had been ended in the flash of an iron.”
As Spieth approached the 12th hole, the iconic par-3, few could have expected what would happen next. His tee shot was well short of the green and rolled into the water. He then over hit his next shot and landed in the water again. 11 minutes later, he rolled in his putt to card a quadruple bogey and trail Willet by two. Three holes. Six shots dropped. Spieth’s chances of regaining his title had been ended in the flash of an iron.
Willett would never relinquish his unexpected lead and became the first Brit to win the Masters in 20 years. As well as he played (Willett had the joint-lowest final round); this tournament will be remembered for the unfortunate capitulation of Spieth. And once again, we were reminded what a cruel and unpredictable game golf can be.
Ben Stokes left with egg on his face
This March, England’s cricket fans turned their attentions away from reminiscing about Kevin Pietersen and worshiping Ian Botham’s forehead to support the Three Lions in the World T20.
Not many gave England a chance going into the tournament, not least the aforementioned fallen hero Pietersen, who claimed that England would struggle to even make it to the semi-finals in the competition. The only man KP believed could save us, other than himself, was Eoin Morgan.
In actual fact, England made it past the semi-finals and were six balls away from a comfortable victory. Unfortunately it was all too easy for West Indies to score the 19 runs they needed, as Carlos Braithwaite switched out his bat for a sledgehammer and hammered four consecutive sixes from Ben Stokes’ tame bowling.
Needless to say England got further than expected, and it wasn’t Eoin Morgan who carried the team. The England captain averaged a mere 13.20 runs over his six innings. It was Joe Root and Jos Buttler that performed in the tournament, with help from the newcomer Jason Roy. In the field it was David Willey that stood out above all others, accumulating ten wickets in his six matches. Chris Jordan’s 4 wicket haul against Sri Lanka was also an impressive performance.
“Carlos Braithwaite switched out his bat for a sledgehammer and hammered four consecutive sixes from Ben Stokes’ tame bowling”
Despite England’s valiant performance, it can hardly be argued that West Indies weren’t worthy victors. Besides a shock loss against Afghanistan when they were already through, West Indies cruised through the group stages, beating England, Sri Lanka and South Africa on the way to the semis. Having beaten India in the last four, the final against England looked theirs to lose, and they nearly did exactly that. However an unbeaten 85 from Marlon Samuels and the final over master class from Braithwaite, on top of his three wickets, justified their victory.