Posts Tagged ‘sport’

“I Played for the Penalty,” says Guerra

Hodges image:

The NRL judiciary looks set to determine another Grand Final.

Brisbane Broncos captain Justin Hodges will have his fate decided on Tuesday night, as he and the club look set to defend a grade one dangerous throw for his tackle on Roosters backrower Aidan Guerra.

But it doesn’t look good.

Not because of the tackle – Guerra himself admitts he was off-balance and contributed to the fall that saw him topple past the horizontal – but because Brisbane have only a seven per cent success rate with the blatantly partisan NRL judiciary.

Queenslanders have long known and seen the Sydney judiciary protecting their own – consistently rubbing out players from teams north of the border, while expressing leniency for NSW clubs. It is an outrage that has existed for such a long time it has all but been accepted.

In fact, the last time the Brisbane club had a player exonerated by the NRL judiciary was Karmichael Hunt back in the year 2000 (Hunt has swapped codes three times since then).

The Brisbane club have virtually given up contesting charges, realising the futility of expecting fairness from the judiciary. The last time they fought a charge was in 2013. Just once in 14 attempts has a Bronco’s player been acquitted by the board.

Aidan Guerra has offered to support Hodges at the hearing. In an interview with Fox Sports he was asked if he jumped off the ground as Hodges had suggested? Guerra said: “Yep, it’s a bit like that.

“To be honest, I played for the penalty.

“If I tried my hardest (to resist Hodges and fellow Broncos defender Ben Hunt) I wouldn’t have got spear-tackled, but I got the penalty and I really hope it’s left where it is.”

Jonathon Thurston, Cowboys Captain said, “You want to play the best teams at full strength and he needs to be in that team for it to be at full strength. It would be a sad way to end his career (suspended from the grand final).”

Race to Break 1000 Miles Per Hour on Land
Thrust SSC image:

Thrust SSC image:

In 1997, Royal Air Force pilot Andy Green (now 53) strapped himself in the Thrust SSC (Super Sonic Car). He flashed across the Nevada desert, in the U.S, to set the world land-speed record of 1,228 kilometres per hour, an achievement no one thought would ever be beaten.

Now Andy is working with aeronautic engineers to build the Bloodhound Supersonic Car; with the ambition of breaking the magic 1,000 miles an hour barrier.

Along the way he is hoping to inspire a new generation of engineers.

The first plan is to reach 800 miles an hour (1,287 kilometres per hour) next year in South Africa. Should that go as planned then the goal for 1,000 miles per hour will be set for 2017.

Bloodhound SSC image:

Bloodhound SSC image:

The Bloodhound SSC is a $32 million car that looks more like a spaceship.

It employs three power drives – a Rolls-Royce EJ200, a jet engine from a Eurofighter Typhoon; a cluster of Nammo hybrid rockets synced together; and a Jagua V8 engine whose sole purpose is to drive the oxidiser pump.

“It’s an aeroplane, but on four wheels,” said Mark Blackwell, a project technician.

As stated previously, one of the main goals is to beat the 20 year-old record. But another strong motivation is to give kids around the world a taste of modern science.

Richard Noble explained to AFP how the Ministry of defence told them they have trouble recruiting engineers.

“In the U.S. during 1961 to 1972 the number of PhD’s achieved in science increased by 300 per cent.” This was primarily because of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union.

Since then interest in science has dwindled.

Bloodhound SSC image:

Bloodhound SSC image:

But the Bloodhound SSC is hoping to change that.

Noble said footage of the car, and the maths and science relating to it, is being uploaded to a website available to students and teachers.

“Kids respond very well; (they) set up rocket clubs, (and) do more maths,” said Kirsty Allpress from the Bloodhound Education Team.

“What you’ve got here is an enormous global online game.”

Criminal Proceedings Against Sepp Blatter


Swiss investigators have begun criminal proceedings against Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini by searching the former FIFA president’s office while quizzing his UEFA counterpart, Platini.

At the heart of their search is an answer to the legality of a two million dollar payment from Blatter to the French football legend.

“Swiss criminal proceedings against the President of FIFA, Mr. Joseph Blatter, have been opened on September 24, 2015 on suspicion of criminal mismanagement … and – alternatively – misappropriation,” said a statement from the OGA, Switzerland’s Lawyer General’s Office.

Blatter (now 79) is in the process of handing over the reins of the world football governing body amid accusations of corruption.

The Swiss prosecutor said data had been seized and the FIFA President questioned. He is considered a ‘suspect’; while Platini is considered ‘a person called upon to give information’.

Platini, now 60, is the automatic FIFA vice-president as he has been head of UEFA since January 2007.

Blatter was said, by his lawyer Richard Cullen, to be cooperating with the Swiss authorities and that he was confident a review of the evidence would yield ‘no mismanagement occurred.’

The alleged $2.0 million franc ($2.9 million) is thought to have been made in February of 2011 ‘for work performed between January 1999 and June 2002’.

Michael Platini Image:

Michael Platini Image:

On Friday Platini said the money had been for ‘contractual’ work.

“Concerning the payment that was made to me, I wish to state that this amount relates to work which I carried out under a contract with FIFA,

“I was pleased to have been able to clarify all matters relating to this with the authorities. I also made clear to the Swiss authorities that since I live in Switzerland I am available to speak with them any time to clarify any matters relating to the investigations.”

Blatter is under investigation by US authorities for links with former FIFA vice-resident Jack warner.

It is being alleged that Warner used the Caribbean Football Union as a power base to which Blatter was suspected of contributing.

But Blatter’s lawyer, Cullen, said the contract was ‘properly prepared and negotiated’ by all FIFA staff required for such matters..

Warner is just one of 14 soccer officials and business executives expected to face US prosecutors. It will be alleged they were involved in more than US$150 million in bribes for broadcasting rights and marketing deals.

Push to Legitimise Bare-Knuckle Boxing

Bobby Gunn image:

Reputed ex-mobster Danny Provenzano, 51, wants to take bare-knuckle boxing mainstream. He believes it can be turned into a multi-billion-dollar industry and capture the world’s attention.

In an interview with the Daily Mail Provenzano said, “Bare-knuckle boxing requires a lot more skill than gloved boxing. You’ve got to make sure every punch counts, otherwise you’rre going to break your hand.”

He went on to argue that bare-knuckle boxing is safer than gloved boxing, “There are a lot more cuts and bruises, but less long-term damage.”

The medical fraternity appear to be divided on this.

The argument goes like this: Gloves ‘cushion’ a blow allowing for more blows to be delivered during a bout. The more blows there are, the more damage is done to a fighter’s brain.

The other side argue that the greater impact of an ‘un-cushioned’ blow inflicts more trauma on the brain and substantially increases the chance of damage to a boxer’s hand.

What both sides agree on is that the sport already exists. Without regulatory oversight the combatants are without any protection other than their own fists.

Bobby Gunn is regarded as the best bare-knucle boxer in the world. In an interview with MMA Radio he announced that two states in the US are on the verge of legalising the combat sport.

“It’s going to be ground-breaking for the sport.”

Provenzano is working closely with Gunn to legalise the sport throughout the world. To that end they wish to organise a fight with high profile MMA fighter Kimbo Slice to grasp world attention.

“He (Gunn) is the poster boy of the bare-knuckle boxing world.”

While Kimbo Slice rocketed to fame with viral Youtube videos of his accept-all-comers street fights. Gunn won the first officially sanctioned bare-knuckle boxing match in 2011.

He said to, “I’ve been fighting since I was 6 years old. I do this for my family.”

While it was an underground sport promoters were happy to allow gambling. Their fighters stood to earn up to $100,000 for a high profile fight. But in a bid to have the sport legitimised they have had to eliminate this side of their events.

“We’ve taken a hit in the pocket,” Provenzano said. “But it will be worth it once we’re mainstream.”

Kelly’s UFC 193 Opponent Switch

Dan Kelly images

In the space of a few hours yesterday Melbourne MMA fighter Daniel Kelly’s training regime changed dramatically.

Kelly was scheduled to face 84kg, 180 cm Brazilian submission expert Ricardo Abreu on November 15 at UFC 193.

But Abreu was forced to withdraw with what is believed to be an injury.

UFC matchmaker Joe Silva scoured the list of available fighters.

The man he found couldn’t be any more of a different opponent.

Florida-based Steve Montgomery is a towering 193cm tall, he fights as a welterweight at 77kg, and he’s  a south paw.

Kelly took he change in stride.

It’s a completely different match-up, but we’re seven weeks out.

“There’s plenty of time to adjust what we’re doing so it’s fine.”

Within two hours of being notified of the change Kelly had already watched most of Montgomery’s fights.

“He’s pretty well rounded and has good knees in the clinch.

“He’ a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and his striking is not bad.

“He’s from a very strong gym America Top Team.

“I’ve watched one of his fights and that’s obviously only happened in the last couple of hours. But we’ve got a fair idea already of what we’re going to do.

“I’ll just make sure I’m fit and strong and I’ll go out there and enjoy it.”

But Kelly was cautious about his new opponent.

Dan Kelly image

Dan Kelly image

“Montgomery doesn’t have the power that Abreu had and he doesn’t have the pedigree that Abreu has on the ground. He’s tall and because he throws good knees as well, I’ll have to be careful going to double legs, but I’ll find another way to make it my game. It’s a different match-up, but they’re all hard.”

Kelly has experience with southpaws. He knocked out Sam Alvey in the first round and won a unanimous decision over Patrick Walsh.

“This is the third fight in a row where I’ll be preparing for a south paw,” said Kelly

“I’ll just keep working and progressing on the stuff we’ve already been doing,

Cricket Will Never Be Free from Corruption


Sir Ronnie Flanagan, chief of the International Cricket Council’s anti-corruption wing, has admitted corruption will never be expunged from the game.

But he was quick to add that fans should know administrators are doing ‘everything humanly possible’ to root out illegal practices.

“I’ll give you the honest answer – That we will never totally, utterly, and absolutely eradicate corruption from the game,” Flanagan said to

“But we can make the game a very difficult environment for those who would seek to bring corruption to bear.”

Flanagan labelled as ‘most evil’ those who attempted to corrupt the game.

“Those are organised criminals. These are members of organised criminal gangs across the world.”

Recently three Pakistan internationals were jailed for spot-fixing during the 2010 Test series in England.

Mohammad Amir, Salman Butt, and Mohammad Asif have since been released and are attempting to resume their cricket careers.

When asked whether he thought the three should be eligible for international duty with the Pakistan side Flanagan said it was a matter for  the Pakistan cricket Board.

“They’ve been punished. They’ve met their punishment. It’s now a matter, I think, for their home board to decide whether they should ever grace an international cricket team again.”

But cricket’s integrity remains under a cloud of suspicion worldwide.

After football, cricket is the main sport in the world attracting illegal gambling.

One expert estimated the sports betting market is worth $3 trillion annually, with the vast majority of that being illegal.

Cricket is thought to make up 12 per cent of that figure.

Ticket Rush for UFC 193

Ronda Rousey Image:

Ticket sales for UFC 193 in Melbourne look set to break all stadium records.

At 10 am on Monday morning the vendors’ servers were smoking as fans rushed to book their seats for what will arguably be the greatest sporting event the southern hemisphere has ever seen.

Seat prices ranged between $100.60 and $468, with the later being sold out in minutes.

Corporate boxes and ringside VIP seats were selling for $18,000 and are all but gone.

Etihad stadium said that the seating capacity will be increased by around 15,000 to 70,800 for the event.

Should they sell out it will set a new world record for an Ultimate Fighting Championship event, beating that of Toronto four years ago with 55,724.

Ronda Rousey Image:

Ronda Rousey Image:

Headliner Ronda Rousey is wooing the city of Melbourne. She has been the darling of the media and fans alike. Her accessibility to media and fans has – and will continue – to only heighten interest that is already at fever pitch.

Rousey’s opponent, Holly Holm, is new to MMA but is a decorated boxer. Should she be able to elude Rousey’s takedowns and grappling she will present the incumbent bantamweight champion with some stiff competition and damaging punches.

Englishman Michael Bisping and his opponent Aussie Robert Whittaker have almost passed unnoticed. But make no mistake this will be an intriguing, brutal, and high-level battle between a veteran and an up-and-comer.

UFC 193 is going to be AWESOME!

Floyd’s Final Fight a Flop


According to some reports Floyd Mayweather’s final fight has been the biggest flop in a decade.

He may have retired undefeated, but the lacklustre opponent he chose for his swansong turned viewers away.

Reports put the viewing public between 400,000 and 550,000 – the weakest numbers in ten years for Mayweather.

UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey told TMZ she wasn’t surprised.

“A lot of people were pissed after the Manny Pacquiao fight. Fans aren’t dumb.’

Rousey appears to have hit the nail on the head. Mayweather vs Pacquiao drew a record 4.4 million pay-per-view buys at an average $100 each. But the fight failed to live up to expectations.

Mayweather fought defensively to out point Pacquiao and win. But it was more a points fight than a real fight.

Mayweather had a winning strategy and superior movement. He fought defensively and landed scoring counter-punches without doing an real damage to Pacquiao.

But rather than attempt to win fans back with a real fight before retiring Mayweather chose an easy opponent and hoped his fame would be enough to buy viewers.

It wasn’t.

Boxing is fast losing legitimacy in the eyes of fight fans around the world. And it is doing so at a fast rate than ever now that the UFC is offering a viable alternative.

Fight fans want to watch fights. If you want to watch points being scored watch tennis.

Ronda Rousey is capturing world attention, She has posted the biggest pay-per-view numbers of all time at UFC 190. Her upcoming fight against Holly Holm in Melbourne is expected to be the largest sales promotion of the year.

MMA Fighters Boycott Nevada in Response to Diaz Sentence


The fallout from the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s handling of the Nick Diaz drug charge continues to worsen.

The Commission handed out a five-year suspension to Diaz (effectively ending his career) for testing positive to cannabis after his UFC 183 bout.

Fans and fighters were outraged at the excessive nature of the ban. And MMA fighters are making their displeasure known by refusing to fight in the state of Nevada.

The latest to add his name to the blockade is Henry Cejudo, an Olympic gold medallist.

Fast rising bantamweight Aljamain sterling tweeted that he is intent on doing the same, “ … let the NSAC know,” he broadcast on the 17th, “they need to be unbiased & give a fair process.”

They join female bantamweight Leslie Smith in expressing their dismay at the Star Chamber-like actions of the NSAC.

“This situation is just the latest example demonstrating the need for mixed martial artists to stand together,” said Smith. “(We need) to influence our sport and have our voices heard by speaking together as the mixed martial arts fighter association.”

These fighters are fervently hoping others will make a similar stand. Alone they will accomplish little; but should the stars decide to follow their lead the NSAC may actually be answerable to someone.

Heavyweight Matt Mitrione blasted ex-UFC fighter now executive Matt Hughes for his comments supporting the NSAC. UFC superstar Ronda Rousey has labelled the ban ‘unfair’. For Diaz to receive a penalty five times greater than that given to Anderson Silva. Silva tested positive for steroids in the fight against Diaz.

‘It makes no sense at all.’

She describes herself as a close friend to Diaz and is shocked at the suspension.

UFC Stars Front Media in Melbourne

Rousey image:

UFC boss Dana White has fronted the media ahead of UFC 193 in Melbourne. Sitting beside him was MMA superstar Ronda ‘Rowdy’ Rousey, challenger Holly Holm, Strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzehczyk, and her challenger the ever hopeful Valerie Letourmeau.

The air was literally electric with anticipation.

It’s been a running joke that White was initially reluctant to have a women’s UFC division. But since changing his mind, Ronda Rousey has become the franchise’s greatest drawcard and asset.

White chuckles about being reminded of his opposition.

“She’s broken through – it’s amazing,” he said to “She’s the biggest star we’ve ever had.”

And White has had some stars. Chuck Liddell crossed over from Strikeforce, Georges St Pierre and Anderson Silva were megastars. But no one – and White confirms this – no one has ever been as big as Rousey.

“Normally it’s a f*@king nightmare to manage somebody like her. But the thing with Ronda Rousey is the more rich and famous she gets, the easier she is to deal with. It’s not supposed to be like that. It’s always the complete opposite. Any of these guys, if they get this much fame, this much money, they lose their mind. Ronda is the exact opposite.”

And it’s not just White who benefits.

Rousey was clearly jetlagged when approached by reporters. And while everyone would be wise to be cautious around the most dangerous female athlete on the planet they found her approachable and friendly.

After a recent appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres show the popular talk show host felt she’d got the best from the UFC stable.

“She’s got unbelievable charisma,” White continued describing Rousey. “She’s intelligent. She’s literally the whole package.”

And Ellen DeGeneres agrees.

But Rousey adapts to her situation.

“She’ll fight anyone, anywhere, anytime,” said White about the fighter Rousey. “She’s mean. She’s nasty. She doesn’t just want to beat you, she wants to destroy you. She comes out of that tunnel with bad intentions.”

All of her previous opponents agree.