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Sport

The inspirational story of one Manchester boxer’s dramatic rise in the sport

Come on Jack!

Jamie Roberts

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Manchester fighter Jack Massey’s boyhood dreams of bringing a Lonsdale Belt home could finally come true this week. The 26-year-old will face Richard Riakporhe in a scheduled 12-round fight at York Hall, Bethnal Green today, Thursday December 19th, with the whole thing screened live on Sky Sports.

Massey has had a steady rise to the top since he first picked up the sport at age 12, when his father took him to his old boxing club in Buxton, Derbyshire. By the following year, he has won his first title and before long, he had three junior ABA Champion titles to his name. 

Early 2013, at the age of 19 Jack then won the senior ABA championship beating Chris Billam on points. Later that year Massey decided to turn Pro and quickly built a reputation as an unbeatable opponent with 16 wins in 16 fights including 8 knockouts.

To date, Massey has had 53 Amateur fights, has boxed for England, winning Gold at the Tri-nations and Bronze at the Youth Commonwealth Games.

Now, he has his sights firmly set on the British Cruiser-weight Title with big rewards on the line including a fight with new European champion Lawrence Okolie. Massey has set a goal to win the title tonight and defend it at The Dome next year, where he has fought and won four times in his professional career in front of a sell-out crowd.

While the road leading to today’s bout hasn’t been without struggles – Massey was ruled out of the British-title challenge in July due to injury – he has since come back stronger than ever with the help of his team and coach Robert Rimmer Jnr / Phoenix Camp, Manchester 

There’s no doubt that Londoner, Riakporhe, who has won all 10 of his fights, is a tough opponent, but Massey believes he is in top form and well prepared to face him.

“I’m just thinking about getting in there and showing people what I’m all about. I have waited a long, long time for this. I’ve had my ups and downs, but I’m here now, ready to fight for the British title,” he says.

Come on Jack!

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Man City stars Riyad Mahrez and Aymeric Laporte test positive for coronavirus

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Proper Manchester

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Cléria-De-Souza/Flickr

Two Manchester City players have tested positive for coronavirus.

The club confirmed that Riyad Mahrez and Aymeric Laporte tested positive, although neither are showing symptoms.

According to City, the pair are now undergoing a period of self-isolation in accordance with official guidance.

City released a statement: “Manchester City FC can confirm that Riyad Mahrez and Aymeric Laporte have tested positive for Covid-19.

“Both players are currently observing a period of self-isolation in accordance with Premier League and UK Government protocol on quarantine. Neither is displaying symptoms of the virus.

“Everyone at the Club wishes Riyad and Aymeric a speedy recovery ahead of their return to training and the new season.”

While the Premier League returns this weekend, Pep’s side aren’t in action until September 21st, where they face Wolves away.

This news means the two player’s involvement in that game is now in some doubt.

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Harry Maguire breaks silence over his arrest and conviction in Greece

He was found guilty this week.

Alex Watson

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Антон Зайцев / soccr.ru

Harry Maguire has given his first interview since receiving a suspended prison sentence on the Greek island of Mykonos. 

The Manchester United captain was found guilty of assault, resisting arrest and attempted bribery following his arrest on the island of Mykonos last Thursday. He was given a suspended prison sentence of 21 months and 10 days. 

He declared his intentions to appeal immediately and insisted he and his family were the real victims following the incident.

He spent two nights in police custody after his arrest of Thursday and appeared in court in Greece on Saturday morning for a preliminary hearing. 

BBC

After the hearing, he was allowed to leave the country, however the trial went ahead on Tuesday in his absence and he was found guilty.

The appeal he lodged on Wednesday morning immediately overturned the guilty verdict meaning Maguire is free to travel without restriction. 

He spoke to the BBC in his first televised interview last night, where he said he ‘feared for his life’. 

He told Dan Roan, BBC Sports editor, that plain-clothed police officers, who did not identify themselves, pulled over his group’s minibus in Mykonos, threw him off the bus, hit him on his legs and told him his career was over.

He added that he tried to run away with one handcuff on as he had no idea who the men were. 

Maguire told Roan: “My initial thought was we were getting kidnapped. We got down on our knees and put our hands in the air.

“And then they just started hitting us. He was hitting me in the leg saying no more football, your career is over, you won’t play again.

“At this point I thought there is no chance these are police – I don’t know who they are – so I tried to run away I was in that much of a panic. Fear. I was scared for my life.”

He also discussed the moment his sister fainted: “These two men approached my little sister and they they asked her where she was from. She responded.

“My fiance saw my little sisters eyes go into the back of her head. She ran over she was fainting in and out of consciousness.”

BBC

The emotional interview saw Maguire breakdown and describe the guilty verdict as ‘horrible’, adding that he ‘couldn’t quite believe it’.

He denies throwing any punches or trying to bribe the police, saying: “I don’t feel I owe an apology to anybody.

“An apology is something when you have done something wrong.”

He continued: “I don’t wish it on anybody. Obviously the situation has made it difficult for one of the biggest clubs in the world, so I regret putting the fans and the club through this, but I did nothing wrong.

“I found myself in a situation where it could have happened to anybody and anywhere.”

He went on to say his ‘conscience is clear’ adding: “I know what happened that night. I know the truth,”

He said: “When I speak about it I get worked up but that’s because it just makes me feel a bit angry inside. I will move on. I am mentally strong enough.” 

Speaking about being captain of United, Maguire said ‘it is a massive privilege’ and that he is likely to remain captain in this season. He added: “It is not my decision to make but the one thing I will say is how supportive the club has been from top to bottom. They have been great with me and I thank them for that.”

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Man United star Paul Pogba tests positive for coronavirus

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Станислав Ведмидь / football.ua

Paul Pogba has tested positive for coronavirus, according to reports this afternoon.

The Manchester United star was named in France’s squad for the upcoming international games, but has now been withdrawn.

The 27-year-old will be replaced in the squad by Eduardo Camavinga after the positive test, for their upcoming Nations League matches in September.

Pogba’s compatriot and teammate, the Tottenham midfielder Tanguy Ndombele, has also tested positive and is withdrawn from the France team.

This means Pogba will have to spend 14 days in self-isolation, and he’ll miss the start of United’s pre-season prep next Wednesday.

More to follow…

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