Roving Sports Gists

Roving Sports Gists

Football

Patrick Bamford hopes he can play himself into England’s Euro 2020 squad after scoring one and setting up the other as Leeds beat Fulham.

The game came the day after Bamford was left out of Gareth Southgate’s squad for the first World Cup qualifiers.

Fulham, meanwhile, missed the chance to move out of the Premier League relegation zone with a third defeat in four games.

Leeds had two goals disallowed in the first half – first when Luke Ayling’s header was ruled out by the video assistant referee and then when Raphinha was well offside before slotting home.

They led when Bamford smashed home at the near post from Jack Harrison’s cross.

Fulham were level when defender Joachim Andersen volleyed in from Ademola Lookman’s corner, his first goal in English football.

But Leeds scored the winner just before the hour mark, as Bamford fed Raphinha, who beat two defenders before poking home.

“I just need to keep working and see if I can get my name in contention for the Euros,” Bamford told Sky Sports. “If I keep going as I am I think I’m in with a shot. If you told me at the start of the season I’d be linked with England, I’d say you were bonkers.

“If it comes, it comes. If not, I’ll know I’ve done my best. It was in the back of my mind a little bit I guess. It gives you a bit of an extra fire in your belly.”

The result takes Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds up to 11th in the table on 39 points.

MMA

UFC fighter Julija Stoliarenko collapsed on the scales before being carried out of her weigh-in for her bout against Julia Avila.

The Lithuanian fighter, 27, fell backwards off the scales in Las Vegas and reportedly suffered a seizure.

UFC said the bout was cancelled “due to weight cutting issues”.

“Unfortunately, my fight has been cancelled,” Avila later wrote on Instagram. “My opponent fainted twice on the scales.

“I hope nothing but a speedy recovery for Julia Stoliarenko and prayers for her. Maybe we can meet up at a future date. But I will not be performing tomorrow night.”

Stoliarenko was due to face Avila as one of the preliminary fights on a card headlined by middleweights Derek Brunson and Kevin Holland.

She was placed on a stretcher and wheeled out of the venue after scaling 135½lb – inside the 136lb bantamweight limit in place for non-title fights.

MMA has at times faced criticism for its use of fewer weight divisions than boxing, meaning competitors must make more drastic cuts given the difference between weight classes.

In 2017, BBC Three featured MMA fighter Dean Garnett in a documentary focusing on his weight cut leading up to a fight.

Throughout the night before his weigh in the Liverpudlian was seen taking saunas and repeatedly used hot baths before wrapping himself in towels to prolong his time spent sweating.

BOXING

British heavyweight Derek Chisora and former world champion Joseph Parker’s bout has been confirmed for 1 May as part of an exciting card.

Undisputed world lightweight champion Katie Taylor will also defend her titles against Natasha Jonas.

New Zealand’s Parker was poised to face Chisora in October 2019 but withdrew after being bitten by a spider.

“I’m looking forward to the fight, I cannot wait to get back in the ring,” said 37-year-old Chisora.

A venue is yet to be announced but Parker, who held the WBO world heavyweight title before a points defeat by Anthony Joshua, said the fight would take place on British soil.

The 29-year-old, who continues to seek a route back to a shot at one of the heavyweight division’s champions, added: “I’m excited to start this new chapter in my career with a new coach and some fresh ideas.

“Chisora and I have unfinished business and inside the ring one of us will get the job done.

“I am well aware that a win on British soil and on worldwide television will put me in pole position whereas a loss will be catastrophic.”

Parker overcame compatriot Junior Fa on 27 February to take his record to 28 wins and two defeats, while Chisora lost to Ukraine’s Oleksandr Usyk in October and has 32 wins from 42 fights as a professional.

Parker is working with Andy Lee, who also works with Tyson Fury, and would like to train alongside the Briton in preparation for the bout.

“He’s not the same size as Chisora and he doesn’t have the same style but I think being around a champion like him, if I can get in there and do some rounds with him or train alongside him, it would be very beneficial,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

“It’s exciting to be in an environment where you can be lifted from others around you.

“Now that I’ve changed camps and I’ve got a new trainer, a new environment, I have to go out there and make a statement – we’re working on that now so I can climb and get closer to challenging for the world title again.”

Ireland’s Taylor and Liverpool fighter Jonas will face a rematch of their bout in the quarter-finals at the London 2012 Olympics, which Taylor won on her way to claiming the gold medal.

“It’s a fight that people have been asking for and those are the type of fights you want to be part of,” said Taylor, who has a 17-0 professional record.

“People still talk about our fight in the 2012 Olympics and I think that proved to be a real eye opener for people in terms of what women’s boxing is all about.”

Chris Eubank Jr meets Marcus Morrison in an all-British middleweight tussle and Russia’s undefeated WBA light-heavyweight world champion Dmitry Bivol will put his title on the line against London fighter Craig Richards.

“This is one of the strongest shows we’ve promoted and there is still even more to come,” said promoter Eddie Hearn.

“Chisora versus Parker is a brilliant style match up that has been brewing for years and Taylor versus Jonas is one of the biggest fights in women’s boxing.”

GISTS

Jose Mourinho is fighting an uphill battle to keep his Tottenham Hotspur job past this season and not even success in the final of next month’s Carabao Cup final will guarantee his safety.

Mourinho refused to talk to his Spurs team after their woeful Europa League exit.

Manchester United have yet to table a formal contract offer to Paul Pogba despite Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitting there have been “discussions and talks” over a new deal for the France midfielder.

Tammy Abraham has suffered an injury scare in training and will be assessed ahead of making a comeback this weekend as he bids to make the European Championships with England.

An Indonesian-led consortium is in advanced takeover talks to buy Oxford United.

Roman Abramovich has defended his record for firing managers and reaffirmed his commitment to the club in a rare interview from the Chelsea owner.

Everton goalkeeper Robin Olsen is unlikely to extend his loan spell from Roma into next season following the terrifying machete attack at his home in Greater Manchester this month.

Dario Gradi is set to be stripped of his place in the Hall of Fame at the National Football Museum in Manchester after the former Crewe manager’s conduct was criticised in the FA’s independent review into child sex abuse.

Crystal Palace are attracting fresh interest from potential investors, having secured their Premier League status for a ninth successive year.

Former Manchester United managing director Mike Farnan is looking to buy an EFL club with his global sports agency Redstrike.

Thomas Tuchel has revealed he had clear-the-air talks with Tammy Abraham to convince him to never stop fighting.

Pep Guardiola hailed Erling Haaland as the Champions League draw put Manchester City up against the striker he wants to sign this summer.

David Moyes is excited at the thought of making plans for a West Ham campaign in the Champions League.

A fraudster who splurged more than £175,000 on a bank card belonging to Manchester City star Riyad Mahrez has been jailed for eight years and three months.

Chelsea are reportedly in talks with Thiago Silva to extend his £110k-a-week contract.

Timo Werner is reportedly set to refuse a potential swap deal involving Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland.

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