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What Was Your Fight of the Year?

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Boxing has delivered more epic battles, but what was the best fight of 2022? The Panel of experts have delivered their verdict…

Adam Smith

The fight of the year was undoubtedly Tyson Fury against Deontay Wilder. One of the great heavyweight fights of any era.

I was lucky enough to be at Riddick Bowe vs Evander Holyfield 2 in the middle of that rivalry. Anthony Joshua against Wladimir Klitschko was equally one of the great nights, but this certainly was too. It had everything. Fury in trouble, Wilder on the verge. Wilder somehow hanging in there, showing incredible heart and Tyson coming away with the victory.

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Katie Taylor produced a thrilling battle with Natasha Jonas in May

But I also want to give a shout out to Katie Taylor against Natasha Jonas in May. I thought that was an incredible spectacle. The women’s duels get better and better. Taylor vs Jonas was a fantastic advert for how far boxing has come.

On its own, it was a standout fight. The best fight we had in the UK this year, but the best fight globally has to be Fury vs Wilder.

Matthew Macklin

Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder. Every single viewer would have enjoyed that fight, it was a tear-up. Wilder appeared to be out of it and then Fury got hurt. You thought, ‘wow’, these two guys have got the ability to take the other one out at any time, which means you are absolutely glued to it.

Image: Fury finally broke Wilder’s resistance in the 11th round

It was a conclusive end to the saga and Wilder covered himself in glory in defeat, because of the heart that he showed. He was out on his feet, mouth wide open, but he really dug in. Even though he got beaten convincingly in the end, his stock rose in defeat.

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Natasha Jonas

Teofimo Lopez vs George Kambosos Jnr. Lopez was coming off the biggest win of his career against Vasiliy Lomachenko, one of the pound-for-pound best in the world. The odds were stacked against Kambosos, who was a big underdog.

Image: George Kambosos Jnr produced a shock win over Teofimo Lopez

Lopez was trying to knock out Kambosos in the opening round and when he got floored, everyone in my house jumped up and went, ‘Woah’. From that point on, you were thinking, ‘Can Kambosos keep that up?’. He then got knocked down and, with boxing, you are wondering what the scores are going to be. But the right person got the decision, I believe.

Carl Froch

Tyson Fury against Deontay Wilder was awesome. It was unbelievable, it had everything. It had the ebbs and flows of the knockdowns. To start with I thought the fight was over, Fury has done him. But for Wilder to get up and drop Fury twice, I was like, ‘Oh no, what is happening?’.

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Fury has proven himself as the world No 1, says Carl Froch

Fury just overpowered him in the end with his superior strength and size. That was the most exciting fight of the year. You’re running out of names of people who could actually beat Fury.

Johnny Nelson

Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder was everything. It was a storybook. It was a movie. If you’re a Fury fan, you can sit back and think he’s finally silenced Wilder. Their bitter rivalry was settled in that fight.

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Fury displayed his battling spirit yet again, says Johnny Nelson

With that win, Fury has proved he’s the best heavyweight in the world, while Wilder had shown that he was determined to back up every word he had said in the build-up.

In the end, Wilder had that reality check that he isn’t the world No 1. That emotional realisation could last longer than the bumps and bruises that he acquired.

Dave Coldwell

For pure drama, with your mouth open, it’s Tyson Fury against Deontay Wilder. It was like a ‘Rocky’ movie and at times you were saying to yourself, ‘What am I watching?’. It was an amazing fight that’s got to be right up there.

But I also really enjoyed Terence Crawford against Shawn Porter and I loved Teofimo Lopez against George Kambosos Jnr.

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Original Source: skysports.com

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Man City Women Sign Midfielder Blakstad From Rosenborg

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Manchester City have signed midfielder Julie Blakstad from Rosenborg for an undisclosed fee on Women’s Super League Deadline Day.

The Norwegian international has joined City on a two-and-a-half-year deal and will wear the No 41 shirt for the remainder of the season.

The 20-year-old, who is a versatile talent capable of playing in multiple positions, scored 17 goals in 35 appearances for Rosenborg after joining them in 2020.

Blakstad’s move to City will see her play outside of her homeland for the first time having starred for Ottestad, FL Fart and most recently Rosenborg.

She has represented Norway at Under-15, U16, U17, U19 and U23 level before being handed her debut for the senior side against Wales in October 2020.

Image: Blakstad will wear the No 41 shirt at Manchester City

Blakstad said in a club statement: “It’s amazing to be a Manchester City player and I can’t wait to get started.

“Everybody has been amazing so far, and I’m so excited to meet my team-mates. At this point in my career, it’s important to take a new step to develop myself further and I believe this is the best place for me to do that.

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“You only have to look at the club – the facilities, the staff and the players all have incredible dedication to achieve something big and I really want to be a part of that.”

City head coach Gareth Taylor added: “We’re delighted to welcome Julie to Manchester City.

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Highlights of the WSL match between Man City and Arsenal

“At just 20 years old, she’s already proven what a talent she is for both club and country and she’s a player who will fit perfectly into our squad and ethos here at City.

“We’re very much looking forward to working with her over the coming years – she is an incredibly ambitious young player and we’re excited to help her develop and grow here in England.”

Follow Deadline Day with Sky Sports

The clock is ticking. Who will be on the move before the transfer window closes at 11pm on Monday January 31?

Keep up-to-date with all the latest transfer news and rumours in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports’ digital platforms. You can also catch up with the ins, outs and analysis on Sky Sports News.

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Original Post: skysports.com

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Rangers Sign Man Utd Winger Diallo on Loan

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Rangers have completed the signing of Amad Diallo on loan from Manchester United.

The 19-year-old winger joins the Scottish Premiership leaders until the end of the season, a year after he moved to Old Trafford.

Diallo was signed by Manchester United in a deal worth ?37.2m from Atalanta and has made nine appearances in all competitions, scoring one goal.

United believe this move will be good for his development, with Diallo understood to be a part of the Premier League club’s long-term plans.

Diallo could make his debut at Ross County, live on Sky Sports, and said: “I am delighted to join Rangers until the end of the season.

“It is fantastic for me at this stage of my career to have the opportunity to come to such a big club that is challenging on a number of fronts and will give me some excellent opportunities to test myself in many environments.

“I look forward to training with my teammates for the first-time tomorrow and to meeting the fans for the first time at Ross County on Saturday.”

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After Rangers’ win over Livingston manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst said he was hoping to be busy before deadline day

Manager, Giovanni van Bronckhorst, added: “I am really pleased to add Amad to our squad for the rest of the season.

“He is a player who I have been aware of for some time, and when the opportunity to sign him came up, we were very keen to make it happen.

“He will add a lot to our squad and provide even more competition for the players in the forward areas.”

Diallo’s arrival follows the news winger Ianis Hagi will miss the rest of the season after undergoing knee surgery in London.

Who is Amad Diallo?

Image: Diallo has made nine appearances for Manchester United and scored in the Europa League

Diallo was born in the Ivory Coast, before moving to Italy around the age of 10, joining Atalanta in 2015.

The youngster made his debut for Atalanta in 2019, becoming the youngest player – at 17 years and 109 days old – to score on his Serie A debut in their 7-1 thrashing of Udinese.

As a result, the Ivorian travelled with the Atalanta squad to Lisbon for their Champions League quarter-final defeat to Paris Saint-Germain.

The player impressed in training so much so that Papu Gomez likened him to a certain Lionel Messi.

“There are defenders in the first team that sometimes cannot stop him. To stop him in training, we have to kick him! He plays like Messi,” said Atalanta’s captain before Diallo moved to United.

Diallo was handed his Manchester United debut in a 4-0 win at Real Sociedad in the Europa League last February before going on to score his first goal for the club against AC Milan in the same competition a few weeks later.

What will Diallo bring to Rangers?

Sky Sports’ Dan Sansom:

“One of the most exciting young prospects in the game” is how Ole Gunnar Solskjaer described Diallo after signing him for Manchester United last year.

The 19-year-old may not have had much first-team experience before making the move to Old Trafford, but he quickly made a big impression.

Operating from both wings or in the No 10 role, Diallo will bring versatility and energy to Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side.

Left-footed, he is most comfortable cutting in from the right but his ability to play multiple positions in the final third is one of his standout attributes.

At just 5ft 8in, his size is no obstacle. The Ivory Coast international boasts significant strength on the ball and a low centre of gravity, as well as an impressive dribbling ability and eye for the right pass.

Diallo is raw, but his fearlessness and enthusiasm could be key as Rangers chase a second consecutive Scottish Premiership title.

Follow the January transfer window with Sky Sports

The clock is ticking. Who will be on the move before the transfer window closes on Monday January 31?

Keep up-to-date with all the latest transfer news and rumours in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports’ digital platforms. You can also catch up with the ins, outs and analysis on Sky Sports News.

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Original Source: skysports.com

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Vitali Klitschko: Don’t Show Weakness, Joshua

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Anthony Joshua would “show weakness” if he does not fight Oleksandr Usyk for a second time, Vitali Klitschko has warned.

Joshua triggered a clause for a rematch with Usyk after losing his IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight championships but the fight has still not been finalised.

Tyson Fury’s call-out of Dillian Whyte is a clear indication that they are likely to meet next in a WBC title fight, paving the way for Joshua and Usyk to clash.

Image: Joshua was outpointed in an IBF, WBA and WBO title fight by Usyk

Joshua had previously denied reports he would accept ?15m to step away from his contracted rematch to allow Fury and Usyk to fight.

“It is his decision,” former heavyweight champion Klitschko told Sky News.

“But my personal opinion? If Joshua sidesteps in this moment, when the boxing audience expects a rematch and wants to see Joshua vs Usyk, it would show weakness.

“Joshua, don’t do that please.

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“As fighters, we fight not just for ourselves but for the audience. The audience decides. If the audience wants the fight, it must happen.

“If Joshua sidesteps, I am not sure that the interest in Joshua would be so big in the future.”

Image: Ukraine’s Vitali Klitschko and Andriy Shevchenko celebrate with Usyk

Vitali held the WBC belt while Wladimir Klitschko was IBF, WBA and WBO champion as the brothers from Ukraine dominated the generation of heavyweights prior to Joshua and Fury.

Wladimir was eventually beaten in world title fights by both Fury and Joshua.

But now Usyk, the Klitschkos’ compatriot, has brought some of the heavyweight gold back to Ukraine.

Vitali Klitschko added: “Everyone expects the rematch between Usyk and Joshua. Usyk is so strong or did Joshua make mistakes? Who is stronger? That question interests every boxing fan. Let’s receive an answer. That’s why this fight must happen.

“Huge fight. Right now, everybody doubts if Joshua is strong enough to fight Fury.

“He can give the answer in the Usyk fight.

“If Joshua beats Usyk there will be huge interest [in Joshua vs Fury]. It will be the main fight of the past 10 years.

“Joshua is a classic boxer, Fury is unorthodox. Both are punchers, both can decide the fight at any moment.

“Both are world-class fighters and can knock each other out at any second.”

Image: Vitali watched his brother Wladimir Klitschko lose to Tyson Fury and Joshua

Asked to predict the winner if Joshua faced Fury, Klitschko said: “No expert can expect the decision in fights, especially with heavyweights where one punch can decide.

“That is why boxing is so interesting.

“Heavyweight fighters are like gladiators and have huge attention from the whole world.”

Klitschko retired a decade ago with 45 wins in 47 fights but admitted to occasionally sizing up Joshua and Fury: “I am not active anymore. But sometimes I feel that, if I were younger and in shape, these would be a good fights.

“I know the key to both fighters.”

Sky Sports Boxing schedule

Sunday January 30 in Tulsa
Robson Conceicao vs Xavier Martinez – WBC super-featherweight title eliminator
Nico Ali Walsh

Saturday February 5 in Cardiff
Chris Eubank Jr vs Liam Williams
Claressa Shields vs Ema Kozin – IBF, WBA and WBC middleweight titles

Saturday February 19 in Manchester
Amir Khan vs Kell Brook
Natasha Jonas’ world title fight
Frazer Clarke’s pro debut

Saturday February 26 in Glasgow
Josh Taylor vs Jack Catterall – undisputed super-lightweight titles
Nick Campbell vs Jay McFarlane – Scottish heavyweight title

Saturday March 5 in Fresno
Jose Ramirez vs Jose Pedraza

Sunday March 20 in New York
Edgar Berlanga vs Steve Rolls
Keyshawn Davis
Xander Zayas

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Original Article: skysports.com

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