Saturday 16 December 2017

Carrzone: McGuigan plans Frampton global big-money fights

Tiger Woods

Barry McGuigan (below) meets ITV executives this week to discuss future plans following Carl Frampton's thrilling IBF title defence which was seen in 56 countries.

In the aftermath of Saturday's win, McGuigan and Frampton expressed a wish to fight WBA champion Scott Quigg. Alternatives include WBO champion Leo Santa Cruz or WBA and WBO Super unified champion Guillermo Rigondeaux.

The problem facing McGuigan is that each fighter brings as many business problems as held up a Mayweather-Pacquaio fight for years. Santa Cruz is not anxious to meet Frampton. Rigondeaux isn't a box office draw. Despite his Cork manager Gary Hyde calling for the fight to be made, McGuigan says: "He's never spoken to me. Rigondeaux doesn't make money. The other two make more sense. We want to fight Quigg. Eddie Hearn (Quigg's promoter) keeps pushing pay-per-view but this is a terrestrial TV fight.

"It would make these kids superstars. Eddie thinks about the numbers. Let's think about the game."


Harrington win popular in the crazy world of golf

On a week that Padraig Harrington came from being 5 behind with 8 to play to win his second Honda Classic, underlining his ambition to make the Rio Olympics team in the process, the most unexpected story in golf has been the bizarre allegations made by former PGA Tour golfer Dan Olsen that Tiger Woods  isn't injured but suspended for taking performance-enhancing drugs.

Apart from insisting that Woods will "surpass Lance Armstrong with infamy," Olsen's conspiracy theories also stretched to alleging that, for years, Tiger had been using balls specially doctored by Nike.

Needless to say, these wild remarks prompted a storm of protest and denial from the PGA, Tiger's agent and Nike.

Olsen has since retracted his allegations admitting: "Everything I said was not based on facts."

Also in the news are the difficulties facing golfers in Iran, where the only recognised course has been reduced to thirteen holes following a compulsory army land purchase.


Northern design team is now on the ball worldwide

Launched before Christmas, the new Mamba ball, designed to improve players' skills, is proving to be a huge success, attracting orders from more than thirty countries including China and the US.

The brainchild of Stephen Maher and Brian Lavery of Northern Ireland company LMInnov8, the Mamba ball has three layers including an outer rubber skin with special surface grip zones.

"It's designed as a close contact training football," explains Stephen Maher. "It gives players the ability to be more creative and confident and helps improve all-round football skills. It was trialled very positively at Sheffield University."

The Mamba has already caught on with Freestylers and several academies are investigating the possibilities of including it in their training regimes. Also in production is a smaller ball for the under-12s.


MMA fighting in court

The expression "Where there's a hit there's a writ" seems appropriate in the case of the legal wrangle between Bellator MMA and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson. Citing an exclusive contract signed in 2013, Bellator are seeking a court injunction to prevent Jackson (36) fighting in a UFC event in April. Jackson, a former UFC champion, has fought for Bellator three times. Now his next fight will be in court.

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