Thursday 17 January 2019

Expect Tiger to be prepared for 'last few holes'

Rory McIlroy is the world's No.1 golfer at the moment. But his observation that Tiger Woods (38) is on "the last few holes" of his career, while being laughed off by Woods, is exactly the sort of extrinsic motivational tool that sports psychologists insist can help focus and boost performance. Although he hasn't played in five weeks, Woods is determined to recover from the back injury that forced him to take an earlier four-month break to recover from surgery. Concentrating on gym work to improve his fitness levels, Tiger is targeting the World Challenge Cup in December as his comeback tournament. "I miss competing," he says. Methodical in his preparations, Woods adds: "I'm right on my timeline, so that's perfect."

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It could become the world's highest-grossing boxing bout. But first, Floyd Mayweather's deal with Showtime has to accommodate Manny Pacquaio's deal with HBO-Top Rank deal. Given the animosity between the Mayweather-Golden Boy camp and Top Rank boss Bob Arum, it's going to take some serious diplomacy to make the fight. It's estimated that Mayweather, the world's highest-paid athlete, has earned €324.5m in an unbeaten 47-fight career. His September 2013 fight with Canelo Alvarez grossed €116m. Economists and boxing fans believe that a showdown between Mayweather and Manny Pacquaio would be the biggest box-office fight ever, generating around €250m largely through selling more than 2.5 million pay-per-view tickets.

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Tens of thousands of flag-waving Serbs took to the streets of Belgrade on Monday to welcome the national basketball team which lost the FIBA World Cup final in Spain. Despite being decisively beaten 129-92 by an American team that had been labelled a B-team following the withdrawal of NBA stars James LeBron, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant, Serbia celebrated its first basketball World Cup medal since becoming independent in 2006. As part of the former Yugoslavia, Serbia won an impressive five golds and three silver in the tournaments 64-year history.

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When Mexican club Queretaro introduced surprise new signing Ronaldhino to supporters at half-time in a home tie on Friday night, local politician Carlos Trevino took to social media to protest. "I HATE soccer," he wrote. "And the idiotic phenomenon it produces… I hate it even more because people get in the way and flood the avenues causing me take up to two hours just to get home… And all just to see an APE … A Brazilian ape, but an ape nonetheless. This has become a ridiculous circus." The right-wing politician has tweeted an apology for "my unfortunate comments".

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