17-12-2018 Canelo Álvarez builds brand with simple demolition of Rocky Fielding

The all-conquering Mexican’s latest win felt more like a promotional parade than a genuine world title showdownFor years Canelo Álvarez was hailed as the biggest star of boxing’s post-Floyd Mayweather age. After managing to fill Madison Square Garden to capacity on Saturday night for a wildly violent sparring session with the sacrificial lamb Rocky Fielding, that premise appears beyond dispute.Álvarez, the youngest of seven brothers who each boxed (once all together on the same card), turned professional at 16. He was still a teenager when he signed a contract with Televisa, the TV network known for telenovelas that is among the most watched in all of Latin America. Televisa built him into a household name with his red hair and matinee-idol good looks if not his still-young body of work. That led many sceptical Mexicans to denigrate him as a media creation or, worse, a fraud. Continue reading...

17-12-2018 Danny Cipriani: ‘It’s been the same story for six years, hasn’t it?’

Fly-half remains philosophical about his England exile and is enjoying his new leadership role at GloucesterIf Danny Cipriani feels messed around by England he hides it well. You might expect confusion, resentment, even betrayal at how he again finds himself on the outside looking in after the briefest of comebacks over the summer but on a chilly afternoon in Gloucestershire there is nothing but positivity from the exiled fly-half.To recap, Cipriani made his first England start in 10 years in their first win in six matches in June but was discarded again for the autumn campaign. It followed his arrest in Jersey but Eddie Jones insisted his latest omission was based on form, all while Cipriani was tearing up trees with his new club, Gloucester. Continue reading...

17-12-2018 Soccer and soju: The football match that kicked off Korean peace

How a friendly chat on the sidelines opened the door for North and South Korea to start talking.

17-12-2018 Mark Allen beats Shaun Murphy 9-7 in Scottish Open final

Mark Allen defeats Shaun Murphy 9-7 to win the Scottish Open, a week after losing the UK Championship final.

17-12-2018 The Breakdown | England’s dilemma: undermine Eddie Jones or risk scramble for a top coach

Looking for a successor could be a distraction in World Cup year but waiting could mean the talent is snaffled up and Wales and Ireland have already made their moveThe start of the World Cup is nine months away but countries are already thinking about their next coach. Wales are sorted, appointing Wayne Pivac in the summer knowing Warren Gatland would be off after his side’s final match in Japan, as are Ireland, with Andy Farrell to take over from Joe Schmidt.In New Zealand, Steve Hansen is due to announce this evening UK time as to whether he will seek a new contract after the World Cup. Rassie Erasmus has told South Africa he will not be carrying on after Japan, focusing on his director of rugby role instead. Australia’s Michael Cheika may not last that long after taking part in a performance review this month after the Wallabies’ worst year, in terms of results, for 60 years. A decision is expected before Christmas. Continue reading...

17-12-2018 NFL wrap: Steelers top Pats while Bears make playoffs for first time in eight years

Jaylen Samuels hurts New England on the groundChicago Bears last made playoffs in 2010 seasonCowboys miss chance to seal NFC East title Rookie running back Jaylen Samuels, making his second start in place of injured James Conner, ran for a career-high 142 yards and made a critical third-down reception in the fourth quarter as Pittsburgh snapped a three-game losing streak by holding off the New England 17-10 on Sunday.Ben Roethlisberger threw for 235 yards with two first-half touchdowns and two interceptions as the Steelers (8-5-1) remained in front of Baltimore in the AFC North with two weeks to go in the season. Chris Boswell, who has struggled so badly this season the team held open tryouts during the week, atoned for a 32-yard miss in the third quarter by drilling a 48-yarder with 2:30 remaining. Pittsburgh’s defense, which let fourth-quarter leads slip away each of the last two games, made it stand. The Patriots (9-5) missed a chance to clinch their 10th straight AFC East title when Brady’s pass into the end zone for Julian Edelman was knocked down by Pittsburgh’s Morgan Burnett. Continue reading...

17-12-2018 Laura Kenny and Katie Archibald win madison gold at Track Cycling World Cup

Laura Kenny and Katie Archibald won gold in the women's madison at the Track Cycling World Cup.

17-12-2018 Sterling’s racism ordeal was ugly but the reaction has been positive | Eni Aluko

Fallout from the Manchester City forward’s complaint about the media scrutiny black players face has been hearteningThis week could be a eureka moment for football. Most of the reaction to Raheem Sterling’s claims that parts of the media have racially biased agendas has been very positive. It feels like a genuine step forward is being made and that Sterling has managed to turn something outrageous into a catalyst for long, overdue change. Related: If every racist at football was silenced stadiums would still be full of racists | John Barnes Continue reading...

17-12-2018 Sports Personality of the Year 2018: Geraint Thomas wins Sports Personality of the Year 2018

Watch as Geraint Thomas is announced as the winner of BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2018 at the Genting Arena in Birmingham.

17-12-2018 What is the smallest football ground a European champion has lost at? | The Knowledge

Plus: the longest delay for any new stadium in history and the worst goal difference you can get away with and still qualify in the Champions League. Mail us or tweet @TheKnowledge_GU“Real Madrid recently lost 3-0 to Eibar in a stadium that holds just 7,000 people,” begins Robin Tucker. “That got me thinking: have any former European champions lost a competitive match in a smaller stadium? This would be only counting results after their first European success, so games such as Liverpool’s 1959 defeat to Worcester City would not count.”A fine question, but it’s not even the smallest stadium a former European champion has lost in this season. The 1986 winners Steaua Bucharest, now snappily known as FCSB, have suffered plenty of turmoil recently, including a defeat earlier this month to Sepsi OSK. That was in front of an estimated 2,500 at the 5,200-capacity Stadionul Municipal. Continue reading...

17-12-2018 Jamie Lawrence: ‘One minute I’m in jail, the next on TV with Sunderland’

The former Premier League winger is stepping back into jails to help prisoners and working with young players ‘to change their whole outlook on life’For a man whose slogan is “Prison to Premiership” it was a tense moment for Jamie Lawrence to find himself outside Brixton prison on a crisp winter’s morning, preparing to go back inside. He was here as a teenager, PN 2991LAWRENCE. He trots out his prison number, thinks about the boy he was then, the circumstances that allowed crime to seem like the easier option. Now 48, he braced himself to step back into his former life hoping he might strike some kind of chord with the prisoners of today. Whatever talks and workshops are on offer to them, not many can look them in the eye and level with them in the way he can.He half smiles as he explains that these days he gets cleared by security. “Normally I was going in the sweat box before I was going in,” he says wryly. “It was nice to go through the gate. I got introduced to the boys. I was nervous as hell. There were 12 prisoners in a little room. I started sharing my story, from being in prison to getting out and turning my life around and playing in the Premiership and for my country. We challenged them with a few things about what they are going to do on release. ‘How can you not reoffend?’ That is so, so important. Continue reading...

17-12-2018 European round-up: Barça go clear at top thanks to Lionel Messi hat-trick

• Levante 0-5 Barcelona; Sevilla 2-0 Girona• Ajax thrash De Graafschap 8-0 in EredivisieLionel Messi scored his 43rd hat-trick for Barcelona as they gained a measure of revenge for their record-wrecking defeat by Levante last season with a comprehensive 5-0 victory. Related: Liverpool back on top after Shaqiri double floors Manchester United Continue reading...

17-12-2018 'It's right for the team': Steve Hansen steps down as All Blacks coach – video

After 14 years Steve Hansen has called time on coaching New Zealand. The 59-year-old announced that he will be stepping down after the World Cup in Japan next year, saying that it was time for 'a fresh pair of eyes'. The All Blacks have lost only eight of 96 Tests under Hansen, a win ratio of 89%.  Continue reading...