With the end of a trying 2020 closing in, live sport continues to keep our spirits up, as it entertains and inspires in equal measure. Seriously, what would we do without it? It’s been another blockbuster weekend of action, we’ve had news of another huge celebrity boxing match, a massive name in football scoring her first goal in the British game, and England’s rugby union team collecting another trophy. Here are five stories you might have missed…
Floyd Mayweather v Logan Paul is ON
This was the news nobody was surprised to hear. After their back and forth a fortnight earlier which bore all the hallmarks of two men priming an audience for a new rivalry, Floyd Mayweather confirmed on his Instagram account on Sunday that he will fight YouTube star Logan Paul on 20 February 2021 in a “Super Exhibition” match.
The fight, which will pit the 50-0 former four-weight world champion against the celebrity who lost his only pro fight to fellow YouTube personality KSI in 2019, will be screened on Fanmio’s pay-per-view platform for a minimum $24.99 (£18.54). This one could be the most brutal experience yet for a celebrity stepping into the ring, with Mayweather already billed as a massive 1/100 favourite with some outlets.
Caoimhin Kelleher has more name trouble
When you’re a young goalkeeper stepping up into the world of Premier League football, you really want to make a name for yourself. But spare a thought for Liverpool’s newest star, Caoimhin Kelleher, who has had people’s tongues twisting over the spelling of his first name in recent times. It’s pronounced ‘Kwee-vin’, for what it’s worth.
But things got even sillier on Sunday when the 22-year-old stepped out on the Anfield turf for his first league appearance for the Reds against Wolves. His number 62 shirt had been printed incorrectly, with the name ‘KELLHER’ adorning the black jersey. Thankfully, the mistake was rectified at half-time as he returned for the second half with a shirt with the missing ‘E’ added, but there will have been a few red faces in the kit room at Liverpool’s Kirkby training complex. Still, the 4-0 win will have helped.
US legend Alex Morgan hits the mark for Spurs
She’s the biggest name to ever play in English women’s football, and Alex Morgan now has a goal to her name too after Tottenham’s 3-1 win over Brighton on Sunday. The two-time World Cup winner with the USA grabbed her first goal for the Lilywhites from the penalty spot four weeks on from her Spurs debut, to help her side to a first league victory of the season.
The question now for Morgan is what happens next. With her loan deal due to expire at the end of December but with an option to extend until the end of the 2020-21 season, Spurs' recently appointed new head coach Rehanne Skinner has said her first major task will be to address Morgan’s future “as soon as possible”. Watch this space.
Eddie blasts “disrespectful” England critics
England unsurprisingly backed up their Six Nations Championship win with an Autumn Nations Cup success on Sunday as they overcame a second-string French side. But it was a much tighter affair than many had expected. It took an Owen Farrell penalty kick in sudden-death extra-time to see off France 22-19, after Luke Cowan-Dickie’s last-minute try had saved them from defeat.
Eddie Jones stole the headlines in his post-match media duties, blasting the press for their “totally disrespectful” line of questioning as he was quizzed over his team’s pragmatic style of play following criticism from a number of high-profile pundits and former players.
“Can I just say I think you are being totally disrespectful to the players the way you criticise the rugby,” said the England coach, and he went further when asked if a win is more important than entertaining the fans. ”That is not the point and I find the question a bit childish,” he bit back.
Russell wins plaudits if not the race
He might have finished down in ninth place in the end, but George Russell won a whole host of plaudits for his performance in this weekend’s Sakhir Grand Prix in relief of Lewis Hamilton, who was ruled out by a positive Covid test. After qualifying second on the grid, the 22-year-old Brit drove superbly on race day only for two strokes of complete misfortune to deny him a worthy win.
Leading by five seconds over teammate Valtteri Bottas, Russell was foiled by his Mercedes pit crew when they mistakenly put Bottas’ tyres on his car during a safety-car break. After pitting again to rectify the issue, Russell quickly moved up from fifth to second and started closing on eventual winner Sergio Perez but a puncture then put paid to his hopes and he finished ninth.
Still, it was a remarkable drive by the youngster, whose previous best finish driving for Williams was 11th at the Tuscan Grand Prix in September.