So its getting to the time of year where there is not a massive amount of sport on the horizon, but there are still a few little gems to look forward to! There is the latest instalment of Manny Pacquiao v Juan Manuel Marquez tonight which is an intriguing bout. Not many bookmakers seem to be giving Marquez much of a chance, but we have been in this situation before. There are people that think that Marquez won at least one of the previous three fights. I suspect that the powers that be might have taken care of those that can make a difference with the decision. Also in Boxing tonight Darren Barker makes his long-awaited return to the ring against Kerry Hope. Barker is a heavy favourite with the bookies so it is a bit of a foregone conclusion, but I just hope that Barker can get a good session under his belt and stay injury free. The Londoner has had a torrid time in recent years, and where not too long ago he was alongside the likes of Britain's other top level middleweights in Martin Murray and Matt Macklin, his lack of activity has made him somewhat a forgotten man. I believe that Murray would beat both of his rivals and will go on to become a World champion in the near future, but there are certainly some tasty dust-ups to be had domestically. Also tonight James De Gale returns against Fulgencio Zuniga in Hull. I don't think many would say that moving to the Hennessey stable was a forward step for De Gale, but after Frank Warren signed George Groves perhaps he felt he had no choice but to move. I have to say that in a recent Channel 5 interview De Gale seemed more humble than I have ever seen him. I for one was certainly glad to see the back of all the trash-talking that we've become accustomed to with De Gale. Maybe now he can let his fists do the talking rather than his over-sized mouth, although I think the he lacks the necessary punch power to get right to the top. In my eyes, the most exciting bout of the night is Kalid Yafai against Jorge Perez. Kal has looked utterly destructive when I have seen him before and I think he has the skills to go all the way. With four KO's in five fights (he has only fought twelve rounds in five fights as well) he is getting a reputation for being a bit of a banger, and Matchroom might find it difficult to find credible opponents if he carries on like this. No doubt though he will progress through the ranks quickly, he looks like a boxer who is much more mature than his time in the game would suggest. Frank Maloney has also made a statement this week aimed at trying to get Mick Hennessey and Tyson Fury to sit round the table and discuss a fight deal. I think he is right that aside of David Haye versus Wladimir or Vitali Klitschko this is the most exciting fight in the division. I think Price is the real deal as well, particularly after how he removed Matt Skelton last time out. People (including Camp Fury!) still talk about his vulnerable chin, and they may have a point, but the only way to prove that Tyson can knock out David is to get in the ring and do it. You can't keep coming out with ridiculous claims and insults if you never intend to back it up. Here's hoping for 2013!
It is also time for the BBC Sports Personality Personality of the Year, which as you might expect is quite Olympics oriented in terms of candidates.If I was the voting panel my top three would be as follows;
3 - Rory McIlroy. I include Rory primarily as I think the achievements of Team Europe on September 30th cannot go unrecognised, and McIlroy is the only Team Europe member on the list. If I was compiling the list of contenders, Ian Poulter would have been my pick, but the Northern Irishman's achievements at Kiawah Island in the US PGA Championships probably tipped the balance. McIlroy also won The FedEx Cup, The Race to Dubai, and the US and European money lists as well as finishing the year as world number one.
I do also expect Team GB to win team of the year, but I again would vote for Team Europe for the Ryder Cup win.
At the end of the year I will be compiling a 'Sport's best of 2012' blog, so please email me your favourites at email@example.com
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