Author Archives: Hasib Afzal

Roger Federer FACES FIGHT TO BE FIT FOR AUSTRALIAN OPEN

Photo taken in the small hours of Jan. 25, 2020, shows Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrating after beating John Millman of Australia in the third round of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne. (Photo by Kyodo News via Getty Images)

Roger Federer’s long-awaited return to tennis could be extended even further, with the latest news that the Swiss maestro may miss the Australian Open. Federer’s last competitive match stretched all the way back to January and he has not played since, following arthroscopic surgery on his right knee.

The Swiss had been on course to return for Wimbledon only for it to be cancelled due to the pandemic. However, a further setback followed. During the course of rehabilitation, Federer required another operation, ruling him out for even longer:

“I would have hoped that I would be 100% in October. But I am still not today. Let’s see how the next two months will unfold.

The second knee operation was a huge dampener, but in the last six months there has been steady progress.

Let’s see how the next two months will unfold. I’ve been doing a lot of physio and physical work lately, now let’s see how tennis is doing.

“It will be tight for the Australian Open.”

With the Australian Open set to be delayed to potentially February, there is plenty of time for Federer to make the cut. With fans continuing to wait, the return of the Swiss legend promises to be one worth waiting for.

Anthony Joshua Faces Career-Defining moment

CARDIFF, WALES – SEPTEMBER 11: Anthony Joshua (l) and Kubrat Pulev pictured with promoter Eddie Hearn (c) during a media opportunity ahead of their World Heavyweight title clash at Principality Stadium on September 11, 2017 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

It only seems like yesterday, when Anthony Joshua succumbed to Andy Ruiz at Madison Square Gardens. A knock out defeat halted an all but potential mammoth super-fight with Deontay Wilder. And yet, history threatens to repeat itself, this time with Tyson Fury.

Step up the man who could deal that blow: Kubrat Pulev. The Bulgarian has an impressive 28 wins in 29 appearances with a sole loss on his record to none other than Wladimir Klitschko— in his last world title fight. Pre-fight, the Bulgarian was in a buoyant mood:

“A boxer must have power and speed, and right now, I feel very dangerous.” 

Confidence is one thing, but it’s easy to forget that Pulev is now 39. But this time round, the Bulgarian promises to be better:

“I was too green to be at the world championship level. I wasn’t ready, period.

I could have gone 25 rounds physically, but I was too green to be on the big stage. But it was a learning experience, and now I’m ready.

The experience I’ve added over the years will be priceless.”

However, complacency around big fights doesn’t bode all too well for Joshua. Just as it has become so accustomed with the boxer, Joshua seems to have learnt from the past:

“When I took a little loss to Ruiz, I don’t think that’s enough to change someone like me. I’ve got a lot of character. Every fighter trains hard, but it’s the character that separates us, and I feel like I’ve got a lot of character. I’ll be keen to stand there.”

Victory would almost but guarantee an undisputed fight with Tyson Fury. And so the mind games begun with Fury denying a potential ringside appearance at the Pulev fight. Speaking on Instagram, Fury said:

“This is Tyson Fury, the Gypsy King. ‘Just a quick one guys, I will not be attending any boxing this weekend.

For all the rumours this weekend that I’ll be attending some boxing, I will not be. Don’t expect fireworks.

Don’t expect any action from the Gypsy King because I’ll be grafting; I’ll be working, as usual, always staying fit and ready. Good night and God bless.”

With Joshua’s career on the line, this Saturday promises to be an absolute cracker. With Tyson Fury waiting in the wings, anything other than a Joshua victory would be a travesty. 

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Written by Hasib Afzal

Founder of http://theanfieldroad.com

Writer for @Lfctransferoom, The Kopite, The Liverpool Chronicle

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