The Bite Fight

Former undisputed world heavyweight champion Mike Tyson courted controversy throughout his boxing career, but never more so than during his rematch with Evander Holyfield for the WBA Heavyweight Championship at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas on June 28, 1997. In the first meeting between the pair, at the same venue less than eight months earlier, Holyfield had comprehensively outboxed Tyson, eventually winning by technical knockout in the eleventh round. It’s no surprise that the fight was twice held at Vegas, since stateside it’s key to both sports ans casino life. Whereas in the online world today we may instead check out the Online Casino Bluebook, in the late casinos, if just wanted casino or sports based excitement in the flesh, Las Vegas was the place to go.

The rematch started in similar fashion, with Holyfield dominating the first two rounds, but it was a series of shocking incidents in the third round that led the contest to be known as the ‘Bite Fight’. With forty seconds left on the clock, Tyson, incensed by what he believed to be a deliberate headbutt by his opponent, sunk his teeth into Holyfield’s right ear, removing a one-inch chunk of cartilage, which he subsequently spat out onto the canvas.

Referee Mills Lane stopped the contest for Holyfield to be examined by the ringside doctor, who concluded that, despite profuse bleeding from his bitten ear, Holyfield was fit to continue. Tyson narrowly avoided immediate disqualification and was, instead, deducted two points. Barely had the fight resumed, though, when Tyson bit Holyfield on his left ear. The second bite was not discovered until the end of the third round but, at that point, Lane disqualified Tyson, who attempted to attack Holyfield and his entourage and had to be restrained by the police.

Tyson faced a lifetime ban from the sport, but was eventually fined $3 million, given community service and although his boxing licence was revoked, indefinitely, by the Nevada State Athletic Commission – a suspension that, under federal law, had to be honoured throughout the United States – it was restored 15 months later.

So many big fights have been held at the MGM Grand over the years, and indeed at Caesars Palace, both in Las Vegas. . The next big fight for boxing fans will be the third encounter between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder at T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, Nevada on October 9th. It’s available on PPV if you can’t make it in the flesh of course.  The heady combination of sports (which inevitably results in sports betting) and casinos in Nevada make it both a sports fans and hedonists dream. There are so many options available on the casino side of things from slots machines as far as the eye can see, to roulette, blackjack tables and more. Serious money poker competitions routinely take place in Las Vegas and if you’re looking for somewhere to stay there are more hotel rooms in Vegas than just about anywhere you could care to mention.

One Arm XI versus One Legged XI

In 1848, unfettered by so-called ‘political correctness’, two teams of Greenwich Pensioners, resident at the Royal Hospital for Seamen in Greenwich, took part in a spirited, and well-received, two-day cricket match at the Priory Ground in Lewisham. The names of the teams are, hopefully, self-explanatory, but all the players were retired Royal Navy sailors, who had lost their respective limbs in the cause of duty and, hence, found a permanent home at the Royal Hospital.

In what I suspect was meant as a nod toward camaraderie but also respect for the service of those involved, the match was met with a positive reaction, and depending on how you perceive it could even be said to be ahead of its time. Of course nowadays sporting events for those with certain physical limitations are rightly heralded as inclusion and necessary in rewarding achieve just as they are in the able bodied. The paralympics was of course a recent brilliant example of showcasing sporting achievement in those with additional challenges.

Gone are the days where cricket had a narrow appeal. Branching out beyond the physical, cricket has been dragged into the modern age in varying regards. Take for instance ‘The Hundred’. This new format aimed at appealing to new audiences achieved just that, selling over 500,000 tickets, and reaching a TV audience of 16 million+.  Not only that, 57% of those tuning in had not watched live cricket this year. The key to its success was to involve both mens and womens teams (from various major cities across the country – making it more diverse). It’s a 100 ball tournament and all signs are that it’s bringing a new and younger audience to the sport, which can’t be bad. Of course Cricket already holds mass appeal all around the world, from the UK to India, as sites like attest to,  so hitting on new angles to keep things fresh and interesting is key to continued interest.

The aforementioned One Arm and One Leg cricket match appears to have been something of a ‘jolly’ for the Greenwich Pensioners, each of whom received an allowance of ten shillings, not to mention free transport to and from the Priory Ground. Eating and drinking were high on the agenda, with a generous lunch and dinner served before and after each day’s play and, at the end of the match, both teams marched off, with musical accompaniment, to the Bull Inn in nearby Shooters Hill.

While the players cut a dash in their distinctive veterans’ uniforms, their age and infirmity led to a rather comical, if good-natured, encounter, in which extras made a significant contribution to the totals in all four innings. The One Arm XI bowled 43 wides and the One Legged XI 30, while Mr. Sears, who batted at number five for One Legged XI, top scored with 15 in the second innings. All told, the One Arm XI made 50 and 41 and the One Legged XI made 32 and 44, although the batting was as bad as the bowling, with 21 ducks in the match, including five pairs for the One Legged XI.

Saeed bin Suroor’s Dream would be to send the Irish raiders packing

IN a festival that includes three Group One races, it may seem somewhat surprising that the Ebor Handicap is arguably the most attractive clash of the four days at York.

One of the most valuable flat handicaps in Europe, the Ebor offers a first prize of £300K, and it is no surprise the race attracts high quality entries from both flat and hurdles background.

The horse bets are currently led by trained Saeed bin Surur, four-year-old Live Your Dream, winner of four out of seven starts, including over £ 1 million in the Bet365 Trophy at Newmarket in July. Prior to that, Wolverhampton had a comfortable six-length, two-mile success so endurance was no problem for Iffraj’s son Godolphin.

With form at the track another consideration for punters, Live Your Dream ran a very creditable second to Spanish Kiss in a 1m4f handicap on the Knavesmire in May this year – coming on considerably in his outings since, so BBC Sport

Live Your Dream missed the whole of 2020 so appears to have some catching up to do, with Saeed bin Suroor saying: “The Ebor looks the race for him. He’s improving – he came out of his last race nicely and he’s in good form.

“He’s probably a Group Three horse at the moment, but I think you need a Group horse for the Ebor, so we’ll take it from there. Good ground would be what he wants.”

With the record of favourites in the Ebor reading one winner in the last 13 runnings, with ten of those 13 winners going off at double-figure odds, you may be forgiven for giving Live Your Dream (8/1) a swerve, but the colt is unaware of where he is in the betting, and his credentials appear to underline why he is the standout entrant in the race.

There will be a strong challenge to Live Your Dream from Ireland, with Willie Mullins and Johnny Murtagh bringing over runners that are just behind the favourite in the betting, reports SportShock.Net.

Mullins will head into the race with a number of runners, Saldier leading the way at a price of 12/1. However, he would have to buck the trend of seven-year-olds in the race, with just one horse aged over six winning in recent history – Litigant producing a shock success in 2015 at a price of 33/1, handing trainer Joseph Tuite the biggest success of his career.

Saldier has the Galway Hurdle under his belt this season, with famous hurdle winners proving successful in the past; the race famously won by Sea Pigeon in 1979, a horse that was better known for his steeplechase efforts, winning the Champion Hurdle twice, in 1980 and 1981. Aside from his hurdles success, Saldier’s flat form is perhaps more interesting, winning a qualified riders’ race at Listowel over the Ebor trip; he was also fifth in the Copper Horse Handicap at Royal Ascot off his Ebor mark.

Johnny Murtagh has Sonnyboyliston (12/1) and Mirann (20/1) down to run in the race, with the former potentially a better prospect than Saldier. Sonnyboyliston finished seventh at York in the Group Three John Smith’s Silver Cup in July over the Ebor distance, and he would be trainer Murtagh’s second win in the race after Mutual Regard’s success in 2014.


No Horses Finish

Beforehand, the Totepool Flexi Betting at Cheltenham Festival Novices’ Chase, run over 2 miles 4 furlongs, at Towcester on March 17, 2011 hardly appeared a horse racing moment that would make history, but it did. Just four runners went to post, but that number was reduced to two when the leader, Zhukov, and Cengiz, who appeared to be tailing off in any case, fell independently at the same fence.

The remaining runners, the market leaders Identity Parade, ridden by Adrian Lane, and Radharc Na Mara, ridden by Peter Toole, continued to duel until approaching the second-last fence, where it became clear that the former had taken command of his toiling rival. However, on the run to the final fence, no sooner had commentator uttered the words ‘in safe keeping’ than Identity Parade nigh on refused, barely clambered over the obstacle and fell. Radharc Na Mara, who had been about four lengths behind, jumped the fence successfully and, momentarily, took the lead. However, he stumbled on landing, jinked right and unseated Toole, who beat his fist on the ground in frustration.

As Radharc Na Mara had unseated rider, rather than fallen, Toole briefly discussed remounting with a steward, but eventually walked the horse back to the stables. With remounting after the start of a race banned, upon pain of disqualification, by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) in November, 2009, this was the first time since the rule change that all the horses in a race had failed to finish. Thus, the Totepool Flexi Betting at Cheltenham Festival Novices’ Chase made history as the first race to be declared void for that reason.