DeGale backs O’Meara to win title

first_imgJames DeGale is backing his friend Steve O’Meara to become Commonwealth light-middleweight champion this weekend.Both men are products of Dale Youth boxing club in Notting Hill and as professionals have worked under trainer Jim McDonnell.McDonnell has nurtured O’Meara.And European super-middleweight champion DeGale believes O’Meara has what it takes to beat unbeaten Liverpudlian Liam Smith at the ExCel London on Saturday and win the vacant title.DeGale told West London Sport: “I’ve seen myself how much he wants it and how much work he’s put in.“I hope all that work pays off and I believe it will. I think he’s going to do it and no-one deserves it more.”O’Meara, who has won his last three fights with early knockouts, will be appearing on the undercard of fellow West Londoner George Groves’ Commonwealth super-middleweight title defence against former world champion Glen Johnson.And McDonnell, who has long been keen for O’Meara to fight for a major title, is confident his man will prevail.“With Steve we’re talking about a quality boxer who’s now also showing he’s got power to match.” said McDonnell.“The improvement in the guy has been phenomenal. When he first came he was probably the weakest guy in the gym. Not anymore.“He’s so strong these days and is ready to take his chance, no doubt about it.”West London Sport will have live updates from ExCel London during Groves and O’Meara’s title fights.See also:O’Meara stuns Toms in west London clashTrainer eyes title shot for O’MearaO’Meara aiming for title gloryO’Meara tipped for title glory in 2012Victory moves O’Meara closer to title shotSteve O’Meara v Tony Randell in picturesO’Meara to fight for Commonwealth titleGroves believes he can stop JohnsonGroves and DeGale in new war of wordsO’Meara ready to seize title chanceSteve O’Meara ‘excited’ as he prepares for his title clashWatch O’Meara and Smith weigh in ahead of their title fightDuo weigh in ahead of title 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 Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Greek Soccer Overcomes Country’s Crisis

first_imgATHENS — To an outsider, little has changed in Greek football in the last decade.The national team has kept its instinct for a decisive late goal, has players easily overlooked, and a defense that plays with a spirit of defiance.It’s those ingredients that helped Greece win the 2004 European Championship and made the team a regular at major tournaments since.Greece’s national team has become a rare success story in a country struck by financial crisis that battered everything from public health to achievement in most other sports.Greece qualified for the World Cup by way of the playoffs, eliminating Romania over two legs, but only missed direct qualification on goal difference after eight wins in 10 matches, conceding only four goals.“The main thing is that we’re going to Brazil,” Greece defender Dimitris Siovas said. “People in Greece are going through a difficult time. So above all, what counts is that we give them some joy.”In Brazil, the Greeks will take on Japan, Colombia and Ivory Coast, a draw considered troubling as Greece struggles to contain pacey players.The team is coached by Fernando Santos, a stout 59-year-old former defender from Portugal who took over in 2010 from Otto Rehhagel.When the crisis hit Greece, the country’s top footballers followed the doctors, IT workers and engineers in packing their bags and heading for jobs abroad.More than half of the current squad plays overseas, including captain Giorgos Karagounis at Fulham, defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos at Borussia Dortmund — Greece’s most expensive player — and striker Georgios Samaras at Celtic.TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more