Boxing: Hatton's fitness stuns Senchenko
Published 24/11/2012 | 05:00
Vyacheslav Senchenko is surprised to be squaring off against Ricky Hatton in Manchester tonight (10.0) in light of a chance meeting between the fighters earlier this year.
The pair attended the WBA's annual awards in Panama City in February, with Senchenko present as the then-holder of the governing body's world welterweight crown – a title Hatton himself claimed by beating Luis Collazo in June 2006.
According to Senchenko, Hatton was some way beyond fighting weight having been out of the ring since his May 2009 defeat to Manny Pacquiao.
"I met Ricky when we were at the WBA event in Panama earlier this year," the 35-year-old Ukrainian said.
"We had a photo together, but I did not think we would end up fighting so soon because Ricky was much bigger."
Hatton has battled through struggles with drink, drugs and depression to shed over four stone and astonishingly appears to be in prime condition for the showdown.
Spinner Monty Panesar hopes England can restrict India to a manageable first-innings total when play resumes in the second Test today.
The host nation ended Day 1 on 266-6, a position which seemed unlikely when Panesar's four-wicket haul reduced them to 169-6.
But an unbroken 97-run partnership from in-form Cheteshwar Pujara (114 not out) and Ravichandran Ashwin (60 no) got India back on an even footing.
Having conceded a mammoth first-innings score in the opening Test, which ultimately led to their defeat, the tourists are keen to limit India's run-scoring in the morning.
"We have to look to restrict them to maybe 100 runs and then we can see how things go for us," Panesar said. There is a bit more bounce and turn in the wicket, enough to keep the seamers and the spinners interested."
A more clinical Cavan booked their place in the final of the Ulster Inter-county VS championship at the expense of Monaghan on a scoreline of 1-13 to 1-8.
A somewhat fortuitous goal nine minutes into the second-half, when big Liam Buchanan got the vital touch in a goalmouth scramble to force the ball over the line, was effectively the turning point in this contest.
When Cavan added two points in quick succession from Oisin Carolyn and Conor Bradley it gave them a foothold that Monaghan were unable to claw back and they drove on for victory. Cavan now play Donegal in the Ulster final in Brewster Park, Enniskillen on Thursday.
Scorers – Cavan: L Buchanan 1-3, O Carolan, T Cooney, K McSherry (1f), C Bradley 0-2 each, F Reilly and J Doyle 0-1 each. Monaghan: A Quinn 1-1, D Ward 0-3 (2f), N Keenan, S Kerr, D Gleeson (f) and D Dolan 0-1 each.
Cavan – R McCabe; K McEnroe, R Craddock, D Donegan;J Carney, S McManus, C Smith; F Reilly, L Buchanan; O Carolan, T Cooney, K McSherry; P Woods, C Bradley, J Doyle. Subs: N Farrell for P Woods, B O'Connell for O Carolan, T Farrelly for D Donegan.
Monaghan – A Counihan; J Carolan, J Rehill, C Corr; N Duffy, F Malone, C Martin; N Keenan, S Kerr; D Gleeson, T Moyna, I McConnon; A Quinn, D Dolan, D Ward. Subs: D Irwin for N Duffy, S McMahon for T Moyna, Stephen McCabe for D Gleeson.
Ref – S McNamee (Tyrone)