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Dillian Whyte protege John Harding Jr backs his manager to dance back into British boxing this weekend

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DILLIAN WHYTE could dance back into British boxing this weekend, supporting another one of his stable and proving he is fit for the Alexander Povetkin rematch.

John Harding Jr gets his second crack at the English middleweight title on Sunday, 14 months after he and his friend/manager went viral for dancing their way to the ring for his first attempt.

 John Harding Jr is in amazing shape for his second crack at the English crown

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John Harding Jr is in amazing shape for his second crack at the English crownCredit: ©Mark Robinson Ltd

Harding Jr, 36, came up short that night and the fearless faction suffered another blow when Whyte was beaten by the Russian veteran on August 22.

But the double act will reunite tonight in another show of solidarity to prove that defeats do not define Team Whyte.

“That ring walk was not planned,” Harding Jr laughed to SunSport. “I started dancing and then I looked alongside me and he was going too but that’s us, we are a brotherhood.

“At any time, even in the most serious moments, we can break out laughing or dancing.

“Our training camps are so painful but when they end we are all a bit sad because the family has to break up for a while. 

“The Povetkin loss left me down but everyone takes losses in life. People are too scared to take losses but they are a part of winning.

“I have bounced back and Dillian will do exactly the same.”

 Dillian Whyte will be ringside to support Harding again this weekend

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Dillian Whyte will be ringside to support Harding again this weekendCredit: DAVE THOMPSON/ROUTE ONE

Harding Jr has turned his life around dramatically under Whyte’s wing, three spells in prison left him with a bleak future but he is now a ray of sunshine on the London boxing circuit.

Fight week can be a miserable and tense time of weight cutting and needle but the New Cross man’s new nickname and upbeat mood have lightened the mood in Milton Keynes.

Ahead of the bout with champ Linus Udofia, the newly annointed ‘Black Jesus’ said: “The name just started as a feeling I was having in the training camp in Portugal.

 The New Cross middleweight has brought fun to Milton Keynes for fight week

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The New Cross middleweight has brought fun to Milton Keynes for fight weekCredit: ©Mark Robinson Ltd

“I would wake up or walk into the gym and say ‘I feel like black Jesus today’. 

“You only live once and I have decided to just be myself more, I like to bring energy and make people laugh.

“I have been through the darkest days and pretended to be someone else but now I just want to bring positivity and light everywhere.”

John Harding Jr is a middleweight boxer who is in Portugal lockdown as Dillian Whyte’s sparring partner

This post first appeared on thesun.co.uk

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How Arsenal could line up at Rapid Vienna with Thomas Partey set to be handed first start and Eddie Nketiah in attack

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how arsenal could line up at rapid vienna with thomas partey set to be handed first start and eddie nketiah in attack

ARSENAL travel to Rapid Vienna in the Europa League on Thursday and Mikel Arteta is likely to ring the changes.

New signing Thomas Partey is expected to be handed his first Gunners start with in-form youngster Eddie Nketiah starting in an attacking role.

Arsenal's likely lineup against Rapid Vienna

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Arsenal’s likely lineup against Rapid Vienna

The Gunners narrowly lost 1-0 at Manchester City in the Premier League on Saturday and the Spaniard will want to freshen things up for the trip to Austria.

Bernd Leno will likely retain his place in goal as Arteta no doubt wants to kick-off his side’s European campaign with a win.

But the defence could see some new faces in a 5-2-3 formation.



Sead Kolasinac is expected to slot in in place of Kieran Tierney as the left centre-back.

An injury crisis at the back means David Luiz and Gabriel will likely start again alongside the Bosnian with Bukayo Saka retaining his left wing-back spot.

On the opposite flank Ainsley Maitland-Niles could get some game time in place of Hector Bellerin who started at the Etihad.

Partey came off the bench in Manchester to make his debut but he played just seven minutes and managed to pick up a booking.

But Arsenal fans can expect to see the Ghanaian from the start in Thursday’s Group B clash.

Arsenal's alternative line-up

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Arsenal’s alternative line-up

Alexandre Lacazette – who played just 21 minutes off the bench on Saturday – is set to lead the line with Nketiah replacing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on the left of the attacking trio.

Arteta could also look to attack the game from the off and start Aubameyang.

And there is also an outside chance sub goalie Rúnar Alex Rúnarsson could get the gloves instead of Leno.

Partey’s midfield partner will depend on how attacking Arteta wants to be.

Dani Ceballos could start although the Spaniard played 90 minutes against Pep Guardiola’s men which could see Mohamed Elneny come back into the team instead.

Reiss Nelson last started for Arsenal in their League Cup win at Leicester on September 23 and can expect another run out replacing Nicolas Pepe and Willian who should be on the bench.

Arsenal boss Arteta says it was difficult to tell Ozil he is not in the squad

This post first appeared on thesun.co.uk

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Mbappe ‘set to quit PSG with Real Madrid his No1 choice but relationship with Klopp could spark Liverpool transfer’

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mbappe set to quit psg with real madrid his no1 choice but relationship with klopp could spark liverpool transfer

KYLIAN MBAPPE is reportedly poised to leave PSG with Real Madrid being his preferred choice – but his relationship with Jurgen Klopp could see a move to Liverpool.

Mbappe, 21, increasingly sees himself moving from PSG and Madrid are his No1 choice, according to AS Futbol.

Mbappe is said to be intent on a move away from Paris

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Mbappe is said to be intent on a move away from ParisCredit: AFP or licensors

The Frenchman has had his eye on Madrid for a while and former PSG boss Emery says that he had to convince him to stay put when he was in charge of the Ligue 1 club.

Speaking to El Partidazo de COPE, Emery said: “When we were in Paris, Mbappé was very excited to come and play at Real Madrid.

“I didn’t want him to leave and I talked to his father. At the time, the player was very seriously contemplating coming to Madrid.”

SunSport also revealed that Mbappe is so keen on a move to Spain that he reportedly is willing to take a pay cut to work with his mentor Zinedine Zidane.

But he also has a good relationship with Klopp which could lead to an Anfield switch.

Speaking about the Madrid boss he said: “”If you’re a boy and you’re French, your idol is Zidane.”

The respect is mutual as when asked about Mbappe, Zidane also spoke of his ‘love’ for the player.

He said: “You know that I have known [Mbappe] for a long time.

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“I am already in love with him, firstly as a person, because he came to do a trial here a long time ago.”

Despite their admiration for each other, Mbappe has also been linked with a move to the Premier League, with Liverpool and Manchester United both in the running for his signature.

Liverpool have the edge over United as Mbappe praised Klopp’s management skills after witnessing the Reds domination in the Premier League last season.

He said after their title win: “This season, Liverpool have been a machine in the Premier League.

“To be as ruthless as they have been would come from lots of hard work in training and from having a very good manager.”

He is said to be ‘very flattered’ by Klopp’s interest him after it was revealed that the German had called the player’s father to enquire about his availability.

AS also claim that Klopp had even met Mbappe and his family in 2017 in Monaco.

PSG target Cristiano Ronaldo in sensational transfer as replacement for Real Madrid target Kylian Mbappe next summer

This post first appeared on thesun.co.uk

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Football – Champions League: Unibet offering a free £5 in-play bet, up to £40 in free bets and £25k predictor

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football champions league unibet offering a free 5 in play bet up to 40 in free bets and 25k predictor

PUNTERS can claim a handful of sign up offers from Unibet for the return of the Champions League.

The bookmaker are offering up to £40 in free bets for new customers, a free £5 in-play bet and have also launched a £25k predictor game.

Champions League returns and Unibet are back with a bundle of offers

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Champions League returns and Unibet are back with a bundle of offers

Get up to £40 back if your first bet losesCLAIM HERE*

New customers will get their money back as a bonus up to £40 if their first bet loses.

On top of this, you will also receive a £10 casino bonus too.

This offer is giving you a second chance if your opening bet with Unibet loses.

Get a free Champions League in-play bet – CLAIM HERE**

To get this free £5 in-play bet, punters must place a pre-match Bet Builder bet of at least £10.

And then you will instantly be credited with a free bet to use in-play on any Champions League game.

Champions League £25k predictor – CLAIM HERE

To celebrate the return of the Champions League, Unibet have launched another mouthwatering predictor.

All punters have to do is answer the following questions correctly to win the huge £25,000 jackpot – and it’s free to enter.

  • Total number of goals in Barcelona vs Ferencvaros
  • Correct score in Chelsea vs Sevilla
  • First Goalscorer in Paris SG vs ManUnited
  • Total number of corners in Ajax vs Liverpool 
  • Correct score in Bayern Munich vs Atletico Madrid
  • Exact number of goals scored by Atalanta in FC Midtjyland vs Atalanta

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This post first appeared on thesun.co.uk

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