Barry breaks record for Premier League appearances

West Bromwich Albion’s Gareth Barry warms up before the match on September 25, 2017. (File photo: Action Images via Reuters)
Updated 26 September 2017
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Barry breaks record for Premier League appearances

LONDON: Gareth Barry broke Ryan Giggs’ Premier League appearance record as the West Bromwich Albion midfielder played his 633rd game in Monday’s clash against Arsenal.
Barry was named Albion captain at the Emirates Stadium in honor of his milestone moment and received a warm reception from both Arsenal and West Brom fans before kick-off.
The 36-year-old, who drew level with former Manchester United star Giggs when he played in West Brom’s goalless draw against West Ham last weekend, was making his 601st start in the top-flight.
“It was something different this week, having a lot of media attention. It will be nice to put this milestone to bed,” Barry said after his side’s 2-0 defeat.
“It would have been great to have come away with a result, but there’s a lot of positives to take.”
Barry made his debut for Aston Villa at the age of 17, appearing as a substitute in a 3-1 victory at Sheffield Wednesday on May 2, 1998.
It was fitting that his landmark appearance came against the Gunners as their manager Arsene Wenger twice tried to sign him during his long career.
Instead, Barry went on to play for Manchester City, with whom he won the title in 2012, and Everton before joining West Brom on a free transfer this summer.
Now in his 21st season as a professional, Barry, who also has 53 England caps, this week admitted he could carry on playing until he is 40.
That could take him past Giggs again as the Welshman, who played 40 times in the old First Division before the Premier League was introduced in 1992, made 672 top-flight appearances.
England manager Gareth Southgate played alongside Barry at Villa and he led the tributes to his former team-mate.
“It’s been a great honor to watch you both winning titles with your club, and go on to over 50 caps with England, playing in the biggest of games,” Southgate said of Barry.
“I think back to watching for the first time as a young kid at Villa and realizing straight away that I was in trouble for my place.
“Thankfully we played three at the back and you were able to play alongside me.
“I wanted to congratulate you on a fantastic achievement. You’ve become a role model on being able to keep playing for so long at such a high level.
“You’re now in the history books and deservedly so. You’ve been undervalued by many for the way that you’ve played.
“Congratulations, enjoy it, and I dare say there’s a few more games in the bag yet.”


Anthony Joshua ready for Deontay Wilder but promoter wants no more delay

Updated 23 September 2018
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Anthony Joshua ready for Deontay Wilder but promoter wants no more delay

  • Joshua successfully defended his International Boxing Federation, World Boxing Association and World Boxing Organization belts
  • Joshua has repeatedly stressed he wants to fight fellow undefeated champion Wilder

LONDON: Britain’s Anthony Joshua believes his long-awaited clash with fellow world heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder will take place as it would be “silly not to.”
But promoter Eddie Hearn has warned a deal must be agreed quickly if the American is to be Joshua’s next opponent.
Joshua successfully defended his International Boxing Federation, World Boxing Association and World Boxing Organization belts with brutal a seventh-round stoppage of Alexander Povetkin at London’s Wembley Stadium on Saturday.
He is already booked in to box again at Wembley on April 13, but the question of an opponent has still to be resolved.
Joshua has repeatedly stressed he wants to fight fellow undefeated champion Wilder, who holds the World Boxing Council version of the heavyweight title, next.
“We have to fight, it would be silly not to” Joshua told reporters after inflicting the first stoppage-loss of Povetkin’s professional career.
Wilder, however, is next due to face Britain’s former world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury on December 1.
Talks between the Joshua and Wilder camps have stalled and Hearn is worried a fight that will be worth far more than the “peanuts” of an initially offered $50 million could be derailed.
If Fury beats Wilder, the American’s re-match clause would likely be activated, delaying both boxers from facing Joshua, the London 2012 Olympic champion who now has a professional record of 22 wins from 22 fights, with 21 knockouts.
“Being British, we’d like Fury to win, but for April, Wilder must win if that’s going to happen,” said Hearn.
“We’re not willing to wait until December to see. A deal must be done in advance of that, subject to him winning.
“But now, after 80,000 (the estimated crowd at Wembley) and the worldwide exposure and after the finish (against Povetkin) that offer (made previously, by the Wilder camp) will look like absolute peanuts when this fight is made.”
“That is the biggest fight in boxing; Wilder-Fury is a really good fight to see who’s the second best heavyweight in the world. Joshua-Wladimir Klitschko was the biggest fight in British boxing history, and Joshua-Wilder would eclipse that. We want that now.”
Hearn insisted: “We’re not waiting for time-wasters; we understand if they lose we’ll have to find another opponent, but if you win, we’re not waiting until December.
“These aren’t negotiations that will take 24 hours, and Joshua’s career is not being slowed down. If they don’t want to do that, we’ll fight someone else.”
Fury has previously said on social media that Joshua will never fight him but Hearn witheringly added: “Tyson Fury is the least entertaining fighter I’ve ever seen.
“He’s never been in a good fight, apart from against Steve Cunningham (in 2013), when he got knocked down.”
Meanwhile the 28-year-old Joshua said he too had no intention of being messed about by Wilder.
“If Wilder’s not serious, there’s other people out there; when he’s ready, we’re ready.”
Joshua added: “Good luck to them both (Wilder and Fury) — boxing needs it.
“I’ve had the burden of the heavyweight division on my back for some years, because it was all about me fighting Wilder, Fury, Klitschko, Dillian (Whyte), Povetkin. That’s all they were interested in — me fighting them all.
“So I’m happy those two are fighting. April 13 is booked, so whichever heavyweight is serious, we can look at making a deal. I have no interest in who wins; I’m not fussed.”
Joshua was rocked by Povetkin, the 2004 Olympic champion, in the first round. But he insisted the 39-year-old Russian had not broken his nose.
“These guys the last thing they lose is their power, but it was a good way to wake up,” Joshua said.
As for what lay behind his own public appeal, Joshua added: “The appeal is losing — who is going to be the man to beat me? Sometimes you have to go in there and really earn your money.
“Povetkin was a tough challenger for sure, but I knew how to break him down.
“I wasn’t looking for the knockout but the instinct told he was hurt. I knew how to tidy up and I knew it was time to get out of there.”