It asserts the ultimate point of the sport that it is about seeking out opposition that can most truly define your ability.Hatton could have enjoyed the kind of low-risk celebrity and wealth that was for so long the privilege of "Prince" Naseem Hamed before his American paymasters, Home Box Office, said that there had to be a day when he began to give value for money, when he had to get into the ring with a dangerous opponent.When he did, when Marco Antonio Barrera dismantled him, physically and morally, piece by piece, we saw what some had always suspected: that his career had been about bombast and bullying and showbiz and when it came to the big showdown, when he had to do the real work, he simply hadn't grown as a fighter.Hatton has moved in quite the opposite direction. He wants to dispute the strongly entrenched belief that what he does isn't a game, noble and ancient and more demanding of courage and honesty than any other, but the most cynical of business.British boxing, thanks to Hatton, wins this weekend. Win or lose against the ageing but brilliant talent - and will - of Kostya Tszyu, Hatton is defying a wretched reality of British boxing that for so long has eaten away at its credibility. He is making good his declaration that he wants to fight the best. Whatever the fate of Ricky Hatton, the Manchester battler, in the small hours of tomorrow morning, we must be careful to give him his due. But ITV has had no involvement since quitting racing to make way for Channel 4.. Requests for a subsidy of up to £8m - from racing and betting interests - found only minority support. The channel is still in proactive discussions," the spokesman said.The broadcaster is threatening to end its 21-year association with the sport, claiming it is losing too much money.
This deadline was then extended until yesterday, in the hope of a last-minute breakthrough.Waiting in the wings are the BBC and ITV, who are both reported to be involved in talks with racecourses.The BBC already covers Britain's premier races, the Grand National and the Derby, as well as Royal Ascot and Glorious Goodwood. "Channel 4 will not be issuing any news or updates with regard to negotiations. Negotiations were continuing last night over the future coverage of racing on Channel 4. A statement had been expected from the broadcasting firm yesterday afternoon, updating the position after extensive discussions with the racing and betting industry throughout the week. But a company spokes-man insisted the talks would not be concluded last night. One can only hope that if they go on to procreate, their offspring have his eye for a ball and her ear for a note, although it probably wouldn't be too disastrous the other way round.b.viner independent.co.uk.
He suddenly clocked Sir Alex Ferguson at another table, and, a devoted Manchester United fan, only had eyes for Fergie. Meanwhile, he could see precisely the same wonderment in the faces of Fergie and his companions as they clocked the people on his table.This mutual attraction has spawned a remarkable number of high-profile romances, from Joe and Marilyn to David and Victoria, who weren't even the first England football captain and pop star to get hitched; Billy Wright and a Beverly sister got to the altar long before them.And now there is Gavin Henson and Charlotte Church, too, whose union represents a true symbiosis of talent: Gavin sidesteps as exquisitely as Charlotte sings. I have related before the story a friend of mine, a well-known musician, tells about being in a fashionable London restaurant one night with Elvis Costello and Sir Paul McCartney. And Posh was never even remotely a star of Monroe's magnitude, although she has had a starring role in a seven-year itch, if the tabloids are to be believed on the state of the Beckhams' marriage.Why is it, incidentally, that sport and showbiz exert such a strong mutual attraction? I suppose because they occupy parallel universes, each provoking awe in the other.