BBC BLOGS - Ben Dirs

Archives for January 2012

Chisora keen to entertain but insists he's no clown

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Ben Dirs | 22:31 UK time, Wednesday, 25 January 2012

For those who might wonder what it is I find so intriguing about boxers, I refer you to the following statement by Dereck Chisora: "When I get a bigger house I'm going to get a double-decker bus. What I'm going to do with it is going to be amazing: I'm going to take the bus and build it inside my house and make that my kids' play room."

Later, Chisora reveals he also plans to convert a 1970s' black cab into a king-size bed. I resist the urge to ask whether he intends to allow passengers to smoke, drink alcohol or consume kebabs in the back. Just imagine it, all that chilli sauce on your sheets.

For a sport so serious on so many levels, boxing has never lost its sense of humour.

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What Ali taught me

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Ben Dirs | 17:12 UK time, Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Ask a young tennis pro to name the greatest player ever and it is highly unlikely he'll pick a legend from the 1960s or 70s, a Laver or a Borg. Likewise, ask a young rugby union pro the same question and the answer will not be Colin Meads or Barry John.

Game-changers in their individual sports rarely stay game-changers for long. Most games move on and one era's game-changer eventually becomes a modern-day fossil. What does Laver have to teach the kids today, the kids themselves might argue, when he was 5ft 8in, 10st wet and wielded as his weapon a hunk of laminated wood?

But after Muhammad Ali changed boxing, boxing remained forever in his thrall. Illness has diminished him, but the reality is, rather than boxing fossilising him, Ali was so great he fossilised boxing.

BBC Sport speaks to five of British boxing's finest young talents about why the 70-year-old Ali still means so much to them.

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