Boxing

In The Irish News on January 27, 1998: Darren Corbett forced to wait for world title shot after Carl Thompson withdrawal

Belfast cruiserweight Darren Corbett was scheduled to face Carl Thompson on February 21, 1998 but the 33-year-old pulled out with an injury

DARREN Corbett will have to wait longer for his world title chance after Carl Thompson last night pulled out of the WBO cruiserweight bout against the Irishman planned for February 21.

The Belfast man’s camp were told that the 33-year-old English fighter picked up an injury in training.

This could take around a fortnight to heal and Corbett’s management team Matchroom are understood to be hopeful the fight can be rescheduled for March 7, which is apparently a free date at the Waterfront venue.

Corbett’s trainer Gerry Storey seemed relatively unconcerned about these latest developments.

“We’re not unduly worried. These things happen. Fighters get injured while training for fights. We’re convinced Darren Corbett is going to become a world champion in the very near future,” said Storey.

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CELTIC head coach Wim Jansen reckons Regi Blinker’s loss of form is down to the player’s gamble to persist with his natural game only to find fortune not favouring his bravery.

Since joining from Sheffield Wednesday in part-exchange for Paolo Di Canio and a cash adjustment to Celtic of £3million, Blinker has struggled to impose himself at Parkhead.

Last Saturday’s start against Morton in the Scottish Cup third round was his first of the year and after again disappointing he is likely to be displaced by Morten Wieghorst for tonight’s Premier Division clash at Dundee United.

Jansen worked with Blinker at Feyenoord so knows the potential of his fellow Dutchman who he feels is suffering for his art in a frustrated bid to create something from nothing.

“I will have to think about the Regi Blinker situation. It is not so easy if the crowd don’t support him, it is difficult for his confidence,” said Jansen.

“The most important thing for us is to try to win the game and hopefully all the supporters realise that.”

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BRIAN Burns will miss Down’s National League game against Clare on Sunday after tearing a hamstring in a challenge game against Meath at the weekend.

The Bryansford man’s absence could mean a call-up to the half-back line for Eugene O’Hagan or Shane McMahon, with Miceal Magill moving to Burns’ full-back role.

Down officials are also holding out hopes that Paul Higgins could make a surprise return to the county’s defence against the Banner.

The appeals from Higgins and his Ballymartin club-mate, Gregory McCartan, against 12 and six month bans respectively for allegedly playing illegally in the US, will be heard in Dublin on Saturday.

If Higgins’ plea is upheld, then he could make an immediate return to Mourne colours as it is understood that he has kept himself in trim despite being under suspension.

However, Down secretary Brian McAvoy admitted before Christmas that the pair faced an uphill battle to overturn the bans.

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LEEDS’ transfer-listed striker Rod Wallace could be bound for Middlesbrough - allowing teenage star Harry Kewell to further his first team ambitions.

Wallace was put up for sale by United boss George Graham nine days ago after his patience finally snapped due to the reluctance of the 28-year-old and his agent to sit down and negotiate a new contract.

Wallace’s current deal expires in June, but Middlesbrough are believed to be lining up a £1.5m bid after holding two sets of talks during the past week.

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