Watch: Dillian Whyte calls Joseph Parker 'coward' to his face, says he 'let down' NZ and family

Dillian Whyte clearly tried to get under the skin of Kiwi heavyweight boxer Joseph Parker, calling into question his "warrior spirit" after his unanimous loss to world champion boxer Anthony Joshua.

The pair will face off next Sunday 29 July (NZ Time) at London's 02 Arena.

The British boxer criticised Parker in their 'Gloves are off' interview saying he was running in his unification bout with Joshua in Wales in April, where Joshua ended up walking away with the Kiwi's WBO heavyweight title.

"He had his whole country over doing the haka, doing this and doing that and then he let them down," said Whyte.

"He didn't show the warrior spirit or warrior courage that I expected from him, from where he is from.

"He never showed that tribal instinct and that warrior instinct."

Whyte went on to say that Parker disappointed his family and country.

"You're desperate now, you let your family down and you let your country down."

Parker told his opponent that the fight helped his family.

"I didn't let anyone down I am set for life," said Parker.

The 30-year-old Englishman egged Parker on to come forward in their bout in London.

"Just don't be a coward in the fight and come and fight," said Whyte.

"Who is the coward?" asked Parker.

"You," responded Whyte.

"A coward is a person who calls someone a coward," said the Kiwi fighter.

Whyte fired back straight away with a comeback of his own.

"That is nonsense a coward is someone who doesn't show courage who needs to show courage."

"Well who got knocked out?" asked Parker, referring to the 2015 loss where Whyte was knocked out in the seventh round by Joshua.

"Because I wasn't a coward that's why, you were a coward that's why you didn't want to get knocked out and take chances," explained Whyte.

Parker and Whyte share similar professional records with the Kiwi winning 24 fights with only one loss, with Whyte winning 23 professional bouts with one loss to Joshua.

Parker is ranked sixth in the WBC, the title which American fighter Wilder holds. He is also ranked sixth in the WBO and seventh in the IBF, titles which both Joshua holds.

Whyte is ranked number one in the WBC, seventh in the WBA, another title which Joshua holds and second in the WBO.

The pair will face off next Sunday (NZ time) at London's 02 Arena.

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Government invests $10 million in push to get Kiwi women, girls into sport

A new initiative championing women and girls in sport and active recreation has been launched by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson today.

The initiative, launched on the United Nations' Day of the Girl, will see an increase in support for female athletes, hoping to improve participation rates among women and girls.

At least $10 million will be invested over three years, including marketing campaigns and a contestable activation fund, hoping to increase efforts to grow female leadership, coaching and governance among women.

Efforts will also be made to provide support for the International Working Group for Women in Sport, through to their next global conference, to be staged in Auckland in 2020.

"Our new strategy for Women and Girls in Sport and Active Recreation seeks to tackle and overcome the clear inequalities for women and girls when it comes to participation, leadership and visibility within sport and active recreation in New Zealand," Jacinda Ardern said in a statement.

"Girls and women are 50 percent of our population, and it's not good enough that they continue to be underrepresented in leadership, face more barriers to participating, and are far less valued and visible in sport and active recreation. This strategy seeks to even the playing field.

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For more on this story, watch 1 NEWS at 6pm. Source: 1 NEWS

"I am pleased we have a strategy to grow female representation in governance, and that the Government is role modelling change through ensuring Sport NZ and High Performance Sport NZ have equal numbers of men and women on their governance boards. I encourage all national sports organisations to look at how they can increase the numbers of women in leadership and governance roles."
 

The Government is spending $10 million over three years on a women in sport strategy. Source: 1 NEWS


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Tour de France trophy stolen at Birmingham exhibition

The Tour de France trophy, won this year by Team Sky's Geraint Thomas has been stolen, pinched by theives at a cycle show in Birmingham.

Loaned to bike manufacturer Pinarello, the trophy has been displayed across the UK, along with other trophys belonging to Team Sky.

However, an opportunistic thief couldn't resist the temptation, lifting the trophy while it was unattended at Birmingham's National Exhibition Centre this week.

"It is incredibly unfortunate that this has happened," Thomas said in a statement. "It goes without saying that the trophy is of pretty limited value to whoever took it, but means a lot to me and to the team.

"Hopefully whoever took it will have the good grace to return it. A trophy is important, but clearly what matters most are the amazing memories from this incredible summer - and no one can ever take those away."

"We accept full responsibility and have personally apologised to Geraint," Pinarello managing director Richard Hemington said. "We hope that the trophy can be recovered."

Team Sky have confirmed that the matter has been passed onto the police.

Tour de France.
Tour de France. Source: Associated Press


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Watch: Red Sox eliminate Yankees after first baseman's stunning stretch to nab final out in dramatic final innings

Craig Kimbrel and the Boston Red Sox held off the Yankees' ninth-inning rally that ended with a video replay, eliminating New York with a 4-3 victory this afternoon that set up a postseason rematch with the World Series champion Houston Astros.

Trailing in Game 4 of the AL Division Series, the Yankees scored twice in the ninth and had runners at first and second with two outs. Gleyber Torres hit a slow roller that third baseman Eduardo Nunez charged and threw in a hurry.

Boston first baseman Steve Pearce stretched for an outstanding catch that nipped Torres. The Yankees immediately challenged and, with a sellout crowd standing and hoping, the out call was upheld after a 63-second review.

J.D. Martinez and the 108-win Red Sox reached the AL Championship Series for the first time since 2013. A year after losing to Houston in a four-game ALDS, they will open the best-of-seven matchup against the 103-win Astros on Sunday at Fenway Park. Rookie Boston manager Alex Cora was Houston's bench coach last October.

"We're ready for another shot," Red Sox pitcher Rick Porcello said.

A New Jersey native who grew up a Mets fan, Porcello held the Yankees to one run over five innings for his first postseason win. Matt Barnes and Ryan Brasier followed with a perfect inning each to protect a 4-1 lead, and Red Sox ace Chris Sale followed with a 1-2-3 eighth in a rare relief appearance.

New York had not put a leadoff runner on until Kimbrel, a seven-time All-Star closer, walked Aaron Judge on four pitches leading off the ninth.

Didi Gregorius singled and Giancarlo Stanton struck out, dropping to 4 for 18 (.222) with no RBIs in the series. Luke Voit walked on four pitches, and Kimbrel hit Neil Walker on a leg with his next pitch, forcing in a run.

Gary Sanchez fell behind 0-2 in the count, worked it full and sent a drive that had the crowd roaring only for Andrew Benintendi to catch it on the left-field warning track, a few feet short of a game-ending grand slam.

Torres followed with the dramatic bouncer that led to one of 21st century baseball's strangest sights — a team unsure whether to celebrate, its direction depending on a decision from the replay room in downtown Manhattan.

A night after Boston romped to a record-setting 16-1 rout in a game that included three replay reversals, Martinez, Ian Kinsler and Nunez drove in runs in the third inning off a wobbly CC Sabathia. For the second straight night, Yankees rookie manager Aaron Boone hesitated to remove his starting pitcher early.

When Boone brought in Zach Britton to start the fourth, Christian Vazquez led off with an opposite-field drive over the short porch in right field for his first career postseason homer.

Not even the presence of Bucky Dent for the ceremonial first pitch could inspire the 100-win Yankees, who were outscored 27-14 in the series, including 20-4 in the final two games. New York set a major league record this year for most home runs in a season, but didn't go deep in the two games at Yankee Stadium.

Dent's home run over Fenway Park's Green Monster in the 1978 AL East tiebreaker propelled the Yankees to their second straight World Series title, but Boston eliminated its rival in the Bronx in the teams' second straight postseason meeting.

In the 2004 ALCS, the Red Sox became the first big league team to overcome 3-0 postseason deficit, winning the final two games on the road and going on to sweep the World Series for its first title since 1918.

Boston added championships in 2007 and 2013, becoming one of baseball's elite clubs, but the Red Sox had been knocked out in the Division Series the previous two years and had not reached the sport's final four since their last title.

A lanky, bearded 29-year-old right-hander, Porcello lived a traffic jam from Yankee Stadium in Chester, New Jersey, and is a 2007 graduate of Seton Hall Prep in West Orange — the baseball field there was renamed in his honor last year after he helped fund artificial turf and pro-style dugouts.

The 2016 AL Cy Young Award winner entered with a 0-3 in 12 previous postseason appearances, which included four starts.

New York got its first run on Brett Gardner's sacrifice fly in the fifth. Aaron Hicks missed a home run by about 4 feet on a foul drive down the right-field line, worked the count full, then popped out to Kinsler to backpedaled from second to short right field.

Sabathia, a 38-year-old lefty who led the Yankees to their last World Series title in 2009, had been the slide-ender of New York's pitching staff with a 14-1 record following losses in the previous two regular seasons.

Pitching on 11 days' rest and perhaps for the final time in pinstripes, Sabathia escaped a bases-loaded jam in the first when Kinsler hit an inning-ending flyout to Gardner in front of the left-field wall.

He needed 35 pitches to get through two innings and nicked Benintendi on the right shoulder with a slider on his first pitch of the third. Steve Pearce sliced a cutter into right-center to put runners at the corners and Martinez hit a third-inning sacrifice fly for second straight night, giving him six RBIs in the series.

Xander Bogaerts advanced Pearce with a comebacker and, with David Robertson starting to warm up, Sabathia threw a wild pitch on a cross-up with Sanchez.

Kinsler doubled over a leaping Gardner for a 2-0 lead and Nunez singled on the next pitch for his first RBI of the postseason.


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America's Cup heroes Peter Burling, Blair Tuke proud recipients of NZ Order of Merit

Kiwi sailing heroes Peter Burling and Blair Tuke were today bestowed the New Zealand Order of Merit, having both been included in the 2017 New Year's Honours list.

In a ceremony at Government House this morning, the 2016 Olympic gold medallists were both recognised for their services to sailing.

"Pretty amazing feeling," began Tuke.

"Really cool day for Pete and I, and our families here.

"A real privilege, and neat to see what a lot of other Kiwis are up to. Really great New Zealanders."

Burling echoed the sentiments of his long time teammate.

"It's obviously an amazing honour to receive these medals today," he told 1 NEWS.

"We've been trying to get to a ceremony for a little while now, it's a pretty cool thing to know that you've been given that honour quite a while ago now.

Finally, Tuke spoke at the feeling of being able to don the New Zealand Order of Merit, with the pair in their Olympic blazers.

"Definitely makes the blazers look that much cooler.

"Something we'll wear really proudly."

The pair of sailors were part of today's investitures at Government House. Source: 1 NEWS


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