With less than two weeks to go before Vijender Singh defends his WBO Asia Pacific belt against Francis Cheka, pre-bout trash talk is already underway. Its mostly been one-way traffic, however, with the Tanzanian promising to hit him (Vijender) in the face, bring him down and end Vijenders career.Vijender meanwhile, as he has for the course of his seven-fight long professional career, said he would let his hands do the talking.Even if it is often delivered with a wink and a nod, the bluster before the bout is a time honoured tradition of the professional circuit. Its part of an act that culminates with the post-weigh in stare down. Its meant to convince punters that if they put out cash for a ticket, they will get to see a fight between two men who dont really like each other. Yet while Cheka is doing his bit, Vijender, ahead of his first title defense, is seemingly not playing along.I just cant do the trash talk. It doesnt come naturally to me, says the 31-year-old over the phone from Manchester, where he is training. While there is no doubting the fact that he has delivered in the ring - as a perfect 7-0 record will suggest- Vijender admits hes been asked to perhaps try some verbal sparring too. My management sometimes ask me why dont I try (to trash talk). But you cant force me into doing something like that. Ive told them I want to be a good boy, he says with a laugh. Vijender wants to keep his mind on his bout.As his professional career progresses, that seems increasingly important. Vijenders first few opponents were part-time scaffolders and firemen. His more recent ones have been a definite step up in class. Vijenders last opponent Kerry Hope was a former EBU middleweight champion. Cheka, holds a minor (WBF) world title but has also fought Fedor Chudinov who formerly held the major (WBA) super middleweight title. But Vijender puts a positive spin to this. Each bout is getting steadily harder. But at the same time it becomes easier as well. For my first few bouts, I had no idea what kind of boxer my opponent was because they hadnt fought much. But now I can just type their name on Youtube and see their fights, he says.Adapting is key Its gotten a lot easier for Vijender to prepare as well. The first year will be simply about adapting, senior boxing commentator Steve Lillis had said of the Indian who made his professional debut in October last year. Professional boxing is different from anything he has done before and he will be away from anything familiar, Lillis had said.A year-and-a-half into his professional career, there are few unknowns for him in training as well. He has got used to the cold and dampness of Manchester and the solitude of training and his apartment away from family and friends.Adapting to his new surroundings was easier. Relearning his game was a lot harder. Especially after, he realized that the boxing shorthand in Lee Beards gym, was different than the one he had learned in India. Its like learning a new language. I knew boxing, but initially everything felt new to me. I didnt understand everything that Lee would tell me, recalls Vijender. When Beard would call to lead with three snap left punches - jab, jab, jab - Vijender says he didnt know what that meant.I didnt get the difference between a block and shield (you shield with your shoulder, block with your gloves). In India I thought a shield was the shell guard. But now I get the boxing code. When Lee says stiff arm, I know what he is referring to. (he meant the defensive technique which taller boxers stick their hand out in an opponents face to keep distance).So Im learning a lot faster now, he says.Staying motivated This doesnt mean that its all been smooth sailing. Sometimes you get bored because you have been boxing for the last 20 years. You have good days where you are excited about going to the gym and training and there are days when you wonder what it is you are doing. But then you tell yourself come on, you have to do it. You have to be a warrior. And ultimately I do it because I love boxing. I cant see myself doing anything else, he says. What Vijender has also understood and come to terms with is his style as a boxer. His technical approach isnt the most crowd friendly approach but its definitely effective. Its also incredibly frustrating for his rivals.Vijender recalls how one of his sparring partners - Jimmy Kelly - nearly quit in frustration. I always had my left arm next to my body protecting me. So he couldnt catch me with a punch. Jimmy said it was ridiculous trying to box me. But that is my game. Its very technical, recalls Vijender. V (Vijender) doesnt throw a lot of punches but he is very accurate. He only needs his right hand to land once and thats enough to end the fight, says trainer Lee Beard. Indeed Vijender says professional boxing is all a matter of energy.Its all about how you control your energy. You cant box aggressively for ten rounds. If you go all out from the start, you will tire yourself out after six rounds and be in a lot of trouble in the last few four, he says. And while his sparring sessions have helped, Vijender says the best learning has come in the ring. I got a lot of experience fighting Kerry Hope. I was fighting at home so there was a lot of pressure but I got myself to focus a lot more. I told myself Stay calm and dont be in a hurry, That resolve will likely be tested once again at the Thyagaraj Stadium on December 17th .While the crowd will expect Vijender to deliver a knockout - his seventh in eight fights -- he himself is a lot more cautious. If a knockout comes thats great but my job is to get another win, he says. Sparring three times a week, Vijender is doing his best to assure himself of the win. But uncertainty is ever present in the sport. Only this past week, he was sparring someone he only calls a really strong kid. I was doing quite well when suddenly he caught me with a right hand. Boom Usse to hil gaya (it shook me). I was able to recover and finish the session but it woke me up, he says.Bahut maar khai hai maine sparring me, (Ive taken a lot of beating in sparring). Ive been cut a few times. But jitna ring ke bahar lagegi utni ring ke andar kam khun bahegi. (the more you prepare outside the ring the less you bleed inside it, he says. These arent really the fighting words that would get the blood pumping and you can almost imagine Vijenders managers shaking their heads. But he himself is not too bothered.Talking doesnt matter. Its not something I like doing. What I like is boxing. My job is to fight and Im going to be good at it, he says.China Shoes Nike .ca NFL Power Rankings, overtaking the Denver Broncos and remaining ahead of NFC competition San Francisco, Carolina and New Orleans. China Shoes Nike . 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Cundiff, who had the unenviable job of replacing Dawson last season, agreed Thursday to a one-year, $1.In crickets history, perhaps only Don Bradman has made as much of an international impact as WG Grace. Grace, however, played in an era when Englands empire was at its height and his career spanned a period when sport changed from a casual pastime into a beast of global interest. Such was his fame that it was said that he was the best-known Englishman aside from William Gladstone. But while there is no questioning Graces reputation or ability, he was a prickly character, used to getting his own way both on and off the pitch. His falling out with Gloucestershire in 1899 highlighted this side of his personality.While Grace was nominally an amateur - a vital distinction in a era where class was prevalent across all society - the reality was that he earned large sums of money from cricket, certainly more than any contemporary professional. And he was always on the lookout for ways to maximise his earning potential. Wisden noted: He was, throughout his career, quite breathtakingly grasping when his eye caught the glint of hard cash.In 1898 he received an offer from the Crystal Palace Company (CPC) in south London inviting him to help them form a first-class cricket club. Although Grace had captained Gloucestershire since their formation in 1870 - and since 1873 had almost single-handedly raised sides - he saw no conflict between continuing in that role and accepting the offer from London. He had, after all, managed to run Gloucestershire at the same time as he had played a considerable amount of other cricket for Gentlemen v Players, England, North v South etc.Negotiations with the CPC culminated in an announcement in The Times on October 11, 1898 to the effect that Grace had agreed to run the London club and also to move from Bristol to Sydenham to be able to devote his whole time and attention to the new club. The deal guaranteed Grace ￡600 a year and a share of gate money. Even Grace seemed to realise the response that this would provoke, for the following day the same paper published a telegram from him stating that he no intention of retiring from the Gloucestershire XI.That winter, Grace moved to London and threw his energies into establishing the new venture, which included redeveloping the site at Crystal Palace. Gloucestershire, where is brother, EM, was still secretary, remained silent.The 1899 season started with Grace, who was also Englands captain, leading his side in a few matches, but perhaps what really concentrated minds in the west country was that four other Gloucestershire players were included in his first match. Grace also staged a coup by arranging a game between South of England and the touring Australians on his new ground. Over the two days, 18,000 paid to watch. From there, Grace journeyed a few miles to Blackheath to lead Gloucestershire in their first outing of the summer against Kent. Three more games around the Home Counties followed, with mixed results, but Grace did not appear to have any inkling that there was a potential problem.On his return to Sydenham from the last of those games on May 28 that there was became all too clear when he ddiscovered a letter from the Gloucestershire committee, who had met on May 16, curtly demanding to know which matches he intended to play for the county.dddddddddddd Grace was livid, fuming that it questioned his loyalty and commitment in what he had already hinted was likely to be his final season with them. His response did not pull any punches. He resigned as captain, after making it clear he would have played in nearly all our matches and his final sentence was unambiguous. I have the greatest affection for the county of my birth, he wrote, but for the committee, as a body, the greatest contempt. Gilbert Jessop later recalled that the tone of Graces response was a surprise as a majority of them were close personal friends of the Old Man.Friends subsequently urged him to retract this parting shot, but Grace was unrepentant. Go back and tell the committee to underline it a hundred times, he told them. The committee accepted his resignation with regret. Two months later he wrote of them that they were unable to speak the truth and are a bad lot.Within a fortnight, Grace had played his final Test and lost the England captaincy as well. His batting was as effective as ever, but he had become a liability in the field - he was, after all, almost 51 and nearly 18 stone - and had been barracked by the crowd. He told friends that the ground was getting too far away. After the first Test at Trent Bridge he is reported to have sat on the train with his old friend FS Jackson and muttered: Its all over, Jakker. I shant play again. He didnt.Graces time in Sydenham was happy, although marred by personal tragedy with the premature deaths of his daughter and eldest son. Although the London County venture started promisingly when they were granted first-class status in 1900, the public never really warmed to what were essentially friendly matches, and in 1905 they lost that status and with it the ability to attract decent players. In 1908, the same summer that Grace played his final first-class match, the grounds and club were locked when the parent company ran out of funds.His feud with Gloucestershire was, fortunately, short lived. In 1902 he was made a life member of the county and that same year took a side to Bristol to play in a charity match and was warmly received. That encouraged him to arrange home and away matches between London County and Gloucestershire in 1903. In June, he led his new side to victory over his old in what was to be his last game in the county, a fortnight after also winning the home leg. It was almost the last hurrah of London County, but the bridges had been mended.Is there an incident from the past you would like to know more about? E-mail us with your comments and suggestions.BibliographyWisden Cricket Monthly - VariousThe Cricketer - VariousWisden Cricketers Almanack 1998WG Grace - A Life - Simon Rae (Faber & Faber 1998)WG - Robert Low (Richard Cohen 1977)Cricket At The Crystal Palace - Brian Pearce (Brian Pearce 2005) ' ' '