Sporting Bust-Ups: Five of the best

14Jun 2013

Betfair

In the wake of Australian cricketer David Warner's reported kerfuffle with England's Joe Root, Callum Davis remembers some of the best bust-ups from the past few years in the world of sport...

England cricket fans awoke to the amusing news this morning that Australia's turbulent build up to The Ashes had somehow got worse.

From the embarrassment of suspending three major players earlier this year, to the recent injury of captain Michael Clarke, Australia's season so far has not exactly been plain sailing. Then news broke that David Warner had carried out an 'unprovoked attack' on England's Joe Root in a bar in Birmingham. The story got the team reminiscing about the other memorably farcical sporting spats to have occurred down the years. Here's a selection of our favourites...

 

Kieron Dyer v Lee Bowyer

In April 2005, in one of the most hilarious examples of in-fighting amongst team mates, Newcastle midfielders Lee Bowyer and Kieron Dyer came to physical blows in the centre of the pitch while play went on around them. Like two squabbling schoolboys, the pair had to be separated and were later forced to publicly apologise to each other by their headmaster-cum-manager Graeme Souness.

 

Mario Balotelli v Roberto Mancini

A list of bust-ups from Mario Balotelli's short career could arguably fill this whole page alone, however it was his altercation with manager Roberto Mancini in January of this year which would signal the end of his eventful stay in England. Mancini had stood by Mario through maddening sending offs, indoor firework display disasters and high speed car crashes, but the straw that broke the camel's back turned out to be a Balotelli tackle in a training match. The ensuing scuffle between manager and player has since passed into English football folklore.

 

Shane Warne v Marlon Samuels

In a frosty local encounter between Melbourne sides The Renegades and The Stars, the aptly named Big Bash tournament saw Shane Warne and Marlon Samuels go toe-to-toe in the middle of the MCG pitch.

After Marlon Samuels was accused by Warne of pulling Mike Hussey by his shirt when the Australian was attempting a run, the leg spinner took issue with Samuels with a volley of verbal abuse. In the next over Warne fielded the ball close in and threw the ball at a stationary Samuels who went on to launch his bat at the Australian legend. Warne later apologised for his part in the debacle but his regret was not enough to save him from a heavy fine and one match ban from Cricket Australia.

 

Gennaro Gattuso v Joe Jordan

Few ex-professionals unlucky enough to have played against Joe Jordan would claim that they enjoyed the experience, and even fewer would have had the bravery to square up to the Scotsman with the intention of a scrap. However following a bad tempered Champions League last-16 first leg game between Tottenham and AC Milan an the San Siro, captain Gennaro Gattuso did exactly that, topless.

In chaotic scenes, Harry Redknapp became the peace maker to separate the two men from an all-out brawl. Tottenham's eventual victory only exacerbated Gattuso's fury as Jordan and the Milan captain clashed heads in the game's aftermath.

 

Evander Holyfield v Mike Tyson

By far the most infamous and shocking of all sporting bust-ups occurred in the MGM Grand, Las Vegas, in a rematch between boxing heavyweights Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson in 1997. In the previous fight, Holyfield had defeated Tyson to win the WBA belt in a match marred by allegations of repeated headbutts by the man they call The Real Deal.

Not far into the rematch, Mike Tyson elected to take matters into his own hands and, unbelievably, spat his gum shield out before biting a chunk out of Holyfield's ear. After receiving a warning from the referee, the Brooklyn Brawler still went back in for a second course which resulted in his disqualification. The scenes that followed are staggering in their depravity and violence as Tyson piled in on just about anyone in his path resulting in the revocation of his boxing licence and a $3m fine.

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Keywords: Kieron Dyer, Lee Bowyer, Mario Balotelli, Roberto Mancini

Source: Betfair

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