May 2021 Sporting Preview : Trophies and Titles on the Line
- Various venues in Europe and America
- May 8-30
- Live on various channels
May is going to be a crucial month all over the world. World boxing titles, league titles, cup finals, a golfing major and a Grand Slam tennis tournament should keep us all entertained throughout the month.
Can Saunders Beat Cancelo?
The early hours of Sunday May 9 see Britain's Billy Joe Saunders travel to the States to face Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez.Saunders holds the WBO Super Middleweight title, while his opponent has the WBC and WBA belts. All three titles are on the line but Saunders faces a massive task in this fight. He has a perfect 30-0 professional record and in the past has also held a world title at Middleweight. Perhaps his best win was a points victory over Chris Eubank Jr seven years ago. His most recent bout was a successful defence against Martin Murray last December. To say this is a massive step up in class is the understatement of the year.
His opponent has met rather more illustrious opponents. He has a 55-1-2 career record and his only professional loss was eight years ago to Floyd Mayweather. He's won every fight since then apart from a draw with Gennadiy Govolkin in 2018. Canelo has won world titles at Super Welterweight, Middleweight and Super Middleweight. His most recent win was a mismatch against Avni Yildlrim. He has had a good time getting wins over British fighters. Already, he's beaten Amir Khan, Liam Smith, Rocky Fielding and Callum Smith. Another win is on the cards here as he looks to win another world title.
City Bid to win First FA Cup
Leicester City have never won the FA Cup. On Saturday May 15, they take on Chelsea looking to lose an unwanted record. No side apart from City have lost four FA Cup finals and never lifted the trophy. Their last FA Cup final appearance was back in 1969, losing 1-0 to Manchester City. This game takes place a few days after the pair meet in the Premier League. That could be a vital game in terms of qualifying for next season's Champions League. Which would please club owners most? Getting a top four finish or winning the FA Cup?
Chelsea have a good record in this competition. They were even winning it before all that money came into the club. They had to beat Manchester City in the semi-finals and will be favourites to lift this trophy. This is their fourth final in five seasons but they haven't won the FA Cup since 2018. Not since 1999 has a team been beaten in the final for the second season in a row. Newcastle were that side but Chelsea will want to avoid doing that. They will hopefully win this cup for the ninth time.
Koepka Chasing Another USPGA Championship
The second Major of the year is the USPGA Championship. This takes place from May 20-23 at the Kiawah Island Golf Resort in South Carolina. American golfers have won this title for the past five years. The current holder is Collin Morikawa who won this title by two strokes last year. The past four holdings of this Major has seen the winner finish two strokes ahead of the field. Morikawa won just three years after turning professional.
One Major has already been held this year. The Masters was won by Hideki Matsuyama. Could there be another unexpected winner in this tournament? That has happened several times in the US PGA with players such as Jimmy Walker, Jason Dufner and Keegan Bradley winning. Dustin Johnson is the current favourite to win the title but all players have odds that are in double figures. A good bet could be former winner Brooks Koepka who has had one tour win and a second so far this year. He could well win this and that would be his third USPGA title.
European Champions to be Crowned
Could there again be two all-English finals in the Champions League and Europa League? After the first legs of the two semi-finals that is a possibilty, though both Chelsea and Arsenal have work to do in the second legs. The dates for your diary are May 26 for the Europa League final in Poland and then May 29 for the Champions League has its final in Istanbul with some fans hopefully attending.
Manchester looks like having finalists in both competitions. City won their Champions League semi-final first leg, beating PSG 2-1. United won the home leg of their Europa League semi-final against Roma 6-2. Both clubs trailed in those matches. Don't write off Real Madrid who are level at 1-1 after the home leg of their Champions League tie with Chelsea. Also, don't forget that PSG have already won once in Manchester this season, winning 2-1 at Old Trafford. City are the favourites though, how about them winning the final in the last minute with a farewell goal from Sergio Aguero to win City their first Champions League.
Another title for Nadal?
Another year and another French Open title for Rafael Nadal? This second Grand Slam of the year is due to begin on May 30. Nadal has won this title on 13 previous occasions and is chasing a five-timer this year. He has already won the Barcelona Open this year, beating Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final. His Greek opponent took him to three sets though and beat him in the Australian Open in February.
Tsitsipas will be a major contender as will Andrey Rublev and Jannik Sinner. Don't rule out Aslan Karatsev who was a semi-finalist in Australia and has won the Dubai Tennis Championships since then. He beat Novak Djokovic on clay in Belgrade and the world number one says he needs to improve a great deal to be able to win this Grand Slam, so Nadal again has a good chance of winning the French Open.
- Billy Joe Saunders is yet to lose a professional title.
- Rafael Nadal has won 13 French Open tiles.
- Leicester last reached the FA Cup final in 1969
- Chelsea lost in last year's FA Cup Final
- Brooks Koepka has won the USPGA twice before.
- The winning margin in each of the last four USPGA Championships has been two strokes