Tag Archives: Anthony Joshua

David Haye Believes Oleksandr Usyk Has Virtually No Chance Against Anthony Joshua: “It’s Going To Be Pretty Devastating”

Posted on 08/18/2021

By: Hans Themistode

Plenty are split down the middle in terms of how they view the heavyweight clash between unified champion Anthony Joshua and former undisputed cruiserweight king, Oleksandr Usyk.

With Usyk’s ability to outbox and outthink his opponents, rather than outmuscle them, there is a belief that no matter how big Joshua’s hulking muscles are, he’ll have a difficult time landing something significant.

Even as Joshua is currently the betting favorite, an easy night at the office isn’t widely expected. That is, unless you ask former heavyweight and cruiserweight champion, David Haye.

“Not much,” said Haye when asked how much trouble Usyk can give Joshua on September 25th during an interview with IFL TV. “I think if Anthony Joshua decides to have a tit for tat boxing match like just jabbing and trying to score points, then he’d have some trouble but he’s not stupid enough to do that.”

Joshua, 31, has seldom attempted to win his contests on the judge’s scorecards. Having wiped out 22 of his 25 career opponents before the final bell has rung, the British native has a propensity to leave nothing to chance.

In his most recent ring appearance, Joshua placed more of his killer mindset on display. In December of 2020, the British native took on then mandatory challenger, Kubrat Pulev. Despite claiming that Joshua’s title reign was going to end in brutal fashion, it was Pulev who was on the wrong end of a one-sided beating. The Bulgarian would hit the mat a total of three times before being stopped in the ninth round.

While Joshua impressed a populous crowd at Wembley Arena, Usyk, 34, was unafraid of what lies ahead.

After picking up every world title in the cruiserweight division, Usyk’s time as a heavyweight hasn’t been as successful.

Having watched Usyk struggle with much bigger and stronger opponents in Chazz Witherspoon and more recently, Dereck Chisora, Haye isn’t only convinced that Joshua is going to pick him apart but he also envisions exactly how it’ll happen.

“He’s going to use his beautiful jab, his height and reach advantage, size, and weight advantage, and his punch power advantage. He’s just better all around. It’s going to be pretty devastating.”

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Bob Arum “Rooting” For Oleksandr Usyk To Dethrone Anthony Joshua

Posted on 08/04/2021

By: Hans Themistode

Whenever Bob Arum lays his eyes on unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, they immediately fill with dollar signs. The long-time promoter knows good and well that Joshua represents a massive payday for himself, his promotional company Top Rank, and of course, WBC/Ring Magazine heavyweight titlist, Tyson Fury.

Just a few short months ago, Arum believed he had a deal in place that would pit Joshua and Fury in the ring against one another on a two-fight contract. Their undisputed title fight was set to take place on the other side of the world in Saudi Arabia. Yet, with Fury contractually mandated to take on Deontay Wilder instead, Joshua has also moved on to facing WBO mandatory challenger and former undisputed cruiserweight champion, Oleksandr Usyk, on September 25th.

Under normal circumstances, Arum would be screaming at the top of his lungs in support of Joshua. With tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars on the line, the long-time promoter would be crossing his fingers in the hopes that Joshua makes it the dance floor against Fury. However, with Usyk holding a special place in the heart of Arum, the 89-year-old promoter is hoping the highly touted Ukrainian gets the job done.

“Usyk is a friend of mine because he is Vasiliy Lomachenko’s friend,” said Arum during an interview with Sky Sports. “He is a terrific guy, funny, articulate and smart. It is against my economic interest, but I will be rooting for [Usyk] in the fight. I just can’t help myself.”

While Arum doesn’t promote Usyk, he does share a close connection with Lomachenko, one of Arum’s top fighters. Both men captured gold in the 2012 Olympics, the heavyweight division for Usyk and the lightweight division for Lomachenko.

Currently, despite pulling for Usyk, the pound-for-pound star has opened up as a sizable underdog. Not only does the betting market favor Joshua but many in the boxing community also believe the gargantuan heavyweight champion will get the job done.

In Usyk’s most recent trip to the ring, the Ukrainian took on fringe contender Dereck Chisora. While the former cruiserweight king may have eked out a close unanimous decision victory, the British native was left unimpressed with his opponent.

“Joshua will run through Usyk,” said Chisora following their contest. “He doesn’t have any power at all.”

As for Joshua, the 31-year-old has been hard at work as he prepares to deal with the technical boxing ability of Usyk. The unified titlist was last seen in the ring in December of 2020 against Kubrat Pulev. Joshua had little to no trouble dealing with his man, dropping him a total of four times before ultimately ending his night in the ninth.

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Anthony Joshua On Oleksandr Usyk Showdown: “Hustlers Always Meet At The Top”

Posted on 07/24/2021

By: Hans Themistode

Anthony Joshua no longer wants to play the what-if game.

The reigning unified heavyweight titlist was anxious to fulfill a lifelong dream of becoming an undisputed champion. By all accounts, Joshua was on the verge of having his opportunity to do just that. With that said, he was forced to wait once negotiations between himself and WBC/Ring Magazine belt holder, Tyson Fury, broke down.

Now, with Oleksandr Usyk set to face him on September 25th, Joshua has quickly shunned away from the disappointment he felt when his showdown against Fury failed to go through. But while he’s putting Fury on the back burner of his mind, Joshua still has him in his peripheral vision.

“He’s good and that’s all I could really say,” said Joshua when asked about his matchup with Usyk during an interview with Sky Sports Boxing. “He’s good but I need to be better. He’s a great challenger for the heavyweight titles and I’m looking to handle business. I have my eyes on other things.”

For Joshua, a matchup against Usyk feels somewhat predestined. Long before the Ukrainian captured every world title in the cruiserweight division, the pound for pound star was dominating the competition in the unpaid ranks. While his amateur record of 335-15 was impressive, Usyk’s crowning achievement, before turning professional, was winning gold during the 2012 Olympics in the heavyweight division.

Joshua, of course, has his own vivid memories of those same Olympic Games, taking home a gold medal in the super heavyweight division. As the current unified heavyweight champion stood on that Olympic podium next to Usyk with matching gold medals hanging from around their necks, he knew, that although their amateur paths were vastly different, that one day, they would face off in the ring.

“I got mines in a short amount of time. From the day I walked into the gym, to getting to the Olympics and winning, three and a half years. He’s had a long and vast amateur career. He got that gold as well. We both been on that trajectory as professionals. It just shows that the hustlers always meet at the top.”

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Anthony Joshua Vs. Oleksandr Usyk Officially Set For September 25th

Posted on 07/20/2021

By: Hans Themistode

After spending the past few months telling the public that Anthony Joshua would take on mandatory challenger, Oleksandr Usyk, fans patiently waited for an official fight date from promoter Eddie Hearn. Now, after finalizing the entirety of their deal, both the where and when have been revealed.

“Olympic Gold vs. Olympic Gold, Unified World Heavyweight Champion vs. Undisputed Cruiserweight World Champion. This one has it all and I can’t wait to stage this huge event in front of over 60,000 at the stunning Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on September 25,” said Eddie Hearn.

Since nabbing every world title in the cruiserweight division, Usyk, 34, has bided his time for a shot at heavyweight gold. Once the Ukrainian achieved all of the goals he set out for himself in the cruiserweight division, he made the trek to the land of the big men in 2018. Although he was placed as the mandatory challenger, Usyk was still forced to wait.

First, the former unified cruiserweight champion stepped aside and allowed Joshua to have an immediate rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr. From there, Usyk was forced to cede ground to then IBF mandatory challenger, Kubrat Pulev. With Joshua winning both contests, the Ukrainian was willing to wait once more, this time, in favor of a proposed undisputed showdown between Joshua and WBC/Ring Magazine titlist, Tyson Fury.

However, Usyk’s recent generosity wasn’t needed as negotiations between Joshua and Fury broke down. Now, with no one standing in line before him, Usyk pursued his long awaited showdown. Since making the move to heavyweight, Usyk has gotten his feet wet with a pair of fringe contenders in Chazz Witherspoon and Dereck Chisora, defeating them both.

With Joshua and Usyk claiming gold in the 2012 Olympics, heavyweight division for Usyk and super heavyweight for Joshua, the current unified titlist is anxious to step back into the limelight and test his skills against his fellow Olympian.

“The date is set and we are fully locked in,” said Joshua. “September 25, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, I put it all on the line again and it’s time to defend my crown. We are two Olympic Gold medallists who have fought our way to the top and never avoided challenges. The stadium is exceptional, the atmosphere will be electric, I’m honoured to be the first person to fight in such an awe-inspiring venue. The stage is set and I am ready to handle business.”

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Anthony Joshua: “At The End Of September Is When I’ll Be Taking On The Former Undisputed Cruiserweight Champion Of The World”

Posted on 06/21/2021

By: Hans Themistode

Anthony Joshua always tries to play it cool. The current unified heavyweight titlist rarely shows his emotions but following the fallout of his undisputed showdown against Tyson Fury, Joshua was visibly apoplectic.

While Joshua believed he had a deal in place to face Fury, Deontay Wilder swooped in and seized the showdown right from underneath his nose. The two will now face off on July 24th in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Forced to change course, Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs) is now deep in negotiations with mandatory challenger and former undisputed cruiserweight champion, Oleksandr Usyk. Currently, a few small wrinkles are still being ironed out between both sides but Joshua is firmly of the belief that the Ukrainian will be his next dance partner. Although an official contract hasn’t been signed, Joshua let the cat out of the bag in terms when he expects to face the former Olympic gold medalist.

“I wanted to go like August but change of opponent, completely different style, the team said push it back a little bit, prepare properly,” said Joshua during an interview with Sky Sports Boxing. “This is a fight I need to win because I was at the final destination on that road to undisputed but now we have a pit stop we have to make with Usyk. At the end of September is when I’ll be taking on the former undisputed cruiserweight champion of the world.”

While the fallout between Joshua and Fury was ultimately disappointing to most of the boxing world, to Usyk (18-0, 13 KOs), it was music to his ears. Ever since winning all four major world titles in the cruiserweight division in 2018, Usyk has attempted to make his mark in the land of the big men. In October of 2019, Usyk easily stopped journeymen Chazz Witherspoon. He then followed that up with a close unanimous decision victory over the rough and rugged Dereck Chisora.

The wins may have allowed him to get acclimated to fighting bigger men, but it hasn’t brought about ringing endorsements regarding his future in the division. For example, shortly after his defeat, Chisora claimed that Usyk has “no power” and has “no chance” against the upper echelon of the weight class. In the mind of Joshua, he echoes those sentiments, at least to a certain extent. Regardless of the countless world titles Usyk has won in a lower weight class and despite his amateur pedigree, when questioned about the danger that Usyk presents to him in the ring, Joshua didn’t stammer when answering.

“None,” continued Joshua. “I fear none of them. He don’t bring nothing I ain’t seen before. Two hands, two legs, a brain and a bit of heart. He’s a good fighter, I’m challenging myself in training. So yeah, let’s get it on.”

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Anthony Joshua Ready To Move On From Tyson Fury: “Bring Me Any Championship Fighter Who Can Handle Their Business Correctly”

Posted on 05/19/2021

By: Hans Themistode

LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 25: Anthony Joshua during an Anthony Joshua and Jarrell Miller Press Conference ahead of their fight in June 2019 for the IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles at Hilton London Syon Park on February 25, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Like most of the boxing world, Anthony Joshua was incredibly upset with the fall out of his showdown against Tyson Fury due to legal arbitration.

After several months of intense negotiations with team Fury, Joshua was taken aback once it was revealed that Deontay Wilder was actually next in line for Fury. The former WBC belt holder suffered a seventh-round stoppage defeat at the hands of Fury in February of 2020. Despite having a mandated rematch clause in their contract, Fury attempted to bypass Wilder and move forward with an undisputed showdown against Joshua.

Completely confident that their contest was guaranteed to happen next, Fury took to his social media page to not only announce his showdown against Joshua but also to place an official date on it.

“I have got some massive news,” said Fury on his Twitter account several days ago. “I have just got off the phone with Prince Khalid of Saudi Arabia and he told me this fight is 100 percent on August 14. All eyes of the world will be on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I cannot wait, I repeat, cannot wait to smash Anthony Joshua on the biggest stage of all time. This is going to be the biggest sporting event ever to grace the planet Earth. Do not miss it.”

While fans, media members and pundits were ecstatic over the news, Wilder remained patient. His tranquil nature was immediately rewarded as arbitrator, Daniel Weinstein, ruled in Wilder’s favor. Now, Fury has no choice but to face him by September 15th.

With his dream of becoming the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis roughly two decades ago falling apart, Joshua lashed out in a fit of rage.

“If there was an arbitration going on, why announce to the world we are fighting?” Asked Joshua on his Twitter account. “The fight was signed, undisputed.”

All along, Joshua remained hopeful that a showdown with Fury would take place next. In order to do so, the former Olympic gold medalist needed to clear several hurdles. For starters, Joshua was tasked with two mandatory challengers. The first came in the form of recent number one contender for the IBF, Kubrat Pulev, while the second came from the WBO in Oleksandr Usyk.

Unable to face both, Joshua took care of business against Pulev, stopping him in the ninth round in their December 2020, showdown. As for Usyk, the former undisputed cruiserweight champion agreed to step aside to allow Joshua to face Fury with an agreement in place that he would face the winner.

Now, with Fury out of the immediate picture, Usyk has stepped to the front of the line. In the mind of Joshua, he has no problem with facing the Ukrainian or anyone else for that matter, he simply wants someone who is serious about facing him to step up to the negotiating table.

“Tyson Fury, the world now sees you for the fraud you are,” continued Joshua. “You’ve let boxing down. You lied to the fans and led them on. Used my name for clout, not a fight. Bring me any championship fighter who can handle their business correctly.”

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Deontay Wilder Wins Arbitration, Tyson Fury Must Face Him By September 15th

Posted on 05/17/2021

By: Hans Themistode

Despite promoter Eddie Hearn shouting from the mountain tops that a showdown between Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury was signed, sealed and delivered – Deontay Wilder patiently stood back and awaited the legal results.

The former WBC heavyweight titlist suffered a brutal seventh-round stoppage defeat at the hands of Fury in February of 2020. Refusing to go away quietly, Wilder attempted to enact his mandated rematch clause. Yet, despite both sides agreeing to meet in the ring once more, Fury grew impatient as Wilder underwent surgery on his left bicep surgery paired with the uncertainty of COVID-19 forced several postponements.

Unwilling to wait any longer, Fury claimed that he moved on and would instead pursue a showdown with unified champion Anthony Joshua. While the pair may have begun negotiating terms for a two-fight deal, Wilder was behind the scenes working with an arbitrator, Daniel Weinstein, to force Fury to meet him in the ring for a third time.

Now, after taking several months to listen to both sides, Weinstein has ruled in favor of Wilder. According to reports, Fury vs Wilder 3 must take place before September 15th.

The news of Wilder winning the arbitration comes at a bit of an awkward time. Just yesterday, Fury revealed that not only was his contest against Joshua taking place next but the British native even went as far as to give an exact date and location.

“I have got some massive news,” said Fury on his Twitter account. “I have just got off the phone with Prince Khalid of Saudi Arabia and he told me this fight is 100 percent on August 14. All eyes of the world will be on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I cannot wait, I repeat, cannot wait to smash Anthony Joshua on the biggest stage of all time. This is going to be the biggest sporting event ever to grace the planet Earth. Do not miss it.”

Wilder, 35, has sat sequestered on the sidelines since his stoppage defeat to Fury. While he has mainly remained quiet, the Alabama native has recently released several videos of himself working on his craft with new trainer, Malik Scott.

With Fury now obligated to step into the ring with Wilder in the coming months, Joshua could find himself standing across from former undisputed cruiserweight champion, Oleksandr Usyk. For roughly two years now, the Ukrainian has remained in the mandatory position to challenge Joshua. However, he was willing to step to the side in order to allow Joshua and Fury to settle their differences in the ring.

Usyk’s contingency plan, involved a contest against former Olympic Silver medalist, Joe Joyce. The winner of their perceived showdown was set to be awarded with the WBO interim title and a mandated date with the winner between Joshua and Fury.

Nevertheless, with Wilder winning the arbitration, he figures to throw an unexpected monkey wrench in the plans of everyone.

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Tyson Fury: “This Fight Is 100 Percent On August 14, I Cannot Wait To Smash Anthony Joshua”

Posted on 05/16/2021

By: Hans Themistode

For a number of months now, fans were unsure what to believe. Seemingly every week, promoter Eddie Hearn would announce that a showdown between unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua and WBC/Ring Magazine titlist, Tyson Fury, was signed, sealed and delivered.

Yet, no matter how confident Hearn appeared to be, neither Joshua nor Fury would openly admit that their contest was a done deal. That is, until now.

“I have got some massive news,” said Fury on his Twitter account. “I have just got off the phone with Prince Khalid of Saudi Arabia and he told me this fight is 100 percent on August 14.”

With the winner between Joshua and Fury set to become the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis roughly two decades ago, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has reportedly forked over a site fee of approximately $150 million.

Much like Joshua’s rematch against Andy Ruiz Jr. in December of 2019 which also took place in Saudi Arabia, the Kingdom is set to construct an arena to host their showdown. In terms of where exactly it will take place, Riyadh has stepped forward as the official destination.

As negotiations appear to be complete, the monumental contest will seemingly clear the way for the rest of the heavyweight division to move forward.

Former WBC belt holder Deontay Wilder attempted to pursue a third showdown with Fury after settling for a draw in December of 2018 and a seventh-round stoppage defeat in February of 2020. The Alabama native enlisted the help of an arbitrator to legally force Fury to step into the ring with him again. However, with Fury dropping the news that his contest against Joshua will move forward, it appears as though Wilder will now head in another direction.

In addition to Wilder, both Joe Joyce and former undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk will now move ahead with a showdown of their own. The heavyweight contenders stood patiently for Joshua and Fury to resolve their contract negotiations before attempting to orchestrate their own matchup. Once both sides officially come to an agreement, the winner will be awarded the WBO interim title and the mandatory position for the winner.

As for Fury, after sulking and threatening to pull out of their contest completely due to the snail-like nature of the negotiations, the British star is ecstatic over the opportunity to partake in what he feels, is the biggest event in history.

“All eyes of the world will be on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I cannot wait, I repeat, cannot wait to smash Anthony Joshua on the biggest stage of all time. This is going to be the biggest sporting event ever to grace the planet Earth. Do not miss it.”

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Anthony Joshua And Tyson Fury Officially Sign Two Fight Deal

Posted on 03/15/2021

By: Hans Themistode

The negotiations felt as though they would continue forever. Promoter’s Eddie Hearn and Bob Arum claimed for months that a deal between unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua and WBC/Ring magazine titlist Tyson Fury was nearly complete.

However, after months of dragging their feet through the mud, discussions appeared to be hitting a wall as Fury recently came out and said he was no longer training and Deontay Wilder could be his next opponent.

But just as boxing fans became worrisome over the entire ordeal, Hearn has officially stated that both Joshua and Fury have signed a two-fight deal. A place and time haven’t been revealed just yet, but both big men have placed their names on the dotted line.

“The hard part is always getting everybody to put pen to paper,” said Hearn. “But this was a major effort from all parties to get this over the line. You had rival promoters, rival networks and rival fighters. We’d like to get a site deal confirmed in the next month.”

While there isn’t a clear-cut favorite in terms of where the fight will take place, Hearn has revealed that there are numerous countries all across the world in the running.

“We’ve already had approaches from eight or nine sites. The offers have come from multiple countries in the Middle East, from Asia, eastern Europe and America. It will be a major, major win for a country that wants to showcase itself.”

Joshua, 31, has done all that he can to help make this fight a reality. The former Olympic Gold medalist took care of his mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev in December of 2020, stopping the rugged contender in the ninth round. From there, Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs) helped push his second mandatory title challenger in Oleksandr Usyk, to the back burner in order for his mega-fight with Fury to come to fruition.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – FEBRUARY 22: Tyson Fury knocks down Deontay Wilder in the fifth during their Heavyweight bout for Wilder’s WBC and Fury’s lineal heavyweight title on February 22, 2020 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

By all accounts, Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) also took care of his side of the street. He truncated the title reign of former belt holder Deontay Wilder in February of 2020 and constantly pushed forward with the notion that the only fight he wanted next in his career was one with Joshua.

And while a location hasn’t been secured and an official date is still in flux, Hearn believes he can wipe the sweat from his brow as all of the heavy lifting is now over with. Now, like the rest of the world, Hearn can look forward to one of the biggest events in boxing history.

“I actually feel we’ve done the hard part. Speaking for myself, Anthony and his team at 258 management, I know how hard we’ve worked hard these last couple of months and I just feel that this fight is so big it’s not a difficult sell. This is the biggest fight in boxing and one of the biggest sporting events in the world.”

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Andy Ruiz Jr.: “I Would Love To Fight (Deontay) Wilder And Tyson Fury”

Posted on 03/12/2021

By: Hans Themistode

In just over a month, Andy Ruiz Jr. will find out if the monotonous training he has done with new trainer Eddy Reynoso will yield winning results. The former unified heavyweight champion is set to take on fringe contender Chris Arreola on April 24th.

While he’s focused on Arreola and jumping back into the win column, Ruiz Jr. can see an even bigger fight taking place in his peripheral vision.

“I would love to fight (Deontay) Wilder and Tyson Fury,” said Ruiz Jr. during an interview with Little Giant Boxing. “Everybody has been talking about those fight.”

First things first, however, Ruiz Jr. must take care of business against Arreola. Provided he do just that, the Mexican native will sit back and weigh his options. Although a matchup with either the hard-hitting former WBC belt holder in Deontay Wilder would draw plenty of attention, so would a showdown against current titlist Tyson Fury.

Choosing between them ultimately comes down to who can provide him with the final piece to his championship puzzle. Having held almost every world title following his upset win over Anthony Joshua in June of 2019, Ruiz Jr.’s title reign was quickly truncated in their immediate rematch. But while he isn’t a current champion, he still has the WBO, WBA and IBF titles in his trophy room in his palatial estate. The only thing missing from his collection is the WBC title.

That in turn, makes picking his next opponent an easy choice to make.

“I want that green belt. I have all the belts but that belt, I’m missing that one. I know Anthony Joshua is going to fight Tyson Fury but I need that belt baby.”

As bad as he wants to complete his collection, Ruiz Jr. doesn’t want to get too ahead of himself. When last seen, Ruiz Jr. was getting dominated by Joshua as his championship status fattened his bank account and made him listless and took away his work ethic.

He’s since parted ways with former trainer Manny Robles and ventured under the wing of Eddy Reynoso. By all accounts, their partnership appears to be working but with their first official fight together just around the corner, the jury is still out on whether or not their relationship will prove to be a sagacious one for Ruiz Jr.

With that said, the former heavyweight titlist is supremely confident that Reynoso is the right man in his corner and with his guidance, he believes the sky is the limit.

“After Arreola, I want to keep fighting and training to look better and better.”

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Eddie Hearn Doesn’t Expect Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury Winner To Be Undisputed For Long: “The WBO Will Have To Be Vacated After The First Fight”

Posted on 02/13/2021

By: Hans Themistode

LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 25: Anthony Joshua during an Anthony Joshua and Jarrell Miller Press Conference ahead of their fight in June 2019 for the IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles at Hilton London Syon Park on February 25, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

The undisputed title reign of either Anthony Joshua or Tyson Fury will apparently be short-lived. With both heavyweight titlist headed towards a two fight showdown with all of the marbles on the line, whomever walks away from their first contest as the winner will become the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis in 1999.

Although there will be reason to celebrate, neither man will have time to bask in the ultimate glory for long.

“The WBO will have to be vacated after the first fight,” said promoter Eddie Hearn to The Express.

While the WBC, IBF and WBA sanctioning bodies have all been onboard in allowing their undisputed contest to take place, the WBO has always been reluctant. Their resistance to the showdown mostly stems from mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk. After capturing every world title in the Cruiserweight division, Usyk decided that it was time to move on to bigger and better things. Upon arriving in the land of the heavyweights, the Ukrainian was guaranteed a title shot due to his status one weight class lower.

However, due to various injuries and a worldwide pandemic, Usyk’s title shot was protracted. Now, with wins against Chazz Witherspoon and Dereck Chisora, Usyk remains in the number one position to challenge for the WBO world title.

For the WBO, they were placed between a rock and a hard place. Ultimately, the sanctioning body decided to allow Joshua to hold on to his WBO title which now allows his unification showdown with Fury to have every single heavyweight championship on the line.

Not to be completely ignored, the sanctioning body has placated Usyk’s worries by allowing him to fight for its interim title against number two contender Joe Joyce. The winner of their matchup would then be assured a shot at the full title.

If either Joshua or Fury is stripped of the WBO title following their first matchup for refusing to face the winner of Usyk vs Joyce due to their immediate rematch, is of little importance. As long as the first contest between Joshua and Fury produces an undisputed world champion that’s all that matters. Even if it is short-lived.

“If they’re contracted to have two fights and the winner has got to fight the winner of Usyk vs Joyce, they’re just not going to do it. It’s fine because we get the undisputed first. All I want is the winner of this fight to be undisputed. What happens after that doesn’t matter, it’s just a rematch and another great fight. But this is what it’s all about, finding out who the best is.”

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Andre Ward Reveals Who He Would Target If He Did Return

Posted on 02/03/2021

By: Hans Themistode

It doesn’t seem like the questions surrounding his return will ever end. Mostly because of how surprising his retirement was in the first place.

For former multiple division champion Andre Ward, he’s fought the urge to enter the ring after officially hanging up the gloves following a decisive knockout win over Sergey Kovalev in 2017. For many boxers – the bright lights, screaming fans and just the overall warrior feel associated with the sport is too much to pass up on.

In the case of Ward however, he is completely content with his decision. With that being said, if, for some reason, he were to make one last return to the ring, there is only one fighter he would want to face.

“Anthony Joshua,” said Ward on the Ak and Barak Show.

For those trying to understand why Ward, a man who has never fought higher than 175 pounds during the course of his career, would face someone who routinely enters the ring over 250 pounds, the answer is an easy one.

“All or nothing,” said Ward.

While names such as Canelo Alvarez and even Artur Beterbiev would be more realistic options, Ward has always envisioned himself wearing the heavyweight crown. As a young kid, the Oakland native watched as Roy Jones Jr. took home titles similar to the ones Ward wore such as the light heavyweight and super middleweight crowns. The newly elected Hall of Famer also sat back and watched as Jones Jr. won the heavyweight title as well.

For Ward though, he never made the trek that high up in weight. Nevertheless, following his win over Kovalev, Ward entertained the idea of taking on Joshua. Those thoughts, of course, were never realized as Ward opted instead to retire from the sport all together.

While Ward admits that the urge to fight is still there, he has also openly expressed how happy and comfortable he is in retirement. Currently, Ward is a boxing analyst for ESPN. In holding that role, he has surveyed the entire boxing landscape, including, the heavyweight division.

Presently, Ward believes that both Joshua and Tyson Fury are at the top of the list in the land of the big man. At this moment in time, the two sides are hammering together a deal to bring forth the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis in 1999.

Picking from the two is a difficult ask. But if he had to choose a side, Ward has a feeling who will win their inevitable showdown.

“It’s Tyson Fury. Anything can happen, this is heavyweight boxing but right now? It’s Tyson Fury.”

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Bob Arum: “Tyson Fury Has Said To Me That Not Today, Not Tomorrow And Not Ever Will He Fight Wilder After What Wilder Said To Him”

Posted on 01/14/2021

By: Hans Themistode

Former WBC heavyweight belt holder Deontay Wilder is still working behind the scenes as he attempts to get Tyson Fury into the ring for a third time. After settling for a controversial draw in their first showdown in December of 2018, Fury closed the door definitively on their rivalry with a seventh-round knockout win in February of 2020.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – FEBRUARY 22: Tyson Fury knocks down Deontay Wilder in the fifth during their Heavyweight bout for Wilder’s WBC and Fury’s lineal heavyweight title on February 22, 2020 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Since then, Wilder has attempted to enforce a mandated third contest between them. However, due to lingering injuries as well as a worldwide pandemic, their trilogy has been pushed back on several occasions. Now, according to promoter Bob Arum and team Fury, the time has run out as their contract has reportedly expired.

Still, that hasn’t stopped the former long time titleholder from pursuing one final showdown. At the moment, both men are entangled in mediations over the possibility of a third contest. Despite both parties sitting down to hash things out, Wilder has apparently placed his foot in his mouth.

Several months ago, the Alabama native released a seething rant that pointed the finger directly at Fury. Claiming that the Gypsy product cheated during their second matchup. With time to dissect exactly what Wilder accused him of, Fury has decided that he will never share the ring with him again. No matter the circumstances.

“There was mediation over Christmas and New Years,” said promoter Bob Arum during a recent interview with Barbershop Conversations. “I don’t know, maybe the mediator will be able to solve the situation but we have a real problem. Tyson Fury has said to me and the mediator that not today, not tomorrow and not ever will he ever fight Wilder after what Wilder said to him. He regards it as a slur not only against him but against the Gypsy nation.”

While Fury is completely uninterested in sharing the ring with Wilder again, he feels the complete opposite about current unified heavyweight titlist, Anthony Joshua. With the two British stars in possession of every single heavyweight world title, the pair are locked in intense negotiations to determine who will become the first undisputed heavyweight belt holder since Lennox Lewis accomplished the feat in 1999.

For Wilder, the surly knockout artist refuses to be left in the cold. But while he continues to fulminate over why he should be given one more opportunity, Arum believes that the decision is solely up to Fury.

With a two-fight deal against Joshua reportedly nearly complete, Arum is under the impression that an undisputed title fight will be next for his heavyweight star. And whether he likes it or not, Arum is convinced that neither Wilder nor his legal team will be able to stop it.

“The idea of anybody stopping the Fury vs Joshua fight just can’t happen.”

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Anthony Joshua: “I’m Coming Towards The End Of My Career”

Posted on 01/07/2021

By: Hans Themistode

At the age of 31, unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua is presumably smack-dab in the middle of his prime. With a growing number of boxers fighting well into their late 30s and early 40s, there’s reason to believe this is only the beginning for the British native.

However, if you ask the reigning three belt holder, he’ll tell you that the light at the end of his boxing tunnel is much closer than anyone else would’ve anticipated.

“This isn’t the start of my career,” said Joshua to Sky Sports News. “I’m coming towards the end of my career.”

While retirement was the topic of discussion, Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs) still has plenty left to do. A rumored two-fight deal with WBC/Ring magazine titlist Tyson Fury is currently in the works. That, along with possible matchups against the likes of Deontay Wilder, Oleksandr Usyk and a slew of others keeps Joshua’s mind preoccupied with the present.

With that said, Joshua is cognizant of his future and is gearing up for its rapid arrival.

“I’m not someone who lives in the moment and thinks that everything is just like for now. I’m always planning ahead so I’m coming towards the end of my career.”

For the 31-year-old, everything is coming full circle. After amassing a 40-3 record as an amateur, Joshua’s name began ringing bells following his 2012 Olympic gold medal-winning effort. It was on that stage where everything began for Joshua.

Now, he looks to end it all in the same way everything started.

“Five years left and that’s basically an Olympic cycle. I’ve got an Olympic cycle and a little bit more left, so when you see the next Olympics happen is when I’ll be coming to the end of my career and the next generation will be coming through.”

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Anthony Joshua: “I’m Ready, I Want Tyson Fury”

Posted on 12/22/2020

By: Hans Themistode

Anthony Joshua’s ninth round stoppage win which he scored over Kubrat Pulev was highlight-reel worthy. Yet, all that most people could talk about were the words he spoke after the fight. Or in this case, the lack thereof.

Following Joshua’s win, the unified heavyweight titlist was immediately asked to give his thoughts on the possibility of facing fellow champion Tyson Fury in his next contest. Joshua simply rolled his eyes and stated that if Fury continues to hold on to the WBC title, then that’s the route he wanted to take next.

While he believed it was a perfectly fine response, Joshua has been dragged through the mud for it as many, including Fury, have come under the impression that he doesn’t want to face him after all. Now, a few weeks after making those comments, Joshua took the time to clarify exactly what he was trying to say.

“I basically said, if Tyson Fury is the man with the belt then Tyson Fury is the man I want,” explained Joshua during an interview with IFL TV. “Basically what that says is I’ll fight anyone who has that belt. I just want to go for that undisputed championship.”

Becoming an undisputed heavyweight champion has always been on the bucket list of Joshua. For others however, his desire to win every belt imaginable takes a backseat to a possible mega showdown with Fury, regardless if he is a belt holder or not.

Unless something changes within the next few months, both Joshua’s propensity for gold and boxing fan’s wish to see him face Fury go hand in hand. Joshua may have gotten what he believes was undeserved criticism for his choice of words just a few weeks ago, but this time around, he made sure he articulated himself succinctly.

“I’m ready. The next fight, I want Tyson Fury. The next fight I want it to be for the undisputed championship of the world. With that said, they’re in conversations now. My management team and promotional outfit are trying to put a package together that will lead us into 2021.”

If both men do in fact square off at some point in time next year, their showdown will be viewed as one of the biggest in boxing history. Those views however, won’t allow Joshua to place Fury ahead of the line in terms of everyone else he has fought. Even with Fury in possession of the WBC title, facing him will be aggregated with the other belt holders he’s faced.

“I’ve fought six of seven champions in my short career. Tyson Fury is another one. There’s no reason why I would look at him as any different from any other. I’ve got four of the major belts, he has one. I’ll take that one from him.”

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