WBC Orders Wilder-Fury Rematch
By: Sean Crose
As expected, the World Boxing Council is ordering a rematch between it’s heavyweight champion, Deontay Wilder, and Tyson Fury, the man he fought to a draw last December in what is already being considered a classic bout. Per the WBC:
“Consistent with the WBC Board of governors voting regarding the direct rematch between WBC champion Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury, the WBC is hereby notifying both camps that the free negotiation period is opened and if there is no agreement between the parties a purse bid will be conducted by the WBC on Tuesday February 5th .
The WBC has modified the 70-30 split and has confirmed a 60-40 split in favor of the champion Wilder considering the market value of Fury.”
The announcement, which arrived on Thursday, came as little surprise to the fight world. In fact, talks between the two camps are already reported to have begun. The first battle between the two undefeated giants was truly a contest of skill and will, as the slippery Fury was able to avoid the hard hitting Wilder for large portions of the fight – until being dropped twice. The second knockdown, which occurred in the last round, say Fury flat on his back, seemingly done. Somehow, however, the enormous Englishman was able to get back on his feet and finish the round strongly.
The fight, of course, ended up being a draw, with many – though certainly not all – feeling that Fury had done enough to win. The controversy, coupled with the wild knockdown and recovery of Fury after over half an hour of the two fighters essentially playing cat and mouse, almost begged for a rematch. To make things even more enticing, the two larger than life heavyweights, who stand between six and a half and seven feet tall, have personalities to match their statures.
Lost in all of this is heavyweight multi-titlist Anthony Joshua, who, like Fury, is an undefeated Englishman. A staggeringly huge draw in his native country, Joshua has yet to fight in America, where the second Wilder-Fury fight, if it comes to fruition, may likely take place. Although Joshua holds most of the major titles in the division, Wilder’s WBC belt is arguably the most well regarded and well known. On top of that, Fury has a claim to the lineal championship due to the fact that he bested long reigning heavyweight king Wladimir Klitshcko in 2015, making Fury “the man who beat the man.” In other words, there’s no undisputed ruler of the heavyweights at the moment, which makes the once bland weight category more intriguing and interesting than it has been in perhaps a generation.
Better Chance of Joshua Fighting Fury than Wilder According to Hearn
By: Michael Kane
According to Matchroom supremo, Eddie Hearn, there is more chance of Anthony Joshua fighting Tyson Fury at Wembley in April than a fight against WBC champ Deontay Wilder.
It would seem tentative negotiations are taking place between all the interested parties, with a match up between any two of the three likely to be welcomed by fans.
As it stands the most likely fight to take place is a rematch between Wilder and Fury, with Las Vegas or New York appearing to be the favoured locations, disappointing the UK fans who had hoped for the rematch in one of the UK’s football stadiums.
Hearn however has said both Wilder and Fury have been offered the fight with Joshua.
“Well, to say Deontay Wilder’s camp has gone quiet, that’s saying it lightly,” Hearn told Sky Sports News. “Probably up to six unanswered emails now.
“In fact, I sent one a couple of days ago, saying I just want to check these haven’t gone into your Spam items.
“It is frustrating because you walk out there on the street ‘When’s he going to fight Deontay Wilder?’ It’s like, whenever they want it, but sometimes the public want to believe a fighter on Instagram all day.
“If they wanted the fight, they would talk to me. They’re not even talking to us. We’ve made offers, we’ve made percentage splits. Everything we can do, to try and make that fight.
“I think right now, there’s more chance of fighting Tyson Fury. There’s a man that knows he can have this fight, if he wants it. I’ve spoken to him. He knows if he wants to fight Joshua, it can happen April 13.”
Dillian Whyte and Jarrell Miller are two other names that have been mentioned to face Joshua, it appears Whyte wasn’t happy with the deal offered. There has also been rumours that Anthony Joshua may not appear at Wembley in April but instead make a debut in America, most likely against Miller.
“There’s Dillian Whyte, there’s Jarrell Miller, but Joshua is back from holiday, he’s started training now, he wants to know,” said Hearn. “We’ve probably got 10 days to two weeks before we officially have to pull the trigger.
“All those guys that I’ve mentioned, particularly Wilder, Fury and Whyte – that fight is there for them.
“What I can tell you is, Dillian, I was with him this morning. He wants a great deal to fight Joshua. I don’t blame him for that. He’s been through a hard road to get where he is to No 1.
“He can wait and become mandatory at some point, but if Dillian Whyte wants to fight for the world heavyweight title on April 13, there is the opportunity for him to do so, right now.
“It’s almost like a race against time, particularly for those three, Wilder, Fury and Whyte. They’ve all had offers, they could all sign now today, and get the fight. But do they want the fight? I believe the offers, some have been made, some are about to be improved, it’s put up or shut up time.
“You want to win these four title belts, you believe you can beat Anthony Joshua, then let’s go, but everyone wants to negotiate, and rightly so.”
Will We See Anthony Joshua Take on Tyson Fury?
By: Michael Kane
Will we see Anthony Joshua take on Tyson Fury this year? Both fighters are with different promoters and different UK PPV channels so trying to put the fight together could prove problematic.
Fury’s promoter, Frank Warren has suggested that both Sky and BT Sport could show the fight as a PPV.
“In the UK. You could go to Cardiff, they have a roof on the stadium. That should be summer, outdoors at a football stadium and would sell it out 10 times over,” Warren told the BBC recently.
“It would grip the country – one of those events that transcends the back pages. Everybody would be talking about it.
“It will be a pay-per-view event because the fighters will want to maximise their income, you can understand that. It’s very easy (to make) this fight (if it’s 50-50).
“When I say 50/50, let Sky and BT Sport Box Office both have it. Take all the obstacles away like they do in the States. The fans want the fight.
“If both TV channels are showing it, that means the boxers’ incomes are going to be more. It’s a no-brainer.”
However an other obstacle is the rivalry between Warren and Joshua’s promoters, father and son team, Barry and Eddie Hearn who run Matchroom Boxing.
Warren continues, “Anthony Joshua is a business. He makes money. It doesn’t matter who he fights, they can fill up Wembley.
“They (Matchroom Boxing) have a seven year business plan, which is filling up Wembley twice a year and it’s a cash cow. I get that! Barry (Hearn) is an accountant by trade. That’s not what the fans want!”
There is no doubt that UK fans would love an all British clash between the two heavyweights however as always politics may stop the fight from ever happening.
With an April date already booked by Matchroom Boxing for Wembley, it’s unlikely we will see Joshua take on either Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury. In fact we might not even see Joshua appearing at Wembley, with reports now suggesting a fight with Jarrell Miller will take place Stateside to introduce Joshua to the U.S market.
This could leave a Wilder – Fury 2 fight to take place and once again overshadow Anthony Joshua who has been the beacon for British and Heavyweight boxing in recent years.
Joshua Franco: “I Want All The Champions”
By: Sean Crose
Joshua Franco has but one loss on his record. Now the Texan has a chance to even the score. For the 14-1-1 Franco will be facing off against the 12-2-1 Emmanuel Fernandez (the man who bested him last March) at the Toyota Center in Houston for the NABF Bantamweight title on the 19th of this month. Winning the belt, of course, can lead to bigger things. Yet Franco makes it clear that the NABF title itself is nothing to sneeze at. “Even having that title itself,” he says, “that’s a big accomplishment in boxing.” Interestingly enough, Franco is interested in becoming top dog at Junior Bantamweight, where some very notable names reside.
“I don’t have a problem making 115,” he says, “115 is what I have my eyes on right now.” Some of Franco’s neighbors at Junior Bantamweight will be none other than Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez, and Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, two of the biggest names in the entire sport of boxing. “I’m really just focusing on the champions at 115,” Franco claims. The man is clearly hungry. “Right now at 115, I want all the champions,” he says. “Whoever has the belts I feel I can compete and even dominate.” First, though, there’s the matter of Fernandez.
Even though Franco’s last fight ended up being a draw against Oscar Negrete, he’s a man willing to learn from his mistakes. “I learned the hard way,” he says of the first Fernandez throwdown. After dropping Fernandez, Joshua claims his corner told him to simply break his man down. He didn’t listen, and the results ended up speaking for themselves. “To be honest,” he claims, “I feel like I got a little bit winded.” Franco doesn’t intend to make the same mistakes twice. “Just training even harder,” says the fighter. “I’m pushing myself to the limit.”
Franco also wants to make a good impression. “The draws,” he says, “they don’t give me the excitement that a win does…I’m going to be more dominant.” A plus for Franco, who is backed by noted and powerful Golden Boy Promotions, is that he’ll be on a major card for the Fernandez rematch. For the main event that evening in Houston will be the Jaime Munguia-Takeshi Inoue WBO Super Welterweight title fight. “People will get to know me better,” he says of the opportunity to be on cards of note. “Right now,” he says, “being on big cards is probably what’s good for me.” Ultimately, however, Franco feels winning a title will be the best thing for him in the future. “Just get a world title,” he says for his plan for 2019.
Franco-Fernandez will be aired live on DAZN streaming service as part of the Munguia-Inoue card on January 19th at 8:00 PM Eastern Standard Time.
Somebody’s 0 Has Got to Go: The Top Three Fights Fans Want to See
By: Oliver McManus
“Somebody’s 0 has got to go”, it’s possibly the most used phrase in modern boxing. Mind you, if David Diamante has his way it will soon become “let’s nix a nil” but the premise remains the same, two unbeaten fighters putting their records on the line in, hopefully, guts-and-glory encounters.
Don’t get me wrong, a loss doesn’t make you a bad fighter and beating an unbeaten man doesn’t, equally, make you a star player in the sport. As we’ve seen recently there have been a fair few damp squibs when it comes to unbeaten vs unbeaten – Andrade vs Kautondokwa, anyone?
Nonetheless there are plenty of mouth-watering fights in prospect and these are three fights I want to see, at world level, where someone’s 0 has got to go…
Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk – Heavyweight
Where better place to kick off than in the heavyweight division? Anthony Joshua has had things pretty much his own way at the top of the game since winning his first world title – sanctioned by the IBF- in 2016. Since that capitulation of Charles Martin, Joshua has fought in six world title bouts and added the WBA, WBO and IBO straps to his collection.
With a touted fight against Deontay Wilder falling by the wayside – take whoever’s side you want on that thorny issue – Joshua is next out on April 13th, at Wembley, with an opponent yet to be scheduled in.
But I’ll be honest, the tag of undisputed aside, I’d much rather see AJ in with the man who holds all of the cruiserweight belts and, arguably, one of the best in the world pound for pound. Usyk seems to me, and many others, the toughest challenge that Joshua can face.
Technically he is sublime and he possesses the heavyweight power required to take Joshua into deep water but, let’s not forget, Usyk has amateur pedigree in the heavier division so it’s not like he’s inexperienced at the weight. Even having said that experience wouldn’t be an issue for someone of such natural quality as Usyk for his fight IQ and ring-ability transcends weight classes.
Coming off the back of a breezy fight against Tony Bellew in which, if we’re honest, he never looked out of control the natural step is for Usyk to go up to heavyweight. Joshua, we know, is searching for “legacy defining” fights and a bout against Oleksandr Usyk is about as big as they come.
The fight seems the most realistic, out of all the big heavyweight contests, with Eddie Hearn taking an active involvement in the promotion of the Ukrainian powerhouse so, fingers crossed, we could see a blockbuster event next year.
Winner of Errol Spence Jnr and Mikey Garcia vs Terence Crawford – Welterweight
Announced last week is the fight that, if we’re honest, made no real sense. Mikey Garcia was the man we all wanted to see fight Vasyl Lomachenko and Errol Spence was the champion looking to unify with Terrence Crawford.
The IBF Welterweight title will be on line come March 16th with Garcia looking to become a five weight champion in his 40th fight. A frighteningly skilled boxer, the California native has continually proved his credentials with a frightening knockout power.
In his last three fights Garcia has been extended the distance but has boxed with class throughout the 36 rounds, controlling the pace of the fight and manouvering his way out of danger with a comprehensive ease.
Errol Spence Jnr goes into the bout with an obvious weight advantage – fighting 12lbs heavier than the division in which Garcia actively holds a world title. 2 years the younger man, Spence burst onto the scene in 2016 with knockout victories over Chris Algieri and Leonard Bundu.
Having captured the IBF crown with a ferocious victory against Kell Brook, in Sheffield, the Texas-man has defended the belt twice in equally terrifying fashion. A non-stop work rate with continual punch output, if you let the champion unfurl his hands then you’re going to be in trouble.
And whilst the question of weight will loom over the bout until fight night, Garcia is a consummate professional and an outstanding athlete. For a man trying to prove his ability in the welterweight division, there could be no better way to silence the critics than claiming a world title in your first fight so that’s where Terence Crawford comes into play.
Errol Spence is the man that people wanted to see in a unification class with Bud, they would produce a scintillating fight. If Mikey Garcia is able to overcome such a challenge then he will have instantaneously justified getting a fight with the WBO champion.
All roads lead to unification, or so they… bring it on!
Artur Beterbiev vs Dmitry Bivol – Light Heavyweight
We’ll deal with the younger boxer first in Dmitry Bivol who ticked over towards the back of 2014 with a Bronze Medal at the 2008 Youth World Championships and a Gold Medal at the 2013 World Combat Games. A two time Russian national champion with a record of 268-15, his amateur pedigree was impressive but paled in comparison to his counterpart.
As a professional, though, the 27 year old really turned up the heat by claiming the first, major, belt of his career in just his fifth fight. The knockout power we all enjoy was evident from the first second of his debut but, with that, he’d find opponents looking to hold and just survive through the early phases. Not that that mattered, Bivol has always found ways of punishing his opponent.
Even when he has been stretched the distance – three times in 14 fights – the Kyrgyzstan-born man has always looked in complete control with an array of power punches as well as technical skill. Of course we’ll all remember his fierce one-punch knockout over, admittedly over-matched, Trent Broadhurst that saw Bivol claimed champion.
Successful defences against Sullivan Barrera and Isaac Chilemba have followed – he next fights Jean Pascal on the 24th – but surely the Russian will be eying up the options for unification come the turn of the year.
Beterbiev, on the other hand, turned pro in the middle of 2013 and initially built up a strong following in Canada – the elite amateur (World Champion & runner up, two-time European champion) had moved to Montreal in order to purse his professional ambitions.
At 5 and 0 he stepped up to face Tavoris Cloud – a former IBF champion – and dealt with the threat of the American, coming off a world title loss, in convincing fashion. The momentum from this bout seemed to follow as Beterbiev looked to fight better opponents at every opportunity possible.
A refreshing attitude of “fight who’s in front of me and knock them out” has ensured success with all thirteen of his wins coming via an early stoppage. A grizzly fighter, that’s the best way to describe it, Beterbiev never looks the fastest of opponents but, boy, does he have vicious punch power.
Typically standing with his hands at shoulder level, the 33 year old stands ready to pounce and is mature enough not to go out all-guns-blazing. The IBF champion won his title against Enrico Koelling last November and, in a fight that ended in the 12th, boxed patiently and calmly to do so.
Two unbeaten Russian powerhouses, slugging it out to unify light heavyweight world titles… what more could you ask for?
Big Baby Miller Feels He Has “To Beat A Brit,” To Get To Joshua
By: Sean Crose
“I have to beat a Brit,” says undefeated heavyweight Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller, “if I do that, a lot will change.” Miller, who will be facing Bogdan Dinu on November 17th in Kansas, is looking to land a match against heavyweight kingpin Anthony Joshua, who is now a huge star in England.” When you are high risk, low reward,” says Miller, “people will make excuses not to fight you and the fans will buy into it.” Joshua, who can sell out stadiums in Britain, has a line of potential opponents hungry to face him, among them American standout Deontay Wilder.
As Matchroom Boxing, which is affiliated with Miller, states: “Anthony Joshua returns to Wembley Stadium in London on April 13 to put his IBF, WBA and WBO straps on the line.” Miller would love the chance to face Joshua, of course, but understands that fight may not happen – at least not on that date. And so Miller is not afraid to set his sights on other foes. “I am not afraid of Dillian,” Miller says of another potential Joshua oppoenent, Dilian Whyte. “I’m afraid of no man. If AJ is not ready to face me with a title, then I’ll go and whoop Dillian’s butt. It’ll help my profile in Britain.”
“He’s a clown,” Miller says of Whyte, who has already lost to Joshua once before. “Nobody is afraid of him. He’s got a win over Lucas Browne and that’s it. For him to call people punks, he’s deluded, I’ve fought three World title contenders back to back. He turned down Mariusz Wach twice and he didn’t really want to fight Duhaupas, he’s naive.” Miller is clearly a student of the fight game. ““The big fights take some maneuvering and finessing,” he says, “so building my profile, winning the regular title and getting into a mandatory spot is going to help me in that situation.”
“I think I will definitely be in a spot to have an AJ or Deontay Wilder fight later in the year,” he says, “so I need to get this win in Kansas and stay busy, focused, injury free and ready.” Miller knows it would be unwise to overlook Dinu, an 18-0 Romanian, with 14 knockouts on his resume. “Bogdan is aggressive,” the 20-0-1 Brooklyn natives says, “but that’s against guys that want to survive…he’s going to try to move against me, everybody does, but then they all end up running for their lives – and they can only run for so long.”
Miller, who has won all but two of his bouts by knockout, will be one of the highlights of Saturday’s card at the Kansas Star Arena in Mulvane, Kansas. Claressa Shields will also be fighting, as will Brandon Rios. DAZN will be airing the festivities live starting at 10 PM Eastern Standard Time.
Fury Speaks Of Battles In And Out Of The Ring
By: Sean Crose
I had the hunger to beat Wladimir Klitscko,” Tyson Fury told Joe Rogan on Thursday, “but not to carry on and continue.” Fury, who is training to face WBC champ Deontay Wilder on December 1st at the Staples Center in Las Angeles, was a guest on Rogan’s popular podcast for over a full hour. During the lengthy conversation he discussed beating Klitschko, his battles with mental illness and addiction, and of course Deontay Wilder. Fury was the toast of the fight game after he stunned Kltischko to win the heavyweight title back in 2015. After that, however, the Englishman’s life spiraled out of control.
“I was depressed as depressed can be on a daily basis,” he said. “It just went from bad to worse.” Fans of the fight game are familiar with Fury’s spectacular fall from on high. Within a short time, he went from heavyweight king to former champ. What’s more, Fury’s emotional issues seemed to have clearly gotten the best of him after a certain point. “I hit the drink heavily on a daily basis,” he said. “I hit the drugs. I was out all night partying with women of the night, just coming home.” Things were so bad that Fury wanted out on life. “I just wanted to die, and I was going to have a good time doing it.”
After nearly intentionally killing himself in his vehicle and having a moment of realization, Tyson attempted to turn his life around. “You can only change your life if you want to change it,” he told Rogan. Crediting his faith in God, Fury is now engaged in prepping for what is surely a lucrative (and perhaps career defining) battle with Wilder, a fighter about as colorful as he is. Still quick with a wise crack, Fury joked about the WBC champions’ awkward style. “It reminds me of Bambi on ice,” he quipped. Still, he admitted to admiring Wilder for being willing to take on the big challenges.
“He could have picked much easier opponents and made similar money,” said Fury in his British accent. “I take me hat off to him.” Unlike many in the fight game, Fury was also quick to praise Widler’s team, which of course, includes the enigmatic and often maligned Al Haymon. “They were the most fairest most straight going people I ever worked with,” he said outright. “There was no hard negotiations. It was very, very simple.” Fury didn’t have such kind words for the team of heavyweight kingpin Anthony Joshua. According to Fury, Wilder’s camp offered “Joshuas team 80 million dollars for a 2 fight deal…and they declined that.” Fury then made it clear that his words were more than just gossip. “My lawyer, Robert Davis, he saw proof of funds from Al Haymon,” he told Rogan.
Although he was critical of both Joshua and Wilder, Fury showed on the podcast that he can be self critical, as well – or at least honest regarding himself. “My biggest fight in my whole career,” he said of his battle with Klitchko, “was a twelve round snooze fest. I’m man enough to say that.” Fury also credited Steve Cunningham, who he faced in his American debut, as being his most difficult opponent to date. “I’m not going to make any excuses,” he told Rogan. “Steven Cunningham was a better boxer than me.”
In the end, of course, Fury was able to rise to the occasion and defeat Cunningham. He plans to continue rising to the occasion. “The way to beat mental health is setting goals,” he said, “giving yourself short term and long term goals.”
Joshua Franco Aims to Continue Along the Comeback Trail
By: Sean Crose
“I trained very hard for it,” Joshua Franco tells me. It’s a rainy Tuesday evening. In just over 48 hours, Franco will be stepping into the ring to face fellow bantamweight Oscar Negrede in a bout which will be the main attraction on an ESPN card. “I know,” he adds, “how it’s going to be.” That’s something all professional fighters want to be able to say – that they know how it’s going to be, even if there’s no way to prove it until they step inside the ring. It’s the kind of confidence that an carry an athlete through a career.
Photo Credit: Joshua Franco Twitter Account
Like Franco, Negrede has a single loss on his resume. Also like Franco, Negrede is looking to redeem himself in front of a live televised audience after a single successful comeback bout. In short, this is a big fight for both men. “I’m feeling good,” Franco, the 14-1 bantamweight says, adding that his camp has contained a “lot of sparing.” A pupil of famed cornerman Robert Garcia, Franco knows he’s in serious hands. “When I was first at Oxnard with Robert,” says Franco, “he says ‘you look like you could be a professor.’” Hence the nickname Franco has carried with him throughout his career to date – The Professor.
“He has a lot of knowledge,” Franco says of his trainer. Garcia’s gym in Oxnard, California is also a place where Franco feels comfortable training. “Everybody gets along,” he says. As for Negrede, the 18-1 fighter known as The Jaguar, Franco realizes he’s in with someone much like himself. Still, the native of San Antonio exudes self belief on this rainy Tuesday, while making it clear he’s no one trick pony. “I can box,” he says, “and I can move forward.” Should he emerge victorious on Thursday, the bantamweight division may be Franco’s oyster.
“I’m not looking past Oscar Negrede,” Franco says, adding he knows that “Robert has big plans,” should he walk out the ring the winner Thursday night. For his own part, though, Franco wants to stay on point. “That’s something we’ll talk about after the fight,” he says of the future. Enthralled with boxing from a young age, Franco shows a willingness to take the steps needed to get to the top. And Golden Boy Promotions is happy to guide him along the way. “They have confidence in me,” he says of his promotional team. “They’re moving me very well.”
Franco-Negrete will air at 10 PM eastern time Thursday night on ESPN and ESPN Deportes. It will be broadcast live from the Hangar at California’s OC Fair and Event Center.
Oscar “Jaguar” Negrete & Joshua “El Professor” Franco Battle Thursday on ESPN2
By: Ken Hissner
On Thursday night Golden Boy Promotions will put on a card from The Hangar, in Costa Mesa, CA, on ESPN2. Colombia’s Oscar “Jaguar” Negrete, 18-1 (7), living in Rosemead, CAL, will do battle with San Antonio’s Joshua “El Professor” Franco, 14-1 (7), over 10 rounds in the Bantamweight Main Event.
Negrete will be looking for his second victory of 2018 after stepping up in weight in December when he suffered his only loss by losing to WBC champion Mexico’s Rey Vargas, who was 32-0 at the time. He lost over 12 rounds by decision. He will be dropping back to bantamweight. The last twelve opponents Negrete has fought all had winning records. He’s made the bantamweight limit of 118 in eight of his nineteen fights.
Photo Credit: Golden Boy Promotions Twitter Account
Franco’s last eleven opponents had winning records and his only loss was out of the country in Puerto Rico losing to Argentina’s Lucas Emmanuel Fernandez Leone, 11-1-1, in March of 2018. He bounced back in June knocking out Mexico’s Isao Gonzalo “Kato” Carranza, 15-11, in five rounds. Prior to the one loss he defeated Carlos “Mighty” Maldonado, 11-1.
In the co-feature unbeaten Puerto Rico’s Welterweight Danielito “El Zorro” Zorrilla, 8-0 (7), of Rio Piedras, PR, faces unbeaten Dakota Linger, 10-0-2 (6), of Buckhannon, W.V., over 8 rounds.
Unbeaten Super Featherweight Jousce “Tito” Gonzalez, 8-0 (8), of Glendora, CA, looks to keep his knockout streak going taking on Ivan “Striker” Delgado, 12-1-1 (5), of L.A., CA, over 6 rounds.
Another unbeaten knockout artists is Super Bantamweight Carlos “Purin” Caraballo, 8-0 (8), of Ponce, PR, who meets Mexico’s Felipe “Panterita” Rivas, 17-21-4 (11), of El Paso, TX, over 6 rounds.
Jon Jones Claims Interest in Seeing Him Take on Wilder and Joshua
By: Michael Kane
Jon Jones, one of the finest MMA fighters on the planet, has said ‘people’ want to see him take on Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua.
Just who these people are, no one knows.
Photo Credit: Jon Jones Twitter Account
Jones who has just had a 4 year suspension cut to 14 months by USADA for helping them in their investigations of the use of illegal substances within the UFC, is expected to make a return to the sport towards the end of the year.
With Conor McGregor having made a lot of money by facing Floyd Mayweather in the boxing ring, it seems Jones would like to so something similar.
“Right now my mindset is more about making money, even those big fights,” Jones told RT Sports.
“You know, I watched Conor McGregor fight Floyd Mayweather, and it was high risk, high reward. There’s a saying, ‘scared money don’t make money’. I gotta be brave when I get back in the game and start challenging guys that I could possibly lose to, because that’s what people want to see.”
The former light heavy weight UFC champion could make a return in the heavyweight division, especially as arch rival Daniel Cormier has become the heavyweight champion to add to the light heavyweight strap he holds.
It was the heavyweights in both sports that he gave a mention to.
“They want to see Jones versus Velasquez, they want to see Jones versus Ngannou, that’s what people want to see, and that’s where my mindset is,” Jones said.
“Jones versus Anthony Joshua, or Deontay Wilder, you know, that’s what people want to see.”
We’ll find out if the fan interest for the fight is there.
DAZN Boxing Results: Joshua Stops Povetkin, Maintains Claim to the Heavyweight Throne
By: William Holmes
Wembley Stadium in London, England was the host site for tonight’s Heavyweight Championship fight between Anthony Joshua and Alexander Povetkin for the IBF, WBA, and WBO Heavyweight titles.
A mega fight between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder was just announced for December 1st on Showtime, and the winner of the Joshua and Povetkin fight will likely, and hopefully, face the winner of tonight’s bout in the near future.
Photo Credit: Matchroom Boxing Twitter Account
The undercard featured several good prospects. Sakhram Giyasov defeated Julio Laguna by a fourth round KO, Sergey Kuzmin defeated David Price by 4th round TKO, and Lawrence Okolie defeated Matty Askin by points.
The co-main event of the night was between Yvan Mendy and Luke Campbell in a lightweight eliminator for the WBC title. Luke Campbell was in clear control for a majority of the fight and pulled out the decision win with scores of 119-109, 118-111, and 116-112.
Anthony Joshua (21-0) and Alexander Povetkin (34-1) met in the main event of the evening before a very pro Anthony Joshua crowd.
Povetkin, the first man to enter the ring, was met with a loud chorus of boos and whistles.
Joshua towered over Povetkin, who had to use good head movement early on to avoid the jab of Joshua. Povetkin was able to land some good right hands to the body, and ended the opening round with a good combination.
Joshua came out aggressive in the second round but had a bloody nose by this point. Povetkin was able to land some good right crosses to the head and body, but Joshua started to pump his jab with more regularity.
Joshua opened up the third round with a solid short right hand, but Povetkin was able to answer with an over the top right hand. Joshua landed a few good uppercuts and left hooks and likely took the round with his accurate punching.
Povetkin had a cut open up by his left eye in the fourth round, and by the fifth round Joshua had landed 30 jabs to the 2 jab that Povetkin landed. But Povetkin was throwing and landing more power shots than Joshua at this point.
Povetkin got tagged with several good jabs by Joshua in the sixth round. Povetkin was aggressive and tried to hurt Joshua with short right hands, but often landed on the guard of Joshua or swung at air.
Joshua opened up the seventh round circling away from Povetkin, who was coming forward with straight right hands. Joshua landed a sudden straight right hand that hurt Povetkin and followed it up with a combination that ended with a right hook that sent Povetkin down.
Povetkin looked hurt but was able to get back to his feet, but was still badly hurt. Joshua jumped on Povetkin with another combination that forced the referee to jump in and stop the fight.
Anthony Joshua wins by TKO at 1:59 of the seventh round.
Anthony Joshua – Damage Control
By: Kirk Jackson
Anthony Joshua 21-0 (20 KO’s) is scheduled to duel with mandatory WBA challenger Alexander Povetkin 34-1 (24 KO’s) at Wembley Stadium on Saturday night.
If triumphant, Joshua is expected to follow suit facing former foe Dillian Whyte at the same venue on April 13, 2019.
The 39-year-old former WBA heavyweight champion only tasted defeat once in his professional career, a loss to former unified heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko in 2013, where Povetkin suffered four knock downs in route to losing a unanimous decision.
Povetkin is what we can refer to as “Damage control.”
Povetkin is quite the accomplished fighter; strong amateur background, Olympic medalist, former world champion and possesses name recognition. This fight is designed for Joshua to leave an impression with the audience come Saturday night.
“I’m focused,” Joshua said. “I’ve come to a stage now where I have a deep [will] and my heart’s big. In sparring, I’ve tested myself time and time again. My coaches wonder what I’m doing in sparring, so sometimes I tell them to hit me because I know how to throw punches. I know how to fight, but the question is what I can take when it comes back.
“So with Povetkin, I’m completely focused, but also focused on having a good scrap and don’t mind coming away with a black eye and a cut nose, because I want to give a bit to take a bit.”
On paper, Povetkin looks the part. And that’s not to say he doesn’t have a chance at all; he certainly has a puncher’s chance.
The former WBA heavyweight title-holder will have to overcome significant size disadvantage if he is to pull off a big upset Saturday night. The 39-year-old Russian weighed in at 222 lbs., more than 24 lbs. less than Anthony Joshua. The 6-feet-6 Joshua also stands about four inches taller than Povetkin.
This particular fight, match-up, favors the champion Anthony and is one that he can control. Joshua wants to seize and maintain control; whether it’s in the ring with his large frame and imposing jab along with matters outside the ring ranging from contract negotiations, weigh-ins, post-fight interviews, everything.
He wants control like his promoter Eddie Hearn.
Hearn wants control as far as owning fighters, selecting venue, dates and regulating the cash flow. This is to be expected of a successful promoter and businessman.
Everything is carefully orchestrated and carried out to plan. Joshua’s entrance song in his previous fight against Joseph Parker illustrated such.
Paid in Full by Eric B and Rakim informs the audience of Joshua’s intentions.
Famous lines such as, “Thinkin of a master plan, cause ain’t nothin but sweat inside my hand,” and continued with “So I start my mission, leave my residence, Thinkin how could I get some dead presidents?”
His walkthrough entrance, the fight with how the referee favorably kept the fighters from working on the inside, the post-fight interview sequence, disallowing the presence of Deontay Wilder to enter the ring (as there were negotiation talks at that time), everything coordinated like a political campaign.
The Olympic gold medalist and unified professional world champion Joshua is en route to accomplishing his goals; filling out arenas across the United Kingdom and winning world titles, but Joshua has yet to leave his place of residence.
Joshua wants world domination; he wants to be recognized as the baddest man on the planet, as Anthony Joshua, not Anthony Johnson.
His route towards that distinction includes a pit stop in the United States of America. Fellow compatriot Amir Khan believes as such.
“Yeah, if you want to be global, you have to go to America,” said Khan when speaking to David Anderson of the Daily Mirror. “My dream was to fight in Las Vegas, Madison Square Garden — all those places where Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson fought.
Joshua has yet to make his mark on American soil. Another landmark Joshua must consider, is if he wants to obtain heavyweight supremacy, he must go through American WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder 40-0 (39 KO’s) or the lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury 27-0 (19 KO’s).
Just told that the “dream” bouts under @BronzeBomber and Fury @STAPLESCenter would be a @leosantacruz2 Gary Russell Jr. featherweight unification and an @abnermares @Gervontaa title fight. That’d be an epic PPV…
— Lance Pugmire (@latimespugmire) September 20, 2018
With Wilder and Fury inching closer to a fight date, news of that match-up materializing takes some of the power away from Joshua as far as attention due to the importance of that bout between undefeated champions.
Especially considering there is a contingent of the boxing audience believing Joshua is avoiding a fight with Wilder.
Wilder was originally scheduled to fight Povetkin in Russia in the year of 2016. The fight failed to manifest due to failed drug tests from Povetkin.
Subsequently, Wilder defeated former champions Chris Arreola, Bermane Stirverne and one of boxing’s most avoided fighters Luis Ortiz.
Within that same timespan, Joshua defeated former champions Klitschko, Parker and contender Carlos Takam. Joshua facing Povetkin is just another measure of seizing control of the Wilder situation and implementing mind games.
In spite of the nuances of each situation, Joshua and Hearn can play public perception and state Joshua is the unified champion and is fighting opponents Wilder failed to face. They want to maintain control of the terms and conditions if they are to fight in the future.
Joshua vs. Povetkin is the first boxing main event for Eddie Hearn’s DAZN app/network. Hearn promotes Joshua and it makes sense for Joshua to be on the forefront debut of this service. Which may also explain the selection of Povetkin as an opponent for this particular fight, as opposed to seeing Joshua come to terms with facing the likes of Wilder?
Wilder is an uncontrollable variable – whether it’s in the ring with his style and controlled aggression, or outside the ring regarding negotiations for the biggest fight that can be conjured in all of combat sports.
Joshua should win this weekend and appear dominant while doing so. Everything is going as planned.
Can Povetkin Pull Off a Wembley Upset?
By: Ste Rowen
September has already given us the return of ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez, Superfly 3 and Canelo/GGG 2, so you could be forgiven for forgetting that this weekend sees the unified heavyweight champion, Anthony Joshua, return to the ring to face the under-the-radar threat of Alexander Povetkin at Wembley Stadium.
It feels a long time since AJ added the WBO to his ever-expanding belt collection, which is now only missing Deontay Wilder’s WBC and the vacant Ring Magazine title, but it seems an age ago since Povetkin took on Wladimir Klitschko in 2013 for his first, and so far, only attempt at the full world championship belts.
By some, the Russian was hailed as the chosen one, the man who could end the Klitschko brother’s heavyweight duopoly. He entered the pro ranks riding a wave of hype having won gold medals at the 2003 world championship and the 2004 Athens Olympics. Fighting between Germany and Russia, Alexander steadily built his record with wins over gatekeepers and fringe contenders but when his breakout happened, it happened quickly.
In 2007, just 2 years as a professional, Povetkin, at 13-0, took on Chris Byrd, who 18 months previous, had been stopped in seven rounds by the now, IBF champion, Wladimir Klitschko. That night in Erfurt, Alex engaged in an entertaining back and forth with the American southpaw until ultimately forcing the stoppage in the 11th round. Just three months later, the Russian was back in the ring to take on 30-0, Eddie Chambers. This time in Berlin, the rising star from the East completely dominated Chambers. The only thing missing was the knockout.
It didn’t matter too much, from there it was all about biding his time, staying busy until he was finally given his shot at either Klitschko. By the time of the Moscow bout, ‘Sasha’ was 26-0, held the WBA ‘Regular’ title, and had added names to his growing record such as Ruslan Chagaev, Marco Huck, a faded Hasim Rahman and an unbeaten Andrzej Wawrzyk.
But in the end, Wladimir was a bridge too far. Dropped four times en route to a unanimous decision defeat, the Ukrainian was a level above. All of ‘Sasha’s’ best attributes were nullified; unable to land his looping overhand-right, rarely successful with left hooks to the body and what seemed most demoralising of all, Klitschko’s size eradicating the 2004 gold medallist’s attempts inside. It’s an issue Povetkin will no doubt have worked on in preparation for facing another bigger man in Joshua.
‘‘I need to work on my conditioning…Just a single punch could’ve turned it all upside-down…I lost the battle, but I’ll win the war.’’ Povetkin said post-fight that night, perhaps more hopeful than realistic. He never got the opportunity for revenge and ever since the Klitschko loss it’s felt as if the current WBA’s #2, has been in search of a big-name fighter to propel him into boxing’s mainstream and redeem himself for that defeat. It should have been Wilder, but the Russian has only himself to blame for those bouts falling through.
Whatever your views on Povetkin’s suspect history with PEDs, purely in terms of resume of opponents to earn another shot at a full world title; since 2014, ‘Sasha’ has those names, including stoppages over Carolos Takam, Manuel Charr, Mariusz Wach and most recently a chilling two-punch destruction of David Price on the Joshua-Parker undercard in March.
At today’s press conference, Alexander, like the rest of the build up to this bout, continued to be understated,
‘‘I’ve been concentrating on strength and endurance…There’s nothing else to add. The fight will show everything that we’ve got.’’
‘‘When I fought Klitschko I was much weaker and much worse shape than I am now…I never like to say what will happen ahead of time. You will see everything on Saturday night.’’
The Russian, currently 34-1 (24KOs), will step into the ring with what many view as no more than a puncher’s chance. Perhaps the lack of hype heading into his 2nd super fight will see the 39-year-old excel.
Joshua is already set for yet another Wembley stadium bout in April 2019, where the opponent is expected to be Dillian Whyte in a rematch of their 2015 domestic dustup. It’s up to ‘Sasha’ to scupper those plans and upset the masses.
DAZN Boxing Preview: Anthony Joshua vs. Alexander Povetkin
By: William Holmes
The buzz behind DAZN has been growing louder and louder, and their first “official” card will happen this Saturday at 4:30PM ET. Undefeated heavyweight Champion Anthony Joshua will face top rated contender, Alexander Povetkin, for Joshua’s IBF, WBA, and WBO Heavyweight titles.
This bout will take place at a sold out Wembley Stadium. Joshua has fought in London several times before, mainly at the O2 Arena, but this will be Joshua’s first fight at Wembley Stadium since he defeated Wladimir Klitschko.
Photo Credit: Matchroom Boxing Twitter Account
Joshua nearly didn’t fight Povetkin, as there were ongoing negotiations with US Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder, but Joshua and Eddie Hearn hope to make the Povetkin fight in 2019 and have move forwarded with the Povetkin fight.
The undercard looks to have solid fights. Luke Campbell will face Yvan Mendy in the co-main event of the night. Matty Askin will defend his British Cruiserweight Title against Lawrence Okolie. Sergey Kuzmin will meet David Price in the heavyweight division, and Shakhram Giyasov, Julio Laguna, Dana Zaxo, and Tony Bilic will be featured on the undercard.
The following is a preview of the main event of the evening:
Anthony Joshua (21-0) vs. Alexander Povetkin (34-1) IBF, WBA, WBO Heavyweight Title Fight
Most consider Anthony Joshua to be the best heavyweight fighter in the heavyweight division, and that belief is backed up by Joshua’s resume. But he will be facing one of the toughest tests of his career in Alexander Povetkin on Saturday.
The challenge in front of him is not lost on Joshua. He stated, “ We both have a big heart and we can dig deep, so that always turn out for a good fight. The one who’s toughest will come out victorious. When I look at this weight, he’s one of the lighter heavyweights, but that means he’s got a lot of speed and is a quick fighter. But I train against amateur guys that are just as quick as him..with a good fight, I’ll always find a wa.”
He’s twenty eight years old and is eleven years younger than Povetkin. He will also have a significant four inch height advantage and a seven inch reach advantage on Povetkin.
Both boxers have considerable power, but Joshua has the edge in this department. He has stopped twenty opponents, every single man he has faced except Joseph Parker failed to reach the final bell. Povetkin has twenty four stoppages, including three of his past five fights, but his power is not on Anthony Joshua’s level.
Povetkin is very aware of the power of Joshua. He stated, ”Anthony Joshua is one of the strongest in the division.”
Both boxers have had highly successful amateur careers. Joshua won the Gold Medal in the 2012 Summer Olympics while Povetkin won the Gold Medal in the 2004 Summer Olympics.
Activity is also in Joshua’s favor. He fought once in 2018, twice in 2017, and three times in 2016. Povetkin fought once in 2018, twice in 2017, and once in 2016. Povetkin might have been able to fight more often, but two positive steroid tests have led to periods of suspensions.
Even though Joshua has only been fighting as a professional 2013, but his professional resume for someone with 21 fights is very impressive. He has defeated the likes of Joseph Parker, Carlos Takam, Wladimir Klitschko, Eric Molina, Dominic Breazeale, Charles Martin, Dillian Whyte, Gary Cornish, and Kevin Johnson.
In fact, Joshua has only fought two guys with losing records during his entire career.
Povetkin has been boxing as a professional since 2005 and also has an impressive list of defeated opponents. He has defeated the likes of David Price, Christian Hammer, Andriy Rudenko, Johan Duhaupas, Mariusz Wach, Mike Perez, Carlos Takam, Manuel Charr, Andrzej Wawrzyk, Hasim Rahman, Marco Huck, Ruslan Chagaev, Eddie Chambers, Chris Byrd, and Larry Donald. His lone blemish was to Wladimir Klitschko.
Povetkin’s lone loss, to Wladimir Klitschko, was a route and Klitschko has similar size and reach in comparison to Anthony Joshua. Joshua had a good fight with Klitschko, but was able to turn up the pressure and stop him in the later rounds after getting knocked down himself.
Povetkin is a live underdog, but it’s unlikely he’ll be able to pull off the upset at the age of 39 and with no banned substances in his system.
Final Press Conference Quotes: Anthony Joshua vs Alexander Povetkin
At Wembley Stadium on Thursday afternoon, the boxing world saw a preview of what will prove to be a historic night for the fight sports world, as Anthony Joshua will face off against Alexander Povetkin in front of more than 80,000 people. In a press conference, Saturday night’s fighters gathered to discuss their preparation, what it will be like to fight at Wembley Stadium, and their predictions.
Photo Credit: Matchroom Boxing
“We both have a big heart and we can dig deep, so that always turns out for a good fight. The one who’s toughest will come out victorious. When I look at this weight, he’s one of the lighter heavyweights, but that means he’s got a lot of speed and is a quick fighter. But I train against amateur guys that are just as quick as him… With a good fight, I’ll always find a way.”
Povetkin is one of my toughest challengers to date so that’s where my focus has been… My body has been broken down and rebuilt back up through this camp like never before.”
On fighting at Wembley Stadium:
“Coming back here is a blessing… This is home.”
“Anthony Joshua is one of the strongest in the division.”
On a prediction:
“I never try to say anything ahead of time, so you will see everything on Saturday fight night.”
Eddie Hearn, Matchroom Boxing Managing Director
“It’s an absolute honor to be back at a national stadium, Wembley Stadium, for another huge night of boxing. Four world champion belts on the line, 80,000 people out there singing and dancing trying to see if Anthony Joshua can continue to reign supreme as the No. 1 star in the sport.”
On DAZN making its U.S. debut:
“DAZN is a major move in the U.S. market, and it’s a must-have for fight fans.”
Joseph Markowski, DAZN SVP, North America
“DAZN is different and we will quickly become an absolute must-have for fight fans. Via our partnerships with Matchroom, Bellator MMA, the World Boxing Super Series and Combate Americas, we will deliver more than 80 fight nights in our opening 12 months – and we’ll deliver them for just $9.99 per month after a one-month free trial. Superb value, without doubt. And that value offering is immediate from this weekend. If you sign up for DAZN today, you’ll get 14 premium boxing and MMA events from DAZN in your free trial month. That is unmatched value for U.S. fight sports fans. Full stop.”
“Our entrance into the U.S. market has caused quite a stir. Since our launch announcement earlier in the year, we’ve seen other promoters and broadcast networks making their own grand announcements. It’s been a lot of fun to see how this has shaken up the community – because it only benefits fight fans as everyone steps up their game.”
Photo Credit: Matchroom Boxing
Participants from Saturday’s undercard also spoke with the press on Thursday.
• Sergey Kuzmin vs. David Price – Heavyweights
• Matty Askin vs. Lawrence Okolie – Cruiserweights
• Luke Campbell vs. Yvan Mendy – Lightweights
“I’m happy to be part of such a significant event here at the arena. I’ve gone through very hard and tedious training, and I’ll demonstrate all that I’ve achieved during this training on Saturday night.”
“I can’t lose… The upside of winning this fight is life-changing so I’ll be going in there and doing whatever it takes to win.”
On his rematch against Yvan Mendy:
“This for me is a fight I’ve wanted the last three years. I’ve had a great training camp. Physically and mentally, I’m all there.”
“I have a lot of self belief because of the training I put in, and I know what I’m capable of. I’m looking forward to it – skill for skill will show that I’m on another level. My attributes are overlooked.”
For more information, fans can follow DAZN’s U.S. social channels: @DAZNUSA on Facebook, @DAZN_USA for Twitter, and DAZN_USA for Instagram.