Mike Tyson Wants Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis This Year Or An Exhibition Against Tyson Fury
By: Hans Themistode
Mike Tyson still has a bit of revenge on his mind.
In back-to-back bouts against Evander Holyfield in the mid-1990s, Tyson was heavily favored to win both contests. Those who backed the former undisputed heavyweight champion to come out victorious, however, were left disappointed as Holyfield would walk away the winner via stoppage in the 11th round in their first contest and disqualification in their second due to Tyson biting the ear of Holyfield on several occasions.
After picking up the pieces and moving on, Tyson reeled off several knockout victories in a row which propelled him to a contest against Lennox Lewis in 2002. Tyson would go to lose that contest via eighth-round knockout.
Now, roughly 20-25 years later, Tyson not only wants to run things back, but he wants to do so in the coming months.
“I want Holyfield and I want Lennox Lewis this year,” Tyson said on his Hotboxing podcast. “I want both of them, I think I can get em both this year”
Over the past few months, Tyson has worked diligently on the first part of his master plan. The 2011 Hall of Famer has engaged in negotiations with team Holyfield in an attempt to bring a third showdown to reality. At the moment though, things appear headed in the wrong direction as both sides seemingly can’t agree on the financial part of the deal.
Be that as it may, Tyson appears determined to not only get his hands on Holyfield this year but also Lewis. With Tyson enjoying a lucrative second act in his boxing career, the all-time great continues to pursue big names to jump in the ring with him in an exhibition match.
In November of 2020, Tyson took on future Hall of Famer Roy Jones Jr., faced off in an exhibition contest that piqued the interest of the boxing world. The event sold for $49.99 apiece and reportedly did 1.6 million buys which generated an excess of $80 million dollars.
With Tyson proving that he is still a draw, outselling Canelo Alvarez and Errol Spence Jr. combined last year, he believes he’s found his new niche. Although the goal is to lure both Holyfield and Lewis into the ring, if he ultimately can’t work out a deal, he still has other plans in mind.
“I (can) box an exhibition with Tyson Fury. If I do that — even if I can get those two guys, I’ll say this is a wrap, I can go and live my life. And that’s just exhibitions. I’m going to break all my true records with exhibitions.”
Anthony Joshua And Tyson Fury Officially Sign Two Fight Deal
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.
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.”
Eddie Hearn On Deontay Wilder: “If He Can’t Show That Power Then He’s Irrelevant”
By: Hans Themistode
For the most part, promoter Eddie Hearn simply couldn’t understand what everyone was talking about. Sure former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder was winning, but the manner in which he was doing was so was vastly unimpressive to the long-time headman over at Matchroom.
To Hearn, Wilder’s saving grace always has and always will be his devastating power. However, as illustrated in his last fight against Tyson Fury, that vaunted power doesn’t mean a thing if it doesn’t land.
“Without his power, I don’t even think he would be registered on the world-class scene,” said Hearn during an interview with Fight Hub TV. “He does have tremendous power. But, in my opinion, the only way he wins is to detonate that power against an elite heavyweight. If you look at the second Luis Ortiz fight, he lost every round but he showed the power. If he can’t show that power then he’s irrelevant in the fight against a brilliant fighter. Fury was too smart for him.”
Wilder, of course, stopped Ortiz in the seventh round of their 2019 contest but was ultimately knocked out in the seventh against Tyson Fury the following year.
Since then, Wilder has chastised his now former co-trainer Mark Breland for stopping their contest and ripped apart referee Kenny Bayless for his alleged preferential treatment of Fury on the night.
Without a fight date, Wilder’s return to the ring is an open-ended question. But while many have no idea if or when, he will return at all, Hearn hopes that he does in fact comeback.
“I hope so. He’s brilliant for the sport, great for the game. He’s a good self-promoter, great talker, really exciting and a huge puncher. I just don’t think he’s very good.”
At no point has Wilder ever been confused with Floyd Mayweather. In short, the Alabama native isn’t known for his boxing ability. But even at the peak of his powers, Hearn always believed that unified heavyweight titlist Anthony Joshua would handle Wilder convincingly.
Unfortunately however, both sides could never come to terms on a fight agreement. In Hearn’s opinion, Wilder had a much better chance of defeating Joshua several years ago. Now, on the other hand, Hearn believes Wilder would simply be wiped out.
“I’ve always felt that AJ (Anthony Joshua) would just destroy him and even more so now. He’s technically so good now that Wilder wouldn’t even get his shot off. AJ used to be reckless and when you’re reckless, you’re always wide open to the shot. But now, AJ would take his time and pick him apart.”
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”
By: Hans Themistode
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.”
Mark Breland On Deontay Wilder: “His Career Is Done Now”
By: Hans Themistode
For years it was the same script for Deontay Wilder. The long-standing heavyweight champion would saunter his way to the ring, box unconventionally and eventually detonate a right hand on his opponent that would end the night in his favor. Yet, following his second contest with Tyson Fury in February of 2020, Wilder was the one who found himself on the wrong end of a knockout loss.
Shortly after his defeat, Wilder went on his social media account and proclaimed that the war between himself and Fury was only just beginning and that he would once again rise to the top. Wilder’s former trainer in Mark Breland on the other hand, believes that Wilder’s career is done and over with.
“His career is done now,” said Breland during an interview with The Fight is Righ1. “I’m done and he’s done.”
Breland, of course, helped guide Wilder’s career over the years and played an enormous role in leading the Alabama native to the world title in 2015. While their relationship appeared to be built on a solid foundation, the moment Wilder lost his title to Fury, the former titlist lashed out at Breland before ultimately letting him go.
Wilder’s issue with Breland stemmed from the long time trainer throwing in the towel during his seventh-round stoppage defeat to Fury. On the night in question, Breland took his normal seat in the corner of Wilder and watched as his man was beaten mercilessly round by round.
After witnessing Wilder hit the deck in both the third and fifth rounds, Breland waved the white flag as to prevent his star from receiving further punishment. While many believed Breland did the right thing, Wilder was apoplectic. To the Alabama product, he would have much rather been knocked unconscious as opposed to having their contest end the way it did. Wilder essentially pinned the loss to Fury on the shoulders of Breland, claiming he was bribed and spiked his drinking water amongst other things.
Although he was mostly mum on Wilder’s scathing accusations, Breland believes that the body of work he has put forth throughout the course of his life has done all of the needed talking for him.
“So many people know me. My character speaks for itself,” explained Breland. “Spiked the water? If you’re looking at the tapes, someone else is giving him the water. Only foolish people come out with stuff like that because it’s crazy.”
Regardless of who was right or wrong, both sides have parted ways for good. In the case of Breland, he continues to stay around the sport of boxing and works with other up and coming fighters looking to make a name for themselves. For Wilder, he’s pushed forward in his attempt to secure a third showdown with Fury, something that has been unsuccessful thus far.
Although the former WBC belt holder is confident in his ability to eventually regain a spot amongst the elite of the heavyweight division, Breland believe’s that he is simply a one-trick pony and only time will tell if his explosive right hand will allow him to recapture another world title.
“One thing you all say is, he’s got a lot of power and that’s all. Only got power and we’ll see how far that takes him.”
Andre Ward Reveals Who He Would Target If He Did Return
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.”
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”
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.
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.”
Anthony Joshua: “I’m Ready, I Want Tyson Fury”
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.”
Oleksandr Usyk, Not Tyson Fury, Should Be Next For Anthony Joshua
By: Hans Themistode
It’s the sexy matchup. The one that everyone talks about and quite frankly, it makes a ton of sense.
The first trip to the canvas allowed boxing fans to crack a slight smile. The second and third brought about a full grin. As unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua landed the finishing blow on mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev, fans across the world screamed in excitement before his 39-year-old body hit the canvas. It wasn’t just because Joshua’s one-punch knockout was captivating, but more so because of what it signified. An undisputed title fight with fellow champion Tyson Fury.
Not since Lennox Lewis’s 1999 win over Evander Holyfield has there been an undisputed heavyweight champion. By all accounts, both Joshua and Fury not only want the fight but are begging for it to happen next. With Pulev sitting in an emergency room concussed and former WBC belt holder Deontay Wilder on the outside looking in, both Eddie Hearn and Bob Arum, their respective promoters, have stated that they will sit down to talk immediately about putting together a two-fight deal.
But while Joshua, Fury, Hearn and Arum open the doors to begin negotiations, a six feet four inch, one-time Olympic gold medalist and former undisputed cruiserweight champion in Oleksandr Usyk stands in the way.
In the land of the heavy hitters, Usyk’s defensive/box first style has never appeared to be a true fit. During his brief time as a cruiserweight, Usyk could get away with outboxing his man and racking up the points on the judge’s scorecards as opposed to ending things with one deleterious blow. Yet, with wins over Mairis Briedis, Murat Gassiev and Tony Bellow – there was nothing left for him to do. His waist and shoulders were draped in cruiserweight gold. But the challenges were few and far between.
With nothing more to prove, Usyk (18-0, 13 KOs) moved up to the heavyweight division. A place where fighters often stomp and announce their presence demonstratively. For Usyk however, he tiptoed through and made his mark in a much different way.
In October of 2018, Usyk officially made his debut, pitty patting late replacement Chazz Witherspoon before ultimately stopping him in the seventh. Roughly one year later, Usyk would return to the ring yet again. This time against fringe contender Dereck Chisora. Unable to make a dent in his man, Usyk would settle for a close decision victory.
Criticism of his power has been the narrative surrounding his heavyweight ventures. No one wants to watch a big man dance around his opponent, make him miss, potshot him, wash and repeat for 12 rounds before cruising to a win on the judge’s scorecards. There has always been one theme when discussing heavyweight boxing.
One punch can end it all.
That of course, doesn’t apply to Usyk. Still, his shot at a world title was earned with his work one weight class lower. But with year number three approaching on his heavyweight trip, the soon to be 34-year-old is still awaiting his shot at a world title. Something that should have been granted to him the moment he landed in his new division.
Like any weight class, once a champion vacates his titles in favor of moving up in weight, said fighter will receive a high placement in the sanctioning bodies of his new home. In the case of the WBO, former champions in one weight class are immediately granted a world title opportunity. Nonetheless, a combination of injuries and a worldwide pandemic has forced him to wait.
In numerous conversations with Usyk over the years, the former Olympic gold medalist has dreamed of becoming a world champion in the heavyweight division. Yet, with both Fury and Joshua only one win away from achieving undisputed status, Usyk has been pushed to the side and forgotten.
Let’s be clear, a showdown between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua for all of the heavyweight marbles is salient. But to Usyk, it’s inconsequential.
The sound of a pen scribbling across sheets of paper can be heard from boxing fans as a two-fight deal is currently being hammered out between Hearn and Arum. It would be fairly easy for Joshua to vacate his WBO world title, face Fury and the winner to eventually circle back to face Usyk at a later date. With that being said, it isn’t what the Ukrainian wants, nor is it what he deserves.
There’s something to be said for a fighter that has won at every level. From Olympic glory to championship status in the pro’s Usyk has done it all. For fans at home though, they could care less. Simply stand to the side and allow the British stars to settle the debate of who is the best in the world. Any discussion that does not revolve around a mega showdown involving Joshua and Fury will be met with complete fulmination.
To Usyk however, their complaints will draw the same creepy smile he has flashed at his opponents just before dismantling them. The sexy fight, the popular fight and the significant fight is Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury. But Oleksandr Usyk has earned his shot at Anthony Joshua first.
Bob Arum Unimpressed With Anthony Joshua’s Stoppage Win Over Kubrat Pulev: “He Was A Little Better Than Ordinary”
By: Hans Themistode
A crowd of one thousand fans stood on their feet and cheered as unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua placed the finishing touches on IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev. After dropping his man twice in the third, Joshua closed the show in the ninth round at Wembley Arena.
Amongst the cheering fans who were thrilled with his performance was future hall of famer Floyd Mayweather Jr. As the two embraced afterward, Mayweather appeared to be congratulating him on his performance. But while Mayweather and the crowd tipped their cap to Joshua, promoter Bob Arum sat stone-faced in his palatial estate, unimpressed.
“No, goodness no,” said Arum immediately following Joshua’s victory when asked if he was impressed. “He was tentative and didn’t really show the ability to get away from a punch. He was a little better than ordinary. That’s the truth, I’m not going to sugarcoat it. He didn’t appear to pose any kind of problem for Tyson Fury.”
For months now, Arum claimed that Joshua would end up flat on his back when the two met in the ring. Arum’s assumptions, by and large, were true, just for the wrong fighter. Joshua pummeled Pulev and quickly ended any dreams of the 39-year-old becoming a world champion. His performance though, was mediocre at best according to Arum. The fact of the matter is, it wasn’t what Joshua did do, but more so what Pulev didn’t.
“Well, Joshua was clearly the better man. Kubrat couldn’t pull the trigger. He landed a couple of good shots but he couldn’t follow up and Joshua got him out of there. But I don’t think it was a particularly stellar performance by Anthony Joshua but it was good enough to get the win by stoppage.”
Joshua’s win, while heavily picked apart by Arum, did place a smile on the 89-year-old promoter’s face. The victory served as the final hurdle before an all-British heavyweight showdown between Joshua and WBC/Ring magazine belt holder Tyson Fury.
With the 39-year-old Pulev now out of the way, Joshua has effectively cleaned up his side of the street. As for Fury, he appeared to be entrenched in a messy legal battle with former WBC titlist Deontay Wilder. The two fought to a split draw in 2018 before Fury laid out the surly big man earlier this year. Fury was contractually bound to Wilder for a third contest, something that the former belt holder enacted immediately. However, due to numerous postponements for various reasons, their contract has reportedly expired.
Despite that, it hasn’t stopped Wilder from attempting to secure their trilogy. His attempt to legally enforce anything regarded Fury however, is extraneous.
“The contract has run out. It’s clear that it expired sometime in October.”
Deals for fights of this magnitude tend to linger and protract for long periods of time. In this case, Arum is expecting a quick and easy negotiation. The long time promoter has already scheduled a phone call with fellow promoter Eddie Hearn and has put together the framework of what would be a two-fight deal.
“I think we talk on Monday. It would be a 50/50 deal. The first fight is 50/50 and then the winner on the second fight gets 60%.”
Anthony Joshua: “None Of These Guys Live In My Head Anymore, They All Know Where To Find Me”
By: Hans Themistode
No matter how intimidating Anthony Joshua seemed on the outside, it didn’t take much to get under his skin. The surly knockout artist from Britain always found himself the topic of conversation, and more times than not, what was said about him wasn’t very flattering.
For the most part, Joshua has faced just about everyone at the top of the heavyweight division. Yet, it didn’t matter if he cruised to a unanimous decision victory over Joseph Parker or whether he nearly decapitated Dillian Whyte, the naysayers were always present.
By and large, Joshua managed to let the disparaging words roll off his broad back. But there were plenty of times where he engaged in the back and forth rhetoric. Now though, the current unified heavyweight titlist could care less what his peers have to say about him.
“None of these guys live in my head anymore,” said Joshua during an interview with Chris Mannix. “With all of that stuff Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder last year, it was like they both came together to say I’m the weak link in the division. Back then I was always trying to back myself but now it doesn’t matter.”
Talks of facing either Wilder or Fury still engulfs many of his conversations but at the moment, Joshua is just a few hours away from taking on IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev. Although Pulev isn’t considered much of a threat to truncate the British native’s reign, considering Joshua’s last opponent who was thought of in the same vein, he isn’t taking his man lightly.
In June of 2019, Joshua would walk into his contest against heavy underdog Andy Ruiz Jr. as a 25-1 favorite. Unless you are completely oblivious to the sport of boxing, the outcome of their contest was well-chronicled as Joshua was dropped four times and later stopped in the seventh.
Since then, the 31-year-old managed to win back his titles six months later in Saudi Arabia with a one-sided victory over Ruiz Jr. Thoughts of overlooking Pulev, who is on an eight-fight win streak himself, just isn’t on the mind of Joshua. So while Pulev has his undivided attention, Joshua is well aware that his immediate future will involve a showdown with either Fury or Wilder.
Coming to terms with either man has proven to be more difficult than he originally thought. With that being said, he won’t chase them. When the dust settles on his showdown with Pulev, Joshua has offered both Fury and Wilder to reach out to him, something he believes is easy to do.
“When Fury is ready he knows where to find me. When Wilder is ready he knows where to find me. They all know where to find me.”
Anthony Joshua: “Back Then It Was Easy To Live In My Head Rent Free”
By: Hans Themistode
Anthony Joshua always kept a straight face. The current unified heavyweight champion heard the praise that was rained upon him from his fans but he heard the critics even louder.
Not long ago, the 30-year-old British product was accused of avoiding a unification showdown with former WBC belt holder Deontay Wilder. No matter who he faced in the ring, the questions would always revert and center around what seemed to be his reluctance to face Wilder.
No matter how long he kept his poker face on and ignored his critics, their disparaging words would eat at him day after day.
“Back then it was easy to live in my head rent free,” said Joshua to Chris Mannix during a recent interview. “They would tell me that I was ducking Deontay and I tried to back it up.”
For Joshua, the naysayers were easier to avoid in his palatial estate across the pound in England. With that being said, they were impossible to steer clear of once he stepped foot on American soil.
In June of 2019, Joshua made the long trek half way across the world to make his US debut. Waiting to dethrone him was what many believed to be a minimal threat in Andy Ruiz Jr. A win over his opponent was all but guaranteed, so much so that the topic of the conversation was once again shifted in the direction of Deontay Wilder. With Joshua finally beginning his British Invasion, the thought was that the two would meet if not in late 2019 then at the very least, early 2020.
Everything was seemingly figured out. Jump into the ring with Ruiz Jr., beat him down and move on to the real fight. That of course, didn’t happen as Joshua suffered a shocking seventh-round loss on the night.
Excuses were never used on Joshua’s behalf. He simply placed a towel over his head, shook Ruiz Jr.’s hand and sauntered out of the ring. The near 25-1 underdog had won fair and square but with all of the talk revolving around a mega showdown between himself and Wilder, it was difficult for the British product to keep his eye on the prize.
“Last year was difficult when I was about to fight Ruiz. Remember I was that guy who was ducking everyone. I didn’t want to fight Deontay Wilder. I was going on different sports shows in America and they would say why are you ducking Deontay Wilder? I’m trying to explain myself but I’m fighting Ruiz in the background but no one cares about Ruiz. When I’m in the corner you can see I’m not even interested in this fight. Why am I even here?”
Even with his attention diverted, Joshua nearly walked out of Madison Square Garden with his undefeated record intact. In the third round, Joshua floored his man. From there, the women in attendance began grabbing their purses and the men reached for their jackets as the contest was presumed over. That of course, was far from the truth as Ruiz Jr. not only rose to his feet but dropped Joshua twice in the very same round before ultimately ending things in the seventh.
The win for Ruiz Jr. turned him into a superstar. He was given all of the credit in the world as he made daily appearances on television shows around the globe. A defeated Joshua noticed the attention that his man was given. He wasn’t envious of it, but he is firmly under the belief that if he were to handle business on the night, the response in return would’ve been ho-hum.
“There’s no respect or admiration for facing these guys. But when I lose their all saying that Ruiz is the new Rocky and he’s this and that but why wouldn’t you give me that love for beating him?”
Even with Joshua winning their immediate rematch six months later, fast forward roughly one year later, and he finds himself in almost an identical situation. In just a few more days Joshua will make his lone ring appearance as he takes on IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev. Much like his first showdown against Ruiz Jr., Pulev, 39, isn’t viewed as much of a threat. Instead, much of the buzz has been centered around a possible matchup with fellow heavyweight champion Tyson Fury.
In the past, those thoughts would have distracted him. Now, after learning the hard way, he won’t allow that to happen again.
“I learned to focus on myself. I realize that I don’t have to prove anything to anyone.”
Deontay Wilder Back Tracks From Previous Costume Claims: “It had a little weight on it, But It wasn’t enough to cause me to not have my legs”
By: Hans Themistode
For Deontay Wilder, losing was never an option. The six-foot-six-inch former heavyweight titlist felt he was unbeatable in the ring. Yet, after seven one sided rounds earlier this year against Tyson Fury, the Alabama native found his aura of invincibility shattered.
Following the loss, Wilder offered an explanation as to why he stumbled across the ring for most of their contest and hit the deck on multiple occasions.
“My uniform was way too heavy for me,” said Wilder shortly after his defeat. “I didn’t have no legs from the beginning of the fight. In the third round, my legs were just shot all the way through. It weighed 40-some pounds with the helmet and all the batteries. I tried my best but I knew I didn’t have the legs because of my uniform.”
Wilder’s excuse for the lone defeat in his career was viewed as erroneous and nonsensical, yet, he stuck to his guns. Recently however, with more time to reflect on his defeat, Wilder is now back-peddling from his original thought process.
“That wouldn’t have been the case,” said Wilder to Brian Custer on The Last Stand Podcast when asked if he believed his costume cost him his world title. “I’m not excusing the costume. It had a little weight on it but it wasn’t enough weight to make me feel the way I felt in that ring. It wasn’t enough to cause me to not have my legs. It’s like having sex and going to have basketball.”
Wilder’s recent dismissal of his costume costing him both his unblemished record and his world title doesn’t mean he believes he lost fair and square. On the contrary, the Alabama native is under the belief that Fury pulled off a sly move or two and if you don’t believe him, just look at his track record.
“He cheated,” said an exasperated Wilder. “He flat out cheated. That wasn’t the best man, that was a coward. He’s a known cheater. We can go back to the rap sheet of his history, even with the Klitschko fight. He definitely wasn’t the better man.”
In November of 2015, Fury pulled off what many thought to be impossible when he dethroned long standing unified heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko who’s reign lasted nearly a decade. Fury’s victory was short-lived though as he failed multiple drug tests for cocaine use, and would later admit to his transgressions.
Both Fury and Wilder were drug tested during the build up of their contest. That however, hasn’t stopped Fury from cheating according to Wilder. The 34-year-old isn’t accusing his rival of taking a banned substance though. Instead, Wilder believes he used other methods to pull off the victory and claims to have a mountain of evidence to back his claims.
“I still haven’t heard valid proof of how gloves keep a smushed in form. How a glove flap all the way back? Why is your hands in the bottom of the glove? Why did my ear have scratches in it? It was because of your nails. There are so many facts and different proof that we have.”
Those bullet points, along with what Wilder believes was disloyalty from his now fired co-trainer Mark Breland, has left wilder fuming.
Just a few weeks ago, after spending several months sequestered from social media, Wilder posted a video placing the blame squarely at the feet of both Fury and Breland. The former trainer’s role in his truncated championship reign is believed to be through his water. Wilder is under the assumption that Breland spiked his drink which ultimately led to his unstable legs and lack of aggression. Since then, the boxing public has pushed back on his claims, believing that they are ludicrous and unfounded.
Despite the push back, Wilder won’t waste his time fulminating with those who don’t agree with what he believes is the truth.
“When I took my costume off you seen my eyes bugging. Over these five years of people seeing me fight they know when I’m ready and when I’m not. When people seen my face people were saying something was wrong with him. A lot of people just don’t want to believe because they don’t want to.”
Oleksandr Usyk Gives Anthony Joshua Two Choices: “Either He Fights Me Or He Relinquishes”
By: Hans Themistode
The questions surrounding Oleksandr Usyk and his run in the heavyweight division are slowly being answered. The former undisputed cruiserweight champion survived a few rough moments early on against fringe contender Dereck Chisora before dancing his way to the finish line this past Saturday night.
Usyk, 33, may have had the advantage in terms of skills, but with his opponent carrying with him a near 40 pound weight advantage into the ring, many wondered how the Ukrainian product would react to a much bigger and stronger man.
However, following a unanimous decision victory, Usyk gave no mention to Chisora’s physical advantages. Instead, he was more so exasperated over what he believes were dirty tactics.
“Dereck was a huge test for me,” said Usyk during a post fight interview with Sky Sports Boxing. “He did so many low blows, elbows and hits to the back of the head but it really made me stronger.”
With a mandatory title challenge already guaranteed to him, Usyk (18-0, 13 KOs) was never interested in facing Chisora to begin with. Yet, with unified champion Anthony Joshua already married to a title defense against Kubrat Pulev, the Ukrainian risked his mandated title shot in order to keep off the ring rust.
For Joshua, he’s expressed an interest in facing Usyk, but he’s also made it clear that after he takes care of business against Pulev on December 12th, he would much rather unify titles against Tyson Fury. The winner of their highly anticipated matchup would be crowned the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis in 2000.
Despite the historical significance, Usyk has no intention of sitting on the sidelines.
“I am the mandatory for Anthony Joshua so he has two options. One, to fight me, the other one is to vacate and fight Tyson Fury. Either he fights me or he relinquishes.”
The normally active former Cruiserweight kingpin has been the exact opposite over the past two years. With a number of injuries and a worldwide pandemic slowing down his action in the ring, his contest against Chisora was only his second in two years.
The rust was evident as he appeared uncomfortable early on. With that being said, Usyk believes that the best is yet to come.
“I feel like I can do better. I didn’t box for a year so it took me a little while to warm up. We definitely will do much better in the future.”
Bob Arum Responds To Deontay Wilder’s Cheating Claim: “He’s Mimicking Donald Trump, In Other Words, He’s Lying”
By: Hans Themistode
Since suffering a brutal loss in his last ring appearance at the hands of Tyson Fury, the normally loquacious Deontay Wilder had been uncharacteristically quiet.
That however, changed when the former WBC heavyweight titlist dropped a bombshell on the boxing world. During a video that was posted on Wilder’s social media accounts, the Alabama native stood before a camera in a dark room and began castigating Fury, his former co trainer Mark Breland and referee Kenny Bayless.
On the night in question, Wilder was thoroughly beaten down by Fury. He found himself on the canvas on several occasions which ultimately led to his stoppage defeat in the seventh round. After hearing Wilder’s claims, 88 year old Bob Arum believes that it’s absolutely bull shit from top to bottom.
“We haven’t heard a lot from Wilder so he’s been watching television. All I can say about his Instagram post is that he’s mimicking Donald Trump. In other words, he’s lying and come up with conspiracy theories, other than putting the blame on yourself.”
Arum, of course, had first row seats to witness his British heavyweight titlist dish out the beating of a lifetime to Wilder on February 22nd at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. At no point did Wilder appear to be fully in the contest. Fury came out aggressive in the opening rounds. The results came in the form of two knockdowns in the third and fifth rounds. As Wilder’s team sat back and watched their man take big shot after big shot, assistant trainer and former welterweight champion Mark Breland couldn’t stomach it any longer and threw in the white towel.
Noticing his defeat enraged Wilder to no end and the Alabama product finally split ways with him due to his decision. Arum seemed to take extreme offense to Wilder when he began bad mouthing both his now ex trainer and the referee in charge.
Instead of admonishing them, Arum believes the former champ should be singing their praises.
“For him to castigate Kenny Bayless the referee and Mark Breland, his chief cornerman is disgraceful,” said Arum during an interview with IFL TV. “They acted properly and saved Wilder’s life. He was completely out of it and was getting thrashed by Tyson Fury.”
Other than pointing a blaming finger in the direction of his corner, Wilder turned his attention to Fury. The surly knockout artist ranted on about the damage in which he was able to inflict which included the swelling of his face and perforating his eardrums. Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) showed numerous videos which he believes proves that Fury did in fact have an illegal object on the inside of his gloves.
An already irritated Arum shook his head at those claims as well.
“To talk about the gloves the way he did was disgraceful. You have to understand the situation with the gloves in the state of Nevada where the fight took place. The day before the fight at the weigh-ins the gloves are presented to the commission who inspects the gloves.
“Each side then examines the gloves and each fighter picks a pair of gloves that they are going to use in the fight. They also choose a second pair in case something happens to the gloves in the fight that they can use. Then the gloves are secured by the commission and they are kept in a safe place so that no one can tamper with them. On the night of the fight, a commission brings the gloves that each fighter has signed their names on to the respective fighter who has already put on their approved hand wraps. Then, the gloves are put on in the presence of the inspector who bought the gloves and the inspector who is assigned to the room. Nobody, nobody can tamper with the gloves.”
While the long time promoter, continues to fire back at every single one of Wilder’s claims, he believes the recently turned 35 year old simply can’t come to grips with how badly he was beaten on the night.
“What he has done is taken something out of a movie,” explained Arum. “That probably used to happen maybe in the 30s and 40s and he’s using that as a conspiracy to explain how he got so decisively beaten by Tyson Fury. What Wilder said is a sham. It’s a Donald Trump kind of sham.”