Zhang-Joyce II set for September 23 in London

Five months after Chinese southpaw Zhilei “Big Bang” Zhang shook up the heavyweight division with a stunning knockout, he’ll look to do it again. Zhang’s rematch with British superstar Joe Joyce — Saturday, Sept. 23 at OVO Arena Wembley in London — will stream live and exclusively in the U.S. on ESPN+.

Zhang-Joyce II, the return of two-time light heavyweight title challenger Anthony Yarde against Ricky Summers, and additional undercard action begins at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT.

Zhang (25-1-1, 20 KOs), who at 6’6 and 275-plus pounds more than lives up to his nickname, captured an Olympic silver medal for his home country at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He turned pro in 2014 and compiled a 24-0-1 record before losing a controversial decision to Filip Hrgovic last August. Less than eight months later, he faced Joyce at London’s Copper Box Arena, peppering the Brit with lefts until the ringside physician stopped the fight in round six due to the swelling engulfing Joyce’s right eye. Zhang snatched Joyce’s WBO interim world title in the process.

Joyce (15-1, 14 KOs), a 2016 Olympic silver medalist, hopes to exact revenge in his hometown. Before the first Zhang fight, “The Juggernaut” was known as boxing’s immovable force, stopping top contenders Carlos Takam, Daniel Dubois, and Joseph Parker during a five-fight knockout streak. Joyce turned pro in October 2017 and won the Commonwealth title in his fourth outing.

Beterbiev-Yarde set for January 28 in London

London calls for the light-heavyweight king. WBC, WBO and IBF world champion Artur Beterbiev will defend his belts against big-punching British challenger Anthony Yarde at the OVO Arena Wembley on Saturday, January 28.

The WBO No.1 contender gets his shot at the Montreal-based Beterbiev (18-0, 18 KOs), boxing’s only world champion with a 100 percent knockout ratio. He will be fighting professionally in the United Kingdom for the first time, with the highly decorated former amateur having fought in London at the 2012 Olympic Games.

Promoted by Frank Warren and Queensberry, in association with Top Rank, this huge 175-pound showdown will be shown exclusively on BT Sport in the UK and streaming live and exclusively on ESPN+ in the U.S.

Tickets for Beterbiev vs Yarde at The O2 on Saturday 28 January 2023 go on general sale at 11am on Thursday 24 November from AXS.com and ticketmaster.co.uk.

“This will undoubtedly be the biggest challenge of Anthony’s career to date, and we have made sure he will get the best conditions possible by securing him home advantage,” said Yarde’s promoter, Frank Warren of Queensberry. “It is going to be a huge occasion at the OVO Arena Wembley, which is the same venue where Anthony made his professional debut in May 2015.

“Of course, we know a great champion like Beterbiev has no fears of traveling and virtually all of his biggest wins have come outside his now home nation of Canada. Boxing is all about timing, and we are hoping the time is right for Anthony to fulfill his huge potential and pull off what would be one of the biggest wins by a British fighter.

“This is going to be a spectacular show staged in conjunction with our friends at Top Rank, and I am sure it is an event the public will get behind in massive numbers to support Anthony’s attempt to achieve his dream.”

“This is a matchup between two of the most devastating light heavyweight punchers, and I look forward to the great Artur Beterbiev showcasing his prodigious talent for the incredible UK fans,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “Anthony Yarde was ringside for Artur’s last fight, and he certainly does not lack confidence. He is a dangerous fighter, and I know Artur will be switched on for one of the toughest bouts of his illustrious career.”

Beterbiev won his first world title in November 2017 with a 12th-round stoppage of Enrico Koelling and defended his IBF belt on two further occasions – including against Britain’s Callum Johnson – before entering into a unification match against WBC champion Oleksandr Gvozdyk in October 2019.  Ukrainian puncher Gvozdyk, who was unbeaten at the time, was stopped in the 10th round. Beterbiev defended his titles against Adam Deines and Marcus Browne ahead of a three-belt unification against WBO champion Joe Smith Jr. in June at Hulu Theater Madison Square Garden, where the American was stopped in two rounds. In the amateur ranks, Beterbiev won silver at the 2007 World Championships before striking gold at the 2009 event. He also won gold medals at the 2006 and 2010 European Championships.

“I never back down from a challenge, and Anthony Yarde is a top contender who asked for this fight. I look forward to fighting in London for the first time since the Olympics,” Beterbiev said. “Yarde called me ‘slow’ after my fight with Joe Smith Jr., but slow and steady wins the race. And on January 28, I will win in London.”

The Wembley event represents a second world title attempt from Yarde (23-2, 22 KOs) who previously travelled to Chelyabinsk, Russia, to take on the long-standing champion Sergey Kovalev, ultimately being stopped in the 11th round after coming close to forcing a finish himself in the eighth round. Yarde’s first title came in fight No. 11 when he knocked out Chris Hobbs in four rounds for the Southern Area belt.

Yarde then fought seven consecutive fights with either the WBO European or Intercontinental belts at stake, or both, as Yarde knocked out each of those foes in seven rounds or less. Post-Kovalev, Yarde continued with fights during the pandemic against Dec Spelman and a domestic dust-up against Lyndon Arthur. Yarde dropped a split decision against his Manchester rival, and after a swift comeback fight in Birmingham, Yarde sought redemption against Arthur. The vintage Yarde returned, and he knocked out Arthur in four rounds to once again earn the WBO No. 1 spot.

“January 28 will be my night,” said Yarde. “My destiny playing out in my home city, and this is what I have been longing for throughout my professional career, which started at Wembley. I won’t make any big predictions for this fight against a strong unified champion in Artur Beterbiev, but what I will say is that I will leave nothing to chance, and I am at my best when I fight fire with fire.”

Fury-Chisora 3 set for December 3 in London

WBC world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury will defend his crown against Derek Chisora at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday, December 3. Also, that night, WBA(secondary) world champion Daniel Dubois will make the first defense of his belt against South African southpaw Kevin Lerena.

Fury will again perform on UK soil following his April knockout of mandatory challenger Dillian Whyte in front of 94,000 fans at Wembley Stadium.

The two first met in July 2011 with the British and Commonwealth titles at stake, and Fury prevailed by unanimous decision. The two would fight again in 2014, and again, Fury was victorious, this time by stoppage.

During his career, Chisora (33-12, 23 KOs) challenged for the WBC title and gave a good account of himself against Vitali Klitschko in Munich before entering into a grudge match at West Ham United’s Upton Park against another British rival in David Haye.

 In recent years, Chisora has been involved in two close encounters with Dillian Whyte and one with Usyk while defeating Carlos Takam, Artur Szpilka, and David Price. Last year, he lost a pair of tight affairs with Joseph Parker. 

His last fight was an exciting points victory over former world title challenger Kubrat Pulev in July.

Fury (32-0-1, 23 KOs) remains an undefeated champion and completed his remarkable return from the boxing wilderness with a resounding rematch victory over Deontay Wilder in February 2020, with the Bronze Bomber saved by his corner in the seventh round.

A trilogy battle followed eight months later, which delivered a Las Vegas thriller where Wilder was put down in rounds three and ten and Fury down twice in round four before knocking out the former WBC ruler in the 11th.

The 25-year-old Dubois (18-1, 17 KOs) seized his world title belt in June when he traveled to Miami and demolished previous champion, Trevor Bryan, inflicting a first defeat on the American via a fourth-round stoppage.

Lerena (28-1, 14 KOs), 30, is a recent addition to the heavyweight ranks, having established himself as the IBO world cruiserweight champion, making six defenses of the title. At heavyweight, he has recorded victories over contenders Patrick Ferguson, Bogdan Dinu, and Mariusz Wach.

Clearly, this is a fight no on wants, but according to the press release to announce the fight, Fury said he would like to face unified heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk, so let’s hope Fury is a man of his word.

Chisora-Pulev II set for July 9 in London

Derek Chisora and Kubrat Pulev will meet for a second time at The O2 in London on Saturday July 9, live worldwide on DAZN (excluding Australia, New Zealand and France), over six years on from their 12-round battle for the European Heavyweight Title at the Barclaycard Arena in Hamburg, Germany.

It was Bulgarian star Pulev (29-2, 14 KOs) who came out on top on that occasion, winning a tough split decision that saw him progress in their IBF World Title Eliminator and claim the vacant European crown for the second time in his career.

British favourite Chisora (32-12, 23 KOs) has since faced some of the biggest names in the Heavyweight division, including WBC World Title challenger Dillian Whyte twice, WBA and IBF World Title challenger Carlos Takam, unified Heavyweight World Champion Oleksandr Usyk and most recently two slugfests with former WBO Champion Joseph Parker.

Two-time World Title challenger Pulev, who’s only losses came against modern legend Wladimir Klitscho in 2014 and former unified king Anthony Joshua in 2020, dominated Jerry Forrest to win a unanimous decision on the Sergey Kovalev vs. Tervel Pulev undercard at the Kia Forum in Inglewood, California last month.

“I’m delighted to get this fight over the line,” said Matchroom Sport Chairman Eddie Hearn. “Initially we worked on some other opponents for Derek, but this fight came out of nowhere a few days ago and I absolutely love it! I think the strapline, ‘Total Carnage’, is absolutely perfect for this fight, in terms of the build-up and in terms of the fight itself. Expect the unexpected but expect a thriller at The O2 on July 9. Both men have been longstanding fixtures of the World Heavyweight division and it’s all or nothing at The O2 for both, as defeat could lead to the end of the road. Fans can expect a huge undercard and a brilliant main event for another brilliant event live on DAZN.”

Is McGregor rubbing Mayweather’s head for good luck?

The trash talking between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor is finally over. London was the last stop of the Mayweather-McGregor World Tour. Now, it’s time to fight!

Watch as McGregor rubs Floyd’s baldhead.

Is it for good luck? If so, McGregor is going to need it!

London crowd yells at Floyd Mayweather: ‘Sit down, shut up’

The final stop of the Mayweather-McGregor World Tour was in London today. In all of the stops, the crowds have been cheering for McGregor, and booing Mayweather.

London was no different. 

Watch below:

Joshua stops Klitschko in 11

What a fight! Anthony Joshua went through those “deep waters,” and swam like Michael Phelps. Joshua dropped Klitschko three times, including two times in 11th, and stops Klitschko in 11 to retain his IBF heavyweight belt, and capture the WBA strap. 90,000 fans at London’s Wembley stadium saw a great fight. At this point, Joshua-Klitschko is the “Fight of the Year.”

Joshua(19-0, 19 KOs) was the aggressor early in the fight, as Klitschko(64-5, 54 KOs) really was not throwing much. Joshua dropped Klitschko in the 5th, but Klitschko came back in that same round, and had Joshua hurt late in the round. Klitschko would knock Joshua down in the 6th,  and Joshua was in serious trouble, but he was able to survive. Klitschko started to take control of the fight in the 7th and 8th rounds. Joshua was more energized in the 9th and 10th, but both rounds were close.  Then in the 11th, Joshua came out quick and dropped Klitschko twice in the round. Klitschko got up both times, but was badly hurt. Finally, with Klitschko in trouble against ropes, referee David Fields would stop the fight at 2:25 in the 11th round.

What’s next? Klitschko and Joshua signed a two-fight deal.  Maybe we’ll see this fight again. However, Anthony Joshua-Deontay Wilder would be even better. 

Joshua could be the new face of boxing. He is good-looking, strong, and has a lot of heart.

The sport of boxing won today, and the heavyweight division is on fire!!

Joshua-Klitschko: The changing of the guard?

Wladimir Klitschko held the heavyweight division hostage for more than a decade. Fortunately, the “hostages” were set free after Tyson Fury beat Klitschko in 2015. However, Fury had drug and personal problems, which led to the cancellation of Klitschko-Fury II. Now, Klitschko has another opportunity to take back the heavyweight division. London’s Wembley Stadium will be rocking on Saturday as IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (18-0, 18 KO) squares off against Klitschko (64-4, 54 KOs) in a 12-round battle. Expect 90,000 strong at this big event. The vacant WBA heavyweight belt will also be on the line.

In a perfect world, Joshua, 27, knocks Klischko, 41, out, and fights WBC champ Deontay Wilder in the fall.

However, never underestimate the heart of a champion. Klitschko has been there and done that. Joshua has not. Klitschko knows how to get out of those “deep waters.” Joshua does not. Joshua has not fought anybody with the size and skill of Klitschko, but you could argue that Klitschko has not done the same. One of the reasons Klitschko was able to dominate the heavyweight division for so long was because of his size, skill, and strength. No one had the size, skill, and strength of Klitschko. Fury matched his size and frustrated Klitschko for 12-rounds. Joshua will match Klitschko’s size, but does he have enough experience to beat Kiitschko? Only 18 pro fights for Joshua. All of his fights have ended by KO. Joshua has not been past the seventh-round.

Last time we saw Klitschko, he could not pull the trigger against Fury. According to Compubox, Klitschko threw only 251 punches, and connected only 52 times. Klitschko is 41-years-old. He could be a shot fighter at this point.

We have seen the best of Wladimir Klitschko. When his career ends, Klitschko will be a Hall of Famer. I think Joshua will have too much size, too much power and too much youth for Klitschko.  Expect Joshua to win by a dominant unanimous decision.

This will be fun!