Khabib: ‘I really want to see Usyk versus Fury’

UFC star Khabib Nurmagomedov says he wants to see former Undisputed Cruiserweight World Champion Oleksandr Usyk take on WBC Heavyweight ruler Tyson Fury.

Dana White hailed Russia’s Nurmagomedov as the ‘GOAT’ and pound-for-pound best after he sensationally retired following his second-round stoppage of Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 in Abu Dhabi.

The undefeated Lightweight World Champion is a long-time fan of boxing, and was even spotted ringside for Anthony Joshua’s huge rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia last year, but it is Ukraine’s Usyk he wants to see share the ring with ‘The Gypsy King’, not ‘AJ’.

When asked for his assessment of the sport, prior to Vasiliy Lomachenko’s loss to Teofimo Lopez in Las Vegas, Khabib told reporters: “Right now, I think three guys. Oleksandr Usyk, Vasiliy Lomachenko and Canelo Alvarez.

“Oh sorry, Tyson Fury too. Four guys. It’s very hard [to decide] who is the best.

“I really want to see Usyk vs Fury. It’s gonna be a very good fight. He [Usyk] has very good skill and technique, Tyson Fury too.

“He is not like other Heavyweights, more technique, his footwork is very good, his conditioning is very good, I really wanna watch Usyk against Fury.”

Usyk (17-0, 13 KOs) sits as WBO Mandatory Challenger to Joshua, but must first deal with an in-form Derek Chisora at The SSE Arena Wembley on Saturday, shown live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and DAZN in all of its nine markets including the U.S.

Usyk vs. Chisora tops a huge night of action, Lee Selby (28-2, 9 KOs) and George Kambosos Jr (18-0, 10 KOs) meet in a Final Eliminator for the IBF Lightweight World Title, Heavyweight fan favourite Dave Allen (18-5-2, 15 KOs) returns against America’s KO artist Christopher Lovejoy (19-0, 19 KOs), Hartlepool’s Savannah Marshall (8-0, 6 KOs) takes on Glasgow’s Hannah Rankin (9-4, 2 KOs) for the vacant WBO Middleweight World Title, Belfast’s Tommy McCarthy (16-2, 8 KOs) meets Belgium’s Bilal Laggoune (25-1-2, 14 KOs) for the vacant European Cruiserweight Title and Amy Timlin (4-0) faces off with Carly Skelly (3-0) for the vacant Commonwealth Super-Bantamweight Title.

Whyte: ‘When I’m in shape, you’ve got problems’

Heavyweight contender Dillian Whyte(27-0, 18 KOs) will be making his first appearance in the ring in 2020 on Saturday, and after seeing him on the scale today, it appears he is in shape. Whyte weighed in at 252.6 pounds for his upcoming battle with Alexander Povetkin. The last time we saw Whyte, he came in at career-high 271 pounds for his victory over Mariusz Wach back in December.

“I had two fights last year, but my mind wasn’t right,” Whyte said on Thursday. “I put weight on. For my last fight, I was nearly 20 stones(271 pounds). I got myself in shape slowly. I knew who I was fighting and what it would take. I got into shape. The story of my life is pressure. I’ve been under pressure my entire life. This is just another puzzle. There is more pressure because of the future, but that’s in the future…

“When I’m in shape, you’ve got problems, because I can do what I like to do. I don’t mind-blowing up because I can recover, go again. Whatever he wants to do, I’m cool with it. I don’t like to make predictions. He is very experienced and can look after himself. He’s a tough guy. But listen, if I land early? It is night night early. But he can do the same, as well.”

The 32-year-old Whyte wants to inflict a lot of pain on Povetkin and is hoping to hurt him from the opening bell. 

“I’m ready for chaos and violence. I am focused on Povetkin. I will try to hurt him from the first bell. It will be war – that’s what he does. The great thing is that we both do similar things. It’s up to me to do things to make the fight in my favor, and I am capable of that. He is more experienced, but I know how to fight, which isn’t something anyone can teach.”

If Whyte beats Povetkin, he could put himself in position to fight for the WBC heavyweight title. According to the WBC, if Whyte beats Povetkin, he would be in line to fight the winner of Fury-Wilder 3. However, if Fury defeats Wilder, he is expected to fight Anthony Joshua in 2021. According to Fury’s promoter, Frank Warren, Fury could drop the title to do the fight with Joshua, instead of fighting Whyte. 

No matter what happens, a win over Povetkin will open a lot of doors for Whyte.

Photo: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing

Why Mike Tyson’s return to the ring would be dangerous(VIDEO)

Former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson broke the internet when he announced on social media that he was returning to boxing. At this point, the 53-year-old Tyson is rumored to be participating in exhibition bouts.

However, what if Tyson really returned to the ring? What would happen?

We examine what would happen if Tyson returned to the sport of boxing:

 

 

 

Replay of Wilder-Fury 2 to air on Monday

ESPN will air the non-pay-per-view premier of the heavyweight rematch that captured the world’s attention last month. WBC and Lineal Heavyweight champion Tyson “The Gypsy” King” Fury’s masterpiece victory over Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder will debut on ESPN, Monday March 23. ESPN will air the four-fight card beginning at 8 p.m. ET, which will be preceded by a special re-air presentation of Fury  and Wilder’s disputed December 2018 draw (7 p.m. ET).

The entire Wilder-Fury II PPV broadcast will also become available for replay to all ESPN+ subscribers beginning Monday.

The Wilder-Fury II presentation will also feature the following bouts: former heavyweight world champion Charles Martin squaring off against former title challenger Gerald “El Gallo Negro” Washington in a scheduled 12-round IBF heavyweight world title eliminator, WBO junior featherweight world champion Emanuel “Vaquero” Navarrete, a.k.a “The Mexican Iron Man,” defending his title against Filipino contender Jeo Santisima, and super welterweight sensation Sebastian “The Towering Inferno” Fundora against 2016 Australian Olympian Daniel Lewis in a highly anticipated battle of unbeatens.

Wilder-Fury II adds to ESPN’s week of programming, which also includes an encore presentation of the Academy-Award winning 30 for 30 documentary “O.J.: Made in America.” The documentary will now shift to air over four nights in primetime from March 24-March 26. The film originally premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2016, debuted on ABC/ESPN in June 2016, and won the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature at the 89th Academy Awards in February 2017.

ESPN+ also features a collection of some of the greatest fights in boxing history, including dozens of legendary bouts from the Top Rank Library, available on demand. The collection includes legendary heavyweight showdowns like Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier III, Ali vs. George Foreman, Joe Louis vs. Billy Conn, Mike Tyson vs. Larry Holmes, Jack Dempsey vs. Gene Tunney, Max Baer vs. James J. Braddock, Ali vs. Sonny Liston I & II, and many more.

Photo: Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions

Why ‘going out on your shield’ should be a thing of the past in boxing

Kownacki: ‘Two fights before the Wilder rematch weren’t that great, so how good is (Tyson) Fury really?’

Undefeated Polish star and Brooklyn native Adam Kownacki will headline in his hometown on Saturday, March 7 when he takes on Robert Helenius in a WBA Heavyweight Title eliminator as the FOX PBC Fight Night main event and on FOX Deportes from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™.

Kownacki has proven himself as a popular draw in a borough full of heavyweight boxing history, and will look to continue to capitalize on that opportunity in this title eliminator.

“This will be my second time headlining at Barclays Center and having the whole New York community, especially the Polish fans, coming out to support me really feels amazing,” said Kownacki. “I grew up in Brooklyn, so seeing my face everywhere on ads and billboards is a great feeling. There’s definitely a little bit of added pressure being in that situation, but diamonds are made with pressure.”

For this fight, Kownacki has had to make the small sleep adjustments that come with having a six-month-old son, but he continues to feel strong in camp, even testing himself against another Polish heavyweight contender in Mariusz Wach.

“With the baby, I’m sleeping less for sure, but this has been a really strong camp,” said Kownacki. “It’s pretty much the same routine training-wise and it’s always the same dedication that we put in every day. We brought in Mariusz Wach for a few weeks of sparring to help me get ready for this one and I think that’s helped me a lot as well.”

The 30-year-old’s first headlining performance in his hometown came in August on FOX, when he won an exciting action fight against former title challenger Chris Arreola. Now he will face a new challenge in the veteran Helenius, who has faced top competition throughout the world and stands over six-feet six-inches tall, making him one of Kownacki’s most imposing opponents to date.

“Helenius is a totally different opponent than Arreola,” said Kownacki. “He’s much taller, which poses a new set of challenges. Against Arreola, it was easy to get on the inside. With Helenius’ height, I’m going to have to work behind my double-jab and then let my punches go.

“He’s very experienced and he’s been in there with a lot of talented fighters. He fought Derek Chisora and Dillian Whyte, going the distance with both, and he’s a former European champion. So, his experience is something I have to be careful with. I’m not looking past him at all.

“Helenius is going to come in with the mindset as if I’m a world champion. I know he’s going to try to take my spot in the rankings. I’m starting to feel like when fighters get in the ring with me, it seems like they’re extra-motivated. But I’m motivated too. I’m in shape and ready to showcase my skills next weekend at Barclays Center.”

This will be Kownacki’s 10th fight at Barclays Center, where he has not only become a fan-favorite, but established himself as a contender in the red-hot heavyweight division. March 7 gives Kownacki another chance to showcase that he has what it takes to end up on top of the heavyweight ladder, and become the first Polish heavyweight champion in boxing history.

“The division is wide open,” said Kownacki. “Right now, Tyson Fury is considered number one. But his previous two fights before the Deontay Wilder rematch weren’t that great, so how good is Fury really? If you look at the top-ten heavyweights, I’m the only one with a clean record, no losses or draws. On Saturday, March 7, I have to prove that I belong in a title fight.”

Photo: Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions

Mark Breland may have saved Deontay Wilder’s career

Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury defeated Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder by seventh-round stoppage to capture the WBC Heavyweight Championship Saturday night headlining a historic mega PPV event from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

“A big shout out to Deontay Wilder,” said Fury. “He came here tonight, and he manned up, and he really did show the heart of a champion. I hit him with a clean right that dropped him, and he got back up. He is a warrior. He will be back. He will be champion again. But I will say, the king has returned to the top of the throne!”

“Things like this happen,” said Wilder. “The best man won tonight, but my corner threw in the towel, and I was ready to go out on my shield. I had a lot of things going on heading into this fight. It is what it is, but I make no excuses tonight. I’m a warrior. He had a great performance, and we will be back stronger.”

The highly anticipated rematch was the most eagerly awaited heavyweight fight in decades after their controversial split draw in 2018. After an unprecedented promotion, the two heavyweight giants traded leather in the middle of the ring in front of a sold-out crowd of 15,816.

While both men landed good shots in the first two rounds, Fury broke through in round three with a right hook that put Wilder down late in the round. While Wilder was able to make it through the round and continue fighting, his legs appeared weakened, and in round five, Fury scored another knockdown, this time with a body shot.

Referee Kenny Bayless deducted a point from Fury late in round five, but it didn’t stop Fury from coming forward and continuing to use his height and weight advantage to push Wilder around the ring. In round seven, Fury had Wilder cornered and unloaded with a series of power punches that prompted Wilder’s corner to stop the bout, which the referee officially did at 1:39 of the round.

According to CompuBox, Fury was the busier and more effective puncher, out throwing Wilder 267 to 141 and out landing him 82 to 34, including big fifth and sixth rounds where he landed 16 and 14 power punches respectively.

Wilder’s corner made the right decision, or should I say his trainer, Mark Breland, made the right decision. At the post-fight press conference, Wilder’s co-trainer, Jay Deas, made it clear that he disagreed with Breland for throwing in the towel.

“Mark threw the towel,” Deas said. “I didn’t think he should have. Deontay’s the kind of guy that’s a ‘go out on his shield’ kind of guy.”

However, Wilder’s eardrum was busted up, and his equilibrium was off. The way Fury was landing; Wilder could have gotten permanently damaged. Breland was a great fighter in his day, and a fighter knows when a guy has had enough. Wilder had enough on Saturday night, and thank God, Breland saved him from himself.

Photo: Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions

Photos from Wilder-Fury 2 weigh-in

We’ve waited, and now it’s on! WBC Heavyweight World Champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder and undefeated lineal champion Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury will finally get it on, in the rematch, on Saturday, February 22 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

On Friday, the two combatants stepped on the scale. Wilder weighed in at a career-high 231 pounds, while Fury came in at 273 pounds.

 Here are photos from the Wilder-Fury 2 weigh-in:

Deontay_Wilde_flexDeontay_Wilder_arrivalDeontay_Wilder_flex_wideDeontay_Wilder_flex_wide2Deontay_Wilder_vs_Tyson_Fury_birdiesDeontay_Wilder_vs_Tyson_Fury_faceoff_pointingDeontay_Wilder_vs_Tyson_Fury_faceoff_wideDeontay_Wilder_vs_Tyson_Fury_point_wideDeontay_Wilder_vs_Tyson_Fury_wide2Tyson_Fury_arrivalTyson_Fury_flex_wide2Tyson_Fury_flexTyson_Fury_flex2
Photos: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Parker on Wilder-Fury 2: ‘I want to see the winner challenge(Anthony) Joshua’

Joseph Parker has told Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury to fight Anthony Joshua next and crown an undisputed World Heavyweight champion, as Parker himself prepares to return to action against Shawndell Winters at Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas on Saturday February 29, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK.

Parker (26-2 20 KOs) is back on the World title trail after having to pull out of a proposed clash with Derek Chisora in London in October after sustaining an illness through a spider bite.

The former WBO champion is finishing his preparation for his return to action against Winters (13-2 12 KOs) in Las Vegas this week before heading to Texas, and on Saturday night the Kiwi fan-favorite will take his seat in Sin City as Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury rematch for Wilder’s WBC title.

Parker has grown close to Fury having bonded with the former champion when he defended his old belt against his cousin Hughie in Manchester in September, and while he’s backing ‘The Gypsy King’ to beat Wilder on Saturday night, his message to both men is simple: face unified champion Anthony Joshua next, providing the British IBF, WBO and WBA champion comes through his next fight unscathed.

“I want to see the winner challenge Joshua,” said Parker. “The reason I say that is because we’ve been talking about the undisputed champion for a long time. It’s important to give the fans what they want to see, who the best is in the division at this time.

“I have to side with Fury on Saturday. I like his boxing ability and what he can do in the ring as a big man, moving, jabbing, combinations. I just hope it’s a great fight again.

“It’s whoever executes the plan. They’ve both had time to look at the tape of the first fight and study each other and their own movements, so it’s who executes their plan first, or better.

“Both of these guys talk a lot of crap, but they are very entertaining. If I tried to talk like that it wouldn’t work, not even close, so I’ll just stick to what I know!

“The first fight was so exciting and controversial, I think. A lot of people thought Fury won the fight on points, other people thought because of the knockdowns Wilder won, so the rematch is going to be very interesting.”

Parker’s clash with Winters is part of a stellar night of action in Frisco topped by the Welterweight clash between Mikey Garcia (39-1 30 KOs) and Jessie Vargas (29-2-2 11 KOs) with the WBC Diamond strap.

Britain’s longest reigning World champion Kal Yafai (26-015 KOs) puts his WBA World Super-Flyweight title on the line against the former pound-for-pound king and four weight World ruler Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez (48-2 40 KOs) and rising Mexican sensation Julio Cesar Martinez (15-1 12 KOs) makes the first defense of his WBC World Flyweight title against unbeaten European champion Jay Harris (17-0 9 KOs) and Israil Madrimov (4-0 4 KOs) defends his WBA Inter-Continental Junior-Middleweight title in an official eliminator for the #2 position in the WBA against Venezuelan Charlie Navarro (29-9 22 KOs).

Matchroom Boxing USA talents Diego Pacheco (8-0 7 KOs) and Alexis Espino (5-0 4 KOs) get their first taste of action in 2020 and headline star Garcia will showcase two of his Garcia Promotions charges with 20 year old unbeaten Texan Flyweight Jesse Rodriguez (10-0 6 KOs) clashing with Marco Sustaita (12-2-1 10 KOs) over ten rounds and unbeaten Mexican Middleweight Leo Ruiz Acevedo (6-0 4 KOs) taking on Dennis Knifechief (12-11 7 KOs) over six rounds.

Wilder: ‘I’m going to knock out Tyson Fury in devastating fashion on Saturday night’

WBC heavyweight world champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder and lineal heavyweight champion Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury made their grand arrivals Tuesday afternoon at MGM Grand, kicking off fight week events for the most anticipated heavyweight showdown in two decades.

Fury (29-0-1, 20 KOs) rolled up in a red Ferrari, while Wilder (42-0-1, 41 KOs) arrived shortly after in a Rolls-Royce SUV, both greeted by throngs of fans awaiting Saturday’s clash.

 They will renew their rivalry this Saturday, February 22, in a historic mega PPV event from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Wilder has defended his world title successfully 10 consecutive times, while Fury is unbeaten in five bouts since returning from a nearly three-year layoff in June 2018.

The grand arrivals also featured fighters competing in the PPV undercard squaring off, including former heavyweight champion Charles Martin and former title challenger Gerald Washington, who meet in the co-main event, WBO Junior Featherweight World Champion Emanuel “Vaquero” Navarrete, a.k.a. “The Mexican Iron Man”, and Filipino contender Jeo Santisima, who battle in the PPV featured bout, and unbeaten super welterweights Sebastian Fundora and Daniel Lewis, who fight in the PPV opener at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.

This is what the main event fighters had to say Tuesday:

 DEONTAY WILDER:

 “The first fight was great, but the second time around we’re getting even more love. It’s been a blessed feeling and I’m so excited to show my greatness come Saturday night.”

“I’m going to knock out Tyson Fury in devastating fashion on Saturday night. After I show the world what greatness lies inside of me, I will continue to go even further and do more amazing things in this sport.”

“We all know that boxing is the hurt business and we both have bad intentions coming into this fight. I’m looking forward to our energies colliding and having an amazing fight.”

 TYSON FURY:

“Las Vegas is the home of champions, and ‘The Gypsy King’ is here to put on a show. I am knocking that bum out in two rounds. It’s going to be an early night.”

“I’ve done all I can, and I can’t wait for Saturday night to be here. The WBC belt is the only major title I’ve yet to win. Saturday night, it will be mine.”

“Las Vegas is the new home of ‘The Gypsy King.’ This is my time. Wilder got a gift last time. That won’t happen again. I’m coming for the knockout.”

Photo:  Mikey Williams/Top Rank