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    Boxing legend Klitschko blasts Olympic bosses’ decision to allow Russian athletes to compete under ‘neutral flag’

    WLADIMIR KLITSCHKO has accused Olympic boss Thomas Bach of “serving the interests of Russia” by offering their athletes a way back.Yesterday the International Olympic Committee set out recommendations for sporting bodies to allow individuals, but not teams, from Russia and Belarus to take part in competitions under a neutral flag.
    Wladimir Klitschko accused Olympic boss Thomas Bach of ‘serving the interests of Russia’ by offering their athletes a way backCredit: AFP
    A decision on whether they can compete at Paris 2024 has not yet been taken.
    But former Ukrainian heavyweight boxer Klitschko, who is fighting invading Russian troops in his homeland, slammed the proposals.
    Klitschko, 47, said: “The IOC authorises the athletes to participate in the Olympic Games under ‘neutral flags’. This decision is a false flag.
    “Thomas Bach serves the colours and interests of Russia. This decision contaminates the Olympic spirit and is like this war — a nonsense.”
    Klistchko’s swipe comes after the sad death of 22-year-old Ukrainian boxer Maksym Galinichev.
    Galinichev, a European amateur champion, was killed in battle against the Russian Army near Kreminna.
    Klitschko, who became super-heavyweight Olympic champion at the 1996 Atlanta Games, also pointedly re-tweeted old images of Bach laughing and talking to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarus leader Alexander Lukashenko.
    The IOC’s Executive Board have considered the findings of a four-month consultation.
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    Speaking in Lausanne, IOC president Bach said: “We see that in a number of sports — tennis, cycling, handball, football, ice hockey — it’s already working.
    “You see athletes with a Russian or Belarusian passport participating in competitions, even against Ukrainian athletes.”
    International Olympic Committee president Thomas BachCredit: AFP More

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    Money is my love language… I’d rather use it to help people than show off with 50 Range Rovers, says Anthony Joshua

    ANTHONY JOSHUA says money is NOT his real boxing motivation — but cash is the only currency he can show his love in right now.The 33-year-old has been ruthlessly dedicated to boxing since he turned 18 and compared the sacrifice required and loneliness to a prison sentence.
    Brit heavyweight Anthony Joshua says money is his ‘love language’ because of what it enables him to do for others and charityCredit: Richard Pelham / The Sun
    Michigan boxer Jermaine Franklin is ready for his big shot at Joshua this SaturdayCredit: Alamy
    His rewards have been London 2012 Olympic gold, two heavyweight world title runs and millions of pounds.
    But the costs have been his private and social lives, emotional connections and — especially since he moved his camp for Saturday’s Jermaine Franklin clash to Dallas — time with his seven-year-old son JJ.
    And that is part of the reason he made a flippant remark recently about cash being king, when really Watford hero Joshua just wants to be the King of Herts.
    He said: “Money was just the first thing that came into my mind but it’s about legacy as well. The reason I said money was I know how much it helps people.

    “Money is my love language because I can’t be there physically or emotionally because I am working but I can wire you some cash.
    “I know how much finances help and I do a lot of charity work that needs funding.”
    Joshua’s commitment to his community and his roots cannot be questioned. He still returns to Finchley ABC to train and inspire impressionable youths and  hopes to show them how to achieve similar success.
    He added: “I know what it’s like have nothing and nobody give you a look-in or care.
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    “I am not saying ‘money’ because I am some baller buying fifty Range Rovers and saying, ‘F*** you, you can’t come and sit in my car’.
    “I’ll get 50 Range Rovers so everyone can feel what it’s like to sit in one, be inspired and come up with a plan where we can all get one.”
    As he looks forward to Saturday’s clash with Franklin at London’s O2 Arena, AJ accepts the mistakes he has made in his recent fights.
    There were too many chefs cooking up chaos in his corner for the last few fights. Rob McCracken was undermined for the Andy Ruiz rematch when Joshua added two unproven trainers in Joby Clayton and Angel Fernandez.
    Team GB mastermind McCracken and Clayton were then axed after the first Usyk loss and fight fans were excited when respected Robert Garcia was appointed and improved the rerun performance, albeit another loss.
    But that haphazard running of Team AJ points to a lack of leadership — perhaps too many ‘yes men’ — that the signing of Texas trainer Derrick James has hopefully ended.
    AJ explained: “When I was with Rob McCracken I brought on two extra trainers because Rob was the top guy and they could work under him and build an empire, a structure together.
    Credit: SUNSPORT
    🥊 Anthony Joshua vs Jermaine Franklin – Date, live stream, TV channel and all you need to know about heavyweight bout
    “For the first Usyk fight, Rob was with the Olympic team and came back to spend six weeks with me. I saw that it was important to have a team. But it didn’t work.
    “This time I went on my own — and that’s how I ended up in Texas.”
    Those two complicated Usyk camps and the frustrating back-to-back losses left Joshua ranting in the Saudi Arabia ring and crying in the post-fight press conference.
    A decade of emotion tumbled out of the ever-stoic and guarded giant and he is in no rush to restore the old facade.
    He said: “I have taken every challenge that has come my way and I have done my best.
    “Along the journey we really pushed ‘undisputed’ and just at that last hurdle, I failed — and that’s what you saw in the press conference.
    “In the ring it was just me expressing that I came from the road and the mud — I never had a dad guiding me through boxing, telling me, ‘Come on, son, you’ve got some talent’.
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    “I did this s*** by myself. I went from grass-roots boxing to around the world.
    “I have no regrets, no way. If you don’t like it don’t tune in.”
    Joshua has clung to his roots but still wants to climb higher in boxingCredit: PA More

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    ‘I bring pain and I bring war’ – Anthony Joshua had brutal sparring session with Derek Chisora ahead of return fight

    DEREK CHISORA was drafted in to help Anthony Joshua in sparring before his return fight with Jermaine Franklin. AJ returns on April 1 at the O2 Arena against Franklin in a must-win comeback bout.
    Anthony Joshua ahead of his must-win comeback fight with Jermaine FranklinCredit: Getty
    Derek Chisora says he sparred JoshuaCredit: PA
    Joshua took himself to Dallas in training for the fight after linking up with esteemed Texan coach Derrick James.
    And Chisora revealed he held nothing back when helping out his old Finchley Amateur Boxing mate in the gym.
    He told the Daily Mail: “When I come to spar, I bring pain and I bring war. I like to push him because he is my brother.
    “I can’t go in the ring with him and mess around with him because that’s not benefitting him.
    “If I go in the ring with him, I go hard and he gives it back.”
    The heavyweight pair go way back and Joshua, 33, now manages Chisora, 38.
    And AJ revealed details on his session with the British fan favourite.
    Joshua said: “Fifteen minute sparring sessions could be like, jab and move around. But with Chisora, it’s a lot higher output.
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    “It was really good. It really helped condition me. It really tested me.
    “I wouldn’t say I enjoyed it as it was tough but in a sense, it’s what I wanted so I did enjoy it. It’s a weird one.
    “I wanted this and I am getting it but it’s tough.”
    Derek Chisora in the gym with Anthony Joshua More

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    KSI releases sparring footage ahead of Joe Fournier fight and admits Jake Paul will ‘have a field day’ if he loses

    KSI gave a glimpse into his training to fight Joe Fournier and admits he has to win or else face mockery from bitter rival Jake Paul. The YouTube, music and crossover boxing star returns on May 13 at Wembley Arena for his seventh bout.
    KSI with sparring partner Idris Virgo as he gears up for Joe Fournier
    KSI, 29, faces millionaire nightclub tycoon-turned 9-0 boxer Fournier, 40, in what promises to be his toughest test to date.
    So he is leaving no stone unturned and released footage of a gruelling sparring session with unbeaten boxer Idris Virgo.
    KSI captioned the post: “This is what I gotta do to prepare for my next fight May 13th.
    “I’m not taking Joe Fournier lightly, especially since he’s a 9-0 pro the odds are stacked against me.
    “He’s a better boxer than me and has more experience than me, plus I know if I lose this, Jake Paul and his fans are gonna have a field day.
    “May 13th I’ll put my all into it and will hopefully not let you down.”
    Virgo added: “He doesn’t know what’s coming. Joe’s in trouble come May 13th.”
    KSI last beat online rival Faze Temperrr in the first round in January.
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    And he hoped to finally face Paul, 26, this year as the two talked up an end of year blockbuster.
    But those plans face the KO after the American was beaten by Tommy Fury by split decision in February.
    KSI wants Paul to forget about a rematch with Fury to instead fight him but the pair recently clashed during a spat on Twitter.
    KSI and Jake Paul clashing in the ring in 2020Credit: Getty Images – Getty More

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    ‘He’s my son’ – Jake Paul aims brutal dig at Tommy Fury as he blames ‘worst camp ever’ for split decision loss to rival

    JAKE PAUL blamed defeat to Tommy Fury on his training camp but still fired a brutal dig at his rival. The YouTuber-turned boxer was on the end of a split-decision loss in Saudi Arabia in February.
    Jake Paul knocked down Tommy Fury but lost their grudge match via split decisionCredit: EPA
    But Paul scored a knockdown in the eighth and final round with a left hand and made sure to remind Fury of it.
    He told Fox News: “I put the professional boxer on the canvas. Tommy knows he’s my son. He kneeled down to me.
    “If this was a street fight, he would be on the ground getting stomped out, and he wouldn’t be alive. So who really won?
    “It’s cool this is a sport, but man to man, he touched the canvas, and there’s pictures of him on the ground and me standing over him.
    “So, as a man, he’s really my son.”
    Paul fell to his first defeat in the ring in his seventh professional bout.
    And he blamed the loss on his preparation, claiming to have been ill during training camp while also carrying an arm injury.
    Paul doubled down on the revelations and even pointed towards travelling to promote the fight as a reason for underperforming.
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    He said: “I mentally was ready for the fight, but my body wasn’t able to keep up with the demands because I didn’t have a perfect training camp.
    “It was probably my worst training camp ever, actually. In the ring, when the going got tough, my body just couldn’t keep up with what I wanted it to do.
    “During the camp, I was sick twice. So, it really shortened the camp by like three extra weeks, plus all the travel overseas and stuff.
    “Just learning a lot to not push myself too hard and to probably sometimes take a step back versus always trying to keep moving forward.”
    Remarkably, Paul also believes a WET DREAM on the morning of his loss also contributed to his ability to perform on the night.

    He said: “It’s a really funny topic. But it is serious, man.
    “I think non-boxing fans look at it like a joke, and they think it’s funny, which it is, but it also definitely f***s you up.
    “I think that that’s like a 10 per cent difference maker, to be honest.
    “And with all other things considered, it all just added up to just not be my best performance.”
    Paul has a rematch clause in his contract and expects to fight Fury again but refused to reveal if it will be next.
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    He said: “We’ll see. I know we’ll fight again at some point. We’ll see what ends up happening. There’s a lot of options on the table for me.
    “We’ll see what ends up happening. I’m drinking my Celsius and gonna get back in the gym here soon.”
    Tommy Fury after beating Jake PaulCredit: Getty More

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    Tyson Fury needs me to redeem himself after Usyk ‘circus’, there’s no better time for us to fight, says Anthony Joshua

    ANTHONY JOSHUA says he can be the key to Tyson Fury redeeming himself after the breakdown in talks to fight Oleksandr Usyk. Fury failed in his attempt to unify all four heavyweight belts for the first time in history after negotiations with Usyk collapsed.
    Anthony Joshua returns again Jermaine Franklin on Saturday and wants Tyson Fury nextCredit: Getty
    Fury’s talks to fight Oleksandr Usyk collapsedCredit: Getty
    The historic title unification was KOd, reportedly due to a row over the financials for a potential rematch.
    But now AJ and his promoter Eddie Hearn hope to capitalise by sealing a fight against Fury instead.
    Joshua said: “There’s no better time to get Fury in the ring than now because he needs me to redeem himself from this circus, this letdown.
    “He needs me so there’s no better time than for him to call my name out and I’m someone that will take on any challenge.”
    Joshua, 33, returns on Saturday at the O2 Arena against American Jermaine Franklin in a must-win comeback bout.
    It comes after two consecutive defeats to Usyk where he lost and failed to regain the WBA, IBF and WBO belts.
    The Ukrainian champion then hoped to take the trio of titles into an undisputed decider with Fury.
    He even accepted a lowball 70/30 offer to get a deal over the line until talks ultimately halted at the 11th hour over terms for a rematch.
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    Joshua still backs his two divisional rivals to fight but refused to point the finger and play the blame game after the bout broke down.
    He told BBC 5 Live: “It’s not my position to slate or slag anyone off.
    “I’m pretty sure that fight will happen because I feel like there could potentially be a method to the madness.
    “If, number one, I was in that position [and] didn’t take that fight, how would people treat me?
    “And number two, if I didn’t take that fight what would Fury have to say about me? So I’m not going to stoop to that level.
    “I respect everyone that steps into the ring. But I just sometimes think some people should watch their mouths a bit.”
    Tyson Fury facing off with Oleksandr UsykCredit: REUTERS More

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    ‘Absolute b****cks’ – Tyson Fury’s promoter denies Anthony Joshua fight talks after Eddie Hearn teased sending contract

    FRANK WARREN has denied talks for Tyson Fury to fight Anthony Joshua after Eddie Hearn teased sending over contracts. The pair of heavyweight superstars have tried and failed in the past to commence a blockbuster Battle of Britain bout.
    Tyson Fury with promoter Frank WarrenCredit: PA
    Anthony Joshua and his promoter Eddie HearnCredit: PA
    They even had an agreement in place to fight last December until talks once again collapsed.
    Joshua, 33, now returns on Saturday against Jermaine Franklin, 29, in his must-win comeback bout.
    Meanwhile Fury, 34, has been left in the lurch after his proposed title unification with Oleksandr Usyk, 36, suffered a similar KO.
    Hearn could capitalise by pitting AJ against the Gypsy King at last with talks said to have already started.
    In quotes reported by Daily Mail, he said: “I have had talks this week with George Warren and fundamentally the original contract is still in place and we all know that the timing is perfect now, as it happens because of the circumstances with Usyk.
    “This is the very last chance for this huge fight to happen. I expect to be exchanging pilot contracts with Queensberry soon.
    “Maybe as early as next week. AJ knows there’s a big opportunity. At last. So much at stake now, but he also has his total focus on Franklin.”
    Despite Hearn’s hope, Fury’s promoter Frank Warren hit back to talkSPORT: “It was a 30-second conversation.
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    “That thing that was in the Mail yesterday, George rang Hearn and said, ‘What’s this all about?’ He said he was unaware of it. I’m just telling you what he said.
    “George said it was less than a 30-second conversation and we’ve not even discussed it with Tyson.
    “Really annoyed about that because that 100 per cent did not happen. ‘Contracts are gonna be signed in the next week’, it’s just absolute b****cks.
    “This is what starts all that stuff going, I know you’re in the social media business and we are to a certain extent, but social media’s actually killing some of the fights because of the expectation level.
    “Something’s exploded and the next minute it’s, ‘Why’s that not happened?’
    “I don’t wanna be conducting negotiations through social media. That became part of the downfall of the fight with Usyk.”
    Anthony Joshua ahead of his return fightCredit: Getty More

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    Busty Misfits boxing ring girl Apollonia Llewellyn spills out of tiny bikini as fans brand her ‘stunning and sultry’

    BUSTY boxing ring girl Apollonia Llewellyn almost spilled out of her bikini in a sizzling snap. Fans were loving the star’s hot photo as she enjoyed a day off by the pool.
    Apollonia took to Instagram as she showed off her stunning figureCredit: Instagram
    The ring girl is attracting fans after appearing at a Misfits eventCredit: Instagram
    The 22-year-old from Leeds has become a popular figure after appearing as a ring girl for KSI’s Misfits boxing bouts.
    And while fans love her work in and out the ring, they are also happy when the glam girl provides a glimpse into life outside work.
    She has posted a snap to Instagram that left her followers hot under the collar.
    Apollonia poses in just a small bikini and summer hat in a pic that has attracted just over 5,500 ‘likes’.
    An amazing, summer skyline can be seen in the background with the ring girl appearing to be on top of a building roof.
    She captions the picture: “Pool day.”
    Apollonia’s followers were quick to comment on the eye-catching photo.
    One said: “Perfectttt” and added three flame emojis.
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    Another fan said: “Make sure to put on sunscreen tomorrow :-)! Looking beautiful.”
    While admirer added: “Stunning, sultry, sweltering.”
    It is not the first time Apollonia has caught the eye with the blonde beauty setting Instagram alight when she shared a snap of herself posing in the snow earlier this month.
    Apollonia has 540,000 followers on InstagramCredit: Instagram
    Apollonia was seen as a ring girl during the Elle Brooke and KSI fight card at Wembley last yearCredit: Instagram
    The blonde bombshell comes from LeedsCredit: Instagram More