ANTHONY JOSHUA has been brutally trolled by former UFC star Chael Sonnen – who mocked the Brit’s left hook after seeing his latest training video. On Friday, the unified heavyweight champion of the world shared footage of himself unleashing hellacious hooks on the heavy bag at his Finchley gym. But the concussive punches were criticised […] More
TYSON FURY has dropped a huge hint that he will fight Anthony Joshua in the UK. Both fighters hope to sign their £200million fight deal within the next month – even without a confirmed venue. But the Gypsy King has fuelled speculation that the Battle of Britain could take place on home soil. WBC champion […] More
ANTHONY JOSHUA and Tyson Fury hope to sign their £200million fight deal in the next month without a confirmed venue in a bid to beat Covid-19.
The English heavyweights are desperate to start what boxing fans hope will be a two-fight rivalry ASAP and over half-a-dozen nations are ready to stump up mega money to host.
AJ and Tyson Fury are close to agreeing their £200m super fight
Eddie Hearn says the location could be the final thing to be agreedCredit: PA:Press Association
But the ever-changing coronavirus rules and regulations mean AJ promoter Eddie Hearn predicts the location could be the last thing that gets agreed upon, to stay ahead of the pandemic.
The Matchroom boss saud: “We will say, hopefully in the next three or four weeks, ‘deal done’.
“When everybody’s on board and signed we’ll collectively go out and speak to these sites we’ve had approaches from and look to do the best deal for the fighters – not just from a financial perspective but from a logistical point of view as well.
“And everything is changing. One country is all of a sudden coming out of the pandemic, they’re really aggressive, they’ve got a lot of money for tourism, they want to say, ‘we’re back’. And then two weeks later they go into a lockdown.
“So it’s very very difficult at the moment to move with that much confidence or certainty and it’s not a great time to be discussing international sporting events.
“But we’re at that period – end of May, early June – where people are a lot more confident that they will be in a better place to stage it.”
The March 6 rematch between Dillian Whyte and Alexander Povetkin could be headed abroad with tiny Gibraltar a shock candidate host.
The tiny British territory in the deepest south of Spain has a popularity of just 32,000 but could offer up a venue for fans to watch the heavyweight grudge rerun.
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Hearn, who has just announced five shows to run from February 13 into April, said: “We’re looking to stage all of those fights in one location, with perhaps only the Dillian Whyte fight going international.
“At the moment that’s an option but we haven’t made any decisions yet.
“We’ve spoken to some quite interesting ones, a couple in the Middle East and we’ve also spoken to Gibraltar and also to Monaco.
“The feeling from Dillian is he would like crowds for that fight.
“It’s a big fight for him and he would prefer that fight in front of some kind of crowds but even in the territories I mentioned there’s no guarantee that would be the case either. There could be crowds in Gibraltar.”
Anthony Joshua shows off brutal left hook in gym workout More
GET ready for one of the craziest boxing bouts of all time as Hafthor ‘Thor’ Bjornsson faces Irishman Steven Ward.
The former Game of Thrones actor – known as The Mountain in the hit show – is a boxing novice but former World’s Strongest Man.
The ex-strongman is set to make his boxing debutCredit: Getty – Contributor
How the pair stack up ahead of their Dubai bout
There is almost a TEN stone weight difference between the two fighters, with former WBO European light-heavyweight champ Ward tipping the scales at 15st 5lb on Thursday.
He will be dwarfed by the Icelandic giant, who is 6ft9 and weighed in at a whopping 24st 5lb.
Thor is set to face Eddie Hall – another World’s Strongest Man star – in the ring later this year and this will be the perfect opportunity to hone his skills.
Originally meant to take place in Iceland, the bout is now being held at the Conrad Dubai and will be fought over three rounds of three minutes.
The fight is not being broadcast live, but is being shown in the UK for the first time on the evening of Saturday, January 16.
When is Thor vs Ward?
This exhibition boxing bout will be broadcast to the world on Saturday, January 16.
Ward is no slouch and has a pro record of 13-1, having held the WBO European light-heavyweight belt in 2019.
As this is not a professional bout, the Irishman’s pro record will not be affected.
The main event is set for around 4.30pm GMT.
Which TV channel and live stream can I watch it on?
You can watch every fight from the card live on CoreSports here in the UK.
Sadly it won’t be broadcast on TV.
A one-month membership to CoreSports costs £1.99, while the streaming service are also offering a special Eddie vs Thor annual subscription price of £19.69.
Carl Frampton, Bas Rutten and Chris Lloyd will be in the commentary booth.
The main event is also expected to be streamed on Thor’s official YouTube and Twitch channels.
Alternatively you can follow all the action right here with our SunSport live blog.
Is there an undercard?
There is indeed, with the card featuring unbeaten Irish welterweight Rohan Date.
Hafthor ‘Thor’ Bjornsson vs Steven Ward (heavyweight)
Rohan Date vs Moaz Allam (welterweight)
Colm Murphy vs Ali Bassam (featherweight)
Vladan Babic vs Iurii Nepliuiev (heavyweight)
Stephane Fondjo vs Timur Abdumalikovich Umarov (super middleweight)
Aaron Bickerstaff vs Jamie King
The Icelandic actor is gearing up for a showdown with Eddie Hall in SeptemberCredit: EPA
What they said
Steven Ward: “When I was asked about the exhibition with Thor, I said, ‘Who?’
“I hadn’t a clue who he was and neither had my wife Cathy, and then when I showed her a picture of him she was shocked.
“I think she has me dead and buried – she’ll have the life insurance policy papers out when I’m in with him!”
“It has been a weird one to prepare for, because Bjornsson is so big”.
Thor: “Stepping in the ring with a professional boxer will not only showcase what I have learned but also give me the opportunity to find out what I need to work on in the months to come.
“I’m very excited for this learning opportunity and to ‘roll with the punches’.
“We thought it was a great fit even though there’s a huge size difference there, but there’s also a huge difference in skill as well.” More
ANTHONY JOSHUA spent his morning preparing for what could be the biggest battle in Britain.
And the champ used his social media platform to warn Tyson Fury what he could be up against.
Anthony Joshua gives the punchbag a pounding in the gym
The heavyweight champion put his back into it
Anthony Joshua celebrating with all his belts
Joshua, 31, described himself as ‘disciple of destruction’ after repeatedly hitting the punching bag with his ferocious left hook.
His fans in the comments seemed to agree on this new nickname discovered for AJ.
One fan even went as far as to say: “A rib shot like that can shatter all the bones in ya body” with a crying laughing face emoji.
The date for the showdown is edging closer because, according to promoter Bob Arum, a location has now been confirmed.
Speaking to Barbershop conversations, Arum said: “We have a location, that’s true.
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Tyson Fury acknowledging his fans.
“We have a location and as far as the date is confirmed, we haven’t zeroed in on a date.
“It could be as late as June because it would give more time to solve the coronavirus problem.
“By June most people will be vaccinated so it is possible.”
Arum then revealed that both fighters are set to take home around $100million (£73million) each for the fight.
He backed this up by mentioning: “It is the biggest fight in history in the UK, not even close.”
However both fighters will have to cough up £1.5m each to put all belts on the line.
Negotiations over two fights to officially crown either Joshua or Fury as the undisputed No.1 this year have began.
However two of the main stumbling blocks are the status of Oleksandr Usyk and Deontay Wilder’s claim for another chance at the WBC title.
According to promoter Eddie Hearn Wilder’s dispute “is not an issue” but Usyk is causing a problem.
Hearn spoke to Sky Sports and said: “I spoke to [WBO president Paco Valcarcel] and said: ‘You are in a tough spot because probably, in a couple of weeks time I will write to you and say that we’ve made on of the biggest fights in boxing history.
“‘Paco are you on board’
“He will say: ‘Have you spoken to Usyk?’
“I will say: ‘Not yet. I am asking you – do you want to sanction this fight or not?’
“He will either say: ‘yes, on you go’ or ‘I can’t until you talk to Usyk’. More
UFC star Conor McGregor has declared he WILL step back inside the squared circle this year to face WBA welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao.
The 32-year-old – who is preparing for his rematch against Dustin Poirier on January 23 – has stated he is desperate to win a boxing world title before he retires.
Conor McGregor has spoken of his desire to face Manny Pacquiao in 2021
McGregor last competed in boxing in August 2017 when he was stopped by Floyd Mayweather in the tenth round.
The Notorious’ boxing coach Phil Sutcliffe revealed earlier this week that there is an ’85-90 per cent chance’ he will fight Pac Man after his bout against Poirier.
And now McGregor has further fuelled speculation that the pair will pit their wits against each other in 2021.
The match-up could be easy to make as both McGregor and Pacquiao, the current WBA welterweight champ, represented by Paradigm Sports Management.
Speaking to his personal website, The Mac Life, about the possibility of facing the 42-year-old, he said: “I know that talks are intensifying for [a fight] this year.
“I am excited for a Manny Pacquiao bout and it looks like it will happen this year.
“What time this year? I am not sure.
“We’ll have to have some good discussions with Dana White and the UFC and see where it goes.
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McGregor could face Pacquiao after his rematch against Manny Pacquiao on January 23Credit: Getty Images – Getty
“I am open to it all, ready for it all.
“I will certainly attain a boxing world title before I call it a day.
“And I would be excited to do that against Emmanuel Pacquiao.”
Earlier this week, Pacman also fanned the flames by claiming he’d rather fight the Crumlin superstar over Errol Spence.
Reported by Business Mirror, he said: “He is too slow (Spence). Spence is slower than Thurman.
“They [Spence/McGregor] are my options, but right now I want to experience fighting an MMA [fighter].”
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KELL BROOK has accepted long-term rival Amir Khan’s challenge to meet him in the ring.
Khan admitted the time is now for the drawn-out feud to be settled in the ring – and Brook is on board.
He told talkSPORT: “It’s a fight that everyone’s wanted for a long time, so if it does happen, happy days.
“I think it’s clear that I want the fight. It just caps the career I’ve had, to be in a fight such as that – the highlight of the career.
“I believe they [the fans] still want it. If we can get it across the line and it can happen, I think it’ll definitely catch fire again once we start promoting the fight.
“And what a fight it’ll be.”
Here SunSport details how the pair compare ahead of the long overdue grudge match.
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Brook grew up under the guidance of Brendan Ingle at his iconic Wincobank gym in Sheffield, where Prince Naseem Hamed trained.
The welterweight debuted in 2004 and would go on to win the British belt while building his run up to a world title shot.
After climbing the IBF ranks, in 2014 he travelled to America where he dethroned Shawn Porter in a narrow majority decision verdict.
Brook made three defences of his titles – without facing a star challenger – before making the shock move up to middleweight.
Gennady Golovkin would beat the Brit in five rounds, and despite calls to move to super-welter, Brook boiled back down to welterweight to defend his title.
He made a good start against Errol Spence Jr, but the American would come on strong late to stop the fight in round 11.
After three wins super-welterweight, Brook went back down to welterweight last year as he challenged Terence Crawford.
But despite a good start, he was knocked out in round four and left with a decision on whether to retire or fight on.
Kell Brook was beaten by Terence Crawford in his last fight Credit: Getty Images – Getty
Khan burst onto the scene after winning a silver medal in the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.
Within four years of his 2005 debut, he became lightweight champion before moving up to win light-welterweight titles.
A controversial split-decision loss to Lamont Peterson – where he was deducted two points – and a KO defeat against Danny Garcia knocked the Brit’s confidence.
As Khan moved up in weights, so did his level in competition but never again did he reign as world champion.
He made the shock jump to face middleweight king Canelo Alvarez from welterweight in 2016 and was left brutally knocked out.
From then, it was a re-building job for Khan, who took a two year layoff and featured on ITV’s ‘I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here’.
After two tune up bouts, Khan – before Brook – fought Crawford but was stopped in five rounds, as he was unable to continue from a low blow.
He did return to beat Billy Dib in Saudi Arabia, and continues to maintain that he wants to carry on his career with big fights to be had.
Amir Khan beat Billy Dib in his last fight Credit: Dave Pinegar – The Sun
Khan has always had the speed advantage, with Brook the more powerful puncher, setting up a classic clash in styles.
When the rivals, now both 34, were in their prime, this fight was a true 50/50 and one of the best Britain had to offer.
But now, with both at the tail-end of their equally successful careers, the winner will be down to who has more left in the tank.
Brook showed good signs early on against Crawford, winning the battle of the jabs and defending well.
However, another stoppage defeat – following his two prior to Spence and GGG – will be tough on the body.
And Khan eased past Dib in his last fight, but looked completely outmatched against Crawford, appearing more flat footed and slower to the punch.
Brook will need to get behind his jab, and break his man down, picking the right spots to let go of his straight right hand or uppercut.
Whereas Khan has to use the ring to get in a rhythm and fight in bursts, stealing rounds in the process.
Kell Brook says there’s only one winner and that’s me in response to Amir Khan’s challenge More
GAME OF THRONES star Hafthor Bjornsson weighed in more than NINE STONE heavier than his opponent Steven Ward.
Bjornsson – known as ‘Thor’ – faces the Irish cruiserweight in Dubai on Saturday as he continue his transition into the ring.
Hafthor Bjornsson weighed in more than NINE STONE heavier than Steven Ward
Hafthor Bjornsson came in 24st 5lb on the scales
Steven Ward tipped the scales at 15st 5lb
The exhibition bout is in preparation for his grudge match with strongman rival Eddie Hall.
But his warm-up and first ever bout in one will come against a much smaller yet vastly more experienced opponent.
Ward, a 13-1 career light-heavyweight, tipped the scales at 15st 5lb.
Bjornsson on the other hand came in 24st 5lb, highlighting the massive size difference between the pair.
The actor first announced plans to make a move into boxing after beating Hall’s deadlift record last May.
He then called out the Brit and the pair are set to fight in September – billed as the ‘heaviest boxing match in history’.
Ward, 30, was initially just meant to be sparring Bjornsson, 32, but now the pair will box for real but only in a spectacle event.
He said via British Boxing News: “I’m looking forward to doing something new.
“I’ve never been in the ring with someone this size, so it will be interesting to see how it pans out.
“Initially it was just going to be some sparring and I was going to help him out with that technical aspect, but it’s escalated from there.
“The next thing we know I’m doing an exhibition with the former World’s Strongest Man!
“I have seen him in the gym twice and he was hitting the bag and moving well for being such a big guy.
“I didn’t expect him to move as well as he did, but he told me he was a professional basketball player at one point, so that explains why he’s got some good agility.
“Training for this has been different. It’s 3 x 3 minute rounds so it hasn’t been the way it normally would be for a camp.
“But I’ve been able to eat a bit more and enjoy training a bit more, so I’m looking forward to it.” More
MIKE TYSON has been told to ‘let sleeping dogs lie’ and shelve plans to fight old foe Evander Holyfield by fellow boxing Hall of Famer George Foreman.
In December the former heavyweight champ returned to boxing at the age of 54 when he drew with Roy Jones Jr in an exhibition.
Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield are ‘in talks’ for a trilogy fightCredit: Rex Features
After that fight Iron Mike confirmed that he would continue fighting in exhbitions – and even offered Jones Jr a rematch.
Prior to that scrap it was strongly rumoured that Tyson would lock horns for a third time against Holyfield – the man he famously bit a chunk of ear out of in 1997.
But Foreman, who lost on points to Holyfield in 1991, believes Tyson should avoid The Real Deal.
The 72-year-old tweeted: “With this one, Mike should let sleeping dogs lie.”
Holyfield exclusively revealed to SunSport earlier this month that he is in talks for the trilogy bout against Tyson.
The 58-year-old said: “People do what they choose to do and for whatever reason they have, they do it.
“The thing is that if it’s meant to be it will happen, either way, it is what it is.
“What I can tell you is that my team is talking to Mike’s management, so I’m waiting for a decision. They are communicating right now.
George Foreman, left with promoter Bob Arum, doesn’t think a trilogy fight between Tyson and Holyfield is a good ideaCredit: Getty Images
Tyson went to war twice in the 1990s against Holyfield – losing the first and being disqualified in the secondCredit: AFP – Getty
“The thing is I’m still training for this, I know it will be some day this deal will happen and I’m ready for him. I’m doing OK.”
Tyson, now 54, was dramatically beaten by Holyfield, an underdog at the time, in 1996.
But their rematch a year later will forever be remembered for Iron Mike’s disgraceful third round disqualification, as he sunk his teeth into Holyfield’s ear.
Tyson drew with Jones Jr in their returns to the ringCredit: Getty – Pool
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