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    Anthony Joshua considering taking a knee before Oleksandr Usyk fight and hails England for leading the way at Euro 2020

    ANTHONY JOSHUA is considering taking a knee before his next fight in the battle against racism.The 31-year-old WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight king has to defend his crowns against Oleksandr Usyk at Tottenham’s stadium on September 25.
    Anthony Joshua is considering taking a knee before his next fightCredit: Instagram @ajbxng
    England players continued taking a knee at Euro 2020Credit: AFP
    And the British-Nigerian ace – who read an impassioned poem at a Black Lives Matter march through his Watford home in June 2020 – could use his status and platform to support the cause.
    Before his December win over Kubrat Pulev, AJ explained he would not take the knee as he wanted to focus on making a more tangible change to British culture and showcasing the afro-Caribbean community.
    But the last six months have led to the London 2012 Olympic icon reconsidering his approach.
    Father-of-one Joshua told Gary Neville’s The Overlap: “For me it’s not a political stance.
    “I’ve had to learn about what’s happened and what’s been going on more so last year and this year, than I ever have, to understand that this is just for a change for the better.
    “It’s not political, it’s not about defunding anything or funding anything. The change wants to be made for the better. 
    “For the betterment of my kids, probably your kids, probably the person down the road’s kids, so harmony is created, because division is going to cause war.”
    Asked by Neville if he would take a knee in the ring, Joshua said: “Yeah, 100 per cent I would. 100 per cent. I would take a knee anyway.”

    Joshua enjoyed England’s Euro 2020 campaign and was proud of the players who continued taking a knee despite small sections of the crowd booing the move.
    Gareth Southgate and his team made it ruthlessly clear why the entire England team carried on calling for societal change and AJ was impressed with the unified stance.
    The 24-1 ace said: “I feel like the players and the teams have done a great job of explaining what the reasons are for taking a knee and as a fan, whether you’re there for that or not, you’re there to watch the team win.
    “The importance of supporting your team-mates and your players – emotionally you’re with them through thick and thin. That’s loyalty. 
    “The reason that has been explained of them taking a knee is to bring awareness to an issue that’s been going on.
    “Before phones were recording certain incidents, these things were happening.
    ‘I’M NOT FRIENDS WITH NO ONE’
    “Certain people are aware, certain people have learnt more recently.
    “But as I said, it’s nice that the explanation was made clear as to why a knee is being taken.”
    Joshua showed less compassion for old enemy Tyson Fury who blew their undisputed summer decider when he lost an arbitration case with Deontay Wilder.
    When the former Manchester United defender asked if Joshua respected his fellow fighter, Joshua said: “I don’t know.
    “I don’t look at anyone in my industry like that. They are just people that I want to fight.
    “I haven’t got time for any of them. I’m not friends with no one. They are all enemies at the end of the day.”
    Eddie Hearn says Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury has new ‘realistic’ fight date More

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    Deontay Wilder’s co-manager was ‘shocked’ no step aside offer was ever made to allow Tyson Fury to fight Anthony Joshua

    DEONTAY WILDER not being offered step aside money to allow Tyson Fury to fight Anthony Joshua ‘shocked’ the American’s co-manager. Wilder was beaten by Fury in February 2020, two years after they drew, but the rematch included a contracted trilogy bout.
    Shelly Finkel with Deontay Wilder in 2018Credit: AFP or licensors
    Anthony Joshua with his unified titlesCredit: Mark Robinson Matchroom Boxing
    But as the coronavirus pandemic postponed the fight, the Gypsy King tried to walk away from the obligation, believing the stipulation expired.
    He then agreed terms to fight AJ in Saudi Arabia in August, all while Wilder took his right to an immediate rematch to arbitration.
    And after he won at the 11th hour, Fury’s historic undisputed title decider was scrapped as he was ordered to instead fight his US heavyweight rival.
    Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn hit out at the WBC champion’s camp for not trying to find a financial settlement which would keep Wilder sidelined.
    And even his co-manager Shelly Finkel was surprised there was no effort made to preserve Fury’s unification with AJ.
    Finkel told SunSport: “We were shocked and our lawyers said they were shocked from their side that they made no effort before we won the case.
    “They first tried to vacate the lawsuit and they lost.
    “But there was nothing from their side, which I thought was short sighted. But that’s their choice.”
    I pay in ass whoopings that’s what I’ll give himTyson Fury on paying Wilder step-aside money
    Fury, 32, has since revealed he opted to fight Wilder, 35, as he refused to give the ex-heavyweight champ a penny.
    He told The Athletic in May: “The guy is a sucker I wouldn’t give him £20,000 I pay in ass whoopings that’s what I’ll give him.
    “I’m not interested in giving anyone any money, they’ve got to earn it like I did the hard way by fighting the best of the best.
    “Until then they are getting ass whoopings from me. No step-aside money.
    “I wouldn’t give him one million dollars to step-aside, I wouldn’t give him a hundred grand, I’d rather give him these big fists in the face.”
    Finkel, speaking before the trilogy was postponed, admits being given the fight is a better result than receiving a payout – as it gives them the chance to take back control.
    He said: “We were fine with it, then, when it got closer and we won the summary judgement, we didn’t care, we wanted the fight.
    ‘IN DEONTAY’S HANDS’
    “Here’s the thing that people miss; people say to us, ‘Why wouldn’t you take a step aside?’
    “Because, if we had and Fury lost, we may never have got a title shot and the leverage that Eddie Hearn and Joshua would have had at that point, we wouldn’t have had a fair shot.
    “Now, it’s up to us, it’s in Deontay’s hands that night and if he prevails, which I think he will, then it’s a whole different ball game.
    “Deontay’s back as champion, and we’ll see what happens.”
    Fury pulled out of their scheduled rematch on July 24 with coronavirus leaving the trilogy postponed to October 9.
    But beforehand, he claimed Wilder wanted $20MILLION to let him fight Joshua, 31, for all the heavyweight marbles.
    Finkel, though, suggests otherwise and maintained they made no demands to step aside – as no concrete offer was made in the first place.
    He explained: “He’s not telling the truth at all.

    WILDER VS JOSHUA?
    “There was never a discussion. Frank [Warren], at one point said to me, ‘Would you guys take a seven-figure walk away?’
    “And I said, ‘No’. And that was it. That was the only discussion and effort.”
    Wilder’s legal win leaves Joshua instead facing mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk, 34, on September 25 at Tottenham’s stadium.
    But should AJ prevail, as well as Wilder, Finkel is hopeful it could finally see the pair fight after years of prior failed talks.
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    He said: “First things first, we have to only think about this fight. 
    “But if Joshua is successful, I believe he probably will be. Although it’s a fight with Usyk I just think Joshua’s size will be the difference. 
    “Putting that aside at this point, where is Joshua going to go for a big fight if we’re the champion and he wants to unify it? 
    “So, logically it would be, but logic doesn’t work in this sport.”
    Tyson Fury will fight Deontay Wilder in a trilogy bout on October 9Credit: Rex
    Anthony Joshua fights Oleksandr Usyk on September 25Credit: Mark Robinson Matchroom Boxing More

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    Anthony Joshua insists he would ‘smoke’ Tyson Fury WITHOUT world titles on line and says every boxer is his ‘enemy’

    ANTHONY JOSHUA is so desperate to ‘smoke’ his enemy Tyson Fury he is even willing to do so without all the marbles on the line. AJ is the current WBA, IBF and WBO champion with Fury’s WBC title the only missing crown from his heavyweight collection.
    Anthony Joshua with his WBA, IBF and WBO world titlesCredit: The Sun
    Tyson Fury is the WBC and Ring Magazine championCredit: Richard Pelham
    Joshua’s long-standing dream has been to reign as the first-ever, four-belt champion in the blue riband division.
    But after years of back-and-forths with rival Fury, British bragging rights could even outweigh a place in the undisputed history books.
    Joshua told Gary Neville’s The Overlap: “Without the belts? I rate that. That’s what I’m talking about. We’ll fight, 100 per cent, let’s do it.
    “I’ll smoke that guy. I will. It’s annoying. For me, I don’t really get into the Twitter back and forth, because it’s Twitter fingers.
    “Anyone can sit behind a computer and talk. Let’s be real, let’s be honest. Let’s let the people know.
    “You’re the one that let the fans down, because everyone seems to think.
    “I fought on December 12th. When they were like, ‘Who do you want to fight next?’ I said I don’t want to call out any names.
    “And I know because I’m going to start shouting out people’s names and I’m going to be in this position now where the guys’ name I’m shouting out doesn’t want to fight or he’s not ready to fight.”

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    Terms for Joshua, 31, to fight Fury, 32, were all-but agreed for August 14 in Saudi Arabia – until it fell apart at the 11th hour.
    It came as Fury was ordered to fight Deontay Wilder, 35, in a contracted trilogy bout after the American took his case to arbitration.
    Now, those two rematch once more on October 9, while Joshua faces mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk, 34, on September 25 at Tottenham’s stadium.
    Promoter Eddie Hearn has revealed – should AJ and Fury prevail in their interim fights – the Battle of Britain could be salvaged for February 2022.
    And Joshua, a 2012 Olympic gold medalist, promised as long as he is champ, boxing fans WILL get to see the one they have waited so long for.
    He said: “He’s a fighter isn’t he. What’s the worst that can happen? You get hit. He’s been doing it for years.
    “However, I just know on my end, and my management team and my promoter – we done everything we can to make this happen and as long as I’m champion, I’ll compete with anyone.
    “I’ve got a tough challenger coming up now. A great fighter.”
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    Watch Oleksandr Usyk hit the speed bag as ex-cruiserweight king prepares for Anthony Joshua showdown More

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    Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury new ‘realistic’ fight date revealed by Eddie Hearn as he refuses to rule out UK venue

    ANTHONY JOSHUA and Tyson Fury’s new ‘realistic’ fight date has been revealed as February 2022 by promoter Eddie Hearn. Hearn worked tirelessly this summer to organise the first-ever, four-belt undisputed title decider.
    Promoter Eddie Hearn pictured with heavyweight Anthony JoshuaCredit: Mark Robinson Matchroom Boxing
    Tyson Fury was in talks to fight Anthony Joshua in AugustCredit: Rex
    And terms were all-but agreed for August 14 in Saudi Arabia – until it fell apart at the 11th hour.
    It came as Fury was ordered to fight Deontay Wilder in a contracted trilogy bout after the American took his case to arbitration.
    Now, those two rematch once more on October 9, while AJ faces mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk on September 25 at Tottenham’s stadium.
    It leaves the potential Battle of Britain shelved until next year – but could pave the way for a massive home fixture with UK fans being welcomed back.
    Hearn told talkSPORT:  “We wanted to do it in December.
    “But I think with AJ fighting September 25, Fury now delayed until October, I think February is more realistic.
    “They had a huge offer from Saudi Arabia to do the fight there.
    “Ultimately in the fight game, which is extremely dangerous and these guys are putting themselves on the line, it is about generating as much money for the fight as possible.
    “With fans back in the UK is that an option? Las Vegas? We’ll see.
    “But first things first, let’s just beat Usyk, because if that doesn’t go to plan we can forget about it.” More

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    Team GB heavyweight boxer and former delivery driver Cheavon Clarke OUT of Tokyo 2020 after split decision loss

    HEAVYWEIGHT Cheavon Clarke became Britain’s second casualty of the Games as he slumped to a majority defeat to Brazilian Abner Teixeira.Kent thumper Clarke returned to the sport after taking time out to work as a delivery driver.
    Cheavon Clarke, right, was dumped out of the heavyweight Olympic boxing in the last 16Credit: Reuters
    But he lost his way after taking the opening round with three of the judges.
    Teixeira frustrated the Brit with his spoiling tactics.
    And he was narrowly in front at the end of the second.
    Although Clarke tried to take the contest to his opponent, too many of his shots missed their target, allowing the Brazilian to claim a 4-1 victory.
    It was a sad end to what had been another promising GB day in the boxing ring.
    Top-seed Pat McCormack in the welterweights and flyweight Caroline Dubois won their opening bouts with comprehensive unanimous verdicts.
    McCormack, 26, whose twin brother Luke has already made a winning lightweight start, was simply far too good for Aliaksandr Radzionau of Belarus.
    His next opponent is Bobo-Usman Baturov of Uzbekistan.
    COMPETITION: SPOT THE BALL TO WIN A CAR AND CASH

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    Dubois, sister of heavyweight pro Daniel, was always in control against Kosovan Donjeta Sadiku.
    The Londoner had more problems with a slipping headguard than her Balkan opponent, taking every round with each judge.
    She now faces Rashida Ellis of the USA in the last 16. 
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    Clarke made a good start but eventually lost 4-1 against Brazilian Abner TeixeiraCredit: Getty
    The range of emotions in the ring were clear to see when the result was confirmedCredit: AP
    Team GB hero Tom Daley hopes Tokyo 2020 gold medal will inspire LGBT community to achieve their dreams More

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    Anthony Joshua sparring partner details how Brit will overwhelm Oleksandr Usyk in much-anticipated title fight

    ANTHONY JOSHUA is sparring with a Germany-based Afghan cruiserweight to help prepare him to face Oleksandr Usyk.The British boxing hero, 31, will put his IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles on the line against the undefeated Ukrainian on September 25 at the Tottenham Stadium.
    Anthony Joshua is sparring with Germany-based Afghan cruiserweight Shokran ParwaniCredit: Instagram @shokranparwani
    AJ defends his world titles against undefeated southpaw Oleksandr Usyk on Sept 25Credit: Mark Robinson Matchroom Boxing
    That comes after his planned unification showdown with Tyson Fury collapsed.
    AJ has already trained with Irish prospect Thomas Carty as he works on battling southpaws ahead of going one-on-one with the 34-year-old.
    Now he is using Shokran Parwani as a sparring partner.
    The star, 29, told Sky Sports: “I have a little bit of the same style.
    “I work more with my feet. I am a slick guy with a lot of movement.
    “Usyk is also a slick guy, he isn’t a puncher.”
    ‘AJ WILL BREAK HIM’
    And after watching Usyk at close quarters previously, he is fully-expecting Joshua to ‘break him’ late on.
    Parwani said: “I saw him live in his fight with Marco Huck. He is very good, his IQ is very high, I rate him very highly.
    “But he doesn’t have power. In rounds nine, 10 or 11? He won’t have the power to fight, and AJ will break him down.”
    Parwani has previously been used by Huck and Derek Chisora in their respective camps ahead of fighting Usyk.
    But despite both men losing, the ace is adamant AJ will emerge victorious.
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    He added: “It is a different level. Like the European Championship to the World Cup!
    “I saw his power [when we trained at his gym in Finchley]. His uppercut and his hook are just different, bro.
    “From the outside if I watch Huck, Chisora and AJ? He has such power and now, with his training, is moving a lot. He is even more dangerous.”

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    Watch Anthony Joshua tear up a dirt bike track as British sensation enjoys down time before Oleksadr Usyk bout More

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    Watch Anthony Joshua tear up a dirtbike track as British sensation enjoys down time before Oleksadr Usyk bout

    ANTHONY JOSHUA showed he can be a speed machine both in and out of the ring as he ripped round a mud-track on a dirtbike.The British superstar uploaded footage of himself tearing up the circuit during a little down time ahead of his fight with Oleksandr Usyk.
    Anthony Joshua took a little down time away from the ring with a dirtbike sessionCredit: Instagram @anthonyjoshua
    The boxing sensation showed off his skills on two wheels in footage posted onlineCredit: Instagram @anthonyjoshua
    The Brit was covered in mud after his rideCredit: Instagram @anthonyjoshua
    And the heavyweight champ looked like he was having the time of his lifeCredit: Instagram @anthonyjoshua
    Joshua, 31, captioned the post: “Dirty shred.” And the clip had ‘All the Love’ by The Lox playing underneath.
    The video showed Joshua kick-starting a machine before zooming out of frame.
    On-board cameras then provided shots of the heavyweight champ skidding round mud-covered corners.
    A laughing Joshua was clean as a whistle dressed in his black protective gear before the session.
    But he gradually got muddier and muddier as he whipped round the track.
    With mud flying everywhere, at one stage Joshua took a tumble.
    He fell to his left as the bike skidded from under him but he was quickly back on his feet.
    Joshua looked like he was having the time of his life and the post got more than 46,000 likes
    ‘NEVER AVOIDED A CHALLENGE’
    The golden boy of British boxing is fighting Usyk at Tottenham’s stadium on September 25.
    With boxing still reeling from AJ vs Tyson Fury collapsing, the WBA, IBF and WBO king has managed to lift the spirits with a mandatory defence against the Ukraine icon.
    Joshua won Olympic super-heavyweight gold at London 2012 the day after Usyk, now 34, won the same medal in the heavyweight division.
    Usyk went on to rule the 14st 4lbs cruiserweight division as undisputed champion and has now enjoyed two warm-up fights in the blue-riband ranks.
    Now the WBO has ordered 24-1 AJ to face the undefeated southpaw.
    And recent footage of Usyk in training showed Joshua is not the only speed demon after his dirtbike antics.
    Speaking ahead of the fight, Joshua said: “We are two Olympic gold medallists who have fought our way to the top and never avoided challenges. 
    “The stadium is exceptional, the atmosphere will be electric.
    COMPETITION: SPOT THE BALL TO WIN A CAR AND CASH
    At one point the 31-year-old took a tumbleCredit: Instagram @anthonyjoshua
    But he was back in the saddle in no timeCredit: Instagram @anthonyjoshua

    “I’m honoured to be the first person to fight in such an awe inspiring venue. 
    “The stage is set and I am ready to handle business.”
    Promoter Eddie Hearn believes those fans attending Spurs’ ground will NOT need a vaccine passport.
    Watch Oleksandr Usyk hit the speed bag as ex-cruiserweight king prepares for Anthony Joshua showdown More

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    Watch Oleksandr Usyk hit the speed bag as ex-cruiserweight king prepares for Anthony Joshua showdown

    MEAN, green speed machine Oleksandr Usyk posted an awesome training clip to remind Anthony Joshua his career will go downhill fast if the Ukrainian takes his heavyweight crowns.Former cruiserweight king Usyk showed perfect rhythm on the speed bag – another example of what could be his biggest weapon at Tottenham Hotspur stadium on September 25.
    Oleksandr Usyk was happy to parade both his speed bag skills and a controversial pair of shorts as he prepares to face Anthony JoshuaCredit: Instagram @usykaa
    Ukraine superstar Oleksandr Usyk, 34, should provide a colourful test for JoshuaCredit: Instagram @usykaa
    The 34-year-old, whose gum protector, hand wrappings and belt were all green, will look to his mobility to shock AJ in front of a sell-out 60,000 crowd.
    Fight fans need a boost following the collapse, for now, of Joshua’s unifying title fight with fellow Brit Tyson Fury.
    And Joshua, 31, is determined not to let slippery customer Usyk provde another unwelcome jolt.
    He said: “We are two Olympic gold medallists who have fought our way to the top and never avoided challenges. 
    “The stadium is exceptional, the atmosphere will be electric.
    “I’m honoured to be the first person to fight in such an awe inspiring venue. 
    “The stage is set and I am ready to handle business.”
    And promoter Eddie Hearn believes those fans attending Spurs’ ground will NOT need a vaccine passport.

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    Matchroom Boxing chief Hearn told iFL TV: “I don’t believe that will be the case.
    “But I know that, obviously from the freedom day, we now have approval for September 4th for 20,000 at Headingley (for Warrinton vs Lara) and full capacity at Tottenham Hotspur on September 25.
    “So we should crack on, we should fill up the stadiums and start bringing big-time boxing events back to the UK because it’s much-needed.”
    COMPETITION: SPOT THE BALL TO WIN A CAR AND CASH
    Watch Anthony Joshua tear up a dirt bike track as British sensation enjoys down time before Oleksadr Usyk bout More