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    Five potential next opponents for Anthony Joshua after Usyk rematch with Tyson Fury favourite but Wilder fight possible

    ANTHONY JOSHUA has insisted his boxing career will go on after rematching Oleksandr Usyk – win or lose. AJ was beaten last September but gets a second crack at the Ukrainian on Saturday in Saudi Arabia.
    Oleksander Usyk and Anthony Joshua ahead of their Saudi Arabia rematchCredit: Mark Robinson Matchroom Boxing
    Some have urged Joshua to walk away if he loses again to the pound-for-pound star.
    But the man himself is having none of it, meaning huge fights lay await for AJ regardless of the result.
    Here, SunSport runs down some of the options for Joshua ahead of his massive rematch with Usyk.
    TYSON FURY
    If Joshua, 32, beats Usyk, 35, and regains the WBA, IBF and WBO belts in the process, there is only one fight that makes sense.
    It would surely convince Fury back to boxing to put his WBC title on the line for a first ever four-belt heavyweight unification.
    Although defeat leaves the Battle of Britain further away then ever, but not over completely.
    It would likely mean AJ rebuilding with some steady wins, but over time the super-fight could be revived with so much money to be made.
    Tyson Fury remains linked with a comeback to fight the undisputed crownCredit: AFP
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    DEONTAY WILDER
    The Bronze Bomber has now confirmed he will return on October 15 against Robert Helenius, 38, his first fight since losing to Fury last October.
    His manager Shelly Finkel has already told SunSport a fight with AJ is “enormous” whether the Brit beats Usyk or not.
    In an ideal world, Wilder, 36, and Joshua would both get back to winning ways setting up the grudge fight everyone wanted in 2019.
    But even if AJ slips to another loss, returning against Wilder remains a blockbuster.
    Deontay Wilder has now confirmed his return to boxingCredit: Reuters
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    ANDY RUIZ JR
    The last time Joshua was in Saudi, he was avenging defeat against Ruiz, following his upset loss in June 2019.
    A trilogy has remained shelved and could prove an option after Joshua rematches Usyk.
    If he loses, completing a trilogy with Ruiz, 32, is still a fan-friendly fight.
    But if he wins, and the top names are unavailable, the history and clash of styles with the Mexican-American makes it a perfect alternative.
    Andy Ruiz Jr and Anthony Joshua are yet to complete their trilogyCredit: PA
    DILLIAN WHYTE
    No matter where AJ or Whyte, 34, are in their careers, a rematch will always appease fans.
    Joshua won the initial bout in 2015 following defeat in the amateurs six years earlier and Whyte is in need of a big fight after being knocked out by Fury in April.
    If AJ wins back the belts, it could set up a huge title rematch between the Brit rivals.
    But if he loses, it makes the clash even more interesting, as both would not be able to afford another defeat.
    Anthony Joshua beat Dillian Whyte in 2015Credit: Action Images – Reuters
    JOE JOYCE
    Joyce, 36, is currently the WBO mandatory challenger, meaning he is in line to fight the winner between AJ and Usyk.
    He also faces Joseph Parker, 30, on September 24 which could strengthen his position in the division.
    If Joshua beats Usyk, he might have no choice but to fight Joyce.
    But if he loses, the bout is among the biggest to be made for AJ, due to their history as former sparring-partner turned rivals.
    Joe Joyce fights Joseph Parker on September 24Credit: Rex More

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    Deontay Wilder backs Oleksandr Usyk to beat Anthony Joshua AGAIN and says Brit rival ‘looks broken’ ahead of rematch

    DEONTAY WILDER said Anthony Joshua “looks broken” and backed Oleksandr Usyk to win their rematch. Joshua gets a second crack at the Ukrainian boxing mastermind on Saturday in Saudi Arabia, following defeat last September.
    Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua ahead of their Saudi rematch
    Deontay Wilder backed Oleksandr Usyk to beat Anthony JoshuaCredit: Reuters
    But without the unified belts around AJ’s waist, ex-champion Wilder notices the British star is lacking the same aura.
    And he backed Usyk, 35, to hand Joshua, 32, another crushing loss.
    Wilder, 36, told FightHype: “I’m going with Usyk in this fight. I’ve said that after that fight and I’m sticking with my word on this one.
    “Usyk just looks more confident than ever now and when you look at Joshua he just looks like a different man.
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    “He looks more broken or something, maybe it’s him getting used to not having the titles and now the tables have turned.
    “Because sometimes you have something for so long and the tables turn, you’ve got a chance to get used to that when you were used to something else.”
    Wilder has confirmed his own return to boxing, facing ex-sparring partner Robert Helenius, 38, on October 15 in New York.
    It is his first bout since losing to Tyson Fury, 34, in their Las Vegas trilogy bout classic in October 2021.
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    Fury remains retired despite calls to return for a fight against the winner between AJ and Usyk.
    And even Wilder has tipped a title unification to follow after Saturday’s Saudi rematch.
    He said: “I’m going with Usyk like I picked before and I’m sticking with that.
    “Once that happens, I think there’s a lot of things in the future like a unification bout.”
    Tyson Fury has been linked with returning to fight for the undisputed titleCredit: AFP More

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    Anthony Joshua reveals he wants Idris Elba or Denzel Washington to play him in biopic of his life ahead of Usyk fight

    ANTHONY JOSHUA named Idris Elba and Denzel Washington as the two movies stars he would pick to play him in a biopic. Will Smith famously played the great Muhammad Ali in the 2001 blockbuster.
    Anthony Joshua ahead of his rematch with Oleksandr UsykCredit: AFP
    Denzel Washington starred as boxer Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter in 1999Credit: Reuters
    Idris Elba is an avid fight fanCredit: Rex
    And in 1999, Washington starred as Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter, the boxer who was accused of murder and convicted to three life terms.
    AJ was clearly impressed and revealed he would love to have the American play him.
    He said: “I would love Denzel Washington to play me in a movie of my life.”
    But remembering the accent may be a barrier, Joshua quickly picked fight-fan Elba as an alternative.
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    He added: “Well actually sorry he is American, so it would have to be Idris Elba.”
    Elba was in London last September the night Joshua was beaten by Oleksandr Usyk.
    Now AJ prepares for a revenge mission fit for Hollywood in a rematch with Usyk in Saudi Arabia on Saturday.
    Joshua is still haunted by the box-and-move tactics he deployed the first time around as he prepares for all out war.
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    He told Sky Sports: “I wanted to outbox my opponent, whether it was Usyk or anyone else, that was the mindset.
    “I wanted to outbox my opponent and on Saturday I want to smash my opponent. That’s just the mindset now.”
    He added: “I was amateur for three and a half years and I did a lot in that time and I asked myself how?
    “It wasn’t down to the skill element, because I was outclassed in terms of skill and experience by a lot of my competitors on the world scene, but that aggression.
    “That will was something that couldn’t be denied. Then as you get more experience you try to develop as a rounded athlete.
    “But ultimately, you can’t take your eye off the factor of what got you to where you are which is, as you said, that aggressiveness.”
    Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua rematch in Saudi ArabiaCredit: GETTY More

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    Tyson Fury ‘trying to stay relevant’ and is NOT retired amid talk of facing winner of Joshua v Usyk, says AJ promoter

    TYSON FURY has been accused of “trying to stay relevant” after backtracking on his boxing comeback. The Gypsy King announced he was returning for an unlikely trilogy bout with Derek Chisora, despite his 2011 and 2014 wins.
    Tyson Fury has been accused of ‘trying to stay relevant’Credit: Getty
    But then just two days later, on his 34th birthday, Fury said he was retiring for good.
    It all came as the build up for Anthony Joshua’s rematch with Oleksandr Usyk on Saturday in Saudi Arabia intensified.
    And Frank Smith, CEO of Matchroom Boxing who promote AJ, cast doubt over Fury’s retirement claim.
    Smith told The Mirror: “It is not the first time he has retired but we will see.
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    “I think he just wants to stay relevant. Ultimately he is just trying to stay relevant.
    “One thing I would say is that he is the WBC champion, if he actually has retired he should have to vacate his belt.
    “I don’t think he should be rushing because he has his time that he doesn’t have to fight mandatories.
    “But if he is retired the belt is something that the WBC need to look at it.
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    “But how many times has this bloke retired and come back. He will probably be fighting Thor Bjornsson next week.”
    Fury first retired in April after knocking out Dillian Whyte, 34, at Wembley Stadium.
    But he has been linked with returning to challenge the winner between Usyk, 35, and Joshua, 32.
    Despite that, Fury instead called out Chisora, 38, and former world’s strongest man Bjornsson, 34, who has had four boxing exhibitions.
    The heavyweight star is still yet to vacate his WBC belt and has until August 26 to confirm in writing whether he plans to fight again.
    If he does, a first ever four-belt heavyweight undisputed bout awaits, something Fury’s US promoter Bob Arum is ready to negotiate.
    Arum said to Sky Sports: “It’s really the only fight that makes sense for Tyson Fury.
    “I’ve discussed this with my co-promoter of Fury, Frank Warren, and once this fight is over we’re going to put together a total unification match between the winner and Tyson Fury.
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    “Now, if Usyk wins the fight, which I expect, that will be quite easy to do because we’re very close to the Usyk people as they’re the same people who manage Vasiliy Lomachenko who fights for us.
    “If Joshua wins, Eddie Hearn is his promoter. We’ve talked many times with Hearn about various matches and I’m sure we’ll be able to come together on this one.”
    Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua ahead of their rematchCredit: Mark Robinson Matchroom Boxing More

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    Meet Ramla Ali, the first woman ever to box in Saudi Arabia on Anthony Joshua undercard who is refugee and model

    RAMLA ALI is the history-making boxer whose story began after fleeing war-torn Somalia as a baby. Ali is an Olympian, model, activist and author, who is also set to become the first women fighter to compete in Saudi Arabia on the Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk undercard.
    Ramla Ali will become the first women to box in Saudi ArabiaCredit: PA
    Ramla Ali has modelled for DiorCredit: Getty
    The featherweight is 6-0 as a professionalCredit: https://www.instagram.com/ramlaali/
    But the 32-year-old’s journey started before she was even a year old when her family made the brave call to flee Somalia for the UK.
    Her elder brother had been killed by a bomb, aged just 12, during the civil war in the early 1990s.
    And Ali’s family escaped the capital Mogadishu following a nine-day boat journey to Kenya.
    Some died of starvation on the way although Ali’s family eventually found refuge in London.
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    They settled in Whitechapel, East London, but in her teens Ali was bullied for being overweight.
    She took it upon herself to join a boxercise class at a local gym.
    But she did not tell her family, fearing they would disapprove of the sport for a Muslim girl.
    Ali would go on to win novice and elite titles, but her success meant her boxing secret was exposed.
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    She told Stylist in 2020: “I sort of knew they wouldn’t agree with it.
    “I told my younger brother because he was one of the cool ones – I think I needed an ally.
    “The rest of the family found out when my older brother saw me fighting on TV.
    “It was quite annoying, because I had specifically asked for that fight not to be shown.
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    “When I got home, the whole family was gathered in the living room – I guess you could call it an intervention.
    “Obviously they didn’t think a woman should be boxing, so they asked me to stop.”
    A defiant Ali, perhaps inspired by her own families journey to freedom, eventually won them over, including her mum.
    Ramla Ali only started boxing to lose weightCredit: Times Newspapers Ltd
    She did not even tell her family she started boxingCredit: Times Newspapers Ltd
    Ramla Ali won novice and elite amateur titlesCredit: Times Newspapers Ltd
    She said to BBC Sport: “A couple years ago we had a sort of turning point.
    “I got a phone call from her to wish me good luck in the tournament that I was going to in Denmark.
    “It was honestly the best feeling in the world, knowing that somebody that I love so much has taken an interest in something that I love so much.
    “She’s so supportive now. She hasn’t watched me compete live – she will wait until the next day to watch it on YouTube.”
    Ali initially boxed for England at international amateur level but changed to represent Somalia.
    And despite turning professional in 2020, a year later at the delayed Tokyo Olympics, she represented Somalia but lost in her opening bout.
    Despite Ali’s impressive boxing portfolio, she is equally as successful outside of the ring.

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    Ramla Ali boxed in the Tokyo OlympicsCredit: Getty
    The boxer modelling for CartierCredit: Getty
    Ramla Ali has a charity of her ownCredit: https://www.instagram.com/ramlaali/
    The super-bantamweight has modelled for Dior, Cartier and Nike, while featuring on several magazine covers.
    In 2019, she was one of 15 picked by Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, to star on the front of the September issue of British Vogue.
    Ali is a UK Unicef ambassador and three years ago taught boxing to young girls at a refugee camp in Jordan.
    The humanitarian also runs her own non-profit all-women self-defence group called Sisters Club, which has the backing of Nike.
    To top if off, last year Ali released her own book, Ten Steps to Becoming Your Own Champion.
    Her popularity and personality has shone in the pro ranks and she stole the show in July at the O2 Arena.
    Derek Chisora, 38, beat Kubrat Pulev, 41, in the main-event but Ali’s win over Agustina Rojas drew the most fanfare.
    Ramla Ali’s non-profit organisation Sisters ClubCredit: https://www.instagram.com/ramlaali/
    Ramla Ali beat Marisa Belen Rojas in her last fightCredit: Getty
    She said: “I only had to put out the flyer and within 72 hours I’d sold 500 tickets. It was insane.”
    Ali now takes her talents to Saudi Arabia this Saturday, on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s rematch with Oleksandr Usyk.
    She faces Crystal Garcia in what will be the first sanctioned women’s boxing bout in Saudi.
    Ali said: “It’s a huge honour. This is a one-time thing.
    “No-one else will be the first, and for myself and for my opponent, both our names will be cemented in history. It’s an incredible feeling.”
    Joshua’s world title rematch in the Middle East nation has drawn criticism due to Saudi’s poor human rights records and treatment of women.
    But Ali responded: “You can’t fault a country who are trying to make change. This isn’t just a gimmick of ‘let’s stick on women’ and whatever.
    “If I am trying to fight for women’s rights, why wouldn’t I support a country who is trying to make change, who is trying to change women’s rights.”
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    The only thing missing from Ali’s sensational lists of achievements is a world title in the pro ranks – another piece of history she eyes.
    She said:  “I want to become a world champion. I hope in doing so people will develop a better view of Somalia.”
    Ramla Ali ahead of her fight in Saudi ArabiaCredit: PA More

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    Deontay Wilder poses with Joe Joyce as ex-heavyweight champ watches UFC fights while training for comeback

    DEONTAY WILDER bumped into Joe Joyce while training in Las Vegas and made another trip to watch the UFC. The American heavyweight star is set to return to the ring on October 15 in New York against Robert Helenius.
    Deontay Wilder watching a UFC event
    And he has been training in Vegas ahead of his first bout since losing to Tyson Fury in their October trilogy classic.
    Wilder has been using the UFC’s facility and even bumped into heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou, 35.
    At the UFC’s Performance Institute, the ex-WBC king ran into British contender Joyce, who returns against Joseph Parker on September 24.
    Wilder was later seen at the UFC’s Apex Center watching another round of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series.
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    It was the third event he watched in two weeks.
    Wilder, 36, was knocked out in round 11 against Fury, 33, after being floored three times but scoring two knockdowns of his own.
    The ex-WBC champion then went radio silent, leaving his boxing future in doubt.
    But talk of a return soon surfaced as Wilder was seen publicly again and has recently ramped up his training.
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    Former sparring partner Helenius, 38, is in talks to be the Bronze Bomber’s return opponent.
    And the fight is eyed for the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, which would be on pay-per-view in the UK.
    Meanwhile Joyce, 36, and Parker, 30, fight in Manchester as they continue their pursuit of world honours.
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    Man Utd ‘target loan transfer for Christian Pulisic and Chelsea winger is ready to snub FOUR clubs to join rivals’

    MANCHESTER UNITED are planning a shock loan move for Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic, according to reports. The USA captain has grown increasingly frustrated at his lack of game time under Thomas Tuchel, who also coached him at Borussia Dortmund.
    Christian Pulisic is linked with Manchester UnitedCredit: Getty
    Newcastle United, Juventus and Atletico Madrid are all believed to have made approaches to sign Pulisic this summer.
    And according to The Athletic, United are set to join that list and test whether the Blues will loan the winger out.
    The report adds that Pulisic, 23, is ready to listen to offers to move away this summer and even prefers joining United over anyone else.
    It comes following a lack of game time with the Qatar World Cup starting in just three months.
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    Pulisic was linked with United and Liverpool before signing for Chelsea in a £58million two years ago.
    In the period since, he has made 117 appearances, scoring 25 goals.
    Last season, he suffered a period on the sidelines following an ankle injury and made just 13 Premier League starts.
    He finished the campaign with only eight goals and fell behind in the Chelsea pecking order.
    Already this season, Romelu Lukaku, 29, has re-joined Inter Milan on loan and Timo Werner, 26, is back at RB Leipzig permanently.
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    And now Pulisic and Callum Hudson-Odoi, 21, are linked with loan moves away to secure more regular football.
    Chelsea did bring in Raheem Sterling, 27, from Manchester City for £50m at the start of the window but no No9 has been signed in replace of Lukaku.
    Thomas Tuchel is believed to be pushing to sign ex-Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, 33, currently at Arsenal.
    And Chelsea have seen a shock £40m bid REJECTED by Everton for starlet Anthony Gordon.
    German Kai Havertz, 23, and Sterling will look to lead the line for Tuchel if no more additions are brought in before the September 1 deadline.
    Meanwhile, United boss Erik ten Hag is ready to allow Cristiano Ronaldo, 37, to leave and rumours suggest his contract could be ripped up.
    So it would leave a space in Ten Hag’s front line of which Pulisic would be primed to fill.
    Christian Pulisic playing against Man UtdCredit: Reuters More

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    Watch rare moment Anthony Joshua rival Olekasandr Usyk is DROPPED from vicious body shot in amateurs

    ANTHONY JOSHUA can look to Artur Beterbiev for inspiration ahead of his rematch with Oleksandr Usyk.AJ was beaten by the Ukrainian boxing master in September but they fight once more on Saturday, in Saudi Arabia.
    Artur Beterbiev, floored Oleksandr Usyk with a body shot in the amateursCredit: https://twitter.com/TheOneTwoBoxing/status/1385982780396425219
    The bout took place in 2007Credit: https://twitter.com/TheOneTwoBoxing/status/1385982780396425219
    Usyk has looked near flawless in his 19 bouts in the professional ranks – winning all of them.
    But he did not have it all his own way in the amateurs, where he boxed 350 times, winning two Olympic golds.
    In one particular bout, against current unified light-heavyweight champion Beterbiev, Usyk was knocked down by the Russian.
    He was floored by a sneaky right hook to the ribs and later lost on points.
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    Usyk, now 35, did emerge the victor in his series with Beterbiev, 37, in the unpaid ranks, winning two of their three bouts.
    That included wins in the 2011 World Championship quarter-finals and a year later in the same stages of the London Olympics.
    As a professional, Beterbiev has won all 18 of his fights by knockout, boxing’s only champ with a 100 per cent stoppage ratio.
    And like Usyk, he holds three of the four world belts.

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    Usyk meanwhile is a two-division title holder and reigned as undisputed king at cruiserweight.
    After beating Joshua, he became unified boss at heavyweight.
    Tyson Fury, linked with facing Usyk or AJ, referenced the pound-for-pound star’s body shot knockdown in an Instagram video.
    Fury posted: “This is how Anthony Joshua needs to attack Oleksandr Usyk’s body. I know the blown-up middleweight can’t take body shots.”
    Oleksander Usyk and Anthony Joshua rematch in Saudi ArabiaCredit: Mark Robinson Matchroom Boxing More