Who will emerge victorious in Fury/Wilder 2

By February 20, 2020
Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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  • Lockdown has fuelled Parker's hunger to get back on top of the world Lockdown has fuelled Parker's hunger to get back on top of the world

    Joseph Parker says being in lockdown has made him even hungrier to be world heavyweight champion again and vowed to take more risks in his next title fight.

    Parker continued his revival by stopping Shawndell Winters in February to extend his winning streak to three fights.

    The New Zealander has no idea when his next bout will be due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the former WBO champion revealed quarantine life has further fuelled his determination to rise to the top.

    He told Stats Perform: "Time off like this is really important. It's not something that we choose to happen, but I guess everyone can use this time to reflect on our lives and think about what makes us happy and what we want to do.

    "This time off has given me extra motivation that I do still want to box, to compete at the top level and be champion again."

    Parker has been keeping himself in shape when not attempting to lift the gloom with his dance moves, singing and musical prowess in videos that have proved to be a knockout on social media.

    The 28-year-old declared that he will be ready to call the tune in the ring when he is able to resume his boxing career.

    He said: "It's not really about boxing training at the moment, it's about keeping in shape. I've got a treadmill, a bike and weights, a machine for bench pressing and squats.

    "I'm keeping in shape, keeping fit and when everything settles and they said 'do you want to take this fight or that fight?' it won't matter to me, as I'll already be in shape.

    "There is a lot more to come from me, I've been pretty honest that throughout my career I haven't done everything right. I used to blow up and when I went into camps, I went into camps to lose weight and prepare for a fight.

    "But the mindset now is to go into camp already in shape and all I have to do is prepare for the fight. I think there is a lot more I can give the sport, there is a lot more that I do want to give and my goal is still to be champion of the world again or unified champion."

    Parker, who lost his WBO title to Anthony Joshua two years ago, has also been given additional drive by watching huge bouts such as Tyson Fury's rematch with Deontay Wilder.

    "When you see these big fights, you think I was once there and involved in the big fights. I know I can be involved in them again," he added.

    "It's just up to me now and how much I want it. I've got to make sure when the opportunity does come, I grab it with both hands.

    "In this part of my career I'm not going to be as cautious. I want to take more risks. When you take risks you get better rewards. I think with the fights previously I was a bit too cautious, I need to take more risks and be more aggressive."

  • Broke and alone - Master Jockey Venice Richards should not have died the way he did Broke and alone - Master Jockey Venice Richards should not have died the way he did

    Venice “Pappy” Richards is statistically the greatest jockey in Southern Caribbean thoroughbred racing history and the story of his death this week in Trinidad and Tobago is heartbreaking.

    Barbadian Richards, after enduring months of fading health and failing eyesight, sadly passed away Monday evening destitute and alone in a room at the Hummingbird Stud Farm Stables near Santa Rosa Park in Arima. He was 76 years old.

    How could such an icon, a legend of almost 60 years of tremendous contribution to Caribbean horse racing, suffer such an unbefitting departure from this life?

    He was quiet but proud and his self-esteem, it seems, prevented him from advertising how tough things got for him.

    But his health and physical struggles became highly visible in recent months and surely more should have been done to assist him.

    Close associates over his decades of involvement in the Sport of Kings, including iconic Trinidad and Tobago trainer and owner Joe Hadeed and Barbadian champion jockey and trainer Challenor Jones expressed immense sorrow and surprise over the manner of his passing.

    The ravages of diabetes and hypertension had left him thin, frail and partially blind and meeting medical expenses had become even more challenging after his employment contract with the Arima Race Club (ARC) was not renewed in January. He had been hired in an ARC consultancy role in T&T in the past decade after losing his gig with the Barbados Turf Club (BTC) at his native Garrison Savannah racetrack.

    Richards scored over 1,400 career wins but in reality that figure could well be over 1600 if you add scores of undocumented victories over several years as visiting rider to Martinique and Guyana. Only Jamaican legend Winston Griffiths (1,664 wins) has as many wins as Richards at English-speaking Caribbean racetracks.

    He was never interested in becoming a racehorse trainer as many successful retired jockeys had done. Richards was committed to giving back to the art of race-riding and he tutored aspiring riders at Jockeys’ schools in his native Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.

    En route to jockeys’ championship titles nine times in Barbados and T&T including 1982 when he was champion in both those countries, Pappy Richards was a multiple winner of all big races in Barbados.

    In 1989, he completed the Triple Crown – the Guineas, Midsummer Classic and Derby -- with Bill Marshall’s Coo Bird. Richards scored six Derby wins in his career, four in Barbados and two in T&T. Add to that five Barbados Guineas wins, four victories in the Midsummer Classic and four triumphs in the Cockspur Gold Cup, now called the Sandy Lane Gold Cup.

    His first Gold Cup win came in 1986 aboard Bentom before steering Sir David Seale’s Sandford Prince to victories in 1989, 1991 and 1992 when the seven-year-old champion posted a record time of one minute 49.20 seconds for the rich nine-furlong event.

    Richards also won 85 races in a stint in the United States in the early 1970s making appearances at New England’s Rockingham Park and Suffolk Downs also Lincoln Downs and Finger Lakes.

    The Caribbean’s all-time most successful jockey, Patrick Husbands, with 3,370 North American wins and a bundle of accolades in Canadian racing, cites staying close to Pappy Richards, learning from him throughout his growing years, played a big part in making him who he is today.

    Husbands admits he “looked up to Venice” when he was developing as a rider.

    “Up to this day I still think he is the best rider in the Caribbean,” says Husbands, a record eight-time winner of the Sovereign Award as Canada’s most outstanding jockey and seven-time champion rider at Woodbine. Richards’s great rival Chally Jones described him as a “fine gentlemen, dedicated” and being the “epitome” of what a jockey represents.

    At approximately 5’ 4” tall, Richards maintained a consistent riding weight of between 110 and 112 pounds throughout his career, a demonstration of commitment and discipline.

    For his sweeping successes and service to sport, Richards earned from the Barbados Government a National Award in 1991, the Silver Crown of Merit (SCM). He was also inducted into Barbados Racing Hall of Fame and also the racing Hall of Fame for Trinidad and Tobago.

    T&T’s ARC has a Benevolent Fund in place to cover racing men falling on hard times, somehow Richards did not appear to have been a beneficiary of this scheme.

    The despair over his sad passing extends even to the funeral plans since closure of the T&T Ports due to the COVID-19 pandemic will bar family, friends and well-wishers attending from his native Barbados.

  • Coronavirus: Joshua v Pulev world title fight postponed Coronavirus: Joshua v Pulev world title fight postponed

    Anthony Joshua's world heavyweight title defence against Kubrat Pulev has been postponed amid the coronavirus pandemic.

    IBF, WBA and WBO champion Joshua was due to fight Bulgarian Pulev at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on June 20.

    But the proliferation of COVID-19 has led to a decision to postpone the bout.

    Joshua's promoters Matchroom confirmed the news on Friday and have begun working on a new date, with the prospect of hosting it at Spurs' ground still open.

    Pulev and Joshua had previously been due to fight in 2017 but the challenger had to withdraw due to injury. After this delay, they now hope it will prove third time lucky.

    "A new date for the event promoted by Matchroom Boxing and 258 Management in association with Top Rank and Epic Sports Entertainment is currently being worked on," read a statement from Matchroom.

    "We will announce any updates in due course and continue to explore the possibility of hosting this fight at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium."

    Earlier this week, the heavyweight fight between Dillian Whyte and Alexander Povetkin was called off, as was the clash between Oleksandr Usyk and Dereck Chisora.

    The winners of those two bouts, which were both scheduled for May, would have been in the mix for world title fights against either the winner of Joshua's clash against Pulev, or the scheduled third meeting between WBC champion Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder.

    Joshua regained his titles by winning his rematch against Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia on points.

    That December victory came six months after the Briton had suffered shock stoppage defeat to Ruiz in New York.

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