Anthony Joshua has warned Oleksandr Usyk to mix up his fighting style against Derek Chisora, suggesting "some people don't respect" his approach.

Usyk, a former undisputed cruiserweight champion, will contest just his second fight at heavyweight on Saturday against Derek Chisora.

The Ukrainian defeated Chazz Witherspoon in Chicago last year but faces a sterner test in the form of Chisora, unbeaten in his three bouts since being knocked out by Dillian Whyte in London two years ago.

Usyk is the mandatory challenger to Joshua's WBO belt and is expected to be given a title shot next year, but the Briton feels he must display some greater raw punching power if he is to thrive in the heavyweight division.

"When I boxed Andy Ruiz Jr in the second fight, I adapted to the Usyk style," Joshua told Sky Sports. "Hit and don't get hit, the sweet science of boxing. You learn that from the amateurs.

"I was amateur for two-and-a-half years so was still adapting to different styles. Usyk was amateur for a long time so he has taken the 'hit and don't get hit' style into the pros.

"The good thing that helped me? Sometimes I know to sit down on my feet and hurt someone.

"You've got to let them know that you're there because all that pitty-patty stuff after 12 rounds? Sometimes people don't respect that type of power."

Joshua puts his IBF, WBA and WBO titles on the line against Kubrat Pulev on December 12 and is set to face the first of a unifying double-header with Tyson Fury in 2021.

But Alexander Krassyuk, Usyk's co-promoter, says an agreement is in place for the winner of Joshua-Pulev to face his man next.

"Our plan is: A) beat Derek Chisora, B) push AJ to comply with WBO rules or vacate the title, C) defeat AJ or any other WBO champion or contender and become the heavyweight champion. Simple and practical," he said.

Manchester United striker Odion Ighalo labelled Nigeria's government "killers" after security forces and soldiers reportedly opened fire on protestors in Lagos.

There have been ongoing protests in Nigeria against police brutality and the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) police unit, which has been accused of killings, torture and extortion.

A 24-hour curfew was imposed on Tuesday, but protestors still took to the streets before fleeing as live rounds where shot towards the crowd.

Former Nigeria international Ighalo responded to the violence following United's 2-1 Champions League win over Paris Saint-Germain.

"I'm sad and I don't know where to start from," Ighalo said in a video message shared via social media.

"I'm not the kind of guy who talks about politics - but I can't keep quiet anymore about what is going on back home in Nigeria.

"I would say [to the] government are a shame to the world - for killing your own citizens, sending military to the streets, to kill [unarmed] protesters because they are protesting for their rights. It's uncalled for.

"Today, 20th of October 2020, you people will be remembered in the history as the first government to send military to the city to start killing their own citizens.

"I am ashamed of this government. I am tired of you guys. I can't take this anymore. I'm calling the UK government, calling all those leaders in the world to please see what is going on in Nigeria and help us - help the poor citizens.

"The government are killing their own citizens. We are calling [the world's governments], the United Nations, to see to the matter.

"I want to tell my brothers and sisters back home to remain safe. Be indoors, please don't come [outside]. Because this government are killers and they will keep killing if the world does not talk about this. God bless you all. Remain safe. One Nigeria."

British-Nigerian boxing star Anthony Joshua also joined the fight for change amid the unrest.

WBA, IBF and IBO heavyweight champion Joshua, born to a Nigerian mother and father of Nigerian ancestry, tweeted: "The situation has escalated, the violence and killings are horrendous. All because of people saying they want to live in peace?

"I pray God opens the gates for the heroes of Nigeria! This was never a trend for me! It's real life and I want to learn how to make lasting change.

"I'm looking at hospitals to support, along with food and care packages in the time being."

Anthony Joshua believes Deontay Wilder could be working on a "master plan" as the American's silence following a high-profile defeat to Tyson Fury continues. 

Fury brilliantly dethroned WBC heavyweight champion Wilder with a seventh-round stoppage at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in February. 

A trilogy fight was supposed to happen before the end of 2020, but Fury claimed this month that the bout will not take place as he has grown weary of waiting for Wilder to fix a date. 

Joshua, who holds the WBO, IBF and WBA heavyweight titles, has in the past been frustrated in his own attempts to face Wilder. 

The Briton, who recovered from a first career loss to Andy Ruiz Jr to regain the belts last December, is interested to know Wilder's current situation. 

"I don't know, so I can't speak on everyone's situation, but just from my humble opinion, after a loss, things change," Joshua, who is preparing to face Kubrat Pulev in December, told Sky Sports News. 

"You distance yourself. The world is cruel. You've got to have a thick skin. 

"Either he's putting together a master plan - he's in a lab right now, with his science glasses on, studying Fury's every move. Either he's doing that, or he's sitting at the edge of that lake, with his head in his hands and thinking, 'What's going on?' 

"One minute you're on top of the world, and the next minute you're not. That's the name of the game we're in."

In the aftermath of his loss to Fury, Wilder's reasons for the defeat were somewhat bizarre, ranging from claiming he was weakened by heavy ring-walk attire to unfounded claims about Fury's gloves, which the Briton denied. 

Joshua is keen to hear more from Wilder and wants to see the American back in the ring. 

"It's interesting as to say, 'Why hasn't he spoken?' But when he does speak, we'll soon find out. For me to make speculation as to why he hasn't spoken, I can't because only he knows," he added. 

"But I can't wait for him to address the reason why the fight isn't going to happen at the end of the year. What happened in the first fight? Why he lost. 

"Was it the costume, was it the glove situation? It would be really good to hear the reasons as to why and even better, I hope he does come back, because he's a great asset to the heavyweight division, and like the Dillian situation, I would like to understand how he found the strength to pull himself up."

Anthony Joshua's fight with Kubrat Pulev has been confirmed for December 12 at the O2 Arena in London. 

Joshua was due to face the Bulgarian at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in June for the defence of his IBF, WBA and WBO world titles. 

However, the fight was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic and promoter Eddie Hearn suggested an all-British unification bout with Tyson Fury could take place this year if a new date was not fixed with Pulev. 

It has now been confirmed Joshua will his face mandatory challenger in his first fight in England for over two years, marking his return to the ring since defeating Andy Ruiz Jr in a rematch in Dubai last year. 

"December 12 is the date and once again the heavyweight belts go up in the air and it is my sole focus to make sure that come December 13 they are in their rightful place in the UK," said Joshua, as per Sky Sports. 

"The O2 is the original lion's den, I have a lot of history with the arena, but without the fans something huge is missing. I am really hoping that, safety permitting, we might be able to bring some boxing fans in, but we will have to see. I respect every opponent and I respect Pulev. I wish him well during his preparation." 

Pulev, 39, has lost just one of his 29 professional bouts - a knockout at the hands of Wladimir Klitschko in 2014. 

"For a small country of Bulgaria to stand up for the heavyweight titles is a great accomplishment," said Pulev. 

"This fight is for my late father and all Bulgarians around the world. I'm coming to London to seize the heavyweight championship of the world." 

Hearn sees this as the "final hurdle" for Joshua ahead of a planned double-header with Fury, set for 2021. 

"After a challenging year for everyone, to end with the unified world heavyweight championship is very special," he said. 

"Over a year after regaining his crown, Anthony Joshua takes on yet another dangerous opponent in mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev. AJ's resume is unrivalled, and this is the final hurdle until we challenge for the undisputed crown next year."

Anthony Joshua has made the move from boxing to football, at least in the virtual world, after it was confirmed he will appear in FIFA 21.

Joshua will be a playable character in the video game's "Volta" mode – in which players are able to test their skills in a small-sided game with five-a-side rules.

Olympic gold medallist and world heavyweight champion Joshua is being introduced as a "Groundbreaker", alongside Kaka, Eric Cantona, Thierry Henry, Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold, Atletico Madrid youngster Joao Felix and FIFA 21 cover star Kylian Mbappe.

Diplo, a three-time Grammy Award-winning DJ and producer, also features.

Players will be able to pit their wits against the Groundbreakers, while also being able to recruit them into their squads.

Neville Southall believes Kepa Arrizabalaga and David de Gea could learn valuable lessons from world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua.

Chelsea made Kepa the world's most expensive goalkeeper in 2018 but he made the latest in a number of errors as the Blues went down 2-0 to Premier League champions Liverpool on Sunday.

He is now set to be replaced as Chelsea's number one, with Rennes keeper Edouard Mendy reportedly close to a £22million (€24m) move to Stamford Bridge.

Manchester United goalkeeper De Gea, meanwhile, has endured several difficult campaigns and is under additional pressure to retain his place between the posts following Dean Henderson's return from a fine loan spell with Sheffield United.

Southall, who helped Everton to two league titles, two FA Cups and a European Cup Winners' Cup success during a 17-year stint at Goodison Park, pointed out boxer Joshua – who was knocked out by Andy Ruiz Jr in June 2019 but reclaimed his belts six months later – as having the type of mentality top goalkeepers require.

"When you're an experienced goalkeeper, you have a track record that everybody judges you against," Southall told Stats Perform News.

"De Gea's suffered from that, most people do when you get to a certain age, which is weird because you've already proved you can do it.

"De Gea's proved he can be close to being the best in the world, but everybody doubts his ability, which for me doesn't make sense.

"It's like Anthony Joshua proving he's the best heavyweight in the world, because he's got the belts, and then losing one fight.

"Yes, the defeat spoils things for a bit but he won it back. I think there's a lesson in Anthony Joshua for all of those goalies – you might get a knockout blow, but you get back on your feet and you go and smash the rest of the world."

When asked for his thoughts on Kepa's predicament at Chelsea, Southall said: "Footballers are the prime ministers of the football world, aren't they? Everybody hates you or everybody loves you, depending on what you do for them.

"Like a prime minister you live and die on your decisions. Sometimes you make good ones and sometimes they're bad. The best goalkeepers make the least bad decisions. 

"Kepa, he's young. It's a learning process for him, maybe this season he might do a little better. [Frank] Lampard maybe doesn't seem to rate him that much, but he's obviously got talent.

"He's got to believe in himself and get better. If you're having a bad time, the only thing is to relax, know what you've done wrong and change it. There's no easy fix, it's about confidence.

"If you're not having the best of times and the manager isn't picking you, it's a double blow, but you've got to think what you really want. Do you want to show them that you're better, what you're really like? Chelsea haven't got an exceptional goalkeeper at the moment. For me, I'd give him another season."

Anthony Joshua described Tyson Fury as "just another heavyweight" and says his rival should consider retiring soon.

IBF, WBA and WBO title holder Joshua has agreed two fights with WBC champion Fury next year to determine the division's undisputed champion.

Joshua first faces a mandatory title defence against Kubrat Pulev at the end of the year, while Fury is set to take on Deontay Wilder for a third time.

Fury won his first world titles in 2015, seven years after turning professional, whereas his countryman needed just three years to make his big breakthrough.

And ahead of their proposed superfights at some point in 2021, Joshua has cast doubt over whether taking on Fury will be the biggest test of his career.

"Fury has been professional much longer than me. He should be looking to retire soon," he told Sky Sports.

"If he wants to cement his legacy, I'm here and ready. I've built myself into this position.

"I'll challenge Fury, I'll challenge Wilder. These guys aren't the biggest names that I've fought on my record anyway. They are just another heavyweight.

"Look at my record. They are not the best fighters that I have challenged. When they are ready, I'm here to fight."

Fury has won 30 of his 31 professional fights and beat Wilder in February to claim the WBC and Ring Magazine titles.

However, Joshua – with a record of 23 wins from 24 fights – is not fazed about stepping into the ring with the Gypsy King.

"I haven't got fear of Fury – whether he's got a better chin than me, a better jab than me, whether he's all of this stuff that people say," Joshua said. 

"So be it. Let me go in there and prove myself. Show you who I am and what I can do.

"I've fought five champions and been in two unification fights. I'm a two-time heavyweight champion in the space of 24 fights and a [seven-year] career. It shows you I am serious.

"If Fury is serious, I'll take that fight seriously too."

Anthony Joshua will fight behind closed doors this year if he has to, but Eddie Hearn is optimistic there will be a crowd at the O2 Arena for a December 12 bout against Kubrat Pulev.

Joshua's camp continues to negotiate a huge heavyweight unification fight against British rival Tyson Fury, but he first must face Pulev.

The coronavirus pandemic has impacted the boxing world, yet promoter Hearn is adamant Joshua cannot afford to wait for the crisis to pass.

Matchroom Boxing's Hearn is targeting test events with crowds in the coming months with the aim of getting "a strong crowd" in London for Joshua.

Hearn told Matchroom: "Someone said to me last night: 'Presumably, if you can't get crowds back, AJ won't fight.' No, AJ will fight behind closed doors if he has to this year.

"He must fight. He's progressing as a fighter, he's learning all the time, he's challenging himself. He doesn't want to sit on the shelf.

"We believe through the pilot schemes that we'll run in September and then fans coming back in October, there's a good chance that Anthony Joshua can have a strong crowd at the O2 on December 12.

"That's the target date for that fight. Things are nearly wrapped up with Pulev's team as well for that date. Hopefully we can build towards a massive finish to the year."

That finish could see Oleksandr Usyk versus Derek Chisora followed by Dillian Whyte's rematch against Alexander Povetkin.

Hearn says he is "still grinding away" on the Usyk fight for late October, while the Povetkin bout should be announced for November in the coming weeks - Whyte looking for swift revenge after the Russian veteran sensationally knocked him out at Matchroom Fight Camp last month.

Attention is already turning towards booking the clash with Fury, though.

"Fury against AJ's a must," Hearn said. "I saw the comments [by Fury and his co-promoter Frank Warren], 'they don't want it, they don't want it'.

"You have to understand: why would you not want the fight that's the biggest ever for British boxing history?"

He added: "I spoke to [Fury's co-promoter] Bob Arum. We've been having some deep conversations about that fight all week. Actually, me and Bob are ready to move forward and close that fight now."

Anthony Joshua is confident he knows how to go about beating Tyson Fury but does not expect to face his fellow Brit in a blockbuster heavyweight showdown this year.

Eddie Hearn, Joshua's promoter, this week stated the English duo could do battle in a much-anticipated unification before the end of 2020, amid talk that Deontay Wilder may pull out of a trilogy fight with Fury.

A fight with mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev is due to be WBA, WBO and IBF champion Joshua's next assignment, while Fury is contracted to face Wilder for a third time.

WBC champion Fury and Joshua verbally agreed to two fights next year during a coronavirus crisis that has caused uncertainty over scheduling.

Joshua is focused on overcoming his next hurdle in the form of Pulev, but already has in mind how he plans to defeat compatriot Fury.

He told Capital Breakfast: "I've got a winner's head on my shoulders, so I'm going in to win.

"You know, you work Tyson's body, I know certain shots that he's vulnerable to as well, so I kind of create those opportunities as well. With a winner’s head on my shoulders I'll go in there and I'll do whatever it takes by any means really."

Joshua knows both he and Fury have "banana skin fights" to get through before they can finally meet.

He added: "We've got to put them on an equal playing field because if I say 'I've got the bigger test' or 'he's got the bigger test', you never know what's going to happen.

"They're both banana skin fights. It's like 'get past this one then there's the big one next', so this one is just as important as the big one.

"When the time is right we'll fight. We're keen but I've got Kubrat Pulev first which is a mandatory defence, which I have to do. Once I get past that I'm a free agent.

"I'm going to say we'll fight next year but everything else that comes with it, I've just got to put to the back of my mind and just focus on Kubrat Pulev. Once I get past him, hopefully Fury will be the next one in line."

Anthony Joshua could face Tyson Fury in their much-anticipated unification bout before the end of the year, according to promoter Eddie Hearn.

IBF, WBA and WBO title holder Joshua wants to complete the collection by adding the WBC belt, which is currently held by Fury following his stoppage win over Deontay Wilder.

The pair were expected to meet in 2021 at the earliest, with Fury facing Wilder for a third time before then and mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev up next for Joshua.

However, Hearn revealed Joshua has not agreed a deal with Pulev and could yet take on Fury should Wilder opt against returning to the ring this year.

"I am the only one that has put [Joshua v Fury in 2021] in writing that the deal is agreed," Hearn told IFL TV.

"So, I have already written to their team saying, 'Just to let you know, we have agreed to the following deal.'

"I didn't actually get a reply, but I believe they do want the fight. So, we're ready for the fight."

He added: "I saw the comments about December. It's all very well saying, 'Well, if that doesn't happen in December, I'll fight you now.'

"We will fight you in December. If the world is ready for that fight, and these offers that are coming in are legit for that period in December, then we don't have a problem going into that fight.

"But [Fury's] under contract for another fight. We're not under contract yet, but we have to agree to terms with Pulev now. We probably will.

"We want to have an undisputed fight. So, by doing that, we fight Pulev, [Fury] fights Wilder.

"If we have to drop the WBO belt, then we worry about that then. But AJ doesn't have a problem with going into that [Fury] fight next. He understands that his obligation is to fight Pulev."

Wilder invoked a rematch clause to face Fury for a third time after losing his WBC and Ring Magazine titles to the 32-year-old in February.

However, a date has still not been officially pencilled in and Hearn has told Wilder to consider retiring if he does not step back into the ring with the Gypsy King.

"If Deontay Wilder doesn't take that rematch, he should retire from boxing," he said. "What's the point? You've been a world heavyweight champion, and now you've lost."

WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman has confirmed Tyson Fury will have "no restrictions" placed on him as the governing body's heavyweight champion, clearing the way for a unification fight with Anthony Joshua.

Fury claimed the title in February with a sensational stoppage win against Deontay Wilder, though the pair are due to meet again.

The WBC had stated Dillian Whyte would be the opponent for a mandatory defence by their champion in early 2021, provided he came through against Alexander Povetkin on Saturday.

However, Whyte saw his title hopes disappear when he was on the wrong end of an upset result, removing a potential hurdle standing in the way of a showdown between Fury and Joshua.

"We don't speculate, but the time limitations which were put by the WBC board, which had Dillian Whyte won, the winner of the third Fury-Wilder fight has to fight without an intervening bout against Dillian Whyte," Sulaiman told Sky Sports.

"That now has changed. Dillian has lost, so there are no limitations at the moment for the winner of Fury-Wilder to do any fight whatsoever."

He added: "In the WBC, there will be no restrictions whatsoever right now.

"An ultimate unification would be something that everyone would like to see. It's a matter that brings boxing to the highest level."

It was announced in June that Fury had reached an agreement over a two-fight deal with Joshua, who holds the IBF, WBA and WBO belts.

Meanwhile, in a video posted on social media on Monday, Whyte reiterated his desire to activate the rematch clause in his contract with Povetkin, who was knocked down twice before producing a stunning uppercut to triumph in the fifth round. 

"I'm safe and sound. Congratulations to Alexander Povetkin for a great fight, I look forward to doing it again," Whyte said in the message.

"It's heavyweight boxing - it happens. When you fight good fighters, you win some, you lose some.  

"I'm all good. I'm ready for the rematch, hopefully everybody can get the rematch done for November, December time. I spoke to Eddie [Hearn] this morning and he's on it."

Dillian Whyte is well aware of the dangers posed by Alexander Povetkin but is confident he can deal with the pressure and secure a shot at the WBC title.

Whyte is the governing body's interim champion and is next in line for a shot at the main belt, which is in the possession of Tyson Fury, at some stage in 2021.

However, Fury has a third fight with Deontay Wilder lined up next, leaving his mandatory challenger in need of an opponent as he stays busy ahead of a long-overdue opportunity.

Rather than take a soft option to preserve his status, the 32-year-old will instead take on Povetkin - who has lost just twice as a pro and won a gold medal at the 2004 Olympic Games - in the main event on the fourth and final 'Fight Camp' card organised by promoter Eddie Hearn.

Long-time rival Anthony Joshua will be working for the media at ringside, yet Whyte is only concerned with his next opponent as he has one final hurdle to clear before getting his chance.

"The story of my life has been pressure. It's just another puzzle, another something I have to deal with," he said during a pre-fight news conference on Thursday.

"There is a bit more pressure than usual, obviously, because what's in the future. But that is in the future - I just focus on now and what is in front of me.

"I'm fighting a consummate professional who has been consistent for a long time. I'm not bothered about what Fury is doing or what Wilder is doing, I'll focus on what Povetkin is going to be doing on Saturday. 

"He's probably the most technical fighter I've fought. He's fought a lot of guys as an amateur and is an Olympic gold medallist – he's done it the right way."

Whyte won twice in 2019 despite admitting his mind "wasn't right". However, he has enjoyed an extended training camp in Portugal ahead of facing the experienced Povetkin.

The Russian's only defeats have come against Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko, who prevailed on points after the bout went the distance, but a slimmed-down Whyte is happy to test himself, despite the obvious risk for his career prospects.

"I deal with pressure well. I could have had an easier fight, but I'm still learning," Whyte said while chatting to promoter Hearn.

"I had seven amateur fights and 20-odd as a professional, so I'm still working and learning.

"These are the kind of fights you need to test yourself, the kind you need to grow. This is the kind of fight I need, a fight that tests me, that motivates me, a fight that I can learn from, a fight that I need to think more about what I need to do.

"I could have taken an easier fight, one where I know 80 per cent I'm going to win by knockout anyway, but this is the kind of fight I need, that gives it a little extra edge.  

"That's why I've got myself in the kind of shape I'm in."

Anthony Joshua is ready to step in and fight Dillian Whyte if Tyson Fury is unwilling to do so, according to Eddie Hearn.

Already holding the IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles, Joshua wants to complete the collection by adding the WBC belt, currently held by Fury following his stoppage win over Deontay Wilder.

That duo are scheduled to meet for a third time, though a date is yet to be confirmed, with Whyte then next in line to face the winner.

However, promoter Hearn has made clear that if Fury is not so keen to make that fight, Joshua is willing to make it happen in his quest to be crowned the undisputed champion in the division.

Joshua and Whyte have met once before in the paid ranks too, the former coming out on top against his long-time rival back in December 2015.

"Looking at the bigger undisputed picture, all Joshua wants is the WBC title," Hearn told Sky Sports News. 

"He was never worried if it came against Wilder or Fury. Whoever owns that belt is who Joshua will face for the undisputed championship. 

"We know the winner of Saturday's fight will be ordered to face the winner of Fury-Wilder. If Fury does not want to fight Whyte, then Whyte will be elevated to champion from interim champion. Now I do not like that. 

"But what will happen? Joshua will fight Whyte straight away for the undisputed championship. 

"You always want to fight a champion. But if Fury refuses to do a fight that has been ordered by the WBC, then he will be stripped of his title. 

"Then Whyte will be fighting for the undisputed championship."

Whyte puts his status as the WBC's interim champion on the line this weekend when he takes on Alexander Povetkin in the fourth and final 'Fight Camp' event to be staged at Matchroom's headquarters in Essex.

Russian Povetkin was stopped by Joshua back in 2018, but that is one of only two defeats he has suffered in a 38-fight career.

Eddie Hearn says Anthony Joshua will fight in any location, even if it is behind closed doors or at the promoter's home.

Joshua, who was set to face Kubrat Pulev in June and has also agreed to a two-fight deal with Tyson Fury, has not fought since regaining his WBA, IFB and WBO heavyweight belts from Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia in December.

Hearn, meanwhile, has constructed a ring in the grounds of his estate in Essex, with the aim for boxing to return from the coronavirus-enforced break with an event called 'Fight Camp'.

The event is set to start next month, and though Joshua is not currently slated to be involved, Hearn is adamant the 30-year-old is willing to fight anywhere.

"Joshua would fight here [at Hearn's home], no problem," Hearn told BBC Sport.

"If we were faced with the option of having no fans for an Anthony Joshua fight, we would still look to go ahead. He's spent a lot of time training out here in this garden so he would have no problem fighting here himself.

"He was here a couple of weeks ago. He loves to fight, to box and it's not just about fighting in a huge arena – Wembley Stadium, Madison Square Garden – it's about boxing.

"We want him to be in front of crowds. But for his career, for his development, he needs to fight this year."

Hearn is also confident Joshua's planned fight with Pulev will go ahead in 2020.

"Of course fighters want to earn as much money as possible but they also need to develop as fighters and I think the Kubrat Pulev fight is a good, solid, tough fight for him and I am almost certain you will see that fight this year," Hearn added.

"He wants to improve as a fighter and he will do it anywhere, anytime."

Page 1 of 7
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.