Ryan Garcia appeared to confirm a fight against Manny Pacquiao, saying it would be "a dream turned reality".

Garcia (21-0) was reported to be in talks for a bout against Filipino great Pacquiao (62-7-2).

The American seemed to confirm that fight was going ahead in an Instagram post on Sunday.

"A dream turned reality," Garcia wrote.

"It's an honour to share the ring with @mannypacquiao. I will always respect what you did in and out the ring.

"Here's to the best man winning."

Garcia fought on January 2, beating Luke Campbell to win the interim WBC lightweight title.

Pacquiao, 42, was last in action in July 2019 in a split-decision victory over Keith Thurman to win the WBA welterweight crown.

Undefeated WBC and IBF champion Errol Spence Jr. has expressed the hope of one day fighting in Jamaica, a place to which he still has strong connections.

Although the 30-year-old pugilist was born in the United States, his father Errol Spence is a Jamaican who still has roots in the town of Axe and Adze in the parish of Hanover.

Last month, the boxer scored a unanimous victory over number one contender Danny Garcia, in his first fight since a serious motor vehicle accident in 2019.

While the boxer will be content to relax and enjoy the fruits of his labour, for now, he admits staging a fight in his ancestral home sometime in the future would be a dream come true.

“I want to fight in Jamaica.  Hope I can make that happen, hopefully, it will be a big event where I still have all of my titles.  It’s something that I really wanted, it something that my dad wanted me to do as well.  It’s something we talked about even when I was an amateur so hopefully, we can make that happen,” Spence Jr. told Talking Sports.

“I think I will be able to fight there.  I want to be among those great names.  Guys like Mike McCallum, guys that could really fight.  His name was the body snatcher and I’ve watched him sometimes, how he went to the body well, how tough he was.”

The last major fight in Jamaica came in 2012 when Jamaica's Nicholas 'The Axeman' Walters, defeated Daulis Prescott at Jamaica's National Indoor Sports Centre.

 

 

Floyd Mayweather Jr does not think anyone wants to see Conor McGregor return to boxing to face Manny Pacquiao following the Irishman's defeat to Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 on Sunday.

Poirier became the first man to knockout McGregor in mixed martial arts with a string of punches to the head during the second round of their lightweight bout in Abu Dhabi.

It was the former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion's first fight in a year and his second since being submitted by Khabib Nurmagomedov in October 2018.

His bout with Nurmagomedov came after he switched to boxing to take on former five-division champion Mayweather, who came out of retirement and put his 49-0 record on the line.

Mayweather triumphed over McGregor by TKO in round 10, but the Irishman has been linked with a return to the ring to face Pacquiao – an eight-division champion and the WBA welterweight title holder.

However, it has been reported Pacquiao is closing in on an agreement with Ryan Garcia and McGregor's loss to Poirier will have done his chances of facing the Filipino no good.

Mayweather likened the prospect of Pacquiao, who he defeated by unanimous decision in their long-awaited welterweight bout in 2015, taking on McGregor as "my leftovers eating leftovers".

Sharing an image of a post asking why Mayweather is hated for the way he carries himself, but McGregor is loved for acting in the same manner, he wrote: "I seen this post and my take on it is that the world knows Con Artist McLoser can steal everything from me and be loved but I'm hated. That just lets you all know that racism still exist.

"Just know, that bum will never be me or be on my level. I'm just built different, my mindset is on another planet, my skills are second to none, I'm a natural born winner and yes I talk a lot of trash, but every time I back it up! This is what they hate.

"It's sad that you can be a poor black kid from the ghetto that has dealt with racism your whole life and work extremely hard to put yourself and your family in a better position, and most of the hate comes from my own people.

"Conor cannot even win in his own sport, but talking about coming back to boxing to fight Pacquiao. Nobody wants to see that, it's like my leftovers eating leftovers."

Prior to his fight with Poirier, McGregor said he was committed to a prolonged stint in the UFC's lightweight division.

Despite his loss, the 32-year-old said he feels there are still plenty of match-ups in the Octagon that interest him.

Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez will be back in the ring on February 27, defending his WBA and WBC super-middleweight titles against Avni Yildirim.  

Canelo claimed the belts in December, handing Callum Smith his first career defeat as he recorded a unanimous points triumph over the Englishman in San Antonio, Texas.  

Now the Mexican superstar will head to Florida for his next outing, the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens chosen to stage the clash with Yildirim.  

While keen to eventually unify the 168-pound division, the 30-year-old must first deal with his mandatory challenger for the WBC strap.  

"Avni Yildirim is a good boxer and I know we will put on an exciting fight," said Canelo.   

"I'm very glad that we are able to bring this event to Miami, a short distance from where my hero, Muhammad Ali, trained.   

"February 27 will be a great night for the sport."

Yildirim, who owns a 21-2 record as a pro, previously challenged for the vacant WBC belt in February 2019, losing via a technical decision after opponent Anthony Dirrell suffered a cut that forced their bout to be stopped.  

However, the 29-year-old - whose other loss came against Chris Eubank Jr in 2017 - is ready to go to war as he aims to cause a huge upset.  

"I am honoured as a mandatory to fight again for the big green belt - thank you to everyone who is involved," Yildirim said in a press release to announce the date. 

"I always give my all – and everybody should be ready to see a war. I am coming to make my country proud – I am representing the whole of Turkey."

Sergey Kovalev's bout against Bektemir Melikuziev has been cancelled after the former three-time light-heavyweight world champion failed a drugs test.

Kovalev returned a positive for synthetic testosterone via a test carried out by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA).

The scheduled fight card at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indo, California has been pulled by Golden Boy Promotions as a result.

A statement released by Golden Boy read: "The Kovalev vs Melikuziev boxing event scheduled for January 30 has been cancelled following a positive test for a banned substance (synthetic testosterone) on behalf of Sergey Kovalev through the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA).

"Upon learning of Kovalev's adverse finding, the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) determined that they must cancel the event."

Kovalev has not fought since losing his WBO light-heavyweight title in an 11th-round knockout defeat to Canelo Alvarez in November 2019, a setback that dropped the 37-year-old's professional record to 34 victories (29 knockouts), four defeats and a solitary draw.

Counting from his first career loss, when Andre Ward edged a close points verdict against Kovalev in 2016, the Russian has won four and lost four of his past eight fights, with the three subsequent losses all coming by stoppage.

He was scheduled to box former world title challenger Sullivan Barrera on April 25 last year but the coronavirus pandemic put paid to that, as it did the original plans for the meeting against Uzbekistan's 2016 Olympic bronze medallist Melikuziev (6-0, 5 KOs) to take place in Moscow.

The heavyweight rematch between Alexander Povetkin and Dillian Whyte has been officially confirmed for March 6.

Povetkin knocked out Whyte in the fifth round of their WBC interim title bout last August and the pair were originally set to meet again in late November at Wembley Arena.

However, the fight was postponed after the Russian was admitted to hospital with COVID-19.

Promoters Matchroom Boxing has announced a new date has now been set, with the rematch now scheduled for around seven weeks' time.

The card will take place behind closed doors at a venue that has yet to be confirmed.

After being laid low by coronavirus last year, Povetkin recently stepped up his training regime as he looks to retain the WBC interim heavyweight title with another victory over Whyte.

World of Boxing Promotions Company, who represent the 41-year-old, posted on Twitter on Friday: "Alexander has fully recovered and started his training camp on January 12. 

"He is progressing well in the first stage of his preparation. We hope the second fight will live up to everyone's expectations and that Povetkin will deliver another spectacular finish."

The winner of the rematch will be in line to face either Tyson Fury or Anthony Joshua later in 2021 for the heavyweight world title.

Meanwhile, it was also confirmed on Friday that Josh Warrington, who has not been in action since October 2019, will defend his IBF featherweight belt against Mauricio Lara on February 13.

Anthony Joshua has vowed he will not become an old man in the boxing ring, stating he has "five years left" in his career.

Britain's WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight world champion is set for a unification fight with WBC belt holder Tyson Fury this year.

Details have yet to be disclosed of exactly where and when that two-fight series will happen, but it is poised to be a major moment in the career of both men, given the stakes involved.

Joshua is at that stage of his career where he is already a global star but where such fights matter in defining his legacy.

That is what he will look to achieve before hanging up his gloves, with the 31-year-old having shaken off the disappointment of a first professional defeat in 2019, when he lost to Andy Ruiz Jr.

Speaking to Sky Sports News, Joshua said: "This isn't the start of my career. I'm coming towards the end of my career.

"I'm not someone who lives in the moment and thinks that everything is just like for now. I'm always planning ahead so I'm coming towards the end of my career.

"Five years left and that's basically an Olympic cycle. I've got an Olympic cycle and a little bit more left, so when you see the next Olympics happen is when I'll be coming to the end of my career and the next generation will be coming through."

Joshua beat Kubrat Pulev in December to keep a grip on his belts, allowing plans for the Fury bout to remain on track and progressing to a 24-1 career win-loss record.

A two-fight deal with Fury, who dismissed Joshua as a "chump" on social media on Thursday, was said to have been verbally agreed in the weeks after the Pulev fight.

Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn said the first instalment could happen in the Middle East unless stadiums are again allowed to be filled to capacity in the United Kingdom, currently a distant prospect amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Anthony Joshua would love his blockbuster bout with Tyson Fury to happen at Wembley Stadium but insisted he will face his domestic rival "wherever it is, whatever time it is".

IBF, WBA and WBO champion Joshua is finally set to face off against WBC champion Fury in 2021 after clearing the hurdle of Kubrat Pulev at England's national stadium last month.

It remains to be seen where the huge heavyweight showdown between the British foes will take place due to continued uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Boxing events in Britain are suspended in January due to the rise in COVID-19 cases and Joshua insists fans would need to be allowed to attend if the fight with Fury takes place at Wembley. 

"I would welcome Tyson Fury to that. I would welcome him to that all day," Joshua told Sky Sports News.

"It's brilliant for the kids of the local areas to come down. It's like half an hour drive, a couple of hours' drive for some of them.

"It's a brilliant opportunity to have it here as well, but the government have got to do right by the people and protect us from this virus. I understand the situation that the country is in.

"I think the possibilities of it being in this country are down to the pandemic, and how that shapes up.

"I feel, for me, I'm not too fussed where it is. I just want to get the fight, because there's so much variables, and so much for me to look at. Where is it going to be? Is he going to take the fight? Have I got a mandatory?

"I've just stripped it all back now and stopped dealing with that stuff. I've just said, 'Let me just fight Tyson Fury wherever it is, whatever time it is.'"

No specific date has yet been rubber-stamped for a fight that would see an undisputed heavyweight champion crowned, but Joshua is targeting a meeting by the middle of the year.

"I think maybe June, end of June," said Joshua.

"It needs a bit of time, because the pandemic is unpredictable at the minute. We don't know what's happening, but with a little more time, it gives us more time to prepare and plan.

"Right now, I said to the team, let's get ahead of the curve, let's start putting things in place now. They are doing a great job.

"I promise you, conversations and face-to-face meetings are happening with representations of my team and Tyson Fury's team."

Tyson Fury doubts Anthony Joshua's knockout power and claims his heavyweight rival has a confidence issue, having avoided fighting him "for a long time". 

The two British boxers appear on course to finally face each other after Joshua was victorious over Kubrat Pulev in December, stopping the Bulgarian in the ninth round of their bout at Wembley Arena. 

Both sides agreed in principle to a two-fight deal for 2021, though details over a date and venue for an initial bout are still being discussed.

After seeing off Pulev, IBF, WBA and WBO champion Joshua vowed to beat Fury when they finally go toe to toe, insisting he will take his "head off his shoulders" in the long-awaited showdown. 

However, in an interview with Fox Miami, the holder of the WBC title questioned Joshua's ability to back up his words. 

 "I don't think he's as good as people crack him up to be, or he doesn't believe he is, his own self. He's got a confidence issue," Fury said. 

"The fight has been brewing for a long time. They've been avoiding me for a long time. Now it's finally got to happen. 

"I've never seen him take anybody's head off anybody's shoulders in all of his 22 fights. It's probably a lie, another lie. We'll see if he's got the guts to try and do it." 

Fury had hoped to get in a bout before the end of 2020 - a year in which the boxing schedule was badly hampered due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic - only to shelve that plan.

The 32-year-old has not fought since February of last year, when he sensationally stopped the previously unbeaten Deontay Wilder in their rematch in Las Vegas.

Ryan Garcia came through his biggest test yet after recovering from a knock down to beat Luke Campbell by stoppage in Dallas, Texas.

Garcia was crowned WBC interim lightweight champion after a devastating left hook to Campbell's body finished the Englishman off 1 minute 58 seconds into the seventh round.

The 22-year-old lightweight made it 21 straight pro wins in a thrilling contest but it was far from a smooth victory against the 33-year-old in the American Airlines Center.

After the rising star was carried to ringside on a throne, 'King Ry' was dropped for this first time in his career with a stunning left hand from Campbell in the second round.

Garcia offered a quick response and continued as the aggressor, almost knocking Campbell down at the close of the fifth but 'Cool Hand' hit the ropes and was saved by the bell.

The perfectly-placed finishing blow sunk the Olympic gold medallist to the canvas as Garcia recorded a fifth straight knockout since teaming up with gym-mate Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez.

"Yo, I got dropped, this is crazy," Garcia told DAZN.

"I’ve never been dropped in my life. I think I got a little too excited over the moment.

"I knew I was in control.. and I thought I could just crack him, but he cracked me.

"So I had to adjust and just say ‘I’m going to calm down’ because I knew I could beat him.

"I had to get back up and show everybody what a warrior really is like."

Promoter Frank Warren has revealed talks are ongoing over a date and venue for Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua to meet in a fight that will be "one of the biggest in British boxing history".

The two heavyweights have both made clear they are keen for a lucrative unification showdown, with a two-fight deal previously agreed between both sides for 2021.

However, there are still details to be sorted out, including over exactly where a first bout will be staged, particularly with the continuing impact of the coronavirus pandemic on major sporting events.

Outlining his plans for the coming year in his column for the Daily Star, Warren - whose Queensberry Promotions work with Fury - has no doubts over who will prevail, whenever the event takes place.

"The big one that everyone wants to see is Tyson Fury against Anthony Joshua to decide the undisputed heavyweight champion," Warren wrote.

"Talks are continuing as we plan when and where to stage one of the biggest fights in British boxing history.

"Of course, I'm backing Fury to come out on top in that and prove what I believe that he is the best heavyweight in the world right now."

Joshua retained the IBF, WBA and WBO titles in December when he stopped Kubrat Pulev in front of a limited crowd of 1,000 at Wembley Arena.

Fury, meanwhile, holds the WBC belt, having dethroned Deontay Wilder in their rematch last February. He had hoped to fight again before the end of 2020, but was forced to shelve those plans.

Warren confirmed the continued COVID-19 health crisis makes it unclear exactly when fans will be able to be present in big numbers inside venues, but made clear "the planning and plotting continues".

That includes trying to fix a date for Carl Frampton's bid to win a world title a third different weight, 'The Jackal' set to take on WBO super-featherweight champion Jamel Herring as early as February.

The 2021 boxing schedule delivers an early treat as the much-hyped Ryan Garcia aims to prove he is the real deal when he faces Luke Campbell in Dallas.

After 2020 was heavily interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, fight fans will be hoping for better – and undoubtedly busier – times in the coming months. Could we see Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez versus Gennadiy Golovkin for a third time? Will heavyweights Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury really do battle? And can a showdown between Errol Spence Jr and Terence Crawford finally be made?

Before then, however, there is a January offering that certainly provides plenty of intrigue.

Garcia appears the great hope for Golden Boy Promotions, a 22-year-old Californian with fast hands, a perfect record and huge potential, aided by having 7.8 million followers on Instagram. 

'King Ry' has reigned in his 20 fights so far, the last four of which have seen him working with Eddy Reynoso, the trainer who has helped develop Canelo into the sport's biggest superstar. The hope is the young pretender can, one day, follow in the Mexican's footsteps. 

His previous two outings have failed to even last beyond the opening round, but there is an element of risk attached to this bid to claim the interim WBC lightweight title on Saturday.

Campbell is by far the best name Garcia will have faced. The Englishman won a gold medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in London before turning pro and, while a world title has so far eluded him in the paid ranks, it is not for a lack of effort.

Campbell narrowly missed out on achieving his goal when challenging Jorge Linares in September 2017, eventually losing on points. He also came up short against Vasyl Lomachenko 15 months ago, though again went the distance. The final scores were lopsided but did not do the challenger's efforts justice when facing a pound-for-pound contender.

Garcia has suggested fans "don't blink" in the build-up to this weekend, but Campbell's pedigree suggests there is little reason to expect another early finish. A well-tuned southpaw style and smooth footwork should at least make the latter hard to hit, for starters.

Whatever unfolds, we will know far more about one of boxing's brightest prospects after the main event at the American Airlines Center.


RECENT HISTORY

Garcia wasted little time against Francisco Fonseca in his previous bout, his second successive first-round stoppage having needed just 98 seconds to deal with Romero Duno in November of 2019.

There have been tougher outings in his career to do date, however, including going 10 rounds with both Jayson Velez, at super-featherweight, and Carlos Morales, before eventually winning on points.

Still, there is no one on his record to match who Campbell has shared a ring with.

'Cool Hand' has not fought since that points loss to Lomachenko, while he was previously on the wrong end of a split-decision verdict after 12 absorbing rounds with Linares. Yvan Mendy is the other defeat on his pro record - and Campbell avenged that shock result by beating the Frenchman in a rematch.


TALE OF THE TAPE

RYAN GARCIA

Age: 22
Height: 5ft 10ins (178cm)
Weight: 135 pounds (9st 6lbs)
Reach: 70ins
Professional record: 20-0 (17 KOs)

LUKE CAMPBELL

Age: 33
Height: 5ft 9ins (175cm)
Weight: 135 pounds (9st 6lbs)
Reach: 71ins
Professional record: 20-3 (16 KOs)
Major career titles: Commonwealth (lightweight)


THE UNDERCARD

Rene Alvarado's defence of the WBA super-featherweight title against Roger Gutierrez is the chief support on Saturday, though not the only interesting fight on the Dallas card.

Felix Alvarado makes the second defence of the IBF belt against fellow light-flyweight DeeJay Kriel, while the unbeaten Raul Curiel takes on Ramses Agaton at welterweight.

Look out for Asa Stevens too, an amateur star finally set to make his professional debut having signed with Golden Boy back in February 2020.

Having won gold at the 2018 Youth World Championships, Stevens opted not to carry on for a tilt at Olympic gold. Instead, the bantamweight begins his career against Francisco Bonilla, a 34-year-old Mexican who has been stopped in his previous two outings.


WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY...

Garcia on what he expects in the fight: "I've trained for a war because I know Luke is a tough guy. When he gets hit, he gets dropped and gets back up and keeps fighting. If he can take the shots and he gets dropped, I've seen him get up and fight on. I think that it might be a good fight."

Campbell on his long-term outlook: "I want to prove I'm the best in the division. I believe I'm the best in the division. Once I beat Ryan, that will answer a lot of questions."

Promoter Eddie Hearn offers a prediction on social media: "Luke wins by TKO inside nine!"

Reynoso responds on Twitter: Garcia is ready to shine and win by ko!! Sorry Eddie Hearn."

Anthony Joshua has denied claims he is scared to face Tyson Fury and is eager to finalise a contract for a much-anticipated unification fight between the heavyweights. 

Promoter Eddie Hearn confirmed on Saturday a verbal agreement is in place for Joshua to take on Fury next year, most likely in the Middle East due to coronavirus restrictions.

IBF, WBA and WBO title holder Joshua knocked out Kubrat Pulev earlier this month to clear another potential hurdle standing between himself and a lucrative clash with Fury.

He appeared reluctant to call out the WBC champion in the aftermath of the fight at Wembley Arena, saying only that his focus was on securing the fourth heavyweight belt.

Fury accused his fellow Briton of running scared but Joshua is determined to put everything on the line by finalising a date for a money-spinning bout in 2021.

"Whether he really wants it or not, I'm keen," Joshua told Sky Sports. "I basically said, 'If Tyson Fury is the man with the belts, Tyson Fury is the man I want.' 

"That basically says, 'I'll fight anyone who has that belt, there's no problem with the person'. I just want to go for the undisputed championship. 

"That's what I was trying to say that night. He took it how he wanted to take it. I've never turned away from a fight. I've never announced a fight and not showed up. 

"I've fought six to seven champions, in my short career. Tyson Fury is another one of them.

"There's no reason as to why I see him any different to any other. If Fury is down, I'm ready, I'm keen. I've got four of the major belts, he's got one. I'll take that one from him."

Fury has not stepped in the ring since beating Deontay Wilder to reclaim the WBC heavyweight belt in February, with plans for a trilogy fight halted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Joshua's mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk has suggested he is happy to step aside for now, meanwhile, clearing another obstacle.

"I'm speaking to my management team, and I'm ready. I'm keen," Joshua said. "I've got past my mandatory. Right now, I'm about less talk, more action.

"But the ultimate thing coming from me, I'm ready. The next fight, I want Tyson Fury, the next fight I want the WBC champion, the next fight I want to be for the undisputed championship of the world.

"That being said, they are in conversations now – my management team, my promotional outfit – of the best way to put a package together that can lead us into 2021.

"Hopefully, the pandemic will be done and we can bring someone unity, a good energy to Britain, if we can announce this fight."

Will they or won't they? Talk of a trilogy fight between Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez and Gennadiy Golovkin resurfaced (though, to be clear, it never really went away) after both recorded impressive victories. 

The day after long-time rival Golovkin had dominated against Kamil Szeremeta to defend his IBF middleweight title for a record 21st time, Canelo demonstrated his undoubted skills to defeat the much-taller Callum Smith on points up at super-middleweight. 

Unsurprisingly, they were asked about facing each other in the aftermath. There was a split-decision draw between them in September 2017, followed a year later by a contentious Canelo win on points. 

A third episode seemed an absolute certainty at one stage, but does it still make sense now?

As we come towards the conclusion of an unprecedented year amid a global health pandemic, it seems the ideal time to weigh up the pros and cons for two of the biggest names in boxing. 
 

A third fight MUST happen! 

Canelo: The Mexican came out on top in the previous meeting, but that majority verdict will always leave a shred of doubt for some. As is so often the case when a bout goes the distance, the outcome is so subjective. All three judges' scores were close too – Glenn Feldman had it 114-114, while his two counterparts - Dave Moretti and Steve Weisfeld - made Canelo the winner 117-115.  

Since then, Canelo has moved up and down in weights, knocking out Sergey Kovalev at light-heavy before dropping back to 168 pounds to outclass the previously unbeaten Smith. Those wins have further enhanced his legacy, while there are plenty of options over who to face next. Still, the most lucrative option must be GGG, giving him a chance to emphatically prove he is the better man in the rivalry. 

GGG: That defeat in Las Vegas in September 2018 remains the only blemish on a mighty impressive career CV. Golovkin was a hugely successful amateur who made a seamless transition into the paid ranks, building a reputation for both his power punching and ring acumen.  

The Kazakh is now 38 and while there are other names to keep him busy in the division - "I'm open for anybody," he said after his destruction of Szeremeta - Canelo must be the top priority for 2021. That may require ceding ground in negotiations, but so be it. GGG should do everything possible to get that deal signed – and then do his utmost to make sure the judges are not required to decide the outcome again. 
 

It's history – time to move on! 

Canelo: Been there, done that. Alvarez was the official winner in the Golovkin rematch, no matter what your opinion is on the verdict, so why does he need to go over old (no slight on GGG's age there) ground? 

A stoppage success would undoubtedly prove any doubters wrong, admittedly. After beating Smith, Alvarez dealt with the obligatory Golovkin question by saying: "I don't run from nobody". However, his willingness to switch weights from bout to bout gives him a plethora of options as he moves forward. Could we see him go up again to campaign at light-heavy? All avenues are open.

GGG: A third meeting is a gamble that will be deemed worth taking. Still, considering his age, Golovkin cannot be left waiting around in the hope it eventually happens at some stage – particularly as Canelo talked up the potential of unifying at super-middleweight, now he has the WBA and WBC belts. 

Moving up to 168 to make it happen does not suit Golovkin, so perhaps it is best to focus on cleaning up at middleweight. Fellow world champions Jermall Charlo and Demetrius Andrade are strong options for a fighter who needs to capitalise on his position in the twilight stages of his career. 

There is a verbal agreement in place for Anthony Joshua to fight Tyson Fury in a heavyweight unification bout, with promoter Eddie Hearn seemingly suggesting the Middle East as the likely venue.

Joshua's ninth-round stoppage of Kubrat Pulev last week kept him on a collision course with Fury, who has not fought since defeating Deontay Wilder to claim the WBC title, which is the only belt Joshua does not own.

Wilder has a rematch clause he can trigger for a third fight with Fury, however, Joshua's promoter Hearn is insistent the only bout either camp is concerned about is one that will crown a Briton as the undisputed champion.

Speaking at the post-fight news conference for Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez's victory over Callum Smith, Hearn said: "They've been ongoing none stop, the next move is drafting of agreements which is going on right now.

"[There's] a lot of work to do on that but only minor points in my opinion to resolve. So I think you'll see over the next few weeks getting into that position where we can get into the market place and look at where that fight might take place. But as I've said before no one is looking at another fight from either team other than that one."

Asked about a verbal agreement, he added: "Yes, yes I mean we have a verbal.

"AJ has a fighting exclusive with Sky, Fury with BT, in America Fury with ESPN, AJ with DAZN. Minor again, then the silly stuff, who walks out first, who gets the better changing room. AJ thinks he's the A side, Fury thinks he's the A side. Anthony Joshua [is the A side] - when you talk about as a global brand and the biggest draw globally in that fight, it's clear it's AJ. He has three of the belts - this is why AJ could fight in December and Fury couldn't.

"It depends where it could take place, if it's in the Middle East I think Ramadan runs until mid-May so the end of May, early June is target for that fight. If it's in the UK May-June is great as well.

"But the only way that fight can take place in the UK is if 90,000 fans can attend. Even then guys could be taking 50 per cent of the purse in another territory, but right now with the UK going into another lockdown, who knows if we'll see those kind of numbers?"

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