Tyson Fury revealed he has signed a contract to face Deontay Wilder again in a trilogy fight, less than a week after announcing a heavyweight unification bout against Anthony Joshua was "100 per cent on".

Fury has a 30-0-1 record, only failing to win in an initial meeting with Wilder in December 2018.

However, Fury knocked out the American in February 2020 to claim the WBC title, with a clash against British rival Joshua an apparently obvious next step.

Progress looked to have been made on that blockbuster fight and, last weekend, the WBC champion even confirmed a date and venue – August 14 in Saudi Arabia.

A significant complication subsequently emerged, though, as Wilder won an arbitration hearing that stated he had the right to a third Fury bout.

This derailed plans with WBO, IBF and WBA strap-holder Joshua, and Fury instead penned an agreement to take on Wilder once more as he attended Saturday's light welterweight title fight between Josh Taylor and Jose Ramirez.

In a video posted on social media by Top Rank Boxing and shared by Fury, he said: "I'm going to sign the contract for the Wilder III fight, because Wilder's a p****, an excuse-maker and a s***house.

"Shall we do it and put him out his misery?

"[He is going to get] seriously smashed to bits. [I will] crack the other side of his skull, give him another shoulder injury, another bicep injury, another leg injury, a nutsack injury, the whole lot.

"Are you sure now, or shall we just hijack out of here, go to Saudi Arabia and fight someone else?"

The footage then showed Fury signing the paperwork, before he addressed the camera and his opponent: "Wilder, contract signed. You're getting smashed.

"When I say smashed, I mean smash, smash, smash, bang. You're getting knocked out. One round. You're going.

"I've got your soul, your mojo, everything. I own you. Super smashed."

The WBO has ordered Joshua to face Oleksandr Usyk, meanwhile, with any possibility of a Joshua-Fury showpiece now delayed at least until the defence of these titles.

Josh Taylor knocked down Jose Ramirez twice Saturday on the way to a unanimous decision that made him the undisputed light welterweight champion. 

The 30-year-old Scotsman saw all three judges score the bout 114-112 in his favour as he took Ramirez's WBC and WBO straps to add to the WBA, IBF and The Ring belts he already held. 

Taylor (18-0) becomes the fifth man to hold an undisputed world championship in the four-belt era, joining Oleksandr Usyk, Terence Crawford, Jermain Taylor and Bernard Hopkins. 

The knockdowns came in the sixth and seventh rounds, both via Taylor's left hand.

The latter, an uppercut to the chin, nearly brought an end to the fight, but Ramirez (26-1) managed to stand in for the final few seconds of the round and make it through the 12th. 

“I have nothing but respect for Ramirez,” Taylor said. “Nothing but love and respect for that man.”

 

Anthony Joshua has been ordered to fight Oleksandr Usyk after hopes for a summer showdown with Tyson Fury faded this week. 

The WBO on Saturday sent a letter ordering the unified heavyweight titleholder to fight Usyk (18-0), the sanctioning body's mandatory challenger. 

While Joshua (24-1) holds the WBO, IBF and WBA belts, Fury (30-0-1) claimed the WBC title from the previously unbeaten Deontay Wilder (41-1-1) in their February 2020 rematch following a draw in their initial bout.

On Monday, a judge in the United States ruled that the dethroned champion had the right to face the Briton for a third time before September 15.

Two days later, the WBO sent Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn a letter giving him 48 hours to show cause why it should not mandate a title defense against Usyk. 

On Friday, Hearn asked the body for an extension until Monday, but the WBO denied that request Saturday. 

The WBO gave the Joshua and Usyk camps 10 days to finalise an agreement for a fight, or the body will order a purse bid. 

Should that happen, the letter said, Joshua would receive 80 per cent of the minimum $1million bid and Usyk 20 per cent. 

 

 

Manny Pacquiao is set to return to the ring after an absence of more than two years in a welterweight title showdown with unbeaten Errol Spence Jr. 

Pacquiao and Spence announced the fight on social media Friday. It is set to take place on August 21 in Las Vegas, but the venue has not been determined. 

Spence (27-0) will put his WBC and IBF welterweight straps on the line against the 42-year-old Pacquiao (62-7-2), whose last fight was a July 2019 split decision win against Keith Thurman. 

Pacquiao's win made him the first four-time welterweight champion, but he was stripped of that WBA strap in January due to inactivity. 

The 31-year-old American Spence has successfully defended his IBF belt five times since winning it in May 2017 with a knockout of Kell Brook.

He added the WBC title with a split decision over Shawn Porter in September 2019, but did not fight for more than a year due in part to injuries suffered in an automobile accident the following month. 

Spence returned to the ring with a unanimous decision win over Danny Garcia last December. 

Anthony Joshua has branded heavyweight rival Tyson Fury a "fraud" as their blockbuster unification showdown appears on the brink of collapse.

Joshua, the IBF, WBA and WBO champion, and Fury, who holds the WBC belt, have been in negotiations over a fight to crown the undisputed ruler in the division.

Promoter Eddie Hearn said he expected to announce an August 14 showdown, to take place in Saudi Arabia, this week, but Deontay Wilder – who Fury sensationally deposed last year – has derailed plans.

Wilder won an arbitration hearing on Monday that recognised his contractual right to a third bout with Fury, with whom he shared a thrilling 2018 draw before suffering a first career loss via seventh-round stoppage in February 2020.

Fury's promoter Bob Arum told ESPN that Fury-Wilder III has been provisionally booked at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas for July 24, stating step aside payments were not an option.

"It's better to get rid of [Wilder] and go about our business. We can make the Fury-Joshua fight for November or December," he said.

Joshua, who might now face his WBO mandatory challenger and former undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk, expressed frustration that the Fury fight came so close to fruition before hitting a stumbling block, accusing his fellow Briton of using the whole episode as a publicity stunt.

He tweeted: "@Tyson_Fury the world now seen you for the fraud you are. You've let boxing down!

"You lied to the fans and led them on. Used my name for clout, not a fight. Bring me any championship fighter who can handle their business correctly."

Fury was typically strident in his response, proposing a fanciful bare-knuckle bout with Joshua for a combined £40million.

"Your (sic) more full of s*** that (sic) Eddie. Spouting absolute s****. Your team knew there was an Arbitration going on, it was out of my hands!

"But I tell you what if I'm a fraud let's fight this weekend bar (sic) knuckles till 1 man quits? Let's put up 20 mill each."

The barbs continued, with Joshua saying, "I'll slap your bad head and you'll do nothing" and Fury labelling his countryman a "dosser" a "bum" and a "bottle job".

Fury became a two-time world heavyweight champion when he stopped Wilder and remains undefeated in 30 professional fights, with 29 wins and a draw.

His first title victory came when he out-pointed long-reigning unified champion Wladimir Klitschko in 2015 before spending time away from the ring due to personal problems.

Joshua duly collected the IBF, WBA and WBO titles with wins over Charles Martin, Klitschko and Joseph Parker respectively.

He lost those belts in a shock stoppage loss to Andy Ruiz Jr in June 2019, a sole professional defeat that he avenged in a rematch before the end of that year.

Eddie Hearn is preparing to push on with finding an alternative opponent for Anthony Joshua if Tyson Fury's team are unable to "get their act together" by the end of the week.

Heavyweight rivals Joshua and Fury had appeared set for a huge showdown in Saudi Arabia on August 14, only for an arbitration ruling involving Deontay Wilder to potentially scupper that plan.

While Joshua holds the IBF, WBA and WBO belts, Fury claimed the WBC title from the previously unbeaten Wilder in their February 2020 rematch following a draw in their initial bout.

On Monday, a judge in the United States ruled that the dethroned champion had the right to face the Briton for a third time before September 15, casting huge doubt over the unification clash scheduled for a month earlier.

With the possibility of Fury no longer being available, Hearn is ready to look elsewhere for his fighter. Oleksandr Usyk – the mandatory challenger for Joshua's WBO strap – is a possibility, though the promoter plans to make sure he has more than one option on the table.

"I've been focused on plan A. The only fight we had in mind was Tyson Fury," Hearn said in an in-depth interview aired on the Matchroom Boxing YouTube channel on Tuesday.

"We hope that fight can still take place on August 14, but the game changed last night. We have to have a plan B in place – and possibly a plan C as well.

"We have a couple of different options. Of course, the one that springs to mind is the WBO mandatory of Oleksandr Usyk. They have been quite patient and, really, we're in a situation now where if team Fury don't get their act together by the end of this week, we will have no option but to look for an alternative fight.

"AJ wants to fight this summer, Oleksandr Usyk is the mandatory and we have two or three other options as well."

Hearn revealed how fellow promoter Bob Arum, who is part of Fury's team, had been "very bullish" over the hearing not being a potential roadblock in the way of the lucrative summer fight with Joshua.

"I think he was in complete and utter shock – and I don't think I've ever really heard him speechless," Hearn said of his conversation with Arum.

"He's been very bullish throughout this whole process that – and I know it's their business and we don't know too much about the contracts or the case – this wouldn't be a problem, this wouldn't stand in the way of an Anthony Joshua-Tyson Fury fight.

"That's quite frustrating. We've been working tirelessly to get this over the line. He was almost shell-shocked, I think. Once he'd calmed down and done what he had to do, I think the move was then to speak to the other side and see if there's a resolution.

"We can't be involved in that, we can't control that process, but as far as I understand it, Tyson Fury wants to fight Anthony Joshua and we had the deal to do so on August 14 in Saudi Arabia. I spoke to our partners in Saudi Arabia and they were not best pleased either.

"I think the conversations are ongoing, but from our point of view we have to get our own side in order and make our plans. Hopefully, they can resolve the issue and we can move forward with the August 14 fight. It's over to them."

Asked if he still remained hopeful over that August bout going ahead, Hearn replied: "I hope it does, because we've grafted away for four or five months to make this happen, and we've got a fantastic deal in place for a legacy fight for a huge amount of money.

"I hope, hope [it goes ahead], but hopeful? I don't know. Everything we were told from the get-go was that this arbitration issue wouldn't be a problem. It obviously is a problem now and we have to think on our feet, act accordingly.

"We still hope that the fight can go ahead, but that's completely out of our hands.

"We know what we want to do: we want to win the undisputed world championship and fight Tyson Fury. But, really, if his hands are tied, we have to look elsewhere."

Tyson Fury continued to talk up his plan to beat Anthony Joshua in a heavyweight unification bout on Monday, although a report suggested the fight was under threat.

Fury announced on his Twitter page at the weekend that the showdown with Joshua is "100 per cent on" for August 14 in Saudi Arabia.

Joshua's IBF, WBA and WBO titles and Fury's WBC belt are all set to be on the line in the long-awaited clash.

Mocking himself up as "Tyson of Arabia", in reference to the 1962 film Lawrence of Arabia, Fury posted on Monday: "Time to take back what I never lost.

"Every belt there [sic] all mine chump!"

However, the Daily Star reported a potential complication as it claimed Deontay Wilder, beaten by Fury last February following a controversial initial draw, had won his claim for a trilogy fight.

Rather than pay a sum to the American for him to step aside as Fury instead fought Joshua, the WBC champion would have to defend his title against Wilder by September 15.

Fury is undefeated after 31 career fights, with that draw with Wilder the only minor blemish on his 30-0-1 record.

Tyson Fury has announced his heavyweight showdown with Anthony Joshua is "100 per cent on" for August 14 in Saudi Arabia.

The respective teams for the two rivals have been involved in protracted negotiations over a unification fight, but it appears a date has now been agreed upon by both sides.

Joshua's IBF, WBA and WBO titles will be on the line in the bout, while the unbeaten Fury currently holds the WBC belt.

In a video posted on social media on Sunday, Fury made clear his delight as he confirmed the details for the bout, while he also promised to "smash" his fellow Briton when they finally face each other.

"I've got some massive news for you all, guys. I've just got off the phone with Prince Khalid of Saudi Arabia and he's told me that this fight is 100 per cent on," he said.

"August 14, 2021, summertime. All eyes of the world will be on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and I cannot wait, repeat, cannot wait to smash Anthony Joshua on the biggest stage of all time.

"This is going to be the biggest sporting event to grace planet Earth. Do not miss it. All eyes on us."

Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn revealed recently that organisers in Saudi Arabia plan to "shock the world" with a purpose-built venue for the much-anticipated bout.

Joshua has previously fought in Diriyah, beating Andy Ruiz Jr there in December 2019 to avenge the only loss of his professional career to date.

"They want to create something very, very special. Last time they built a stadium for the Andy Ruiz Jr fight in just seven weeks and it held 18,000," Hearn told Sky Sports.

"This will be a similar set-up. They have the opportunity to hold it indoors but they want to create something that will shock the world.

"They want to build a stadium just for this fight."

Eddie Hearn says the first fight between Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury will take place in August and confirmed the "bad secret" that it will take place in Saudi Arabia is accurate.

Exact details have yet to be officially disclosed for the heavyweight unification fight which will see Joshua defend his WBA, WBO and IBF world titles against undefeated WBC champion Fury.

But Hearn has consistently said the fight is on and has now narrowed it down to two potential dates in August.

While Joshua had previously talked up the prospect of fighting at Wembley, the fighters will do battle in Saudi Arabia, ahead of a second bout later in 2021.

"August 7 or August 14," Joshua's manager Hearn told Sky Sports News when asked when the first fight would take place.

"Look, I think it is a very bad secret that the fight is happening in Saudi Arabia – I don’t mind giving you that information as Bob Arum has already done it.

"I have told you it's the same people that we did the deal with for Andy Ruiz, that event was spectacular, as partners they were fantastic as well.

"We are very comfortable, Anthony is comfortable, he knows those people, they delivered on every one of their promises last time - so we are ready to go.

"That's gonna be the date.

"You've obviously got the Olympics finishing on August 7 so in terms of a global spectacle it would make sense to go on the 14th.

"But that's one of the things to tick off in hopefully the next few days."

The update from Hearn comes after Joshua and Fury exchanged barbs on social media, with each calling on the other to take action and agree terms.

Joshua said he and his fans were "tired" of delays and called for more action from the Fury camp.

Fury responded by branding Joshua "an ugly Dosser" and urged him to "come get some", insisting the Joshua and Matchroom side were "no talk and no action".

Hearn is frustrated that a deal is not finalised despite broad agreement between the two camps.

He added: "I saw the tweets from AJ. He's tired, the fans are tired, and everyone is tired.

"We're in a stage where people are getting frustrated. The deal is done. Now we're on the finer details of the contract, which came back last Friday. It went back last night.

"They are on calls now in the office about it, and I think at some point people are going to have to take a little bit of a leap of faith in this deal.

"From our perspective and AJ's perspective, we're ready to go. From Tyson Fury's perspective, they've got a couple of lawyers across it from their point.

"The tweet from AJ last night was, 'Come on, less talk, more action. Let's get this done!'.

"There's no reason why it shouldn't happen this week. This is kind of like the moment where you could actually turn around at this point and say, 'This is dragging on too long, or I can't be dealing with this anymore'.

"But we have to nail this, and I'm not going to stop until I nail it, and everyone has just got to move forward collectively.

"We're ready to go from our side. We're not far away from their side and it is inevitable, but at the same time, we've got to close the door on it."

Joshua has a 24-1 record after avenging his only career defeat to Ruiz prior to defeating Kubrat Pulev in London and defending his titles at the end of last year.

Fury is undefeated in 31 contests, with one draw against Deontay Wilder, the American who he beat in their rematch to claim the WBC crown in February 2020, which was the last time he fought.

Back in December 2017, Billy Joe Saunders produced a dazzling display against David Lemieux, systematically dismantling the dangerous Canadian to retain his WBO middleweight title in style.

The Briton's unanimous points triumph seemingly paved the way for a blockbuster fight. Now, three and a half years on from delivering a boxing lesson in Quebec, and having moved up a division, Saunders finally gets that opportunity.

Gennadiy Golovkin was the initial target back then, but Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez is more than an adequate alternative. The Mexican is viewed by most to be the best pound-for-pound boxer around right now, as well as the sport's biggest superstar.

The two rivals have taken contrasting paths to topping the bill at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. While Canelo has skipped around the weights, piling up victories and padding his resume to help define his lasting legacy, Saunders has fought just four times since schooling Lemieux.

"He thought he was going to get Golovkin or Canelo as his next fight after his brilliant display against Lemieux. He didn't, though, and then lost momentum being inactive for 12 months," Dominic Ingle, Saunders' former trainer who was in his corner in Canada, told Stats Perform News.

"I think he found it hard to motivate himself for fights that weren't going to bring him some big money, or a big name.

"He's just not been very consistent in terms of fights, but he's got that kind of style that can prove so elusive. If you can hit someone with two or three shots and they’re missing you back, you’re going to win.

"The thing with Canelo, though, is how consistent he has been, no matter who he is up against. He just gets on with it."

So, can Saunders really seize his long-overdue chance? The skilled southpaw has both the talent and temperament to cope with Canelo, so the key - according to Ingle at least - will be his stamina.

"With Billy, even if he hasn't done a lot of boxing stuff and sparring, it's like a game of tag with him. He can touch someone, get them to commit then he fires in a quick counter and is off," Ingle explained.

"The way he boxed against Lemieux wasn't like I'd taught him any of that stuff; he knew how to do it. What he needed was the conditioning and the fitness to get through.

"There was a stage when he wanted to stop him [Lemieux], but there was no point taking a risk. If he can box like that – I know it's a different opponent, of course – but Canelo finds it difficult to beat fighters who are elusive and slippery. It's frustrating when you can't get your shots off."

Saunders has done his best to antagonise Canelo before the bout, including threatening to head home during fight week over a dispute about the ring size inside the impressive venue.

He will hope to annoy him once the bell sounds to start the action too, as the seemingly unstoppable force faces a moveable object determined to make life as tough as possible for a rival accustomed to getting his own way.

Canelo has lost just once – back in 2013 to Floyd Mayweather Jr – but Ingle feels Saunders has all the ingredients required to create a recipe for success, even if a stoppage triumph seems unlikely.

"It's all about how quickly Canelo can get used to closing Billy down," Ingle said ahead of a bout that could see a record crowd in attendance for an indoor boxing event in the United States.

"I know people will say that fight against Mayweather was years ago, but if you struggle against movers then that doesn't change. When he boxed Erislandy Lara [in 2014] he struggled a bit as well.

"He can obviously do really well against orthodox fighters, but when it's against southpaws it is a bit more difficult.

"You've got Billy there being a southpaw, a great southpaw and an exceptional mover, while Canelo struggles with southpaws and movement. Billy likes to frustrate you when you are up against him.

"You need to be fit to do that kind of style, one like Tyson Fury uses, so you can frustrate your opponent into making mistakes. He can beat Canelo, for sure, but I don't think he can stop him.

"He can win on points, but that is a risk as the verdict may go against you."

Any risk is surely worth the reward for Saunders, who can alter the boxing landscape by beating Canelo and taking not only his WBA and WBC belts, but also his aura of invincibility. 

If the build-up is anything to go by, he appears up for the challenge that lies ahead in the ring, no matter what size it is.

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