Joshua eyes Wembley for Tyson Fury heavyweight showdown

By Sports Desk April 17, 2021

Anthony Joshua has declared Wembley would be an "ideal" venue for the first of his two fights against fellow heavyweight world champion Tyson Fury.

Promoter Eddie Hearn this week said the location of the upcoming fight had been agreed by both fighters, but he did not disclose where it would take place.

A deal is in place for the pair to fight twice before the end of the year, with Fury invited to sign off the arrangements after talks with Hearn in Las Vegas.

Joshua holds the IBF, WBA and WBO titles, while the unbeaten Fury is the WBC champion after dethroning Deontay Wilder last year.

Saudi Arabia has been mooted as a potential location for the fight and may still stage the first clash, even if Joshua would love to tackle Fury in London. He has previously fought both at Wembley Stadium and in the adjacent SSE Arena.

"I've signed my side of the deal," Joshua told ITV's Jonathan Ross show.

"We've sent him a good offer, one I'm sure he won't refuse. He wants the fight, no doubt about it, so do I and more than me and him, the whole public want it. I put my crystal ball out there and I say it's going to happen this year 100 per cent."

Joshua added, according to several UK newspapers: "I'm pretty sure it'll be this year. End of July, early August.

"Where? That's what's the delay, because of this pandemic. We want to have people coming to the venue. It's just finding the right location. For me, Wembley would be ideal."

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said last week that the English capital is ready to host the lucrative fight, despite the restrictions in the country amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

A number of pilot events are taking place with spectators, in the hope crowds can return to normal capacity levels in the near future.

Snooker's 17-day World Championship began in Sheffield on Saturday with indoor crowds limited initially to one-third capacity, but there are plans for a full house come the final in May. Hearn's father, Barry Hearn, is the chairman of World Snooker.

Fury's most recent three bouts have all been staged in Las Vegas while Joshua reclaimed his titles from Andy Ruiz Jr in a rematch held in Saudi Arabia in December 2019.

The 2012 Olympic gold medal winner fought once in 2020, with Joshua beating Kubrat Pulev at Wembley Arena in front of a restricted number of fans.

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    Eddie Hearn expects Anthony Joshua to announce who his new trainer will be either at the end of this month or early in February.

    Joshua decided to shake things up after losing his WBA (Super), IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles to Oleksandr Usyk at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last September.

    Eddy Reynoso, Virgil Hunter and Anthony Wilson are among the trainers Joshua could recruit, while Floyd Mayweather has been giving the Briton advice ahead of an eagerly anticipated rematch with Usyk that has not yet been confirmed.

    Hearn, Joshua's promoter, told iFL TV: "I think AJ will make an announcement when camp starts, which I guess will be end of January, early February.

    "He's worked hard to get it right. A lot of people have said, 'do you think it's risky to bring in a new trainer?'

    "I flip that and say, 'do you think it's risky to not be comfortable with your set-up or your surroundings?'"

    Hearn says having a new face in Joshua's corner will not mean there is no role to play for his long-time trainer Robert McCracken.

    "He'll always be involved in some way," Hearn said of McCracken.

    "He's more than just a trainer to Anthony Joshua... he's a mentor, an advisor.

    "Those two will always talk – in what capacity, I don't know. I'll leave that to AJ to announce. But there will certainly be additions to the training team."

    Joshua was outclassed by Usyk, suffering the second defeat of his professional career after he was also surprisingly dethroned by Andy Ruiz Jr in 2019.

  • Fury, Canelo... Dana White? Jake Paul reveals five-man boxing bucket list Fury, Canelo... Dana White? Jake Paul reveals five-man boxing bucket list

    Jake Paul, the YouTuber-turned-boxer, has published a five-strong list of opponents he wishes to take on in the ring.

    Paul knocked out Tyron Woodley on Saturday, with the latter having stepped in at short notice for a rematch following Tommy Fury's withdrawal.

    After the win, Paul expressed his desire to get in the ring with either Jorge Masvidal or Nate Diaz, both UFC stars.

    However, the 24-year-old has now turned his attention to five other candidates, including Fury's brother, heavyweight champion Tyson.

    Also on the list is one of boxing's greats, Floyd Mayweather Jr, who has not fought since 2017, though the 44-year-old has previously been touted as a possible exhibition opponent for Paul's older brother Logan.

    Canelo, the first boxer in history to become an undisputed champion at super middleweight, was also named on Paul's hit list, as was the legendary Mike Tyson.

    UFC boss Dana White, meanwhile, was another inclusion. 

    There is some animosity between the pair, however, with Paul previously criticising White's treatment of UFC's fighters.

    "I make more than every UFC fighter f****** combined, including Conor [McGregor]. Y'all work for f****** Dana, y'all work for WME, Endeavor, that's who you work for," he said on his brother Logan's podcast.

    "I make more than all of you silly m*****f******. Why would I go into the UFC? Sign a contract and give away rights. I own my content, I own my platform, I own everything. They don't own s***, they are literally employees."

    Paul also said he would knock White out, to which the UFC boss, in an interview with MMA Junkie, replied: 'It actually makes sense. I'm 52 years old. I'm in the age bracket of guys he fights, so yeah, I could see him wanting to fight me. All he fights are 50-year-olds."

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    Jake Paul expressed his desire to get in the ring with either Jorge Masvidal or Nate Diaz after an emphatic knockout victory against Tyron Woodley on Saturday.

    The Youtuber-turned-boxer had been due to fight Tommy Fury - brother of heavyweight champion Tyson Fury - but the former Love Island star pulled out citing a chest infection and broken ribs, with Woodley stepping in at short notice for a rematch after Paul had won via split-decision in their first contest earlier this year.

    After a bloodied Paul floored former UFC champion Woodley with an overhand right in the sixth round in Florida, he criticised Fury before exclaiming that he wants to take on more UFC figures in the boxing ring next, naming Masvidal and Diaz, who had been in attendance.

    "This is as real as it gets, just like my right hand. I told you, I was going to f*** him up and I f***** him up," Paul said following the bout.

    "[Woodley] is a legend and I respect him for taking the fight on two weeks' notice. Tommy Fury is a b**** for pulling out of the fight.

    "It was a tough fight. I had blood in my eyes. I had the job done. I was setting the punch up the whole fight. He didn't see it coming. Like a lumberjack, timber.

    "It's got to be the moment of my life. Look at my year. Four fights, four knockouts. Masvidal and Nate Diaz - you are b***** for leaving this arena. I will f*** you up too. Anyone, any time, any place."

    Masvidal has a record of 35-15 and is currently ranked sixth in the welterweight division, while Diaz has a record of 21-13.

    Diaz recently addressed rumours of a rubber fight with Conor McGregor after the pair fought twice in the UFC in 2016, with a victory each, and the 36-year-old seemed more focused on getting back in the octagon than entering a boxing ring, asking the UFC to be included on the card for UFC 270 in January.

    McGregor suffered fractures to his tibia and fibula that resulted in a first-round stoppage loss to Dustin Poirier in September.

    "I'm not fighting Conor until his leg grows back and he beats some people so we know he can even fight still till then," Diaz posted on Twitter.

    "Can I get on January card @UFC. Thanks."

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