Tyson Fury is still training despite claiming to have retired says his trainer SugarHill Steward, who commented that boxers often return to the sport after hanging up the gloves.

Steward was in the corner when Fury delivered a brutal sixth-round knockout of Dillian Whyte in front of a packed Wembley Stadium to retain his WBC heavyweight title in April.

Either side of the all-British fight, Fury repeatedly stated his desire to retire and maintained his career was over after remaining unbeaten in 33 fights.

Fury has since declared he is "very happy" out of the ring after the WBC stated it wanted clarity over the world heavyweight champion's future, and Steward has no problems with his fighter stepping aside.

"For me it was very simple. It was like 'okay, that's what you want to do? That's fine'," Steward told Sky Sports.

"Tyson came to me and wanted to win the Deontay Wilder rematch, I helped him do that, I was okay with that. Now his decision to retire I'm happy to help him with that too.

"We barbeque, we take trash out to the tip, we just live regular right now. He still trains, he still works out, it's something he loves to do, I'm happy with his decision and for him to be able to be with his family and spend time with them.

"This man has been working his whole life doing that to have his family be a part of that. Being able to take care of them, do things and have adventures with them. I'm very happy for him.

"It's just his choice. There's something inside his brain, his head telling him to retire. I have to respect that 100 per cent."

Steward also suggested the ongoings of securing fights behind the scenes helped Fury make his mind up, but would not rule out a potential return.

"There are a lot of fighters that have been retired and come out of retirement," he continued. "There are a lot of fighters that have been retired and stay retired. It's just up to Tyson Fury, I stand by his decision.

"For him being retired I'm happy because that's what he wants. I know a lot of the retirement has to do with not getting the fights he wants and it's really mentally challenging to be offered fights and go through negotiations for fights and then for them to fall through at the end.

"These things happen to many fighters around the world. You wouldn't expect it to happen on this big stage but it does happen and it's something fighters have to deal with.

"We on the outside sometimes don't understand that. We just say 'if he gets the fight he'll come back', it's not as easy as being on the outside going through what happens on the inside.

"But it's the sport he loves so much, and it's hurting him like that. Those things have to be taken into consideration and respected."

If Fury was to return, a unification clash with the winner of the rematch between Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk would be the next likely fight.

However, there remains talk of a crossover fight with UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou and Steward acknowledged the potential behind such a bout.

"I would call it entertainment. It's entertainment, you have somebody from one sport having it with somebody from another sport," he added. "There's a lot of 'oohs' and 'aahs' and wondering who would and who wouldn't.

"It's entertainment. There are fans out there that want to be entertained and that's part of it. You can bring these two guys who are top of different sports coming together, it's exciting."

Tyson Fury insists he is "very happy" to have retired after the WBC stated it wanted clarity over the world heavyweight champion's future.

Fury revealed before stepping into the ring with Dillian Whyte last month that the all-British fight at Wembley would be the last of his career.

The unbeaten 33-year-old maintained his boxing career is over after knocking Whyte out in the sixth round.

WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman stated that the governing body would be contacting Fury to find out whether he had definitely quit.

"The WBC will be communicating with Tyson Fury and his promoters about his future plans in the coming week," Sulaiman told Sky Sports.

"We are ready to support him on whatever he decides. If he decides to retire, the WBC will fully support him."

Englishman Fury on Friday reiterated that he had not changed his mind.

"I am very, very happy and contented to be retired. It's been a long time coming and I am so much enjoying my retirement." he posted in a video on social media.

The WBC is to contact Tyson Fury's camp to determine whether the heavyweight champion is serious about his claims he is retiring.

Fury recently reaffirmed his intentions to step away from boxing after successfully defending his WBC heavyweight belt against Dillian Whyte.

The undefeated 33-year-old delivered a brutal sixth-round knockout of Whyte at Wembley Stadium last month, and either side of the fight suggested he will call time on his career.

Fury recently said on Piers Morgan's show 'Uncensored' on Talk TV that he was "done", despite speculation surrounding potential clashes with Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk.

"This is the truth, the gospel truth, nothing but the truth – I'm done," Fury said.

"I'm quitting while I'm ahead, I'm undefeated and only the second man in history to retire as undefeated heavyweight champion.

"I'm very, very happy, very content in my heart with what I've done and what I've achieved."

WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman has said they will be asking Fury and his team to confirm whether he is certain about retirement.

"The WBC will be communicating with Tyson Fury and his promoters about his future plans in the coming week," Sulaiman told Sky Sports.

"We are ready to support him on whatever he decides. If he decides to retire, the WBC will fully support him."

Should Fury stay true to his word, he will join American great Rocky Marciano as one of only two heavyweight champions to retire with an unbeaten record.

"It is our dream to see fighters retire with such greatness. Undefeated champion, financially protected with a loving family and a great future outside the ring," Sulaiman added.

"I am very happy and satisfied if this is his final decision and will fully support him and will be close to him for the rest of his life."

Rumours continue to suggest that Fury has his eye on opportunities outside professional boxing in the near future, with a potential boxing-mixed martial arts exhibition event with UFC star Francis Ngannou, and a recent suggestion from Fury that he could again turn his hand to professional wrestling after his appearances for WWE in 2019.

Tyson Fury declared "I'm done" and reaffirmed his intentions to retire from boxing after successfully defending his WBC heavyweight belt against Dillian Whyte.

The undefeated Fury delivered a brutal sixth-round knockout of Whyte at Wembley Stadium on Saturday, and either side of the fight suggested he will call it a day on his career following the all-British bout.

Fury, 33, speaking on Piers Morgan's show 'Uncensored' on Talk TV, reiterated his desire to retire from boxing, despite speculation surrounding potential clashes with Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk.

Beaten challenger Whyte, who did not feel the referee should have stopped the bout, is also hungry for another shot at Fury.

"This is the truth, the gospel truth, nothing but the truth – I'm done," Fury said.

"Every good dog has its day and like the great Roman leader said, 'there will always be somebody else to fight'.

"When is enough, enough? I'm happy, I'm healthy, I've still got my brains and I can still talk. I've got a beautiful wife, six kids, I've got umpteen belts, plenty of money, success, fame, glory – what more am I doing it for?

"Boxing is a very dangerous sport. You can be taken out with one punch as we've seen on Saturday and it's one unlucky blow and you may not get up off that canvas.

"I'm quitting while I'm ahead, I'm undefeated and only the second man in history to retire as undefeated heavyweight champion.

"I'm very, very happy, very content in my heart with what I've done and what I've achieved."

Fury, should his claims prove to be true, will join American great Rocky Marciano as the only heavyweight champions to retire with an unbeaten record.

Questions persist whether Fury will face UFC star Francis Ngannou in a boxing-mixed martial arts exhibition event or reappear in professional wrestling after his WWE appearances in 2019.

Yet even if offered the mouth-watering prospect of fighting fellow Brit Joshua or Ukrainian Usyk – who are set to face off in a rematch for the IBF, WBO and WBA-Super belts – Fury insists he will not return to professional boxing.

"It's not worth it," he said. "I've got four young kids to raise and two older ones, I've been away for the last 10 years all over the world travelling for boxing.

"When do I get time to be a father, a husband, a brother, a son? I need this personal time. The fans will always want more, they're always baying for more blood, but at the end of the day I don't have any more to give.

"I've given everything I've got, I've been a professional for 14 years and been boxing for over 20 years.

"Every good dog has its day in the sun and my time is to go out on a high. I always said I wanted to walk away on top of the sport and do it on my terms and didn't want to be the person who said I should have been retired two years ago or whatever.

"They will not forget 'The Gypsy King' in a hurry – and no amount of material assets or money will make me come back out of retirement because I'm very happy."

WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman is confident Deontay Wilder will return to the ring this year.

Wilder has not fought since he was beaten by Tyson Fury for a second time in their trilogy fight last October.

Fury knocked the American out in the 11th round at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas to retain his title.

The 'Gypsy King' successfully defended his WBC world heavyweight crown for a second time by knocking Dillian Whyte out in the sixth round at Wembley on Saturday and reiterated he plans to retire after that all-British bout.

Wilder would have an opportunity to regain the WBC strap as the number one contender if Fury quits and Sulaiman expects the 'Bronze Bomber' to fight again in 2022. 

Sulaiman told Sky Sports: "He's [Wilder] taking it easy and weighing up his plans for the future. He had a very busy reign as a champion, two knockout losses to Fury which was difficult, but he's matured and he's doing very well.

"He's having a good time with his wife and enjoying life but I'm sure he'll be back.

"He's one of those fighters that you rarely see in the ring that has the ability to knock somebody out with one punch and he has had many exciting fights. He's a great fighter and great person. I'm sure he will fight this year."

UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou is "70 per cent" certain he will face boxing superstar Tyson Fury in a crossover fight next year.

Fury defeated Dillian Whyte via a sixth-round knockout at Wembley on Saturday to retain his WBC heavyweight title and reiterated afterwards he intends to retire from boxing.

However, the 33-year-old, who improved his career record to 32-0-1, has not ruled out competing under a different format – including another shot at WWE later this year.

And Ngannou, who joined Fury in the ring after this victory over compatriot Whyte, is hopeful that a hybrid fight can be agreed with the Englishman.

"We both want this fight, that's clear, and we respect each other," Ngannou told the MMA Hour. "Probably next year it will happen.

"I think it's going to happen, it's just a matter of our promotions, but we will sort this out at some point."

Ngannou added: "Make it a hybrid fight, something that makes it a little uncomfortable for him as a boxer.

"Ideas like MMA gloves or fighting barefoot. I don't know, we still have to figure this out.

"I would say there's a 70 per cent chance [my next opponent] is Tyson Fury. On his side I would say 90 per cent against me."

Ngannou underwent surgery to repair MCL and ACL injuries earlier this year and is not expected to return to action until November at the earliest.

The 35-year-old, who retained his heavyweight crown with victory over Ciryl Gane in January, is so determined to face Fury that he will make it part of any deal signed with UFC. 

"The Tyson Fury fight has to be part of the discussion [with the UFC] – there is no other option," he said.

"The UFC is a great promotion and I want to keep fighting. The Tyson Fury fight is not my last fight, there's still a lot of fights out there.

"There's Jon Jones, there's the Stipe Miocic trilogy, there's big fights I can do in the UFC and I'd really like that to happen."

Dillian Whyte wants a rematch with Tyson Fury despite the WBC heavyweight champion claiming he would retire after retaining his title at Wembley on Saturday.

Fury maintained his unbeaten record by knocking his fellow Brit out in the sixth round in front of a packed crowd of 94,000.

The 33-year-old reiterated that he was ready to quit after putting on another show in London.

Whyte, who did not feel the referee should have stopped the bout, is hungry for another shot at Fury.

He told Sky Sports: "I should have had time to recover and had time to go back to my corner. He [Fury] said he'll retire, but hopefully he doesn't retire because I want another go."

Asked what Fury had said to him after the fight: Whyte revealed: "He said 'you're a good fighter, you're a true warrior and you'll be world champion one day,' I'm not a sore loser. You win some you lose some, this is life, this is boxing.

"I showed up and I fought and I gave as many problems as he gave me. It wasn't as if it was a one-way street.

"I'm not one of those guys that want to go out on a loss or a bad performance. I'm still young enough, I've still got a lot left in me. I still feel strong, I'm still getting better. I fought the best in the world and wasn't outclassed.

"He's a bit taller than me, the range is a bit tricky obviously and with the style, it's hard for guys to prepare for him because he's awkward in the way he fights.

"Had I got beat up for four or five rounds and got completely outclassed it may have been time to call it a day, but I wasn't outclassed and it's not a long, hard road back because I showed the level I am.

"We obviously sold 90-something thousand tickets together, it's not him or me alone. I had the value going in before, I'd had loads of pay-per-view fights before and good fights. I'm still here, I'm still good enough, so one fight and I'm back."

Tyson Fury reiterated he is ready to quit boxing after beating Dillian Whyte at Wembley to retain his WBC heavyweight title.

A sixth-round knockout gave Fury an emphatic victory, but it remains to be seen whether he can be tempted back into the ring.

This was Fury's first fight since beating Deontay Wilder in the final part of their trilogy last October in Nevada.

The undefeated 33-year-old, who improved his career record to 32-0-1, told BT Sport Box Office: "I promised my lovely wife Paris of 14 years that after the Wilder III fight that would be it, and I meant it.

"But I got offered to fight at Wembley, at home, and I believed I owed it to the fans, I owed it to every person in the United Kingdom, to come here and fight at Wembley.

"And now it's all done, I have to be a man of my word and I think this it. This might be the final curtain for the Gypsy King, and what a way to go out."

He was thrilled with the manner of his win, saying: "I think Lennox Lewis would even be proud of that right uppercut tonight."

Fury is confident there will remain quality fighters in the heavyweight ranks if he retires, praising the man he beat on Saturday night in London.

"Dillian Whyte is a warrior and I believe Dillian will be a world champion," Fury said. "But tonight he met a great in the sport. I'm one of the greatest heavyweights of all-time and unfortunately for Dillian Whyte he had to face me tonight.

"He's as strong as a bull and has got the heart of a lion, but you're not messing with a mediocre heavyweight, you're messing with the best man on the planet, and you saw that tonight with what happened."

Tyson Fury and Dillian Whyte are ready to go to "war" at Wembley on Saturday after the WBC world heavyweight champion weighed in less than a stone heavier than his fellow Brit.

Fury tipped the scales at 18 stone 12 pounds on the eve of the blockbuster battle in London.

Challenger Whyte had weighed in at 18st 1lb at Boxpark before the two Englishmen engaged in a friendly face-off.

Fury was lighter than expected as he prepares for the second defence of a title he won by beating Deontay Wilder in 2020.

The 'Gypsy King', who beat Wilder in a thrilling trilogy fight last October, has claimed this will be the last bout of his career.

If it proves to be his swansong, the unbeaten Fury plans to sign off in style in his homeland.

He told BT Sport: "I'm so happy to be back here, fighting at Wembley Stadium, and you all [(fans] made it happen.

"Big shout out to Dillian Whyte and his team, proper professional men. We're going to put on a show, it's going to be a war - don't worry about that."

Whyte says he has no concerns about Fury being heavier than him.

Asked about the significance of his weight, he replied: "Nothing, some fights are different. Fighting a bigger guy, a much heavier guy than me.

"We're ready to go to war, trust me. I'm not worried about what he's doing."

Mike Tyson was involved in a physical altercation with a fellow plane passenger on Wednesday.

Footage obtained by TMZ Sports appeared to show the former world heavyweight champion throwing punches at a man sitting behind him.

A spokesperson for the 55-year-old American told ESPN: "Unfortunately, Mr. Tyson had an incident on a flight with an aggressive passenger who began harassing him and threw a water bottle at him while he was in his seat."

The San Francisco Police Department confirmed officers had detained two people at San Francisco International Airport, but both had been released.

A police statement said: "On Wednesday April 20, 2022 at approximately 10:06 PM, officers assigned to the SFPD Airport Bureau were dispatched to a physical altercation onboard an airplane located at the Domestic Terminal at San Francisco International Airport.

"Officers arrived and detained two subjects that were believed to be involved in the incident. One subject was treated at the scene for non-life-threatening injuries. That subject provided minimal details of the incident + refused to cooperate further with the investigation.

"Both subjects were released under 849(b) of the CA Penal Code pending further investigation. We are aware of video that possibly captured the incident, which surfaced following the initial investigation. That video has been forward to the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office."

Tyson Fury is set to defend his WBC world heavyweight title against Dillian Whyte on Saturday, and while all logic points to smooth sailing for the champion, there may be more factors at play than meets the eye.

Fury is arguably the top pound-for-pound talent in boxing, and at six-foot-nine with a seven-foot wingspan, he is one of the sport's toughest puzzles to crack.

The 33-year-old sports a record of 31 wins and one extremely controversial draw against Deontay Wilder, which he avenged twice with back-to-back finishes of the heavy-handed American.

In a vacuum, 'The Gypsy King' by unanimous decision seems like the overwhelmingly likely result as his physical gifts and boxing skill should allow him to rack up rounds on the judges' scorecards as he picks apart the slower, smaller Whyte from the outside.

Whyte, at six-foot-four, is the shortest opponent Fury has faced since Sefer Seferi in June 2018.

But fights are not fought in a vacuum, and there are some familiar storylines clouding over the head of the reigning champion that could mean the Fury we see on Saturday may not be the same animal that dominated Wilder.

 

Fury's last dance

First and foremost, Fury is adamant that this will be his last fight, and he will retire in the ring this weekend – win, lose or draw.

Fighter retirements must always be taken with a grain of salt, given the fact that it has now become a common tactic among top attractions in order to drum up massive interest in their eventual return. 

However, Fury's feels different. This week he has been outspoken with the media about his desire to retire after his last fight with Wilder, but the prospect of returning home and fighting in front of 94,000 at Wembley convinced him to go around one more time.

"It's been a long old ride, it’s quite emotional to be honest," he said.

"All this, the ride of starting as a little kid and wanting to be heavyweight champion, and then to finally be hanging up the gloves. 

"And I know nobody believes me, because they all think I'm after money or whatever else – there's only a certain amount of people who know that money doesn't mean anything to me."

Simply put, Fury is only fighting for the honour of retiring undefeated, and the biggest fights of his career – taking the world championship off Wladimir Klitschko, and coming to America to take on Wilder – are behind him.

Fury will still have his skills, his size and his experience when he steps into the ring against Whyte, but the history of combat sports is littered with examples of fighters who have fought with one foot out the door, and that desire to continue to be great, and dominant, is something that can fade.

'Marvelous' Marvin Hagler once said "it's tough to get out of bed to do roadwork at 5am when you've been sleeping in silk pyjamas", and there is no heavyweight alive with silkier pyjamas than Fury right now.

Whyte, on the other hand, is heading into the fight of his life, and his last real opportunity to propel himself into the realm of boxing royalty.

At 34, with two losses on his record, the only way someone at Whyte's level can leap into the next stratosphere as a prize-fighting main attraction is to win a marquee fight against someone currently wearing the crown. 

Add in the fact that he is an Englishman, raised in Brixton, living out the dream of competing at Wembley in the biggest fight of his career, and from a motivational standpoint, it appears the advantage is clearly in Whyte's corner.

 

Fury the boxer, or Fury the entertainer?

Much has been made of Fury's change in trainers late in 2019, where he began training under the tutelage of SugarHill Steward.

The stylistic changes have been apparent, and in Fury's own words: "I punch a lot harder, I use a more aggressive style, and I'm looking to get people out of there rather than out-box them."

He has only fought twice with Steward in his corner, and both times were against Wilder – a boxer solely focused on landing a knockout, with no interest in stacking up rounds with patient boxing.

Whyte approaches things far differently. He does not head-hunt – a trait that earned him the nickname 'The Body Snatcher' – and he is more than happy to win by decision.

Given Fury's incredible size and movement skills, a game-plan centred around attacking the body – which moves around far less than the head – is the most sustainable way to tally scoring punches.

Whyte has never been knocked out in 52 combined professional fights across boxing, kickboxing and mixed martial arts, so if Fury is in there looking to end his career on a high with one big shot, Whyte can steal three or four early rounds and turn it into a tight decision.

 

Great Whyte hope

Not to get lost in Fury's skill superiority is the fact that Whyte is, obviously, very talented in his own right.

His first loss came against Anthony Joshua back in 2015, and it was the first time Whyte had been faced with an undefeated professional opponent with more than five fights.

Needless to say, he was not ready, but was still able to take multiple rounds off the Olympic gold medallist before his eventual demise in round seven.

Since then, Whyte has successfully dealt with fellow world title contenders Dereck Chisora (twice), Lucas Browne (by knockout) and Joseph Parker, and after being derailed by Alexander Povetkin in August 2020, he responded by knocking him out in the rematch eight months later.

That knockout earned Whyte this shot at Fury, and in his long, winding road to his chance at the taking the throne, he has proven his ability to respond to adversity, win close fights and do damage to elite heavyweights.

If Fury is truly done, Whyte could be the man tasked with carrying the torch for British heavyweight boxing going forward, and a win could set up another English mega-fight – this time with Joshua.

Dillian Whyte reminded people that it is not the Tyson Fury show when the pair meet at Wembley Stadium.

The undefeated Fury will put his WBC belt on the line in a heavyweight bout on April 23 after mandatory challenger Whyte knocked out Alexander Povetkin to earn a shot against his fellow Briton.

Fury has already suggested he will retire after the clash with Whyte, who did not attend the first media conference to preview the fight before breaking his social media silence last week on Instagram.

But Whyte finally ended his media hiatus to discuss the showdown as he promised a two-way battle, as opposed to the "one-way traffic" he feels that has wrongfully been portrayed.

"This is a business," he told reporters. "It's not the Tyson Fury show. Everybody saying 'Tyson Fury this, Tyson Fury that'.

"This fight sold out because of me and Tyson Fury, Tyson Fury fought Wilder, he's a big superstar.

"It's not just the Tyson Fury show, it's the Tyson Fury and Dillian Whyte show, so some things need to be done correctly.

"I don't dance to nobody's tune. I'm a warrior. We can dance together, but it can't be one-way traffic.

"I'm a disciplined guy and I've learned to be disciplined over the years. Okay, you want me to do things? That's cool, I'm up for that, I'm a professional. I've had six or seven pay-per-view shows and worked hard on all of them and looked after my opponents and dealt with them correctly.

"When these guys are trying to mug me off and treat me like it's the Tyson Fury show, they've got to get certain things correct. I'm a professional at the end of the day, so here I am. I'm here and ready."

Whyte has previously expressed disappointment with his share of the purse, with Fury pocketing £24million to the former's £6m.

While the challenger was left frustrated with the finances behind the fight, he referenced previous failures to agree a bout with Fury as a reason for his earlier refusals to speak to the media.

"You make an agreement to get the ball rolling, but there are still underlying issues that need securing and sorting out, and then when people are trying to play games and messing around then you've got to control what you can control," he added.

"What I could control is my actions, not what Fury does. So that's what I did."

Frustrations aside, Whyte insists it would be the pinnacle if he could become the champion of the world in front of a packed crowd at Wembley, where 94,000 are expected to attend.

"I'm a guy that as a kid, no future, no education, no family, I'm a survivor," he said.

"I've been on the streets since I was a child. For somebody like me that's come from nothing, I've come from no sporting background, no backing, no support, I didn't even do sports at school.

"For somebody like me to come from where I've come from, and to be heavyweight champion of the world is true inspiration.

"That's somebody that's come from a boxing family. I was a thug on the street that could knock people out. I'm under no illusion, I know what I am, I know what I bring."

Anthony Joshua's rematch with Oleksandr Usyk may yet be staged in the United Kingdom, according to promoter Eddie Hearn.

Usyk outclassed Joshua to claim the WBA, WBO and IBF titles at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last September, inflicting just a second professional defeat on his opponent.

Joshua activated his rematch clause, but plans for a second bout were thrown into doubt after Usyk returned to Ukraine to defend his homeland following the Russian invasion.

However, Usyk has now started preparing for the rematch, which his promoter Alexander Krassyuk recently revealed looked set to be staged in Saudi Arabia.

Speaking on Friday, though, Hearn said venues in the UK are still being considered, with an announcement due to be made later this month.

"We're in final negotiations for a couple of sites for either the end of June or early-to-mid-July," Hearn said. 

"I reckon within two weeks we'll have some news in terms of where that's going to be.

"An option is in the UK. The difference is, we don't really need negotiations with a venue in the UK, we just book it."

Anthony Joshua's rematch with Oleksandr Usyk is expected to have a date and venue finalised "within the next two weeks", according to the Ukrainian's promoter Alexander Krassyuk.

Usyk overcame Joshua to claim the WBA, WBO and IBF titles at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last September, condemning the Briton to just his second professional defeat.

Joshua activated his rematch clause, but plans for a second clash were thrown into uncertainty after Usyk returned to Ukraine to defend his country amid the ongoing invasion by Russia.

However, the 35-year-old Usyk confirmed in March that he has started his preparations for the rematch, which Krassyuk suggested last week may be staged in Saudi Arabia in late June.

Usyk's promoter Krassyuk provided another update on Monday as he told Sky Sports: "Within the next two weeks we expect to finalise details."

Joshua regained his WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight titles in a rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr in December 2019 in Saudi Arabia and could be heading back for a second time as he looks to reclaim his belts.

However, Joshua and his promoter Eddie Hearn have suggested they are keen on the bout taking place in the United Kingdom again.

Saudi Arabia could host Anthony Joshua's rematch with Oleksandr Usyk in late June, according to the Ukrainian's promoter Alexander Krassyuk.

Usyk outclassed Joshua to claim the WBA, WBO and IBF titles at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last September, inflicting just a second professional defeat on his opponent.

Joshua activated his rematch clause, but plans for a second bout were thrown into doubt after Usyk returned to Ukraine to defend his homeland following the Russian invasion.

However, the 35-year-old Usyk confirmed last week he has started preparing for the rematch, which may be staged in the Middle East.

"Saudi is the place we are in discussions with at the moment," promoter Krassyuk told BBC Sport. "Late June is the date we are looking at. Nothing has been confirmed on paper. We are working on it."

Joshua has fought in Saudi Arabia once before when regaining his WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight titles in a rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr in Diriyah in December 2019.

Staging the bout in the Gulf kingdom would provoke controversy due to its human rights record, and Krassyuk has not ruled out another country being selected.

"There are other options. We take it step by step," Krassyuk added.

Saudi Arabia has hosted a number of high-profile sporting events in recent years, most recently the second grand prix of this year's Formula One campaign.

Sunday's race went ahead despite a missile attack on an oil depot around nine miles from the track during Friday's practice session.

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