It’s been another busy week in the world of boxing. Here are five stories from outside the ring that you might have missed.
Anthony Joshua Confirms New Trainer Is Derrick James
Anthony Joshua officially confirmed his new head trainer on Monday.
The two-time heavyweight champion is set to face America’s Jermaine Franklin at the O2 Arena on April 1st, looking to bounce back from consecutive defeats to Oleksandr Usyk.
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‘AJ’ had worked under Robert McCracken for the bulk of his professional career but they split after the first defeat to Usyk in October 2021, with Joshua emplying Robert Garcia for the rematch. The 33-year-old will now turn to Errol Spence Jr and Jermell Charlo trainer Derrick James and is already in Texas working with him ahead of his showdown with the ‘989 Assassin.’
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn told the DAZN Boxing Show: “I wanna say one thing – get ready for the return of Anthony Joshua because this guy is in Texas, he’s working and grinding every day. This guy’s got money in the bank, he’s got world championship belts on the wall, he don’t care for either of them.
“He cares for the sport of boxing, he cares for regaining his world heavyweight title and I’m telling you he’s coming back with vengeance.”
Lawrence Okolie Announces WBO Cruiserweight Title Defence
Lawrence Okolie will defend his WBO cruiserweight title against New Zealand’s David Light on 25 March at the AO Arena in Manchester.
The fight will mark the third time ‘The Sauce’ has defended the belt he picked up after beating Krzysztof Glowack in March 2021. Light, a silver medalist at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, has won all 20 of his professional fights, 12 by way of knockout, but Okolie will be by far his sternest test to date.
On the undercard, unbeaten heavyweight Frazer Clarke will take on veteran American Rydell Booker, while Olympian Karriss Artingstall and Jack Catterall will also make an appearance.
Joe Cordina To Fight For IBF Super-Featherweight Crown In Cardiff
Joe Cordina will have the opportunity to regain the world title he controversially lost when he takes on IBF super-featherweight champion Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff on 22 April.
The Welshman picked up the same bauble last June when he sensationally stopped Kenichi Ogawa in two rounds, also in Cardiff.
Cordina, who represented Team GB at the Rio Olympics in 2016, was set to make his first title defence against Tajikstan’s Rakhimov in Abu Dhabi in November but suffered a broken hand which required surgery. Unable to fight within a 90-day window, the IBF took the 31-year-old’s belt away.
Golovkin Vacates IBF Middleweight Strap, Ordered To Face Erislandy Lara
Unified middleweight world champion Gennady Golovkin has relinquished his IBF belt instead of taking on a defence against Esquiva Falcao which had been ordered by the governing body.
The WBA has now reordered a title consolidation clash between Golovkin and Erislandy Lara, with ‘GGG’ holding the WBA ‘super world’ belt and Lara in possession of the secondary ‘regular’ world title.
Golovkin, 40, last fought in September, losing by unanimous decision to rival Saul Alvarez in their trilogy rubber match. 41-year-old Lara meanwhile last fought in May, stopping Gary O’Sullivan in eight rounds at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
The parties will have 15 days to agree a deal and then purse bids will be called.
Ryan Garcia And Gervonta Davis Mega Fight Hits Snag
Ryan Garcia vs Gervonta Davis, arguably the biggest fight in the 2023 pipeline so far, could be in jeopardy over a dispute between the two camps over the rematch clause.
Davis currently holds a unilateral rematch clause, causing an issue over who would control the fight in the event of a sequel.
Earlier in the week, Golden Boy Promotion’s Oscar De Lay Hoya, who represents Garcia told ESPN’s Mike Coppinger, "We're literally down at the 1-yard line; what's holding everything up is the rematch clause.
"It's only fair if Ryan wins, then our side controls everything as the A-side. This is just the way it always has been. It's common sense that whoever wins is the A-side. That's the bottom line. We're not reinventing the wheel here.
"[Premier Boxing Champion’s] Al Haymon is dictating everything. They've asked for this, asked for that. Who comes out first, the penalties if Ryan comes overweight. We've given in, we've negotiated, and everything has been very pleasant. If Ryan loses, sure, there's no rematch.
"It's been a pleasant negotiation, it really has. I really hope their side doesn't fumble the ball and we have no Super Bowl. We at Golden Boy are just protecting our TV partners. It's only fair that everything gets switched around if Ryan wins.
"We're holding strong because we know it's fair and we feel 1,000% this fight is going to be made and be the biggest fight of the past few years.”
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