Claressa Shields crossed over to MMA and won, Billy Joe Saunders is considering retirement after his loss to Canelo and Anthony Joshua’s next fight could be heading to north London. Here are five boxing stories you might have missed this week...
Claressa Shields Victorious On MMA Debut
Two-time undisputed champion Claressa Shields delivered an explosive finish to win on her MMA debut
The 26-year-old, competing under the Professional Fight League banner, showed her striking prowess after stopping Brittney Elkin in three rounds in New Jersey. The American was made to work for the win though, having been forced to ground for the first two rounds before delivering the stoppage.
"I feel like I am dreaming," Shields told PFL. "This is crazy."
"I never doubted myself winning a boxing match in my life. MMA, it's like it's possible I can lose this first fight.”
Bob Arum Hits Back At Eddie Hearn
Bob Arum has hit back at fellow promoter Eddie Hearn over the collapse of Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury’s heavyweight unification bout.
Hearn has been vocal in his belief that it was the veteran promoter’s fault after an arbitrator ruled that Fury must face Deontay Wilder for a third time before AJ. Arum, however, believes Hearn “screwed everything up.”
"Eddie has diarrhoea of the mouth. He can't stop talking and he doesn't think… Eddie should shut up and stop blaming other people. He'd be well advised to shut his mouth and look in the mirror," said the 89-year-old.
"Eddie screwed everything up. The Saudis were happy to pay a tremendous site fee. Eddie got greedy, 'Pay a bigger amount, take the TV.' It dragged on for weeks. I believe if it'd just been a site fee we'd have announced and the arbitrator would've given Wilder damages."
Billy Joe Saunders Mulling Over Retirement
Billy Joe Saunders says he’s 50/50 over whether he will retire following his devastating defeat to Canelo in Texas last month.
The Mexican superstar handed the Brit his first professional defeat when his corner ended the fight due to a fractured eye socket suffered in the eighth round and Saunders says he will talk to his dad about whether he will hang up his gloves.
“At the end of the day, I’m 31 years old, if I don’t ever wanna work again, wanna sit back, wanna chill, I can do that,” Saunders told talkSPORT.
“And so it should be, I’ve put a lot of time into boxing and I’ve paid my dues. The sport’s been very, very good to me…
“I’ll have a chat with my dad because he’ll have a big say in it.
“To be fair it will be more or less down to my dad in the conversation more than me if I’m honest.
“It’s one of them where it’s 50/50. Whether I think, I will have one more or a couple more, but they’ve gotta be the right sort of fights. If he says, ‘Leave it son, don’t go back for more,’ then that’s probably what I’ll do.”
Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk Heading For September
In the wake of the collapse of his fight with Tyson Fury, WBA, WBO and IBF world champion Anthony Joshua looks set to face WBO mandatory Oleksandr Usyk instead and it looks like the showdown could be heading for the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in September.
“I can tell you that this week, that this is a more confident footing than the Joshua – Fury negotiations, because I know Alex Krassyuk very well, and I know Usyk very well,” Eddie Hearn told DAZN.
“This week that fight will be signed. We’re looking at September in London. Just finalising the details.
“It’s a great fight, a dangerous fight, it’s not the one we necessarily wanted or expected. But it’s a high level heavyweight fight. It’s a unified heavyweight champion against the undisputed cruiserweight champion, and on we go with that fight – it’s a big event.”
The fight is expected to take place on either the 18th or 25th of September, with the 25th appearing the likelier date of the two.
GB Boxing Confirm 11-Strong Team For Olympics
Team GB will be taking a stellar boxing team to the Olympics with an 11-strong squad heading to Japan in search of gold following a nine-medal success in the European Road To Tokyo qualifier in Paris this week.
Pat McCormack and Lauren Price both won gold, whilst Charley Davison, Caroline Dubois, Ben Whittaker, Galal Yafai and Frazer Clarke all took silver and Luke McCormack and Cheavon Clarke bagged bronze.
"It’s been a brilliant performance from the team," said GB Boxing’s Performance Director, Rob McCracken
"To qualify 11 boxers for the Olympic Games is a superb achievement and the boxers have really stepped-up when it matters.”
The 11 members fall just one short of the 12 that Team GB took to Rio four years ago.