Oleksandr Usyk could once again cause problems for Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury, a superfight between Claressa Shields and Katie Taylor could be on the cards and Joseph Parker has enlisted the help of a new trainer. Here are five boxing stories you might have missed this week...
Oleksandr Usyk Demands “Justice” And A World Title Shot
Oleksandr Usyk’s promoter is imploring the WBO to “make the courageous decision” and enforce his fighter’s mandatory challenge, complicating matters for the eagerly-anticipated undisputed showdown between Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury.
Joshua and Fury are in talks but, with no confirmation yet, Alexander Krassyuk has delivered a reminder of his fighter’s status as WBO mandatory challenger.
“If AJ vs Fury is not likely to happen this year or is rescheduled until the end of the year, AJ has to make a mandatory defence against Usyk unless he relinquishes the title," his promoter Krassyuk told Sky Sports.
"The WBO has to gather strength and to make the courageous decision - to order AJ vs Usyk.
"And that will be the triumph of justice. Otherwise boxing will accelerate its decline in popularity due to unfair and preconceived politics."
Joseph Parker Enlists Andy Lee As New Trainer
Joseph Parker has joined forces with new trainer Andy Lee on the advice of his friend and fellow heavyweight, Tyson Fury.
Parker amicably split with his long-time trainer Kevin Barry after his points victory over Junior Fa in Auckland last month and with a fight against Dereck Chisora in the works, the New Zealander has enlisted the help of Lee, who was Fury’s assistant coach when the Gypsy King stopped Deontay Wilder in 2019.
Lee, a former world middleweight champion and student of the legendary Emanuel Steward at the Kronk Gym in Detroit, will bring bags of experience to the Kiwi’s camp.
"He's excited about freshening things up a bit and maybe learning some new things, in a new environment,” Parker’s manager, David Higgins, told Sky Sports.
"He had a wonderful run together with Kevin Barry and became world champion, but now it's time for a new chapter."
Claressa Shields Vs Katie Taylor “Definitely Possible”
Last weekend Claressa Shields wrote her name into the history books when she became the first undisputed champion, man or woman, of two weight divisions in the four-belt era. Her manager, however, says the ‘GWOAT’ is far from done and has her sights set on even more historic nights, including a showdown with Irelnad’s Katie Taylor.
"From the beginning of her career Claressa told me to make the biggest and best fights," Dmitriy Salita told Sky Sports. "She means what she says and says what she means.
"A fight with Katie Taylor is definitely a possibility. Katie is a very good fighter for whom I have a lot of respect for inside and outside the ring.
"The ball is in her court if she wants to do it. It would be another mega event for women's boxing."
Josh Taylor Chasing “Dream” Manny Pacquiao Showdown
Josh Taylor can make history this spring when he takes on fellow undefeated world champion Jose Ramirez on May 22 for the undisputed super-lightweight title, but that hasn’t stopped the Scotsman from planning ahead - including a “dream” bout with his idol Manny Pacquiao.
"To share a ring with my hero Pacquiao? That would be brilliant," the Tartan Tornado told Sky Sports.
"How many people can say they shared a ring with their hero and beat them? Not many."
“He's funny, he sings, he puts on a Scottish accent, his fighting style, he's a people's champion, a really nice person, he gives money to feed people.
"He's an absolute gentleman and his fighting style is ferocious - a southpaw with fast hands who can fight like hell."
Joshua Buatsi Teams Up With Virgil Hunter
Undefeated Olympic bronze medallist Joshua Buatsi has teamed up with former Andre Ward and Amir Khan trainer Virgil Hunter with the light-heavyweight set to return to the ring, potentially has a headline act, in May.
It is Hunter’s work with Ward that he is perhaps most famous for, guiding the fighter to world titles in two divisions and a perfect record of 32-0 at the time of his retirement in 2017.
“It’s mainly the style I like. Each of his fighters translate to it differently,” Buatsi said in an interview with Sky Sports regarding his new mentor. “Ward got to the highest level and achieved everything and is someone who operated at my weight.”
“If I don’t get something right away, it’s not the end of the world,” he added. “He has the right mindset. This addition to the team will 100 per cent bring the best out of me.”