Usyk-Chisora is official, Jarrell Miller is blaming sex pills for his latest setback and there might be a Battle of Britain in sight. Here are five stories you might have missed this week…
Usyk v Chisora – October 31
We officially have a new date for the fight so many boxing fans were going gaga about earlier this year, with undefeated Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk due to face Britain’s Dereck Chisora on October 31 following the postponement of their original clash.
The heavyweight pair had been due to meet in May until the Covid-19 lockdown forced a rethink, but promoter Eddie Hearn has told reporters that the announcement of the rescheduled bout is huge for the sport against the background of the latest Government guidelines.
“The news from the Government was a kick in the nuts, so to bounce back with this fight at this time is so important for boxing,” said Hearn. “You’ve either got to sit back and say ‘It’s not possible’ or find a way to make it happen, and I’ve got to say a big thanks to Team Usyk, Del Boy and David Haye for staying patient and helping get this over the line.”
Jarrell Miller blames ‘Black Ant’ sex pill for failed drug test
Jarrell Miller had been due to fight Anthony Joshua for the IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles in June 2019 until a failed drugs test put paid to the American’s hopes of taking on the Brit.
Having seen out his six-month ban following that indiscretion, Miller should have been returning to the ring in July to fight Jerry Forrest in Las Vegas until another drug misdemeanour was detected and once more he was pulled from the bout.
While three different stimulants were his undoing prior to the Joshua fight, this time around Miller was found to have tested positive for one banned performance enhancer – GW501516 – which he claims can be traced back to his use of a male sex pill called Black Ant more than 30 days before the Forrest fight was scheduled to take place.
He is now set to produce documentation supporting his claim to the Nevada State Athletic Commission when his case comes to a hearing, and he told the Daily Mail, “Everybody wants to point the finger but not everybody has the right information. The levels I failed for in this case right now were so minute. Anyone who knows me knows I’m not that person and we are going to prove everybody wrong. I have spent thousands of dollars of my own money trying to find out what’s happened.”
Billy Joe Saunders back with old trainer’s son
Billy Joe Saunders might have a career record of 29-0, but he has seemingly been searching for the winning formula in his corner ever since parting with his long-time trainer Jimmy Tibbs following his ascent to the WBO middleweight title in 2015.
Now, after five years and multiple temporary coaches, the reigning WBO super middleweight champion has returned to the Tibbs family stable as he gears up for the next chapter of his career, taking on Jimmy’s son and former assistant Mark as his new trainer.
“I’ve linked back up with Billy Joe Saunders,” Tibbs told Seconds Out. “Bill contacted me a few weeks ago now, we had a couple of sessions and whatnot, and we just had a chat regarding his career and we’re knuckling down now and hopefully getting ready for a date.
“No one has seen the best of him yet. He’s shown very good enthusiasm; very, very good hunger, and that winning mentality that I’ve always seen in him is still there. He’s a winner.”
Ramla Ali set for pro debut after signing with Matchroom
After becoming a British amateur champion without even telling her family, Ramla Ali is now set to fight professionally for the first time after signing a multi-fight deal with Matchroom Boxing.
Ali’s family fled war-torn Somalia following the death of her brother and settled in London. But after Ramla took up boxing she told her mother it was for fitness reasons since she expected disapproval at such an unusual hobby for a Muslim girl.
But her stock has risen massively since becoming the first female Muslim to win an English title, and, now representing her native Somalia, her deal with Matchroom is set to see her step into the ring as a professional for the first time in October. And she’s hoping that she will still get the chance to box at the Olympics despite her step up.
“There is no better place to box than Matchroom,” Ali said. “It was a no-brainer for me, I didn’t want to go anywhere else. I feel ready to fight now, I could go next week.
“I just want to get in the ring and I feel like I can do that sooner being a pro rather than waiting around for an Olympic Games that might not come. The Olympic dream is still there but I’m excited to begin my journey in the professional ranks.”
Chris Kongo talking up Conor Benn showdown
If you believe the hype, we could be set for a pretty monumental ‘Battle of Britain’ in the welterweight division between unbeaten pair Chris Kongo and Conor Benn.
Kongo recently tweeted Benn, telling the son of former middleweight and super middleweight world champion Nigel, that the pair should get it on once Benn has fought Chris Jenkins in their rescheduled clash for the British title.
Benn replied to say he’d be open to fighting Kongo, but only after he wins the national belt from Jenkins, and Kongo has been talking up the prospect of a title clash between he and Benn.
The 27-year-old told Sky Sports, “I believe he’s going to win the British title. If he can come and defend it with me, we’ll get a big domestic clash going on. That would be great to see. It’s been spoken about a lot of times. A lot of people compare me to Conor Benn and now I’ve had the fight with Luther Clay, my name is out there. People are saying that I’m the best in the division.
“For me, it’s not about believing them, it’s about believing in myself, and proving it. That’s a fight where I know I can prove it to the people.”