Oleksandr Usyk won’t be budged ahead of Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury, Saul Alvarez’s next fight looks to be confirmed and Claressa Shields is set to headline a historic night for women’s boxing in March. Here are five boxing stories you might have missed this week...
Team Usyk Want “Serious Offer” To Step Aside From Joshua
Things are looking positive for the long-awaited all-British heavyweight showdown between Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury taking place but the questions over whether the fight will be for the “undisputed” title remain, with Oleksandr Usyk the number one challenger to Joshua’s WBO strap.
The WBO have now contacted Usyk’s K2 Promotions to inform them that they are considering sanctioning Joshua vs Fury to be undisputed, but the Ukrainian’s promoter, Alex Krassyuk, insists that they would need Usyk’s consent and a “serious offer” to step aside.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Krassyuk said, “We received the letter from WBO saying that they are considering granting sanction for AJ vs Fury. But Usyk has never received any serious offer nor anyone approached him with the offer to 'step aside'. We all read it from media.
“I know that the WBO in general and its president Paco Valcarcel in particular will never violate the rules of its organisation and sanction the major fight without Usyk's consent.
“So now is the best time for the AJ vs Fury fight promoters to make Usyk a serious offer either to fight the WBO champion or to step aside and fight for the interim.”
Jake Paul Signs With Snoop Dogg’s Triller’s ‘Fight Club’
YouTuber Jake Paul, who is currently 2-0 as a professional boxer, will return to the ring again on 17 April after signing a deal with the video-based social media service Triller to take part in their brand new ‘Fight Club,’ launched by rapper Snoop Dogg and Triller co-founder Ryan Kavanaugh last year.
Although no opponent has been announced yet, the fight is expected to be much like Mike Tyson’s exhibition with Roy Jones Jr, with celebrity commentators, live music and three more fights on the undercard.
Ryan Garcia Vs Manny Pacquiao?
After getting off the canvas to dispense of Luke Campbell at the beginning of the year, lightweight sensation Ryan Garcia appeared to be on a collision course with two-weight champion Gervonta Davis. But now the 22-year-old says he has an even bigger fight than Davis on the table, which is believed to be Manny Pacquiao, although Garcia wouldn’t give anything away.
“I have a potential, huge, bigger fight than him [Davis],” Garcia told Jalen and Jacoby. “So I might pin him off for the side.
“You know, I’m still going to fight him. But I wouldn’t not fight him unless it was an even bigger opportunity. But I can’t say anything right now, so I’m just going to keep it at that.”
Canelo’s Next Fight Set For February
Having beaten Callum Smith to pick up the WBA (Super) and WBC super-middleweight titles in December, Mexican superstar Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez isn’t leaving his fans waiting long for his next fight, with reports that Turkish boxer Avni Yildirim, 21-2 (12), will be in the opposite corner on 27 February at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami. It is believed that Eddie Hearn will be promoting the title defence on DAZN.
Claressa Shields To Headline All-Women PPV Show
Three-weight world champion Claressa Shields returns to the ring after more than a year out of action in March to headline a historic night for women's boxing. Shields, a two-time Olympic gold medallist, will square off with Canada’s Marie-Eve Dicaire in a bout to unify the super welterweight division in Flint, Michigan. The fight will headline an all-female card on FITE TV and will be the first women's fight to headline a pay-per-view card since Laila Ali vs. Jacqui Frazier-Lyde in 2001.
"Listen, women have to stop depending on men to give us shots at everything," Shields told ESPN. "Women's boxing is a hot commodity. Don't let no other network tell you that it's not. Women's boxing is in, just like women's MMA. All we need to do is have our own platform and show them that we have fans and that we can sell pay-per-view buys.”