The world of boxing has been as tumultuous as ever this week with the potential heavyweight clash between Britain’s best, Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua, seemingly more confusing than ever, the British Board of Boxing Control have loosened more rules as Covid-19 continues to play havoc and one former heavyweight champion has been talking up his son’s chances in the NFL.
Here are five stories from the world of prize fighting that you might have missed this week…
Mandatories Could Cause Fury Vs AJ Some Problems
Last week it was confirmed that Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua had finally agreed a deal in principle to meet in what would be the biggest British boxing match in history. Even with a deal in place, it was acknowledged that first Fury would first honour a third fight with America’s Deontay Wilder, whom he drew with in 2018 and beat at the start of 2020, and that Joshua would fight Bulgaria’s Kubrat Pulev, the IBF’s mandatory challenger.
Now, Dillian Whyte, who has been mandatory for Fury’s WBC belt for over 1,000 days, has confirmed he’s suing the governing body about the date of his potential title fight. Promoter Bob Arum suggested that Whyte should fight Oleksandr Usyk next, the mandatory to Joshua’s WBO belt, but K2 promoter Alex Krassyuk, who looks after the Ukrainian, has shut down any such suggestions, stating: “Usyk has no need to fight anyone to prove his right for the mandatory. He was designated almost a year ago. I think WBO will follow its regulations and force AJ to comply with his obligation."
Expect a few more twists and turns before we ever see AJ and The Gypsy King share a ring.
Eddie Hearn Says ‘Why Not?’ To Chisora Vs Whyte MMA Grudge Match
British heavyweights Dereck Chisora and Dillian Whyte have shared one of the more remarkable rivalries over recent years, culminating in two spectacular bust-ups between the two in the ring. Now, talk has turned to the two settling their grudge in the Octagon.
Both fighters have flirted with the world of MMA recently. Whyte has been linked with a bout with UFC heavyweight Francis Ngannou, whilst Chisora has held talks with Bellator organisation. Asked whether the two could face each other in MMA, Eddie Hearn said: “Why not? We should look at fights that create attention, that people want to see. Whyte vs Chisora in a cage? That's huge.”
Hearn also noted that, as exciting as it is, the plans for both fighters are still primarily in the world of boxing: "But let's focus on boxing for now, and understand that we are working towards Whyte's world heavyweight title shot. That's what we are trying to do."
BBBofC Begin To Loosen The Rules On Sparring
The British Boxing Board of Control have unveiled new guidelines and are now happy for fighters to compete in sparring once again, in a big step towards the return of boxing in the UK.
In the guideline, the BBBofC have advised all fighters to be tested for coronavirus before returning to sparring, that sparring should take place outside where possible and when it is taking place, other individuals in the gym should stay at least two metres away from the ring apron. The individual’s boxing gear should not be shared with others and the sharing of general gym equipment should be avoided.
We’re still a long way from total normality but it’s great to see boxing taking the right steps towards it.
Evander Holyfield Backs Son Elijah For NFL Success
Evander Holyfield, one of the most celebrated boxers of the modern era, is now fighting in the corner of his son, Elijah, as he tries to make a breakthrough in the world of NFL and he believes the Philadelphia Eagles running back, like his own nickname in the ring, is the ‘Real Deal.’
"He's the one that always wants to do everything I did, it didn't make a difference what it was he wanted to do. He didn't mind getting up in the morning running and wanted to lift weights at an early age," Evander told 6ABC.
Elijah, 22, who spent last year’s regular season on the Carolina Panthers’ practice squad and later signed for the Eagles prior to the play-offs, is yet to make his NFL debut but if his Dad’s advice is anything to go by, we might be hearing a lot more from Holyfield Jr.
"One of the things my dad said that always stuck with me, 'Try to outwork everybody' and 'never quit,' those are the two things that stuck with me the most," Elijah added.
Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller Return From Doping Ban Green Lit
Has it really been a year since Anthony Joshua was forced to seek the replacement opponent who’d end up being the bane of his 2019, Andy Ruiz Jr? Time flies.
Before being matched up with Ruiz, Joshua had been signed on to fight Jarrell Miller before the American scuppered his shot at a $4m payday when he was found to have the banned substances GW501516, EPO and HGH in his system. Now, a mere year later, he’s back and the undefeated Brooklyn-born heavyweight boxer is likely to face Jerry Forest after being approved for a license by Nevada commission on July 9 in Las Vegas.
Miller said, “I don’t care who it is and where it’s at, I just want to knock somebody’s head off, and I want to prove to the fans that Big Baby’s mind is 100 percent right.”