Anthony Joshua remains convinced his heavyweight blockbuster with Tyson Fury will still happen despite the pair's undisputed showdown collapsing earlier this year.

Joshua, the IBF, WBA and WBO champion, was set to take on Fury in August in Saudi Arabia before a court arbitration in the United States ruled the WBC king must face Deontay Wilder for a third time.

Fury v Wilder III will take place in Las Vegas on July 24, with Joshua now set to face former undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in September.

As high-quality as those two encounters promise to be, it still amounts to a less-than-ideal situation in terms of the fight boxing's glamour division demands.

Joshua reiterated his belief that the collapse of the bout remains the responsibility of Fury's handlers and pledged to make the bout happen.

"Unfortunately, his team let the whole boxing world down," he told Sky Sports. "I will still be here, still ready to put on a show.

"[The Fury fight can happen at the] end of the year. Let me get past Usyk first. But with or without Usyk in my life, I will fight Fury.

"Usyk isn't the be-all and end-all.

"Usyk doesn't determine the Fury fight. The Fury fight has to happen. It's a big fight, bigger than boxing, bigger than the belts.

"It will happen. After the Usyk fight, after I defend my belts.

"The fight will be bigger, better than what it would have been."

Fury pledged Joshua would be one of several leading heavyweights in line for "the biggest beatdown they have had in their lives" after he faces Wilder, who he believes "would knock Joshua out in the first round".

Joshua added: "I am 100 per cent sure that I will fight him and win. You've got to ask him the same question. I'm not too sure [what he would say].

"We did everything. During a global pandemic, the toughest time to organise a fight like that, we managed to have 20,000 fans available, a site fee, the media ready, my name was on the contract, I was in training.

"Then boom, they cancelled. I stay ready to fight them all because I'm a throwback fighter."

Fighting before a home crowd in Houston, Jermall Charlo defeated Juan Macias Montiel  to defend his WBC middleweight belt and improve to 32-0. 

Charlo won by unanimous decision, with the judges scoring the bout in his favour 120-108, 119-109 and 118-109. 

Though Charlo dominated the fight, he never seemed a threat to knock out the challenger. 

“He was a real warrior to get into the ring with me,” Charlo said.

“He fought hard each and every round.”

In Las Vegas, Naoya Inoue remained unbeaten with a third-round TKO of Michael Dasmarinas to retain his WBA, IBF and The Ring bantamweight titles. 

Inoue (21-0) had little trouble with the IBF mandatory challenger, delivering a flurry of body blows to send the Filipino to the canvas at 2:45 in the third. 

The Japanese fighter's win in the third followed a knockdown on a body shot in the second that only ended up prolonging the agony for Dasmarinas. 

 

Shakur Stevenson remains unbeaten as a professional boxer, defeating Jeremiah Nakathila by unanimous decision but even the victor was unhappy with the quality of the fight. 

Stevenson – the 2016 Olympic silver medallist – improved to 16-0 after the American claimed the WBO interim junior lightweight title in Las Vegas on Saturday.

A former WBO featherweight champion, Stevenson won 120-107 on all three judges' scorecards, though he acknowledged he was far from his best. 

"I apologise to all my fans I didn’t feel good tonight but I did what I had to do to win," Stevenson – who scored a knockdown of Nakathila (21-2) in the fourth round – tweeted after the bout. 

"Thank you for all da support I promise better for further fights to come."

The crowd in Las Vegas showered the fighters in boos in the 11th round as the 23-year-old Stevenson and his Namibian opponent Nakathila wrapped up an uninspiring affair.

"To be honest, I didn't really like my performance. I felt I could've performed a lot better," Stevenson said. "You had an awkward fighter throwing hard punches, and he knows how to grab and get away. He was a real awkward fighter.

"I tried to get him out of there a little bit, but I started getting hit with some solid shots. I ain't really like it, but next time I'm going to work on moving my head a little bit more and step it up a little more."

Stevenson is now set to face fellow WBO junior lightweight champion Jamel Herring (23-2) later this year. 

"If I had the choice, I'd take Oscar Valdez, but if I have to beat up Jamel to get to it, I'll do that, too," Stevenson said. "Jamel can't beat me. He knows what it is."

 

Floyd Mayweather Jr. dominated but failed to beat Logan Paul as the YouTube sensation went the full eight rounds with the boxing great in their exhibition showdown.

All eyes were on Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, where all-time great Mayweather and YouTube-star-turned-prizefighter Paul sensationally shared the ring on Sunday.

The exhibition bout featured eight three-minute rounds, with no judges and no official winner, though knockouts were legal.

In the bizarre cross-over-fight, there were concerns for Paul – who had lost his only other bout heading into a blockbuster showdown with Mayweather, who retired with a flawless 50-0 record in 2017.

Mayweather – typically patient – controlled the fight against a visibly tired Paul, who had a huge height and weight advantage and managed to unleash a flurry of punches though they barely troubled the 44-year-old.

"I'm not 21 anymore but it's good to run around with these younger guys," Mayweather said afterwards.

"He's a tough competitor, it was good action, had fun, I was surprised by him. Good work.

"... I had fun, I'm pretty sure he had fun and hopefully fans enjoyed it."

Paul, 26, added: "I don't want anyone to tell me anything is possible ever again.

"The fact that I'm in here with one of the best boxers of all times proves the odds can be beat.

"... Floyd Mayweather it was an honour, I hate being a d******** I love you guys."

Badou Jack stopped Dervin Colina in the fourth round on the Floyd Mayweather Jr-Logan Paul undercard in Miami.

Jack scored a fourth-round knockout against Colina at Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday – the final fight before the exhibition showdown between boxing great Mayweather and YouTube sensation Paul.

Sweden's Jack (24-3-3), who is a former super middleweight and light heavyweight champion, dropped underdog Colina (15-1) three times in the fourth round.

"I'm a way better boxer than him," Jack said after Colina stepped in to fight on barely a week's notice, having replaced WBC light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal – who tested positive for four banned substances. "Outbox him, and everything else will come."

Earlier, Luis Arias (19-2-1) claimed a shock split-decision victory over Jarrett Hurd (24-2) in the 10-round middleweight contest.

"People close to me were telling to get a job, give up on boxing, and I'm here," Arias said.

"I believe I won the fight," Hurd said. "I had him out sometimes and they gave him a break wiping off the ring, but they gave him the fight and I have to go with what they said.

"The plan was to come in here and box but we couldn't move around as much because the ring was slippery."

Devin Haney survived a late flurry from veteran Jorge Linares to successfully defend his WBC lightweight title, winning by unanimous decision Saturday in Las Vegas. 

The 22-year-old Californian had little trouble through the first nine rounds against the former three-division world champion before Linares did some damage late. 

A hard right in the 10th round left Haney (26-0) wobbly and the effects appeared to carry over into the 11th as Linares (47-6) tried in vain to win it with one punch. 

Haney was able to hold on through 12 rounds, though, winning 116-112 on two judges' scorecards and 115-113 on the other. 

It was the first time in 53 career fights that Linares lost a decision, the 35-year-old Venezuelan's previous defeats all coming by knockout. 

Haney's win could set up a unification showdown with Teofimo Lopez, should the 16-0 IBF, WBO, WBA and The Ring lightweight champion defeat George Kambosos Jr. next month. 

"I want to make the biggest fights happen," Haney told DAZN after the fight. "If Teofimo Lopez is next, let's do it."

On Saturday's undercard, Chantelle Cameron defended her WBC light-welterweight strap with a fifth-round TKO of former world champion Melissa Hernandez. 

Josh Taylor is ready to "ride the wave" after becoming the fifth undisputed world champion of the four-belt era – and that could mean facing Terence Crawford and, he hopes, fighting at Edinburgh Castle.

A mammoth clash between Taylor and Jose Ramirez in Las Vegas on Saturday saw the Briton twice knock down his opponent.

Those blows were pivotal in a unanimous but tight points win that saw all three judges score the bout 114-112 in Taylor's favour.

The 30-year-old protected his WBA and IBF light welterweight titles and added Ramirez's WBC and WBO straps.

Since 2004, only four other boxers have held the four major belts at once – Oleksandr Usyk, Bernard Hopkins, Jermain Taylor and Crawford – and Taylor could now face one of them.

Crawford was the undisputed champion in the same division in 2017 after beating Julius Indongo, before vacating his titles to move up to welterweight.

It is a move Taylor (18-0) could repeat in order to face the undefeated American, who now holds the WBO strap at 147 pounds.

"I think two undisputed champions going at it at 147lb would be awesome, would be amazing," Taylor said.

"I'm not going to be short of options now; every fight is going to be huge. We'll take it and see what comes my way. We'll just ride the wave."

The locations of potential future fights are as exciting to Taylor as the opponents, though.

'The Tartan Tornado' was born in Prestonpans but has not fought in Edinburgh since November 2017.

His place in history secure, Taylor, a Hibernian fan, would now be keen to arrange a title bout either at Easter Road or the "iconic" Edinburgh Castle.

"Now is the time to get that fight at Edinburgh Castle or Easter Road," he said.

"I know Easter Road are going to be up for having me there and they've said it to me a few times.

"But I'd love to fight at Edinburgh Castle. I just think that would be iconic with the castle lit up in the background."

Tyson Fury revealed he has signed a contract to face Deontay Wilder again in a trilogy fight, less than a week after announcing a heavyweight unification bout against Anthony Joshua was "100 per cent on".

Fury has a 30-0-1 record, only failing to win in an initial meeting with Wilder in December 2018.

However, Fury knocked out the American in February 2020 to claim the WBC title, with a clash against British rival Joshua an apparently obvious next step.

Progress looked to have been made on that blockbuster fight and, last weekend, the WBC champion even confirmed a date and venue – August 14 in Saudi Arabia.

A significant complication subsequently emerged, though, as Wilder won an arbitration hearing that stated he had the right to a third Fury bout.

This derailed plans with WBO, IBF and WBA strap-holder Joshua, and Fury instead penned an agreement to take on Wilder once more as he attended Saturday's light welterweight title fight between Josh Taylor and Jose Ramirez.

In a video posted on social media by Top Rank Boxing and shared by Fury, he said: "I'm going to sign the contract for the Wilder III fight, because Wilder's a p****, an excuse-maker and a s***house.

"Shall we do it and put him out his misery?

"[He is going to get] seriously smashed to bits. [I will] crack the other side of his skull, give him another shoulder injury, another bicep injury, another leg injury, a nutsack injury, the whole lot.

"Are you sure now, or shall we just hijack out of here, go to Saudi Arabia and fight someone else?"

The footage then showed Fury signing the paperwork, before he addressed the camera and his opponent: "Wilder, contract signed. You're getting smashed.

"When I say smashed, I mean smash, smash, smash, bang. You're getting knocked out. One round. You're going.

"I've got your soul, your mojo, everything. I own you. Super smashed."

The WBO has ordered Joshua to face Oleksandr Usyk, meanwhile, with any possibility of a Joshua-Fury showpiece now delayed at least until the defence of these titles.

Josh Taylor knocked down Jose Ramirez twice Saturday on the way to a unanimous decision that made him the undisputed light welterweight champion. 

The 30-year-old Scotsman saw all three judges score the bout 114-112 in his favour as he took Ramirez's WBC and WBO straps to add to the WBA, IBF and The Ring belts he already held. 

Taylor (18-0) becomes the fifth man to hold an undisputed world championship in the four-belt era, joining Oleksandr Usyk, Terence Crawford, Jermain Taylor and Bernard Hopkins. 

The knockdowns came in the sixth and seventh rounds, both via Taylor's left hand.

The latter, an uppercut to the chin, nearly brought an end to the fight, but Ramirez (26-1) managed to stand in for the final few seconds of the round and make it through the 12th. 

“I have nothing but respect for Ramirez,” Taylor said. “Nothing but love and respect for that man.”

 

Anthony Joshua has been ordered to fight Oleksandr Usyk after hopes for a summer showdown with Tyson Fury faded this week. 

The WBO on Saturday sent a letter ordering the unified heavyweight titleholder to fight Usyk (18-0), the sanctioning body's mandatory challenger. 

While Joshua (24-1) holds the WBO, IBF and WBA belts, Fury (30-0-1) claimed the WBC title from the previously unbeaten Deontay Wilder (41-1-1) in their February 2020 rematch following a draw in their initial bout.

On Monday, a judge in the United States ruled that the dethroned champion had the right to face the Briton for a third time before September 15.

Two days later, the WBO sent Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn a letter giving him 48 hours to show cause why it should not mandate a title defense against Usyk. 

On Friday, Hearn asked the body for an extension until Monday, but the WBO denied that request Saturday. 

The WBO gave the Joshua and Usyk camps 10 days to finalise an agreement for a fight, or the body will order a purse bid. 

Should that happen, the letter said, Joshua would receive 80 per cent of the minimum $1million bid and Usyk 20 per cent. 

 

 

Manny Pacquiao is set to return to the ring after an absence of more than two years in a welterweight title showdown with unbeaten Errol Spence Jr. 

Pacquiao and Spence announced the fight on social media Friday. It is set to take place on August 21 in Las Vegas, but the venue has not been determined. 

Spence (27-0) will put his WBC and IBF welterweight straps on the line against the 42-year-old Pacquiao (62-7-2), whose last fight was a July 2019 split decision win against Keith Thurman. 

Pacquiao's win made him the first four-time welterweight champion, but he was stripped of that WBA strap in January due to inactivity. 

The 31-year-old American Spence has successfully defended his IBF belt five times since winning it in May 2017 with a knockout of Kell Brook.

He added the WBC title with a split decision over Shawn Porter in September 2019, but did not fight for more than a year due in part to injuries suffered in an automobile accident the following month. 

Spence returned to the ring with a unanimous decision win over Danny Garcia last December. 

Anthony Joshua has branded heavyweight rival Tyson Fury a "fraud" as their blockbuster unification showdown appears on the brink of collapse.

Joshua, the IBF, WBA and WBO champion, and Fury, who holds the WBC belt, have been in negotiations over a fight to crown the undisputed ruler in the division.

Promoter Eddie Hearn said he expected to announce an August 14 showdown, to take place in Saudi Arabia, this week, but Deontay Wilder – who Fury sensationally deposed last year – has derailed plans.

Wilder won an arbitration hearing on Monday that recognised his contractual right to a third bout with Fury, with whom he shared a thrilling 2018 draw before suffering a first career loss via seventh-round stoppage in February 2020.

Fury's promoter Bob Arum told ESPN that Fury-Wilder III has been provisionally booked at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas for July 24, stating step aside payments were not an option.

"It's better to get rid of [Wilder] and go about our business. We can make the Fury-Joshua fight for November or December," he said.

Joshua, who might now face his WBO mandatory challenger and former undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk, expressed frustration that the Fury fight came so close to fruition before hitting a stumbling block, accusing his fellow Briton of using the whole episode as a publicity stunt.

He tweeted: "@Tyson_Fury the world now seen you for the fraud you are. You've let boxing down!

"You lied to the fans and led them on. Used my name for clout, not a fight. Bring me any championship fighter who can handle their business correctly."

Fury was typically strident in his response, proposing a fanciful bare-knuckle bout with Joshua for a combined £40million.

"Your (sic) more full of s*** that (sic) Eddie. Spouting absolute s****. Your team knew there was an Arbitration going on, it was out of my hands!

"But I tell you what if I'm a fraud let's fight this weekend bar (sic) knuckles till 1 man quits? Let's put up 20 mill each."

The barbs continued, with Joshua saying, "I'll slap your bad head and you'll do nothing" and Fury labelling his countryman a "dosser" a "bum" and a "bottle job".

Fury became a two-time world heavyweight champion when he stopped Wilder and remains undefeated in 30 professional fights, with 29 wins and a draw.

His first title victory came when he out-pointed long-reigning unified champion Wladimir Klitschko in 2015 before spending time away from the ring due to personal problems.

Joshua duly collected the IBF, WBA and WBO titles with wins over Charles Martin, Klitschko and Joseph Parker respectively.

He lost those belts in a shock stoppage loss to Andy Ruiz Jr in June 2019, a sole professional defeat that he avenged in a rematch before the end of that year.

Eddie Hearn is preparing to push on with finding an alternative opponent for Anthony Joshua if Tyson Fury's team are unable to "get their act together" by the end of the week.

Heavyweight rivals Joshua and Fury had appeared set for a huge showdown in Saudi Arabia on August 14, only for an arbitration ruling involving Deontay Wilder to potentially scupper that plan.

While Joshua holds the IBF, WBA and WBO belts, Fury claimed the WBC title from the previously unbeaten Wilder in their February 2020 rematch following a draw in their initial bout.

On Monday, a judge in the United States ruled that the dethroned champion had the right to face the Briton for a third time before September 15, casting huge doubt over the unification clash scheduled for a month earlier.

With the possibility of Fury no longer being available, Hearn is ready to look elsewhere for his fighter. Oleksandr Usyk – the mandatory challenger for Joshua's WBO strap – is a possibility, though the promoter plans to make sure he has more than one option on the table.

"I've been focused on plan A. The only fight we had in mind was Tyson Fury," Hearn said in an in-depth interview aired on the Matchroom Boxing YouTube channel on Tuesday.

"We hope that fight can still take place on August 14, but the game changed last night. We have to have a plan B in place – and possibly a plan C as well.

"We have a couple of different options. Of course, the one that springs to mind is the WBO mandatory of Oleksandr Usyk. They have been quite patient and, really, we're in a situation now where if team Fury don't get their act together by the end of this week, we will have no option but to look for an alternative fight.

"AJ wants to fight this summer, Oleksandr Usyk is the mandatory and we have two or three other options as well."

Hearn revealed how fellow promoter Bob Arum, who is part of Fury's team, had been "very bullish" over the hearing not being a potential roadblock in the way of the lucrative summer fight with Joshua.

"I think he was in complete and utter shock – and I don't think I've ever really heard him speechless," Hearn said of his conversation with Arum.

"He's been very bullish throughout this whole process that – and I know it's their business and we don't know too much about the contracts or the case – this wouldn't be a problem, this wouldn't stand in the way of an Anthony Joshua-Tyson Fury fight.

"That's quite frustrating. We've been working tirelessly to get this over the line. He was almost shell-shocked, I think. Once he'd calmed down and done what he had to do, I think the move was then to speak to the other side and see if there's a resolution.

"We can't be involved in that, we can't control that process, but as far as I understand it, Tyson Fury wants to fight Anthony Joshua and we had the deal to do so on August 14 in Saudi Arabia. I spoke to our partners in Saudi Arabia and they were not best pleased either.

"I think the conversations are ongoing, but from our point of view we have to get our own side in order and make our plans. Hopefully, they can resolve the issue and we can move forward with the August 14 fight. It's over to them."

Asked if he still remained hopeful over that August bout going ahead, Hearn replied: "I hope it does, because we've grafted away for four or five months to make this happen, and we've got a fantastic deal in place for a legacy fight for a huge amount of money.

"I hope, hope [it goes ahead], but hopeful? I don't know. Everything we were told from the get-go was that this arbitration issue wouldn't be a problem. It obviously is a problem now and we have to think on our feet, act accordingly.

"We still hope that the fight can go ahead, but that's completely out of our hands.

"We know what we want to do: we want to win the undisputed world championship and fight Tyson Fury. But, really, if his hands are tied, we have to look elsewhere."

Tyson Fury continued to talk up his plan to beat Anthony Joshua in a heavyweight unification bout on Monday, although a report suggested the fight was under threat.

Fury announced on his Twitter page at the weekend that the showdown with Joshua is "100 per cent on" for August 14 in Saudi Arabia.

Joshua's IBF, WBA and WBO titles and Fury's WBC belt are all set to be on the line in the long-awaited clash.

Mocking himself up as "Tyson of Arabia", in reference to the 1962 film Lawrence of Arabia, Fury posted on Monday: "Time to take back what I never lost.

"Every belt there [sic] all mine chump!"

However, the Daily Star reported a potential complication as it claimed Deontay Wilder, beaten by Fury last February following a controversial initial draw, had won his claim for a trilogy fight.

Rather than pay a sum to the American for him to step aside as Fury instead fought Joshua, the WBC champion would have to defend his title against Wilder by September 15.

Fury is undefeated after 31 career fights, with that draw with Wilder the only minor blemish on his 30-0-1 record.

Tyson Fury has announced his heavyweight showdown with Anthony Joshua is "100 per cent on" for August 14 in Saudi Arabia.

The respective teams for the two rivals have been involved in protracted negotiations over a unification fight, but it appears a date has now been agreed upon by both sides.

Joshua's IBF, WBA and WBO titles will be on the line in the bout, while the unbeaten Fury currently holds the WBC belt.

In a video posted on social media on Sunday, Fury made clear his delight as he confirmed the details for the bout, while he also promised to "smash" his fellow Briton when they finally face each other.

"I've got some massive news for you all, guys. I've just got off the phone with Prince Khalid of Saudi Arabia and he's told me that this fight is 100 per cent on," he said.

"August 14, 2021, summertime. All eyes of the world will be on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and I cannot wait, repeat, cannot wait to smash Anthony Joshua on the biggest stage of all time.

"This is going to be the biggest sporting event to grace planet Earth. Do not miss it. All eyes on us."

Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn revealed recently that organisers in Saudi Arabia plan to "shock the world" with a purpose-built venue for the much-anticipated bout.

Joshua has previously fought in Diriyah, beating Andy Ruiz Jr there in December 2019 to avenge the only loss of his professional career to date.

"They want to create something very, very special. Last time they built a stadium for the Andy Ruiz Jr fight in just seven weeks and it held 18,000," Hearn told Sky Sports.

"This will be a similar set-up. They have the opportunity to hold it indoors but they want to create something that will shock the world.

"They want to build a stadium just for this fight."

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