Artur Beterbiev would accept UK fight ‘in two seconds’ – Joshua Buatsi says ‘I’m as dangerous’

Artur Beterbiev would relish a fight in the UK, according to his promoters – and Joshua Buatsi has warned “I’m a dangerous fighter too”.

Russia’s powerhouse Beterbiev holds the IBF and WBC light-heavyweight title and, with a 100 per cent KO ratio in his 15 fights, is one of boxing’s most formidable champions.

He expects to meet mandatory challenger Meng Fanlong next but Britain’s prospect Buatsi is the next highest ranked contender with the IBF.

“Beterbiev would fight in the UK in two seconds and he wouldn’t see it as an obligation,” Top Rank president Todd DuBoef told Sky Sports.

“He is a complete, absolute beast! Anything in front of him, he takes down.

“He disregards ‘who’ or ‘where’. If you’re in front of him, goodbye. That’s it.

“Like Vasiliy Lomachenko, Beterbiev wants to fight the best and has no issue with where a fight might be.”

Recalling how Top Rank signed him, DuBoef added: “We were aware of the legend of Beterbiev and his brutal nature of dismantling guys. His ability to seek and destroy is so compelling. But we didn’t know the interest that everyone would have in him.”

Undefeated Buatsi has won a British title and is not intimidated by the fearsome champions at light-heavyweight that also include Dmitry Bivol.

“I have learning to do and they are dangerous fighters but I am a dangerous fighter too,” Buatsi said.

“Who executes the right way? With more learning and guidance, when the time is right, I’ll be ready to handle these guys. I believe, in the ring, I’m as dangerous as they are.”

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Dana White launches staunch defence of Khabib after UFC 249 fallout criticism

UFC president Dana White insists Khabib Nurmagomedov is not to blame for his showdown with Tony Ferguson falling through for a fifth time. The Russian was set to defend his lightweight title against ‘El Cucuy’ a week on Saturday in the main event of UFC 249, a card which was slated to take place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn prior to the coronavirus outbreak.

However, he was forced to withdraw from his long-awaited clash with Ferguson – which has been nearly five years in the making – last week after the Russian government introduced a blanket travel ban.

Somewhat surprisingly, Nurmagomedov received a torrent of criticism for his withdrawal, in particular his decision to return to his homeland after being forced to leave his California training camp due to restrictions imposed by the state and being denied entry to the UAE – where he claims the UFC told him the card would take place.

Many accused the 31-year-old of deliberately returning to Russia to duck Ferguson, a notion his bitter rival Conor McGregor was quick to perpetuate on Twitter.

White, however, insists the fifth cancellation of Nurmagomedov vs Ferguson is no fault of the promotion’s 155lb king.

JUST IN: UFC to host fights on a private island as White has coronavirus plan

Nobody is to blame for that one

Dana White on Khabib Nurmagomedov’s withdrawal from UFC 249

“He got caught up in Russia,” White told ESPN early on Tuesday morning. “It was a total mishap. We all made mistakes in that one.

“Nobody is to blame for that one, it is what it is. The fact that we can even pull off and event right now; this is by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”

White worked tirelessly for weeks to try and find a new venue for the promotion’s fourth pay-per-view card of the year and ensure Nurmagomedov’s eagerly-anticipated clash with Ferguson remained intact.

But the ever-changing global situation well and truly laid waste to those plans.


Khabib reveals preferred date for Ferguson clash amid UFC 249 drama

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Dana White confirms new location for UFC 249

“I could go on for ten minutes telling you how that whole thing fell apart,” White said of Nurmagomedov vs Ferguson. “The reality is that’s nobody’s fault.

“Every day that I got up, the rules changed. Every day. Things were shutting down, things were closing down.”

UFC 249, and indeed the rest of the promotion’s cards for the foreseeable future, will take place at a venue on a private island recently acquired by White.

White’s chances of keeping the card alive were written off by many, with several high-profile names in the sport calling for the 50-year-old to scrap the event.

But after seemingly finding a new home for the card, White feels his efforts have been vindicated.

He said: “Many people thought that this would be impossible for us to pull off.

“I’m always of the mindset that nothing is impossible. We’ll get this figured out.

“Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

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Mike Tyson once offered zookeeper $10,000 to fight a gorilla

Mike Tyson once offered a zookeeper $10,000 to fight a gorilla – because the silverback was bullying the other animals in his enclosure.

Boxing legend Tyson was the youngest heavyweight champion in history and went on to unify the division.

He famously won his first 19 fights by knockout – 12 of them in the first round – but it wasn't always only humans he wanted to get in the ring with.

Tyson, now 53, has told of how he visited a zoo when it was closed and paid an employee to re-open for him and his then wife Robin Givens.

He then offered further cash to be let into the gorilla enclosure so he could "smash that silverback's snot box" after watching him give the other gorillas a hard time.

Luckily for the gorilla, the zookeeper wasn't having any of it.

“I paid a worker at New York's zoo to re-open it just for me and Robin,” Tyson once told The Sun.

"When we got to the gorilla cage there was one big silverback gorilla there just bullying all the other gorillas.

"They were so powerful but their eyes were like an innocent infant.

"I offered the attendant $10,000 to open the cage and let smash that silverback's snot box! He declined.”

Tyson famously owned three tigers in the 1990s – and even let them sleep next to him in bed.

But following the release of the Netflix series 'Tiger King', documenting the underground world of owning and breeding the big cats, he said he regrets keeping the ferocious animals as pets.

“I was foolish,” Tyson said on an Instagram Live session.

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British Boxing Board of Control rules out fights behind closed doors

‘There is no way we will sanction boxing under the lockdown’: British Boxing Board of Control rules out fights behind closed doors during coronavirus crisis

  • Promoters and TV executives keen on staging fights behind closed doors
  • BBBoC general secretary Robert Smith has ruled out bouts during lockdown
  • Smith has spelled out why sport cannot be hurried back into any arena 

There will be no boxing behind closed doors in Britain before the coronavirus lockdown is lifted, along with all social distancing measures.

Promoters and TV executives have been pushing the envelope towards staging fights solely in front of the cameras, some of those bouts as important as the delayed world championship clash between Anthony Joshua and Kubrat Pulev and another heavyweight battle, the already rescheduled final title eliminator involving Dillian White and Alexander Povetkin.

Robert Smith, general secretary of the British Boxing Board of Control, is now making this clear: ‘There is no way we will sanction boxing under the lockdown. Nor is it even possible while social distancing is in place. Not even in television studios.’

Anthony Joshua’s world title fight with Kubrat Pulev in London has been postponed

That principled stands casts another shameful shadow over football.

It stands in sharp contrast to the willingness of the Premier League, and others in authority, to risk the health of players, managers, coaches, support staff, TV cameramen and commentators in otherwise empty grounds. As well as further endangering the lives of medical personnel, even as nurses and other health workers are dying on the front line of the fight against the pandemic.

Smith spells out with welcome clarity the reasons why sport, much though it is missed by the public, cannot be hurried back into any arena: ‘The well-being of all those involved is paramount. In our case, it is impossible to maintain social distancing between two boxers. No fighter can hit another from a range of two metres. And what about the closeness of the referee, the contact between fighters and their corners, the proximity of officials and cameramen?

‘Other medical issues are in some ways even more important. Even if we could persuade the doctors and medics who it is necessary for us to have at ringside at all promotions to attend, how on earth could we justify asking them to take time away from saving lives during this crisis?

Dillian Whyte and Alexander Povetkin has been put back to July 4 due to coronavirus

‘Injuries happen in all sports. What if a boxer is badly hurt and needing to go by ambulance to hospital? I tell you this. It is absolutely unconscionable that we would even consider asking any hospital to give up a bed while thousands of people are dying from this virus.’

Football, on top of its unseemly feud with £100,000-a-week players who are resisting 30 per cent pay cuts, ponders trying to end its season behind closed doors. In no small part to avoid repaying hundreds of millions of TV fees for matches left un-played.

Smith makes clear: ‘People in boxing are experiencing hardship. Of course there is immediate loss of earnings for some but also a few smaller promoters may go under if this crisis lasts too long.

‘There is criticism of big promoters but while they are well-funded now, when they come to lose money they do so in much larger amounts. But health has to come first.’

Robert Smith (right) has spelled out why sport cannot be hurried back into any arena

There speaks an executive who has long been at the forefront of efforts to make boxing as safe as humanly possible, thus bringing down significantly the number of deaths and serious injuries in the British ring.

The only possibility Smith envisages for fights in closed halls or TV studios might be this: ‘If the limits on gatherings of people is eased to, say, 50 then a few smaller fights involving restricted numbers on site could conceivably help boxing get started again.

‘But even that would not be easy because at the moment gyms are closed and boxers are only able to do light training on their own.’

That is just one reason why Smith issues this warning to the fight game and its deprived fans: ‘Boxing will not resume the day after government lifts the lockdown. We cannot run the risk of being rushed until all medical and policing precautions can be put into place.’

Will football, in all the inordinate wealth available to the game through the Premier League, take note?

In all probability, given the haste in which the billionaire owners of such clubs as Tottenham and Newcastle have availed themselves of our tax-payer money to fund 80 per cent of the wages of their non-playing staff, the answer to that will be a cynical and resounding: No.


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Tony Ferguson vs Justin Gaethje to headline UFC 249 after Khabib withdrawal

Tony Ferguson will take on Justin Gaethje at UFC 249 on April 18 for the interim lightweight title.

Ferguson had been due to challenge 155lb champion Khabib Nurmagomedov but the Russian was unable to secure a flight out of his homeland and withdrew from the fight last week.

It was the fifth time a fight between the two rivals had been cancelled with injury and illness preventing them meeting in the octagon previously.

Gaethje then stepped in at three weeks' notice knowing victory would catapult him to the top of the list of challengers for the 155lb belt.

UFC president Dana White confirmed the fight was agreed but did not announce a venue.

UFC 249 was initially due to take place in New York but the city, along with much of the world, has been in lockdown for several weeks.

The winner of the fight will expect to take on Nurmagomedov later in the year.

The Russian was under pressure to leave his homeland last week in order to fight Ferguson, but eventually pulled the plug.

He said: "Staying home in quarantine and reading the reaction of people to the situation around my fight, it turns out that the whole world should be in quarantine.

"Governments of all countries, famous people around the world urge people to follow all safety requirements in order to limit the spread of the disease, to save people, and Khabib is the only one relieved of all obligations and must demonstrate free will and train flying around the world, for the sake of fight?

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Anthony Joshua admits he could have been ‘carried out on stretcher’ vs Wladimir Klitschko

Anthony Joshua admits that Wladimir Klitschko’s power could have had him ‘carried out on a stretcher’. Joshua and Klitschko fought in 2017 and AJ came out on top with an 11th-round TKO win.

Joshua added the WBA world title to his IBF belt with the win over Klitschko, who retired shortly after the fight.

The Olympic gold-medallist came out of the blocks fast and scored a knockdown over Klitschko in the fifth round.

But toward the end of the same round, Joshua began to tire and some heavy Klitschko shots wobbled him.

JUST IN: Dillian Whyte explains how THAT punch against AJ nearly ended career

Joshua then tasted the canvas for the first time in his professional career in the sixth round thanks to a big right hand from Klitschko.

But the Brit recovered and in round 11 he managed to stop Klitschko with a barrage of punches in the corner after knocking him down twice more.

Joshua, however, admits that Klitschko still hits him the hardest, despite having been knocked out by Andy Ruiz Jr.


Tyson Fury promoter Frank Warren insists ‘fights still being made’

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  • Boxing news: Anthony Joshua admission, Wilder more talented than Fury

“Who’s hit me the hardest? Yeah, Klitschko,” he said during a JD Sports Instagram live.

“When I went in with Klitschko, yeah, I just knew this could go two ways.

“I could either win or I’m gonna be laid out on my back. You know when you get carried out on a stretcher?

“It was the 15 that came after that as well. This guy’s a beast, he’s a beast.


  • Tyson Fury promoter Frank Warren insists ‘fights still being made’

“I was gonna say Ruiz Jr, but when he hit me that was like a concussion on the back of my head.”

Joshua lost his WBA, WBO and IBF world titles to Ruiz Jr last summer in shocking fashion.

He was knocked down four times en route to a seventh-round stoppage loss at Madison Square Garden in New York.

But six months later Joshua won his titles back with a brilliant boxing display in Saudi Arabia.

Joshua was scheduled to face Kubrat Pulev on June 20 but the fight has been postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Fury vs Joshua to be delayed until summer of 2021 – due to Dillian Whyte

Hopes of Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua meeting in the ring within the next year have been dashed by the WBC.

The pair were eyeing a showdown later this year until the coronavirus pandemic allayed plans and forced back their own upcoming bouts.

Fury was in talks over his trilogy clash with Deontay Wilder, mooted for sometime in July, but will now more likely be held in October, while Joshua's June meeting with Kubrat Pulev has been postponed with a new date yet to be confirmed.

As a result, Fury and Joshua shifted their hopes to a clash early next year, but the WBC have made it clear that mandatory challenger Dillian Whyte will not be made to wait any longer for his title shot.

Whyte will therefore earn an opportunity to face Fury for his WBC world heavyweight title before the end of February 2021.

That does not give enough time for Fury to fight Joshua in between, ensuring they will not meet until the following summer at the earliest.

It is likely that Joshua would instead use the time to fight mandatory challenger to his WBO title, Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk.

The WBO have ordered that fight to be completed this calendar year, but have not indicated whether they will allow for an extension on that period in light of the current lockdown situation.

Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn also represents Usyk and Whyte, but faces the current task of finding a new venue for the champion's showdown with Pulev.

The clash was due to be staged at Tottenham Hotspur's stadium, but that is now likely to be in use due to the postponement of the Premier League season.

Fury meanwhile has questioned Wilder's motives after the Bronze Bomber activated a clause for a third bout, despite being beaten so convincingly in their rematch.

“Yeah, I was surprised he took the fight because it was a one-sided fight,” The Gypsy King told Talksport.

“He didn’t win a second of that second fight, but in this game it’s a short game and a short career, and there’s an old saying – ‘We’ve gotta make hay while the sun shines.’

“And for Deontay Wilder at the age of 34, how many big fights out there are left for him after a domination like he had?

“I don’t know the man’s personal circumstances, but from what I’ve seen of these American fighters and sportsmen, they always live a rockstar’s lifestyle, even though they’re not rockstars.

“They go through a lot of money quite quickly. Just look at Mike Tyson, he went through like a billion dollars or whatever he went through.

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AJ breaks down why Mike Tyson would have BEATEN Muhammed Ali

‘He was more developed with science and information’: Anthony Joshua breaks down why ‘bigger’ Mike Tyson would have BEATEN Muhammed Ali in their heavyweight prime

  • Anthony Joshua broke down why Mike Tyson would have beaten Muhammed Ali
  • AJ believes Tyson would have won due to having ‘better science and more info’
  • Joshua took part in an Instagram Live where he gave his ‘humble opinion’ 

Anthony Joshua gave his opinion on why he believes Mike Tyson would have beaten Muhammed Ali if the boxing legends fought in their prime. 

Joshua took part in an Instagram Live session with JD Sports, where fans asked the two-time and current heavyweight champion questions on the boxing world that has been suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak. 

When questioned on the fairytale fight, Joshua backed Tyson to beat Ali thanks to his use of modern ‘science’.  

Anthony Joshua has given his ‘humble verdict’ on who’d win vs Mike Tyson and Muhammed Ali

Joshua believes Tyson would have beaten Ali down to being ‘bigger’ and having better science

‘It’s quite interesting because in the era of Ali’s heavyweight reign, the heavyweights were ranked as cruiserweights.

‘So in the Mike Tyson, Larry Holmes, George Foreman, Lennox Lewis era; they started getting bigger.

‘Hence why, in the amateurs, they then created a super heavyweight division.

‘So the current heavyweight division in the amateurs is what we class as the cruiserweight division [in the pros], so Ali went from lightweight and worked his way up.  

Joshua said even if Ali was ‘bulked up’, Tyson would win due to having ‘more information’

Tyson boasted a career record of 50 wins, 44 wins by way of knockout and six losses

‘He wouldn’t have been a fully fledged heavyweight. Let’s say we bulked Ali up and added size and strength to him, I truly believe Mike Tyson would have won.

Mike Tyson became the youngest WBA, WBC and IBF heavyweight titles at 20 years old and boasted a career record of 50 wins (44 KO’s) and six losses. 

Ali is considered to be one of the most iconic sportsmen in history and is the only boxer to be named Ring magazine Fighter of the Year six times.

Joshua continued: ‘Reason being, when you watch the fight between Joe Frazier and Ali you see a certain Tyson-esque style in Frazier.

‘Tyson used to study Frazier: moving, moving, hooks, hooks. He managed to put Ali down, it was a very tough fight for him.’

Fans have always had a keen interest in crowning an all-time heavyweight champion and for Joshua, it’s ‘Iron Mike’ in his ‘humble opinion’. 

‘I just believe Tyson was better schooled because times have evolved,’ he added. ‘He was more developed with more science, more information. So Tyson would have won – in my humble opinion.’ 


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Boxing news: Anthony Joshua admission, Wilder more talented than Fury, Canelo predictions

Boxing news – Anthony Joshua opens up on Andy Ruiz Jr loss

Unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua has revealed the months that followed his spectacular defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr last June were the most ‘difficult’ of his career.

“It was a difficult time in my career,” he told Sky Sports. “Last year was a real tough year. As a British heavyweight fighter, we never get the respect from the world media, which is governed by America to a certain degree, because we’re British.

“Americans are going to take care of Americans. So when I lost… you take challenges, the goal is to win 100 per cent.”

Boxing news – Deontay Wilder backed to avenge Tyson Fury loss

Lightweight prospect Ryan Garcia has backed Deontay Wilder to avenge his defeat to Tyson Fury, insisting the former WBC heavyweight champion is more talented than his successor.

“It could change,” Garcia told Fighthype when asked if he thinks Wilder can avenge hiss loss to Fury. “If Deontay Wilder humbles himself and tries to work on his technique.

“My dad says, ‘No.’ I think Yes. If he works on things he needs to work on, but he needs to be an animal every day like right now. He needs to be thinking about how to beat Tyson Fury.

Tyson Fury doesn’t have the talent that Deontay Wilder has.

Ryan Garcia

“Tyson Fury doesn’t have the talent that Deontay Wilder has. Wilder just banked on that all day long. My talent can win a fight.’ Yeah, but you met a guy that didn’t have as much talent as you, but he had hard work.

“What I’m going to say it this. Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.

“It’s an old saying, but it’s true. They’ll never have that with me, though. I’m talented, I work hard, and I work hard every day on every aspect; social media, boxing, and my family.

“Every day I go down the list, and I do it every day. I tell my dad to come over my place. We’re going to work all night on different techniques. I got some s*** that is so creative to land on people.”

Boxing news – Chris Eubank Jr predicts Canelo fights against Billy Joe Saunders and Callum Smith

IBO middleweight champion Chris Eubank Jr has backed Canelo Alvarez to make light work of his bitter rival Billy Joe Saunders and Callum Smith.

“They say they are [negotiating],” Eubank Jr told Sky Sports. “I don’t think either actually wants to fight Canelo. They may want a pay-day but they don’t want to fight.

“Each of their previous performances were terrible so there’s no doubt in my mind that Canelo would stop them both.

“It would be a more exciting fight with me, rather than Saunders or Smith. The entire world knows that Saunders would run for 12 rounds in a boring fight then would be caught and knocked out.

“That is not a fight I’m interested in seeing. I don’t get the interest. Saunders has a belt which is the only reason he has this opportunity but, who knows, maybe that belt won’t be with him for much longer if he’s banned after what he’s done.

“Smith’s performance against John Ryder? We saw a lot of weaknesses in his game. Canelo is a far superior version of Ryder in terms of his style – come-forward, inside-fighting.

“Smith couldn’t deal with that against Ryder so what are they thinking? He barely got past Ryder. I think Ryder won that fight. I should be the next man at middleweight.”

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Deontay Wilder doesn’t ‘have the tools’ to beat Tyson Fury in trilogy rematch – Wallin

Deontay Wilder doesn’t have the tools to adapt his style of boxing and beat Tyson Fury, according to the Brit’s ex-opponent Otto Wallin. Fury dominated Wilder and stopped him in the seventh round of their clash in February.

Fury arguably won the first clash between the pair back in December 2018 but it was scored a draw.

Most thought Wilder would catch Fury and knock him out in the rematch but the manner in which the Gypsy King attacked shocked fans.

Wilder’s corner threw the towel in during the seventh round after Fury backed the American up into the corner to unload punches.

JUST IN: Anthony Joshua lifts lid on Tyson Fury sparring session

The rematch was thought to be set for July 18 but it’s been pushed back until October because of the coronavirus pandemic.

But Wallin, who gave Fury a tough fight back in September, doesn’t believe the rematch will be competitive.

“Not so much [I don’t want to see it again]. I want to fight Wilder or Fury…Wilder always has a puncher’s chance but I think it’s going to be very tough for him to come back from that,” he said.


Anthony Joshua opens up on ‘difficult time’ after Andy Ruiz Jr defeat

Promoter admits Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury may NEVER happen

Tyson Fury to execute same knockout tactic used vs Wilder against AJ


  • Promoter admits Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury may NEVER happen

“And even at his age, he’s getting older you know, 34 or something like that. So

“I don’t know. I’m not sure he has the tools to adapt, really.

“I don’t think he looked off to me. If you look at the Luis Ortiz fight, the second fight they had, you could see the signs there.

“Because every time Ortiz would throw something he would land it. And Wilder said he had a good game plan, that he was patient, but I don’t think that’s true. I think Ortiz was better but then Ortiz just got clipped.


  • Ryan Garcia explains why Fury ‘doesn’t have the talent Wilder has

“But Wilder, he has such amazing power so that his strength but also his weakness, that he relies too much on his power and he’s trying to take you out with one shot and that’s hard.

“I just think Fury was better and had a better game plan. ‘Cause there’s a lot of fights that Wilder has been losing them but he’s managed to knock people out.

“I think Fury fought a great fight. I think the training changed proved to be a good move.

“I wasn’t sure about that before the fight but I think they came in with a very good game plan and he said that he was gonna knock him out.

“He usually says that but then he comes out boxing anyways. But this time he just went after him and took him apart.

“So I think it was a great performance by Tyson Fury.”

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