By Adam Haynes | Belfast, Ireland | July 6, 2018 —
Anthony Joshua set for Wembley Double Date
If Deontay Wilder is to agree to a showdown with British heavyweight superstar Anthony Joshua in the next year, it appears that he will have to pay a visit to London’s Wembley stadium. Joshua has signed a two-fight deal at England’s national stadium, ruling out a transatlantic hop over to the U.S. At least, for now.
The doubleheader will see Joshua return to Wembley on 22 September and 13 April 2019, following his fight-of-the-year victory over Wladimir Klitschko in April 2017. Joshua has fought twice at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium since that night, and will be risking the infamous British weather not once but twice, given Wembley, unlike Cardiff, has no roof.
This is unlikely to bother the WBA, IBF and WBO champion, who is looking forward to his homecoming:
“Being north London born and raised, it is in my blood. Wembley just added a fourth lion to the den,” Joshua told media in the UK. “The opportunity to fight in such an iconic stadium is normally a once-in-a-career opportunity, so to be given the chance to fight there again is amazing.”
His opponent on September 22 is set to be confirmed next week, although it is widely accepted that it will be the WBA’s mandatory challenger, Alexander Povetkin. It is hoped that Wilder, who holds the WBC world championship, will agree to a unification bout in April.
Tyson Fury vs. Tony Bellew?
Elsewhere in the heavyweight division, speculation is mounting that lineal world champion Tyson Fury could be set to face fellow Brit Tony Bellew in his next bout. Bellew, the former WBC cruiserweight world champion, who beat former world champion David Haye in his last two outings, has been involved in a social media spat over the past few weeks which has led to “The Gypsy King” inviting the Liverpudlian to settle the score in a “street fight.”
British boxing legend Ricky Hatton believes that both men will be meeting inside the ring, rather than on the street, however:
“I keep hearing he’s going to fight Tony Bellew. I’ve not seen Fury – he has not been in the gym as I think he is in Marbella,” Hatton said.
The former light welterweight champion also gave his two-cents on how he sees the fight going:
“I don’t know if Haye was that little bit too far gone or I’m not giving Tony the credit he deserves. The way he won those fights against Haye was brilliant. But Fury is different. He’s so much heavier and Bellew won’t be able to outbox him.
“People say: ‘well Haye was bigger than Bellew’ – but Fury dwarfs both of them.”
Nonito Donaire Set for World Boxing Super Series
Four-weight world champion Nonito Donaire is the latest to be confirmed for the second season of the World Boxing Super Series. The Filipino will drop down two weight divisions for the bantamweight tournament which carries a prize of $4,000,000.
Having lost to Ireland’s Carl Frampton for the WBO interim featherweight title, the decision to enter the tournament was not one which was given much thought by the future Hall of Famer:
“I’m really looking forward to the tournament,” Donaire said. “People always asked about my goal and I said to be undisputed. With this tournament, that goal is now attainable.”
“Entering the tournament gives me an opportunity to showcase my capabilities against the best in this division. This division is stacked with talent and that’s really exciting!”
“I believe my size, experience and most of all my power will give me the edge over my opponents.”
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Broner’s big 50…
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Lennox Lewis Sees Joshua as the Big Draw
The last man to hold the unified heavyweight championship, Lennox Lewis, believes that a 60-40 split in favor of Anthony Joshua, and against Deontay Wilder, would be fair for his fellow Brit.
“AJ [versus] Wilder the biggest fight in the HW division,” Lewis wrote to Twitter. “They will BOTH make more than each ever has … because they BOTH bring a level of interest to match. It’s what fans want to see. Negotiations should reflect that! I would say 60-40 split in AJ favor at Wembley for the first fight!”
BT Forced to Apologize for Michael Conlon Fail
Ireland’s Michael Conlon was the subject of an embarrassing mix up by British broadcasters BT in his homecoming bout in Belfast on Saturday.
Conlon’s stats were shown to viewers under a British flag despite the boxer being an Irishman.
“Due to an error, the incorrect flag was briefly shown alongside Michael Conlan on screen last night. We apologise for the mistake,” a BT spokesperson said following the incident, although fans of the boxer were clearly upset at the gaffe.