Who will emerge victorious in Fury/Wilder 2

By February 20, 2020
Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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  • I'd love to punch him in the face - Froch prepared to return for Calzaghe fight I'd love to punch him in the face - Froch prepared to return for Calzaghe fight

    Carl Froch has called out Joe Calzaghe again, telling his fellow retired boxer he would "love to punch him in the face" and settle their feud.

    Promoter Eddie Hearn is in the process of organising virtual press conferences between fighters who never met in the ring.

    Froch and Calzaghe were both super-middleweight world champions in the previous decade, though the latter's decision to move up to light-heavyweight meant an all-British bout never materialised.

    Two-weight world champion Calzaghe, now 48, retired in 2008 with an undefeated 46-0 record and the fact he never faced Froch still rankles with a man six years his junior.

    Speaking on his podcast, Froch said: "Eddie Hearn sends me a message saying, 'I'm doing some virtual press conferences, I'm thinking about getting you and Calzaghe on.'

    "I thought, 'He's probably not gonna get Calzaghe on, he probably won't fancy it.'

    "I said to him, 'Forget the virtual one, we'll do the press conference, but if we can get him out of retirement, I fancy a bit of that.'

    "I've always said I'll come out of retirement for the right dance partner. Obviously, I'm not gonna jump in there with a current world champion who's been active, but someone like Joe Calzaghe, I mean, I'm not being funny.

    "I don't wanna be horrible or disrespectful in any way, but it's gonna sound like I am, even though I'm not, but have you seen the state of him?

    "Have you seen the size of his head? I don't know why it's swollen up so badly. He looks like he's got high blood pressure. He looks a bit of a mess.

    "So if he agreed to give me a fight, to come out of retirement, because of my cheek, and because of the way I'm speaking about him, then I'd definitely fancy a bit of that.

    "But he ain't gonna wanna come out because he knows he'd get absolutely flattened, because I'm in good shape."

    Froch, whose last fight was a victory over George Groves at Wembley in 2014 that left him with a 33-2 record, added: "I always give Calzaghe credit. He was a great fighter, really tough, unbeaten in 46 fights.

    "He's never, ever given me any props at all. And for that I'd love to punch him in the face really hard."

    Calzaghe has spoken openly about his mental struggles since retiring.

    His father and former trainer, Enzo, died in 2018 and the Welshman described coping with his loss as "hell". Calzaghe's mother, Jackie, died in February.

  • Recapping Anthony Joshua's heavyweight world title fights Recapping Anthony Joshua's heavyweight world title fights

    Four years ago today, Anthony Joshua claimed a portion of the world heavyweight title for the first time.

    Entering the O2 Arena to a hero's reception, Joshua's 16th fight as a professional pitted him against the undefeated but largely untested American Charles Martin.

    As was the case throughout his early career, the 2012 Olympic champion got the job done in double-quick time, decking the rangy southpaw twice with crisp right hands in the second round to seal a TKO triumph and the IBF belt.

    Since then, however, it has not always been plain sailing.

    Here, we look back at AJ's record in world title fights since becoming champion.


    Dominic Breazeale

    Joshua did not waste much time in booking a first defence of his IBF strap and was back in the ring at the end of June 2016 to face another American.

    Breazeale arrived with an unbeaten 17-fight record and was taller than the champion. He had fought at the 2012 Olympics as well, only his bid for gold ended in the preliminary round.

    The Californian is nicknamed 'Trouble' but he failed to provide many issues for his opponent on the night. Joshua tenderised him for several rounds before a knockout arrived in the seventh. The beaten fighter earned plaudits for his bravery but was simply outclassed at the O2 Arena.


    Eric Molina

    Poor Molina was served up as the appetiser before the main event in December 2016. The Texan had pushed Wilder into the ninth round 18 months earlier, but was blown away inside three in Manchester.

    Joshua scored a knockdown with a big right hand and while Molina beat the count, referee Steve Gray called a halt to proceedings soon after the resumption. Wladimir Klitschko watched on from close quarters before climbing into the ring to confirm he would face the reigning IBF champion next.

    Molina, meanwhile, tested positive for a banned substance after the bout. He was handed a two-year ban in May 2018, though by then he had already had two outings since losing to Joshua.


    Wladimir Klitschko

    Klitschko was undoubtedly the biggest test of Joshua's career. The cynics suggested the Londoner had benefited from a soft schedule in the pros, but a meeting with the experienced Ukrainian in April 2017 looked anything but easy.

    As well as the IBF strap, the vacant IBO and WBA titles were on the line in front of a full house at Wembley Stadium. The meeting of two fighters at contrasting stages of their careers did not disappoint either, serving up a see-saw contest that captivated the audience.

    Joshua scored a knockdown in round five but was down himself in the next. However, Klitschko failed to capitalise on a rival apparently running on empty, allowing the home favourite to regroup and force a stunning stoppage in the 11th, with Klitschko downed again before being saved by referee David Fields.


    Carlos Takam

    Joshua was due to take on Kubrat Pulev in October 2017 in Cardiff, only for the IBF mandatory challenger to pull out through injury. In stepped Takam, a teak-tough replacement with a reputation for making life difficult for his foes.

    He certainly left a mark on the Briton, an early clash of heads drawing blood from Joshua's nose, while Takam suffered a nasty cut in a fourth round that also saw him knocked down.

    However, the substitute stuck around until he was eventually stopped midway through the 10th. Takam felt he could have carried on, but Joshua extended his record of wins inside the distance to 20 after a less-than-memorable outing.


    Joseph Parker

    The unification clash between two unbeaten heavyweights in their prime saw Joshua head back to the Welsh capital at the end of March 2018. In the opposite corner was Parker, a New Zealander based in Las Vegas who held the WBO title.

    For the first time, Joshua was unable to get the job done inside the distance. His risk-free policy of staying out of range allowed him to put rounds in the bank, leading to a landslide verdict from the judges after a slow-burner that was more intriguing than entertaining.

    Parker – returning after surgery on both elbows – was a tough nut to crack but barely threatened an upset. He achieved the honour of becoming the first boxer to take AJ 12 rounds, but left the ring minus his belt. For Joshua, it was a performance that demonstrated he is about far more than just raw power.

    Alexander Povetkin

    A showdown for the undisputed heavyweight crown against then-WBC king Deontay Wilder continued to prove elusive and, as the American knockout specialist began to make plans for an alternative path with Tyson Fury in situ, Joshua had dangerous Russian veteran Alexander Povetkin next on his agenda.

    It was another Wembley extravaganza, although the fire show that greeted the champion to the ring mingled with damp September air and Joshua did not have it all his own way early on – Povetkin steadying the man 11 years his junior and bloodying his nose with a hook at close quarters.

    Joshua, who had the final stages of his build-up compromised by a heavy cold, weathered the storm and the finish was spectacular when it arrived in round seven. A left hook, straight right combination sent Povetkin crashing to the floor and he duly crumpled under the follow-up barrage.

    Andy Ruiz Jr

    Joshua's dream American debut abruptly unravelled into the nightmare of being on the receiving end of one of the biggest upsets in heavyweight history at New York's Madison Square Garden in June last year.

    Ruiz was in as a late replacement for motor-mouthed drugs cheat Jarrell Miller and the Mexican's kindly demeanour and rotund physique did an excellent job of obscuring the danger that lay in his deceptively fast hands.

    After a slow start, Joshua decked his foe with a left hook off the right uppercut but, as he looked to close the show, a chopping Ruiz right to the temple left him on bandy legs. The champion never regained his equilibrium and was hanging on after going down twice in a topsy-turvy third. Two more trips to the floor in round seven left the Briton looking battered, baffled and beaten.

    Andy Ruiz Jr

    With little hesitation, Joshua exercised his rematch clause and both men reconvened in the unusual surrounding of Saudi Arabia for a fight dubbed 'The Clash on the Dunes' last December.

    Joshua came in lighter and more mobile, while Ruiz… didn't. Boxing, moving and working expertly off a sharp jab, the Briton banked rounds and it quickly became clear the champion's reign would be a brief one.

    Margins of 119-109 and 118-110 twice on the judges' scorecards underlined a story of almost total domination.

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