Joseph Parker says being in lockdown has made him even hungrier to be world heavyweight champion again and vowed to take more risks in his next title fight.

Parker continued his revival by stopping Shawndell Winters in February to extend his winning streak to three fights.

The New Zealander has no idea when his next bout will be due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the former WBO champion revealed quarantine life has further fuelled his determination to rise to the top.

He told Stats Perform: "Time off like this is really important. It's not something that we choose to happen, but I guess everyone can use this time to reflect on our lives and think about what makes us happy and what we want to do.

"This time off has given me extra motivation that I do still want to box, to compete at the top level and be champion again."

Parker has been keeping himself in shape when not attempting to lift the gloom with his dance moves, singing and musical prowess in videos that have proved to be a knockout on social media.

The 28-year-old declared that he will be ready to call the tune in the ring when he is able to resume his boxing career.

He said: "It's not really about boxing training at the moment, it's about keeping in shape. I've got a treadmill, a bike and weights, a machine for bench pressing and squats.

"I'm keeping in shape, keeping fit and when everything settles and they said 'do you want to take this fight or that fight?' it won't matter to me, as I'll already be in shape.

"There is a lot more to come from me, I've been pretty honest that throughout my career I haven't done everything right. I used to blow up and when I went into camps, I went into camps to lose weight and prepare for a fight.

"But the mindset now is to go into camp already in shape and all I have to do is prepare for the fight. I think there is a lot more I can give the sport, there is a lot more that I do want to give and my goal is still to be champion of the world again or unified champion."

Parker, who lost his WBO title to Anthony Joshua two years ago, has also been given additional drive by watching huge bouts such as Tyson Fury's rematch with Deontay Wilder.

"When you see these big fights, you think I was once there and involved in the big fights. I know I can be involved in them again," he added.

"It's just up to me now and how much I want it. I've got to make sure when the opportunity does come, I grab it with both hands.

"In this part of my career I'm not going to be as cautious. I want to take more risks. When you take risks you get better rewards. I think with the fights previously I was a bit too cautious, I need to take more risks and be more aggressive."

Anthony Joshua's world heavyweight title defence against Kubrat Pulev has been postponed amid the coronavirus pandemic.

IBF, WBA and WBO champion Joshua was due to fight Bulgarian Pulev at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on June 20.

But the proliferation of COVID-19 has led to a decision to postpone the bout.

Joshua's promoters Matchroom confirmed the news on Friday and have begun working on a new date, with the prospect of hosting it at Spurs' ground still open.

Pulev and Joshua had previously been due to fight in 2017 but the challenger had to withdraw due to injury. After this delay, they now hope it will prove third time lucky.

"A new date for the event promoted by Matchroom Boxing and 258 Management in association with Top Rank and Epic Sports Entertainment is currently being worked on," read a statement from Matchroom.

"We will announce any updates in due course and continue to explore the possibility of hosting this fight at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium."

Earlier this week, the heavyweight fight between Dillian Whyte and Alexander Povetkin was called off, as was the clash between Oleksandr Usyk and Dereck Chisora.

The winners of those two bouts, which were both scheduled for May, would have been in the mix for world title fights against either the winner of Joshua's clash against Pulev, or the scheduled third meeting between WBC champion Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder.

Joshua regained his titles by winning his rematch against Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia on points.

That December victory came six months after the Briton had suffered shock stoppage defeat to Ruiz in New York.

Former welterweight world champion Amir Khan does not know if he will box again.

Khan has twice earned world titles in the 147lbs division and won an Olympics silver medal at Athens 2004 when in the amateur ranks.

The 33-year-old last fought in July 2019 when he defeated Billy Dib in Saudi Arabia, a bout which followed a bizarre TKO defeat to Terence Crawford when he was unable to continue after being caught with an accidental low blow.

It remains to be seen if Khan will step back into the ring, though he said his love for the sport remains.

Speaking to Mirror Sport, he said: "Am I going to fight again? I don't know, I'm in two minds. Should I fight?

"Financially, I've done very well for myself. Do I need to do one more fight which could ruin my whole legacy? I don’t know the answer.

"I'm up against myself. I'm debating with myself should I carry on or call it a day?

"I'm just going to wait and see how I feel after a full training camp. Even if I feel I cannot do it anymore, I can walk away knowing I have done everything.

"My love for boxing is still there and I love boxing to bits. But until I see how I feel after a long, hard, gruelling camp, then I won’t know for sure."

Last year, Khan said that an agreement to fight Filipino legend Manny Pacquiao, a bout he has long-since sought, was reached but a showdown did not come to fruition.

Khan (34-5) added he only wants to get in the ring for the big names.

"I want to be at the top level where I've always fought. That's where I belong and that's how I want people to remember me," he said.

"Win or lose, I've always fought at that top level. I'm only interested in fighting at that level.

"You can make mistakes when you try to carry on for too long and don't call it a day. I'll know myself when it's time to stop."

Chris Sutton was in a hurry on this day in 1995, scoring the fastest goal in Premier League history at that time.

Six decades earlier, heavyweight great Joe Louis was similarly not looking to waste any time in defence of his world title.

However, England batsman Wally Hammond found a way to make his work stretch out languidly for hours.

Let's take a look back at April 1 in sporting history.

 

1995 – Chris Sutton scores Premier League's fastest goal

Alan Shearer's prolific strike partnership with Sutton was pivotal in firing Blackburn Rovers to the 1994-95 Premier League title and they combined with aplomb after 12.94 seconds at Goodison Park.

Shearer nodded a lofted ball down for Sutton, who took a touch before thumping home to set a 2-1 win in motion - making April fools of the home defence.

Six players have since dipped inside Sutton's best mark. Dwight Yorke did so later that year, while Shearer himself now sits inside a top three headed by Shane Long – the Southampton forward who stunned Watford after 7.69 seconds.

1938 – Joe Louis knocks out Harry Thomas

Bigger things lay in wait for Louis, who put away challenger Harry Thomas after two minutes and 50 seconds of round five at Chicago Stadium.

'The Brown Bomber' had won the heavyweight title the previous June against James Braddock – aka 'The Cinderella Man'.

Any remaining question marks against Louis' claims for greatness were largely eradicated next time out, when he claimed sweet revenge against Max Schmeling. The German contender stopped Louis in 12 rounds two years earlier, but he was obliterated inside the first session at Yankee Stadium.

 

1933 – Wally Hammond hits 336

Even though he was one of Test cricket's great technicians, New Zealand must have been fed up of the sight of Hammond by the end of their 1933 series, where he averaged a scarcely credible 563.

In the first Test, he made 227 and remarkably went much bigger in Auckland. Hammond's 336 not out featured 10 sixes and was the highest score in Test history at the time.

His compatriot Len Hutton surpassed the mark with 364 against Australia at The Oval five years later. Hammond's innings remains ninth on Test cricket's all-time list.

Anthony Joshua has revealed he has lost a close friend to coronavirus.

The unified world heavyweight champion posted a video message of support and condolences to those suffering due to the COVID-19 pandemic on Tuesday.

"To the people who are suffering with coronavirus, I wish you a speedy recovery because it is no joke," he said via his official Twitter account.

"To the ones who have lost loved ones, I want to say keep your head up. You've got my love, blessings to you and your family and condolences.

"I've lost no one immediate to me but I've lost close ones from my boxing gym, a close friend, friends of friends. It gets serious when it starts coming closer to home. I want to send you my condolences and my love."

Joshua also expressed thanks to NHS workers and implored people to abide by social distancing and lockdown measures as stipulated by the UK government.

"I would love to be out there right now doing the most – on my dirt bikes, meeting up with my boys, sparring, going down the boxing gym," he said.

"But even a rebel like me is trying to follow some guidelines, trying to do the right thing.

"Really, it's just a message to say you've got my support. I'm with you through this. We're all doing the right thing."

Joshua is scheduled to defend his IBF, WBA and WBO titles against Kubrat Pulev at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on June 20, although the bout increasingly appears vulnerable to postponement.

On Monday, the British Boxing Board of Control suspended all boxing events in the UK until the end of May, meaning the slated Dillian Whyte v Alexander Povetkin and Oleksandr Usyk v Dereck Chisora fights were among those to be shelved.

Reports in the UK this week suggested there is growing support to void the current Premier League season amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Additionally, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin admitted the 2019-20 campaign might have to be scrubbed from the records, after Euro 2020 was moved back 12 months.

Although the likes of runaway Premier League leaders Liverpool would understandably despair at such a prospect, there are other clubs enjoying seasons to forget who might enjoy the escape clause.

With that in mind, we took a look back at the teams and individuals who might like to expunge an ignominious season or period of time from history.

 

MANCHESTER UNITED 2013-14

The seven years since Alex Ferguson's retirement have not exactly gone swimmingly for United, but that ill-fated first season remains the real low point. 

David Moyes lasted just 10 months as Ferguson's replacement as the reigning Premier League champions finished seventh in 2013-14, suffering truly humiliating defeats to top two Manchester City and Liverpool along the way. A wretched 2-0 loss at Moyes' former club Everton proved the final straw.

At least they won the Community Shield in August 2013. 

NOVAK DJOKOVIC 2017

When Novak Djokovic defeated familiar foe Andy Murray to win the 2016 French Open, the modern-day legend was in possession of all of tennis' grand slams. The question was, who can stop this man? Well, the answer was actually himself.

A round-three exit at Wimbledon followed a month later and, although he reached the US Open final that year, a barren 2017 followed. Djokovic did not go beyond the quarters at any slam that year and reached just one final at the Italian Open, which he lost. Djokovic rediscovered the winning habit in slams at Wimbledon in 2018, beginning a run of five triumphs in the past seven at tennis' big events.

DETROIT LIONS – 2008

The Lions secured an unwanted place in history when they became the first NFL team in the 16-game season era to go 0-16. They went 7-9 in 2007 and were then undefeated in preaseason, meaning few would have thought a historically bad campaign was on the cards.

Detroit started three QBs over the course of the campaign - Jon Kitna, Dan Orlovsky and Daunte Culpepper - all of whom struggled with form and injuries despite the presence of star receiver Calvin Johnson, but worst of all was their woeful defense, which gave up 517 points.

Team president and CEO Matt Millen was fired after four weeks, while head coach Rod Marinelli was shown the door at the end of the season and has not led a team since.

TIGER WOODS - 2014-2017

Tiger Woods' standing as one the greatest, if not the greatest, golfer of all time is in no doubt. By the end of 2013, Woods was standing again atop the world rankings after winning five times during the year, earning the prestigious PGA Tour Player of the Year award. 

It would take five years for Woods to win again as the American great endured a horrendous time with debilitating back injuries and loss of form. At one stage it looked as though he may have to retire and his world ranking had plummeted to a scarcely credible 1,199th in December 2017. But just a year ago Woods was back in major-winning form as, at the age of 43, he became Masters champion for a fifth time.

BARCELONA 2002-03

Years of drift since the 1999 LaLiga title came to a head in 2002-03, as Barcelona endured a miserable season that saw Louis van Gaal sacked as coach and led to the departure of president Joan Gaspart. 

Barca ended up sixth in the league – their worst finish in 15 years – as the Real Madrid Galacticos ruled. They also exited the Copa del Rey in the first round and lost in the Champions League quarter-finals. 

After that season, in came Joan Laporta as president, Frank Rijkaard as head coach, and a certain Brazilian called Ronaldinho. And things got a bit better. 

ENGLAND – 2013-14 ASHES

England made it three Ashes victories in a row with a 3-0 home triumph in 2013 – the first time they had enjoyed such a run of success against old enemies Australia since 1977-1981. However, a rejig of the international cricketing schedule meant a swift return Down Under. The Mitchell Johnson-inspired hosts exacted brutal vengeance on their way to a 5-0 whitewash as a great England team fell to pieces.

Off-spinner Graeme Swann retired mid-series and Kevin Pietersen's tempestuous exit from the international stage was set in motion, while Andy Flower – the head coach he despised – stepped down. Of the XI that started the concluding 281-run loss in Sydney, Pietersen, Michael Carberry and debutants Scott Borthwick and Boyd Rankin would never play red ball cricket for England again.

REAL MADRID 2008-09

In Spanish football's great rivalry, Real Madrid or Barcelona doing well is only half the deal. Success is truly sweet if the other half of El Clasico's enduring grudge are having a tough time. Madrid won LaLiga in 2007-08, with Barca a distant fourth as the Rijkaard-Ronaldinho era disintegrated under the weight of its own excess.

However, the tables flipped spectacularly next time around – Barca stormed to an unprecedented treble under rookie coach Pep Guardiola, Lionel Messi leaped from exceptional talent to generational superstar as Madrid were walloped 6-2 by their sworn foes at the Santiago Bernabeu and a dynasty was born.

Madrid finished a distant second, were thrashed 5-0 on aggregate by Liverpool in the Champions League last-16 and coach Juande Ramos followed predecessor Bernd Schuster out of the exit door.

PAULA RADCLIFFE – 2004 OLYMPICS

After setting a new world record in London in 2003 and having won the 2004 race in New York, Radcliffe was favourite for marathon gold at the 2004 Olympics. 

However, after struggling badly to continue, Radcliffe withdrew 23 miles in and was taken for a medical check-up. She later competed in the 10,000 metres but again retired.  In a tearful appearance on British TV, Radcliffe refused to blame the heat and humidity in Athens and admitted she was "desperately trying to find a reason for what happened". 

A year later, she was back winning and breaking the world record at the London marathon - despite a brief toilet break by the side of the road - before taking gold at the World Championships in Helsinki.

GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS 2019-2020

After a fifth straight NBA Finals appearance in 2019, things went rapidly downhill for the Golden State Warriors. All-Star duo Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins left in free agency, while 'Splash Brothers' Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson have been out injured – the latter is yet to play this season. 

The Warriors sit bottom of the Western Conference and have the worst overall record in the NBA at 15-50. An improved chance of getting the first pick in the 2020 draft is their only solace.

MANNY PACQUIAO 2012

After losing to Erik Morales in 2005, Manny Pacquiao went on sensational 15-fight winning streak that established him as an unprecedented seven-division world champion. The Morales loss was twice avenged via stoppage, with the likes of Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto similarly dispatched. A mega-fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr awaited, only for the wheels to fall off in 2012.

Timothy Bradley halted Pacquiao's streak when he was – somewhat farcically – awarded a split-decision verdict over the Filipino great. Juan Manuel Marquez knew all about scorecard controversy from his previous three meetings with Pacquiao and duly took them out of the equation, chillingly leaving his rival face down and motionless on the Las Vegas canvas that December. The Mayweather bout had to wait until 2015, but that is one of only two losses suffered since by Pacquiao, who reigns as WBA welterweight champion at 41.

CHELSEA 2015-16

Chelsea won the Premier League title in 2014-15 and 2016-17. What came in between was nothing short of a complete shambles. Jose Mourinho had returned for a second spell in charge and collected a third winners' medal in England's top flight but the Portuguese's famously abrasive tendencies then appeared to wear his players down at an alarming rate.

Beginning with the 2-2 draw against Swansea City that ignited Mourinho's sapping spat with club doctor Eva Carneiro, Chelsea won only one of their opening five Premier League fixtures. That form was far from a blip and they were 16th when Mourinho was sacked in the wake of a 2-1 December loss to would-be champions Leicester City. Caretaker boss Guus Hiddink restored a modicum of respectability with a 10th-place finish before Antonio Conte arrived and the Stamford Bridge faithful were soon wondering if it had all just been a bad dream.

SERENA WILLIAMS 2006

Williams started the year by losing her Australian Open crown with a third-round exit to Daniele Hantuchova, before injuries forced her to miss tournaments in Tokyo and Dubai. Come April, she had dropped out of the WTA top 100 for the first time since November 1997, and it came as little surprise that she competed at neither the French Open nor Wimbledon. 

After a fourth-round exit at the US Open, Williams ended a title-less year 95th in the world. It meant she returned to the Australian Open in January 2007 as an unseeded player. She won it. 

It is exactly 35 years since Wrestlemania I took place and never has the mantra 'the show must go on' been more apt than in the world of WWE.

While the globe has been ground to a halt by the coronavirus pandemic, Vince McMahon's global sports entertainment behemoth has continued with its weekly television shows Raw and Smackdown filmed in the absence of live audiences at the company's performance center.

Indeed, WWE's flagship event Wrestlemania is going ahead in the same fashion despite the breakout of COVID-19, which curtailed hosting the show at the original location of the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, Florida.

Fan favourites including John Cena, Becky Lynch, Bray Wyatt, Charlotte Flair, Edge, Randy Orton and Bill Goldberg are scheduled to appear on a bumper card shown over Saturday and Sunday this weekend.

But there will also be the presence of former NFL star Rob Gronkowski, who is slated to serve as host of Wrestlemania 36.

The ex-New England Patriots tight end – who helped his buddy Mojo Rawley win the 'Andre the Giant Battle Royal' during the Wrestlemania 33 pre-show – is not the first athlete to show up in WWE. Here we take a look at some others.

WAYNE ROONEY

England and Manchester United's record goalscorer had a run-in with Wade Barrett during a November 2015 edition of Monday Night Raw.

Preston fan Barrett, incensed by what he felt was a dive by Rooney in an FA Cup tie between his team and United nine months prior, said the now Derby County midfielder embarrasses his son "every time you step on a football pitch". Rooney retaliated with a slap.

RONDA ROUSEY

"Ronda's gonna kill ya..." was the chant emanating around Levi's Stadium as the fearsome Ronda Rousey stepped between the ropes at Wrestlemania 31.

Accompanied by WWE great Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, now a worldwide movie star, UFC icon Rousey was involved in a spat with the legendary Triple H and his wife Stephanie McMahon.

Three years later, Rousey partnered Olympic gold medallist Kurt Angle to defeat 'The Game' and 'The Billion Dollar Princess'. In January 2018, she became an in-ring regular and won Raw's women's title, which she dropped to Lynch a year ago.

SHAQUILLE O'NEAL

Better known for slam dunks, former Los Angeles Lakers star Shaquille O'Neal got in a choke slam at Wrestlemania 32.

The four-time NBA champion had a stare down with the Big Show, before the two combined to slam the 'Big Red Machine' Kane.

RICKY HATTON

Ricky Hatton earned hordes of fans throughout a brilliant boxing career.

In November 2009, 'The Hitman' stepped into a different kind of ring to host an episode of Raw from Sheffield Arena.

Hatton even donned the gloves to land a knockout punch on Chavo Guerrero Jr., with whom he had feuded on the evening.

FLOYD MAYWEATHER JR.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. has beaten them all in the boxing ring, as his 50-0 record proves.

But it was a true case of David vs Goliath when Mayweather, approximately 5'7" and 150lbs, came up against the 7'2", 500lb giant The Big Show at Wrestlemania 24.

Despite the notable size advantage, Big Show was distracted by a member of Mayweather's entourage hitting him with a chair and 'Money' delivered a telling blow, albeit while wearing brass knuckles, to knock out his huge opponent.

PETE ROSE

Pete Rose is a legend of the baseball world, holding MLB's all-time hits record and winning the World Series on three occasions.

Rose was part of the 1970s Cincinnati Reds team that earned the nickname 'The Big Red Machine'.

But his run in with WWE's own 'Big Red Machine' Kane during the late 1990s and 2000 have become the thing of wrestling folklore.

On one such occasion at Wrestlemania 15, Rose was disguised as a chicken and earned a beatdown from Kane, including his devastating tombstone finishing manoeuvre.

MIKE TYSON

'Iron' Mike Tyson is no stranger to a WWE ring.

'The Baddest Man on the Planet' had an infamous showdown with 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin, one of the all-time greats in WWE, on an episode of Raw and had seemingly sided with one of the company's most famous stables D-Generation X before one of its members Shawn Michaels faced Austin at Wrestlemania 14.

However, during the event Tyson showed his true allegiance, counting the pin for Austin and clocking Michaels. Some 12 years later, Tyson buried the hatchet with his DX foes, unveiling a shirt with their logo on and knocking out Chris Jericho during a Raw segment.

MUHAMMAD ALI

Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee - did you know this boxing legend starred in WWE?

Okay, sure, back then it was known as WWF when Ali was one of the guest referees at the first Wrestlemania at New York's Madison Square Garden for the main event between 'Hollywood' Hulk Hogan and A-Team star Mr. T versus 'Mr. Wonderful' Paul Orndorff and 'Rowdy' Roddy Piper.

BROCK LESNAR

Few men strike fear in their opponents quite like Brock Lesnar, who is as well known for his two stints in WWE as he is for being a former UFC heavyweight champion.

Lesnar is a multi-time champion in the organisation and will defend his WWE title against Drew McIntyre this weekend.

TYSON FURY

'The Gypsy King' recently crowned his own personal road to recovery by knocking out Deontay Wilder to become the WBC heavyweight champion.

The big-talking Briton warmed up for that bout by enjoying a short run in WWE, feuding with 'The Monster Among Men' Braun Strowman, which resulted in Fury in earning a count-out win over his huge opponent at WWE's Crown Jewel pay-per-view last October.

Billy Joe Saunders has had his boxing licence suspended after he offered advice to men on how to hit their female partners during the coronavirus lockdown.

Saunders demonstrated boxing techniques on a punching bag in a video posted on social media and was seen explaining what to do if "your old woman is giving you mouth" and how to "hit her on the chin".

Promoter Eddie Hearn said he was "appalled" by the WBO world super-middle champion's "idiotic" actions.

The British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) on Monday suspended the 30-year-old Brit, who will face a hearing.

A statement from  BBBofC general secretary Robert W. Smith said: "The British Boxing Board of Control having considered comments made by Billy Joe Saunders on social media have suspended his boxer's licence pending a hearing under the Board’s misconduct regulation, at a time and venue to be confirmed as soon as possible."

Saunders issued an apology on Twitter and insisted he does not condone domestic violence after receiving a backlash online.

Hearn told talkSPORT on Monday: "I haven't spoken to him. I spoke to his management team last night. I was appalled really.

"It was so idiotic, it was so frustrating because I know Billy well. He's a really good kid, with a really good heart. 

"He does a lot for the community, he does a lot for charity, but every now and again he does the most stupid things. 

"The world has changed and realised about all kinds of different things, about how you need to treat people.

"It's always with Billy. He spent the weekend down at the NHS, delivering food packages, and meeting people. It's one step forward, four steps back with Billy Joe Saunders and it is frustrating.

"He's got this mentality where it's me against the world. Sometimes you can have a conversation with him and say, 'Bill, what are you doing?' And sometimes that can make it worse. I leave him alone now and when I talk to him, I will be telling him, 'You're a prat, what are you doing?'.

"I can only tell you he does have a good heart, he didn't mean anything in the video, but you just can't do it, especially when you're in his position. It's unacceptable for Joe Bloggs down the street to do it. It's much more unacceptable for a world champion boxer to be doing it.

"Thinking you're having a laugh, or not having a laugh, young people are watching that video. People who are in abusive relationships are watching that video. You cannot do it, it's unacceptable."

Saunders has been awaiting a decision as to whether he or fellow Briton Callum Smith would fight Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez next, although a third bout between the Mexican great and his rival Gennadiy Golovkin has since reportedly moved closer to being finalised.

The heavyweight fights between Dillian Whyte and Alexander Povetkin and Oleksandr Usyk and Dereck Chisora have been called off due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Whyte was due to step into the ring with Povetkin for an interim WBC heavyweight world title showdown at the Manchester Arena on May 2, but the fight will not go ahead.

The British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) on Monday further extended its suspension of boxing events until the end of May, with the United Kingdom in lockdown.

Matchroom Boxing stated that the bout has been rescheduled for July 4, although that is subject to how long the ongoing crisis lasts for. 

Usyk was set to do battle with Chisora at The O2 in London on May 23, but that has also been called off and no new date has been agreed.

A BBBofC statement said: "The British Boxing Board of Control has further extended its suspension of boxing tournaments under its jurisdiction for the month of May.

"We will continue to follow the government and medical authorities' advice and keep the situation under review, and when possible explore all options available to find a way of lifting the suspension when conditions permit."

Katie Taylor's world title showdown with Amanda Serrano was due to be on the undercard for Whyte's battle with Povetkin.

 

 

 

Eddie Hearn was "appalled" by "idiotic" video footage that appeared to show Billy Joe Saunders offering advice to men on how to hit women during the coronavirus lockdown.

In the footage, the WBO world super-middleweight champion demonstrates boxing techniques on a punching bag and can be seen explaining what to do if "your old woman is giving you mouth" and how to "hit her on the chin".

Saunders later issued an apology on Twitter and insisted he does not condone domestic violence after receiving a backlash online.

Hearn, Saunders' promoter, labelled the video as "unacceptable".

"I haven't spoken to him. I spoke to his management team last night. I was appalled really," Hearn told talkSPORT.

"It was so idiotic, it was so frustrating because I know Billy well. He's a really good kid, with a really good heart. 

"He does a lot for the community, he does a lot for charity, but every now and again he does the most stupid things. 

"The world has changed and realised about all kinds of different things, about how you need to treat people.

"It's always with Billy. He spent the weekend down at the NHS, delivering food packages, and meeting people. It's one step forward, four steps back with Billy Joe Saunders and it is frustrating.

"He's got this mentality where it's me against the world. Sometimes you can have a conversation with him and say, 'Bill, what are you doing?' And sometimes that can make it worse. I leave him alone now and when I talk to him, I will be telling him, 'You're a prat, what are you doing?'.

"I can only tell you he does have a good heart, he didn't mean anything in the video, but you just can't do it, especially when you're in his position. It's unacceptable for Joe Bloggs down the street to do it. It's much more unacceptable for a world champion boxer to be doing it.

"Thinking you're having a laugh, or not having a laugh, young people are watching that video. People who are in abusive relationships are watching that video. You cannot do it, it's unacceptable."

Saunders has won all of his 29 professional fights and Hearn said last month the 30-year-old was awaiting a decision as to whether he or fellow Briton Callum Smith would fight Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez next, although a third bout between the Mexican great and his rival Gennadiy Golovkin has since reportedly moved closer to being finalised.

Billy Joe Saunders issued an apology after a video emerged of him showing men how to hit women during the coronavirus lockdown.

Thirty-year-old Saunders can be seen explaining what to do if "your old woman is giving you mouth" and how to "hit her on the chin".

In the footage, the WBO world super-middleweight champion demonstrates boxing techniques on a punching bag.

But Saunders later insisted he does not condone domestic violence, and said sorry to anyone offended by the video after receiving a backlash online.

"I would never condone domestic violence and if I saw a man touch a woman I would smash him to pieces myself," he wrote on Twitter.

"I have a daughter and if a man laid a finger on her it would be [sic] end well. Apologies if I offended any women stay blessed."

Saunders has won all of his 29 professional fights and his promoter Eddie Hearn said last month the 30-year-old was awaiting a decision as to whether he or fellow Briton Callum Smith would fight Mexican great Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez next.

The father of British boxer Anthony Yarde has died after contracting coronavirus.

The 28-year-old, who last year put up a valiant effort in a losing battle for Sergey Kovalev's WBO light heavyweight title, announced the news via an Instragram story.

Yarde said his father had no underlying health problems and warned people to take the threat of COVID-19 seriously.

"I'm a very private person and tbh I'm still in shock but maybe this can help people stay home," he wrote.

"My dad passed away from this virus yesterday and he was fit with no health issues.

"The more people go out and mingle the longer this isolation will last and the more it will spread.

"I'm not a doctor but I do know if you stay home you are less likely to catch it or pass it on. It's seriously not worth the risk."

Yarde, who has a 19-1 record, is slated to face Lyndon Arthur at the O2 Arena on July 11.

There have been 17,089 confirmed coronavirus cases in the UK, with 1,019 people having died.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has said there is no evidence to suggest members of Turkey's team contracted coronavirus during the Boxing Road to Tokyo event in London.

Just three days of action were possible at the Copper Box Arena before the competition was brought to a premature halt on March 16 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Turkish Boxing Federation accused the IOC Boxing Task Force of being irresponsible for allowing the European qualifier to go ahead in the circumstances, with reports saying two of their fighters and a coach have tested positive.

While expressing sympathy for those who have been taken ill, the task force feels there is nothing to suggest they were infected during the competition.

An IOC Boxing Task Force statement said: "Yesterday, the IOC Boxing Task Force (BTF) received news reports regarding participants of the Boxing Road to Tokyo European qualifier held in London from 14 to 16 March 2020, who reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 following a return to their country.

"Most importantly, the BTF wants to express its sympathy for the affected athletes and officials and wishes them a very speedy and full recovery, and the BTF is in close contact with their respective National Olympic Committees. 

"Some news reports appeared to draw a connection between the affected participants and the Boxing Road to Tokyo European qualifier held in London. The London event was suspended 10 days ago, on 16 March 2020, and the BTF is not aware of any link between the competition and the infection.

"Many participants were in independently organised training camps in Italy, Great Britain and in their home countries before the competition started on 14 March 2020 and have returned home a while ago so it is not possible to know the source of infection.

"The BTF notes, that at the time of the European qualifier in London there were many sports and other events going on in Great Britain because there were no governmental restrictions or advice on public events in place.

"Nevertheless, in cooperation between the BTF and the Local Organising Committee, precautionary measures before, during and in the follow-up phase of the event were implemented and the event was suspended when the COVID-19 situation developed further.

"Safeguarding the well-being of the athletes, officials and all other participants has always been a top priority for the BTF."

The Los Angeles Lakers and Megan Schutt will look back fondly on their previous achievements on March 26 - but Ken Norton will not be circling the date in his calendar.

A star-studded Lakers team achieved a memorable NBA feat 48 years ago, while Schutt made Australian cricket history in 2018.

However, for Norton, this day will bring back painful memories of a chastening defeat to heavyweight rival George Foreman.

Take a look back at the some of the most notable sporting moments that occurred on this down the years.

 

1972 - Lakers set the benchmark

Led by head coach Bill Sharman and with a roster including Elgin Baylor, Wilt Chamberlain and Jerry West, the Lakers set an NBA benchmark by defeating Seattle.

The 124-98 triumph saw the Lakers finish the regular season with a 69-13 record, at the time giving them the best win percentage (.841) posted by a team.

Their record stood for 24 years until Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls posted a 72-10 campaign, while the Golden State Warriors went even better with a 73-9 mark in 2015-16.

1974 - Foreman keeps streak going

Norton was known for being a tough nut to crack. The heavyweight had two titanic battles against Muhammad Ali in 1973, the legendary pair recording a win apiece.

However, Foreman wasted little time in dealing with Norton the following year, the WBA and WBC champion retaining his titles in Caracas, Venezuela, with a stunning second-round stoppage.

It was a 37th knockout win for Foreman, improving his record to 40-0. The winning run ended later in 1974, though, as he was famously beaten by Ali in 'The Rumble in the Jungle'.

2018 - Schutt locks down India

Schutt became the first Australian woman to take a Twenty20 hat-trick at international level, in the process helping secure victory over India in Mumbai.

The seam bowler had conceded 10 runs from four deliveries before finishing her first over with the wickets of opening duo Smriti Mandhana and Mithali Raj.

However, Schutt was forced to wait to complete her treble, returning to the attack later in the innings at the opposite end to get Deepti Sharma caught in the deep. Australia, who had made 186-5 earlier in the game, triumphed by 36 runs.

Eddie Hearn believes Anthony Joshua would have "no problem" facing Tyson Fury or Deontay Wilder in a December heavyweight unification fight a year on from his previous bout.

Joshua is due to put his world heavyweight titles on the line against IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on June 20.

Hearn, the Brit's promoter, knows that is unlikely to go ahead due to the coronavirus pandemic, given there is no knowing when sport will resume and Spurs still have a Premier League season to finish.

Fury and Wilder were due to do battle for a third time in July, but the WBC champion's co-promoter, Bob Arum, said the trilogy fight could be put back to October.

Hearn does not feel Joshua would have an issue stepping straight into a titanic showdown in search of a sweep of the titles at the end of the year if there is a drastic change of plan.

He told BBC Radio 5 Live: "Right now our plan is to fight Pulev in June or July then fight Fury or whoever holds the WBC belt at the time.

"If the Pulev fight can't take place we may end up seeing that fight [against Fury] happen later this year.

"It wouldn't be ideal for AJ boxing in December to have been out for a whole year going into a fight like that but I don't think he would have a problem with it."

Joshua won a rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr. in Saudi Arabia last December to regain his WBA, IBF and WBO straps.

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