Joshua offers to be Fury’s sparring partner if it helps him beat Wilder

British boxer Anthony Joshua. (AP/File)
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Updated 17 December 2019

Joshua offers to be Fury’s sparring partner if it helps him beat Wilder

  • Anthony Joshua remains desperate for a showdown with Deontay Wilder that would see both men attempt to become the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis

LONDON: Anthony Joshua has offered to be Tyson Fury’s sparring partner if it helps his fellow British fighter beat WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder.

Joshua has been left frustrated in his attempts to lure America’s Wilder into the ring as he bids to unify the division following his victory over Andy Ruiz Jr. last weekend.

The 30-year-old, who regained the WBA, IBF and WBO belts, feels he has a better chance of landing a blockbuster unification showdown with Fury than with Wilder.

Fury faces a re-match with the American on Feb. 22, having drawn their first encounter, and Joshua told Sky Sports News: “I think honestly he might beat Wilder next time.

“I think Fury would fight me quicker than Wilder would, so, if that’s the case, I want him to win. Imagine that fight on British soil.

“If Tyson needs me, I’ll go out and spar with him to get him ready for Wilder.”

Joshua remains desperate for a showdown with Wilder that would see both men attempt to become the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis.

“It still puzzles me as to why it’s so difficult to pin this man down,” Joshua said. “This is the man I need to pin down to get the last ring and conquer this division.”

“You’ve got the two lords of the rings here,” he added. “The last one to unify, undisputed, the division. I’ve got four (including the IBO belt), he’s got one. I just need one more.”

Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev is the IBF’s next mandatory challenger for Joshua, while the WBO has ordered the Londoner to fight Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk.

And speaking about a potential third meeting with Ruiz Jr, the Mexican-American, who stunned the boxing world by beating Joshua in June, the British boxer said: “One trillion percent.

“I always said I’d fight him in Tijuana, with his uncle as referee. Me and Andy will soon see each other in the ring again.”


Ibrahimovic’s return to training with Sweden’s Hammarby sparks rumors about future

Updated 10 April 2020

Ibrahimovic’s return to training with Sweden’s Hammarby sparks rumors about future

STOCKHOLM: AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s return to training in Sweden with Hammarby, the club he part owns, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to lockdown Italy, has fueled speculation regarding his future.

Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport reported the 38-year-old Ibrahimovic will choose against renewing his Milan deal which finishes at the end of the season.

The Swedish outfit’s president, Richard Von Yxkull, said the decision was in the hands of the attacker who played 116 times for his country before retiring from international duty in 2016.

“It’s about knowing how Zlatan sees his future and what he wants to do,” Von Yxkull told newspaper Dagens Nyheter.

Earlier in April the Spanish, Italian, French and Dutch league winner said he wanted to stay in the game after retiring.

“I want to learn something new about football, with a different angle. I will contribute from the sidelines, not on the pitch,” he told newspaper Svenska Dagbladet.

Ibrahimovic’s last Milan appearance was the loss to Genoa on March 8.

All football in Italy has been suspended due to the coronavirus which has claimed the lives of nearly 18,000 people in the country.

Measures to fight the outbreak in Sweden are lighter which have allowed Ibrahimovic to train with Stockholm’s Hammarby, a side which he bought a 25-percent share in last November.

Ibrahimovic started his career with hometown club Malmo before trophy-laden spells with some of the world’s biggest outfits including Juventus, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain before rejoining Milan in January.