WITH his rematch against WBA Super, IBF World and WBO World heavyweight holder Andy Ruiz Jr. (33-1, 22 KOs) looming, former world champion Anthony Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs) has revealed that he will fight on for a few more decades if he can get away with it.
When responding to claims on Sky Sport’s The Gloves Are Off that some fans have urged him to retire should Ruiz repeat the trick in Saudi Arabia the 30-year-old insisted that: “It is weird because you get, ‘Ah, if you lose your next fight you should retire.’ I say, ‘You didn’t tell me to get in the gym so who are you to tell me to get out of the gym?’ I swear I’ll fight till I’m 50. I fight because I love the game.”
In another segment of the show, Ruiz reiterated his belief that Joshua quit in that huge seventh round. “I feel he quit because of the way that it was won,” he told Johnny Nelson. “I think he was still out of it, I didn’t think he knew where he was at that moment. I think that he quit.”
Ruiz also told Sky Sports that he is ready for either a cautious performance from Joshua or a gung-ho one, although he argued that he will win whatever his challenger comes up with. “It is better for me if he wants to bang,” he said. “I love to bang because that’s the fighter that I am. December 7 we have to pressure, work the body, and then break him down. Especially his mentality.”
Sticking with the heavyweights Tommy Fury (2-0 1 stoppage) insists that despite a huge KO win over Luis Ortiz last week WBC holder Deontay Wilder will struggle against his brother Tyson Fury in their proposed February 22 rematch. “Deontay can’t live in Tyson’s world,” predicted Fury when talking to iFL.
“TNT” returns to the ring on December 21 after his recent stint on reality TV show Love Island. Despite finding fame outside the ring and having to spend less time with trainer Ricky Hatton as a result of his burgeoning commitments, the 20-year-old maintains that boxing is still his number one priority.
“My schedule is so busy, I can’t make the same time every day — I have other commitments,” he said when asked why his father, John Fury, is training him for his meeting with the ever-ready TBA at London’s Copper Box Arena on December 21.
“Life is not the same as it was six or seven months ago. It’s very different and I’m fortunate to have my dad there as he helps train me around my hard schedule. It is hard, not everybody can adapt to the schedule, but my dad has. I’ve been living the life of a rock star, but there’s no lying about it, I’ve trained hard.”
Fury’s cousin, Hughie (23-3, 13 early), meets the Czech Republic’s Pavel Sour (11-2, 6 stoppages) in Monte Carlo this Saturday night. He has lost to Joseph Parker, Kubrat Pulev and Alexander Povetikin (all L12) in recent years, with wins over Sam Sexton, a fifth-round stoppage for the British title, Chris norrad (W KO 2) and Sam Peter (W rsf 7) sandwiched in-between those setbacks.
The 25-year-old believes that he is a better fighter for this despite the disappointment of losing those fights. “The fans will see a hungrier fighter, and no matter what adversity comes my way I will keep pressing as I know all of the fighters out there are not above me,” he said. “It’s what I’m doing wrong myself.
“There are no excuses, I’m back and ready to achieve my main ambitions in life. I hope this opportunity will put me straight back in the mix for another top fight, and Eddie and my team will be the judge of that after my fight.”
A bizarre hand injury prevented Carl Frampton (26-2, 15 early) from fighting Emmanuel Dominguez back in August yet “The Jackal” has vowed to put that setback behind him and finish 2019 on a high with a win over Tyler McCreary (16-0-1, 7 stoppages) in Las Vegas tomorrow night. Frampton feels that a big performance will lead to a massive, legacy enhancing 2020; he has told David Kelly of the Belfast Telegraph that he is bang in form at featherweight and beyond.
The 32-year-old former IBF World and WBA Super World Super bantamweight and WBA Super World featherweight titlist also claims to be as hungry as ever, declaring that that he is raring to go to end the year on a positive note. “There’s no lack of hunger with me and the way I have been working in the gym I know I’ve still got an awful lot more to offer at the highest level,” he said.
“I believe that at featherweight or super-featherweight, at my best, I can beat anyone and it has been encouraging for me to see how I finished off my last week of sparring. There has been quite a bit of talk about me being out for a year and whether or not that will have an effect on my performance but let’s get it right, I haven’t been sitting on my backside doing nothing.”
He added: “I had a full camp ahead of my proposed fight in Philadelphia which was called off after I suffered that broken hand by a falling pillar in my hotel. While it was very frustrating that I didn’t fight, I still had some great work and the things I’ve been working on continued in this camp. My engine has been great in sparring and I believe I’m ready to put in a big performance. I want my next fight to be a world title fight so it’s important to go and deliver a top performance.
“That’s why I’m still in this business, to win world titles and at the moment the man who is calling me out is the WBO super-featherweight champion Jamel Herring. That seems to be the obvious route to another world title shot at the moment, and it would offer me the chance to become a three weight world champion. If that happened, I feel I would have a good argument to go down as the greatest fighter to come from this island.”
Nathan Heaney (8-0, 2 KOs) has told Matt Bozeat that he is the man to bring some big time boxing to Stoke. Speaking to The Stoke Sentinel, the 30-year-old middleweight revealed that he hopes to beat Spain-based Nicaraguan Nelson Altamirano (10-33-3, 6 stoppages) on Frank Warren’s bumper Birmingham Arena show tomorrow night in order to persuade the promoter to bring the party to his adopted hometown.
He will have around 350 fans cheering him on tomorrow and believes he can parlay those numbers into a sell-out show in Stoke. “Frank was talking about putting on a show at the bet365 Stadium one day, which is crazy,” he said.
“It could happen. I used to think I had the best boxing supporters in Stoke, but now I think I have the best boxing supporters in the country. My supporters are loyal and I like to think they get a good night out when they come to watch me.”
He added: “The objective on Saturday is to put on a good show, get signed up by Queensberry Promotions and bring big boxing shows to Stoke.”
Altamirano replaces Kelcie Ball, who withdrew from the mooted contest, much to Heany’s annoyance. “He asked for the fight and then pulled out,” he fumed.