Boxing News At Five

Boxing News at Five: Hearn says he will quit boxing if Joshua vs. Wilder goes 12, Alvarez vs. Kovalev II lands on February 2 on ESPN

Joseph Parker
Action Images
Eddie Hearn says someone's head is getting taken off when Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder fight, while Eleider Alvarez and Sergey Kovalev go again on February 2

ACCORDING to his promoter, Eddie Hearn, there’s a strong possibility Anthony Joshua takes off the head of Deontay Wilder should the two ever find themselves in the ring contesting the WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO world heavyweight titles.

Hearn says a potential fight between Joshua and Tyson Fury, recently seen drawing with Wilder, might be a little awkward, but a rumble with Wilder, perhaps his preference, should come with some sort of parental guidance warning.

“Joshua would be a lot easier to hit but I also think Joshua would take him off his feet and knock him spark out,” Hearn told the Daily Mail.

“If Josh fights Tyson it’s going to be the most amazing event but it’s also going to be quite an awkward night. If he fights Wilder, it’s going to be X-rated because someone’s head is getting taken off.”

So sure is Hearn that Joshua and Wilder produce fireworks in the ring, if and when it happens, he has even taken to making the boldest of claims – a claim only a promoter would ever make (and, of course, later renege on).

“If that goes 12 rounds, Joshua against Wilder, I’m quitting the sport,” he said. “Because that’s ridiculous, that’s not possible.”

When a promoter moves from describing fight negotiations as “ridiculous” and “impossible” to using those same terms to describe an actual possible fight, you know progress has been made somewhere along the line. Let’s hope we find out for ourselves if Joshua and Wilder are in the business of disconnecting heads from necks in 2019.

Anthony Joshua

WBO world light-heavyweight champion Eleider Alvarez’s stunning seventh round knockout of Sergey Kovalev in August remains one of the biggest upsets of 2018 and the well-schooled Columbian will now look to do it all over again on February 2, 2019, when the pair renew acquaintances at the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas.

Kovalev, 32-3-1 (28), has made nine title light-heavyweight defences across two reigns, but struggled finding his range against Alvarez in the summer. He claimed he got sloppy, complacent, and simply made a mistake, a concession that has served to only further motivate Alvarez to repeat the trick when they meet again next year.

“The fact that Kovalev said it was a mistake and that I was lucky is motivation for me,” said Alvarez, 24-0 (12). “He is a sore loser, and I will make sure there will be a second ‘accident’.

“I expect Kovalev to be stronger in that second fight. I expect the best Kovalev because he won’t underestimate me this time. I am fully aware of this. I am able to be even better than in the last fight.”

Kovalev will certainly need to be better than he was first time around. The Russian puncher has now lost three of his last five fights (two of them against Andre Ward) and seems a subdued version of the monster who visited Wales in 2013 to rip the WBO crown from Nathan Cleverly.

“I am very thankful to fight on ESPN on February 2,” Kovalev said. “I will look to take back my title and put on a great show for the fans. Together with my new trainer, Buddy McGirt, I will be ready for Alvarez.”

Sergey Kovalev

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