Boxing News At Five

Boxing News at Five: Hearn sees Usyk having two heavyweight fights before facing Joshua, and ‘Prince’ Naseem calls out Anton Du Beke

British boxing Naseem Hamed
Promoter Eddie Hearn shows an interest in making Anthony Joshua vs. Oleksandr Usyk, and 'Prince' Naseem Hamed wants to teach a pro dancer a lesson

PROVIDING they stay undefeated, and one becomes a heavyweight, it seems inevitable that Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk will one day share a ring.

Joshua, owner of three of the four heavyweight titles, and Usyk, owner of all four cruiserweight belts, are former Olympic champions, unbeaten as pros, and currently competing at the peak of their powers.

They’re also handled, in some capacity, by promoter Eddie Hearn, meaning their potential fight would be an easy one to make – well, in theory.

“I’m not just diving in,” Hearn told Sky Sports. “I need to make sure that I prepare properly for challenges like that. I see him having two fights probably before he’s ready for Joshua at heavyweight.

On when the fight could happen, he said: “It depends on the Wilder fight (happening with Joshua in 2019) really.

“I think if the Wilder fight doesn’t happen, then we could go (Dillian) Whyte, if he beats (Dereck) Chisora (on December 22), and then Usyk after that. But a lot depends on what Usyk wants to do, and whether he feels like he’s ready.

“I think the AJ fight is a very, very, very tough fight for Usyk. AJ is very fast, and he’s very mobile. I think Usyk will do better against slower heavyweights who aren’t as mobile.

“But it’s going to end up being a monster fight at some point.”

Handy, that. Joshua, after all, has an ever-growing queue of challengers, including Dillian Whyte, Kubrat Pulev and Jarrell Miller, which should provide Usyk ample time and opportunity to get himself up to speed as a heavyweight. Oh, and then there’s Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury. Let’s not forget about them.

Oleksandr Usyk

According to The Sun, former world featherweight champion ‘Prince’ Naseem Hamed and Strictly Come Dancing pro Anton Du Beke had a little set-to at a London awards bash on Monday.

Hamed, 44, was reportedly furious after Anton, 52, mocked his heavyweight physique by saying he would have trouble “getting up the stairs”, let alone getting in the ring.

Du Beke was hosting the Nordoff Robbins Boxing Dinner at London’s Hilton Park Lane where Prince Naseem collected an award presented by promoter Frank Warren. In delivering his Hamed jibe, the popular dancer may have got a little carried away and forgotten who he was dealing with.

“I would hit you boy,” Hamed apparently said in response.

Arriving in the ring, he then told the audience: “I have got the mic now b****. I am boxing royalty. I am very, very proud of my success. The moments we had with Frank Warren were unreal.

“Those entrances we had were just bad. We had never seen anything like it. Who else do we see today with that style and that charisma? Why are we here tonight? It is about the icon baby.

“It is about the icon award. It is not about this fool [pointing at Anton] here. I have got the microphone now bitch. I have got the microphone.

“So before you come out with all the fat jokes always remember you don’t f**** with boxing royalty bitch.

“I would like to thank Nordoff Robbins for choosing me to be their icon. Their icon. I am very proud. Peace. I am out.”

An onlooker described Hamed vs. Du Beke as “heated” and “extremely tense” and said things looked like they were about to “kick off”.

In the end, though, Du Beke used quick feet to get away and was relieved he refrained from mentioning a certain Baby-Faced Assassin from Mexico City.

Prince Naseem Hamed vs Tom JOhnson

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