Boxing News At Five

Boxing News at Five: Wilder was knocked down but not out by Klitschko in sparring, Joshua vs. Pulev could be announced by the end of the month

Wladimir Klitschko dropped Deontay Wilder in sparring, but didn't knock him out, and Kubrat Pulev could be announced as Anthony Joshua's opponent very soon

THE details of a wholly irrelevant sparring session between Wladimir Klitschko and Deontay Wilder are becoming clearer with each passing day.

Initially, according to Dillian Whyte, a sparring session between the pair back when Klitschko was still active and Wilder was greener than he is now ended when Klitschko landed something big and Wilder went to sleep.

“I’ve seen (Wilder) getting knocked out. Wladimir knocked him out,” Whyte told Sky Sports last week. “It wasn’t no knockdown; he was knocked cold. Properly twitching as well. That’s why they probably didn’t want him to fight Wlad, because Wlad was going to fight him as a pro and Wilder never fancied it the whole time.”

This interpretation of the sparring session has since been cleaned up a little by Johnathon Banks, a former sparring partner and coach of Klitschko. Banks has in fact this week revealed that while Klitschko, the more experienced heavyweight of the two, undoubtedly had the upper hand in the ring with Wilder, Whyte’s memory of how it ended has been somewhat exaggerated for dramatic effect.

“I’m the one who picked Wilder and all the other sparring partners to come,” Banks said, via ThaBoxingVoice. “Did Wilder get knocked out cold in sparring by Wladimir? No. That’s the truth. It didn’t happen. Did he get dropped? Yes, he did.”

So, there you have it. The story is no less pointless than it was last week but at least now feels like it has moved a little closer to the truth.

Wladimir Klitschko
Klitschko works the speedball in his younger days

IF the rematch between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury is the heavyweight title fight the world is desperate to see, it’s fair to say Anthony Joshua vs. Kubrat Pulev is the one the world could do without.

Still, where there are rankings, there are mandatory challengers and Pulev, according to where he sits with the IBF (number one, by the way), is as deserving of his shot as anybody. He has certainly waited long enough.

“We feel that we are very close,” John Wirt – who with his Epic Sports partner Ivaylo Gotsev co-promotes Pulev alongside Bob Arum’s Top Rank – told SecondsOut.com. “Things got pushed back due to the holidays and vacations and the resulting delays in obtaining the information we need from the various sites to be able to compare offers. But things have been moving very quickly the last couple of weeks and we hope to be able to formally announce something by the end of the month.”

Seemingly all that is left to decide is when and where Joshua vs. Pulev takes place.

“(We’ve had bids from) the UK, Las Vegas, New York, Nigeria, Turkey and Saudi Arabia,” said Wirt. “The favoured destination is the one that will be the most profitable.”

Where have we heard that before?

Kubrat Pulev
Joshua and Pulev will try to do it again (Action Images/Andrew Couldridge)

1 Comment

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  • Why is Pulev’s co-promoter talking like it is up to them where Anthony Joshua defends the IBF title?
    If DAZN want to keep Joshua sweet surely they’ll be backing him so that he’s happy about where he defends his title. Surely that must be the UK or at the outside Nigeria – hmmm which country’s president did Joshua meet the other day?

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