Categories
Fighting

Usyk vs Chisora: Live stream of countdown show on Sky Sports News

Oleksandr Usyk’s heavyweight clash with Derek Chisora is edging closer – and you can watch a live stream of our ‘Countdown Show’ on Sky Sports News.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=KX-FfomYK9o%3Ffeature%3Doembed

The Ukrainian pound-for-pound star battles Chisora on Saturday night at Wembley Arena, live on Sky Sports Box Office, with the winner remaining firmly in contention for a world heavyweight title fight.

Catch up on all the latest news on our ‘Countdown Show’, which will be streamed on the Sky Sports website and app, Sky Sports Boxing Twitter, Sky Sports Boxing YouTube, and Sky Sports Boxing Facebook.

Sky customers: Buy Usyk v Chisora
Non-Sky customers: Buy Usyk v Chisora

Chisora took centre stage at Thursday’s press conference as he appealed for a ‘fair referee’ at the weekend, raising concerns that he would be denied the chance to engage Usyk in a brutal battle.

“I need a fair referee, and fair judges, that’s all I’m asking,” he said.

“They took points off me and I thought I was behind and I lost my shape, and my fight. Just be fair.

“I don’t want to be dancing in the ring, like wrestling, I want both of us to work. I want the fans to enjoy this fight, that’s what I want.

“I have to just keep moving my head, keeping my hands up, and just keep marching forward. He will try to wrong-foot me, as all southpaws do, but we’re ready for that. It’s going to be a big surprise when we’re in the ring.”

Watch Usyk vs Chisora on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Box Office, from 6pm. Book it via your Sky remote or book it online here. Even if you aren’t a Sky TV subscriber, you can book and watch it here.

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MLB

Jerry Jones gets chippy in defending Dallas Cowboys: ‘Just shut up and let me answer it’

Chalk it up, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said, to his disappointment.

“If I were a little abrupt there, then I really don't want to start our day like that,” Jones concluded his Tuesday morning interview with Dallas radio station 105.3 The Fan. “You’re too good of men for that. This certainly isn't my most tactful time, you might say, with this thing as we discuss these matters. I’m disappointed for our fans. I can't tell you how disappointed I am.

“We haven’t spent the time, the years, the money, the effort and everything for the Dallas Cowboys to be where we are right now.”

Prior to this mea culpa, Jones analyzed the woes plaguing his 2-5 Cowboys. Injuries have sidelined roughly 45% of the team’s salary cap, he said during his weekly radio appearance. Dallas’ run defense—which has allowed more than 200 yards by ground in three of the last four games—needs to “change some personnel for sure,” added Jones, who also is the team’s general manager. Experience and talent voids concern Jones more than any effort problem. And he was emphatic: He does not believe this group has a leadership void.

“Where, in the offensive line?” Jones asked. “Seriously, where would you have a leadership void? Is it an experience void, is it a talent void? I’m not trying to be cute here. The answer is no.”

The radio hosts attempted to clarify whether Jones believed his players, who have lost their last two games by an average of 25 points, lacked sufficient leadership.

“Just shut up and let me answer it: no,” Jones snapped. “You’re not asking me that. I gave you the answer. When I go into the locker room, there’s no leadership void in my eyes. Now that’s your answer.

“Let’s move on.”

COWBOYS: DeMarcus Lawrence calls out team for weak 'backbone' after loss

MORE: Mike McCarthy questions Cowboys players' response to hit on QB Andy Dalton

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones walks on the field before the game against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium. (Photo: Kirby Lee, Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

Jones also dismissed doubts that Mike McCarthy, in his first year as Dallas’ coach, has lost control of the team. Jones had reiterated Friday that McCarthy is a Super Bowl-caliber coach—he won one title a decade ago amid a 13-year stint leading the Packers—but was asked Tuesday whether those credentials were commanding the respect and creating the structure this team needs.

“Do I think he has control of the situation to the extent that no one ever controls to some degree what is happening out here with us today?” Jones asked. McCarthy can’t control the injuries decimating the Cowboys’ starting lineup, the owner said. But he does believe McCarthy is in charge of his staff, players and the pursuit of adjustments within the confines of available assets and tools. The Cowboys hired McCarthy with aspirations to win now behind a roster boasting Pro Bowl-caliber pieces in quarterback Dak Prescott, running back Ezekiel Elliott, receiver Amari Cooper and multiple standout offensive linemen.

Instead, Prescott and both starting offensive tackles are among a lengthy list of players out for the season. Prescott underwent surgery for a compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle sustained on Oct. 11. Two weeks later, backup quarterback Andy Dalton suffered a concussion at Washington that puts in question his status for this week’s trip to Philadelphia. Dalton absorbed a head-first blow from Washington linebacker Jon Bostic, losing his helmet before his unprotected head hit the FedEx Field grass. Rookie seventh-rounder Ben DiNucci will start if Dalton doesn’t clear protocol.

It’s an unexpected unraveling. Jones believes McCarthy’s experience has prepared him to rally.

“I am confident, and I have a note here in big red letters, one of the reasons Mike McCarthy is the coach is because he’s had tough times,” Jones said. “We wanted someone that, in case the you-know-what hit the fan, that had the credibility and doability to stand strong and tall as head coach. He’s doing that. To answer your question, he’s doing that. He’s doing that in the case of adversity.

“Anybody without a résumé, without experience can do it when it’s all going good. But that’s not football. It’s never going all good.”

Jones promised fans that his front office is putting their head down to improve. Better days lie ahead, he said. But don’t tempt him.

“There’s one thing,” Jones said. “There’s an old adage: ‘Don’t piss an old man off with little money. He’ll get you.’”

Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Jori Epstein on Twitter @JoriEpstein 

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Fighting

Usyk vs Chisora: Eddie Hearn explains how the fight was agreed… then reagreed

Oleksandr Usyk and Derek Chisora’s shared “desire” not to waste time in the world title hunt was the crucial factor in finalising a fight that has been a year in the making, says promoter Eddie Hearn.

Sky customers: Buy Usyk v Chisora
Non-Sky customers: Buy Usyk v Chisora

Usyk will risk his status as WBO mandatory challenger to Anthony Joshua’s title when he steps into just his second heavyweight fight, against Chisora, on Saturday live on Sky Sports Box Office.


https://www.instagram.com/p/CFSVJVfncXr/

Dereck @derekwarchisora I'm coming for you!💥 #UsykChisora#london#boxing#usyk17#usykteam @eddiehearn @matchroomboxing @skysportsboxing @klimasmanagement @dazn_usa @daniel.lapin

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The fight was initially agreed for May but postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic and has now been reagreed.

Hearn described the process to Sky Sports: “A series of discussions. But it really came down to their desire of the fighters.

“When two people want to fight, generally you get it over the line.

“When we heard the news from the government that fans weren’t allowed in October, I thought it would be dead. But it gave me more incentive to make it happen.

“It still came down to the desire of Del, Usyk and [Chisora’s manager] David Haye who was the driving force behind it. We found a way.

“It came down to the fact that Usyk thinks this is the right fight for him to prepare for a world title. And Del thinks: ‘I can beat him and I don’t want to wait until next year!’

“We have a mega-fight on our hands.

“Usyk had 9,000 people at his fight in Chicago and 20,000 for his fight with Tony Bellew; Chisora is used to fighting in front of a full-up O2. So we have a different dynamic.”

How long has Chisora chased Usyk?


https://www.instagram.com/p/CGnbYXpDr2U/

#hellousyk

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In October 2019 Usyk won his heavyweight debut against Chazz Witherspoon but without the same style that we had seen during his run to becoming the undisputed cruiserweight champion and knocking out Tony Bellew.

Before flattening David Price in the same month, Chisora mocked Usyk’s unorthodox training: “Forget the juggling balls and dancing. Nobody wants to see a dancing show. Come Dancing with the Stars? This is a boxing match.

“You know what, I want to have that fight.”

Chisora’s manager David Haye sensed an opportunity to rob Usyk’s status as WBO mandatory challenger by ending his unbeaten record.

“The WBO have a convention in Tokyo where I will lobby them,” Haye said. “The WBO want exciting fighters, and it makes sense for them to sanction Usyk vs Chisora.”

Will the winner fight for a world title?

Usyk said immediately after beating Bellew in 2018: “Becoming heavyweight champion of the world is not what I’m dreaming of. It’s my goal. It’s what I’m planning to do.”

The brilliant Ukrainian was installed as WBO mandatory challenger upon his arrival in the heavyweight division but hasn’t yet cashed in his opportunity.

Joshua, the IBF, WBA and WBO champion, must first defend his titles against Kubrat Pulev on December 12, live on Sky Sports Box Office, then hopes to meet Tyson Fury to decide an undisputed champion.

But Usyk’s co-promoter Alexander Krassyuk, who works alongside Hearn, insists their mandatory opportunity will arrive in 2021: “He has agreed to let AJ versus Kubrat Pulev happen, with regards that the winner fights him next. This statement is still solid.

“Our plan is: A) beat Derek Chisora, B) push AJ to comply with WBO rules or vacate the title, C) defeat AJ (or any other WBO champion or contender and become the heavyweight champion. Simple and practical.”

That plan goes out the window if Chisora beats Usyk.

Haye said last year: “Whether it’s Chisora’s next fight or the fight after, it will be for a world title. Imagine Chisora winning a world title? What a turnaround.”

Chisora has fought just once for a world title, unsuccessfully challenging Vitali Klitschko in 2012. He then brawled with former enemy Haye in the post-fight press conference.

Joshua: I want opponents like Usyk

Speaking last December, Joshua said: “When I’m trying to build my record, I want opponents like Usyk to say that I’ve defeated them.

“He uses his feet very well, and positions his hands well. You can’t hit him because his feet move so well. If you do manage to catch him, [the punches] are brushing off the gloves.

“What I’d do, as I have done already, is study him – from his footwork, his hand positioning, to his openings.

“Then I’d go to former people who have faced him and find out information on how to defeat him.”

Sky Sports schedule

Usyk vs Chisora – Oct 31, live on Sky Sports Box Office
Oleksandr Usyk vs Derek Chisora
Lee Selby vs George Kambosos Jr
Savannah Marshall vs Hannah Rankin
Dave Allen
Tommy McCarthy vs Bilal Laggoune
Amy Timlin vs Carly Skelly

Taylor vs Gutierrez – Nov 14, live on Sky Sports
Katie Taylor vs Miriam Gutierrez
Terri Harper vs Katharina Thanderz
Rachel Ball vs Ebanie Bridges
Jamie Cox vs Jack Cullen
John Docherty vs Jack Arnfield
Thomas Whittaker-Hart vs Jermaine Springer

Povetkin vs Whyte 2 – Nov 21, live on Sky Sports Box Office
Alexander Povetkin vs Dillian Whyte
Conor Benn vs Sebastian Formella
Chris Billam-Smith vs Deion Jumah

The Golden Contract – Dec 2, live on Sky Sports
Ryan Walsh vs Jazza Dickens
Ricards Bolotniks vs Serge Michel
Harlem Eubank vs Daniel Egbunike

Saunders vs Murray – Dec 4, live on Sky Sports
Billy Joe Saunders vs Martin Murray

Joshua vs Pulev – Dec 12, live on Sky Sports Box Office
Anthony Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev

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Fighting

Harlem Eubank added to The Golden Contract show on December 2

Harlem Eubank faces Daniel Egbunike in a battle of unbeaten super-lightweight contenders on finals night of the Golden Contract on December 2.

Sky customers: Buy Usyk v Chisora
Non-Sky customers: Buy Usyk v Chisora

Ryan Walsh takes on Jazza Dickens in the featherweight finale, while Ricards Bolotniks clashes with Serge Michel in the conclusion of the light-heavyweight tournament as the Golden Contract reaches a thrilling ending at Production Park Studios in Wakefield, live on Sky Sports.

On the same night, Eubank risks his perfect 10-fight record against Egbunike, nicknamed ‘Danny Darko’, who has racked up six successive victories.

“I’m very pleased to be straight back into another big fight,” said Eubank. “I think being active means people will really see the best of me as I continue to progress.

“I was happy with how my fight against Martin McDonagh played out. There were still a lot of aspects of my game that I didn’t show, and I’m looking forward to implementing those other details.”

Egbunike said: “I’m really excited. This is what my career has been about. I had three warm up fights with journeymen and then I’ve been in big fights. I don’t see myself turning back any time soon. It will be step up after step up and I’m really looking forward to this fight.

“I can’t wait to pick up from where I left off. I’ve met Eubank once in the gym and he’s a respectable guy, I saw his fight with Martin McDonagh, and I’m expecting a good fight here.

“The reason I keep stepping up is I want to see how good I actually am. I’m not going backwards with my opponents, I’m going forward and fighting better and better each time. I think this fight will be fireworks, so I hope my expectations are met.”

Promoter Lee Eaton added: “We’re delighted to add this fantastic fight between Daniel Egbunike and Harlem Eubank to The Golden Contract card. Both fighters are unbeaten, so it’s a testament to each of them that they’re willing to step up and put their records on the line.

“We’ve seen them both involved in some very entertaining fights in their careers and I’m expecting another one here. This fight along with the other two fantastic Golden Contract finals means it’s going to be yet another can’t miss event.”

Sky Sports schedule

Usyk vs Chisora – Oct 31, live on Sky Sports Box Office
Oleksandr Usyk vs Derek Chisora
Savannah Marshall vs Hannah Rankin
Lee Selby vs George Kambosos Jr
Dave Allen
Tommy McCarthy vs Bilal Laggoune
Amy Timlin vs Carly Skelly

Taylor vs Gutierrez – Nov 14, live on Sky Sports
Katie Taylor vs Miriam Gutierrez
Terri Harper vs Katharina Thanderz
Rachel Ball vs Ebanie Bridges
Jamie Cox vs Jack Cullen
John Docherty vs Jack Arnfield
Thomas Whittaker-Hart

Povetkin vs Whyte 2 – Nov 21, live on Sky Sports Box Office
Alexander Povetkin vs Dillian Whyte
Conor Benn vs Sebastian Formella
Chris Billam-Smith vs Deion Jumah

The Golden Contract – Dec 2, live on Sky Sports
Ryan Walsh vs Jazza Dickens
Ricards Bolotniks vs Serge Michel
Harlem Eubank vs Daniel Egbunike

Joshua vs Pulev – Dec 12, live on Sky Sports Box Office
Anthony Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev

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Fighting

Usyk vs Chisora: Alexander Povetkin hit Derek Chisora with same uppercut that knocked out Dillian Whyte, says David Haye

Dillian Whyte was not caught by a ‘lucky punch’ from Alexander Povetkin, who had hit Derek Chisora with the same brutal uppercut in sparring, says David Haye.

The British heavyweight rivals are preparing for career-changing fights as Chisora collides with Oleksandr Usyk on October 31, while Whyte battles Povetkin in a rematch on November 21, both live on Sky Sports Box Office.

Chisora has sparred with Povetkin in the past and was not surprised that he delivered a fight-ending uppercut on Whyte, says manager Haye, who insists the Brixton man did not just pay the price for a momentary lapse.

A post shared by Derek Chisora 🥊 (@derekwarchisora) on

Asked about Povetkin-Whyte 2, Haye told Sky Sports: “It’s a very dangerous fight and it’s a fight that I think Dillian doesn’t want to accept it was nothing other than a lucky punch.

“He thought, ‘I was winning the fight’, which he was, ‘I had him knocked down twice in the fourth round and I was winning the fifth round until I got hit by one shot and that was it’. Anything can happen in boxing, it happens in the heavyweight division.

“I don’t think that’s the mindset you need. You can’t say, ‘You won because it was an anomaly’. That left uppercut that he threw knocked out Carlos Takam, in a very even fight, in a very good toe-to-toe fight.

💥1 month to go until @DillianWhyte gets his shot at revenge 🥊

📺 November 21, live on Sky Sports Box Office pic.twitter.com/qwOFCcvxiK

“It’s a shot that he throws regularly. Derek was telling me when he sparred with him, he was getting hit with that shot, so it’s one of his shots, and to get hit with someone’s best shot isn’t very lucky is it.

“The guy has got a big shot. It’s like getting caught with Dillian Whyte’s left hook. You know it’s there if you can practise to go under it, if you throw your right hook to the body or not, or you can stand up and get knocked out.”

But Haye has backed Whyte to defeat Povetkin in the rematch, if he makes the necessary tactical changes, just as Anthony Joshua did in his return bout with Andy Ruiz Jr last December.

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November 21st don’t blink #maximumviolence .

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November 21st don’t blink #maximumviolence .

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“I think he’ll win the rematch. I think he’s too fresh,” said Haye.

“He needs to make sure the issue that he had in that Povetkin fight doesn’t happen again and he can prove that, the same way that AJ did against Andy Ruiz Jr.

“You can learn. He didn’t have a deep wealth of amateur pedigree. He comes from a kickboxing background, a few amateur fights, and then he jumped straight into the pros and had to do it the hard way.

“He’s a seasoned guy, but he doesn’t have the technical pedigree that Anthony Joshua has – an Olympic gold medal. Povetkin is another Olympic gold medallist, so he needs to use his attributes which is rough, tough, physical.

“He was trying to get too close and have a technical back and forth and I’m like, ‘Why do you need to do that for?’ Why don’t you do what you do best and that’s hit people with jabs and throw big, massive left hooks that knock people out?”

The heavyweight division serving up some 🔥from now until Christmas 🥊

Whyte has previously confirmed that he intends to make technical adjustments to nullify Povetkin’s uppercut but remains confident he will avenge his loss.

“Credit due to Povetkin, fair play to him, he threw a good punch and it landed and what more can I say,” Whyte told Sky Sports earlier this month.

“Now we go into camp, we put it right, we come back again. I believe I beat Povetkin nine times out of 10.”

Watch Oleksandr Usyk vs Derek Chisora is on October 31, live on Sky Sports Box Office.

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Fighting

Joe Laws expected social media backlash after first pro defeat but has retained fearless attitude

Joe Laws was expecting a social media backlash after first professional defeat but still fears ‘nobody’, not even a rematch with Rylan Charlton.

The 26-year-old welterweight suffered a third-round knockout loss to Charlton in Peterborough at the weekend, bringing a dramatic ending to his nine-fight unbeaten record.

Laws was bitterly disappointed with his own performance, but preferred to give credit to his opponent and hopes to work his way back into a second fight with Charlton.

“I’m feeling perfectly fine in myself, it’s just my pride that’s hurt,” he told Sky Sports.

“I know that I can do better and that wasn’t me in there. I’ve watched it back. I could sit here and give you every excuse in the book, but at the end of the day, the better man won on the night. I’ll come back stronger.

“I’m having a meeting with my manager and coach next week. We’ll just go from there.

“There was always me calling him out, calling that out, but they are going to look after me and do the best for me.

“Nothing has changed, I’m scared of nobody. I don’t shy away from anybody. That at the weekend was about 40 per cent of me. Fair play to Rylan, the better man won on the night. I hope he propels from that now and if he ever comes in contact with a title, let’s have a rematch.”

🤔 https://t.co/gPyF2Ah6L7

The charismatic contender, with the ‘Benwell Bomber’ nickname revealed in the build-up how he was constantly targeted on social media and was not surprised by a negative reaction to his defeat, which included WBC champion Devin Haney.

“I’ve coped with that myself. I’ve talked the talk. I know what social media is like. Boxing is a gamble. If it doesn’t work for me, I’m expecting some gyp back, but that’s social media. That’s the way the cookie crumbles but it is what it is.

“I’m going to put it behind us. A nice week off the gym, a nice bit of family time.

“Get back in the gym and trust us now, what you saw on Saturday was no way near the Bomber that’s been training for the past six weeks. I’ve given my life up to boxing – and this is just the start for me.”

Laws has boosted his popularity with his light-hearted persona outside the ring and all-action style inside the ropes, two traits which he does not intend to tone down.

“My style of boxing is either going to go really well, or really bad,” said Laws.

“I’ve been pro two years now. My career is only starting. Nothing has changed, I’ve got caught.

“I tried my best on the night, it didn’t happen. I’m going to go away, I’m going to rebuild and come back a million times better.

“Win, lose or draw, I’m always going to be me. I’m never going to change. My confidence has never changed, because I know what I can do in the gym. I know what I can do against quality opponents in sparring.

“Boxing is all about timing. I’ve probably got five or six years left in the game. My career has just started, I’m always going to be me.”

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Fighting

Ritson vs Vazquez: Lewis Ritson defeats Miguel Vazquez via split decision

Lewis Ritson won a hugely debatable split decision against Miguel Vazquez on Saturday in Peterborough.

Newcastle’s Ritson looked in trouble of slipping to defeat through 12 frustrating rounds which he later described as an “eye-opener”.

Ritson got the nod from two out of three judges, even though his promoter Eddie Hearn admitted to thinking Vazquez deserved it.

  • Joe Laws suffers shock KO defeat

It became clear in the early rounds that the visitor was happy to spoil and frustrate. He circled away and avoided an exchange of punches at all times, slowly irritating Ritson but also stockpiling a lead.

Even into the second half of the fight, Vazquez’s pot-shotting was enough to keep Ritson at bay.

The gulf in their experience became evident. Ritson has been a pro for five years but Vazquez has for 14, has fought in four continents in that time, and has boxed Breidis Prescott and Josh Taylor.

Ritson’s gumshield went flying across the ring in the 10th round after a perfectly-timed jab from Vazquez.

Then Vazquez landed a flush right hand, his best punch of the fight, as he turned up the temperature.

However, Ritson and his trainer maintained their confidence after every round that they were doing enough with their forward-pressure.

Even after the final bell, Ritson was assured by his trainer that he had pinched it.

And they were right – the scorecards were 116-113 Vazquez, 117-111 Ritson, 115-113 Ritson.

“I hate Ritson losing,” said Tony Bellew at ringside. “An alarming lack of urgency from his corner was strange.”

Ritson said after: “We got the win but it showed where we are. Call out Regis Prograis? I think we’ve got a little while before we get to them.

“That was an eye-opener.

“We are world fringe level.”

Sky Sports schedule

Usyk vs Chisora – Oct 31, live on Sky Sports Box Office
Oleksandr Usyk vs Derek Chisora
Lee Selby vs George Kambosos Jr
Dave Allen vs Christian Hammer
Tommy McCarthy vs Bilal Laggoune
Amy Timlin vs Carly Skelly

Taylor vs Gutierrez – Nov 14, live on Sky Sports
Katie Taylor vs Miriam Gutierrez
Terri Harper vs Katharina Thanderz
Rachel Ball vs Ebanie Bridges
Jamie Cox vs Jack Cullen
John Docherty vs Jack Arnfield

Povetkin vs Whyte 2 – Nov 21, live on Sky Sports Box Office
Alexander Povetkin vs Dillian Whyte
Conor Benn vs Sebastian Formella
Chris Billam-Smith vs Deion Jumah

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Fighting

Kubrat Pulev says he would never intend to ‘disrespect’ Anthony Joshua after referring to British world champion’s skin

Kubrat Pulev has insisted he would “never disrespect” Anthony Joshua after referring to the British heavyweight star’s skin ahead of their world title fight.

The Bulgarian will challenge for Joshua’s WBA, IBF and WBO titles, with a date and venue for the fight set to be announced.

At a press conference in Bulgaria earlier this week, Pulev had referred to the colour of Joshua’s skin when asked for his verdict on the British champion.

“His strengths? I’d say he has a very powerful punch undeniably,” he said.

“What are his other strengths? His tan is better than mine.”

But Pulev has since released a lengthy statement saying: “I would never, under any circumstances, allow myself to show disrespect to another human being on racial, ethnic or religious grounds.

“That’s what I’ve been teaching my little nephews all the time. Each of us is born on this earth with equal rights, and skin colour is completely irrelevant.

Therefore, if somebody has been offended by my words, I hope they would try to understand exactly what I meant by them and if they cannot understand me, then accept my sincere apology.

Kubrat Pulev

“I can’t believe how my words about Anthony Joshua have been taken out of context. It never even occurred to me to discredit another sportsman because of the colour of his skin!

“Amongst my friends there are people of different races and ethnicities. They are all great and worthy people, as well as my very good, long-standing friends whom I respect and love.

“It is 2020 and I very much hope that people would stop this small-mindedness and that human beings would evolve intellectually to realise that the truly valuable human qualities in this world are not manifested externally, but through the power of the human spirit and the virtues we carry within ourselves!

“Therefore, if somebody has been offended by my words, I hope they would try to understand exactly what I meant by them and if they cannot understand me, then accept my sincere apology.

“I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Joshua on his birthday today and to wish him much happiness and good health – something which is more valuable nowadays than ever before!”

Joshua was originally set to face Pulev at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in June, but the fight was rescheduled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Pulev is the mandatory challenger for Joshua’s IBF belt after defeating Hughie Fury in a final eliminator in October 2018.

Sky Sports has approached Matchroom and Anthony Joshua’s management team for comment.

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Fighting

Povetkin vs Whyte 2: Chris Billam-Smith battles Deion Jumah for British and Commonwealth belts

Chris Billam-Smith battles Deion Jumah for British and Commonwealth belts as the cruiserweight rivals seek domestic dominance on the Povetkin-Whyte 2 bill.

The Brit duo will collide on the undercard of Alexander Povetkin’s rematch with Dillian Whyte on November 21, live on Sky Sports Box Office, after Richard Riakporhe vacated the Lonsdale title.

Jumah emerged victorious when they fought before in the amateur ranks, but Billam-Smith is confident he will avenge this loss next month.

“I think it’s a great fight,” said Billam-Smith. “Me and Deion have shared the ring together in the amateurs and we have sparred as professionals.

“I think our styles gel really nicely. We both come to fight and we are both always fit. We’re two big punchers so it’s a brilliant fight and one that I’m really excited about.

“He beat me in the amateurs so I’m looking forward to getting my revenge.

“The British title is such a prestigious belt and it is a dream for any British fighter to fight for it. I’m absolutely buzzing to add that belt to my Commonwealth. I will become the British and Commonwealth champion on November 21.”

Jumah said: “We have waited too long for an opportunity like this, but timing is everything and I’m glad this fight got made when it did.

“Chris Billam-Smith is the perfect opponent for this stage in my career. On November 21, I will be walking away with both the British and Commonwealth titles.”

Conor Benn has also been added to the Povetkin-Whyte 2 undercard as the exciting welterweight takes a sizeable step-up in class against Sebastian Formella.

In the main event, Whyte renews his explosive rivalry with Povetkin, who pulled off a shock knockout win in August.

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Basketball

Anthony Davis to opt out of contract with Lakers, re-sign on multi-year deal

Los Angeles Lakers All-Star Anthony Davis plans to opt out of the final year of his contract and re-sign with the franchise, a person with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports.

The person requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about Davis’ decision.

Davis, who joined the Lakers in the summer of 2019, is coming off his first NBA championship in which he averaged 25 points, 10.7 rebounds, 3.2 assists, two blocks and 1.3 steals and shot 57.1% from the field, 42.1% on 3-pointers and 93.8% on foul shots during the NBA Finals.

He was an All-NBA first-team selection this season, too. Davis, 27, and LeBron James formed a strong 1-2 combination, and the Lakers want to keep that pairing together for at least a few more seasons.

Anthony Davis celebrated his first NBA championship on Sunday. (Photo: Kim Klement, USA TODAY Sports)

Davis’ decision to opt out of the final season of his deal worth $28.7 million in 2020-21 is not unexpected. He can re-sign with the Lakers at $32.7 million for next season if the salary cap remains at $109 million.

It is unknown though what the salary cap will be for next season as the league conducts its accounting on the 2019-20 season, which suffered losses due to the China controversy and COVID-19. The league is trying to keep it close to the projected $109 million.

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