Claressa Shields Wins MMA Debut, Five Boxing Stories You May Have Missed
Claressa Shields switched to MMA and won, Billy Joe Saunders plans to retire after losing to Canelo and Anthony Joshua’s next fight could head north London. Here are five boxing stories you might have missed this week …
Claressa Shields victorious in her MMA debut
Undisputed two-time champion Claressa Shields delivered an explosive finish to win her MMA debut
The 26-year-old, competing under the Professional Fight League banner, showed her striking prowess after stopping Brittney Elkin in three rounds in New Jersey. The American was forced to work for the win, however, having been forced to the ground for the first two laps before delivering the stop.
“I feel like I’m dreaming,” Shields told PFL. “It’s crazy.”
“I have never doubted myself winning a boxing match in my life. MMA it’s like I could lose that first fight.”
Bob Arum hits back at Eddie Hearn
Bob Arum hit back at fellow promoter Eddie Hearn over the collapse of Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury’s heavyweight unification fight.
Hearn expressed his belief that it was the veteran promoter’s fault after a referee ruled that Fury must face Deontay Wilder for the third time ahead of AJ. Arum, however, thinks Hearn “screwed it up.”
“Eddie has diarrhea in his mouth. He can’t stop talking and he doesn’t think… Eddie should shut up and stop blaming others. It would be good to close his mouth and look at himself in the mirror,” said the 89-year-old.
“Eddie screwed it up. The Saudis were happy to pay huge site fees. Eddie got greedy, ‘Pay more, get TV.’ It went on for weeks. I think if it had been just a site fee we would have announced and the arbitrator would have awarded damages to Wilder.
Billy Joe Saunders reflects on retirement
Billy Joe Saunders says he’s 50/50 whether he will retire after his devastating loss to Canelo in Texas last month.
The Mexican superstar handed the Briton his first professional loss when his corner ended the fight due to a fractured orbit suffered in the eighth round and Saunders says he will speak to his father to see if he will hang up his gloves.
“At the end of the day, I’m 31, if I never want to work again, if I want to sit down, if I want to relax, I can do it,” Saunders told talkSPORT.
“And it should be so, I spent a lot of time boxing and paid my dues. Sport has been very, very good for me…
“I’m going to talk to my dad because he will have his say.
“To be fair, it will be more or less my dad in the conversation more than me if I’m honest.”
“It’s one of them where it’s 50/50. Whether I think I will have one more or a few more, but they have to be the right kind of fights. If he says, ‘Leave that son, don’t go back,’ then that’s probably what I’ll do.
Anthony Joshua vs. Oleksandr Usyk heading to September
Following the collapse of his fight with Tyson Fury, WBA, WBO and IBF World Champion Anthony Joshua looks set to take on WBO mandatory Oleksandr Usyk and it looks like the showdown could be heading to the stadium. Tottenham Hotspur in September.
“I can tell you this week is a more confident base than the Joshua – Fury negotiations because I know Alex Krassyuk very well and I know Usyk very well,” Eddie Hearn told DAZN.
“This week, this fight will be signed. We are considering September in London. I just finalized the details.
“It’s a big fight, a dangerous fight, it’s not necessarily the one we wanted or expected. But it’s a top heavyweight fight. He’s a unified heavyweight champion against the undisputed cruiserweight champion, and we’re continuing this fight – it’s a big event.
The fight is scheduled to take place on September 18 or 25, with the 25 being the more likely of the two.
GB Boxing confirms 11 strong squad for the Olympics
Team GB will take a stellar boxing team to the Olympics with an 11-person squad traveling to Japan in search of gold after a nine-medal success in the Road To Tokyo European Qualifiers in Paris this week.
Pat McCormack and Lauren Price both took gold, while Charley Davison, Caroline Dubois, Ben Whittaker, Galal Yafai and Frazer Clarke all won silver and Luke McCormack and Cheavon Clarke took bronze.
“It was a brilliant performance from the team,” said Rob McCracken, GB Boxing performance director.
“Qualifying 11 boxers for the Olympics is a superb achievement and the boxers have really stepped up when it matters. “
The 11 members are just one less of the 12 that the GB team took to Rio four years ago.