Boxing News Round-Up 6.2.18: Khan, De la Hoya & Hatton

Khan encourages Anthony Joshua to crack America

Amir Khan has said that Anthony Joshua should make a debut fight in the United States a priority before he focuses on going against Deontay Wilder.

Joshua will put his IBF and WBA belts on the line during the fight against Parker who also puts his WBO belt on the line.

Khan feels that his British compatriot needs to raise his profile in the US before he can truly become a star.

Khan has had several fights in the US with the most recent being his defeat against Canelo Alvarez in May 2016 during which he lost through a sixth-round knockout.

“When you fight in America you become that global star, and that’s what I did,” Khan, who takes on Phil Lo Greco in Liverpool on April 21, said in quotes reported by Sky Sports.

“People around the world now, wherever I go, they will recognise me because of US television, how they promote you.

“One thing about the heavyweight division that AJ should definitely watch is – it’s always been big in America with Muhammad Ali, George Foreman, Joe Frazier, Evander Holyfield.

“Why not fight in a country where heavyweight boxing is big? If he wants to make a big name, I think he might want to fight there first.”

“He will build his name up, he will get a good knockout against some up and coming fighter, and then he will be ready, because people will see him live on TV and live in America… They will be like: ‘This fight needs to happen now.’

“That’s a fight people want to see in America, they are already talking about AJ. I think he should go there.”

De La Hoya blasts Mayweather for UFC posts

Oscar De La Hoya has slammed Floyd Mayweather for “attention grabbing” after the retired boxer recently posted on social media suggesting that he could be considering entering UFC.

Mayweather came out of retirement last year and took on UFC star Conor McGregor.

The 40-year-old scored a tenth round TKO win  and with it came another massive paycheck which included staggering $100 million before pay-per-view and royalty payments were also included.

Following the match, McGregor has been pushing for a re-match under MMA rules.

Though Mayweather initially distanced himself from this suggestion, he has since been posting updates on social media which have suggested that he could be considering MMA.

It remains to be seen if “Money” is really being serious or if this is just yet another publicity stint and perhaps nothing more.

“He can’t let anybody else have attention, so he does this,” De La Hoya told TMZ Sports.

Ricky Hatton issues warning to Tyson Fury 

Ricky Hatton has said that he believes that Tyson Fury may already have damaged his career too much before he launches his comeback.

Fury has not fought since November 2015 when he defeated Wladimir Klitschko and he was stripped off his Ring Magazine Heavyweight title on Thursday due to inactivity.

Fury has previously been caught using cocaine due to his struggles with depression.

He also accepted a two-year ban in December after the UK Anti-Doping charged him for testing positive for the banned steroid nandrolone.

The former IBF, WBA ‘super’ and WBO title holder is currently working on his comeback and has issued challenges to 49-year-old Antonio Tarver and 46-year-old Shannon Briggs.

Like Fury, Hatton also spent time away from Boxing and returned in 2012 having also struggled with depression and lost a lot of weight.

He also feels that Fury may face a battle to get back into the ring.

“The one thing that worries me is in the two or three years he’s had out, has he already done too much damage? If he’d fought Anthony Joshua maybe six, seven months after Klitschko, he’d have beaten him,” Hatton said.

“Can he claw back the damage he’s done with putting on the weight, and whatever’s happened in his life, can he get that back? I don’t know.

“It’s very hard when you’ve been doing it for all of them years, and think: ‘Here we go again’. It’s sometimes very hard to get motivated.

“I lost weight in the gym, in sparring I felt brand new, and then the minute the bell went on fight night, I went: ‘This ain’t here no more’.

“Tyson’s still relatively young in heavyweight terms, so hopefully it won’t be for Tyson what it was for me. But sometimes you don’t know whether it’s gone until you get in there.”

Conor Kennedy confident of winning Okolie bout

Conor Kennedy is confident that he will have nothing to worry about if he gets the chance to go against Lawrence Okolie in Cardiff in the Anthony Joshua-Joseph Parker undercard.

Kennedy watched on as Okolie defeated Isaac Chamberlain at London’s O2 on Saturday.

The 32-year-old Kennedy has so far lost just once in his 17 fight career and he seems to be confident that his experience will help him to get the better off Okolie.

While he does admit that Okolie has “god-given” power, he also does add that he is too raw and is being rushed along far too early.

“I watched the fight knowing I could be in line to face the winner and fair play for them both taking it, but it was very poor and I wasn’t impressed,” ‘The Kid’ exclusively told Sky Sports.

“Okolie was falling in and smothering his work, keen on knocking him out, while Chamberlain was keen on grabbing and had nothing to answer. Size proved to be the decisive factor.

“I’ll take his strongest weapons away from him and exploit them. I’ll be a lot bigger and stronger than Chamberlain, I’m a lot more seasoned.

“As soon as the fight finished, I rang my manager and told him I wanted the fight. To be part of a historic Anthony Joshua undercard in Cardiff would be a dream come true – I would love the opportunity.

“He got booed badly in London so I can only imagine how bad and hostile it will be for him in Cardiff. Even people from his hometown are asking me when I’m going to give him a spanking. Still though, it’s only me and him in the ring, no one else.

“He’s still raw and has an awful lot to learn. In 18 months’ time he will take some stopping, but, right now, he will have trouble with Britain’s best cruiserweights and my experience will prove the difference.”

Pacquiao comeback set to soon be announced

The return of Manny Pacquiao is set to be revealed soon and it is expected that he will make his debut in New York on April 14 at Madison Square Garden.

Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 knockouts) has not fought since July 2 when he suffered an upset defeat against Jeff Horn in a controversial fight in Australia.

The 39-year-old Pacquiao who is a senator in the Philippines has an open window in his political duties this spring to train and fight and he is expected to take  37-year-old Mike Alvarado (38-4, 26 KO’s).  

Alvarado is a boxer who is past his peak and Pacquiao will be the overwhelming favourite to win the fight.

From the perspective of the matchmakers, the fight could allow Pacquiao to claim his first knockout win since 2009 and set up a showdown for later this year against Terence Crawford who comes in at No 1 in ‘The Times’ pound-for-pound ratings.

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