Boxing News Round-Up 7.2.18: Brook, Khan & Drug Bans

British boxer issued with two-year ban

British boxer Muhammad Ali has been issued with a two-year ban after testing positive for steroid abuse.

The positive test came when he was fighting for the British Lionhearts in the World Series of Boxing match against Morocco Atlas Lions in Casablanca in April last year.

Trenbolone which is a widely abused anabolic steroid was found in Ali’s urine sample and he was issued with a suspension in May. He will now only be eligible to re-enter the ring in May 2019.

Despite a first-round defeat in the 2016 Olympics Ali won silver medals in the 2014 World Youth Championships and 2016 European Championships; he was also the highest-ranked fighter from the WSB division at the time during which he was banned.

In a statement Aiba said that it “welcomes and fully supports the anti-doping testing procedure” and is working with the World Anti-doping agency to ensure that boxing becomes doping free.

Football legend Ferdinand steps up boxing training

Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has stepped up his attempts to enter the world of boxing by training at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield.

The 39-year-old who retired from professional football two years ago announced in September last year that he would be taking up boxing in order to help him with his anger problems as part of Betfair’s Defender to Contender Campaign.

Ferdinand is expected to debut this year and an opponent is still to be named.

In order to develop to the best that he can, Ferdinand is seeking guidance from elite boxers and has met with Great Britain boxer Cheavon Clarke.

When providing feedback from his latest training, Ferdinand said: “I’m really enjoying the challenge, it’s given me a renewed energy and focus that you only get from learning something for the first time.

“I’m loving seeing the gains and physically I feel in great shape. I can’t wait for the next chapter of this journey.”

Andre Ward believes Parker has a chance against Anthony Joshua

Boxing great Andre Ward believes that Joseph Parker has a chance against Anthony Joshua, provided he believes in himself.

While Ward believes that Joshua will be the firm favourite for the fight, he does believe that Parker has a chance but warned that the Kiwi must not get overawed by the crowd at the Millennium who will be overwhelmingly in support of Joshua.

I haven’t seen a lot of Parker, but I like Parker. He’s big, he seems strong, the biggest thing for him is the moment not being too big for him.

“If the moment’s not too big he’s got a shot. I wouldn’t say things are even, but he’s got a shot. Half the battle for any fighter in a big fight is just believing they can win.”

“I can go through boxing history and point out fights and fighters who should not have beat certain guys, but they believed they weren’t going to get beat that night. Buster Douglas v Mike Tyson.”

“A man who’s made his mind up he’s not going to get beat, is a hard man to beat.”

“It’s when there are chinks in the mentality, he’s saying all the right stuff, but [he’s thinking] ‘I don’t know if I can take his punch, I don’t know if I can deal with all the people in the stadium.’

“When that kind of thing is happening, even if you’re saying the right things, then it’s tough.

“But it’s another great opportunity for Anthony Joshua to stake his claim, because it’s for unification. He’s fighting for another stripe, to secure his legacy.”

Ward’s words should be taken seriously as he is not one who is usually quick to belittle others or speak in a haste.

That is something which Parker has done ahead of the fight as seen by the fact that he has accused Joshua of having a glass chin.

Ricky Hatton calls Amir Khan and Kell Brook fight

Ricky Hatton has said that a fight between Amir Khan an Kell Brook would be a 50-50 outcome.

Both fighters have been indicating that they could meet in the ring later this year in order to settle their long rivalry.

Hatton told Sky Sports News: It’s very hard to say, they’re at similar positions in their career. It’s one of those exciting fights, it’s like a 50-50 one, you toss a coin because they’re both that similar and are at similar stages of their career.

Brook wants the fight to happen and indicated that it is likely to happen later this year.

Khan meanwhile has not fought since his TKO loss to Canelo Alvarez in May 2016. He is however set to make his long-awaited comeback against Phil Lo Greco in April.

Hatton added that Khan could find it difficult to return to his best after suffering three knockout defeats.

Brook himself has not had the best of luck after having both of his eye sockets broken during fights between Gennady Golovkin and Errol Spence Jnr.

Kell Brook warns Amir Khan to fight or forget it

Kell Brook has warned Amir Khan to face him this year or else forget about a fight between the two.

Khan has not fought since May 2016 after his TKO loss against Canelo Alvarez though he will make his long-awaited comeback against Phil Lo Greco in May.

After signing with Matchroom, Khan indicated on Wednesday that Brook is one of the people that he could possibly fight this year.

Brook meanwhile is currently in Fuerteventura preparing for his first fight at super-welterweight level against Sergey Rabchenko.

“We need to agree on a fight this year because I don’t know if I will be boxing into next year, if I am honest,” Brook exclusively told Sky Sports.

“I really do mean it. I am not getting any younger. I want a great year this year, no messing around, no play-time, I want big fights under my belt.

“I don’t want to be talking this nonsense with Khan, him saying he wants it next year or whenever. It’s got to happen pretty soon or I am done.

“I would just love to test myself against him. It will probably bring the best out of him and we will give something back to the fans for helping us throughout our careers.

“We’d perform like mad men in the gym and we’d come together and fight each other.

“There is only one – him. I will tell you now, there is only one fighter who will fire me up and that’s the one.”

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