Gennady Golovkin became the unified middleweight champion after stopping home favourite Ryota Murata in Saitama, Japan.

The Kazakh regained the WBA (super) belt, which he lost to Cancelo Alvarez in 2018, to add to his IBF title following a ninth-round stoppage against the former Olympic champion.

Golovkin endured a slow start in what was his first bout in over a year, as he looked to set up a potential rematch with Alvarez later in 2022.

Murata, who won gold at London 2012, directed a series of relentless attacks and body shots to gain the upper hand in the opening four rounds.

But the Japanese fighter was unable to build on his early momentum and Golovkin gradually settled into his flow in round five.

The pendulum began to swing in favour of the 40-year-old, who finally put combinations together and sent Murata's mouthpiece flying in the sixth.

The Golovkin onslaught continued until the start of the ninth; flooring his opponent with a devastating shot and the towel came in from the corner, spelling the 42nd win of his career.  

Anthony Joshua's rematch with Oleksandr Usyk may yet be staged in the United Kingdom, according to promoter Eddie Hearn.

Usyk outclassed Joshua to claim the WBA, WBO and IBF titles at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last September, inflicting just a second professional defeat on his opponent.

Joshua activated his rematch clause, but plans for a second bout were thrown into doubt after Usyk returned to Ukraine to defend his homeland following the Russian invasion.

However, Usyk has now started preparing for the rematch, which his promoter Alexander Krassyuk recently revealed looked set to be staged in Saudi Arabia.

Speaking on Friday, though, Hearn said venues in the UK are still being considered, with an announcement due to be made later this month.

"We're in final negotiations for a couple of sites for either the end of June or early-to-mid-July," Hearn said. 

"I reckon within two weeks we'll have some news in terms of where that's going to be.

"An option is in the UK. The difference is, we don't really need negotiations with a venue in the UK, we just book it."

Anthony Joshua's rematch with Oleksandr Usyk is expected to have a date and venue finalised "within the next two weeks", according to the Ukrainian's promoter Alexander Krassyuk.

Usyk overcame Joshua to claim the WBA, WBO and IBF titles at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last September, condemning the Briton to just his second professional defeat.

Joshua activated his rematch clause, but plans for a second clash were thrown into uncertainty after Usyk returned to Ukraine to defend his country amid the ongoing invasion by Russia.

However, the 35-year-old Usyk confirmed in March that he has started his preparations for the rematch, which Krassyuk suggested last week may be staged in Saudi Arabia in late June.

Usyk's promoter Krassyuk provided another update on Monday as he told Sky Sports: "Within the next two weeks we expect to finalise details."

Joshua regained his WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight titles in a rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr in December 2019 in Saudi Arabia and could be heading back for a second time as he looks to reclaim his belts.

However, Joshua and his promoter Eddie Hearn have suggested they are keen on the bout taking place in the United Kingdom again.

Saudi Arabia could host Anthony Joshua's rematch with Oleksandr Usyk in late June, according to the Ukrainian's promoter Alexander Krassyuk.

Usyk outclassed Joshua to claim the WBA, WBO and IBF titles at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last September, inflicting just a second professional defeat on his opponent.

Joshua activated his rematch clause, but plans for a second bout were thrown into doubt after Usyk returned to Ukraine to defend his homeland following the Russian invasion.

However, the 35-year-old Usyk confirmed last week he has started preparing for the rematch, which may be staged in the Middle East.

"Saudi is the place we are in discussions with at the moment," promoter Krassyuk told BBC Sport. "Late June is the date we are looking at. Nothing has been confirmed on paper. We are working on it."

Joshua has fought in Saudi Arabia once before when regaining his WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight titles in a rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr in Diriyah in December 2019.

Staging the bout in the Gulf kingdom would provoke controversy due to its human rights record, and Krassyuk has not ruled out another country being selected.

"There are other options. We take it step by step," Krassyuk added.

Saudi Arabia has hosted a number of high-profile sporting events in recent years, most recently the second grand prix of this year's Formula One campaign.

Sunday's race went ahead despite a missile attack on an oil depot around nine miles from the track during Friday's practice session.

Eddie Hearn revealed Josh Warrington broke his jaw during his victory over Kiko Martinez.

Warrington defeated Martinez in the seventh round on Saturday, to the delight of a partisan crowd in Leeds.

With that victory, his first since October 2019, Warrington regained the IBF featherweight title that he vacated in 2021.

While Warrington's win was a convincing one, it did not come easy, and promoter Hearn confirmed the 31-year-old had sustained an injury.

"Confirmed from the hospital @J_Warrington clean break of his jaw prior to stopping Kiko Martinez to win the World title tonight," wrote Hearn in a post on his official Twitter account, with the caption shared along with a photo of an x-ray of Warrington's jaw.

Warrington has options for his next fight. An all-British showdown with Leigh Wood has been mooted and unification fights with WBC title-holder Mark Magsayo or WBO champion Emanuel Navarrete are also on the table.

Josh Warrington is open to fighting in the United States in his next bout after knocking out Kiko Martinez to become a two-time IBF featherweight champion.

Martinez survived a first-round knockdown in Saturday's clash, but came under a barrage of punches in the seventh round, forcing the referee to stop the contest.

Warrington, feeding off a partisan home crowd at the First Direct Arena in Leeds, reclaimed the same IBF crown he lost 14 months ago.

Now back at the top of his weight division after his first victory since October 2019, Warrington has a number of potential opponents in the offing.

An all-British showdown with Leigh Wood has been mooted, while unification fights with WBC title-holder Mark Magsayo or WBO champion Emanuel Navarrete are other options.

Warrington will take time to weigh up his decision, but fighting Stateside later this year is something the 31-year-old is strongly considering. 

"In an ideal world I'd love to go to the States," he said in his post-fight interview. "But Leigh Wood's just become champion.

"I'd like an away day. I love it here [in Leeds]. We've been talking about going to the States for so long. There's options. 

"We can go States, go the City Ground [to fight Wood in Nottingham]. I'm sure these fans will travel with me. I'll sit down with Eddie Hearn and we'll see."

Promoter Hearn only fuelled the fire regarding a possible Stateside fight for Warrington next up.

"Josh has long wanted a trip to America and it would be Ricky Hatton-esque if we could do it," he told BBC Radio 5 Live. "There's mandatory as well and loads of politics.

"It looked like his career might be over, but he came back and regained the belt. He's back in control with big nights ahead."

Warrington has now headlined the First Direct Arena 11 times and, despite having the potential to sell out bigger venues, he is more than happy to stay 'home' for his next fight.

"We might not do the same numbers as the big boys – like Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury – but I'd rather have an arena full of these lot than a 100,000 tourists any day," he said.

"There is no place like this in the world, never mind the country. When I'm on it and these supporters turn out, there's nothing like it in the world."

Oleksandr Usyk has confirmed he is preparing for his rematch with Anthony Joshua despite having returned to Ukraine to defend his country.

Usyk outclassed Joshua to claim the WBA Super, WBO and IBF titles in a unanimous points decision at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last September.

Joshua activated his rematch clause, but the contest was initially thrown into doubt when it appeared a step-aside deal that would have allowed Usyk to face Tyson Fury instead was in place, but that reportedly fell through when money could not be agreed with Joshua's camp. 

There were further complications added when the Ukrainian fighter returned home following Russia's invasion.

However, Usyk took to Instagram on Friday to confirm the rematch will take place and that he is preparing, posting a video accompanied by the words: "I decided to start preparing for a rematch with Anthony Joshua, a large number of my friends support me, all the rest of the good and peace, Thank God for everything."

Promoter Eddie Hearn recently said Joshua could take an interim fight if he is made to wait for another bout with Usyk, but was confident the two would face each other at the end of June.

"I do think Usyk will take that fight next, we're looking at the end of June for that fight and that’s when the fight has got to take place by," Hearn said on the DAZN Boxing Show.

"If he's not ready, we'll push for an interim fight, but my gut feeling right now, and this could change is that you will be seeing Anthony Joshua v Oleksandr Usyk for the unified world heavyweight championship next."

Eddie Hearn thinks a world heavyweight title rematch between Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk will take place at the end of June.

Usyk outclassed Joshua to claim the WBA, WBO and IBF titles at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last September.

Plans for a second bout have been up in the air after Usyk returned to Ukraine to defend his homeland following the Russian invasion.

Hearn, Joshua's promoter, believes Usyk will be allowed to leave his country in order to step into the ring with Briton Joshua again.

Asked whether Joshua will face Usyk next, Hearn told The DAZN Boxing Show: "I think that's the most likely scenario.

"We had those conversations about a week ago and I had my doubts as to whether Usyk would be ready, but I believe now that there’s been some kind of conversations with Usyk and even [Vasily] Lomachenko as well with the government to say 'look, how do we sit in terms of competing in major sporting events'.

"I don't think Usyk's going to want to wait, once you start waiting anything can happen, so we actually had some talks this morning."

Hearn says Joshua could take an interim fight if he is made to wait for another bout with Usyk.

He added: "I do think Usyk will take that fight next, we're looking at the end of June for that fight and that’s when the fight has got to take place by.

"If he's not ready, we'll push for an interim fight, but my gut feeling right now, and this could change is that you will be seeing Anthony Joshua v Oleksandr Usyk for the unified world heavyweight championship next."

Anthony Joshua has "a number of proposals" to consider amid reports he could step aside from a rematch with Oleksandr Usyk in order for Tyson Fury to fight the Ukrainian.

Usyk outclassed Joshua at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last September to claim his WBA (Super), IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles.

The Brit activated a clause to step into the ring with Usyk for a second time, but The Daily Telegraph revealed he could step aside for a fee of £15million to pave the way for his compatriot Fury to do battle with the 35-year-old in a unification bout in the Middle East.

Eddie Hearn, Joshua's promoter, revealed the 2012 Olympic champion has several options to mull over.

"I'm meeting with AJ and 258 management [on Tuesday] to go through plans for his next fight." he told Sky Sports.

"We have a number of proposals and options to discuss. The goal remains the same of course - to re-capture the world heavyweight crown."

Fury has not agreed a mandatory defence of his WBC strap with Dillian Whyte.

Usyk's promoter, Alexander Krassyuk, says it is up in the air over which Englishman will be his fighter's next opponent.

"We are in talks regarding the Fury fight since November," Krassyuk told Sky Sports.

"And though AJ gave his consent [reportedly] we still have not reached the final point in negotiations. And unless we get it - AJ rematch remains the basic option for us."

Eddie Hearn expects Anthony Joshua to announce who his new trainer will be either at the end of this month or early in February.

Joshua decided to shake things up after losing his WBA (Super), IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles to Oleksandr Usyk at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last September.

Eddy Reynoso, Virgil Hunter and Anthony Wilson are among the trainers Joshua could recruit, while Floyd Mayweather has been giving the Briton advice ahead of an eagerly anticipated rematch with Usyk that has not yet been confirmed.

Hearn, Joshua's promoter, told iFL TV: "I think AJ will make an announcement when camp starts, which I guess will be end of January, early February.

"He's worked hard to get it right. A lot of people have said, 'do you think it's risky to bring in a new trainer?'

"I flip that and say, 'do you think it's risky to not be comfortable with your set-up or your surroundings?'"

Hearn says having a new face in Joshua's corner will not mean there is no role to play for his long-time trainer Robert McCracken.

"He'll always be involved in some way," Hearn said of McCracken.

"He's more than just a trainer to Anthony Joshua... he's a mentor, an advisor.

"Those two will always talk – in what capacity, I don't know. I'll leave that to AJ to announce. But there will certainly be additions to the training team."

Joshua was outclassed by Usyk, suffering the second defeat of his professional career after he was also surprisingly dethroned by Andy Ruiz Jr in 2019.

Tyson Fury needs to defeat more of the heavyweight division to "cement his greatness", so says Shannon Briggs.

WBC champion Fury is eager to return to the ring by early 2022 following victory over Deontay Wilder in the trilogy fight between the pair in October.

But his opponent remains unclear as uncertainty lingers whether he will face Dillian Whyte, who wants to be sanctioned as the mandatory challenger for the heavyweight title.

Fury also has his eyes on a bout against Oleksandr Usyk, who claimed the WBA, WBO and IBF titles from Anthony Joshua in September.

Usyk and Joshua are set to meet again in the early months of 2022, though the latter could drop out to allow the undisputed fight and Briggs believes Fury needs to face top contenders to cement his legacy.

"I think he'll make the decision to stick around and fight guys," Briggs, who was a two-time heavyweight champion, told Stats Perform. 

"He's not very old, although he's accomplished a lot. He's had gaps in his career between lay-offs due to whatever circumstances he was dealing with. It hasn't been consistent. 

"I think that for us to cement his greatness, we need to see consistency. I think we need to see at least three to six wins from the guys in the top 10. 

"Clear out the top 10, clear out the heavyweight division, and then maybe we can say he's the greatest heavyweight of all time, due to size, due to his ability to move, his rhythm. For a big man, it's just unreal. 

"His heart, his chin – he got off the ground against one of the hardest punchers that ever lived in [Deontay] Wilder."

The undefeated Fury has 31 wins to his name, with the only blotch on his record a contentious split-decision draw against Wilder in their first clash.

Briggs appreciates the talent of 'The Gypsy King', who he implored to become more consistent to further his standing within boxing's history.

"He's shown us flashes of greatness, but we need to see one last thing," he added. 

"What makes a champion is consistency, so we need six to 10 Larry Holmes style wins, Lennox Lewis style wins, staying busy. Lennox was a busy fighter. Lennox defended his title, he fought a lot.

"We need three, four fights a year consistently for the next two years if not more. I think he's a great guy and a great fighter, but I just think we need to see consistency and consecutive wins."

Anthony Joshua stepping aside from his Oleksandr Usyk rematch would be a "great step for the heavyweight division", says former American boxer Shannon Briggs.

Joshua is set for a second bout in early 2022 with Usyk, who claimed the WBA, WBO and IBF titles on a unanimous points decision at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in September.

The Briton has since hinted he would step out the way for WBC champion Tyson Fury, who is awaiting a decision as to whether he has to face mandatory challenger Dillian Whyte, to challenge Usyk to crown an undisputed champion.

While believing a bout between the two British boxers, Joshua and Fury, would be an entertaining meeting, Briggs would like to see a bout to become the undisputed champion first.

"The Fury-Joshua would be a good fight," Briggs, who held a world heavyweight title twice, told Stats Perform. 

"It's a very interesting fight to analyse and to think about which Joshua is going to show up. We've got to find out which Josh was going to show up. 

"I think that if Joshua steps aside and lets Fury fight Usyk, it might not be a bad idea. I really think it might not be a bad idea, and Anthony fights the winner. 

"I think it'd be a great step for the heavyweight division, uniting the belts, and then Joshua would get the winner. He was the champion, he was the guy. I don't want to say it was a fluke, but he was upset by a great guy, a tough guy to fight. 

"I don't care who fought Usyk. Usyk is a machine. He's not like normal people. He's not like normal humans. This man can handstand on his arms for an hour. This is what I was told. This man is in phenomenal shape. 

"As the rounds go on, he gets stronger. As you can see in the Joshua fight in the 12th round, he put his foot on the gas. I think that he's going to be a tough guy to beat for Fury, for anybody. 

"Maybe not Fury because of the height and the size, but we're going to see. That's what makes it great, because the interest is there. If Joshua is to step aside and let him fight Usyk, it might not be bad. Just a thought, and then he fights the winner."

Indeed, Usyk is a phenomenal machine, having held world champion status in two weight classes while he is one of only four boxers to simultaneously hold the WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO titles.

Briggs, who collected 53 of his 60 wins via knockout, appreciates the class of Usyk as he reiterated the 34-year-old's impressive abilities.

"Again, like I said earlier, the fight with Usyk is a battle," he added. "It's not an easy fight, it's a tough fight. 

"It's a 50-50 chance. [Actually], it's more like a 60-40 chance that you lose because he's in phenomenal shape, he's a freak of nature, and he's not normal. 

"On top of all of that, he's a southpaw. It's awkward, it's coming from another way. You've got to have super conditioning and step to him. 

"You've got to be able to punish him and knock him out, but you can't be boxing him from the outside. You've got to wear him down. He's slippery, he's moving, he's awkward. You've got to be in tip-top shape to beat a guy like that."

Anthony Joshua says he would consider stepping aside from his rematch with Oleksandr Usyk to allow the Ukrainian to fight Tyson Fury.

Joshua is set to fight Usyk for a second time in early 2022 after losing to the 34-year-old, who claimed the WBA, WBO and IBF belts on a unanimous points decision at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in September.

WBC Champion Tyson Fury, after defeating Deontay Wilder in the final bout of a gruelling trilogy, is waiting on a decision whether a title fight will be ordered with Dillian Whyte, who wants to be sanctioned as the mandatory challenger.

However, Fury's ambition is to fight Usyk in a battle to become the undisputed champion, leading to calls from the 'Gypsy King' for his fellow Englishman Joshua to step aside.

For the first time a Fury-Usyk bout seems a possibility, with Joshua conceding he would consider skipping the sequel temporarily for both respect in boxing and financial gain.

"I think people know not to approach me with that rubbish," Joshua told IFL TV when asked if he had been offered a deal to skip the rematch. "That is bulls***. It may have come to my team, but they know not to bring that to me.

"Let me be real, it's not about the money, it's about the respect. What I want out of this game, number one is respect. You don't have to like me, but you will respect me. 

"Second thing is to go down as a throwback fighter, somebody who was willing to fight the best in their division so people know me as a true fighter.

"In terms of [stepping] aside, I don't know if that goes in line with what I morally stand for. But let me be real, I want to be known as one of the smartest businessmen as well.

"I used to watch Tyson, Holyfield, Bowe, we all know the stories of NFL players, basketball players, they make bad decisions. I wanted to make sure I make the smart moves when it comes to this business. If the money is right, you have to look at it.

"You have to look at it. But respect to me has a lot more value than money. Respect first, what I'm known for when I leave this division, then being the smartest businessman in my career. 

"That step aside thing, it may not go with what I stand for in terms of bringing me respect, fighting the best, but it may make sense for business."

George Kambosos Jr has beaten undefeated world champion Teofimo Lopez in a major upset to claim the IBF, WBO, WBA and The Ring lightweight world champion.

Kambosos was crowned the new lightweight world champion by split decision, 115-111, 115-113, 113-114 over 24-year-old American Lopez.

In a tight tussle, 28-year-old Australian Kambosos knocked down Lopez in the first round with a overhand right-hand hit amid an energetic start, leaving the New York crowd shocked.

Kambosos defied expectations and was on top throughout the middle rounds before Lopez rallied in the ninth round with a few booming right-hand shots.

In the 10th round, Lopez dropped the Australian to the canvas with a chopping right-hand hit although Kambosos returned to his feet to fight on to victory.

"I believed in myself, I backed myself and I said it time after time," Kambosos said after the fight. “You might not believe it, but I believe in myself. Look at me now, I’ve got all of the jewels.

"Look at me now, I’ve got all the jewels. I’m not the king, I’m the emperor because I come to every other country and I take them out one by one."

Lopez disputed the result after the fight, claiming he dominated although that was met by jeers from the New York crowd.

Japanese boxer Kenichi Ogawa defeated Azinga Fuzile after dropping him three times in a dominant display to win the vacant IBF world super featherweight title in the co-main event.

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