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Breaking! Anthony Joshua fight cancelled over dope test

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Anthony Joshua & Dillian Whyte Press Conference - Hilton London Syon Park, London, Britain - July 10, 2023 Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte go head to head as promoter Eddie Hearn looks on Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs/File Photo

Dillian Whyte has returned ‘adverse analytical findings’ in a random dope test and next week’s heavyweight fight with former world champion Anthony Joshua is off, promoters Matchroom Boxing said on Saturday.

The two Britons had been due to meet at London’s O2 Arena on Aug. 12 in a rematch of their 2015 bout, won by Joshua, at the same venue.

Matchroom said in a statement that the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) had informed them and the sanctioning bodies that Whyte “returned adverse analytical findings as part of a random anti-doping protocol.”

“In light of this news, the fight will be cancelled, and a full investigation will be conducted.”

Whyte lost a title challenge to WBC world champion Tyson Fury in April 2022. Joshua lost his WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO belts to Ukraine’s Oleksandr Usyk in September 2021.

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The outcome of the Joshua v Whyte fight could have put either fighter in the frame for a lucrative clash with former WBC champion Deontay Wilder.

-Reuters

 

 

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Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

Boxing

Dubois promises to put an end to Anthony Joshua era

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It promises a tough time for Anthony Joshua if the words of Daniel Dubois are anything to go by, as both will clash in September.

“I’m aiming to be the best. AJ (Joshua) has been the King for a long time but on the night I need to be the ‘King slayer’. That’s the goal, the mission I have,” Dubois said at the news conference on Wednesday.

“I’m ready to let my fists do the talking. I’m 100% ready to go and to train like a beast.”

Dubois has a 21-2 record with 20 knockouts while 34-year-old Joshua’s record is 28-3, including 25 knockouts.

Usyk beat two-times heavyweight champion Joshua twice – first in 2021 to seize the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO belts and again in 2022 when he defended the belts – but the Briton has won his last four fights.

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“I went out to watch his last fight… Dubois has been on my mind for a while and he will be for the next 12 weeks,” Joshua said.

“Whoever was going to be there, I was ready to fight in September. It just happened to be him.”

When questioned about the age difference, Joshua said: “It don’t matter, we’re in peak condition. Age is just a number.”

Usyk had knocked out Dubois in nine rounds last year in a bout overshadowed by a low blow controversy when the Ukrainian went down gasping for breath after he was hit on the band of his shorts.

“Anthony and Daniel, I know the IBF title is important to you. It is my present to you on September 21,” Usyk said on X, opens new tab when he vacated the belt.

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The winner of the bout between Joshua and Dubois could then get a crack at the undisputed champion after Usyk and Fury have their rematch.

The undercard will have five bouts, including two for the IBF super-featherweight title and the WBO interim light-heavyweight title.

“This is probably the most stacked card in British boxing history, certainly in my lifetime, headlined by Daniel Dubois and Anthony Joshua,” Queensberry promoter Frank Warren said.

“Where better to do it at the national stadium, Wembley?”

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Usyk vacates IBF heavyweight title

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Oleksandr Usyk has vacated the International Boxing Federation (IBF) heavyweight belt, the Ukrainian said on Tuesday, five weeks after becoming the undisputed heavyweight champion.

The announcement comes after Usyk’s mandatory IBF title defence against challenger Croatian Filip Hrgovic was left pending and Daniel Dubois became the new interim IBF heavyweight champion by beating Hrgovic earlier this month.

The 37-year-old Usyk requested not to be stripped of his IBF belt to contest the undisputed champion title when he takes on Fury in their December rematch, where only the WBC, WBO and WBA titles will now be on the line.

The heavyweight IBF title, which Usyk held since 2021, will be up for grabs when Anthony Joshua takes on Dubois in September at Wembley Stadium.

“Anthony and Daniel, I know the IBF title is important to you. It is my present to you on 21 September,” Usyk said in a video message on X.

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Last month Usyk became the first undisputed heavyweight champion since 2000 as he claimed the WBC title by beating Tyson Fury by a split decision in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Usyk said he may return to the cruiserweight division following his rematch with Fury.

-Reuters

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Anthony Joshua set to become world champion again

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Nigerian-born British boxer, Anthony Joshua may reclaim one of his lost heavyweight titles in September. Holder of one of the belts, Oleksandr Usyk of Ukrain has vacated the International Boxing Federation (IBF).

Joshua was a former holder of the belt, which he won in February 2016 after defeating previous holder, Charles Martin.

Joshua lost the belt along with two others in his bout with Oleksandr Usyk.  The Ukrainian has now vacated that title and so, the September bout of Daniel Dubois and Anthony Joshua in September at Wembley Stadium will fill the vacant position.

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