Joseph Parker believes it will be Oleksandr Usyk who prevails in his highly anticipated rematch with Anthony Joshua.
The New Zealand heavyweight is a former opponent of Joshua, with the two going head-to-head in 2018 which saw ‘AJ’ adding Parker’s WBO belt to his collection, as well as going the 12-round distance for the first time.
Joshua is now at a much different stage of his career since that bout, having lost his heavyweight belts twice, most recently being outclassed by Usyk at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last September.
Now the 32-year-old heads back to Saudi Arabia on August 20 looking to regain those heavyweight belts from the Ukrainian, just as he did against Andy Ruiz Jr. in 2019.
Despite having praise for his former opponent, Parker told Sky Sports he believes it will be Usyk with his hand raised at the end.
“He was a good champion, and he can be champion again. It’s just that it’s up to him now.”
“It’s up to him and his new team to make the changes that he needs to attack what Usyk’s going to bring.”
“There’s a lot of support for him. Everyone’s supporting him here in the UK. But also, Usyk’s got a lot of support as well from his home, so we’ll see what happens.”
Andy Lee trained heavyweight then made his pick for the rematch in Jeddah.
“I would have to side with Usyk (winning) just because the confidence that he’s going to come in with from the first fight. But it’ll be interesting.”
Wolves sack manager Bruno Lage
Wolves have sacked manager Bruno Lage. The decision was facilitated by Saturday’s defeat by West Ham United.
The defeat has left Wolves in the bottom three in the premier league table.
Bruno Lage has spent 16 months as a manager in Wolves.
Lage succeeded Nuno Espirito Santo last summer and led Wolves to a 10th-placed finish in his first season in charge.
However, they have won one and lost nine of their past 15 Premier League matches under the Portuguese.
Wolves chairman Jeff Shi according to BBC, said that poor form meant he had “no choice” but take the “difficult decision” to sack Lage.
“Bruno is an excellent coach, a hardworking and dedicated manager, and a warm, wise and honest man,” said Shi.
“He and his staff have been a pleasure to work with throughout their time at Wolves, so it is with much sadness that we have had to make what has been a difficult decision.
“I honestly have no doubts about Bruno’s ability and I’m sure he will succeed elsewhere, however the team’s form and performances over the last few months mean that we have no choice but to act.”
JUST IN: Ibrahim Gusau elected as NFF president
Ibrahim Musa Gusau has been elected as the new president of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
Gusau was voted into the position at the federation’s committee election held in Benin on Friday.
Super Eagles captain, Ahmed Musa, undergoes surgery
Super Eagles captain, Ahmed Musa has undergone surgery on his arm.
The Sivasspor forward made this known on his Instagram page on Wednesday.
He appreciated God for the successful surgery on his left arm while commending the doctors for “a job well done”.
He wrote, “I just want to express my heartfelt appreciation to Allah for a successful surgery on my left arm.
”As we all know, no surgery is too minor, so I’m grateful for the competent doctors assigned to me for a job well done.
”Also to you all, for your messages, prayers and words of encouragement. I hope to be back on the field soon stronger and absolutely better.”
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