British boxing great Benn reveals coronavirus heartbreak

FILE – British boxer Conor Benn (R) celebrates beating Bulgarian boxer Ivailo Boyanov (not pictured) with his father, former boxer Nigel Benn (L) in their super lightweight boxing match at the O2 arena in London on April 9, 2016. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP)

British boxing great Nigel Benn revealed on Instagram one of his brothers Mark has died of coronavirus.

The 56-year-old — former world champion at two weights — said Mark had been the “Joker” of the family.

It came as the number of UK coronavirus-related deaths climbed by 621 to 4,934 and infections rose by 5,903 to 47,806.

“My brother Mark passed Away 2day (Covid 19), as we all were growing up Mark was the Joker of the Benn house hold,” he wrote.

“May he Rest In Peace love u Mark.’”

Benn — whose 23-year-old son Conor is a promising pugilist with an unblemished record — was one of seven boys but lost his older brother Andy when he fell out of a window aged just eight.

Benn was dubbed the ‘Dark Destroyer’ for his aggressive style and enjoyed a fierce rivalry with compatriots Chris Eubank and Michael Watson.

Benn was WBO middleweight title in 1990 and then went on to become WBC super-middleweight champion holding the belt between 1992 and 1996 — losing his crown to South African Thulani Malinga.

He retired from the ring in 1996 after twice failing to wrest the WBO super-middleweight title from Irishman Stephen Collins.

Benn is not the first from the sport in Britain to lose a relative due to the coronavirus.

The grandmother and father of British light-heavyweight Anthony Yarde died within a few days of each other.

The 28-year-old made an emotional appeal to the public to “just stay home” to avoid the risk of spreading the

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Joshua believes Frazier-like Tyson would beat Ali

Contender Anthony Joshua looks on at a press conference for Ruiz vs. Joshua 2 at Capitale on September 5, 2019 in New York. – Heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr promised on Wednesday that history would repeat itself when he takes on Anthony Joshua in December’s controversial rematch in Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Bryan R. Smith / AFP)

MANILA, Philippines—Like pitting some of the greatest teams in NBA history against one another in hypothetical showdowns, boxing, too has a ton of dream fights that remain as such.

And with sports on shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, the World Boxing Super Series recently held a fantasy tournament where Mike Tyson emerged victorious in a heavyweight clash with the late great Muhammad Ali–a result that didn’t sit well with many.

Heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua, h0wever, doesn’t have any qualms about “Iron Mike” taking down “The Greatest” via decision.

“The reason being, when you watch the fight between Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali, you see a certain a Tyson-esque style to Frazier’s style,” said Joshua (23-1), who holds the IBF, WBA, WBO, and IBO belts, in an interview with JD Sports as posted on boxingscene.com. “Tyson used to study that Joe Frazier… the moving, the hooks.”

“He (Frazier) managed to put Ali down in the [first] fight, it was a very tough fight for Ali. And I just believe Mike Tyson was better schooled, times have evolved. Mike Tyson was more developed, more science, more information so I think that Mike Tyson would’ve won, in my humble opinion.”

Frazier and Ali had one of the greatest trilogies in the sport with the former taking the first win and the latter taking the other two, the last of which was fought on Oct. 1, 1975 at Araneta Coliseum and was nicknamed “Thrilla in

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Joshua’s heavyweight title defence postponed by coronavirus

British boxer Anthony Joshua celebrates after winning the heavyweight boxing match between Andy Ruiz Jr. and Anthony Joshua for the IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO titles in Diriya, near the Saudi capital on December 7, 2019. – Joshua reclaimed his world heavyweight crown from Andy Ruiz, outclassing the Mexican-American to score a unanimous points victory. (Photo by Fayez Nureldine / AFP)

Anthony Joshua’s world heavyweight title defence against mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev has been officially postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak, promoters Matchroom Sport announced Friday.

The British champion was due to put his WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO belts up for grabs against Bulgarian challenger Pulev at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London on June 20.

But the global spread of COVID-19 has put paid to a bout on that date.

“Anthony Joshua’s defence of his IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO heavyweight world titles against mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev scheduled to take place at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday June 20 has been postponed,” said a Matchroom statement.

“A new date for the event promoted by Matchroom Boxing and 258 Management in association with Top Rank and Epic Sports Entertainment is currently being worked on.

“We will announce any updates in due course and continue to explore the possibility of hosting this fight at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.”

This is the second time Pulev has missed out on the chance to face Joshua after a shoulder injury forced him out of a world title bout in October 2017.

Fury preference

Earlier on Friday, Eddie Hearn, Joshua’s promoter, said his champion’s lone contest of 2020 might be with Tyson Fury in a world unification bout if the spread of COVID-19 means he only has time for one bout this year.

A clash with compatriot Fury, the WBC heavyweight champion

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