AJ has one fight left on his deal with Sky Sports Box Office…
Eddie Hearn has refused to comment as to whether Oleksandr Usyk will be Anthony Joshua’s last fight on Sky Sports Box Office or not.
Joshua is preparing to defend his WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight titles against the Ukrainian mandatory challenger on September 25.
The pair will collide at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and as it stands, it is the final fight in Joshua’s deal with Sky Sports.
His promoter Eddie Hearn left the broadcasting giants to join streaming platform DAZN – an exclusive deal to promote boxing shows in the UK for the next five years.
Hearn has started Matchroom Boxing’s brave new era with three Fight Camp cards and Josh Warrington’s rematch against Mauricio Lara.
Dillian Whyte will feature on the platform on October 30 but Joshua’s future is up in the air.
Hearn admitted he is only looking at the best business move for his fighter despite his relationship with DAZN.
“Our contract with Anthony Joshua, he is with Matchroom. We do not push him to Sky or DAZN.
“We push him to the best commercial deal for him in association with 258, Freddie [Cunningham] and AJ who is the boss,” Hearn told Planet Sport.
“So we’re not looking to bring in AJ to DAZN. Every broadcaster would love Anthony Joshua and that’s the problem that we are faced with now.
“Sky, BT, DAZN, Amazon, there are so many different broadcasters who have the desire to land Anthony Joshua.
“Sky – a great platform for pay-per-view – he’s hit some incredible numbers there and right now it’s just a focus on Usyk. In the situation of AJ, it’s not the choice of Sky or Matchroom and DAZN.
“AJ’s with Matchroom and we will work together commercially for the best opportunity for him and we will look at all opportunities. We’ll sit down with him, 258 and make the best decision for him.”
Serious Conversation: Novak Djokovic controversy draws stern response from Victoria Azarenka at Australian Open
NOVAK DJOKOVIC’S deportation from the Australian Open has sparked conversation about compulsory vaccinations in sport with Victoria Azarenka the latest to weigh in.
Grand Slam champion Victoria Azarenka has stated it is a “social responsibility” to get vaccinated and it should be compulsory. But the former world No.1 and WTA council member claimed there are legal reasons why the women’s professional tour cannot mandate every player to get jabbed. Novak Djokovic’s deportation after seeking to get a medical exemption has led to calls for all tournaments to insist every player is vaccinated.
Tennis fans back Australia decision to deport Novak Djokovic
But the Belarussian, who won the Australian Open title in 2012 and 2013, said: “From my standpoint it’s been very clear. I believe in science. I believe in getting vaccinated. That’s what I did for myself.
“However, we are playing a global sport, we still have to respect countries, different countries, different mandates, different legalities of the country.
“Some countries will not allow mandates. I think to impose something legally on the WTA Tour can be a challenge. I think that’s something that we are facing.
“I believe that spending a lot of extra money over this last almost two years now on all the testing, that is a big budget. I don’t necessarily will say that getting vaccinated, then nobody will be sick, but I think it is a step to hopefully battle against this coronavirus, hopefully bring it down globally. But to make it as a mandate, there is much more to it.
Victoria Azarenka has stated it is a “social responsibility” to get vaccinated
“In our case I think this is what has been recommended, and that’s what I believe is the right thing to do.
“I think from a social standpoint it’s been very clear that the WTA is supporting the vaccines and recommending it. Again, it goes beyond mandating for a legal part. Encouragement has always been from the WTA side, from tennis side I think in general.”
The world No.25, who reached the third round of the Australian Open with a 6-1 6-2 victory over Jil Teichmann, added: “On a social aspect, personally for me it’s not necessarily maybe about myself, it’s about other people. Like my parents for example, are at high risk for Covid.
“I had Covid in November of this year. Unfortunately my parents also got it. It was tough for my dad. Thankfully he was vaccinated because I honestly don’t know what could have happened otherwise. For me there is a social responsibility for other people who are much more vulnerable than us. I definitely look at it from that point, as well.”
Novak Djokovic may face five years in prison as Home Affairs investigate Covid test error
AUSTRALIA’S Home Affairs department is now investigating Novak Djokovic over his breach of Covid isolation rules in Serbia and inconsistencies in his positive Covid test date.
Novak Djokovic looks to be in a losing battle over his Australian visa, as Australian immigration officials confirmed they would be investigating multiple discrepancies over the world No 1’s Covid test, travel documents and isolation breaches. Djokovic admitted on Wednesday that he had broken isolation rules in Serbia after testing positive last month.
Djokovic had his visa cancelled when arriving in Melbourne for the Australian Open last week after providing border officials with “minimal” proof of a medical exemption he was granted by Tennis Australia.
The nine-time Aussie Open champion appealed the decision and won on the grounds of “procedural fairness” after the federal government conceded they had not given Djokovic enough time to provide more proof or contact Tennis Australia.
While the Serb has been allowed freely into Melbourne, Immigration Minister Alex Hawke is continuing to consider whether to cancel Djokovic’s visa for a second time on the basis that the reason for the No 1’s medical exemption – prior Covid infection in the last six months – is not a valid vaccine exemption for foreign nationals entering Australia.
The Department of Home Affairs is also separately investigating Djokovic, and it has now been confirmed that their probe has been widened to include his breach of Covid isolation rules in Serbia, inconsistencies on the date he claims he received his positive test result, and incorrect statements on his Australian Travel Declaration form, according to The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.
During the 20-time Major champion’s appeal hearing, a sworn court affidavit confirmed he was both “tested and diagnosed” on December 16, taking a PCR test earlier in the day and receiving notification of a positive result at around 8pm Serbian time.
It then surfaced that Djokovic had attended a children’s tennis event in Serbia on December 17, presenting awards while not wearing a mask, and took part in an interview with L’Equipe on December 18.
On Wednesday, the Serb released a statement claiming he only received notification of his positive test result after the children’s event on December 17, but admitted to breaking isolation rules by attending the interview on December 18 knowingly having Covid – a breach of Serbian isolation requirements…
Home Affairs will now consider both the contradictions in the date of Djokovic’s positive test result, and his decision to break Serbian Covid isolation rules as part of their probe.
If he is found to have given false evidence in regards to his Covid test he could face serious consequences, with a prison sentence of five years the maximum penalty giving false evidence under the Crimes Act.
As well as the inconsistencies surrounding the date, the Home Affairs department is probing new questions over whether the positive result was manipulated.
It was also reported on Tuesday that the Australian government were investigating whether the world No 1 lied on his declaration form when entering the country last week, as he claimed he had not travelled in the 14 days prior to arriving in Melbourne when he had gone from his home of Serbia to Spain in this period.
Djokovic was not believed to have filled in the form himself, instead having someone do it on his behalf, and in his statement on Tuesday he confirmed that his support team submitted the form on his behalf, and the incorrect information about his previous travel had been “human error”.
“On the issue of my travel declaration, this was submitted by my support team on my behalf – as I told immigration officials on my arrival – and my agent sincerely apologises for the administrative mistake in ticking the incorrect box about my previous travel before coming to Australia,” he said.
On the form, all travellers are asked whether they have “travelled or will travel in the 14 days prior to your flight to Australia”.
They are also warned that “giving false or misleading information is a serious offence. You may also be liable to a civil penalty for giving false or misleading information”, with a maximum penalty of 12 months imprisonment.
Meanwhile, the Immigration Minister’s decision on whether to revoke Djokovic’s visa for a second time will continue to drag on, after a spokesperson for Mr Hawke confirmed on Wednesday that the world No 1’s lawyers had “recently provided lengthy further submissions and supporting documentation said to be relevant to the possible cancellation of Mr Djokovic’s visa”, and said: “Naturally, this will affect the timeframe for a decision.”
While the Immigration Minister’s decision is independent, he can also consider whether to cancel Djokovic’s visa on the grounds of his character, informed by the ongoing Home Affairs investigation.
Lewis Hamilton has already suggested the perfect way to end Max Verstappen debate
LEWIS HAMILTON missed out on landing his eighth F1 championship last month.
Lewis Hamilton missed out on landing a record eighth F1 championship last month as he was beaten to the title in controversial style at the season-decider in Abu Dhabi. Hamilton led for almost the entire Grand Prix, before race director Michael Masi allowed title rival Max Verstappen to pull level with him for a one-lap shootout after a safety car had come onto the track following a crash.
Verstappen ultimately won the race to claim his maiden title. And the Dutch driver has been tipped to dominate the sport for the next decade.
Hamilton has been revered as one of the best drivers in F1 history but will surely call time on his career in the coming years.
Verstappen is the new star of F1 and he will now want to stamp his authority on the sport and prove that he is the man to beat.
The rivalry between Hamilton and Verstappen was intense last year and led to a string of mouthwatering races.
The duo came to blows on a number of occasions as the championship proved all-consuming…
With the Red Bull driver finally toppling Hamilton last time around, the narrative around which driver is better will continue to be debated by everyone involved in the sport.
Hamilton has illustrated year after year that he is a formidable force in F1 and is at least on par with all of the superstars that went before him.
But Verstappen’s ability is clear to see. He has an edge and acts decisively to get the upper hand in races.
The debate is sure to continue during the 2022 season – but Hamilton has already suggested the perfect way to determine which driver is better.
In 2019, the Stevenage-born ace admitted the duo’s skill levels would be clear for all to see if Verstappen joined Mercedes as they would be driving the same car as team-mates.
“I see positives and potential negatives,” Hamilton said. “In some ways it would work well for me.
“I see stories that we have different cars and that is the only way [I beat him], so that would give me the opportunity to show that is not the case.”
Hamilton signed a new two-year contract with Mercedes last year, while Verstappen’s Red Bull deal also runs until the end of the 2023 season.
And with the competition between the two set to intensify once again next season, the chances that the duo will ever race alongside each other as team-mates is virtually zero.
So F1 fans and pundits will have to make their own minds up about which driver is the best.