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Conversation from Anthony Joshua team to allow Tyson Fury chance to fight Usyk for heavyweight gold

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Joshua relinquished his WBA, WBO and IBF world titles to Usyk back in September at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as he was outboxed and outclassed by the cerebral Ukrainian.

The 32-year-old will hope to regain his heavyweight world titles in 2022, but it may not be against Usyk

The 32-year-old will hope to regain his heavyweight world titles in 2022, but it may not be against Usyk
Within a fortnight, Joshua had triggered an immediate rematch clause in a bid to regain the titles, with promoter Eddie Hearn confirming to talkSPORT the fight was likely to happen in March or April.

However, the 32-year-old admitted he would consider stepping aside to allow Usyk to fight WBC heavyweight champion Fury and crown a four-belt world champion for the first time in history.

Given the lopsided nature of the defeat and the fact Joshua has considered making changes to his coaching staff, it is a move which would make sense both logistically and financially.

Although the Watford-native conceded it was not in his nature as a fighter to simply move aside, his shrewd business acumen took charge.

Usyk hurt Joshua on a few occasions during their fight

Usyk hurt Joshua on a few occasions during their fight
Fury, who knocked out Deontay Wilder in October, would likely enter the fight as a betting favourite given his superior size and weight advantage to Usyk.

With a fight between the two Brits falling off in the summer, it could well be resurrected with a Fury win and Joshua himself bouncing back.

Speaking at the press conference for Anthony Yarde vs Lyndon Arthur – a fight you can hear live on talkSPORT – Fury’s co-promoter Warren admitted a dialogue had been opened.

“Everybody wants to see him (Fury) and Usyk,’ the Queensberry chief told iFL TV. “That’s what we want to see

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Fury could face Usyk to unify the heavyweight division after toppling Wilder in their trilogy fight

Fury could face Usyk to unify the heavyweight division after toppling Wilder in their trilogy fight
“AJ, I see his interview last week, which was a little bit confusing. If you listen to what he’s saying, he’s basically saying ‘If I get the right money I’ll step aside’.

“So that’s really where we’ve got to get to as a team, the Tyson Fury team. We’re all working hard to make that happen and it just may happen.

“And if it does, then Tyson will meet him (Usyk) and the four belts will be on the line. And I hope that’s going to be the case.

“If it doesn’t for any reason, then we’ve got to move to Plan B, and Plan B will be to fight here in the UK in March against an opponent that Tyson feels comfortable with.”

The legendary promoter could well be tasked with putting on an undisputed heavyweight title fight in 2022

The legendary promoter could well be tasked with putting on an undisputed heavyweight title fight in 2022
He added: “Obviously there’s conversations (about Joshua stepping aside).

“But that will have a limit of time where suddenly it’s either going to happen or its not. I don’t think everybody’s going to be waiting around for that.

“But I’m quite positive and feel positive that there is between everybody a will to get it done.”

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Entertainment

Carrie Underwood liked a video against…mandates. ‘Now the mob is coming’

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It’s open season on country singer Carrie Underwood — kind of — for the offense of liking a conservative commentator’s video opposing schools’ mask mandates for kids.

 

 

The “Jesus, Take the Wheel” hitmaker was one of nearly 50,000 people who liked the video, which was posted Thursday on Twitter. It featured conservative pundit and Daily Wire contributor Matt Walsh at a Nashville school board meeting arguing that mask mandates for school-age children are akin to child abuse, given kids’ very small risk of death — not risk of infection, but risk of death — from COVID-19.

“Like anyone else, I am upset and disturbed that Carrie Underwood liked one of my tweets,” Walsh tweeted sarcastically Tuesday afternoon. “She should know better than to indirectly endorse the opinions of an extremist and scoundrel such as myself. Her lack of judgment is appalling. I demand that she renounce me and apologize.”

A few hours later, he tweeted, “Carrie Underwood liked my video and now the mob is coming for her. She should know better than to like something that they don’t like. This is an unforgivable sin.”

And the mob was there, perhaps nudged by a trending blurb on Twitter.

“Carrie Underwood being a God-over-Science person is the least surprising thing I’ve heard today,” author and Unitarian pastor John Pavlovitz tweeted. “Delta take the wheel…”

“Carrie Underwood is an anti-masker. She’s canceled in my book. Who else’s?,” actor Angela Belcamino asked.

Some extrapolated Underwood’s like of the Walsh video to mean she’s against the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Carrie Underwood being Anti Vaxx….anyways we still stan Kelly Clarkson forever the best winner of American Idol,” one person wrote.

“Dolly Parton help fund a vaccine to fight off covid. Carrie underwood is helping spread anti mask & antivaxx misinformation,” another user wrote. “Class vs trash.”

But others, including “Relatable” podcast host Allie Beth Stuckey, defended the singer.

“Carrie Underwood liked a video about kids not being forced to wear masks — a position totally supported by data — and she’s being called an anti-vaxxer,” Stuckey wrote. “In case you thought your ‘nuanced’ takes would save you from the leftist cancel mob… they won’t.”

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Meanwhile, other Twitter users thought folks had their priorities screwed up in general.

“In Afghanistan, women are getting raped by terrorists. In America, people with blue hair are throwing a tantrum because Carrie Underwood liked a tweet,” wrote free-speech radicalist Christian Walker, son of NFL great Herschel Walker. “We’re doomed.”

The “Before He Cheats” singer previously drew COVID-related criticism for performing at the Country Jam music festival, which ran over three days in late June just outside Grand Junction, Colo. The event, held outdoors and in line with state and local pandemic guidance, resulted in a few COVID-19 cases among festival staff and the 24,000 people per day who attended.

She and husband Mike Fisher have two young sons, ages 6 and 2.

Underwood hasn’t taken any action on Twitter since Thursday. Her publicist didn’t respond immediately to a request for comment Wednesday.

Walsh, a Nashville-area parent of four, is against mask mandates in general and made his point about kids and masks at a recent meeting of the Metro Nashville Board of Education.

“You and the school board have decided that our kids should go to school all day, every day, wearing muzzles like rabid dogs,” he said in the video. “I have listened to your arguments and I’ve noticed they are missing a few things, namely evidence, data, science, common sense and basic human dignity. You presented no facts at all, so let me do that now.”

Walsh then compared death rates in kids from the flu to those from COVID-19. The flu death rate was higher, he said, before emphasizing that in the 2018-19 flu season — the year of his data — nobody had suggested that kids wear masks.

The video now has more than 1.2 million views, almost 50,000 likes and more than 15,200 retweets.

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Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler Spotted on …

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The two stars were photographed on the set of the Netflix film in Oahu, Hawaii on Monday.

 

 

Aniston, 52, wore a green top and flower-patterned skirt while Sandler, 55, wore a blue button-down shirt and blue pants.

Sandler and Aniston are returning to their characters Nick and Audrey Spitz, respectively, after the first film debuted on Netflix in 2019.

Murder Mystery follows, Nick, a New York cop, and Audrey, his wife, as they go on a European vacation to reinvigorate their marriage when a chance encounter leads to them both being framed for the murder of an elderly billionaire.

In September, TV Line reported the sequel would be “another international adventure full of intrigue and hijinks.”

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Scott Yamano/Netflix Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler in Murder Mystery

In June 2019, Netflix said the first movie had been viewed by over 30 million accounts in three days.

At the time, the streamer said the movie’s debut was “the biggest opening weekend ever for a Netflix film.”

Murder Mystery is the second movie Aniston and Sandler have made together, following the 2011 romantic comedy Just Go With It. With the sequel, the two friends are making their third movie together.

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Warriors midseason review: Grades, awards for one of NBA’s top first-half surprises

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As the regular season passes the halfway point, there have been few more pleasant surprises than the Golden State Warriors. But after 30 wins in their first 41 games, the season’s midpoint is also bringing the Warriors their most adversity yet this season.

 

 

Compared to the past two years, though, most fans will take the NBA’s second-best record, even if it comes now on the heels of five losses in their past seven games, the possibility of an extended absence for Draymond Green and a rare shooting slump from Steph Curry.

“We understand what’s going on right now. We’re in a tough spot, just like every team faces every year,” coach Steve Kerr said. “This is our time right now.”

One message rings true up and down the organization: it’s championship or bust.

“Everything we’re doing right now is preparing for the playoffs,” said Andrew Wiggins, whose postseason experience in seven previous seasons has been limited to single series elimination.

“It gives me chills thinking about what we can be at that point in the year,” said Klay Thompson, who has four games under his belt after missing the past two years.

Before we get there, let’s take a look back at how the Warriors put together one of the best records in the NBA through their first 41 games.

Offensive MVP: Steph Curry

Nobody in the NBA had a better first two months than Curry. He tore up the league to the tune of 28.6 ppg while making 46.6% of his shots from the field and 42.3% from 3-point land in his first 19 games. He made history, setting the all-time 3-point record in December, but by then, he was entering one of the longest shooting slumps of his career: 24.0 ppg on .377 shooting (34.5% from 3) in 20 games since. His scoring average has dropped to sixth in the league (26.3 ppg). Find Curry’s true value, though, by looking at the leaders in plus-minus: the Warriors are outscoring opponents by 402 points with him on the floor, 40 more than the next-closest player, Utah’s Rudy Gobert.

Curry is the best show in the sports, as evidenced by the “oohs” and “ahs” and “M-V-P” chants he commands even in opposing arenas. He’s fallen behind names such as Giannis, Jokic and KD in the NBA MVP debate. But for the Warriors? There’s no question. Curry is the man that makes Steve Kerr’s motion offense go.

That said, the Warriors offense has faltered in ways their defense hasn’t since early on in the season. What was once the third-rated offense has fallen to 12th in the NBA, while their defense has maintained its status atop the league.

Overall offensive grade: B+

Defensive MVP: Draymond Green
Like Curry, Green is a legitimate contender for the league-wide honor, so handing him the team award was a no brainer. Nobody within the organization would question it, either. Green is so well regarded that he won the team’s internal defender of the month honor, a motivational tool handed out by associate head coach Mike Brown. It speaks to the expectations the Warriors have for Green, even if he’ll occasionally rib Brown about the snubs.

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The Warriors own the best defense in the NBA (102.6 points per 100 possessions), in large part because of Green. But they’re now faced with the challenge of maintaining it with Green possibly out for the longest stretch of his career — at least the next two weeks — with lower back problems. Luckily for the Warriors, they also have the NBA’s league leader in defensive rating — Andre Iguodala (96.9) — and eight of the league’s 21 top-rated defenders between Gary Payton II (98.7), Curry (99.5), Nemanja Bjelica (100.5), Otto Porter Jr. (100.7), Jordan Poole (101.3), Green (101.5) and Wiggins (101.5).

Overall defensive grade: A+

X-factor: Offseason acquisitions
Credit to the Warriors front office for taking a look at the roster after last season and identifying the need for more spacing and a defense-first back-up point guard. The Warriors couldn’t have found better fits than Porter and Bjelica, two smart players who have fit seamlessly into Golden State’s read-and-react offense. Golden State knew both players could shoot, but they’ve also surprised in other ways, be it Bjelica’s drive-and-kick ability or Porter’s work on the boards and his occasional heat wave that reminds observers why he was drafted third overall nine years ago.

Payton joined the organization last season — spending the Summer League with the Warriors even as a 27-year-old without a guaranteed roster spot — but he could have been had by any of the 29 other teams all offseason or at the end of training camp. Even the Warriors, who long admired Payton’s defensive game, couldn’t have seen him developing a real 3-point shot (41.4%), becoming the league’s best 6-3 post player and forcing his way into regular rotation minutes.

Quick side note: a shout out is deserved for the Warriors training staff, which has the notoriously frail Porter, 28, the healthiest he’s been in years, and is squeezing every last drop out of the 18-year veteran Iguodala, whose best days appeared to be behind him the past two seasons in Miami but has played with a renewed vigor. Behind the scenes, Iguodala has also played a key role in getting players like Poole up to speed in the Warriors defense.

Overall first-half grade: A

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