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Joshua knocks out Pulev, edges closer to dream fight against Tyson Fury

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Anthony Joshua floors Kubrat Pulev three times in a spiteful and vicious performance that would have grabbed Tyson Fury’s attention, reports Skysports.

Joshua knocked his opponent out in the ninth round of their world heavyweight championship fight at The SSE Arena, Wembley, on Saturday night.

He floored Pulev heavily on three occasions, twice in the final round, and ended the fight with a vicious right hand to retain his IBF, WBA and WBO titles.

The explosive performance from Joshua would have demanded the attention of Tyson Fury – they remain on a collision course to decide an undisputed champion in 2021.

Undefeated WBC champion Fury holds the only major belt outside of Joshua’s grip and a meeting between them would be the biggest match in world boxing – after delivering this thrilling knockout in front of a crowd of 1,000 people plus boxing great Floyd Mayweather, Joshua moved a step closer to making it a reality.

His first fight since avenging a shock defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr a year ago would have ended explosively in the third round had his challenger Pulev not possessed a warrior-like determination to continue when he was felled, but there was no escaping the eventual knockout.

Joshua barely broke eye contact with his challenger from the moment he strode over the top rope and into the ring, then their pre-fight fist bump was aggressive and intense.

When the punches began flying, Joshua landed a series of jabs and Pulev clipped him back with a left hook.

When Joshua let his hands go for the first time with a four-punch salvo in the second round, Pulev smiled sarcastically back at him.

Joshua smashed Pulev with a perfectly-timed right hand in the third round that badly hurt his challenger.

Joshua hunted him, desperate for the knockout, and landed a brutal barrage of uppercuts and hooks which eventually toppled Pulev to the canvas.

It seemed likely to be all over but Pulev, whose only previous loss in 29 fights was against Wladimir Klitschko, survived to the bell after which he threw an illegal shot that fizzed past the champion’s face.

Joshua, eyes bulging and tongue out, stared a hole through Pulev and spoke to him as the next round was set to begin.

He regained his composure and, in the fifth, cracked home a big right hand which didn’t budge Pulev, who ended the round strongly after some feisty back-and-forth trash talk.

A spiteful fight became gritty and rugged in the sixth when Pulev began winging wild swings that didn’t hit their target, but did force ugly exchanges.

Three consecutive uppercuts from Joshua hurt Pulev in the seventh but still the tough Bulgarian would not cede ground.

Pulev then landed his best punch, a straight right hand, in the eighth.

But Joshua closed the show in the ninth with another colossal uppercut which crumpled Pulev to the floor for the second time.

Still Pulev rose but a right hand from Joshua sent him flying backwards and split his lip bloodily, ending the fight in a flash.

The fight that the boxing world now craves is Joshua vs Fury – they each have other challengers circling, Oleksandr Usyk and Deontay Wilder respectively – but the two Brits putting every heavyweight belt on the line would be an historic occasion.

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Super Eagles striker Paul Onuachu joins EPL club Southampton

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Super Eagles striker, Paul Onuachu, has joined an English Premier League club Southampton on a permanent deal.

Onuachu who left Genk signed a three-and-a-half year contract with the Premier League side.

The South Coast club beat Bundesliga side, Eintracht Frankfurt to the forward.

Onuachu is coming to the St Mary’s Stadium with huge reputation having scored 17 goals in 22 appearances for Genk this season.

In total, he departs with 85 goals in 134 games for the club, which he joined in 2019 from Danish side FC Midtjylland.

Southampton manager Nathan Jones said, “Paul is a significant signing for us and completes what has been an extremely positive month in terms of recruitment.

“He’s a handful to play against, has got a tremendous record throughout his career and he’s also someone who brings great experience with him, so he’ll be a really positive addition to the squad.”

 

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Everton confirm former Burnley boss Dyche as new manager

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Everton have confirmed the appointment of former Burnley boss Sean Dyche as their new manager on a two-and-a-half-year contract.

The report came on Monday that Dyche had been chosen by the Everton board as Frank Lampard’s successor, after also holding talks with former Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa.

Dyche, according to a Sky Sports report, is the seventh permanent manager hired by Toffees owner Farhad Moshiri since he took over the club nearly seven years ago.

Lampard’s last game in charge was a 2-0 defeat at fellow strugglers West Ham on January 21, which kept them second-bottom on 15 points after 20 games – two points below the safety zone.

The Merseyside club had been floundering under the former England international, having last won a league game in October when they beat Crystal Palace 3-0 at home.

Lampard was appointed by Everton in January 2022 after he managed Chelsea from 2019/2021 and Derby County in the second tier in 2018/19, but Dyche will now be tasked with arresting the slide towards the Championship.

Dyche told the club’s official website, “It’s an honour to become Everton manager. My staff and I are ready and eager to help get this great club back on track.

“I know about Everton’s passionate fanbase and how precious this club is to them. We’re ready to work and ready to give them what they want. That starts with sweat on the shirt, effort and getting back to some of the basic principles of what Everton Football Club has stood for for a long time.”

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Mourinho Compares Victor Osimhen to one of the African legend, Didier Drogba

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Victor Osimhen

AS Roma manager, Jose Mourinho, has compared Super Eagles of Nigeria and Napoli of Italy hitman, Victor Osimhen, to Chelsea and Ivory Coast legend, Didier Drogba.

NEWSBREAK reports that the  Nigerian striker netted a world-class goal as his side, Napoli, marched towards the Serie A title on Sunday. Osimhen’s classic goal came against Mourinho’s Roma at the Diego Maradona stadium where Napoli won 2-1.

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Speaking after the match, Mourinho, a former Chelsea, Manchester United and Real Madrid manager, said: “He (Osimhen) is of the same level as Drogba, but Didier didn’t dive.

“If Victor changes, then OK. I’d buy him if I was at a club with a lot of money. However, if he does go to England one day, he needs to change, because in Italy they put up with this sort of behaviour, whereas in the Premier League, they’d come down hard on him.”

He added: “I told him that he scored a wonderful goal and needs to stop diving so much. His goal was fantastic, he did the same thing when we met earlier this season, so he’s a fantastic player. But he mustn’t dive.”

Osimhen, 24, is currently the highest goal scorer in the Italian league Serie A with 14 goals scored in 16 matches.

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