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Desert Storm: Will Anthony Joshua or Unbeaten Tyson Fury Be Crowned Undisputed Heavyweight Champion?




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The last undisputed world heavyweight champion was Britain’s Lennox Lewis, who held the WBC, WBA and IBF titles between November 1999 and April 2000. Although the WBO was in existence in 1999, it was lightly regarded by boxing fans until around 2004.

Boxing fans around the world are salivating now that it has been confirmed that the long-awaited fight between Britain’s Tyson Fury and compatriot Anthony Joshua will go ahead in August to decide who is the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.

Fury confirmed on social media on Sunday, 16 May, the bout would take place in Saudi Arabia on 14 August.

AP Photo / Andrew Couldridge

Britain’s Anthony Joshua punches Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev during their fight on 12 December 2020

Fury, who will turn 33 two days before the fight, holds the WBC title while Joshua, 31, is the WBA, IBF and WBO champion.

But Fury is unbeaten and is also the lineal champion – meaning he can trace his reign right back to the last undisputed champion, Lennox Lewis, in 2000 – while Joshua has one blot on his record, an embarrassing defeat at the hands of overweight Mexican-American Andy Ruiz in New York in June 2019.

​Joshua avenged that defeat in December 2019, winning on points in Saudi Arabia, and was on a collision course with Fury from the moment the gypsy fighter knocked out Deontay Wilder in a rematch in Las Vegas in February 2020.

But the pandemic struck Europe and North America the following month and all talk of a unification superfight were put on hold, much to the frustration of boxing fans.


In January this year, when it became clear the pair were negotiating for the fight, Saudi Arabia was mentioned as one of several possible venues.

In a video message on Sunday, Fury said: “All eyes of the world will be on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I cannot wait, I repeat, cannot wait to smash Anthony Joshua on the biggest stage of all-time.”

Joshua-Ruiz 2 took place at the Diriyah Arena, a 15-000 seater temporary stadium which was erected in the desert just outside Riyadh.

But three weeks after the fight it was dismantled and shipped to Tokyo to become part of the doomed 2020 Olympics.

Saudi Arabia has several football stadiums which could host the fight but daytime temperatures in August are around 45 degrees Celsius.

Temperatures fall considerably after dark and a fight at midnight local time would be broadcast live at 10pm in Britain and around 5pm in North America.

​Joshua has yet to tweet about the fight but it would appear both men have agreed to it, even if they have not yet signed a contract.

Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn said: “It’s the same people we did the deal with for Andy Ruiz, that event was spectacular. As partners, they were fantastic as well, so we’re very comfortable.

“We’re very comfortable. Anthony’s comfortable, he knows those people. They delivered on every one of their promises last time – we’re ready to go,” he added.

The fight will also be partly promoted by MTK, the controversial company who are linked to Irish businessman and alleged drug kingpin Daniel Kinahan.

Fury, who was the underdog when he defeat Wladimir Klitschko to become a world champion first time and when he fought Wilder, will probably start the fight as the favourite.

Joshua’s chin proved to be suspect when he lost to Ruiz and although he has insisted that defeat was an aberration, Fury’s technical and tactical ability could give him the edge.

​If the fight goes 12 rounds and ends in a points victory for either man, then expect a rematch in 2022, probably in London rather than Las Vegas.

But if either man wins a crushing early knockout it is possible the loser will not seek to trigger the rematch clause.

A victorious Fury would almost certainly be forced to complete a trilogy of fights against Wilder, who is to determined to avenge his defeat last year, which he blamed on the heavy Black Lives Matter outfit he wore into the ring.

If Joshua wins he could be tempted to fight Dillian Whyte – who he has defeated before – in a WBC title defence.

Further down the line a string of contenders are champing at the bit to fight the undisputed champion.

They include Britain’s unbeaten Joe Joyce, who won a silver medal at the 2016 Olympic Games, and Ukraine’s Oleksandr Usyk, an unbeaten former world cruiserweight champion who has now bulked up to 16 stone five pounds to compete as a heavyweight.

Also on the horizon is Trevor Bryan, an American who has a record of 21-0 and stopped Haiti-born Bermane Stiverne – who briefly held the WBC title in 2014 – in January.

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Hungary’s Fidesz wants to ban LGBTIQ content for under-18s



Hungary’s ruling nationalist party has submitted legislation to ban content it sees as promoting homosexuality and gender-change to minors, Reuters reported. The draft law would ban LGBTIQ literature for under-18s, including educational material, and advertisements deemed to be promoting gay rights. The vote will take place next Tuesday. Prime minister Viktor Orbán’s government has been taking aim at the LGBTIQ community ahead of elections next spring.

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Rebel Joe: POTUS Reportedly Breaks Royal Protocol Making Queen Wait For Him




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Sputnik International

Biden’s predecessors – Donald Trump and Barack Obama – too violated rules when meeting members of the Royal Family. The Republican and his wife Melania shook hands with Queen Elizabeth II and her late husband Prince Philip instead of curtsying and bowing, while the Democrat made a speech over the UK’s national anthem.

US President Joe Biden violated royal protocol while attending a G7 dinner reception in the United Kingdom, the Daily Mail has reported, citing Debrett’s, a leading authority on royal etiquette. According to the newspaper, the protocol states that all guests must arrive at the venue before royals and no guest should leave an event before members of the “Firm” (nickname for senior members of the Royal Family and their staff).

The Democrat and his wife Jill arrived five minutes after the Queen got there with Prince Charles and the Duke and the Duchess of Cambridge. However, it appears that the faux pas by the US president didn’t affect the meeting as the monarch seemed happy when she greeted Joe Biden and First Lady Jill.

​Reports say the presence of the Royal Family was crucial as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is attempting to sign a post-Brexit free trade deal with the United States.

Biden became the 13th sitting US president to meet with Queen Elizabeth II during her 69-year reign. The monarch has met every US president since Dwight Eisenhower, except for Lyndon B Johnson, who did not visit the United Kingdom during his time in office.

While posing for a group photo with other G7 leaders, Queen Elizabeth cracked a joke. “Are you supposed to be looking as if you’re enjoying yourself”, the monarch said making leaders chuckle.

​This was the first time the Queen, 95, has met foreign leaders since the beginning of the pandemic and the first major official engagement since the death of her husband Prince Philip.

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Spanish-American trade tensions: Spain warns Trump that trade hostilities could endanger greater military cooperation | International



Spain views its bilateral relations with the United States as a whole, not as a set of separate areas where it is possible to have a good relationship in one (defense, for instance) and an openly hostile attitude in another (trade).

This was the message conveyed on Thursday by Spain’s foreign and defense ministers, Arancha González Laya and Margarita Robles, respectively, to US ambassador Duke Buchan. Washington should not expect military cooperation to increase while simultaneously imposing new tariffs and issuing threats to Spanish businesses, said Spanish government sources.

The Foreign Ministry portrayed the meeting as an initial contact between the new head of Spanish diplomacy and the Trump administration’s representative in Madrid. The encounter took place 48 hours before González Laya was scheduled to have a telephone conversation with US State Secretary Mike Pompeo.

For the first time, military cooperation was framed as one more element of US-Spanish relations, together with political, economic and cultural collaboration

But the unusual format of the meeting – two ministers going to see an ambassador – reveals a goal that goes beyond diplomatic formalities. For the first time, military cooperation was framed as one more element of US-Spanish relations, together with political, economic and cultural collaboration.

This attitude signals a change in Spain’s position: until now, the US military presence in the country had been “encapsulated” and treated as a separate issue, even at times when relations were cooler, such as the period when former US president George W. Bush and former Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero were in power.

In recent months, the Spanish government has authorized the US to replace four missile destroyers at its Navy base in Rota (Cádiz) with more modern vessels. The move also involves increasing the US presence at the base with a new helicopter maritime strike squadron. And the Spanish government has been sounded out about the possibility of deploying six destroyers in Rota instead of four, which means increasing its naval force by 50% and adding 600 sailors.

Spain views the agricultural tariffs, imposed in retaliation over European subsidies to the aviation giant Airbus, as unfair

While these requests are being made, the Trump administration is also making decisions that the Spanish government views as unfriendly. The most serious one of all was the recent introduction of 25% tariffs on several agricultural products, including olive oil, wine and cheese. Spanish exports of these products represented over €800 million a year.

Spain views these sanctions, imposed in retaliation over European subsidies to the aviation giant Airbus, as unfair. The tariffs have added to the financial troubles of Spain’s agricultural sector, which has been staging protests for weeks. But it wasn’t the first time: under pressure from California growers, in 2018 the US government slapped a tariff of nearly 35% on Spanish black olives, forcing Spanish exporters to take their battle to the US courts.

Another recent decision by the US State Department is viewed as even more hostile: the vice-chairman and CEO of the Meliá hotel chain, Gabriel Escarrer, has been barred from entering US territory. The move also affects his children and close relatives, and it is derived from Title IV of the Helms-Burton Act, which allows the secretary of state to deny entry to individuals who “traffic” in property that was confiscated from US nationals by the Cuban government from 1959 onwards.

The vice-chairman and CEO of the Meliá hotel chain, Gabriel Escarrer. has been barred from entering US territory

Several Spanish companies with a presence in Cuba have already been threatened or faced with legal problems under Title III, which allows US nationals to bring suits against anyone deemed to be “trafficking” with expropriated assets. But while these cases can be appealed in court, the decision to bar an individual from entering the country is discretionary and cannot be contested. “Not even North Korea does this sort of thing,” said one Spanish diplomat.

On Wednesday, the Trump administration further warned that it is considering sanctions against foreign companies operating in Venezuela as a way to put pressure on President Nicolás Maduro. The Spanish oil company Repsol was specifically named along with Russia’s Rosneft.

The decision to put military and trade relations on the same level follows Trump’s own logic: the US president has warned that NATO allies that fail to contribute 2% of their gross domestic product to defense could ultimately pay in the form of tariffs.

On Wednesday, the Spanish foreign minister told NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels that Spain is a “solid and reliable” ally. González Laya is planning to travel to Washington DC shortly, although Madrid is aware that the Trump administration is currently focusing on the re-election effort.

Despite the differences, the US-Spain relation is considered strategic. “For multiple reasons, political, economic and security-related, we consider it a priority to maintain and expand our relations with the United States of America,” said King Felipe VI in a speech to the diplomatic corps at the Royal Palace, just hours after the ministers had met with the US ambassador.

English version by Susana Urra.

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