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Taylor seals Rio place

Last Updated: 24/05/16 4:49pm

Katie Taylor will meet Estelle Mossely for a place in the final in Astana

Katie Taylor will meet Estelle Mossely for a place in the final in Astana

Katie Taylor will meet Estelle Mossely for a place in the final in Astana

Katie Taylor sealed an Olympic Games place with victory over Victoria Torres in the World Championships quarter-final in Astana.

Ireland’s reigning world lightweight champion, looking for a sixth successive title, was rarely troubled by her Mexican opponent in claiming three 40-36 verdicts on the judges’ cards.

Victory was enough to see Taylor through to the last four, with all semi-finalists in Kazakhstan guaranteed a place in the field for the Olympics in Rio later this summer.

Taylor would have expected to take on Azerbaijan’s Yana Alekseevna in the semis, looking for revenge after being beaten by her in the European qualifiers last month – a defeat that ended Taylor’s five-year winning streak

But Alekseevna was surprisingly beaten by French fighter Estelle Mossely –

Kelly Morgan blog

Last Updated: 25/04/16 8:53pm

Boxer Kelly Morgan reflects on a big night for her friend Mikaela Lauren

Boxer Kelly Morgan reflects on a big night for her friend Mikaela Lauren

Boxer Kelly Morgan reflects on a big night for her friend Mikaela Lauren

Female professional boxer Kelly Morgan reports on a night to remember for friend and sparring partner Mikaela Lauren…

I was lucky enough to be in Stockholm at the weekend to watch Mikaela Lauren’s first WBC super-welterweight world title defence.

Mikaela and I met at the WBC Convention in Tijuana, Mexico at the beginning of the year and have become strong sparring partners with Mikaela spending time in London for training camps with her coach CJ Hussein.

And thanks to the generosity of a local businessman in my adopted home town of Swindon – Paul Stewart – I was able to be at ringside to watch my friend in action.

The hotly anticipated match-up with former IBF world champion Ivana Habazin had been billed as a close contest but right from the first bell, Mikaela was too strong.

With Habazin unable to answer the volume of punches thrown by Mikaela, the referee stopped the contest in the second round.

Celebrating the success of Mikaela Lauren (left) in Stockholm

Celebrating the success of Mikaela Lauren (left) in Stockholm

Celebrating the success of Mikaela Lauren (left) in Stockholm

This victory sends a huge message to the world of female professional boxers, with a rematch against undisputed world welterweight champion Cecilia Braekhus a possibility in the near future – they first met in 2010 with Braekhus winning with a knockout.

In addition to Mikaela’s dominant performance, the show had many highlights including joint-headline act Erik Skoglund v Ryno Liebenberg, who fought for the vacant IBO International light-heavyweight Title.

Skoglund won after a 12-round war, which left both boxers, the referee and the canvas covered in blood.

And still... Mikaela after her win

And still... Mikaela after her win

And still… Mikaela after her win

British-based boxer Pat Mendy opened the show with a strong performance, beating home-crowd favourite Oscar Ahlin, and Swedish boxer Klara Svensson out-pointed Italian Lucia Morelli in a skilful display.

Outside of the ring, the world of female professional boxing continues to fight hard with the support of the WBC.

Saturday’s show ‘The Capital Showdown’ saw Sauerland Promotions run a top night of professional boxing in the Swedish capital with a card of female and male boxers.

And K2 Promotions recently also featured two female bouts on the undercard of the Gennady Golovkin v Dominic Wade match-up.

It seems the big promotional companies are beginning to recognise the value of female professional boxing – although there remains a long way to go.

Mikaela’s demand for ring boys was honoured by Sauerland Promotions and went down well with the crowd packed into the Hovet Arena – another illustration of female boxing growing a voice which is being heard.

Mikaela demanded a 'ring boy' for her fight - and she got one!

Mikaela demanded a 'ring boy' for her fight - and she got one!

Mikaela demanded a ‘ring boy’ for her fight – and she got one!

My personal choice would be to remove ring boys and girls altogether but if the tradition remains, then it is absolutely right to have a mix of ring girls and boys.

I applaud Mikaela Lauren’s tough stance on this, another example of the fight outside of the ring.

It was altogether a very motivating and positive weekend which will further fuel me through my current training camp.

I now have a new date for my WBC Silver middleweight title fight against Ghanaian No 1 Gifty Amanua Ankrah after our initial date in March was cancelled by the promotional company just four days before the fight

It was heart-breaking when it was called off – I had trained so, so hard – but I am now three weeks into camp and am focused and strong.

And, on June 10

Groves 'stronger than before'

Last Updated: 25/04/16 3:12pm

George Groves admits he's expecting a tough fight against Martin Murray

George Groves admits he's expecting a tough fight against Martin Murray

George Groves admits he’s expecting a tough fight against Martin Murray

George Groves claims new trainer Shane McGuigan has unlocked his strength as preparations for the Martin Murray bout begin.

Groves (23-3-KO18) has fought twice under McGuigan’s guidance – bouncing back from last August’s controversial points defeat to world champion Badou Jack with quick-fire wins over Andrea Di Luisa and David Brophy.

The Londoner will now face Murray (32-3-1-KO15) in a WBA super-middleweight title eliminator at the The O2 on June 25

'Breazeale no breeze for AJ'

Johnny Nelson

Boxing Expert & Columnist

Last Updated: 25/04/16 1:09pm

Johnny Nelson analyses Anthony Joshua v Dominic Breazeale

Johnny Nelson analyses Anthony Joshua v Dominic Breazeale

Johnny Nelson analyses Anthony Joshua v Dominic Breazeale

So long as he retains his hunger, Anthony Joshua will have too much for Dominic Breazeale, says Johnny Nelson.

It’s an intriguing one. They’re both relatively young as professional fighters. I know Anthony Joshua is a little younger but they’re both young in fight terms and I think it’s a good fight.

Breazeale is 6’7″ and he’s an athlete – he’s a former quarterback. I’ve seen some of his fights on YouTube and he’s got fast feet. That’ll be from the drills they do in American Football training, so he’ll be in and out quick.

Joshua vs Breazeale is live on Sky Sports Box Office

Joshua vs Breazeale is live on Sky Sports Box Office

Joshua vs Breazeale is live on Sky Sports Box Office

His upper body isn’t as quick and I don’t think he’s as big a banger as Joshua even though he’s knocked out 15 of his 17 opponents. I think Joshua is more of a concussive puncher.

Breazeale hits clean and hurts but he’s not a concussive knockout merchant like Joshua so I think it’s a good fight. The Americans love him.

I liked what I heard from Joshua after the Martin fight – he said he wanted to unify the division. He wasn’t complacent. He still sounded hungry.

Johnny Nelson

These guys will have crossed paths at London 2012. Breazeale went out of the super-heavyweight competition in the first round but I’m quite sure they would’ve had an eye on each other.

To me, it’s a good first defence. The Americans of course want to get the jewels back over there so he’s the boy they’re bigging up. They’re thinking he’s going to be the one to do it and we’ll see.

It’s down to Anthony Joshua. He shut Charles Martin out and Martin again was unbeaten up until that stage with a good knockout ratio and everything. I can see Joshua doing exactly that to Breazeale if he’s on form.

There was a lot at stake when he boxed Martin because he was the hunter and had a hunter’s mentality. When you’re going after a title, you know what your drive is and you know what you’re focused on. The hardest thing is staying world champion because your mentality changes.

You’ve reached the pinnacle and you’ve reached where you want to be, so now you’ve got to get another form of motivation. I liked what I heard from Joshua after the Martin fight – he said he wanted to unify the division. He wasn’t complacent. He still sounded hungry.

Breazeale has stopped 15 of his 17 opponents

Breazeale has stopped 15 of his 17 opponents

Breazeale has stopped 15 of his 17 opponents

As long as he goes in with that hungry hunter’s mentality against Breazeale, I think he’ll box on form but I think it’s a good match with two, big tall units who are knockout merchants. Excitement and knockouts are to be expected.

A good first defence for Joshua on June 25 would take him onwards and upwards and I’m quite sure he’ll be keeping an eye on Tyson Fury.

The George Groves v Martin Murray clash on the undercard is a great match-up.

Groves’ best performance was his first fight against Carl Froch and I don’t think he’s performed as well since. Now it’s about establishing his position in the British rankings because both guys are in touching distance of boxing for world titles.

George Groves will face Martin Murray in a WBA eliminator

George Groves will face Martin Murray in a WBA eliminator

George Groves will face Martin Murray in a WBA eliminator

Murray is a good tough opponent so if Groves still has those world title ambitions and abilities, this fight should show it but I think it’s a cracking fight because they match each other perfectly in terms of where they are in their careers.

If Groves still has it, he should get the job done but if he’s slipped a little bit, then it’s going to be a tough night’s work and Murray is a true warrior and he’ll put it on Groves.

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'Breazeale no breeze for AJ'

AJ defends against Breazeale

Last Updated: 25/04/16 9:23pm

Anthony Joshua will fight Dominic Breazeale at London's O2 Arena on June 25

Anthony Joshua will fight Dominic Breazeale at London's O2 Arena on June 25

Anthony Joshua will fight Dominic Breazeale at London’s O2 Arena on June 25

Anthony Joshua will make the first defence of his IBF world heavyweight title against undefeated American Dominic Breazeale at The O2 on June 25, live on Sky Sports Box Office.

Joshua dismissed Charles Martin in two rounds at The O2 on April 9 to win the IBF belt with his 16th straight knockout victory since turning professional in the wake of Olympic glory at London 2012.

Anthony Joshua will return to The O2 to put his IBF title on the line

Anthony Joshua will return to The O2 to put his IBF title on the line

Anthony Joshua will return to The O2 to put his IBF title on the line

Breazeale

Price: Fury deserves respect

Last Updated: 24/04/16 2:46pm

Tyson Fury is the current No 1 in the heavyweight division

Tyson Fury is the current No 1 in the heavyweight division

Tyson Fury is the current No 1 in the heavyweight division

David Price does not think that Tyson Fury receives the respect he deserves as world heavyweight champion.

Unbeaten 27-year-old Fury became the first man to defeat Wladimir Klitschko in more than eleven years last November, claiming the Ukrainian’s world titles with a unanimous decision win.

But the outspoken champion has attracted controversy with some of his statements, leading to fierce criticism from sections of the media.

David Price failed to reach an agreement with Fury about a British title fight in 2012

David Price failed to reach an agreement with Fury about a British title fight in 2012

David Price failed to reach an agreement with Fury about a British title fight in 2012

Price became engaged in a verbal battle with Fury when they were potential opponents in the past, but always held his rival in high regard and insists the WBA and WBO king has not been given the rightful recognition.

“Whether they are right or not, he has got his own beliefs, and it’s really gone against him, hasn’t it?” said Price.

“You’re the heavyweight champion of the world, people should be falling over themselves to have him on chat shows, to give him big endorsements and everything else.

He’s a likeable character and you’ve got to admit it was phenomenal what he done over there beating Klitschko.

David Price on Tyson Fury

“Because what he has come out and said and what he believes in, it’s made people keep their distance from him, so it’s kind of self-inflicted. But I don’t believe he is getting the respect as the heavyweight champion. He is the lineal heavyweight champion of the world.

“He’s a likeable character and you’ve got to admit it was phenomenal what he done over there beating Klitschko. Massive respect for that.”

The Liverpudlian is set to return to the ring on the same bill as Tony Bellew

The Liverpudlian is set to return to the ring on the same bill as Tony Bellew

The Liverpudlian is set to return to the ring on the same bill as Tony Bellew

Price holds an amateur win over Fury and believes the pair could meet again if he puts his professional career back on track, starting with a planned appearance on Tony Bellew-Ilunga Makabu undercard.

The Liverpudlian said: “Two big giants from the north west and a few fights back in, I still wouldn’t rule out fighting Tyson Fury down the line. I’m still the last Englishman to beat him, by the way.”

Anthony Joshua took the IBF title from Charles Martin earlier this month

Anthony Joshua took the IBF title from Charles Martin earlier this month

Anthony Joshua took the IBF title from Charles Martin earlier this month

Anthony Joshua is also a world champion after his second round stoppage of Charles Martin and Price is glad to return to a thriving heavyweight division.

“He has took the opportunity with both hands, which I expected him to do really,” said Price. “Before the fight, I was asked questions and I didn’t want to make it sound like it would be a washout.

Tyson Fury uploaded this video of himself to his instagram account looking very good in training

Tyson Fury uploaded this video of himself to his instagram account looking very good in training

Tyson Fury uploaded this video of himself to his instagram account looking very good in training

“If I can get a couple of wins under my belt, at the end of the day I’m still a dangerous fighter, despite my losses.

“I’m an Olympic medallist like Anthony Joshua, two big men, and I think it would be a fight that the public would be interested in. Let’s see what happens in my next couple of fights and we can start talking a bit more about it potentially happening.”

Brook: I'd love to bash Broner

Last Updated: 20/04/16 10:50am

Kell Brook has put Danny Garcia at the top of his wishlist but admits he would like to give Adrien Broner a “beating”.

The IBF welterweight champion is ready to get back into the ring this summer after seeing off three consecutive mandatory defences.

Brook’s promoter Eddie Hearn added Lamont Peterson and Timothy Bradley to the list earlier this week and revealed there was a possibility of the ‘Special One’ taking on middleweight Miguel Cotto.

Brook admits Cotto would be a dream fight but now it seems to have fallen through, would rather take on WBC world welterweight champion, Garcia.

Eddie Hearn looks at what lies ahead for Kell Brook and clears up the Miguel Cotto rumours

Eddie Hearn looks at what lies ahead for Kell Brook and clears up the Miguel Cotto rumours

Eddie Hearn looks at what lies ahead for Kell Brook and clears up the Miguel Cotto rumours

“I remember the Cotto story came out just after [Amir] Khan announced he was going to fight [Saul] Alvarez, then we started hearing rumours,” he told Sky Sports.

“I couldn’t stop talking about it but it hasn’t progressed for one reason or another. It would be a big fight. We’ve all watched him for many years and he’s a true warrior and those are the sort of fights we all want.

“Right now though, I want Danny Garcia. He is a big name, he is good and that would be my number one pick.”

Danny Garcia is top of Kell Brook's big-name wishlist

Danny Garcia is top of Kell Brook's big-name wishlist

Danny Garcia is top of Kell Brook’s big-name wishlist

Garcia has not boxed since winning the WBC belt in January, although there is plenty of speculation suggesting the two-weight world champion will be the opponent if Floyd Mayweather returns to the ring to set a new 50-0 record.

Former friends Mayweather and Broner appear to have fallen out and Brook would be happy to fight ‘The Problem’.

“A lot of people, including myself, would like to give him a beating for how he acts and how he goes off,” he said.

“He does wind me up because he’s got no respect for the game. I am not as bad as some people who say they ‘hate’ him, I just take him for what he is. But he’s someone I’d like to smack about!

Adrien Broner shows boxing no respect, says Kell Brook

Adrien Broner shows boxing no respect, says Kell Brook

Adrien Broner shows boxing no respect, says Kell Brook

“He can fight, they can all fight at this level. I am ready to go in July. I just want big names and I need to fight big names to get me up for a fight. I’ve been doing this for a long time.”

Brook also had a message for rising American star Errol Spence Jr, who became the first fighter to stop former world champion Chris Algieri in New York at the weekend and immediately called out the IBF champion.

Errol Spence Jr could become Brook's latest mandatory challenger later this year

Errol Spence Jr could become Brook's latest mandatory challenger later this year

Errol Spence Jr could become Brook’s latest mandatory challenger later this year

Spence Jr’s stunning fifth-round win moved him up the rankings but still needs to beat Konstantin Ponomarev in an eliminator to become the mandatory challenger.

“He’s still not heard of as a big name but he’s definitely showing he’s starting to fight and it will be interesting when he becomes the mandatory and we have to get it on,” said Brook.

“But I just wonder if he’s got a taste of Jeff Lacy about him, this big hype thing – and look what Joe Calzaghe

AJ: I'll help Fury lose weight

Last Updated: 20/04/16 8:04am

IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua says he would love to fight Tyson Fury

IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua says he would love to fight Tyson Fury

IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua says he would love to fight Tyson Fury

Anthony Joshua has offered to help Tyson Fury lose weight ahead of his rematch with Wladimir Klitschko.

Fury, the WBA Super and WBO world heavyweight champion, tweeted out his need to lose a “whopping 3st 3lbs” ahead of his July 9 fight and has offered to help Twitter followers lose weight with him.

Joshua has joined in the conversation, suggesting his British rival get in touch for some advice of his own.

I could shed that in a month, don’t worry about that. Just reach out Tyson, I’m here!

Anthony Joshua to Tyson Fury

“I told him I’ve got the training tips when he’s ready,” Joshua told Sky Sports News HQ.

Joshua considering options

Last Updated: 20/04/16 6:45am

IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua says he would love to fight Tyson Fury

IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua says he would love to fight Tyson Fury

IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua says he would love to fight Tyson Fury

Anthony Joshua says he is considering a number of possible opponents for his return to the ring, including Bermane Stiverne, Eric Molina and Dominic Breazeale.

The current IBF world heavyweight champion is yet to decide on an opponent for his first title defence, which will be held on June 25.

Joshua (16-0-KO16)

WATCH: Froch-Kessler II

Last Updated: 19/04/16 8:53pm

Check out Froch v Kessler II here

Check out Froch v Kessler II here

Check out Froch v Kessler II here

As part of Sky Sports’ 25 year celebrations we have uncovered two British boxing classics for your entertainment.

In the video above, Carl Froch avenged his previous loss in a rematch with the ‘Viking Warrior’ Mikkel Kessler, unifying the IBF and WBA super-middleweight championships.

And below,