Huge offer in the works to entice retired Mike Tyson into a fight

Mike Tyson is getting closer to a return to fighting — and it may not just be boxing.

The former heavyweight champion is expected to be offered a contract by Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship that will exceed the $AUD30 million pact the company extended to Tyson earlier this month and include charitable donations, the organisation’s president told MMA Fighting.

“I think I know what we need to do to make this thing happen,” BKFC president David Feldman said.

The 53-year-old Tyson, whose last official boxing match was a 2005 loss to Kevin McBride, has teased a return to combat sports. He’s posted videos of intense workouts and pictures of his new ripped physique in recent weeks.

Tyson has expressed interest in partaking in a charity boxing match and has already seen potential opponents line up.

“We got many guys,” Tyson said during an interview with rapper Lil Wayne on Saturday. “Listen, we’ve got so many guys that want to do this, man.

“We’re in calls, we’re doing business with guys right now. You’re not going to believe the names when the names come out. Sometime this week, we’ll have the contract done.”

Tyson (left) would still be a scary proposition 15 years after retiring.Source:Supplied

Former UFC stars Tito Ortiz and Ken Shamrock have expressed interest in a fight with Tyson no matter the medium, according to MMA Fighting. Former rival Evander Holyfield, 57, has begun posting his own training videos and is open to a third bout between him and Tyson for charity.

“I would do that! Yes, I want to fight Mike Tyson,” Holyfield told the Sun this month. “I can definitely handle him. … But Mike would have to want to do it as well.”

Tyson was back in a ring this week as he appeared on All Elite Wrestling’s Double or Nothing pay-per-view and presented the company’s new TNT title to winner Cody Rhodes.

This article first appeared on the New York Post and was reproduced with permission

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Charlie Edwards targets title glory alongside brother at Selhurst Park

‘It’d be a dream come true to fight in our backyard and both with world title fights’: Charlie Edwards targets championship glory alongside brother at Selhurst Park after moving to Frank Warren’s stable

  • Charlie Edwards has joined up with Frank Warren after leaving Eddie Hearn
  • The 27-year-old is now on the same promotion as his younger brother Sunny
  • Edwards now wants a title fight within 18 months after signing multi-fight deal
  • He hasn’t fought since no contest bout with Julio Cesar Martinez last August
  • Since then Edwards has vacated the WBC flyweight world championship 

Charlie Edwards is dreaming of double world title glory under the lights at Selhurst Park after joining his brother Sunny in the stable of Frank Warren.

The Croydon fighting siblings have fought on the same bill only once – when they were young amateurs.

Now the former WBC flyweight world champion has swapped Eddie Hearn for rival Warren, however, they are ready to share a stage once more.

Charlie Edwards is hoping to secure a world title under the lights at Selhurst Park

‘I went and watched a Crystal Palace game not so long ago and looked at the stadium,’ Edwards told Sportsmail.

‘It’d be a dream come true to fight in our backyard, both with world title fights and both winning them on the same night… we’ve only ever fought on the same card once. It was Newham ABC show where we both boxed for Newham and we both won so our record is 1-0 and we’re looking forward to carrying it on in the pro ranks.’

He added: ‘I must have been about 15. He would have been 12… for me it was always on my bucket list – as a professional boxer I wrote out all the things I’d achieved and what else I want to achieve and it’s ticking another section off… I’m not naive – me and my brother are both knocking on the door for world title fights so who says we can’t both win a world title on the same night? That will go down in history for two British brothers.’

Charlie has joined his younger brother Sunny (above) under the stable of Frank Warren

Having only fought on the same card once before, Edwards dreams of he and his brother winning world title fights on the same night at Selhurst Park, the home of Crystal Palace

The 27-year-old had been promoted by Hearn and Matchroom since turning professional in 2015. But after becoming a free agent last December, Edwards has signed a multi-fight deal with Warren in the hope of securing another world title within 18 months.

‘I’m six years deep into my career,’ he said. ‘I fancied a change first and foremost because I was getting fed up of the same old shows, the same old faces.’

His advisors held talks with Bob Arum’s Top Rank but Edwards said: ‘Frank Warren came through with the best offer, the best career path, and it seemed like he really valued me… I wouldn’t say (Matchroom) under-valued me but I just felt like the same kid who walked in as a professional off the GB squad.’

Edwards has not fought since last August when his fight with Julio Cesar Martinez was deemed a no contest after he was hit while down on the canvas

Edwards hasn’t fought since last August, when he made the second defence of his WBC flyweight crown against Julio Cesar Martinez at the O2 Arena. Dead at the weight, Edwards was stopped in round three, only for the result to be changed to a No Contest after Martinez hit the champion while he was on the canvas.

The British fighter later vacated the belt and is now planning to challenge at super-flyweight – where his brother operates – or bantamweight.

‘In 17 professional fights, I’ve had five world title fights so it’s been a great journey but it was just time for that change and I know what Frank’s got planned for me and where the career is going to go now.’

Late in 2019, Edwards vacated his flyweight title to compete in the super-flyweight division

Over recent months, Edwards has relocated to Sheffield and has been training at his new home during lockdown, as well as working on a fitness clothing brand (‘Even Better’) which is due to be finalised in the coming months.

For now, he and the rest of boxing are battling to return following the coronavirus shutdown and Edwards insists he would box behind-closed-doors.

‘When all this blows over I’m in a very good position and I’m very stable and ready to go again with no stresses.’

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Tyson Fury reveals how Deontay Wilder could beat him in their rematch

Tyson Fury admits he will get beaten by Deontay Wilder in their third fight if he does not keep a ‘strict’ lifestyle in the build-up to the rematch.

Fury beat Wilder in seven rounds to win the WBC heavyweight title in February but the Bronze Bomber has already indicated that he wants to activate his rematch clause, which gives him an opportunity to get the belt back.

Fury dominated Wilder during their second fight in Las Vegas, with the Gypsy King adopting a far more aggressive strategy with his new trainer Javan ‘Sugar Hill’ Steward.

But Fury concedes that he risks being knocked out by Wilder if he fails to take the rematch seriously.

‘What happens if I get knocked spark out by Wilder in the rematch?’ Fury told iFL TV.

‘If the lockdown finishes and the coronavirus gets a vaccine and the world goes back to normal, then I can see two fights with Joshua next year, for sure. Providing I get past Deontay Wilder this year, which is not a given considering when you’ve been beat for the first time in your life it can do two things to you. It can make you break, as we’ve seen many, many times, the bubble bursts, or it can give you that bit between your teeth where you want to get back and smash the guy’s face who beat you.

‘So if I don’t prepare like I did last time for Deontay Wilder, like a trojan warrior, with no diet cokes, no distractions, big Shane [Fury] there, not doing any interviews or nothing, you know how strict it was, then I can’t see myself winning again if I don’t do that strict attitude and strict lifestyle.

‘If I go into this camp taking it Wilder, thinking I’ve already knocked him out, it’s an easy fight, Deontay Wilder will most probably knock me into next week.

‘I’ve got to approach this fight as if I’m still the lineal champion, as if I didn’t beat him the first time or the second time and I’m still very, very hungry. And I’ve got to put on a fantastic display because at this level now there’s no room for error. One mistake could cost you big time.’

Asked if Wilder could do anything differently to beat him in the third fight, Fury replied: ‘I’ve already told Wilder, I’ve told Joshua, I’ve told Ortiz, D Whyte, Klit, I’ve told everybody from my era, the only way to beat the Gypsy King is flatten him so he can’t get back up.

‘What Brendan Ingle said in about 2009, ‘to beat this f****** kid you’ve got to nail the b****** to the canvas and if you don’t do that he’s going to get back up and knock you out’.

‘And that’s how you beat me. It’s very, very simple – land on the chin and keep me down… not so easy.’

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Kamaru Usman speaks out on Conor McGregor fight after manager offers Notorious bout

Kamaru Usman has spoken out on a potential match-up with Conor McGregor, questioning why fans are eager to see him put a beating on the UFC’s poster boy. Last weekend, the Nigerian Nightmare’s manager – Ali Abdelaziz – publicly offered McGregor a crack at the welterweight crown – which he hopes to claim to become the UFC’s first three-weight world champion.

The offer to McGregor came on the back of Jorge Masvidal, who was expected to lock horns with Usman later this year, surprisingly turning his attention to a rematch with Nate Diaz.

“It looks like #1 contender wants to fight Nate Diaz now,” Abdelaziz tweeted. “Good for him.

“Conor McGregor, hey you want a title shot ? Come to daddy.

“Kamaru Usman will give you one and he promise first 2 rounds without takedowns only slaps.”

JUST IN: Conor McGregor next fight: Notorious offered title shot

I’d s**g him in there if I wanted and he’d “DO NOTHIN” FOH

Kamaru Usman on a potential fight with Conor McGregor

Abdelaziz’s offer to McGregor came on the back of Jorge Masvidal, who was expected to face Usman later this year, turning his attention to a rematch with Nate Diaz.

Abdelaziz’s tweet prompted a swathe of calls for the UFC to put McGregor against promotion’s first African-born champion.

Usman would happily take a mega-money fight with McGregor but can’t understand why so many people are eager for him to hand ‘The Notorious’ his third defeat inside the Octagon.

On Monday afternoon, he tweeted: “I really don’t understand why you all want this man DEAD!!! 


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“I’d s**g him in there if I wanted and he’d “DO NOTHIN” FOH.”

Usman’s latest comments on a potential showdown with McGregor echo those he made ahead of the Irishman’s comeback fight in January.

“Much respect to Conor for what he’s done for this sport and transcended it,” Usman told TMZ. “[But] nah, this is not what you want.

“Just sit down little man, sit down. Learn to walk before you can run because I would hurt that guy.”

Prior to that, Usman said: “Humans love the path of least resistance.  Fair play to him, I’d say. Fair play to Conor. 

“But this jock sniffer will humble him even worse than Khabib [Nurmagomedov] has humbled him.”

McGregor, 31, last fought in January in the main event of UFC 246 in Las Vegas, where he decimated Donald Cerrone in 40 seconds to claim his first victory in over three years.

Usman, meanwhile, was last in action in December in the main event of UFC 245, where he recorded a fifth-round TKO victory over Colby Covington to retain his welterweight crown.

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Mike Tyson reveals he visits pals – including 'killers' – in prison

‘I still go and visit them… they’re my oldest friends’: Mike Tyson reveals he sees pals – including ‘killers’ – he made during time in prison

  • Mike Tyson revealed he still visits his friends who are serving life sentences 
  • Tyson has spent several years behind bars since he was a child and made friends
  • Tyson explained that he focused on boxing to escape the prison time
  • He was jailed back in 1991 for the rape of beauty queen Desiree Washington

Former heavyweight champion boxer Mike Tyson has a tainted past with the law having served several years behind bars, and revealed he still visits his friends in prison.

‘Iron Mike’ revealed that he still keeps in touch with his ‘oldest friends’ behind bars, many of who are ‘killers’ are serving life sentences, after he bonded with fellow prisoners during his time in detention centres in New York. Tyson has a checkered past and was arrested 38 times before he was 13.

Speaking on his podcast Hotboxin, the 53-year-old revealed the moment he began to focus on boxing when he met Cus D’Amato, who introduced him to the sport, at the Bridges Juvenile Center in the Bronx, Brooklyn.

Mike Tyson revealed he still visits his ‘oldest friends’ who are serving life sentences in prison

Tyson has a long history of arrests and spent several years behind bars where he made friends

‘After I was locked up, I started boxing. And I said I wasn’t going to do that anymore,’ he explained. 

‘But I would still see my friends that I robbed with and they would still be at the club.

‘I was still hanging out with them, watching them do that s***.

‘I was never into it – I was doing a career and they thought ‘what the f*** is he doing hanging out with them’. 

‘We went in two different directions. They became killers and I became a boxer.

‘I’m happy I’m not in prison with them but I still go and visit them. They’ve got four or five life sentences, 90 years.

In the 1990s, Tyson served three years of a six year sentence for the rape of a beauty queen

‘They’ve been the oldest friends I’ve ever had in my life, my longest friends.’

Two years after his shock loss to James Buster Douglas inside the ring, Tyson was sentenced to six years in 1991 for the rape of beauty queen Desiree Washington.

The heavyweight boxer served three years of his sentence before returning to boxing, however, he spiralled into even more chaos after his boxing license was revoked for biting the ear off of Evander Holyfield in their 1997 rematch. 

He returned to jail in 1999 for the assault of two men. 

Tyson is now rumoured to be making a comeback to the boxing ring to face former rival Evander Holyfield, 23 years after biting off a chunk of his ear. 

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Ricky Hatton: Training became my comfort blanket

Ricky Hatton has opened up about the mental health issues he has suffered since retiring from boxing says that training became his “comfort blanket”.

The four-time world champion retired from the ring in November 2012 but has struggled to cope with the void that was left in his life.

Speaking to former Sky Sports presenter Simon Thomas as part of the 2021 Rugby League World Cup’s mental fitness charter, and before social distancing rules were put in place, Hatton admitted he had to face up to his demons.

  • ‘Speak up and share your vulnerabilities’
  • De La Hoya & GGG gym’s struggle for survival

“That was like the beginning of the end for me,” he said.

“I thought I’ve worked so hard to achieve all these things that I’ve got and Billy Graham my trainer is not here to share it with me, my mum and dad are not here to share it with me, and I haven’t got boxing any more. I don’t care whether I live or die and that was rock bottom.”

Hatton admits he found it difficult to reach out to others but sought solace back in the gym.

“I was isolating myself at first,” he added. “I started training boxers coming into the gym and training the lads and at least tried to fill my days with something to take my mind off these demons, this voice on my shoulder saying this and that to me.

When asked what “the voice” was saying, Hatton replied.

“[It was saying] ‘What do you need to be here for, nobody loves you, you haven’t got a mum and dad, you haven’t got your best mate – your trainer, anymore, you haven’t got boxing, no one cares about you.’

“So I started doing the boxing training, but it was still going on. The boxing training, coming into the gym Monday to Friday was like my comfort blanket.

“I would come on and force a few smiles and a few shakes and everyone on the surface would say ‘Ricky is doing okay’ but then I would go home and just be sat on the settee.

“And then I would be going to the pub but when I wasn’t going to the pub I was just sat on the settee on my own. Sometimes I wouldn’t even be sat with the TV on.

“My girlfriend at the time was saying ‘Ricky, please go and speak to someone’ and in my mind, at the time, I thought to myself I’m Ricky Hatton, I’m not going to someone and say ‘I’m crying every day, I’m sat in the dark’

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Khabib hits back at McGregor's claims he could be among UFC greatest

‘You tapped out in featherweight, in lightweight, in welterweight’: Khabib Nurmagomedov hits back at Conor McGregor’s claims he could be among greatest fighters in UFC history

  • Conor McGregor claimed he could be considered as UFC’s greatest fighter
  • Longtime rival Khabib Nurmagomedov dismissed McGregor’s statements
  • Khabib beat McGregor in their only meeting to date in October 2018 

Khabib Nurmagomedov dismissed Conor McGregor’s suggestion that the Irishman could be ranked among the greatest UFC fighters in the history of the sport.

McGregor, a two-weight UFC champion, outlined on Twitter how he considered himself as behind only Anderson Silva in the list of all-time greats, but insisted he could secure the No 1 spot by the time he retired.

The Dagestan fighter, who beat McGregor by submission in October 2018 in their only fight to date, outlined McGregor’s failures in a swift response on social media.

Khabib Nurmagomedov has hit back at Conor McGregor’s claims he is among UFC’s greatest

Khabib defeated McGregor by submission during their only meeting to date in October 2018

Khabib said on Twitter: ‘You tapped out in featherweight, you tapped out in lightweight and you tapped in welterweight, you never defended title in the UFC or Cage Warriors, you gave up more than GSP, Spider and Bones all together. You greatest UFC fighter in twitter history.’ 

McGregor originally tweeted: ‘The array of finishes, across two divisions, with champion status in one, Anderson Silva is No.1 MMA GOAT [Greatest of all time]. 

‘My array of finishes, across three divisions, with champion status in two, I’m No.2. If not tied No.1.

‘However [I am] still active, No.1 is fully secured by career end. And easily.’

McGregor is a two-time world champion and believes he ranks alongside Anderson Silva

He added: ‘GSP [Georges St-Pierre] is in at three. Much less array of finishes but champion status in two.

‘He is far behind though. Reasons = Left 170 after much damage taken+questionable decision. Never re-engaged 170lb successors. Bottled Anderson fight. Only moved when one eyed fighter presented. Played safe.

‘Jon [Jones] is four, maybe tied-three. More array of finishes than three and still active, but champion status in just one. Reasons = Multiple lacklustre decision performances + questionable decision win. Attempting to safe play HW entry/avoiding its champion.’

He continued: ‘Clarity on Silva’s earlier no.1 spot. Most stylistic finishes on resume. Front kicks to face. Up elbow (albeit outside UFC) Thai plum knees leading to broken facial bones. Long list of jaw dropping finishes. Myself/Anderson have the most exciting/important finishes in the sport!’

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Murat Gassiev ‘better-suited’ to heavyweight than Oleksandr Usyk, says Abel Sanchez

Murat Gassiev is “as big a puncher as the best heavyweights” and wants revenge on Oleksandr Usyk, says his trainer Abel Sanchez.

Gassiev was IBF and WBA cruiserweight champion but his thunderous run was ended in the World Boxing Super Series final by Usyk in 2018 – both boxers have now joined the heavyweight division.

Asked if Gassiev is better-suited to the bigger division, Sanchez told Sky Sports: “Absolutely. He was killing himself to make weight for cruiserweight. That’s not an excuse – Usyk was the better man on the night.

🤹‍♂️ Juggling level: @usykaa 😮👏

“We look forward to meeting Usyk at heavyweight.”

Russia’s Gassiev hasn’t fought in two years but is still just 27 years old.

“I first started working with him when he was nearly 20 years old,” Sanchez explained. “He was 192lbs back then.

“I saw his frame and his hands – he has tremendously big hands. I said: ‘This young man will dominate the cruiserweight ranks then become a very good heavyweight’.

“It took a little longer to get to the heavyweights, but he will be good. I anticipated this when I first started working with him. His hands told me everything.

“He is as big a puncher as the best heavyweights.

“Like Evander Holyfield he has the speed of a cruiserweight. His speed and quickness will be the difference against heavyweights, the same as Oleksandr Usyk.

Quality @Usykaa wins on his heavyweight debut 💪

Here are the best bits 👇

“But will Usyk have the strength to handle heavyweights? He doesn’t have a big punch. In the heavyweight division you need to have something that keeps people back.”

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Oscar De La Hoya and Gennadiy Golovkin’s iconic former gym in Big Bear faces a struggle for survival

To train in Big Bear is both beautiful and brutal – its great strength, its remoteness and the harshness of nature, is also what threatens its existence.

The gym up a mountain was made famous by Oscar De La Hoya and used as a springboard for Gennadiy Golovkin’s dominance but its trainer Abel Sanchez has become fearful of what the future may hold.

Golovkin’s departure robbed Sanchez of his prized asset and the one who would attract others to the same gym. The coronavirus pandemic has shone a light on the struggles that lie ahead for Sanchez and his fellow mountain-dwellers.

“I will be interested as long as my guys are interested, but the virus could retire a lot of us,” Sanchez, the trainer and owner of The Summit gym in Big Bear, California, admitted to Sky Sports.

“I have four champions in my gym but when those guys are gone?

“I don’t think things will be like they used to be. People forget that we need infrastructure to develop the next Joshuas, Furys, Golovkins.

“If we don’t have the Olympics to develop these kids then we will run out of quality fighters.

“I can’t see amateur shows going on because of all the tests that will be required. This will take its toll on the amateur programme and the four-rounders or six-rounders that are needed to develop talent. It will be difficult.

“The upkeep is not the problem, because my children can use it as a vacation house. It’s the fact that there may not be the fighters available to bring up here.

“I’m in a cocoon up here but eventually we will have to fly.”

Why do I like Big Bear? Because it reminds me of my home. Snow, frosting air and pine trees!

Mexico-born Sanchez was a construction worker who took to developing properties in Big Bear Lake, a town of just 5,000 people in California’s San Bernardino mountains. He stopped building houses and started building boxers but, in 2001, he suffered a heart attack and his newly-renovated gym went unused.

It was ‘The Golden Boy’ De La Hoya who, after first using the mountainous environment in the 90s, thrust Big Bear back into folklore when he flung open the gym doors in 2007 to prepare to face Manny Pacquiao. The 7,000ft altitude plus its lack of distractions were its selling point for fighters.

The media flocked, the sport’s attention was gripped and a timely reminder was dealt of how stunning the backdrop was.

But it was Golovkin who kept Big Bear thriving. Sanchez received a call about him in 2010 and, after feeling the whack of his punches on the pads, came out of a decade-long hiatus to become his full-time trainer. Sanchez wrote the numbers 1-12 on a whiteboard, wrote Muhammad Ali’s name next to No 1, and left No 2 blank. Stay in Big Bear, Golovkin was told, and the No 2 spot would become his.

“My facility was originally built as a resort for my children,” Sanchez explained. “I have two condos and a private gym in my garage.

“The houses above, the two condos, are where the fighters stay. I built it so that I would have an alternative if I decide not to continue.”

But the fighters came flocking to train alongside Golovkin who preferred the mountains instead of, for example, Freddie Roach’s Wild Card gym because it reminded him of Kazakhstan.

Golovkin and Sanchez’s relationship ended in 2018 after 22 fights, 20 wins, 19 via knockout. It was blighted by the two controversial Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez fights, a draw and a defeat for Golovkin.

Tyson Fury passed by prior to the first Deontay Wilder fight but cut his stay short. Undefeated British heavyweight Joe Joyce left too.

“You have to be a special sort of person to stay there otherwise you turn into a grizzly bear,” Joyce’s manager Sam Jones told Sky Sports. “It’s hard work and only the strongest survive. You have to be a certain breed of human to stay up there.

“It’s an unbelievable place, the smell of the pine reminds you of Christmas, the air is amazing. It’s such a great training facility. But get your head around the fact that it’s eat, sleep, train, repeat.

“You’ve got to be mentally ready to spend eight weeks up there. You’ve got a PlayStation and that’s it. In Vegas we’d go and play games at the weekend.

“We were once in the car and boulders of snow were falling down the mountain towards us during a blizzard!”

Jones tells another story of being rescued by the local sheriff when his car broke down at midnight, halfway up the mountain, in pitch-black darkness.

It is clear that Big Bear’s remoteness also works against it.

“Getting sparring partners up there was our biggest problem,” Jones said. “We paid an Uber $250 to bobsleigh its way up the mountain to pick up a sparring partner!”

I even make the bears 🐻 love me.🐻🙏🏻👍🏻😍

A post shared by Tyson Fury (@gypsyking101) on

Sanchez’s current loyalists up the mountain are former unified cruiserweight champion and emerging heavyweight threat Murat Gassiev, undisputed welterweight champion Cecilia Braekhus, WBA cruiserweight champion Arsen Goulamirian and super-welterweight title challenger Michel Soro.

The rag-tag bunch are dealing with lockdown as best they can – Gassiev is back home in Russia, but Norway’s Braekhus got stuck in the US and hasn’t left Big Bear in five months.

“My gym is private and the boxers here also live here,” Sanchez said. “We have thermometers, anti-bacteria wipes, we wear masks to go to the store. I always keep a clean gym but it’s obviously dangerous outside.”

Sanchez says of Gassiev, who he has tutored for seven years: “I saw his frame and his hands – he has tremendously big hands. I said: ‘This young man will dominate the cruiserweight ranks then become a very good heavyweight’.”

He says about Braekhus, the potential rival for Katie Taylor: “Her record indicates that she is one of the greatest female fighters ever but she is very humble and would say that she isn’t. We have a poster of Christy Martin in the gym and Cecilia said: ‘That’s the pioneer and we all have a debt to pay her’. I would say Cecilia is the best ever but she would say no.”

Had so much fun training on new stuff and evolving with @abelthesummit before this virus outbreak😕 Can't wait to be back in the gym❤ Stay safe everyone🙏

A post shared by First Lady Cecilia Braekhus (@ceciliabraekhus) on

Sanchez is 71 but insists he will dedicate his life to boxing for however long his current crop demand of him.

“The four I have now will take me through the next four years.

“It’s not a worry. The only reason I haven’t retired already is because of the guys I have now, I won’t quit on them. When they choose not to continue, we will stop.

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Aussie striker Jimmy Crute’s hit list of UFC rivals for 2020 includes legend Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua

Aussie UFC fighter Jimmy Crute has made his pitch to star on Fight Island, offering to throw down with two former champions and one of the company’s most hyped recruits.

News Corp Australia can reveal Crute has reached out to UFC president Dana White with a hit list of three potential light heavyweight opponents – American Luke Rockhold, Brazilian legend Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua and star Czech recruit Jiri Prochazka.

The rising Aussie striker has also told UFC matchmakers he is ready to fight “absolutely anyone” if it means competing at the secretive, and incredibly hyped, Fight Island venue.

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Jimmy Crute has big plans for 2020.Source:AAP

Ideally, Crute hopes to appear on the same card as fellow Aussie Robert Whittaker, with the pair both sharing the same Sydney management company.

Quizzed on Fight Island, Crute said: “Absolutely I’m down for that.

“Imagine sitting back 30 years from now, telling your grandkids how you were flown to a private island to fight for money.

“And I’ve got faith in Dana White, I think it’s going to get done.”

Now boasting three UFC appearances, Crute has drawn up an imposing hit list of potential rivals that includes former middleweight champ Rockhold, who is hinting at an Octagon return.

The other big name on his wish list is Rua, the UFC and Pride champion who, while now 38, has lost only one of his past six fights and remains inside the division’s top 15.

Crute is hoping to be part of Dana White’s Fight Island.Source:News Corp Australia

Crute has also offered to throw down with Prochazka, the Rizin light heavyweight champ who signed with the UFC in January.

Reports out the US in the past 24 hours suggest, however, that the Czech may instead be fighting Volkan Oezdemir.

“But I just want to fight the best guys I can,” Crute said.

“Obviously asking for Rockhold, that one is a wildcard.

“Who knows what could happen there?

“But with Shogun, the thing that entices me there is he’s the last Pride superstar I will ever be able to fight.

Aussie fans would remember Mauricio Rua from this fight in Adelaide in 2018.Source:Getty Images

“He’s a guy I watched for so long and I don’t want to miss the opportunity to fight a legend.

“I’m certainly not going to sit here and tell you he’s past it or anything like that – the guy still has the ability to shut anyone’s lights out on any given night.

“And because of the enormous amount of respect I have for him, I don’t want to miss out on being a part of his resume … or him being a part of mine.”

Quizzed on Prochazka, Crute continued: “When he signed on, there was a lot of talk about him coming into the UFC and destroying everyone.

“So I’d love to welcome him to the big leagues.

“He’s a world champion and that would be a fun fight.”

Originally published asCrute’s three big wishes for true Fight Island test

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