Panic in camp? Anthony Joshua reportedly struggling to prepare for megabout with sparring partners unable to replicate Joe Parker's unique fighting style

Signs of panic appear to be surfacing in Anthony Joshua's camp ahead of his unification fight with Kiwi champion Joseph Parker, with the British fighter reportedly struggling to find sparring partners to help him prepare for the bout.

Mailata has just arrived back in the country and spoke with 1 NEWS' Matt Manukia. Source: 1 NEWS

Joshua's team has been forced to make odd moves in the build-up to the April 1 fight, including bringing in Kiwi amateur Patrick Mailata to spar with Joshua briefly.

It was also reported weeks ago that management had attempted to bring in Joshua's last opponent, Carlos Takam, for a couple of rounds in the training ring.

It's also understood there have been late calls made to Malik Scott and Erica Molina to get the American duo to the Sheffield training camp.

Scott has sparred with Parker previously while Molina is another of Joshua's victims in his 20-0 career.

Patrick Mailata is in England preparing for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games by training with the world's best. Source: 1 NEWS

Joshua's promoter, Eddie Hearn, said there was a simple reason for such processes taking place behind closed doors.

"AJ doesn't want to spar someone who is not on a world level, AJ wants someone who is competitive."

The area Joshua's camp is likely struggling to replicate is Parker's unique combination of power and hand speed - an area boxing legend Evander Holyfield said could be the Kiwi fighter's chance to cause an upset.

He has fast hands and he hits just as hard as he (Joshua) does," Holyfield said.

"You can't look past opponents because you know what … styles make fights but the biggest thing is how much faith you have.

"I'm telling you Parker is great. He is another fighter with a good mindset."

Parker and Joshua meet at Principality Stadium in Cardiff on April 1 NZT.

The Kiwi warned Joshua he would chase him around the ring. Source: Breakfast



'You tapped the glass window' - Conor McGregor mocks UFC champ Khabib Nurmagomedov about bus attack

Irish mixed martial arts star Conor McGregor has finally faced off with UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov in New York, with neither fighter holding back in a war of words during a press conference in New York today.

Nurmagomedov criticised McGregor's ground game and fitness inside the octagon.

"I think I am going to make him tired," said Nurmagomedov.

"When he is tired he always gives up."

The two are set face off for the UFC lightweight title on October 7 in Las Vegas.

He also mocked McGregor's move to boxing where he lost by TKO against Floyd Mayweather Jr last year.

"When you move to box(ing) he tapped there. You tap like chicken."

The 30-year-old Irish star was quick to fire back, mocking Nurmagomedov for his reaction during his bus attack in April, where he threw a steel dolly at a bus full of UFC fighters in Brooklyn.

"You tapped the bus window," said McGregor.

The former lightweight and featherweight UFC champ agreed to a plea deal with the Brooklyn District Attorney's office in July, which allowed him to avoid a criminal record.

"I'll tap your head off the canvas."

McGregor has an MMA record of 21 wins and three losses, with Nurmagomedov unbeaten in 26 bouts.

The outspoken Irish fighter hasn't fought since November 2016, where he became the first double champion in the UFC after defeating Eddie Alvarez for the lightweight strap at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Khabib and other UFC stars were on a bus in Brooklyn in April when Conor threw a steel dolly at the window. Source: UFC


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Former UFC champion Jon Jones to return to the octagon after 15-month doping suspension

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones should be eligible to fight by late October after completing a 15-month suspension for a doping violation.

The US Anti-Doping Agency today announced the length of Jones' ban for his second violation of the UFC's anti-doping policy.

The decision means the 31-year-old Jones could even fight at UFC 230 in New York on November 3, if the UFC decides to book his comeback bout on that card.

Jones is widely considered the best pound-for-pound mixed martial artist in the world, but he has repeatedly sabotaged his own career.

He reclaimed the light heavyweight title from Daniel Cormier last year, but the victory was taken away when he tested positive for a steroid metabolite.

Jones also failed an out-of-competition test in 2016.

ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 29:  (L-R) Jon Jones punches Daniel Cormier in their UFC light heavyweight championship bout during the UFC 214 event inside the Honda Center on July 29, 2017 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Jon Jones punches Daniel Cormier in their UFC light heavyweight championship bout during the UFC 214 event inside the Honda Centre in Anaheim, California. Source: Getty


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North and South Korea confirm joint bid for 2032 Summer Olympics

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in said in a statement today that the countries planned to jointly bid for the 2032 Summer Olympics.

At a major summit, the two leaders gave no details of which cities might host certain events at the games, or how advanced the plans were.

The International Olympic Committee traditionally does not announce host cities until seven years ahead of the games. That would give the Koreas until 2025 to put together a joint bid.

Germany has already announced plans for a multi-city bid for 2032, as has Brisbane, Australia. The India Olympic Committee has also indicated its interest in hosting the 2032 Games.

A successful bid by the Koreas would mark the second time South Korea hosted or co-hosted the Summer Games, the first being 1988 in Seoul. South Korea also hosted the Pyeongchang Winter Games in February.

Asia also features in the next two Olympics — the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo and the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing, which also hosted the summer version in 2008.

The joint statement today also said the Koreas would look to cooperate in major sports events such as the 2020 Games, also without elaborating.

South Korean President Moon Jae In (R) and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un take part in a pine tree planting ceremony in the border village of Panmunjeom on April 27, 2018. (Korea Summit Press Pool) (Kyodo)
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(Photo by Kyodo News via Getty Images)
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (left) and South Korean President Moon Jae In took part in an historic meeting in April. Source: Getty


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