The Friday Five: April 27, 2018

  1. Jacobs Has GGG Rematch on His Mind Heading into Sulęcki
    The recent failed drug test of Canelo Alvarez, though its significance has been widely contested, has had a ripple effect throughout boxing. His opponent, Gennady Golovkin, who he was set to face in a rematch of their 2017 classic, is still fighting on Cinco de Mayo, but Vanes Martirosyan is now his opponent. Meanwhile, just a few weeks out from their fight this Saturday at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, Daniel Jacobs and Maciej Sulęcki saw their fight become a bout to determine the next mandatory challenger to Golovkin’s WBA Middleweight Super Championship. It’s a sudden change this late in camp and could weigh on a lot of fighters minds, but going into Saturday, Jacobs is fairly insistent that he’s not one of them. 

    2. Bellator 198: Fedor, Mir Look To Rebound & Move Toward Title

    The main event of the evening will see the third first-round match in Bellator’s tournament to crown a new heavyweight champion. The legendary Fedor Emelianenko will make his second appearance in the Bellator cage — his first since a first-round TKO loss to Matt Mitrione at Bellator NYC last June. His opponent, making his Bellator debut, will be former UFC Heavyweight Champion Frank Mir.

    3. Keith Thurman Vacates WBC Welterweight Title
    Following another injury setback, Keith Thurman has vacated the WBC welterweight title, per WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman.

    Its been a little over a year since Thurman defeated Danny Garcia and unified the WBA and WBC titles. Since that win over Garcia, Thurman has been beset by injuries, first an elbow surgery, and now a hand injury forcing him to withdraw from his scheduled return on May 19th.

    4. Joshua May Fight Povetkin Next
    Even though Eddie Hearn is traveling to New York this week to meet with Deontay Wilder’s management and “look into the whites of their eyes, and just see if we can make a deal,”  Anthony Joshua may not fight the “Bronze Bomber” next.

    Per a report from Sky Sports, Joshua is expected to accept a fight with WBA mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin for his next fight, at least according to Povetkin’s promoter.

    “I believe that Joshua will follow and cooperate with the rules of the sanctioning bodies for the titles that he holds,” Povetkin’s promoter Andrey Ryabinskiy exclusively told Sky Sports.

    5. Khabib Looking to Return in Nov-Dec
    Khabib Nurmagomedov, the UFC’s new lightweight champion took to Instagram on Sunday to discuss what’s next for him and his newly won world title.

    Khabib, who will not fight during the holy month of Ramadan, plans to return to the Octagon in November or December. Nurmagomedov won the title over Al Iaquinta at UFC 223, following the most hectic week in the 25 years of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

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