The Friday Five: July 6th, 2018

1.  Oscar De La Hoya Signs Tito Ortiz & Chuck Liddell For Trilogy Fight

2 years removed from their last fight, and a decade since Chuck Liddell would step into a cage, he and Tito Ortiz have signed to fight each other for a third time.

After both men approached the UFC and Bellator with a potential rematch, it was Golden Boy Promotions and Oscar De La Hoya, who would end up promoting the fight as their first MMA event.

“I’m proud to announce we’ve signed a deal for the fight between Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz,” said De La Hoya, in a statement to ESPN. “This will be huge for sports fans around the world. Ortiz and Liddell are two of the most recognized fighters in MMA history. They are legends in the sport.

“Everyone remembers their rivalry helped put the sport on the map, and we’re excited to host the next and final chapter of this historic rivalry.”

As reported initially by ESPN, there are no details on a date or location, but Liddell confirmed that it will take place inside a cage and at 205 pounds.

 

2. Pacquiao-Matthysse Will Go On

Credit: Manny Pacquiao/Twitter

After weeks of speculation of a potential cancellation, the fight between Manny Pacquiao and Lucas Matthysse is a go.

In an interview with ESPN, Golden Boy Promotions President Eric Gomez confirmed Matthysse’s purse,which was due in an escrow account over a week ago, had come through in full.

With several missed deadlines, Monday was the drop dead date for Pacquiao’s MP Promotions to pay the WBA welterweight champion, as Matthysse wanted to be in Kuala Lumpur at least two weeks before the fight to deal with the time change.

“The fight’s a go. There were some bumps in the road but everything is now in order and we’re excited. It’s a great opportunity for Lucas,” Gomez said. “This is his dream fight. It’s the fight he’s been talking about for five years now. Anytime you can fight a legend like Manny Pacquiao it’s a win.

“The money is in place. The money was supposed to be in an escrow account in the U.S. and now everything is good. It’s customary practice when you are fighting overseas to have the money in an escrow account and now the money is there. We’re excited to be working with Manny and his company, MP Promotions, and commend him for putting this fight together and making sure it comes off.”

An initial $500,000 payment was made following the fight announcement, but missed all deadlines to pay the full $2 million purse into the escrow account.

Last week more of the money was wired to the account and on Monday the rest was in place, Gomez said.

3. Joshua-Povetkin Eyed For September 22nd

Credit: LAWRENCE LUSTIG

Nearly a week after the two were mandated to make a deal, Anthony Joshua and Alexander Povetkin are circling in on a world heavyweight title fight.

Povetkin, the WBA mandatory opponent, and Joshua are looking towards September 22nd as fight night, following negotiations that began last week.

Povetkin’s manager, Vadim Kornilov told BoxingScene.com on Monday afternoon – “World of Boxing and Matchroom (Sports) is finalizing the deal now. In the next couple of days there should be more information but the fight is close to being made.”

 

“That’s what it sounds like,yes,” confirmed Kornilov, when asked about the date, but is not sure where the fight will take place.

“We haven’t had a confirmation but there’s still discussions on whether the fight will be in Russia or over there (in the UK) but the date is set. That’s being finalized.”

4: De La Hoya Claims Alvarez Is More Skilled Than GGG

Oscar De La Hoya From the Canelo Alvarez- GGG “Countdown” commercial

During Monday’s satellite press conference, Oscar De La Hoya made it known that Canelo Alvarez has already seen the best of Gennady Golovkin, but not the other way around.

According to De La Hoya, Alvarez will not only be in peak condition, but the most motivated he’s been in his pro career.

“I can assure you, it’s clear that Canelo is in a stronger state of mind,” De La Hoya said.

“There’s obviously bad blood and therefore that’s why it’s gonna be an amazing fight. Look, Canelo, yes, he can box, he can move, he’s the more skillful fighter. He can do all that stuff, but he can also fight. And Triple-G hasn’t seen that. But I’ll assure you one thing – come September 15th, it’s all business. It’s all going in there and proving not to everyone who’s watching, but proving to Triple-G that he’s the better fighter.”

In regards to Alvarez’ physical appearance on September 15th, the Golden Boy Promotions CEO told reporters that, “Will he be in better shape? Will he be stronger, faster? He’s gonna be all that and then some.”

“We strongly feel they haven’t seen Canelo the way we’re gonna see him September 15th. We’ve seen Triple-G. We know what he does. All he does is come forward and fights, and that’s it. Canelo has many other things he does. So come September 15th, you’ll be able to witness that.”

5.  ISKA U.S. Open Competitors Look To Inspire

Some of the greatest competitors in karate have descended to Orlando, Florida, for the 2018 ISKA U.S Open.

Beginning on July 6th. the event will span three days and feature individual and group competitors looking to win their division’s title.

Tyler Weaver Jr, has returned to Orlando with the goal of spreading this sport to the masses.

“I want to put on a show that gets everyone standing,” claimed the 44 time champion, nine of which coming from ISKA competitions. “I want to get others interested in doing this sport.”

The ability in inspire others is the main goal for many of the participants in this year’s event, especially for Allen Davies.

As a cancer survivor, Davies wants to focus on “staying positive,” not only for himself but for others. “I want people to look at me and say ‘I want to be like that!’” Davies told FIGHT SPORTS this week in Orlando.

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