The Friday Five: June 9th, 2018

1.  GGG Willing To Take 45% For Canelo Rematch

Photo Credit: Golden Boy Promotions

Following his being stripped of the IBF welterweight title, Gennady Golovkin has restarted negotiations with Canelo Alvarez.

In a report from ESPN, Golovkin’s promoter Tom Loeffler has acknowledged that his fighter has stepped back from a demand of a 50-50 split of the money..

“Gennady has agreed to come off his 50-50 demand,” Loeffler added to ESPN. “Gennady wants the rematch with Canelo regardless of what Oscar says. He always wanted the fight with Canelo.

“He will come down to 55-45, which makes Canelo the A side. It will be Canelo making 55 percent in a rematch against GGG, which will be much bigger than the first fight was for sure. The rematch with GGG is his biggest fight by far and Gennady’s biggest fight. That’s the fight we want.”

“I’m not negotiating with Oscar. I’m negotiating with Eric Gomez,” Loeffler said to ESPN, as De La Hoya claimed that the negotiations were dead in the water. “I spoke to Eric [on Wednesday] and he’s going to go to Oscar and Canelo and see if they can get something done.”

 

2. Joshua Implores Wilder To Be Realistic.

Credit: LAWRENCE LUSTIG

Anthony Joshua is imploring potential opponent, Deontay Wilder needs to be “realistic” with what he wants from a heavyweight unification fight.

Joshua is still hoping to line up a fight with the WBC world heavyweight champion, but may end up facing WBA mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin.

In a conversation with Sky Sports, Joshua told reporters he’s not growing impatient, but believes the benefits are there for all parties in this deal.

“It’s not frustrated, it’s just I’ve spoken about it, I’ve said my piece,” Joshua told Sky Sports.

When asked about if there’s a deadline, Joshua claimed, “No, I’m still training, but in terms of a three-month camp, we’ve got until the end of the month, but there’s still a few more weeks. It’s just the nitty gritty I think.

“Everyone has seen the gold at the end of the rainbow, and everyone wants a piece. It’s not a problem, there’s enough in the pot for everyone to eat, but just be realistic and that’s all it is.”

 

3. Lonergan Expects Blood And Guts From Horn-Crawford

Days away from his second title defense, Jeff Horn’s promoter, Dean Lonergan, feels like the school teacher turned world champion will beat the Vegas odds and take down Terence Crawford.

In an exclusive conversation with FIGHT SPORTS, the outspoken promoter claims that even though they ran into issues with Top Rank in re-scheduling the WBO welterweight title clash, their relationship with Bob Arum is “sensational,” especially when it comes to giving Horn major exposure on ESPN.

The ESPN deal has been at the center of this fight after the fight was moved from April 14th, to June 9th, due to ESPN scheduling conflicts and not a hand injury to Crawford.

When asked about the deal, which has Crawford and Horn’s fight on the new ESPN+ platform, Lonergan knows that Crawford is being looked at as a cornerstone of its boxing programming.

“They’re expecting Terence Crawford to be one of their anchors to their platform,” Lonergan told FIGHT SPORTS from Las Vegas on Tuesday. “I think Top Rank’s matchmakers have made another mistake like they did last year, when they brought the golden goose, Manny Pacquiao, down to Australia.”

“At the start of Pacquiao’s world tour [he was set to] make millions of dollars, Jeff Horn was supposed to be a pushover. Turned out that wasn’t the case, and it’s certainly not the case here in this fight. You know the bookies in Las Vegas have Jeff Horn at 6-1, 7-1… Here’s what I can tell you. This is a two horse race, and I reckon at best its a 50/50 fight. We’ve seen flaws in Crawford’s game.. he’s not unbeatable and he’s not unbreakable.”

4. McGregor May Have Fought At UFC 224

If Conor McGregor never walked into media day at UFC 223, Rafael dos Anjos may not be fighting on Saturday night.

In an Instagram post on Wednesday, celebrating his ranking on the Forbes Highest paid athletes list, McGregor let it slip that he was supposed to fight last month in Rio.

“Made it to number four on the Forbes list this year,” McGregor wrote. “If I had of fought on the agreed May 12 bout in Rio de Janeiro, I would have surpassed (Cristiano) Ronaldo and (Lionel) Messi to take second place.”

May 12th being the date of UFC 224, which was headlined by a Amanda Nunes successful title defense against Raquel Pennington.

In a report by Ariel Helwani, McGregor would have had the spot now taken by Colby Covington, as he and Rafael dos Anjos would have fought for the interim welterweight title.

5. Abner Mares Wants Revenge Against Leo Santa Cruz

The Abner Mares from 2015 was unable to defeat WBA featherweight champion Leo Santa Cruz, losing a majority decision on a fight many had tabbed as one of the most exciting fights of 2015. The Abner Mares of today is different, more confident and ready to close the chapter in his career involving Santa Cruz. Mares will get that chance to avenge that loss when he faces Santa Cruz at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on June 9.

If you were to ask Mares about his 2015 fight against Santa Cruz, Mares would tell you that the past was the past. Mares said there’s no point in weeping for what could have been, but the past won’t matter much if he is able to take advantage of a second chance given to him.

“Honestly, at the end of it all, the past is in the past,” Mares told FIGHT SPORTS. “There is something I can do to make it better and that is win on June 9. You can add that to another chapter. I can’t go back and feel bad for myself for making mistakes in life that we all do. I’ve been given a second chance on June 9 and it’s going to be a tough fight and I have to make adjustments that I didn’t make in 2015.”

The rematch has been one in the making for years. Since losing to Santa Cruz, Mares made a few adjustments to his career, most notably bringing in Robert Garcia as his trainer. The relationship has proven very effective, with Mares winning the WBA’s secondary featherweight world title in their first fight together.

Winning the secondary title was necessary to get the rematch against Santa Cruz, who holds the governing body’s “super” title. After successfully defending his version of the title last year, Mares believes he is currently the best he’s ever felt in his career.

“Training camp has been great, thank God. I feel great, I’m in a great spirits. I’m just looking forward to fighting Leo on Saturday,” Mares said.

“There is no doubt in my mind that I am at my best. I’m going to get my chance to prove it. I’m in the best shape in my career.”

 

 

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