The Friday Five: April 19th, 2019

1.  Miller Fails Drug Tests, New Opponent Being Found For Joshua.

Credit: LAWRENCE LUSTIG

With Jarrell Miller out for their June 1st showdown at Madison Square Garden, Anthony Joshua’s promoter promises a new opponent for his fighter’s New York debut early next week.

Miller was found this week to have tested positive for a banned substance on a WADA test from March 20th, which would lead to the New York State Athletic Commission denying Miller of a license on Wednesday to fight on June 1st.

The Brooklyn born boxer and his team have pushed forward with a B-sample test, but Hearn and Joshua will not push pause on Joshua’s next fight.

“Obviously it’s a fight in America, so from our point of view, we would like an American challenger really,” Hearn told Sky Sports News. “I don’t think it will be Dillian Whyte… You go through the list: Luis Ortiz; Adam Kownacki; Michael Hunter; Manuel Charr; Agit Kabayel, the European champion who beat Derek Chisora.

“We’re going through that and we’re going to be working hard in the next couple of days. There will be an announcement from us in the early part of next week, locking in Anthony Joshua’s next opponent.”

The first name mentioned, Luis Ortiz, could be considered the best short-notice choice, but Hearn thinks the hard-hitting southpaw won’t take the fight..

“Luis Ortiz was one of the first people that I spoke to actually, his manager, a guy called Jay Jimenez, who we’ve worked with before,” Hearn explained.

2. Adalaide Byrd In Judges Pool For Canelo-Jacobs

Credit: Tom Hogan-Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions

Daniel Jacobs was not keen on having his May 4th fight with Canelo Alvarez going to the judges, and now he may have cause to worry as Adalaide Byrd has been included in the judging pool for the event at T-Mobile Arena.

Per a report from Boxing Scene, Byrd is in the pool which was sent and approved by Nevada State Athletic Commission executive director, Bob Bennet. The list was sent to representatives for both fighters, in-case either side want to invoke their right to contest the use of any “objectionable judges.”

While the team’s can put in their protests, it is up to NSAC to make the assignments, but will listen to the objections to ensure conflicts do not arise after the fights are scored.

Byrd being added to the list can be considered confusing due to her controversial 118-110 score for Alvarez in his September 2017 fight against Gennady Golovkin, which many saw as a draw or a a close win for Golovkin.

The judge’s scorecard was in stark contrast to Don Trella’s 114-114 score and that of Dave Moretti, who scored the fight 115-113 for Golovkin.

Moretti and Trella are in the judges pool as well, and per Boxing Scene, Jacobs has objected to Trella scoring their fight on May 4th.

“I’ve had my opportunity to think about it,” Jacobs said to Boxing Scene on the list of judges. “I was presented with the pool of judges that they gave to us. And I think it was laughable at first. There was definitely one that was automatically out, once we got the list. But, you know, I expressed to my team what I felt about not only the judges, but the options of the referees we have.

“I’m just looking forward to getting an honest chance. That’s really all I want – just a true, honest chance. I don’t want any advantage. I don’t want any favoritism towards me. I just want a fair chance to go in there and fight the fighter they consider to be the best in the middleweight division and prove myself. But I don’t want any influence outside the ring to manipulate the decision or what happens inside there.”

3.GGG To Return On June 8th

Photo Credit: Tom Hogan-Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions

After his initial opponent decided to face Jermall Charlo for the interim WBC middleweight title, Gennady Golovkin has an opponent for his return on June 8th.

Steve Rolls will now face Golovkin on June 8th inside Madison Square Garden in a 12-round fight at 164 pounds. This fight will mark Golovkin’s first fight of a three-year six-fight contract DAZN, which will make him over $100 million.

“I am very excited to be returning to the ring and bringing the ‘Big Drama Show’ back to Madison Square Garden,” Golovkin said. “The Garden’s fans are fantastic. I love boxing, and I promise to bring the best of me to everyone who will be watching me in an all-action fight with Steve Rolls.”

Headlining MSG for the fourth time, Golovkin is fighting for the first time since his September 2018 loss to Canelo Alvarez, and may earn a trilogy fight with Alvarez if GGG defeats Rolls and Canelo defeats Daniel Jacobs on May 4th in Las Vegas.

Rolls, an undefeated but largely unknown boxer takes a huge step forward in-facing Golovkin, and is excited for the opportunity.

“I want to sincerely thank DAZN and GGG himself for giving me the opportunity to challenge one of the best fighters in the world,” Rolls said. “But let me be clear: I’ve won national championships and represented my country, and Golovkin is just a man. I’m coming to win this fight and put my name among the best middleweights in the world.”

4. Jacobs: I Am The Best Middleweight In Boxing

Credit: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing USA

On Tuesday, Daniel Jacobs hosted the media for a workout at CEA Fitness on Long Island, ahead of his middleweight unification battle against Canelo Alvarez on May 4th.

When asked if Alvarez can use his power to “bully” the IBF world champion, Jacobs believes his combination of speed, power, and height will be able to ward off Canelo.

“I don’t necessarily think Canelo can bully me,” Jacobs told reporters. “I think that it’s going to be really hard for him being the smaller guy to dictate that. I’m a rough guy when it comes to being in the ring. From the outside looking in, it might look different. But in the ring, I’m a physically big guy with speed and power, so it’s more about the tactics that I choose to use to be victorious.”

“All I see is my hand being raised. I’ve envisioned KOs, decisions, all the positive things. As far as controversy or negativity, him being able to take my punches or push me back, that’s not entered my mind. We only think positively before going into the ring, we’re ready for every possibility, but ultimately, we are on a positive path to victory.”

5. Dana: We’re Waiting On Brock For Lesnar-Cormier

From the moment Daniel Cormier won the UFC heavyweight championship in July of 2018, he’s wanted Brock Lesnar.

Cormier, who aims to retire in the near future, feels Lesnar is the best possible fight for him to retire on, as the payday for it would be a career high.

Following his confrontation with Daniel Cormier after UFC 226, esnar has re-entered the USADA pool in 2018 and sitting out the remainder of a USADA suspension for his failed UFC 200 test.

And while Lesnar has taken the steps to be cleared for a fight, he has still been under contract with the WWE, and rumored to be a focus of the Smackdown Live Brand as they move from USA to Fox this October.

“First of all, Brock Lesnar wants to come back. I don’t know when and when we’ll get it done,” White said during the UFC 236 post-fight scrum. “Daniel Cormier has done everything we’ve ever asked him. He’s fought everybody we’ve ever wanted. He’s been a great champion. He’s an incredible ambassador to the sport.

“If he wants the Brock Lesnar fight, why shouldn’t he get the Brock Lesnar fight? He’s talking about retiring and he wants to fight Lesnar.”

As reported numerous times since 2018, Cormier was intent on retiring by his 40th birthday on March 20th, but a back injury has kept Cormier from the Octagon. On-top of the injury, White feels Cormier has two fights he has to do before walking away from the sport.

“He’s still got two nasty fights before he retires,” White said of Cormier. “He’s got Jon Jones and he’s got Stipe Miocic. If the guy wants to fight Brock Lesnar, he’s going to fight Brock Lesnar if I can get it done and if I can make it happen

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