The Friday Five: August 23rd, 2019

1.  Hearn Alleges Canelo-Hearn Cahoots.

While most of the speculation for Canelo Alvarez’s next fight has been focused on a move to light heavyweight to fight current WBO champion Sergey Kovalev, Matchroom Boxing CEO Eddie Hearn feels there is a better option… one of his fighters.

“Demetrius Andrade is in the same boat as Billy Joe Saunders,” said Eddie Hearn to AB Boxing News regarding a fight with Alvarez.

“A really good fighter, tough to beat. So for me, Canelo should be fighting Demetrius Andrade. He shouldn’t be fighting Kovalev. It’s a good fight, but he should be fighting other champions in the division. You can’t criticize Canelo, because his resume is so stellar. So it’s tough to say, ‘Oh, you’re not fighting.’ He just beat Danny Jacobs. So he wants to fight Kovalev. Again, that’s a tough fight. For me, if he’s not fighting GGG, which is the fight that he should have taken, then he should be fighting Demetrius Andrade.”

Speaking further on the situation, Hearn espoused a theory that something is amiss with the recent behavior of Top Rank CEO Bob Arum.

“Bob Arum seems to be very kind to Canelo, which makes me smell a rat,” said Hearn. “Maybe there’s a move coming up with Bob Arum. He’s been strangely nice to Canelo. So there’s a plan behind Bob’s madness behind that one. I believe he’s got a potential deal with him coming. Having all this control is not as easy as you think. We had it with Joshua. It’s hard to get fights. People cross themselves out. People want to block you. Mandatory’s are called,” said Hearn.

 

“Golden Boy wanted to make the Gennady Golovkin fight. They wanted to deliver that to DAZN,” said Hearn of Alvarez going without a fight on Mexican Independence Day weekend.

“Clearly, Canelo said, ‘Not right now. I want to fight Kovalev. They missed the boat with the Canelo fight. Now they’ve got to wait until Saturday. But if Kovalev losses [against Anthony Yarde] or if Kovalev doesn’t look good or he gets injured, then they’re back to the market place where they’ve already upset a lot of people. They can say, ‘Alright, Demetrius, we’ll fight you now,’ but not on the terms we discussed before. He already binned us off. Now let’s talk properly,” said Hearn about Canelo and Golden Boy needing to negotiate with Andrade after the Kovalev fight.”

2. Fury Believes Wilder’s Punch Could Have Killed Him

Tyson Fury admitted this week that the near knockout punch from WBC world heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder could have been the last thing he felt on this earth.

Speaking to SiriusXM about the devastating right hand that dropped the former unified world heavyweight champion in the final round of their controversial December draw, Fury claimed he may have lost consciousness.

“It didn’t hurt at all. I didn’t feel any pain so probably [I was] not [conscious],” Fury told SiriusXM. “I think when you get hit in certain areas in the head you lose your coordination, you lose everything. It just goes for a second or so. But when you come around you either get up and your legs are gone, or you get up and you’re okay like I was in that twelfth round.

“As easy as I got up, I may never have got up. That was the type of punch that sometimes people won’t wake up from. Especially hitting me with a right hand and as I was going down he hit me with a left hook as well.

“So that should have been concrete, goodnight Vienna,” Fury said of the punch. “But the Gypsy King rose like a phoenix from the ashes off the canvas to rally back from the twelfth and it was an epic round. We won Ring Magazine Round of the Year, so it must have been a good round.”

3. Lesnar Wants Jones.

Brock Lesnar wants to punch Jon Jones in the face.

This coming from WWE Hall of Famer and Olympic gold medal wrestler Kurt Angle, who affirmed the former UFC heavyweight champion’s interest on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show.

I hope he does return. I know he said he was retired, but I think the one fight he wants, and I don’t know if it will happen, but he wants to go up against Jon Jones,” Angle said to Helwani of Lesnar who has not fought inside the Octagon since 2016.

“I think that would be an extraordinary fight,” Angle said of a hypothetical matchup. “They are very different. Their sizes are completely opposite, but Brock’s a freak. He might not win all of his fights, and he may not be the more polished fighter, but he is an incredible athlete.”

“He could do anything he wants, play football or pro baseball, he could adapt to anything. Brock is an incredible athlete and wrestling him in the ring, I knew how great an athlete he truly is. I mean he could play basketball, he is unbelievable.”

4. Ruiz Gets PAID To Fight AJ In Saudi

Credit: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing UK

After two weeks of confusion, conjecture, and negotiation, Andy Ruiz Jr has reportedly agreed to a rematch with Anthony Joshua in Saudi Arabia.

In reports by both The Athletic and ESPN, Ruiz has agreed to the fight on December 7th at a yet to be constructed outdoor stadium in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia.

Ruiz will reportedly get more than the $9 million he was initially set to get for the rematch with Joshua, as well as other benefits including the rights to the Mexican television rights for the showdown.

In-terms of issues with the location, both sides have agreed to VADA testing as was done in their June 1st fight inside Madison Square Garden, and due to the lack of an experienced commission in the Saudi Kingdom, representatives from a United States athletic commission will assist the Saudis.

The referees and judges will need to have at least 40 world title fights to be accepted for the rematch of Ruiz’ upset short-notice win over Joshua, who was initially set to face Jarrell Miller. Miller was taken out of the fight due to failing a reported four drug tests leading up to fight night.

5. Conor Wants Redemption Against Khabib

Conor McGregor has had a weird two years.

In 2017, McGregor was the face of the UFC, held two of their world titles, and had made the most money in his life by fighting Floyd Mayweather in one of the most-watched pay-per-views in the history of the platform.

Since then McGregor has been arrested numerous times for throwing a hand truck through a bus, breaking a fan’s phone, and under investigation for punching an old man in the face over him not drinking McGregor’s Proper Twelve Whiskey.

Amidst the chaos that was his past 24 months, McGregor returned to the Octagon in a losing effort to now lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229.

McGregor admitted that an injury and lacking focus outside of camp set back the former featherweight and lightweight champion, and now after the haze of a post-Mayweather payday and numerous legal hurdles, it seems McGregor is searching for redemption inside the Octagon.

“You must understand my foot was a balloon when I walked into that fight. I’ve got all this footage backed up from that entire camp. I broke my foot three weeks out from that fight. My foot was a balloon,” McGregor said to Ariel Helwani.

“I dove in on one foot. My foot was a balloon. My toes came out of the socket and a guy had to come into the cage and break them back into place, the thing ballooned out and I hobbled in there and walked him down and did not give two s***s. That was with a bad camp. That was with a half-committed camp.”

“I was too committed in the gym and not committed enough outside of it,” McGregor said of his preparation for the October 2019 loss in Las Vegas. “The training sessions were too serious and then when I left the gym, it was gone from my mind. I would go off into the jungle and you cannot do that. You cannot be half in, especially in a game like this and I paid the price for it and that’s it.

“Although I had reasons and I had injuries, who gives a s**t. Who gives a s**t. What happened, happened. I know what I can do. I’ve done it before. I’ve done it before when I was doubted so I’m eager to do it again.”

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