The Friday Five: December 14th, 2018

1.  Golden Boy Locks Down May 4th For Canelo

Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya confirmed this week that they’ve locked down the T-Mobile Arena for a Canelo Alvarez return on May 4th.

De La Hoya, who is in New York for Alvarez’ super-middleweight challenge against WBA champion Rocky Fielding, is not ready to announce an opponent for Alvarez.

When asked if a trilogy fight is on the radar for May 4th, De La Hoya would down play it.

“I haven’t even spoken to GGG, I haven’t even spoken to his handlers. I have that date for Canelo and that’s it,” Oscar said.

“Is he gonna fight GGG again? Yeah, whenever we say he’s gonna fight him again. We call the shots now. Canelo beat him so if he’s gonna fight him it’s gonna be when we say.”

2. Hearn: Wilder Wants a Legacy Fight? Fight Joshua.

Credit: LAWRENCE LUSTIG

The never ending negotiations between Anthony Joshua, his promoter Eddie Hearn and WBC champion Deontay Wilder press on, as Hearn believes Wilder should focus on a unification fight instead of a rematch with Tyson Fury.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Hearn said: “If Wilder wants to be undisputed – he’s always gone on in his career about one face, one name, one king of the division – the only way you can do that is to win the belts.

“Anthony Joshua has 75 per cent of the belts, but we want that 25 per cent. If he (Wilder) does want to create a legacy, he’s got to fight Joshua, then he can fight Fury.

“But he may go straight into the Fury fight. These next couple of weeks are going to be very interesting. It’s great times in the heavyweight division, anything can happen.”

If Wilder soldiers on with his plans to face Fury in 2019, Hearn claimed that the winner of December 22nd’s Dillian Whyte and Dereck Chisora fight will be the most likely opponent to face the unified champion on April 13th at Wembley Stadium.

Hearn expanded claiming that, “Both guys have got their mind on the same thing, which is a shot at the world heavyweight title. Victory for either guy should lead them to that point in 2019.

3.  Jon Jones Granted Temporary License For UFC 232

The last hurdle for Jon Jones’ return to the Octagon was cleared on Tuesday, as the California State Athletic Commission would grant him a temporary license to fight.

Jones, who had his license revoked following his failed UFC 214 drug test, appeared before the commission alongside CSAC executive director Andy Foster, who was pushing for Jones to be reinstated.

Foster, who advocated for Jones license to be revoked following UFC 214 in July of 2017, claimed he did it due to Jones potentially being suspended by the UFC’s anti-doping partner USADA, which he considered to be a “death sentence” for a mixed martial artist.

Now, with Jones coming to an agreement with USADA earlier this year, and giving him a brief and backdated suspension, the Syracuse, New York native was able to reach an agreement with CSAC.

As part of Jones’ being granted a license, he paid $205,000 to the commission for the “considerable cost” of investigating and dealing with Jones’ case.

One member of the commission put forth a suggestion that Jones undergo VADA testing in a show of good faith, but only on the proviso that the CSAC pay for it. Jones and his attorney would agree in principle, but the measure would have to be approved by the state and not the commission.

Jones will return to competition on December 29th against Alexander Gustafsson in the main event of UFC 232 in Las Vegas, Nevada for the UFC light heavyweight title.

4. ONE Championship Signs With Turner

ONE Championship’s United States Expansion has taken another major step, as the Asia based MMA brand has signed with Turner Broadcasting to air their events.

ONE, who distributed their events through Facebook and YouTube have inked a rights deal with the Atlanta based broadcast company (owned by AT&T) for three years and 24 events a year.

The deal begins in 2019, with the first event to air on January 19th on TNT from Jakarta, Indonesia, with shoulder programming coming to TNT and Bleacher Report’s B/R Live, another Turner Sports subsidiary.

ONE has been trying to stake a claim in the United States marketplace with the signings of Eddie Alvarez, Demetrious Johnson, Sage Northcutt and Yoshihiro Akiyama as fighters and former UFC champion Miesha Tate as a vice president.

5. HBO Boxing Says Farewell

After 45 years of fights which included the likes of George Foreman, Floyd Mayweather, Muhammad Ali, Canelo Alvarez, and more, HBO shut the lights on their boxing division on December 8th.

 

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