The Friday Five: January 19th, 2018


  1. Joshua Vs. Parker Is Official: 
    The finalized deal for IBF, IBO, WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua and WBO champion Joseph Parker’s unification fight has been announced for March 31st, in Cardiff, Wales.According to multiple reports, Parker will be needing a new wallet following March 31st, as the WBO champion is set to receive approximately £7 million, roughly $9.6 million, to battle Joshua in Cardiff. On the other side of the coin, Joshua, the IBF/IBO/WBA champion, reportedly could earn about £15 million, which equates to approximately $20.6 million, for fighting Parker.Joshua recently looked over Parker’s last fight, where he traveled to Manchester to face mandatory challenger Hughie fury.

    Joshua felt Parker showed no ring generalship in the bout and had no idea on how to cut off the ring, as Parker would be unable to catch up to Fury throughout the fight.

    “He hasn’t been taught ring generalship and how to cut off the ring, because he was following him around. You need to be able to corner your opponent, but nevertheless he got the win, which is always the main objective,” Joshua said.

    “Ring generalship is always important, but this is the situation with the heavyweight division at the minute is that the champions are still learning fighters. I won’t pick too many faults yet. He’s still learning.”

  2. Cormier Doesn’t Care If Rockhold Trains With UFC 220 Opponent:Daniel Cormier will be defending his light heavyweight title against Volkan Oezdemir at Saturday’s UFC 220, in his fourth title defense. And while Cormier seems to be steadfast and focused for this fight in Boston, he is missing a familiar presence in his corner, former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold.Cormier and Rockhold were training partners at the American Kickboxing Academy, but in 2017, Rockhold began training in Florida with Henri Hooft. Rockhold explained the move was his need for something new in his training. The move away from all accounts was amicable, but now Rockhold finds himself training with the light heavyweight challenger Oezdemir, who is opposing his longtime friend.

    Speaking recently on a Facebook Q & A, Cormier dismissed any idea of Rockhold giving Oezdemir any training secrets to use against the champion, saying that Rockhold doesn’t have any to give because Rockhold could never beat him in the first place.

    “Luke training with my opponent?” joked Cormier?

    “Meh. It doesn’t matter, Luke can’t really help him. Luke can’t beat me!” Cormier said before laughing. “What’s Luke going to teach him?”

  3. Sergey Lipinets Hand Injury Postpones Mikey Garcia Fight:
    Sergey Lipinets was driven to make his fight against Mikey Garcia happen, but an injury has put a pause on the opportunity.In an interview with Boxing Scene, Alex Vaysfeld, Lipinets’ co-manager, said on Wednesday that the IBF junior welterweight champion “begged” him to proceed with his fight against Mikey Garcia scheduled for February 10th at The Alamodome in San Antonio. Yet, that won’t happen due to the recommendation of Dr. Richard Gluckman, a physician affiliated with the California State Athletic Commission, Lipinets wasn’t permitted to fight Garcia due to current condition of his right hand.“Sergey hurt his hand about a month ago and it just kept escalating,” Vaysfeld said. “He basically sparred with one hand. He was getting ready for the fight just using one hand only. It came to the point where it blew up and we were afraid there was a fracture or maybe even broken. He couldn’t even touch it.”

  4. Errol Spence Jr. Eyes Unification After Peterson Fight:
    On Saturday night in Brooklyn, Errol Spence Jr. will look to continue his rise through a loaded welterweight division, as he battles his former sparring partner Lamont Peterson.When talking about the meaning of this fight to FIGHT SPORTS, Spence was honest about the “war” he’s preparing for with Peterson. “This fight means everything to me. I still have a chip on my shoulder. I want to be the last man standing. I want to beat the top fighters in my division. Lamont is the one standing in front of me, so it’s fight time.”The mood at Wednesday’s media workout was different for both fighters, as Peterson took in a full and serious training session at the legendary Gleason’s Gym, while the champion did an in-ring and heavy bag session with a smile on his face. For reporters, it was also a different affair, as Peterson was mostly quick with his answers and sat hunched over during the media session, while Spence seemed more bouncy and outgoing with the media. The difference in mindset can be attributed to what each fighter sees next for themselves. According to Spence:

    “In a perfect world I’d be unifying with Keith Thurman this year. I’m going to fight three times this year though. You don’t get time back. I’m ready to strike now.”

  5.  Heavyweight Tourney Fight To Main Event Bellator 192:

Bellator boss, Scott Coker appeared on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour to discuss some of the controversy regarding the change in main event at Saturday’s Bellator 192 event.

FIGHT SPORTS reported last week that a World Heavyweight Grand Prix opening round bout between Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Chael Sonnen has been granted the main event slot over a welterweight title clash between champion Douglas Lima and former UFC star Rory MacDonald.

This is the second straight fight featuring Sonnen will go on last over a championship fight. Last June at Bellator NYC, Sonnen’s grudge match with Wanderlei Silva headlined the show, instead of any of a trio of title fights on the Pay-Per-View card.

In defending the decision, Coker laid the blame on the Paramount Network.

“I think that you guys assumed that (the Lima-MacDonald) fight was going to be last and it could have went either way, but there’s a lot of people that do a lot of, I want to say analytics and things like that up at Viacom and it came down to me that (‘Rampage’-Sonnen) should be the last fight, so when TV says this is what they want, then that’s what they get,” Coker explained.

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