The Friday Five: March 15th, 2019

1.  Tyson Fury To Return On June 15th.

Credit: Esther Lin/Showtime

From May 18th through June 15th, Deontay Wilder, Anthony Joshua, and Tyson Fury would have stepped into the ring, as Fury is close to a deal for his first fight on ESPN+.

Per a report from Boxing Scene, Fury will headline a card for the digital platform on June 15th from the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada in his first fight since his controversial December 2018 draw against Deontay Wilder for the WBC world heavyweight title.

A rematch is currently in limbo with Fury signing with ESPN in February, and Wilder announcing his next steps at a press conference on Tuesday in Brooklyn to hype his next defense against Dominic Breazeale.

 

2. Tony Ferguson Has Restraining Order Filed On him By Wife

Former interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson has been issued a restraining order by his wife this week, due to erratic behavior from the popular UFC fighter.

According to a report from MMAJunkie, Cristina Ferguson filed the restraining order on Wednesday in Orange County Superior Court, with an investigation by the court’s domestic violence prevention services for March 22nd and a hearing on April 5th.

While there have been no reports of physical violence performed by Ferguson, there have been at least five incidents reports filed by police since January 2018.

A week prior to Mrs. Ferguson filing the restraining order, six police units were dispatched to the Ferguson home, as her husband took their two-year-old son to their home while she was staying with her parents. Ferguson then changed the locks on the doors of the home. While she did not fear for the child’s safety, she did call the police, who determined no crime was committed.

Cristina Ferguson’s lawyer, Jeffrey L. Heath, released a statement to ESPN on Thursday night with his client explaining her reasoning for the temporary restraining order.

“Tony Ferguson is a good husband and good father to our son,” Cristina Ferguson said in the statement. “The current legal proceedings are a part of a process to ensure that Tony will receive the help necessary to continue being the best possible, as well as to pursue his passion and career as a UFC champion fighter.

“All positive well wishes are sincerely appreciated and I hope our privacy will be respected.”

3. Wilder Offered $100 Million By DAZN

On Wednesday, it was reported that Deontay Wilder was offered $50 million by DAZN to join their platform on a two fight deal. Now, less than a day later, that offer has doubled.

Per Mike Coppinger of The Ring, Wilder was offered a $100 million deal for three fights by DAZN rep John Skipper.

For Wilder, this would not only mean major money for a May 18th clash with Dominic Breazeale, but a long awaited showdown with fellow unified champion Anthony Joshua.

While both Wilder and Joshua have fights coming up in the next three months, if Wilder stops Breazeale and Joshua defeats Jarrell Miller, a fight that has been two years in the making, may come to pass this fall.

Per the Metro, Wilder would make $20 million to fight Breazeale this Spring, with a clash with Joshua in November or December set at $40 million for the first fight and another $40 for a rematch.

4. Atlas: UFC Better Matchmakers Than Boxing

Whether as a trainer or an announcer, Teddy Atlas never felt the need to bite his tongue on an issue, especially when it comes to the integrity of the sport.

On his podcast this week, Atlas lamented the politics behind setting up some of the biggest fights in boxing, and feels that the sport needs to look at how the UFC does things to ensure “super fights” happen.

“You want [boxing] to change? I’ll tell you how it changes — make boxing the UFC,” Atlas said to his co-host. “Get Dana White — it’s not happening, but… he’s a dictator. You know what? Dictators usually are not good. But sometimes in some places they can be useful. With the UFC and the building of that product, the development, the building, the growing of that franchise — and boy did it grow — was because they had a dictator. Because the dictator could make all the rules.

“As I just pointed out, there were no separate power brokers in different areas that had their piece of property and their piece of property and we fight on our network, we fight on our network, and we do what we want to do. There was one place, one guy, laying the rules out. You fight him, or you’re out. You fight him, or you’re out. And you know what? That’s why he grew that sport. And that’s why he grew that product. Because he could demand competitive fights.”

 

5. McGregor Breaks Fan’s Phone At 5 am on South Beach

Per TMZ Sports, here is a brief clip of Conor McGregor smashing the phone of Ahmed Abdirzak on Monday morning outside of a hotel on South Beach.

The video only shows McGregor smashing the phone and Abdirzak exclaiming “give me back my phone, man.”

No further footage of how the incident started or how it ended has been release as of Thursday morning.

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