The Friday Five: March 31st, 2019

1. Conor McGregor Announces Retirement/Charged With Sexual Assault

On Tuesday at 1am eastern time, Conor McGregor announced his retirement from Mixed Martial Arts via his Twitter account.

Hey guys quick announcement, I’ve decided to retire from the sport formally known as “Mixed Martial Art” today.
I wish all my old colleagues well going forward in competition.
I now join my former partners on this venture, already in retirement.
Proper Pina Coladas on me fellas!

McGregor, who was suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission until April of this year due to his part in a brawl following his UFC 229 loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov, said that he was negotiating with the UFC for a return this July during International Fight Week. The former featherweight and lightweight champion made it clear that he’d return for a main event fight or anywhere else on the card if he was given an equity stake in the multi-billion dollar organization.

Less than 12 hours after Conor McGregor announced his retirement, the former UFC champion has been accused of sexually assaulting a woman in December

McGregor has not been charged with a crime, as is the protocol for criminal investigations in his native Ireland, where the incident was to have taken place, but the fighter was arrested and questioned by law enforcement in January according to the New York Times.

As of this report, no allegations have been proven and the investigation’s continuation is not an implication of McGregor’s guilt.

The alleged victim accused McGregor of committing the attack at the Beacon Hotel in Dublin, which saw the Irish fighter visit in December, a day before the alleged assault. The Beacon is 25 minutes from McGregor’s hometown of Crumlin.

The police have retrieved evidence from the room McGregor stayed in, as well as closed-circuit camera footage.

 

2. GGG Returns On June 8th

Credit: Tom Hogan-Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions

For the first time since his loss to Canelo Alvarez, Gennady Golovkin will make his return to the ring on June 8th.

The former unified middleweight champion of the world is set to make his DAZN debut in June, as he breaks his nearly nine-month absence to face The Contender winner, Brandon Adams.

Adams would go through Tyrone Brunson, Ievgen Khytrov, Eric Walker, and Shane Mosley Jr. in his quest to win the reality contest that aired on Epix.

He now goes against an opponent in Golovkin who is looking for an emphatic victory after losing to Alvarez in September of 2018.

Golovkin will not be the only high-profile middleweight to enter the ring on June 8th, as WBO middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade will mark the second defense of his title against Maciej Sulecki.

 

3. Loeffler Wants Klitschko-Wilder

Even though he’s not fought since 2017, former world heavyweight champion, Wladimir Klitschko, is the most sought after free agent in the heavyweight division.

Klitschko has been reportedly linked to both DAZN and allegedly Showtime for multi-fight deals that would see him back in the heavyweight title picture.

Tom Loeffler, who helped manager Klitschko’s career, told Sirius-XM Boxing that if the former world champion returned to action, he’d want it to be against former sparring partner Deontay Wilder.

“He had such a good championship run, that a lot of people want to see him back in the ring,” Loeffler told Sirius XM Boxing. “A company is offering him a lot of money to come back. He’s one of those brands that fans want to see him come back. I’d like to see him come back.

4. Spence-Garcia Draws 360,000 Buys

Credit: Ryan Hafey/PBC

Errol Spence and Mikey Garcia have proven themselves to be pay-per-view draws, as their welterweight title fight generated over 360,000 according to ESPN.

The first time main eventing a pay-per-view card for either fighter would see Spence win a masterful unanimous decision win in front of 47,525 fans at AT&T Stadium for the first ever Fox Sports pay-per-view.

Per sources, the number could be closer to 380,000 purchases, with a possible 400,000 buys. If the 360,000 buys holds as the number, it would have grossed at least $27 million in the United States, at a price of $75 for standard definition and $85 for HD.

5. Usyk Moves Up To Heavyweight

Credit: Twitter/@MirrorFighting

Oleksandr Usyk has planted his future in the heavyweight division, as he has abdicated his WBA cruiserweight championship.

After a historic 2018, Usyk was the first boxer in the “four belt” era to gain the status of undisputed champion, and as of Thursday, he willingly has given that up.

In a personalized letter to the WBA, Usyk confirmed his desire to fight as a heavyweight and with that, vacating his WBA title instead of facing mandatory challenger Denis Lebedev.

Usyk has been rumored for a move to heavyweight ever since his last defense against the now-retired Tony Bellew in late 2018.

With a move to Matchroom Boxing happening prior to the fight, many wondered if the stoppage win over the former cruiserweight champion would mark of Usyk’s short and historic reign as undisputed champion.

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