The Friday Five: May 17th, 2019

1.  Saunders Slaps Opponent At Weigh-In

The “new” Billy Joe Saunders was very similar to the “old” Billy Joe Saunders, as he slapped his opponent, Shefat Isufi, in the face at Friday’s weigh-in.

Saunders and Isufi face off on Saturday for the vacant WBO super middleweight title, both making weight on Friday, with Saunders weighing 1.6 pounds more than Isufi, who officially weighed 167.4 pounds.

Following the weigh-in the two fighters would go nose-to-nose with the tensions high heading into the fight, and as Saunders was being moved away from the area by his team, he slapped Isufi, which saw the mandatory challenger treat it like it was nothing.

2. Taylor Needed To Weigh-In Twice

Josh Taylor went to the scale today and may have thrown the World Boxing Super Series into chaos as he missed weight on Friday in Glasgow.

Taylor is set to face Ivan Baranchyk on Saturday in the semi-finals of the WBSS, and while the undefeated Baranchyk made weight, Taylor would end up needing to strip completely down to make the super lightweight limit… in kilograms.

With the fight taking place in the United Kingdom, all weights were read in kilograms as opposed to pounds, which created confusion when Taylor made weight in kilograms, but was 0.2 pounds over the 140 poundlimit.

Baranchyk would be 139.6 pounds when stepping to the scale, while Taylor, thinking he’d made weight, began to re-hydrate.

After the stare down between both champion and challenger, Taylor and his team were alerted of the discrepancy, and now had two hours to cut to 140 pounds.

3. WWE’s Gallagher In-Talks With Bellator

Bellator has its fair share of experience working within the world of pro wrestling, as the organization worked with former Spike (now Paramount Network) broadcasted brand, Impact Wrestling, and has featured current WWE star Bobby Lashley in the past.

It seems Bellator is interested in working withing that world again, as the organization is interested in WWE cruiserweight, Jack Gallagher.

Per a report from F4WOnline, Gallagher has been contacted by the Viacom organization, potentially to fight at either light heavyweight or middleweight.

The only thing standing in the way would be his WWE contract, as there’s no word on if the organization would let him fight for Bellator.


4. Wilder Willing To Negotiate With Joshua In Private

Credit: Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME

Deontay Wilder wants a unification clash with Anthony Joshua, but unlike their prior attempts to schedule a fight, Wilder wants to keep this out of the public eye.

With both fighters publicly going after one another for various demands or “ducking” the other, Wilder told reporters this week that he wants the negotiations to go the same way his 2018 fight with Tyson Fury was handled.

“I want to be able to get in the ring and fight, you know, and give the people what they want, but I think how this is really going to happen – when everything goes silent. There’s too many people that’s involved in this. There’s too many media, fans, everybody. The thing about people, everybody got an opinion about how it should go, this should go this way, this should go that way,” Wilder said.

“It’s like with the Tyson Fury fight, nobody knew that fight was going to happen. Kept it silent for a reason, and then all of a sudden it came out. It was the most biggest fight and exciting fight around and I think this is the same way it’s going to happen, the Joshua fight. It goes silent, everybody comes together and we’re able to sort it out that way and then we make an announcement.

“I want it to happen for the fans and I’m sure the fans want it to happen and like I said, once it goes silent, that’s when the fight will be made.”

5. Northcutt KO’ed In One Debut

Sage Northcutt’s highly anticipated debut as the future of ONE Championship ended in less than a minute, and leaving the former UFC prospect in a heap.

Northcutt took on Cosmo Alexandre at ONE Championship’s #EnterTheDragon on Friday,

29 seconds into their co-main event at ONE Championship’s Enter The Dragon card, the welterweight (185 pounds) fighter would leave the door open for the 8-1 Alexandrade to land a crushing right hand and send Northcutt down and out.

This marks the end of a three fight winning streak for the former UFC prospect, and his first loss by knockout, falling twice in the UFC by submission.

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