The Friday Five: September 7th 2018

1.  Owen Roddy: Conor Could Retire At UFC 229

It may be right to say former UFC Featherweight and Lightweight Champion Conor McGregor has dabbled with retirement before, and it could be possible again after his UFC 229 lightweight title bout with longtime rival and current UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.

McGregor had a one-day retirement from the sport in April 2016 after coming into conflict with the organization over press obligations in the lead-up to his rematch with Nate Diaz. Many assumed after the payday he received from the “Money Fight” boxing match with Floyd Mayweather that McGregor didn’t want, or need, to fight ever again.

But with the opportunity to settle a grudge with his archrival, earn the UFC Lightweight Title back, and potentially another big payday — UFC President Dana White feels UFC 229 could reach two million pay-per-view buys – McGregor gears up for his first bout in the Octagon since originally winning the 155-pound title at UFC 205 in November 2016.

Owen Roddy, one of McGregor’s coaches, recently appeared on the Eurobash podcast and says he’s unsure of what McGregor’s future holds after the fight and if he’ll retire or not. Roddy added it may come down to what fight options are available for him following the October pay-per-view.

“I don’t know…I don’t think [he will retire],” Roddy said. “I don’t look into the future to see what’s happening. Conor’s mentality hasn’t changed at all, so I don’t know.

“I always say, it depends on what fights are available, I think, for Conor. As I said, if there is another big super fight and Conor feels like he would enjoy it, then he’ll do it. If the fans want it and stuff like that, I think Conor will take it.”

2. De La Hoya: Canelo Needs To KO GGG

Canelo Alvarez’ promoter Oscar De La Hoya believes that his fighter needs to prove a point on September 15th and knockout Gennady Golovkin.

Their first bout in 2017 went to a highly controversial draw, and now De La Hoya claims that a knockout is bound to happen due to the lack of respect on either side of the ring..

“Right now, they do not respect each other. For me, when two fighters are not giving any respect, it means that we are going to see a great fight,” said De La Hoya to ESPN Deportes.

“It’s going to be a difficult fight, which we hope will be a continuation of the first and due to that, obviously, people will enjoy it a lot.”

“It was a very close fight, very exciting,” De La Hoya said of the first fight between Golovkin and Alvarez. “What happens is that people were not happy with the decision. But, for me, Canelo won by one or two points max.”

“I hope that this September 15th, Canelo will come out with a lot of energy, throwing a lot of punches, combinations and looks to knock out Golovkin. That’s what he has to do: knock him out. We know that Golovkin is going to come forward, he’s going to throw a lot of punches. So Canelo has to be in there with more desire, more energy to try to counteract it.”

3. Danny Garcia And Shawn Porter Battle At Barclays

Credit: Ed Diller/DiBella Entertainment

The welterweight division has always been coveted as one of boxing’s most exciting weight classes and Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter are set to collide with the vacant WBC title on the line on September 8.

The two former world champions return to the Barclays Center looking to win the WBC title and stake their respective claim as the best boxer in the world.

In an exclusive interview with FIGHT SPORTS, Porter expressed excitement over the possibility to cover his waist with the historic green and gold world title.

“The extra motivation [to go out and beat Garcia] will come with wanting to win this very title. The WBC title means the world to me and I have to win this fight. I have to win this fight because this is a goal for me and I’ve always wanted to win the WBC title. It’s a title shot of a lifetime,” Porter said.

Even though the goal in this fight for both men is to win the coveted WBC welterweight title, Garcia and Porter both have bigger, yet different, goals that extend past September 8.

For Garcia, it is a rematch against former champion and current WBA titleholder Keith Thurman, the man who handed the Philadelphia native his first loss as a pro boxer. As it was Thurman who vacated the title and forced this matchup between Garcia and Porter to be for the title, Garcia said he would rather have his rematch, but main wishes to win back the title he lost.

“No, I’d rather have the rematch with Thurman, but it is what it is. It’s an opportunity to win back my title, so I’m blessed and I’m happy,” Garcia told FIGHT SPORTS.

On the other side, Porter said he is relishing the fact that he is fighting for the WBC title, but the big fight down the road isn’t his a rematch with Thurman, whom Porter lost to in 2016, but a bout against Errol Spence Jr.

Since Thurman’s last fight, Spence became the IBF welterweight champion and emerged as a star in an already deep division at 147 pounds. If Porter emerges victorious, then Spence is Porter’s No. 1 fight to make.

“Those opportunities are there for me for the taking and it all starts on September 8. We all know what’s next in line which is a unification fight against Errol Spence Jr.,” Porter said.

But just as Garcia, a native of Philadelphia, believes his hometown Philadelphia Eagles will repeat as Super Bowl champions this year, Porter has just as much confidence that his hand will be raised at the end of the night on September 8.

“I think it’s as simple as this: I have to hit him and can’t get hit. I can’t leave any rounds close and I have to be dominant. I think a dominant performance from the outside, keeping him back, the whole nine yards on top of that, let the judges see that he can’t hit me. I think that’s how you win this fight,” Porter said.

“If anybody is going to be knocked out, it’s going to be Danny. I’m going to be the one doing all the knocking out, doing all the hitting and doing all the punching.”

4. Joshua: Win Or Lose I Want Wilder

Whether or not Deontay Wilder beats Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua says a fight between he and the WBC heavyweight champion is inevitable.

Joshua and Wilder were stuck in negotiations for several months, until Joshua would ink a deal with mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin. Now, with his fight against the Russian challenger less than two weeks away, Joshua told Sky Sports that a fight between the two is unavoidable. “We’re going to fight regardless because we’re the same weight category, and we’re in the same era, and it’s the fight that people want to see,” Joshua told Sky Sports News.

“Yeah, we’re going to fight each other, but it’s interesting, because let’s say worst happens with Povetkin, it don’t stop me from having to fight them.

“If Wilder gets beat in that fight with Fury, I’ll still fight Wilder down the line, or if Fury gets beat.

“With boxing, one corner loses, one corner wins, but because it’s still a fight that the public will demand – big puncher, good stylistic fighter, good talkers – there will always be interest around the name of heavyweight boxing.”


5. Amir Khan Wants Manny Pacquiao For Legacy

Credit: AIBA

While Samuel Vargas will be standing across the ring from him,  Amir Khan and his promoter Eddie Hearn seemed to have begun talks with Manny Pacquiao..

The Bolton boxer told Starsport: “Who would I rather face next? Pacquiao, definitely.

“That would be the biggest fight of my career and beating Pacquiao would be amazing.”

According to a report from the Daily Star in the U.K, it may cost around £10 million to get Pacquiao to fight Khan in the latter’s native land.

As reported earlier this week, fellow Matchroom boxer and long-rumored opponent, Kell Brook, may end up facing Pacquiao next, but it seems that nothing will be decided until after Khan faces Vargas in Birmingham.

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