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#pounditTuesday, January 26, 2021

Boxing

Jon Jones says he is open to fighting Mike Tyson

Jon Jones

Mike Tyson has been hinting around that he wants to make a boxing comeback, and the former heavyweight champion appears to have an official challenge from Jon Jones.

Jones has recently been at odds with the UFC and president Dana White over his and other fighters’ pay scales. Jones recently wanted to move up to the heavyweight division to fight Francis Ngannou, but he said UFC would not give him an increase in pay to take a more risky fight. White said Jones was looking for “Deontay Wilder money,” which is a reference to the boxer making more than $20 million for his fights. Jones fired back by saying he was not looking for that much but that UFC fighters have always been underpaid relative to the money pay-per-views generate.

Fast-forward to Friday night, when Tyson spoke with Charlie Mack about how UFC fighters will never make as much as top boxers despite UFC having higher ratings and more viewership. Tyson said Jones would have to fight him if the lightweight champ wants to make “super-money,” and Iron Mike did not seem like he was joking.

Jones is open to it, or so he says. The 32-year-old took to social media on Saturday to tell Tyson he is “listening.” Jones said he’s willing to fight Tyson in the boxing ring if Tyson will give him a “real fight in the octagon afterwords.” One follower suggested Jones give Dominick Reyes a rematch, but Jones replied that he wants real money and has been “beating no names for years.”

Conor McGregor fought Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a boxing match, so we know better than to rule anything out when hundreds of millions of dollars are on the line. A fight between Tyson and Jones would draw the same — if not more — attention.

While Tyson is 20 years older than Jones at age 53, he recently shared some terrifying workout videos that show he can still drop the hammer. Make it happen, Dana.

Sergio Sanchez knocks out Gustavo Alan Pina with big uppercut

Sergio Sanchez Gustavo Alan Pina

Sergio Sanchez won his featherweight fight with Gustavo Alan Pina on Saturday night at Gimnasio TV Azteca in Mexico City with a vicious uppercut in the third round.

Pina was trying to hit Sanchez with a jab, but Sanchez instead responded with a massive left uppercut that dropped Pina.

The only hope is that Pina did not suffer any health consequences after taking that brutal punch.

Sanchez improves to 15-1 with nine knockouts after that win, while Pina is now 10-3 with six knockouts.

Floyd Mayweather’s ex-girlfriend Josie Harris died of fentanyl overdose

Josie Harris
Josie Harris, the ex-girlfriend of Floyd Mayweather Jr. and mother of three of the boxing champion’s children, was found dead at the age of 40 back in March. It has since been determined that she died of a drug overdose.

According to records obtained by The Blast, the Los Angeles Medical Examiner-Coroner has listed the cause of Harris’ death as an accidental overdose caused by a mix of fentanyl and alprazolam, which is an anxiety medication.

Harris was found unresponsive in her car outside her home in Valencia, Calif. Police said one of her children found her in front of the property. There was no suicide note and no evidence of drug use at the scene.

Harris and Mayweather had a long and tumultuous history with one another. Harris accused Mayweather of beating her on multiple occasions, and a 2010 incident led to a 90-day jail sentence for Mayweather. Harris also accused Mayweather of assaulting her in 2005, but she later dropped the charges and admitted she was lying.

Mayweather and Harris were scheduled to go to court later this year stemming from a $20 million lawsuit Harris filed against Floyd. The lawsuit stemmed from Mayweather denying in an interview with Katie Couric that he beat Harris in 2010, claiming he only tried to restrain Harris and that she was on drugs. The story Mayweather told in the interview was much different from what the police report from the incident stated.

Harris posted evidence long after the 2010 incident that indicated she still had some sort of relationship with Mayweather. After Harris died, Mayweather posted a multi-photo tribute to her on Instagram.

Manny Pacquiao denies talking about running for president in Philippines

Manny Pacquiao

Manny Pacquiao recently denied talking about making a run at the presidency in the Philippines.

The famed boxer has been a senator in his home country since 2016 and was a member of the country’s House of Representatives before that. In an interview last week, Pac-Man’s former promoter Bob Arum said that Pacquiao told him he was going to run for president in the Philippines in 2020 and win. However, Pacquiao denied saying that.

“As far as I know, we never talked about politics,” Pacquiao told The Manila Times. “The last time we talked on Zoom, Bob discussed possible fight schedules, but never about politics. Our discussion was all about boxing.”

Pacquiao also turned the focus of the conversation towards unity.

“This is not the time for politics. The country has so much problems, what we need is unity and cooperation in order to mitigate the difficulties of our countrymen,” he said, according to a translation.

If Arum says Pacquiao talked about being president, but Pacquiao is denying that, what is the truth? It’s likely Pacquiao told Arum that in confidence, and Arum said something Pacquiao did not intend to go public. That explanation seems to align with Pacquiao saying the focus should be on unifying the country.

In 2017, current Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte said he wanted Pacquiao to succeed him as president.

Anthony Joshua out 4-6 weeks with knee injury

Anthony Joshua

Anthony Joshua is dealing with a knee injury that will prevent him from training for at least a month.

The Athletic’s boxing reporter Mike Coppinger shared on Saturday that Joshua, who was seen at a protest with a brace on his knee, suffered a knee injury while training. The injury will prevent him from training for 4-6 weeks.

Joshua is still expected to face Kubrat Pulev in November, according to Coppinger.

The 30-year-old began his pro boxing career with a 22-0 record before losing to Andy Ruiz Jr. in shocking fashion last June. Joshua avenged that loss in December and has not fought since then. Boxing fans would love to see him get in the mix fighting Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder, who have fought each other twice. The three are regarded as the top heavyweight fighters in the world.

Manny Pacquiao planning to run for president in Philippines

Manny Pacquiao

Manny Pacquiao has been a senator in the Philippines since 2016, and he is eyeing an eventual run at the presidency.

Pacquiao’s longtime promoter Bob Arum said in a video shared by TalkSport that Pac-Man told him he is going to run for president in 2022 and win.

“The first president I think we’ll get as a fighter is little Manny Pacquiao, who told me, once again. I did a Zoom telephone call with him, ‘Bob, I’m gonna run in 2022 and, when I win, I want you there at my inauguration,'” Arum says Pacquiao told him.

Pacquiao, 41, is 62–7–2 in his pro boxing career. He has fought three times since 2019 and won all three. He is immensely popular in his home country, so it might not be a big surprise to see him win the high office when the time comes.

Canelo Alvarez-GGG third fight to be pushed back from September

Canelo Alvarez Gennady Golovkin

Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin were expected to meet in the final installment of their trilogy later this year, but that fight is being pushed back.

In March, The Athletic’s Lance Pugmire reported that Canelo and GGG agreed to financial terms for a third fight between them. The hope was that the fight would take place on September 12 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

On Thursday, SI’s Chris Mannix said the fight is still set to happen but is being pushed back due to the lack of crowds.

Texas’ governor announced on Thursday that sports could resume in June with outdoor stadiums filled to 25 percent capacity. AT&T Stadium has a retractable roof and might be able to pass as outdoor if the roof is open, but due to the limited capacity, those involved would prefer to hold the fight at a later date.

Alvarez was originally planning to fight Billy Joe Saunders in May before fighting Golovkin in September. GGG was set to fight Kamil Szeremeta.

Alvarez and GGG fought to a draw in their first bout in 2017. Alvarez won a decision in their second match, which came a year later. Canelo tested positive for a banned substance prior to their second fight.

Video: Mike Tyson confronts Chris Jericho on AEW’s Dynamite

Mike Tyson is all over the place these days.

Not only has Iron Mike been making noise about a possible boxing comeback (likely a charity match), but he is also on the wrestling scene.

Tyson appeared on AEW’s “Double or Nothing” pay-per-view over the weekend. On Wednesday, he appeared on “Dynamite.” Tyson was flanked by MMA fighters Henry Cejudo, Rashad Evans and Vitor Belfort as he confronted Chris Jericho.

Iron Mike even ripped off his shirt:

Tyson is a great character for wrestling and perfect for a startup like AEW.

Tyson has a wrestling history and got into a feud with Stone Cold Steve Austin as a guest enforcer at WrestleMania XIV. Iron Mike was inducted into WWE Hall of Fame in 2012.

Evander Holyfield interested in charity boxing match with Mike Tyson

Evander Holyfield

Evander Holyfield is open to a charity boxing match with Mike Tyson.

Both Tyson and Holyfield have been posting videos on social media that hint at boxing returns, and they seem to be building towards a fight with each other. Holyfield says he would do it so long as Tyson asks.

“If I ask him it’s almost like me being a bully saying I want to go against somebody I’ve beaten twice,” Holyfield told the BBC. “I don’t want pressure on me that ‘you just want to fight Mike because you know you can beat him’.”

On May 6, Holyfield even posted a message on Instagram saying he would be returning to the ring for a charity boxing match.

He has been posting several training videos on social media since then. Tyson has gone viral a few times for his training videos over the past month as well.

The two have quite a bit of history.

Holyfield beat Tyson via 11th-round TKO in 1996 to win the WBA heavyweight title at a time when the two were near the heights of their popularity. In the rematch less than a year later, Tyson was disqualified for notoriously biting a piece of Holyfield’s ear off.

Holyfield is 57 now and last fought professionally in 2011. Tyson is 53 and hasn’t fought since 2005.

There was talk back in 2008 about a possible third fight between them, though that did not materialize. But the two have seemingly been on good terms, with Tyson helping to promote business for Holyfield. It’s the least he could do, you know, after the whole ear thing.

CJ Watson says Conor McGregor wearing his jersey was ‘stupid’

Conor McGregor

CJ Watson is offering some thoughts several years later on his unexpected inclusion in the Conor McGregor-Floyd Mayweather beef.

During a Reddit AMA session this weekend, the former Golden State Warriors guard was asked what he thought about McGregor wearing his jersey in an effort to troll Mayweather before their megafight in 2017.

“Stupid because I had nothing to do with the situation,” Watson replied.

If you recall, McGregor was seen wearing Watson’s No. 23 jersey with the Warriors specifically because of Watson’s link to Josie Harris, the mother of Mayweather’s children (which you can read more about here). The episode also triggered a war of words between McGregor and Draymond Green, who currently wears No. 23 for the Warriors and thought that McGregor was wearing his jersey instead.

Watson, now 36 years old, spent ten seasons in the NBA and is now playing overseas in Turkey. Unfortunately, Watson may now be more known for his entanglement in the McGregor-Mayweather feud than for his actual NBA career, and he is clearly not too thrilled about it.