- Jorge Masvidal wants to fight Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in another crossover boxing rules bout.
- Conor McGregor was famously stopped on his feet when he fought Floyd Mayweather in 2017, losing in the 10th round.
- Masvidal wants to even the score and beat Canelo for the MMA community.
- The only problem with that is that it’s unlikely to happen.
- MMA athletes and boxers do spar one another, but when they spar with boxing rules, there is a difference in quality, Irish boxer Luke Keeler told Business Insider.
- Keeler sparred the former UFC fighter Artem Lobov, a friend of Conor McGregor’s, earlier in the year and said that he was “wild,” “unorthodox,” and had “limited boxing ability.”
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Jorge Masvidal will be in for a rude awakening if he ever manages to coax Canelo Alvarez, one of the greatest active boxers on the planet, into a prizefighting ring in what would be one more crossover circus.
The UFC welterweight is on course to win Fighter of the Year honours in MMA after obliterating Darren Till, Ben Askren, and Nate Diaz, a win which saw him crowned the “baddest mother f—–” in the game by The Rock.
Since beating Diaz, Masvidal has attracted headlines because of his apparent desire to settle an inter-sports score after Floyd Mayweather easily beat Conor McGregor, stopping the Irish striker on his feet in the 10th round of a boxing rules contest in 2017.
“If Canelo wants his arse kicked, that’s a fight I’ll take,”Masvidal said earlier this month, according to ESPN.
Masvidal talks a good game and is on such a tear in the UFC that he could be rewarded with a title shot against the eventual winner of the UFC 245 main event match between welterweight champion Kamaru Usman and the challenger Colby Covington on December 14, ESPN reports.
If he won the title against Usman or Covington, both of whom possess a strong wrestling base, it would become another signature win in a career that brags many of them. A title shot is a legacy fight.
But venturing into the sport of boxing would give Masvidal something different. A crossover bout in boxing would be a money fight. Alvarez is a money man in that sport, making approximately $US30 million every time he fights, regardless of opponent. Even a 90/10 split would earn Masvidal $US3 million, a figure UFC rarely rewards its athletes with.
“I could put his arse to sleep, man, I definitely feel that,”Masvidal said on The Dan LeBatard Show this week. “I’m naturally the bigger man.
“I consider myself 10 times the athlete because of MMA in general all the strengths, speed, and power we have to generate. The energy it takes to wrestle, to pick someone up in the air … in boxing it’s just your weight, you’re not carrying nobody’s weight.
“If I can shift those energy blocks and throw 80-90 punches a round, I could hurt this dude, man. I could even it out for MMA. We’re the real killers,” he said. “Boxing is cool but it’s just a section of fighting.”
MMA fighters box ‘unorthodox’ and ‘wild’
MMA fighters and boxers occasionally spar one another. Luke Keeler, the Irish middleweight who challenged Conor McGregor to “stay sober” so they can end their war of words and fight for a world title in a crossover bout of their own next year, recently told Business Insider that there are issues with sparring MMA fighters, but they are issues that can be solved.
“They’re very unorthodox with their wild swinging,” Keeler said. “Bit awkward. You can’t predict … it’s wild swings and you could get caught.”
One of the MMA athletes Keeler has sparred is the bareknuckle brawler and former UFC fighter Artem Lobov, a close friend of McGregor’s.
Keeler had high praise for Lobov, calling him humble and a gentleman, but said that, as a mixed martial artist in a ring, the Russian had limited boxing ability.
“He came to the gym [Dublin’s Colosseum in Kylemore] and was a gentleman with a lovely manner,” Keeler told Business Insider. “Very humble guy and very thankful.”
Though Keeler said Lobov “soaked everything up,” his technical qualities in boxing were lacking. “He’s awkward … no real boxing ability, but tough, strong, and we had good rounds with him,” he said.
Lobov found that there is a talent gap too large to close when competing against someone who immerses themselves in the intricacies of boxing on a daily basis, Keeler said.
Lobov, like his friend McGregor, ultimately could not compete with an actual boxer in a boxing ring.
And that is a lesson Masvidal could learn should Canelo ever decide to teach it.