Last month, when Jorge Masvidal won the BMF title with a doctor’s stoppage win over Nate Diaz at UFC 244, he immediately began angling for his next big conquest. The win likely put Masvidal next in line to face the winner of the fight between Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington at UFC 245 this month, but Masvidal’s appetites were even larger. The newly minted BMF champion called for a boxing match with the top pound-for-pound boxer in the world, Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez. Well now, Alvarez has responded.
Speaking with Little Giant Boxing recently, Alvarez dismissed the idea of him facing any MMA fighters, either in the cage or in boxing.
“With all due respect, I always felt that I have nothing to do in an MMA cage,” Canelo said. “I think the same if they get into a boxing ring. They have nothing to do. But from a business standpoint, yes it’s something attractive but it is not a challenge for me therefore it is not my priority.”
Masvidal’s callout is the latest in an increasing trend of MMA fighters, particularly UFC fighters, calling for crossover fights with the biggest boxers of the day. Though callouts like this have persisted for much of MMA’s history, Conor’s McGregor’s ‘Money Fight’ with Floyd Mayweather Jr. showed MMA fighters just what was possible in a crossover bout and has since spurred numerous cross-sport challenges, from practically every notable MMA fighter. To Canelo, there’s only one reason for this: money.
“Because of money,” Canelo said when asked why MMA fighters have started calling boxers out so frequently. “There’s no other reason. Because of the money. Because of the money, because of the business. That’s the reality. What other reason would there be? They would’ve started boxing from a young age if they really liked it.”
Canelo’s point is most likely valid. At the upper echelons of the two sports, elite boxers take home more than elite MMA fighters, which is probably why fighters like Stipe Miocic, Khabib Nurmagomedov, Nate Diaz, Tyron Woodley, Henry Cejudo, Cris Cyborg, Francis Ngannou, and a host of other fighters have challenged publicly challenged boxers in recent years. However, it could also be interesting to MMA fighters for the same reason it doesn’t interest Canelo - it presents a challenge for them. But to Canelo, the matter of who would win has already been conclusively decided both ways, and so everyone should just stay in their lanes.
“With all due respect to everyone, I respect what MMA fighters do in their sport,” Canelo concluded. “They’re great fighters. But boxing is a different thing.”
Canelo is the biggest star in boxing at the moment and fresh off knocking out Sergey Kovalev to claim the WBO light heavyweight title (175 pounds). It appears Masvidal will have to console himself with a UFC welterweight title shot instead.
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Kamaru Usman interview.
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Mookie & Crookie. Discussing the Floyd Mayweather rumors and Khabib vs. Tony.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
Tony Ferguson not gonna be bullied by the UFC.
Ben gets it.
Just pay these dudes what they want so we get to watch!!! Cmon man https://t.co/G5hKqNcmUc— Ben Askren (@Benaskren) November 27, 2019
Lot of respect for Gina.
She was the very first WMMA I ever watched. I didn’t even know women fought. SHE is the reason I started fighting.— Nina Ansaroff (@NinaAnsaroff) November 27, 2019
.Hi everyone, after thinking for a while about it I took the decision than my next @ufc fight will be my retirement fight, it was a hell of a ride and I'm very grateful for it ! See you soon for the last ride pic.twitter.com/NbL1Tr6kZF— Nordine Taleb (@TNT83MMA) November 26, 2019
Heading for 2-0.
Chas already trying to jinx this thing.
If you were to set odds on whether the Khabib v Tony fight happens; what would they be?— Chas Skelly (@ChasSkelly) November 26, 2019
Just a heads up: there will be no Morning Report tomorrow as it is Thanksgiving here in the US. Enjoy the holiday (for those who celebrate it) and see y’all on Friday.
What are your thoughts on the whole ‘MMA fighters calling out boxers’ thing?
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I like it. There are some fights I’d want to see.
I’m agnostic to it.
I hate it.
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