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All That’s Happened Between Boxing and MMA This Week

Fightland Blog

By Nick Wong

Photo by Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

From Deontay Wilder calling out Brock Lesnar to Heather Hardy confirming her opponent in her MMA debut, a lot has happened this week between the two worlds of fighting. Crossovers between boxing and MMA are nothing new, but recent times have probably generated the most there’s been regarding the two sports’ respective stars facing one another. Most of that revolves around the constant chatter surrounding the mega-fight that will likely not happen between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor. So since just about everyone is sick of hearing about the fight, let’s start there to get it out of the way.

First was when Mayweather called out McGregor earlier this week, releasing a scathing video that said in no soft way about what he would do to the Irishman should they ever meet in the ring (or even on the street for that matter).

"I'll f--k McGregor up too,” Mayweather said. “That punk ass McGregor. I'm a slap McGregor, I'm a slap the s--t out of McGregor when I see him."

Much of that was in response to when McGregor applied for a boxing license a fortnight ago, and the fight world responded with speculation that it somehow meant an increased likelihood of a Mayweather showdown. Mayweather, like me, thinks it really means nothing. 

“Man, I don’t fight in California. What did he get a license in California for?” Mayweather said in an interview. “He’s blowing smoke up everybody’s ass. He don’t really wanna fight because I went to his boss. He don’t even want to fight, he’s just doing that to keep his name alive, to stay relevant. He’s doing that to build his followers. But he’s smart.”

UFC President Dana White agreed with the sentiment, confirming in an interview that the fight simply would not happen. You would think that would be the end to the discussion, right? Of course it wouldn’t be, and it likely will never be, as long as either party keeps talking about the other. And as the followers of this site already know, Mayweather followed up by releasing an edited clip on Instagram of when McGregor tapped out to Nate Diaz at UFC 196, offering users a first-prize payment of $10,000 for the best caption. The move is in an interesting one given Mayweather’s previous comments about McGregor “blowing smoke up people’s ass” and “trying to staying relevant”. Maybe there’s a lack of mirrors at the Money Mansion.

But the feud between the two has spread further into the boxing world as well. One of boxing’s better spokesmen Paulie Malignaggi recently viewed footage from a sparring session between McGregor and South African contender Chris Van Heerden. Malignaggi wasn’t impressed.

“After seeing that sparring session, I don’t think the guy would win the New York City Golden Gloves. I don’t think he would,” said Malignaggi. “I think he gets beaten in the New York City Golden Gloves, so the fact that you would put a guy that can’t even win the New York City Golden Gloves against the best fighter in the sport is almost laughable.”

Malignaggi has also joined in challenging McGregor to a boxing match in lieu of the Irishman’s boxing license, presumably for the payday, but also to represent the sport of boxing. Though many fans discredit Paulie’s comments for his fighting record, I will say that he is a good ambassador of the sport, and quite honestly, would box circles around McGregor in a pure boxing match.

But Malignaggi is not the only fighter who thinks he can best McGregor in a contest of fisticuffs. In fact, there are even boxers speaking on behalf of other boxers in being able to beat the UFC champ. One example of this is WBC heavyweight champ Deontay Wilder, who gave an interview with TMZ Sports, saying that his brother, amateur prospect Marsellos Wilder, could beat McGregor given his opinions on the footage. When asked whom the older Wilder would choose in the heavyweight crossover fight, he went straight to one of the highest paid competitors in MMA.

“I'd go straight to Brock Lesnar. Why not? It's just size,” Wilder said. “Size doesn't mean anything – not all the time. It does take a little bit of skill and a little bit of will. And it takes a little bit of heart and a little bit of determination, and all that's a recipe. So I think [Lesnar] would be way too muscular. And when you're muscular like that, you knock off your flexibility.”

This matchup would also likely never happen, but it has certainly further stirred the conversation amongst fans about how the stars in each sport would do against one another.

And finally, in what is quite possibly the only news on a crossover fight that is actually happening, boxing favorite Heather Hardy has finally had her opponent announced for her MMA debut on January 14th with Invicta FC. She will be fighting Brieta Carpentar, an 8-2 MMA amateur who will also be debuting on the 14th. Though Hardy has experience with kickboxing, it also appears she’s been training her ground game diligently.

“I’m ready,” Hardy said in an interview with the Ring. “Kickboxing has always been as natural to me as boxing. And I’m over at Gracie Jiu Jitsu in Manhattan almost everyday. I’m working with Rolls Gracie and Rob Constance and I have great MMA sparring and every time I get in the cage, I’m improving. You know I’m ready. It’s like a street fight. I’m just gonna pretend she owes me money!”

That’s pretty much the news this week of talks of MMA and boxing intermingling. And when you look at it comprehensively, it’s sort of funny. The men are doing all the talking, and the women are the ones doing the fighting. 

 

Check out these related stories:

Floyd Mayweather Is Trash-Talking Conor McGregor About a Fight That Probably Won't Happen

Vitali Klitschko Named “Eternal World Heavyweight Champion” by the WBC

Roy Jones Jr. to Fight Bare-Knuckle Boxing Champion in February

 

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