The idea of an MMA champion crossing over in to boxing has become commonplace. At one point in time the thought of it was ridiculed and seemingly impossible. Boxing purists said it would be an embarrassment to their sport and MMA fans wanted the boxer to crossover instead. Then the at the time simultaneous UFC featherweight and lightweight champion Conor McGregor happened.
The Irishman successfully challenged and made it in to the 11th round with then 49-0 boxing great Floyd Mayweather Jr. The build to the unprecedented boxing match went mainstream and dominated headlines. McGregor became filthy rich and thus established the blueprint for other MMA fighters wanting to make some serious cheddar.
Jake Paul and former welterweight champ Tyron Woodley fought twice with Paul winning both. Woodley made a reported guaranteed $2M dollars in the first bout and at least that in the second. These matches seemed to be proving that crossing over could be lucrative even for non-champions, or retired MMA fighters. However, the big money would likely always be brought in by current champs facing each other.
Right now the challenges on the table for UFC champ vs boxing champ are potential blockbusters. Undisputed heavyweight champion Tyson Fury (retired on Saturday) versus UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou and UFC welterweight champ Kamaru Usman versus multiple weight class champion Canelo Alvarez. While Ngannou would welcome the Fury bout it appears that Alvarez has little interest in a fight with Usman.
Never say no, but right now it’s not in my future. Not right now. Yeah, it’s all about legacy right now, but you never know.Via MMAJunkie
A fighter’s legacy should be priority number one for sure. No one can fault Alvarez for chasing his dreams focused on the sport he is currently ranked as the best pound for pound in. A match against Usman would bring in some good money certainly, but Alvarez reportedly has a net worth of $140M and growing. Financially he does not need to fight Usman right now.
Maybe in the future?