With the worlds of boxing and MMA beginning to intertwine with the the potential of Mayweather vs McGregor II rumours picking up more pace by the day, are there actually any boxers out there who could swap the 12 oz gloves for the 4 oz gloves?
Common knowledge would tell you “no”, that having pure boxing as a style would just leave you with too many holes for a mixed martial artist with the tiniest drop of fight IQ to expose. But I am going to look at some boxers who could possibly break that view, and some of these boxers could actually hang with some of the top guys in MMA.
5 – Ricardo Mayorga
Ricardo Mayorga, probably the toughest and meanest man to step between the ropes. Rumoured to have gang affiliation, he showed on many occasions that his gangster mindset can carry you through a fight.
His trash talking skills are probably better than that of McGregor’s, and his never say die attitude are the biggest assets he would bring into the cage with him.
He was due to make his MMA debut in 2010 against Din Thomas, but this fight never came to fruition.
4 – Vitali Klitsko
Known to have one of the best chins in boxing history, he reigned and dominated, along with his brother Wlad, the heavyweight division for many years. Already a good combat resume to take into the MMA world.
Klitsko also has competed at a high level in judo and wrestling during his childhood. With the wrestling programmes in that part of the being one of the best, its safe to say that not only could he light you up on the feet, but he could also comfortably handle anybody on the ground as well.
He has already stated that he does not want to take part in an MMA fight, but would love to experience the fitness side of things, stating
‘I have no interest in fighting in a cage, but maybe I would like to experience just the training. It is a different kind of fitness from boxing, I would really like to test my self.’
Maybe a bout is out of the question, but he would bring a wealth of knowledge to the coaching game, he definately has enough knowledge to become a striking coach.
3 – David Haye
A very slick and smooth boxer, Haye’s style of fighting could easily be transferred into an MMA situation.
The Hayemaker also has an extensive background in karate and jiu jitsu, so a move to the right gym and he could be a legitimate contender in the light heavyweight division of a smaller promotion.
2 – Anthony Joshua
The current world heavyweight champion only started boxing after he seen it on the 2008 Olympics. He took up boxing at the age of 18, and by the age of 24 was already fighting for world titles. That shows how quickly he can learn and this would benefit him greatly if he were to make the transition.
His style of boxing is very suited to an MMA arena, and his size would scare even the toughest of men.
If AJ does beat Deontay Wilder to unify the heavyweight division, he has basically done everything there is too do in boxing (as of now), so a transition to MMA may tickle his fancy. And how tasty of a prospect is Stipe Miocic vs Anthony Joshua, the unified champ vs the UFC champ. My mouth is watering at the thought of it.
1 – Vasyl Lomachenko
The man is revolutionising the sport of boxing, so much so that Bob Arum has called him the greatest fighter since Muhammed Ali. And with 3 titles in 3 different weight classes its easy to see why.
With 397 amateur fights, ‘hi-tech’ possesses a ring IQ like no other, something that would carry him into the world of MMA rather safely.
He has also won many wrestling, judo and sambo competitions as a child, and still actively practices these disciplines as part of his strength and conditioning for boxing. As we have seen recently, wrestlers coming out of eastern Europe are at a super high level, so Loma would easily be able to handle himself on the ground.
His style of boxing is something that has never been seen before. In 16 professional fights he has only been caught a handful of times hasn’t once been rocked, and his last 4 opponents have quit halfway through the fight. His style of fighting relies on hitting you from weird angles, something that experiences great successful as with in the realms of MMA. He is one of TJ Dillashaws boxing partners, so has the best of the best facilities available to him if decides to make the switch.
I can safely say that given Vasyl’s martial arts experience and being to use Dillashaws gym, he could easily be a champion in the UFC or bellator.