While many in the mixed martial arts world would prefer not see crossover fights like Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor, former boxing heavyweight champion Mike Tyson expects more to happen.
Mayweather defeated McGregor via 10th-round TKO in their highly-anticipated boxing match back in August 2017. Although it was a huge sporting spectacle, it not only was a foregone conclusion, but also held up the UFC lightweight division at the time.
None of have happened since, however, talk of crossover fights continue with the most recent example being a potential contest between two-weight UFC champion Amanda Nunes and Claressa Shields.
Tyson is a fan of MMA vs. boxing bouts and believes more will “absolutely” take place in the future:
“I think that’s [crossover fights] pretty awesome!” Tyson said in a recent interview with The Sportsman. “He [Mayweather] was the first to do that. I like that. It’s going to happen more, absolutely.
“I don’t know how well we would’ve done fighting them – it always depends on under which rules you’re fighting.”
Many observers have criticized boxing in recent years for the politics involved and believe MMA has overtaken it in terms of popularity. The fact that more and more boxers are expressing interest in crossover bouts isn’t helping matters either.
Tyson gave his thoughts on what is missing in the world of boxing today:
“Boxing is such an enigma, as a sport,” he explained. “This is what really matters: in two hundred years from now, there will probably only be five fighters that people will remember. That’s what it’s all about. It’s not about having money, about becoming rich. That they won’t stop mentioning your name until the planet’s disintegrated: that’s what this is really about.
“People are stating their names in the art of pugilist, fisticuff, combat, fighting. I like the word ‘fighting.’ That’s not a politically correct word in this field anymore. Fighting is not cool, now. It can conjure up negative stuff, but not if you use it in a spiritual perspective. Fighting is spiritual, but you just can’t see the spiritual in it because it’s mostly dominated by the physical aspect. We want to be Achilles in our own mind. The king of all the fighters.”
What do you make of Tyson’s comments?