As we edge closer to the Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather super fight on Saturday 26th August, it seems as though nothing is off the table in combat sports anymore. It’s actually happening; millions have already been invested in world tours and marketing, and both men will leave the ring significantly richer than when they went in.
Mcgregor, without a professional boxing bout to his credit, gets the most sought after fighter in the game in a 9-figure fight that leaves those boxers that have devoted their lives and careers to the craft feeling scorned, but it’s all because he talks a good game.
Seeing the dollar signs, there’s been no shortage of willing participants for other cross-code matchups. As the UFC champion meets a boxing champion in the ring on August 26th, another has renewed his calls for a similar opportunity.
Heavyweight kingpin Stipe Miocic had previously registered his interest in a crossover fight similar to ‘The Notorious’ but, after the retirement of Wladimir Klitschko, he threw his hat into the ring once again.
— Stipe Miocic (@stipemiocicufc) August 3, 2017
Traditionally, it is the heavyweights of the fight world that command the biggest numbers, although McGregor and Mayweather have flipped that particular notion on its head in recent years. Still, there’s no doubt that the momentum would be there and the path paved for it to happen.
However, the difference in this one is Joshua’s commitment to cementing his legacy in boxing before any of the circus acts come in to play. He’ll take on mandatory IBF challenger Kubrat Pulev to keep a hold of his title before seeking out other ways to unify the heavyweight world championships.
The British champion is 3/100 on in the latest boxing odds to usurp the Bulgarian and begin his charge for the other belts and, with the likes of Deontay Wilder, Luis Ortiz and Joseph Parker in his headlights, he’ll have more than enough to keep him occupied.
An inactive Mayweather saw dollar signs and another victory when McGregor came into the equation but it’s not a bout that does anything for his legacy, other than adding a number to the tally.
So, whilst Stipe’s claim to be the baddest man in MMA are true as UFC heavyweight champion, he doesn’t have the allure to take Joshua off track at this moment in time, nor does he bring the McGregor-esque levels of publicity that would even make it palatable to the public.
Stranger things have happened but it’s likely both men will stay in their lanes and focus on tightening their grips on their own sport before anything else.
“I’m definitely in, for sure,” Miocic has told reporters in the past. Whether there’s a peer in the boxing world willing, if not Joshua, remains to be seen.