05
Jul
2020

Major boxing names may consider UFC ‘private island’ bouts as sport stalls

Phil Jay 08/04/2020
Floyd Mayweather

TMT

Major boxing names now have a way to make huge purses as UFC boss Dana White has promised ‘several weeks of fights’ on a private island.

As the Queensberry Rules come to a complete halt, the emergence of a plan of action from the Ultimate Fighting Championship gives plenty of fighters the chance to capitalize.

The biggest names in our sport could now cross-over to UFC in order to stay active during the coronavirus pandemic.

Unlike all the top promoters in pugilism, the UFC is ready to stage events in remote locations in order to fulfill their contracts with Pay-Per-View networks.

White has stated he has no problem adhering to the social distancing rules in place by the government, which don’t include any sporting association putting on a live show without fans.

Therefore, if COVID-19 testing and health are paramount, why wouldn’t certain boxers currently in training consider a short-term contract with White?

Floyd Mayweather is already in training, just two weeks before the first of these – UFC 249, will hear the first bell in earnest.

Tony Ferguson is ready to star in what is seen as a much-needed dose of normality for some fan punters, who are starved of action and having to rely on Playstation virtual contests to see them through this horrid time.

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So what would stop Mayweather and White striking a deal for a future and controlled encounter with the former pound for pound king – not much.

Mayweather could even be treated with kid gloves in preparation for a bigger fight down the line with either Conor McGregor or Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Likewise with Manny Pacquiao, another linked to an MMA move at some point in the future.

Pacquiao hasn’t fought in almost a year since defeating Keith Thurman in Las Vegas. It was his biggest win since 2014.

WBN sat ringside as the ‘Pacman’ put on a virtuoso performance to turn back the clock. The 41-year-old has not been able to capitalize as the clock ticks on his career.


PAYCHECK

Paychecks in 10oz gloves are currently non-existent. Whilst donning MMA mitts does seem like a bonafide option in the interim.

Whether you agree with White’s plans or not, UFC is offering PPV airtime. Something nobody else in combat sports is doing.

Will this be enough to finally entice the pound for pound stars to defect and work with White in a co-promotional capacity?

In the current climate, you’d have to say anything is possible.

Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay