Ariel Helwani recently sat down with the host of Inside Boxing Live, Dan Cannobio, and discussed a variety of topics in the combat sports universe.
During their conversation, the decorated MMA journalist questioned why mixed martial artists are desperately calling out boxers.
“The bigger story is why are all these MMA fighters calling out boxers to not compete in MMA, but to come to boxing? What does that say about MMA?”
Cannobbio then pointed out the huge discrepancy in pay between boxers and MMA athletes. Even UFC champions like Kamaru Usman and Francis Ngannou are chasing paydays with call outs targeting boxers like Canelo Alvarez and Tyson Fury, respectively.
“That’s the thing. That’s where we go back to this MMA vs. Boxing debate. Boxing fans put out their chest and say, ‘Hey, guess what? Our fighters get paid. We may not put the best matchups consistently, but our guys are getting paid and there’s a reason why Usman is practically begging Canelo for a fight. There’s a reason why Ngannou, not to the same extent, but is pushing for a fight with Fury. That’s where you can make the most money, in boxing.’”
UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou was vocal in his desire to cross over to boxing against the reigning WBC champion Tyson Fury.
He even made an appearance in the aftermath of Fury’s recent victory in Wembley Stadium. The two champions appeared to agree on a hybrid showdown.
Ngannou last appeared at UFC 270 in January, his victory against Cyril Gane is rumored to have brought in around $650,000. Fury, on the other hand, earned a massive $32 million from his latest outing.
UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman tried to challenge Undisputed Super Middleweight champion, Canelo Alvarez.
This is especially interesting considering Usman has experienced representation – but perhaps Usman’s manager isn’t interested in pushing for him to get a good payday because it could backfire against a number of his other clients.
Kevin Lee recently revealed he suffered the consequences thanks to the fact he’s represented by Francis Ngannou’s CAA agent Marquel Martin.
“I feel like I ate a lot of the flak for guys like Francis Ngannou in his situation with them. They used me as kind of like a pawn and a scapegoat. And really, I hope other fighters kind of see that. That’s what they do to you. They didn’t like the way negotiations was handled with Francis, so they took it out on me to kind of show [CAA] a lesson. But I think in the end, we’re going to show that you can’t necessarily treat people like this, and there’s many other ways to make money and kind of outshine them. So we’re going to beat them one way or the other.”