Amid the latest cross-sport controversy, UFC fighter Jorge Masvidal insists he is ’10 times the athlete’ boxer Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez is in his latest attempt to push for a fight.
Masvidal’s confidence emerges after he triumphed in the main event of UFC 244 at Madison Square Garden by defeating Nate Diaz via a third-round TKO. The doctor on the night deemed his opponent unable to continue, handing him a huge victory.
On exactly the same night, Canelo also emerged victorious in Las Vegas, but in a less comprehensive manner, after he knocked out Sergey Kovalev in the 11th round to secure the WBO light heavyweight title.
Knowing this, Masvidal opted to call out Canelo to a cross-sport super fight. He wants the bout to be confined within the ring, though, and not the Octagon.
The UFC fighter is currently ranked third in his middleweight category. Canelo is currently placed number one in the light middleweight rankings, losing just once to Floyd Mayweather back in 2013.
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It was he who set the trend for cross-sport fighting too, when he came out of retirement to defeat UFC superstar Conor McGregor back in 2017.
The American fighter believes that he can avoid the same fate McGregor suffered and has absolutely no concerns about learning the trade of boxing and defeating a previous pound-for-pound number one veteran.
Comparing the likeness of the two sports, Masvidal said, as per Daily Star: “I consider myself 10 times the athlete [Canelo] is just because of MMA in general.
“All the strength, speed and power you have to generate – to throw one kick is like throwing 10 right hands.
“The energy it takes to wrestle and pick somebody up in the air … boxing’s just your weight, nobody cares.
“If I could shift those energy blocks and bring them down to boxing where I’m throwing 80 or 90 punches a round, I feel I could hurt this dude.”
Masvidal is willing to make the swap to boxing to get at Canelo, believing that it wouldn’t even be a contest if the Mexican was to step into his domain.
He continued: “I definitely agree that if [Alvarez] was to go to MMA, it wouldn’t be a challenge because I’ve thrown 10,000 left high-kicks in a month and he’s never done one.
“It’s kind of the same thing to boxing, where if I’ve thrown a million jabs, then he’s thrown 10 million because that’s all his focus.
“That being said, there’s still an element that I could put his a** to sleep … maybe I don’t hit harder, but I’m definitely bigger.
“I could definitely make a statement and even it out for MMA, my sport. There [are] still things in boxing that are a part of boxing.
“I just feel I could beat him up in some areas. Does he have a better jab and left hook than me? Yeah, of course.
“But there’s still elements where I could make it awkward for him, just like Conor did to Mayweather.
“Those are the mountains I like to scale. If I’m going into boxing, I want the best guy they got.”