There has not been a huge fan outcry demanding Kamaru Usman vs. Canelo Alvarez.
Usman, Welterweight champion of the world and pound-for-pound king, is the main force pushing for that match up. UFC President Dana White is far from keen on that booking, and even his would-be opponent Canelo doesn’t sound all that excited at the idea of boxing up a UFC champion. Given the recent failures of MMA fighters in the boxing ring — with the exception of Anderson Silva! — most fight fans just aren’t all that interested in this type of crossover fight that reads more like a slaughter than anything else.
Joe Rogan is not most fight fans, however. While on appearing on the Hotboxin’ with Mike Tyson podcast, the comedian explained why he’d like to see Usman square off with Canelo … even if Rogan isn’t exactly predicting a “Nigerian Nightmare” victory.
“I would like to see him fight Canelo, I really would,” Rogan said (via MMAFighting). “Not because I think that he’s a favorite in a boxing match against one of the greatest boxers of all-time, but I want to see him get a giant payday. The same way I would like to see [Francis] Ngannou fight Tyson Fury. That’s a way you can make a s—t-load of money, and I don’t think it damages his potential as a UFC fighter. I think it would be invaluable experience for him, as a champion, if he did have that fight and then came back over to MMA. I think he’d probably be even better as a striker if he gets through it relatively undamaged, even if he loses.”
It’s certainly true that boxing Canelo would benefit Usman’s bank account, and it could indeed prove a valuable learning opportunity … if he remembers the experience afterward. At the same time, those are really only reasons for Usman to want the bout. Canelo Alvarez gets paid very well each time he walks to the ring regardless of opponent, and again, most fight fans don’t expect much of a contest if this fight does happen.
It’s still up to Usman to convince the fighting world this crossover needs to happen.