In 2017, self-proclaimed GOAT Floyd Mayweather Jr. stepped into the ring to fight UFC superstar Conor McGregor. It was a fight that was very well received by the general public, but one that drew criticism from fans of boxing and MMA.
Fast forward a few years, and not only have we seen more crossover fights, but we’ve swapped 50-0 boxers for YouTubers and peak-form UFC stars for retired, injury-prone fighters.
It almost makes you yearn for 2017, when the worst thing that could happen to combat sports was a fight between two of the best combatants from two different worlds.
On the plus side, these crossover events are attracting a lot of new fans and exposure to the sports, and as we move into the latter half of 2021, we could be seeing a lot more of them.
Conor McGregor vs Jake Paul
It’s the fight that most fans don’t want to see but are secretly hoping for. On the one hand, it’s doesn’t look great for the sport, but at the same time, there are millions of people who’d love to see McGregor do what Ben Askren couldn’t.
Conor has lost three of his last four fights. He is also 0-1 in the boxing ring, and suffered an injury against Dustin Poirier that could see him out of action for a year.
In the meantime, Jake Paul has been hassling Conor for a fight and using his recent loss to fuel the fire. If Paul beats Woodley in August, then Conor might see dollar signs and be tempted by what should be an easy fight.
It likely won’t take place in the Octagon, as Paul isn’t that reckless, but even in the boxing ring, you’d expect McGregor to make light work of the YouTuber.
Jake Paul vs Tommy Fury (and Others)
Whether Jake Paul beats Woodley or not, he’s surely still going to make another appearance in the ring, and if he lands the winning blow, he can choose anyone he wants.
Sure, some fighters are complaining about YouTubers ruining boxing/MMA, but others are seeing it as an easy payday and many fighters have called Jake Paul out.
One of those fighters is Tommy Fury, Tyson’s cousin. Tommy has appeared on Love Island, so he’s used to the reality show spotlight and doesn’t mind a bit of self-promotion. He’s also still young and learning. However, he’s a young professional boxer in the light-heavyweight class and Paul may be aiming too high with this one.
Still, if you’re paying any attention to online sports betting in New York, you will have seen this potential match-up listed for a while now, and surprisingly, the odds are not as heavily in Fury’s favor as you would expect.
Other fighters to have called out Paul include BJ Penn and Dillion Danis, and Chuck Liddell, who seem more likely. Who knows, Paul may even emulate his brother and step into the ring with Mayweather.
Logan Paul vs Anderson Silva
We didn’t intend for this article to be all about the Paul brothers, but they seem to be the ones who everyone wants to fight right now.
Anderson Silva is reportedly lining up a fight with the older Paul, and as of July 21, 2021, a couple of sites are even confirming that the contract has been signed. It would likely be another exhibition, just like the Paul vs Mayweather fight, and as Silva is older and less of a boxer than Mayweather, it probably won’t generate as much hype (or shock).
Still, Silva will probably be looking for a big finish if it does happen, so we could see a completely different contest.