5 Boxer-MMA crossovers you didn’t know about

Floyd Mayweather and Khabib Nurmagomedov’s proposed crossover fight has been the biggest news in boxing since UFC 229. Both men are interested in the boxing bout and massive payday that will ensue, although there are several issues that must be cleared up before the fight can take place.

While crossover fights have been in the news since 2017 when Mayweather fought Conor McGregor, they are actually nothing new. The 2017 bout in Las Vegas was simply just the first mainstream crossover fight in some time. The Matchbook promo code is the best way to get more for your money when betting on boxing.

Crossover fights are nothing new and some big names have appeared in bouts around the world. Here is a look at five of the biggest boxer-martial artist crossovers that pre-date the recent fade.

Muhammad Ali

In the buildup to Mayweather-McGregor, a new generation of fight fans discovered Muhammad Ali’s 1976 bout with professional wrestler and judo player Antonio Inoki. Ali was paid handsomely to participate in the bout, which he quickly become wary of when he found out about Inoki’s credentials.

The two battled in Tokyo with Inoki looking to cement himself as the greatest fighter in the world. Ali attempted to box against Inoki, who laid on his back for almost the entirety of the bout kicking at his opponent.

The match went 15 rounds with it ending in a draw. Locations around the United States showed the match on closed circuit with many viewers being upset with the boring bout. Despite being criticised at the time, it is now seen as the precursor for modern day MMA.

Bob Sapp

University of Washington before being drafted by the Chicago Bears in 1997. After being suspended due to steroids, Sapp fell into poverty before landing a position with World Championships Wrestling.

After WCW went out of business, Sapp found work in Japan with New Japan Pro Wrestling and later in the boxing and MMA world. Sapp has become a legendary figure in Japan and despite having a losing fight record, he is adored by millions. Bet365 Australia is the perfect website to bet on all of Japan’s great kickboxing action.

Art Jimmerson

Art Jimmerson registered a boxing record of 33-18. The former IBC Light Heavyweight Champion may not be widely remembered for his boxing career, but many MMA fans remember Jimmerson for his one and only fight with the UFC.

In 1993, at the height of his boxing career, Jimmerson entered the first ever UFC event. He famously wore one boxing glove during his tournament bout with Royce Gracie. It was one of the most unique scenes of the original UFC when the organisation had few rules or ideas of how to govern itself.

Jimmerson lost the bout in 2:18 when Gracie made him tap out. Fans of great sports action can click here for more.

Holly Holm

Holly Holm made headlines around the world when she knocked out UFC darling Ronda Rousey at UFC 193. Few saw it coming despite Holm having a much stronger background in fighting than her opponent. Holm is one of the most decorated boxers to make her way into MMA regardless of gender.

Prior to making the jump to the octagon, Holm collected a 33-2-3 record in the boxing ring. She won 18 championships in three weight classes. Holm isn’t just an accomplished boxer, but she also trained in kickboxing making her a tough competitor in the squared circle.

Ray Mercer

Ray Mercer won two Olympic Gold Medals as an amateur boxer. He collected the prestigious awards at the 1988 Summer Games in Seoul, South Korea. After turning professional, Mercer recorded a 36-7-1 record and won a plethora of boxing belts. Mercer’s accolades included the IBF Inter-Continental, NABF, and WBO heavyweight championships.

In 2004, with his boxing career winding down, Mercer tried his hand at kickboxing with South Korea’s K-1 promotion. He lost both of his kickboxing fights. Three years later, Mercer appeared with Cage Fury FC against Kimbo Slice. He lost the bout but bounced by two years later by knocking out former UFC fighter Tim Sylvia in nine seconds.

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