Anthony Joshua open to MMA fight

Anthony Joshua says he would be willing to box a mixed martial artist, as the build up to Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor continues.

Anthony Joshua
Anthony Joshua

The IBF and WBA heavyweight champion is training for his next title defence with the IBF's mandatory challenger, Kubrat Pulev, favourite to be his next opponent which Joshua hopes will take place at Cardiff's Principality Stadium.

The preparations mean Joshua won't be at Saturday's fight between Mayweather and McGregor, live on Sky Sports Box Office, but he can see the appeal of taking on a fighter from MMA in the future.

"I like fighting, I'd do whatever," said Joshua. "I'd probably get beaten. The only thing that they can't do is submissions, but they can kick, elbow, bite - whatever they want. Just no submissions.

"I can't beat a guy (via submission). That takes a lot of time to learn the skills and submissions, which I don't have the time for, but when it comes to pure aggression and fighting rules, I can definitely fight, so I don't mind that.

"It wouldn't be a problem. If you look at most boxers who've crossed over to MMA, they get beaten on the ground. James Toney, Roy Jones, they were phenomenal boxers but they just couldn't compete in the cage because of the 'ground and pound' game."

With McGregor swapping UFC for the boxing ring for the first time during the early hours of Sunday morning in Las Vegas, Joshua believes he has little chance of beating the undefeated Mayweather.

"It's probably (going to be) a landslide," Joshua said. "Look at the great fighters Mayweather's fought, and he's made them look average.

"Some of the fighters Mayweather's fought would probably beat Conor McGregor as well; Conor can't really compete.

"He's coming out of his field and going into Mayweather's domain. Even though he's an excellent fighter in UFC, he's not an excellent boxer. Him crossing over is going to be a real, big challenge.

"He could give a good account of himself; I think Mayweather will win but as long as he [McGregor] gives a good account of himself, it'll work really well for him.

"I don't think Mayweather's done it for the money, I don't think he needs the money: he's done well from boxing. Conor was calling him out and people were saying they wanted to see the fight. The fans dictate the fight: if they want to see it, they get it.

"You can't fight with a pay cheque, you can only fight with heart: that's the only thing that gets you through tough times.

  • Comments
Show comments