David Haye (-1200) vs. Jimi Manuwa (+700), Draw (+3300)
Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather may have opened a can of worms for the UFC. The latest MMA fighter eyeing a crossover fight is UFC light heavyweight contender Jimi Manuwa, who faced Volkan Oezdemir at UFC 214 on Saturday.
After Manuwa’s stoppage of Corey Anderson, he demanded a light heavyweight title shot. That was to be expected, but then the title contender made an unexpected request, calling out former cruiserweight and heavyweight boxing champion, David “The Hayemaker” Haye (28-3, 26 KOs).
A boxing showdown between two big names in British combat sports is a guaranteed money maker. Haye is currently out with an ankle injury and probably won’t make a return until December, but he’s rumored to be interested in the match-up.
There’s a lot standing in the way of this fight, though. Haye has a lucrative rematch against Tony Bellew on the cards. The original bout was when he injured his Achilles – ultimately losing the match but winning the admiration of the crowd. The fight netted £7 million, and a rematch could stand to make significantly more.
Dana White and the UFC could also be reluctant to make this happen. Leaving the door open for crossover fights could weaken the promotion and significantly cut at its profits.
As far as the match-up goes, Haye is the overwhelming favorite. He’s a lightning-fast puncher with abnormal power. Boasting an 86% knockout rate, he’s one of the most dangerous fighters in the sport of boxing. Having defeated six world champions throughout his storied career, it shouldn’t be too challenging for him to undo a mixed martial artist like Jimi Manuwa.
Manuwa is a decent boxer by MMA standards, but in the ring he would struggle against someone like Haye. He faced the heavy-hitting Anthony Johnson in the octagon and was finished quite easily. If this bout happens, it’ll be a huge payday for both fighters. But as for the match-up itself, it only really favors one fighter.
Pick: David Haye (-1200)
Photo credit: Martial Arts Nomad (flickr) [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/]
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