British world heavyweight champion will not be in Las Vegas for Floyd Mayweather’s super-fight with Conor McGregor as he prepares for title defence
ANTHONY JOSHUA says he could take on an MMA star in a cage – but admits he’d probably get a hiding.
The British world heavyweight champion will not be in Las Vegas for Floyd Mayweather’s super-fight with Conor McGregor this weekend because he’s preparing to take on Kubrat Pulev.
While the likes of boxing legend Lennox Lewis have labelled Mayweather-McGregor “a farce”, Joshua can see its appeal.
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Joshua said: “I like fighting, I’d do whatever. 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.”
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Mayweather, 40, will go past Rocky Marciano’s perfect record of 49 fights without losing should he beat McGregor.
Money Mayweather is expected to win convincingly – with odds of 1-4 with Sun Bets for the American to win the fight.
Joshua reckons Irishman McGregor, 27, won’t be able to compete with Mayweather – who’s outclassed the likes of Canelo Alvarez, Manny Pacquiao and Marcos Maidana in the last four years.
Joshua added: “It’s probably (going to be) a landslide. 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.
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“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 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 hear – that’s the only thing that gets you through tough times.”
IBF and WBA heavyweight champion Joshua is awaiting confirmation of a date and venue for his scrap with Bulgarian fighter Pulev.
Joshua’s mandatory IBF defence is most likely to be Cardiff’s Principality Stadium on October 28, with a bout at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena on November 11 also an option.
He added: “I’ve been away with the family and need to get back to reality. Sitting on the beach getting my toes rubbed, that’s not the life of an athlete.
“I’ve got to get back to the gutter, keep organised, keep disciplined. I’ve done my holidays and need to get back to the military mindset I live.”