Kamaru Usman is ready to bet on himself in a boxing match, but one opponent seems like a better payout.
UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman is currently the best pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC. He is undefeated in his last 19 fights and has faced some of the best fighters at 170 pounds. Usman is at the top of his game and already has his next title defense booked. He will be taking on Leon Edwards in a rematch as the main event of the UFC 278 event in Salt Lake City, Utah. Despite the looming title defense, Usman can’t help but think of another career challenge he would like to take on, boxing.
The trend of MMA fighters wanting to try out boxing has risen in recent years and a big reason for that has been Jake Paul. Paul has made his boxing career by beating former UFC fighters. He knocked out Ben Askren and Tyron Woodley and made a lot of money doing so. Now there is a big market for MMA fighters to crossover into boxing and face Jake Paul. Usman has had his eye on boxing as well, but would much rather face champion Canelo Alvarez over Paul.
Kamaru Usman doesn’t think a fight with Jake Paul is worth it
“Me fighting Jake Paul, I’m helping him,” Usman said on the “I Am Athlete” podcast h/t MMA Junkie. “I beat Jake Paul, nobody cares. You’re supposed to beat him. I still get a bank account now. I still get that. I beat Canelo, biggest athlete in the world, not even close, 100 million in the bank. If I’m gonna gamble, I’m gonna gamble well.”
Usman is being realistic about his chances in a boxing match. He knows the risks involved and if he is to make the transition he wants to make a significant amount of money. He thinks the fight with Alvarez is the way to go. Alvarez has shown interest in a potential match-up in the past as well.
“Listen, me and him (Paul) get in a scrap right now, he could touch me. I’m not naive or ignorant enough to think – let them put it on the news,” Usman said. “I’m a realist. I know I’m gonna dog walk him, but at the same time, everyone has a puncher’s chance.”
The problem with Usman wanting to fight Alvarez is that he is currently under contract with the UFC. He would either need to leave the UFC or be given permission to take a fight like that. All the UFC fighters who faced Paul or have boxed recently have not been under contract at the time. Conor McGregor was the only one to do it and he was given a special allowance to do so against Floyd Mayweather.