Frank Mir ahead of hybrid fight against Kubrat Pulev – can an MMA heavyweight win boxing’s biggest title?

UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou might discover that boxing is “a better fit” for his explosive punching, insists MMA veteran Frank Mir.

The crossover between the 2 sports activities is extra frequent now than ever earlier than and Mir, who reached the top of MMA however is a newcomer to boxing, believes solely a particular athlete may conquer each.

“Ngannou is a no-brainer,” Mir instructed Sky Sports. “He has quite a bit of quick-twitch muscle fibre.

Frank Mir will fight Kubrat Pulev in a hybrid guidelines fight on Saturday night time

“Grappling will always be one of his weaknesses.

“He is so harmful. Boxing could also be a greater match for Ngannou.

“He may be much more harmful in boxing the place opponents must keep at vary with him. They can’t clinch to tire him out.

“There are phenomenal strikers in MMA and it would not be an enormous adjustment for them to alter their talent stage and achieve success in boxing.

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Tyron Woodley misplaced his boxing debut to Jake Paul

“If Israel Adesanya went into boxing he might become a world champion within two years.”

But for a similar man to face as a colossus atop each sports activities on the identical time?

“It will be very difficult,” he says.

“Fifteen or 20 years ago, it was plausible.

“Nowadays there are too many nice guys who’re specialised.

“It is a steep hill to be the best at one art, then move across to beat guys who only train in their own art.

“I do not see it taking place.”

MMA fighters haven’t fared too nicely contained in the boxing ring lately. Conor McGregor misplaced his excessive-profile debut to Floyd Mayweather. Ben Askren and Tyron Woodley misplaced to Jake Paul, though Anderson Silva has crushed 60-fight veteran Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

Junior Dos Santos will quickly launch his effort to swap the Octagon for the ring.

Perhaps uninspiring outcomes are to be anticipated when crossing sports activities nevertheless it hasn’t stopped the inflow of individuals making an attempt.

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Junior Dos Santos will swap UFC for boxing

“We are like decathletes of martial arts,” Mir stated. “They have to be good at javelin and sprinting.

“If we put 20lbs on to extend our shotput, you can’t end the 1500m in appropriate time.

“This is why MMA fighters must be humble and realise they are going outside of their realm.”

Mir was one of combined martial arts’ best heavyweights, a former UFC champion famend for his submission expertise relatively than his punches.

Mir, on the age of 42, will fight Kubrat Pulev, whose most up-to-date fight was a foul-tempered loss to Anthony Joshua, on Saturday night time.

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This is what was stated in Joshua and Pulev’s fiery face-off!

The guidelines for this fight are weird even throughout an period the place YouTuber boxing and naked-knuckle brawls are popularised – Mir and Pulev will headline an evening of MMA fighters against heavyweight boxers in a 3-sided ‘ring’.

Only punches are allowed, however they are going to put on MMA gloves which Mir insists “makes the punching different – like playing tennis on grass or clay, a small detail can change how the game is played”.

Perhaps the strangest but, a rule has been authorised to permit combating within the clinch. Where boxers are historically separated by the referee, Mir and Pulev might be permitted to carry onto one another and proceed punching.

It is the newest brainchild of Ryan Kavanaugh, the Triller promoter who oversaw an early Jake Paul fight, Mike Tyson’s return to the ring and extra lately Evander Holyfield’s one-spherical defeat on the age of 58.

“Like everybody else we thought: ‘what is this? A triangle,'” Pulev’s supervisor Ivaylo Gotsev instructed Sky Sports. “Mixed guidelines. Firstly, I’m at all times curious, and we gave it an opportunity. We appeared by means of the foundations and negotiations went fairly easily, and nicely.

Pulev has not fought since difficult Joshua

“Kubrat is the driving force here. He’s the one who is pushing for a fight. He’s a fighting man and he wants to get back in the ring, or the triangle in this case.

“New guidelines and simply sufficient of a twist to the place something goes. The MMA man can really maintain and punch. It’s going to be fairly a gladiator conflict.

“Anyone can land a punch with those small gloves.”

Mir made his boxing debut earlier this yr in a standard six-spherical rule-set against Steve Cunningham, who as soon as knocked down Tyson Fury, and who got here out of retirement for the fight.

“I was happy with my mid-range fighting,” Mir stated of his debut. “I went with a former world champion who was extremely fast, extremely technical. I won two rounds out of six. I arguably could have won one more, which would have made it a draw.

“With so many of my expertise eradicated, I used to be aggressive with a world-class boxer.”

Mir’s ambitions for his second boxing match, in his early-40s, are far more humble. To fight Bulgaria’s Pulev, a 30-fight veteran who has faced Joshua, Wladimir Klitschko and Derek Chisora is daunting enough.

Mir’s strategy for this unusual rule-set?

“I’ll make this look as little like a boxing match as doable!”


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