The boxing megafight between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather Jr. might have opened the floodgates for more MMA-boxing crossover fights, as UFC light heavyweight contender Jimi Manuwa has verbally agreed to fight David Haye in the boxing ring.
According to Manuwa, who recently got his clock cleaned by Volkan Oezdemir at UFC 214, ‘Poster Boy’ will be fighting ‘The Hayemaker’ in the new year.
“The fight is on,” Manuwa told Jim Edwards of MMA Uno after talking with Haye face-to-face at BAMMA 31 (h/t Justin Golightly of BJPenn.com). “He wants it and I want it and all that. He says he has to fight a couple more fights before we’re going to fight. We’re going to do it beginning of next year.”
Haye, a former two-weight world champion, last fought in March at London’s O2 Arena, losing to fellow Brit Tony Bellew in the 11th round. The vegan heavyweight injured his Achilles in the 6th round but gutted it out and stood toe-to-toe with Bellew for the remaining five.
Haye told The Metro last week that he would be interested in a fight against Manuwa: “There has even been talk I could fight a guy from UFC called Jimi Manuwa. Both he and the boss of UFC, Dana White, have said it would make an interesting fight and, I admit, it does interest me.”
Manuwa, who knocked out Ovince Saint Preux and Corey Anderson in back to back fights in 2016/2017, was expected to challenge the winner of Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier for the UFC light heavyweight title. After being starched by Oezdemir, however, it’s back to the drawing board (which is why the London-based fighter may be so eager for a boxing match with Haye).
Bloody Elbow will keep you updated as the story develops.