2021 seems to be the bigger year for boxing crossovers. A few weeks ago reports of a supposed July bout between Oscar De La Hoya and Eddie Alvarez came about.
Here’s what the former UFC and Bellator champion said at the time:
Oscar De La Hoya and them guys have been reaching out and, hell, I’d love to get in there and mix it up with him. That’d be a hell of a fight and I’ve got everyone here in Philadelphia backing me, and the whole Philadelphia boxing [community] to back me up.
But after seeing how the Jake Paul-Ben Askren fight unfolded a few weeks ago, Alvarez felt his interest dwindle. As he explained during the recent ONE on TNT IV media day, seeing how MMA fighters are mostly doing the crossover is a bit bothersome for him.
“I would say it’s a dead issue for right now,” Alvarez said of the talked about De La Hoya matchup. “Honestly, the whole boxing-MMA thing, when I watched it with Ben and…
“Basically, what I watched was a bunch of MMA fighters in the realm of boxing who had the heart, the courage, and were able to have the humility to put themselves on the line in a form and skill that they’re not professionals in and go and put it out there.
“I have yet to see a boxer come and do that in the MMA realm. And it’s kind of bothering me, it put me off. I’d like to see the courage on the boxing side, for a guy to step into the MMA realm.”
After having some time to mull it over, Alvarez feels he may have spoken too soon. He also gave his candid and expectedly biased opinions on the boxing vs. MMA discussion, which has been amplified as of late.
“I felt like when we were saying yes to the Oscar thing, I felt like maybe I was making a decision too quickly,” he said.
“This is my sport. This is what I’ve done my whole life. And if you want a real fight, this is a fight. MMA is a fight. Boxing is a fifth of what we do. It’s a part of it. It’s not a fight. It’s boxing. MMA is a fight. It’s everything.
“Whoever beat Ben Askren, whoever beat Frank Mir, they didn’t beat them in a fight. They beat them in boxing.”
After the controversial outcome of his fight against Iuri Lapicus early this month, the 37-year-old Alvarez will return to action on Wednesday against Ok Rae Yoon.