UFC's Kamaru Usman Wants to Fight Canelo Alvarez in Boxing Match

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVNovember 20, 2021

Kamaru Usman before fighting against Colby Covington in a welterweight mixed martial arts championship bout at UFC 268, Sunday, Nov. 7, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Corey Sipkin)
AP Photo/Corey Sipkin

UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman has reiterated his desire to have a boxing match against super middleweight boxing champion Canelo Alvarez.

Usman told TMZ Sports on Thursday his long-standing stance hasn't changed despite UFC President Dana White brushing the idea aside after the "The Nigerian Nightmare" successfully defended his title with a win over Colby Covington in early November.

"I've already said the name that interests me. Canelo. That's what interests me," Usman said.

The 34-year-old MMA superstar explained his hope of having the marquee bout isn't a publicity stunt. He believes there's a chance he could give the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world a run for his money.

"If I don't believe in myself, then why would I do it? Of course I believe in myself," Usman told TMZ. "He's amazing. He's amazing. I'm not taking nothing away from him. But, how often does someone get the chance to be able to test themselves against the best?"

It's not a major surprise Usman, who owns a 20-1 career MMA record and hasn't lost since May 2013, might be looking for a new type of challenge. He's defeated Covington and Jorge Masvidal two times apiece in his last five fights and doesn't have an obvious opponent waiting in the UFC welterweight division.

That said, the question is whether Alvarez, who's coming off a knockout win over Caleb Plant on the same night Usman dispatched Covington, can be convinced to take on the cross-sport encounter.

The boxing standout didn't sound interested when asked by TMZ about the prospect of taking on Usman before his clash with Plant.

"I don't see...It doesn't make sense for me. I want to make history in boxing, and I don't see anything right there," Alvarez said.

The 31-year-old Mexican sensation quickly moved on to chasing his next goal after beating Plant—trying to become a five-division world champion by fighting Ilunga Junior Makabu for the WBC cruiserweight title.

"I know ... what [Makabu] has done with the heavyweights he spars with, and that is why we asked for the fight," Eddy Reynoso, Alvarez's trainer, told ESPN Deportes' Salvador Rodriguez. "We know that [Makabu] is strong, but Canelo can beat him."

Details for the fight must still be finalized, but it sounds like there's motivation on both sides to get a deal done.

So, Usman will have to wait at least a little longer to see if he'll ever get a chance to step in a boxing ring opposite Canelo.