Athletes and Celebs We Want to See in a Boxing Ring

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistJanuary 27, 2017

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 12:  UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor of Ireland warms up backstage at Madison Square Garden prior to his lightweight championship fight agianst Eddie Alvarez during the UFC 205 event on November 12, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

Fans can't help but wonder if it wouldn't be nice to see some of the most vocal athletes and fiercest of rivals simply strap gloves on and duke it out in a ring.

An oft-rumored bout between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather sure helps get the brainstorming going, right?

Well, Soulja Boy and Chris Brown trying to organize a fight doesn't hurt either—and they're making more progress than McGregor-Mayweather.

Once in the water, it turns out this topic isn't such a shallow pool. Some guys we'd like to just see step into the ring because they're physical freaks. Others because unresolved beef remains and it would be rather fun to watch them go at it in the ring.

No matter the reason, all these stars and celebrities flirting with the idea of boxing has made it easy to drum up a wish list.

Drake vs. Meek Mill

Tale of the Tape
DrakeCategoryMeek Mill

Hey, Drake and Meek Mill are staples on NBA sidelines these days.

Drake loves his Toronto Raptors and Meek Mill loves his Philadelphia 76ers. Poetic for a pair of rappers, really—Drake is the established contender like Kyle Lowry and the Raptors, Meek is the up-and-comer like the 76ers and Joel Embiid.

The two step in the ring right now though and...yeah. These two throwing hands would probably go just like their actual diss tracks, where Drake got the global attention while Meek got low-key respect. In the ring, Drake would land the big blows but Meek would get the credit for hanging tough.

As far as celebrity sports fans go, this is about as realistic as it could get—and crazy entertaining.

Jalen Ramsey vs. Steve Smith

Tale of the Tape
Jalen RamseyCategorySteve Smith
NashvilleHometownLos Angeles

How about a young vs. new battle and a potential passing-of-the-torch moment?

Gail Burton/Associated Press

Baltimore Ravens wideout Steve Smith is on his way out. One of the toughest guys to ever play the game, he's a natural target for something like boxing.

Why not pit him against a young defender who had problems with Smith this year?

Jalen Ramsey of the Jacksonville Jaguars straight-up said he didn't respect Smith as a man, according to NFL.com's Jeremy Bergman.

That's something you step in the boxing ring over, folks. The rookie would either get whipped by his senior who paved the way for him or assume the throne.

No matter how it plays out, onlookers win.

Draymond Green vs. LeBron James

Tale of the Tape
Draymond GreenCategoryLeBron James

Can we just do this darn thing already? 

Everybody wants to see LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers do something else. A man of his stature and athleticism, while one of the best to ever ball, is a natural fit in other sports like football.

Believe it or not, James' arch-nemesis, Draymond Green, isn't as physically over matched as one would think.

These two, of course, have a long history with each other and haven't stopped:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Draymond vs LeBron 👀 https://t.co/Um9bzys8Gu

Having the two tape up the hands and let 'em fly seems like a reasonable enough way to settle this.

Probably money better spent than many pay-per-views these days.

Charles Oakley and Charles Barkley

Tale of the Tape
Charles OakleyCategoryCharles Barkley

How about a little senior division action?

NBA legends Charles Oakley and Charles Barkley never liked each other. Never. These dudes trying to have a fistfight in a preseason game says it all:

More recently, Oakley has called out Barkley, an Inside the NBA analyst, for disrespecting the city of Cleveland. Oakley still wants to make something happen after hearing about the Soulja Boy-Chris Brown situation.

No offense to those two rappers, but we'd much rather see this over-50 heavyweight showdown with a decade of bad blood ready to get settled.

Conor McGregor vs. Randy Orton

Tale of the Tape
Conor McGregorCategoryRandy Orton

McGregor is a popular guy.

The man managed to make the entire WWE roster angry with a single tweet:

Conor McGregor @TheNotoriousMMA

I didn't mean no disrespect to the @wwe fans. What I meant to say was that I'd slap the head off your entire roster. And twice on Sunday's.

The WWE realm responded, helping it seem worthwhile to think about what would happen if McGregor stepped into the ring with a WWE superstar.

Granted, WWE is a scripted sport. But all on the roster are some of the best athletes in the world and many of them practice one form of mixed martial arts or another.

So in this scenario, put a dude with a size advantage like Randy Orton up against the trained McGregor and see what happens. After all, Orton has been one of the most vocal about McGregor and his comments.

Who doesn't want to see the UFC vs. WWE beef finalized?

CM Punk vs. Chris Brown

Tale of the Tape
CM PunkCategoryChris Brown

Chris Brown is a pretty popular guy as well.

David Dermer/Associated Press

Brown got into a Twitter beef with former WWE superstar turned UFC fighter CM Punk a few years back, and no, we aren't willing to just let it go.

Punk walked out on professional wrestling and tried his hand at UFC, only to get creamed by Mickey Gall. Fine, Punk achieved a dream and became a trained fighter along the way.

If there is someone who could probably goad Brown into actually stepping into the ring, it is a wordsmith like Punk.

Seeing Punk in the ring with someone he can handle and Brown actually have a chance to back up his words would be golden.

Richard Sherman vs. Sports Journalist

Tale of the Tape
Richard ShermanCategoryJournalist
6'3"Height5'5" - 6'0"

Stephen Brashear/Associated Press

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman has decided to wage a one-man war against the media.

Sherman is the guy who recently threatened to pull a reporter's press credentials and harm their career, later apologizing after it got picked up by a mic and reported. He's went on to boycott most media. 

So yeah, it would be fun to set up Sherman in one corner and let a writer have a crack at him and vice versa. Said writer can be anyone. 

More than anything it is about getting a motivated Sherman in the ring. One of the NFL's biggest trash talkers having to back up the chatter would make for some interesting viewing material.

Odell Beckham Jr. vs. Josh Norman

Tale of the Tape
Odell Beckham Jr.CategoryJosh Norman
Baton RougeHometownGreenwood

Come on, NFL fans have been waiting on this for years.

Jeffrey Phelps/Associated Press

Ever since New York Giants wideout Odell Beckham Jr. tried to decapitate cornerback Josh Norman, folks have wanted to see a ring slapped down in the middle of a football field and the two locked inside it. 

Let's not pretend these two have kissed and made up either. The two were once again going at it and drawing flags during a recent meeting.

Good luck actually figuring out who wins this fight. Norman had better be careful though—Beckham is apparently great at punching holes in stuff.

Vontaze Burfict vs. James Harrison

Tale of the Tape
Vontaze BurfictCategoryJames Harrison
Los AngelesHometownAkron

Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict is one of the most disliked players in the NFL, mostly for his perceived dirty play. Same story for Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison.

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 09: Vontaze Burfict #55 of the Cincinnati Bengals warming up before a game against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on October 9, 2016 in Arlington, Texas. The Cowboys defeated the Bengals 28-14.  (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Imag
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Seeing as the Bengals and Steelers hate each other, why not take the two baddest, dirty dudes from the roster and put them in the ring together?

The problem here, of course, is the reputation these guys have. Them actually playing by the rules of a boxing match doesn't seem likely. 

Just don't be the unlucky guy or gal who has to act as referee.

Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor

Tale of the Tape
Floyd MayweatherCategoryConor McGregor
Grand RapidsHometownDublin

People really want to see Mayweather return to action for a bout against McGregor, the biggest loudmouth (that's a good thing) in sports. The national treasury would probably have to print more money because of the dough this pay-per-view would bring in.

Unlike Mayweather against Manny Pacquiao, this one would actually be worth the price of admission—these guys would have something to prove after the droves of personal trash talk they would stoop to beforehand.

UFC president Dana White has already tried to drop $50 million to make this happen. No dice. As the report notes, though, McGregor has a boxing license in the state of California, so it only feels like a matter of time. 


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.