Stipe Miocic Says He's Interested in Boxing Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 27, 2021

FILE - In this July 5, 2018, file photo, Stipe Miocic poses during a news conference for UFC 226 in Las Vegas. Heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic welcomes the UFC's planned return. The fighter and firefighter does have some worries, though. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)
John Locher/Associated Press

UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic said he's interested in a high-profile boxing match against either Anthony Joshua or Tyson Fury after he defends his title against Francis Ngannou at UFC 260 on Saturday night.

Miocic told TMZ Sports he could give either of the heavyweight boxing champs a run for their money.

"I would love [a boxing match with Fury or Joshua]," he said. "It would be just a different—get out of my comfort zone. Plus it's a fight; anything can happen, and I know I can make something happen."

Miocic is coming off back-to-back wins over Daniel Cormier, and he'll have a long list of heavyweights coming for the belt if he knocks off Ngannou on Saturday. He insists the boxing talk isn't going to distract him from the title defense.

"I just got a task at hand right now," he told TMZ. "I gotta worry about [Francis]. That's all I care about. But I'd love to dip my toe into that ring."

The timing might not work out for his bid to make a major foray into the boxing world, though.

Joshua and Fury have already signed a two-fight agreement to unify the heavyweight championships, per ESPN's Mark Kriegel. They haven't finalized a date or venue for the first bout, but the initial plans called for a June-July time frame followed by the rematch in November or December.

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If they split the first two matchups, it wouldn't be a surprise to see a third tiebreaker fight added that would probably take place in the spring or summer of 2022. So the schedules for boxing's heavyweight title-holders could be filled for the foreseeable future.

The only way Miocic could fit in the short term is if the Joshua-Fury negotiations about a time and location for the first fight fall apart, which could open a slot this summer. That's unlikely, however, and it's unclear whether either boxer would even be interested.

Although Miocic could go a different route, taking on a lucrative exhibition at a time when those types of fights are booming in popularity, he told TMZ he's going to steer clear of Mike Tyson based on the former heavyweight champ's terrific showing against Roy Jones Jr. in November.

"That I will pass on. I will pass on that one," he said. "That dude looked exactly the same when he fought Roy Jones Jr. as he did when he was 20 years old, so no, I'm good. I love Mike Tyson. I think he's awesome."

Miocic's short-term outlook could change significantly based on whether he wins or loses Saturday, so trying to take care of business against Ngannou is the most important thing for him right now.