Boxing News At Five

Boxing News at Five: McGregor wants Tenshin in MMA, Whyte accuses Joshua’s team of running scared

Conor McGregor
Esther Lin/Showtime
Conor McGregor continues to go after that Floyd Mayweather money, while Dillian Whyte says Anthony Joshua is being steered away from potential rematch

ANYTHING Floyd can do, Conor can do better. (Or perhaps not.)

This is the tune Conor McGregor, former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion and one-time boxer, presumably sings to himself when drawing up his list of ways to make obscene amounts of money from fights nobody really wants to see.

Today, he issued a shock challenge to Tenshin Nasukawa, the Japanese kickboxer Floyd Maweather destroyed in a New Year’s Eve ‘exhibition’ boxing match, and, in doing so, continued his association with the man known as ‘Money May’.

Taking inspiration from Mayweather’s December jaunt with Tenshin, for which the American was paid a reported $9 million, McGregor is seemingly eyeing a date with the kickboxer in Tokyo for all the same reasons.

“I wish to go to Tokyo to face Tenshin Nasukawa in a Mixed Martial Arts exhibition bout,” McGregor wrote on Twitter.

“Before this summer. Please arrange this, this instant. Yours sincerely. The champ champ.”

McGregor, 0-1 as a professional boxer, was last seen in a boxing ring being put out of his misery in round 10 of a woeful spectacle against Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas. In MMA, meanwhile, the charismatic Irishman was recently choked out in round four of an equally one-sided fight against Russian Khabib Nurmagomedov.

In need of a win, the best you can say about any potential McGregor vs. Nasukawa rendezvous is this: at least it won’t be a boxing match.

Floyd Mayweather

Say what you want about Brixton heavyweight Dillian Whyte, but when it comes to calling out fighters and offering himself up, he seems as good as his word.

His most recent target, Anthony Joshua, happens to be someone with whom he has history, having shared a ring in 2015, but, rather than an incentive to stay away, a seventh-round stoppage loss to Joshua is a black mark Whyte wants scrubbed and reversed.

“I called him out there live (after beating Chisora on December 22) thinking the fight could be made and I was very disappointed with Anthony’s response,” Whyte told talkSPORT’s Adam Catterall on The Sports Bar.

“I was ready for him to say, ‘Okay, let’s get it on.’

“(Deontay) Wilder is not going to fight him because he doesn’t want it and is fighting Tyson Fury. But from his answer – and the way he was acting – I think AJ might want the fight, but I don’t think his team wants the fight.

“I think AJ is going into the business now thinking, ‘I can have mediocre, easy fights and still make a load of money, so why not?’”

In terms of possible opponents, Dillian Whyte might not get the juices flowing the way a clash between Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder or Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury would, but it’s not a bad Plan B and it’s certainly no mediocre or easy fight, despite what the seventh-round stoppage loss to Joshua on Whyte’s record might suggest. For all the calling out he is doing, Whyte is also winning.

Dillian Whyte v Derek Chisora, Heavyweight fight, O2 arena, London. 22nd December 2018 Picture By Dave Thompson

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