THE latest mixed martial artist to call out a famous boxer in the hope of landing a life-changing payday is former UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw, a man currently serving a two-year performance-enhancing drug ban for taking EPO.
Dillashaw, 33, has cleverly pitched it as follows: a two-year ban should, in this hypothetical scenario, not be considered a negative but in fact a positive, for it offers him the chance to spend all this time brushing up on his boxing skills and working with some of the best boxers in the world. Then, when the time is right, he will be ready to box – wait for it – Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather, arguably the best boxer of the modern era, in the hope of picking up where Conor McGregor left off in 2017. (Read: picking up any money McGregor left behind.)
“Mayweather wants a UFC star that’s good at striking,” Dillashaw told ESPN. “I’ve got a whole year to reinvent myself to become a boxer. I’ve got the who’s-who in the boxing world.
“I can train with the Lomachenkos, Terence Crawfords – he ain’t going to be able to wear me out and finish me because of my cardio. I think that’s a very intriguing fight.
“I’d love to get that Mayweather fight, not even for the money – just for the fact of proving us UFC fighters have what it takes to get in that ring.
“I think Conor McGregor did a great job of showing what we can do, and that our movements are awkward and that it’s tough for (boxers) to deal with, and I’ve seen it myself in the boxing world.
“I go and train out at Joel Diaz’s, I’m going to train with the Lomachenkos, I’ve seen Terence Crawford’s camp. I think that would be a super intriguing thing to get involved in, and I’ve got the time to do it.”
Yes, he has that: time. If nothing else, TJ Dillashaw certainly has time on his side.
Heavyweight contender Dillian Whyte is back.
He will, as expected, fight on December 7 in Saudi Arabia, in support of the heavyweight rematch between Andy Ruiz Jnr and Anthony Joshua, and his opponent will be Poland’s Mariusz Wach, 35-5 (19).
Wach, almost 40, has lost three of his last five fights and been stopped by both Jarrell Miller and Martin Bakole. His durability, once his unique selling point, seems to have all but disappeared, which makes him the ideal opponent for a man looking to make a statement.
Wach, of course, famously challenged Wladimir Klitschko for a host of heavyweight titles in 2012. He rocked the champion during that fight but Klitschko recovered well and Wach settled for going the distance. Shortly after it was revealed Wach had failed a performance-enhancing drug test. He was out of the ring for almost two years.
Speaking of statements, we still wait for Dillian Whyte’s, the one detailing what exactly happened in the week of his July 20 win against Oscar Rivas. It was promised in the days after that fight but has yet to surface. The same goes for UKAD’s.
Hopefully, some more light will be shed in Saudi Arabia next week.