Reigning UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman has been looking to put his No. 1 pound-for-pound spot to the test in a crossover fight with world-class boxer Canelo Alvarez, but now “Nigerian Nightmare” doesn’t know if the sueprfight holds enough weight considering Canelo’s recent loss to Dimtry Bivol.
Ever since his second title defense against Colby Covington at UFC 268 late last year Usman has been lobbying for a fight against Canelo. Most combat enthusiasts believed Usman was out of his mind and stood little to no chance against Canelo inside of the boxing ring. The two fighters went back-and-forth on social media and seemed interested in possibly setting something up, but it didn’t go much further than that.
Usman, who is still recovering from a hand injury, has been holding out hope that he would get to prove himself against one of the best boxers in the world. Unfortunately, Canelo had his 16-fight unbeaten streak snapped earlier this month in a decision loss to light heavyweight champion Dimtry Bivol (highlights HERE). Canelo was stepping up in weight, but Usman believes his loss has now tainted any potential superfight they had going.
“It’s tough now because everyone is fixated on dominance,” said Usman in a recent interview with The Underground’s John Morgan. “I still think that it’s a tremendous fight. It’s a phenomenal fight because he’s still up there in those pound-for-pound rankings, but of course it’s a bit tarnished now because his aura of invincibility has diminished a bit. But more power to him, he’s a true champion.
“He’s one of the best boxers that we’ve seen especially in my generation. So hats off to him, it’s always been nothing but respect, I was willing to test and challenge myself and he just wasn’t biting.”
While most immediately counted Usman out in a potential clash with Canelo the undisputed UFC welterweight king believes he would have shocked a lot of people. Usman is confident in his abilities and was willing to walk through fire to prove his striking is improving by the day.
“It makes you feel something when people feel that you don’t stand a chance,” Usman continued. “At one point everyone was saying ‘you have to wrestle Masvidal, you wouldn’t stand a chance of standing up with him’.
At the end of the day, Usman would still need permission from UFC to move forward with a boxing match against Canelo. The superfight may have lost a little steam considering Canelo’s recent decision loss, but it would still be pretty cool to see the two pound-for-pound combat fighters square off.