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Unlike Kamaru Usman, Leon Edwards knows he can’t beat Canelo Alvarez in boxing: ‘This guy’s deluded’

UFC 278 Press Conference Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Don’t expect Leon Edwards to go out seeking any crossover boxing matches with Saul “Canelo” Alvarez any time soon.

Before Edwards’ long-awaited rematch with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight champion, Kamaru Usman, this weekend (Sat., Aug. 20, 2022) at UFC 278 was made official, the titleholder had some unique ideas in mind. Always making a point to say the Edwards rematch was in his immediate future, Usman’s desire was clear, aiming at Canelo for an end-of-2022 showdown.

However, Canelo has since suffered a loss and Usman’s interest has faded despite always being confident he could pull off a monumental upset. From Edwards’ point of view, the talk was a bit silly, to begin with.

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“I know I can’t beat Canelo in a boxing match, I’m not deluded,” Edwards said at UFC 278 media day. “This guy’s deluded. He cannot beat Canelo. I know it’s a payday for him but boxing-for-boxing, he cannot beat Canelo. MMA? Yeah, he will win. Same, MMA, I beat Canelo. For a pure boxing match in the square, he would probably win.”

In terms of other lofty goals recently expressed by the “Nigerian Nightmare,” Usman now hopes to be able to grab UFC Light Heavyweight gold at some point, skipping over the entire 185-pound Middleweight division.

These continuous ideas from the champion have left Edwards feeling rather overlooked and he believes it could be due to the fact his last defeat came against Usman in their Dec. 2015 encounter.

“He’s talking about everything apart from this fight,” Edwards said. “He’s talking about going up to 205 [pounds], fighting Canelo, doing everything apart from the fight. I am solely focused on becoming a world champion and if he thinks I’m gonna be like the first fight, he’s already lost the fight. I’ve erased that fight out of my mind a long time ago. And if he thinks it’s the same kid he’s gonna fight then we’ll see Saturday night.”


Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 278 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ABC/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 278: “Usman vs. Edwards 2” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

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