“Sugar,” whose certainly favored the striking realm throughout his mixed martial arts career to date, has become the latest UFC athlete to express a desire to box. Perhaps most notably, heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou has stated the importance of having the freedom to share the ring with the likes of Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder in the future.
Having been in attendance to see his friend Jake Paul secure another boxing victory this past weekend, with “The Problem Child” outpointing MMA legend Anderson Silva in Arizona, “Sugar” wants in on the crossover craze.
In recent years, crossover bouts have become more common, with MMA veterans like Silva, Ben Askren, Tyron Woodley, Vitor Belfort, and Frank Mir all lacing the gloves in a different sport to where they made their names.
The most notable instance, however, came way back in 2017. With the promotional machine of the UFC in tow, former two-division champion Conor McGregor embarked on a feud with boxing great Floyd Mayweather. They shared the ring for a professional contest in Las Vegas, with “Money” stopping the Irishman in the 10th round.
Since then, the UFC has appeared hesitant to entertain the idea of any involvement in crossover bouts, with Dana White even dismissing the prospect of a rematch between MMA’s biggest star and the 50-0 Mayweather.
And while the MMA leader still looks to be a hurdle for fighters looking to try their hand as pugilists, as Ngannou has seemingly been finding out, O’Malley believes he can force the UFC’s hand.
O’Malley Has A New Opponent In Mind For Future Boxing Venture
After being in attendance for Jake Paul’s sixth success as a professional boxer, O’Malley appeared on his brother’s podcast, IMPAULSIVE.
During the interaction, “Sugar” revealed his own desire to lace the gloves for a boxing showdown in the future. And while he acknowledged that his deal on MMA’s biggest stage limits his freedom to do so, the #1-ranked bantamweight believes he can secure approval with a certain level of stardom.
“Speaking of boxing, I’d f*cking love to box one of these days,” O’Malley revealed, before Logan Paul suggested that his UFC contract would prevent such a bout. “Unless I get big enough. Conor versus Floyd happened. I’m waiting for another guy my size. Gervonta Davis I kinda talked about before, he’s just not really a PPV guy. Maybe he will be someday, but realistically, he’s not.”
Earlier this year, while floating about a possible venture to the ring, O’Malley named Davis as an ideal opponent, describing him as a superstar.
Now, O’Malley seemingly has his eyes on the possible next opponent for “Tank” — former WBC interim lightweight champion Ryan Garcia. Should both he and “KingRy” continue on their current trajectories, O’Malley believes the UFC would be willing to entertain a bout between the two.
“That’s what I’m saying, (Garcia). We gotta keep doing our thing, both keep winning, and become big enough to where the UFC — because UFC, they’re about money,” O’Malley said. “So, if there’s the opportunity five or six years down the line, I’m the f*cking man, there’s another f*cking man in boxing, the UFC would be down. But, it has to be big enough.”
Can you envision Sean O’Malley competing in a crossover boxing match while under contract with the UFC?
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