Alistair Overeem is the only fighter to hold simultaneous world titles in both kickboxing (current K-1 World Grand Prix) and MMA (Strikeforce and DREAM heavyweight champion). For the past few weeks, he has been talking about testing is skills in boxing, and in an interview on The Fight Show with Mauro Ranallo, went so far as to say boxing is the number one combat sport.
"If I fight Klitschko now, I mean this guy, he is not for nothing the champion of how many leagues, like five? The thing is, it's an interesting thought, it's an interesting idea.
"Let's cut to the chase, there's a lot of money to be made in boxing. It is the most popular combat sport out there. I mean, MMA is doing really well and it might overtake boxing but boxing is still the number one.
"If you look at the revenues made by boxing it is a big difference, a big difference."
Before anyone trots out statistics on PPV buys, number of fights, etc, understand that Overeem is not talking from the point of view of a fan, or a statistician, he is speaking from the point of view of a professional fighter. And from a very rare point of view, the view from the wallet of the best fighter in MMA vs. the best fighter in boxing, boxing is better.
For example, Floyd Mayweather Jr. made an SI estimated $60,000,000 million in 2010, a multiple of what was earned by Anderson Silva and GSP combined. While the best heavyweight in boxing is not making FMJ cash, no one is offering the Overeem brothers 100 million bucks to fight each other like Don King did for the Klitchkos in 2008.
Lastly of course, is the small matter of whether Overeem could perform at a world-class level in boxing, a prospect that seems enormously unlikely.
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