As if the early one-boxing-glove-days of the UFC were not enough to convince people that competing with a single discipline in the dynamic sport of mixed martial arts is a sure-fire way to lose, heavyweight boxing champion James “Lights Out” Toney recently re-proved that truth when he made his MMA debut against UFC Hall of Famer Randy “The Natural” Couture. Toney was made to look foolish as Couture almost immediately took the boxer down, pounded his face and submitted him within the first minutes of the first round.
Apparently, Toney’s defeat was not enough to convince even himself (as it has been widely reported that Toney will make a return to MMA after defending his heavyweight title) let alone some other boxers that stepping into the MMA world with boxing prowess alone is anything other than guaranteed defeat. Seven-division world champion boxer Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao was recently interviewed by BoxingScene.com’s Bill Emes and Michael Marley and, despite describing MMA as being “too brutal,” indicated that he would be interested in competing in the sport were his management and promoters not against the idea.
“I want to but they [promoters and management] don’t want me to fight,” said “Pac Man” of competing in MMA.
The difference between Toney and Pacquiao is that the Filipino fighter is in his prime and actually has the speed to catch a fighter on the way in. Whether or not he could do it is a total mystery and even though the debate of boxing vs. MMA (however pointless) seems to have been settled, Pacquiao entering into mixed martial arts would certainly drum up some serious fan interest. Considering the tangle of promoters and managers that have large amounts of stock placed on “Pac Man”(the sport’s largest star and biggest draw next to Floyd Mayweather) and the inability of boxing promoters to even organize a fight between Pacquiao and Mayweather, it is quite unlikely that Pacquiao will ever compete in an MMA arena.