By Frank Warren
There has long been a fascination over who would emerge victorious if the stars of various codes of combat were to engage.
Back in the day the biggest curiosity tended to focus on who would be the last man standing between the lords of the boxing and wrestling ring.
Of course, film buffs will well recall Rocky getting chucked around the ring by Thunderlips – played by Hulk Hogan – before casting aside the gloves and letting a few go to the body.
The exhibition bout, which featured in Rocky III, was declared a draw, which incidentally was the equally convenient outcome in 1976 when Muhammad Ali travelled to Tokyo for a fight under ‘special rules’ against the professional wrestler Antonio Inoki.
Apparently, the rules that were devised at the time are said to have become the template for Mixed Martial Arts, which provides a neat link to a proposed present day match-up.
What once might have been a curiosity is nowadays a gauntlet being thrown down as UFC king Conor McGregor appears determined to cross the great fighting divide and try his hands at the noble art.
The Irish superstar doesn’t just want to fight anyone, he is chasing Money in more ways than one.
McGregor wants to get it on with the ‘retired’ Floyd Mayweather jnr and the self-proclaimed TBE strongly hinted recently that he is open to the prospect.
And why wouldn’t he be? It is a coming together that has the potential to make revenues from his fight with Manny Pacquiao look like small change. Well, maybe not quite, but you get my drift.
Many of us boxing fans will doubtless ridicule the idea of a square ring novice attempting to trade only punches with the most successful and decorated boxer of his generation but – and let’s be honest here – how many of us wouldn’t be stumping up the pay-per-view fee to watch it?
The build-up and hype surrounding it would probably be more entertaining than the fight itself but, as an event, it probably doesn’t get any bigger.
A lot of us suspected Mayweather- Pacquiao would turn out to be the damp squib it was and yet we still tuned in – and I am sure we will again if the respective camps get the numbers to work for their man.
It is this sort of mega event that will tickle the ego of the Money Man who, after the dragging out a meeting with Pacquiao well beyond its prime sell-by date, ran out of such lucrative options after going on to equal Rocky Marciano’s 49-0 innings.
Mayweather will fancy the job against McGregor because the cards – not to mention the rules – would be stacked in his favour as the Irishman wouldn’t be allowed to stick the boot in.
I would back Mayweather big-time to win and probably put an end to the UFC brigade thinking they can cut it against the toughest breed of sportsmen and women of them all.
It is probably the one pay-per-view I will only complain about after the event!
Our bumper show in Manchester on April 8 – one that will get the ball rolling on our exciting partnership with BT Sport – now has a new and potentially thrilling dimension to it.
Fight fans will be more than pleased to welcome the hugely talented Zolani Tete back to our shores and the 28-year-old South African has some serious business to attend to.
So far, since signing up with us, Zolani has performed to a Liverpool audience, earning him the nickname of the Scouse African, but he is now Manchester-bound with the assignment of negotiating a final eliminator for the WBO world bantamweight title.
He faces Arthur Villanueva from the Philippines, who has only one reverse on his card from 31 fights and is the Asia-Pacific champion.
It really should be some fight, but I just think Zolani is something special and I strongly suspect we will be around the negotiating table with the champion Marlon Tapales in the near future.
This weekend in Hubbard’s Cupboard: The day Tyson took a tumble and Ali turned nasty