Boxing News At Five

Boxing News at Five: Mayweather names his price for Khabib fight, Kovalev will return to the ring against Barrera

Floyd Mayweather is once again talking about fighting a UFC star, and Sergey Kovalev will return to the ring as a cruiserweight in April

FLOYD MAYWWEATHER has not ruled out a return to the boxing ring this year but has stated he is done fighting ‘ordinary fighters’.

What Mayweather means by ordinary is, like much of what he says, open to interpretation. However, it’s fair to say most will presume what Mayweather is saying when he mentions the word ordinary has more to do with the size of paydays than the calibre of potential opponents. That is to say, Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather has never in the past had an issue entertaining ordinary fighters – even mixed martial artists – if it guarantees him an extraordinary payday.

“It doesn’t make sense for me to fight just any ordinary fighter because I’m at the point right now where it’s about business, I’m a businessman,” Mayweather said at a Q&A in London on Wednesday. “Why would I fight any ordinary fighter for $30m when I can fight a guy who has a whole country behind him for $300m?”

Once again, the fight most talked about when it comes to Mayweather is one against a mixed martial artist (read: a fight in which the rules are stacked entirely in his favour). This time it is not Conor McGregor, the Irishman Mayweather defeated in 2017, in the running but Khabib Nurmagomedov, the current UFC champion who also holds a win over McGregor – more impressively, inside the UFC’s Octagon and on a level playing field.

This is a fight Mayweather says can happen but only if the price is right.

“The first fight [against McGregor] was entertaining. It’s all about entertaining. We talked about the Conor McGregor fight, we talked about the Khabib fight. For myself, the number is $600m (£465 million). If I’m going to go out there to risk it, it would have to be worth it.”

Mayweather is an extraordinary boxer; Khabib is an extraordinary mixed martial artist. A boxing match between them, however, would see any mutual extraordinariness diluted down to this: extraordinary boxer vs. ordinary boxer.

Crucially, though, even in its diluted form it would equate to this: an extraordinary payday for both.

And that, in the end, could be what clinches it.

Conor McGregor
McGregor touches Mayweather in 2017 (Esther Lin/Showtime)

Six months after losing his WBO light-heavyweight title to Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, Russian puncher Sergey Kovalev will return to the ring against Cuba’s Sullivan Barrera, Golden Boy Promotions announced this morning.

The cruiserweight fight will take place on April 25 at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio and will offer both the chance to kickstart another run at a title, this time at cruiserweight.

“Because Sullivan Barrera spent most of his professional career with Main Events, a fight between Kovalev and Barrera is something that we naturally anticipated would happen for a very long time. And so here we are!” said promoter Kathy Duva. “This is a really solid fight between two action fighters who have never turned down a challenge.”

Suffice to say, both fighters are in desperate need of a win.

Kovalev is 2-2 in his last four fights, having lost to Eleider Alvarez before Canelo Alvarez, while Barrera, 1-2 in his last three, hasn’t boxed since losing a decision against Jess Hart in June. At 36 and 38 years of age respectively, time isn’t on either man’s side, meaning both will understand the importance of victory on April 25.

Canelo Alvarez
Kovalev succumbs to Canelo (Tom Hogan/Hogan Photos/Golden Boy)

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