‘Fighter of the Year’ Challenges Canelo Alvarez, Conor McGregor

Canelo Alvarez left, Conor McGregor right


Two of the biggest superstars in combat sports should probably start watching their backs right about now because both just made it onto the radar of arguably the “Fighter of the Year” for all of combat sports in 2020. Former UFC fighter and new boxing legend “Cassius” Clay Collard revealed to Heavy he would be down to fight either Conor McGregor or Canelo Alvarez soon. Heck, Collard said he wants to fight both.

“I’m a fighter,” Collard said. “I’ll fight anybody, anytime anywhere.”

Collard was originally slated to take part in the 2020 season of the Professional Fighters League (PFL). But after the global COVID-19 pandemic shelved the PFL’s scheduled of MMA action, Collard applied for that league’s permission to stay busy by doing work as a professional boxer.

“We reached out to them and they were kind enough to allow me to box this year while we wait for the next PFL season to start,” Collard said. “I’m just blessed that they were kind enough to let me do that.”

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Collard responded to the new opportunity by scoring two huge upset wins in a row.

Now, the 27-year-old is the favorite to earn boxing’s coveted Prospect of the Year award, and he has a good chance to be considered that sport’s overall Fighter of the Year, too.

Collard is 5-0 in 2020. He handed three undefeated fighters their first professional losses this year and has gone from being the opponent a promoter picks to test his prospect against to becoming the prospect himself.

That rarely happens in boxing, and make it double the rarity that it’s a guy who started his professional fighting career across the aisle in MMA.

It’s arguably the biggest and best story in all of fighting, and Collard might still be on his way to doing bigger and better things.

Collard vs. Canelo and McGregor?!

Without even being prompted, the American jumped at the idea of facing McGregor inside a boxing ring.

“I’ll fight that guy tomorrow,” Collard said. “I’ll box his ears off, dude. I love fighting southpaws, too.”

And Alvarez? The 30-year-old Mexican superstar might be considered the top pound-for-pound boxer in the world today, but Collard said he’s all about making Canelo vs. Collard happen, too.

“I’d sign the contract, and I’d try to break his face,” Collard said. “I’ll come into his world for sure if he wants. If that’s the fight people want to see, I’ll smash his face, bro. It’s what I do.”

While it might seem premature for some to suggest that Collard could or even should be linked to that level of opponent, the year he’s had so far indicates it won’t really be that long before those kinds of names come calling.

Besides, nobody saw Collard’s amazing 2020 run on the way either. At this point, if Collard believes he can achieve it, who out there can tell him he can’t?

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Collard’s Next Fight Canceled Due To COVID-19

Just about the only loss Collard has taken in recent history is when he tested positive for COVID-19 before getting the chance to be featured on the massive boxing card headlined by the important lightweight unification bout between unified champ Vasiliy Lomachenko and IBF titleholder Teofimo Lopez.

But maybe that was best for those guys. Collard has already enjoyed such a great year, maybe it was time to give some other folks a chance to catch up to him.

After all, Collard already seems to be on his way to winning some huge honors in 2020.

And next year? Collard has even bigger and better things on his mind, including a return to MMA for a shot at the PFL’s next $1 million lightweight tournament.

“I’m excited to get back to MMA,” Collard said. “It’s where I started my professional career, and it’s something I want to do. I want to win a few belts and some money.”

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Twitter: @Kelsey_McCarson

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