Rising UFC welterweight contender Khamzat Chimaev recently warned 170-pound king Kamaru Usman about boxing pound-for-pound great Canelo Alvarez.
“The Nigerian Nightmare” has been adamant about wanting to box Canelo in the near future, but Chimaev thinks it’s a bad idea. Chimaev was recently featured on the “Triple C & Schmo Show” podcast, and he shared that he doesn’t believe Usman can last “one minute” with Canelo.
“How is he going to fight Canelo? I don’t understand,” Chimaev said via MMA Junkie.” “The only people who want to see Canelo and him are only him and his manager. Did you see how he hit pads? We have to be realistic about it and the guy is not that level in the boxing. I think I’m the best in the world, but I can’t say I can beat (Canelo) in boxing because I’m not a stupid guy. I understand how it works. The guy all his life did boxing, he knocked out – he killed so many good guys. How (Usman) can say, ‘I’m going to knock him out’? I understand he wants to make money.
“He has only one way to fight Canelo: if they make the fight one second. Just like start and finish. Then he can survive. He can’t survive one minute.”
Canelo is a multiple-weight class champion and is set to move up to light heavyweight to take on WBA champion Dmitry Bivol on May 7.
Chimaev Said He Would ‘Never’ Box, Says It’s ‘A Different Game’ Than MMA
Don’t expect to see Borz inside a boxing ring any time soon. The 10-0 professional mixed martial artist said on the podcast that although he’d handle Canelo with ease inside the Octagon, boxing him would be a different story.
“I’m never going to do that because I understand how it works,” Chimaev said. “It’s not my game. If he comes to my game, if Canelo comes to the UFC and fights with me, I can take 10 seconds and let him sleep. The guy never did wrestling, grappling, ground-and-pound, these things. You can’t do it.
“(Usman) can’t box, like go jump in from there. This is like a different game, like football and basketball.”
Usman Is Excited About the Idea of Boxing Fellow Pound-for-Pound King
Usman and Canelo are both rated the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in their sports, as per the offical UFC rankings and ESPN, respectively.
“Since when have we ever seen the pound-for-pound mixed martial artist go up against the pound-for-pound boxer, both in their prime, not when they’re older or retired and you’re trying to pull them back. Both in their prime,” Usman told media at the UFC 268 media day in November 2021. ‘That’s what I’m looking to do. That’s something that scares me, that’s something that gets me up in the morning. That’s something that I might risk leaving my daughter for another 12 weeks for. We’ll see. That’s something that I’m looking at.
Usman is one of the most successful welterweights in UFC history. All in all, he’s defended his 170-pound strap five times, boasting wins over the likes of Colby Covington, Jorge Masvidal and Gilbert Burns. He’s never been beaten inside the promotion and he holds a pro record of 20-1.