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Female cage fighter against male boxer?

Floyd Mayweather and Ronda Rousey

'No holds barred' fighter Ronda Rousey challenges famous boxer Floyd Mayweather

Русская версия

Undefeated cage fighter Ronda Rousey won the 2015 Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly Award (ESPY) which was predicted for middleweight boxer Floyd Mayweather. Before, being asked about Rousey, Mayweather said he didn't hear anything about HIM. After the award ceremony she said in turn that as "the best fighter" she would like to meet him in the "no-rule" fight. She said he would understand that she was not just a babe who can be ignored. Rousey repeatedly confirmed her challenge which some women consider as revenge for physical abuse of his wife and disparaging attitude toward women.

The most of commentators consider this as typical PR actions while the probability of such a bout as close to zero. However, there have been several fights between representatives of different combat sports. Moreover, the very sport of MMA began as a possibility to use techniques from various martial arts.

Rousey and Mayweather have more in common than meets the eye. Both won Olympic bronze medals for the United States, with Rousey competing in Judo at the 2008 Beijing Games and Mayweather medaling as a flyweight in Atlanta in 1996. Both are also undefeated as professionals, with Mayweather about to put his 48-0 record on the line -- in what he says will be his final bout -- against Andre Berto on September 12.

In contrast with Mayweather's defensive style in the ring -- his smooth gliding for 12 rounds against Manny Pacquiao in May drew jeers -- Rousey gets to the point quickly, with her previous three fights lasting a combined 64 seconds.

Rousey, who is 5'7" and 61kg, would be giving up one inch and seven kilograms to Mayweather, along with a crucial four inches in reach.

The gloves are off, as the UFC's Ronda Rousey says she can beat boxing's biggest draw in a "no rules" mixed martial arts-style battle in the ring. Responding to a question during a Reddit "Ask Me Anything" session, Rousey laid down the gauntlet, claiming she would beat Floyd Mayweather -- and anyone else -- in her chosen profession. "Floyd is one of the best boxers of all time. He would definitely beat me in a boxing match. Boxing is a sweet science with strict rules that I respect very much and aspire every day to improve at. But you said ruleless fight, and that's my honest answer."

"The Money Man", however, does not find all the speculation amusing. "You a comedian," he said recently to a reporter when the prospect of fighting Rousey came up. "I'm in the $100 million business, not the $100,000 business," he said about MMA. "I shouldn't even be stooping to certain levels, because it don't make any sense," he added. "People that's in MMA, I wish them nothing but the best. I don't have anything negative to say about them." Позже Флойд Мэйвезер предложил Ронде Раузи: Call me when you can make over $300 million in 36 minutes."

Irish UFC fighter Conor McGregor: "Ronda would dismantle him in seconds -- 100%," he recently told the Guardian. "When you don't know how to grapple you don't stand a chance. People who don't understand the sport cannot understand how vulnerable they are," he added. "There are always clinches and Ronda is judo Olympian. She would throw Floyd on his head in a second."

Despite bellicose tone of two fighting stars, Mayweather demonstrated generosity: "A while back I didn't know who Ronda Rousey was, so I'm pretty sure she got upset. I want to say congratulations to Ronda Rousey and the UFC. You guys have done a tremendous job and I've won probably six or seven ESPYS for Fighter of the Year. And I truly believe she deserves it. Congratulations to Ronda Rousey."

Let's try to imagine how such a fight between representatives of different sexes and different combat sports would run. It must be admitted that a boxer (even the best) has not too much possibilities to defeat an experiences cage fighter. A boxer is used to work by arms against upper body of his opponent while a MMA fighter perfectly operates with arms and legs against any part of the opponent's body; he is equipped with holds, throws, chokes, painful holds and other techniques. The only chance for a boxer to win is to knock his opponent out at the very beginning of the match; at that the knockout must be deep – unlike boxing, a MMA fighter can grab the attacker by the leg or remain on the floor coming round. If the boxer is unable to knock out instantly, his MMA opponent will catch with a hold not giving the boxer a chance to escape from submission techniques.

In fact, it is senseless to prove an advantage of a woman over a man in an activity he is not trained in. It is like if a female runner announces she will beat an experienced weightlifter in middle-distance race.

Another question comes in mind if a man will be able to punch a woman in full strength of an outstanding boxer, especially quite feminine one as Ronda Rousey. However, since Mayweather has already the history of wife beating, this question can be considered as rhetorical. As to Rousey, she defeated the most of her opponents by the armbar which she has at her finger tips. Like a good chess player she performs a set of moves leading to accomplishing her signature move which is similar to a chess mate. Besides, she possesses a good punch which she demonstrated in a few recent matches, particularly against Bethe Correia at the first seconds of their match. The only real danger for Rousey in the virtual fight against Mayweather is a hard punch in the head at the beginning of the bout or during a hold attempt. But considering her excellent motor reaction and huge experience she has a good chance to avoid the punch and intercept it.

As a matter of fact, if the famous boxer accepts the challenge, he would get into a lose-lose situation: if he manages to knock her out it would be no compliment to him. Even worse, once he has not only success on the ring under his belt but also complaints from his wife, a knockout punch against a woman (even in the ring) would elicit associations and public recollections about his 'feats'. If he happens to lose, especially admits a submission to a woman, he would have plumbed the depth of shame. And I he still agrees, such a fight would unlikely be sanctioned.

Alexei Bauman

August 2015

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