2021 has seen a massive rise in the number of MMA fighters transitioning into the world of boxing, especially with YouTubers Jake and Logan Paul running the show. So far this year, we’ve seen the boxing debuts of grappling phenoms Ben Askren and Frank Mir, as well as the return of Anderson Silva. In the coming months, Tyron Woodley and Vitor Belfort will also be stepping in the boxing ring, against Jake Paul and Oscar De La Hoya respectively, and we should expect more MMA fighters in boxing in future.
MMA vs Boxing has always been a hot topic, but things have never been this interesting, although not all MMA fighters have found success in enemy territory. In this article, we will take a look at 5 MMA fighters with winning boxing records.
Anderson Silva (2-1)
Anderson Silva improved to 2-1 as a professional boxer this past weekend, beating former WBC light heavyweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr by split-decision in their eight-round professional boxing bout. The fight, which took place in Chavez Jr’s home country of Mexico, was Silva’s first boxing match in 16 years.
He had fought twice in a boxing ring prior to that, in 2005, against lesser-known opponents. This one, however, was a massive win for Silva and the MMA community. ‘The Spider’ dictated the pace of the fight right from the start, using impressive movement and footwork to frustrate the former boxing world champion.
The victory came as a shock to many as Silva was competing in only his third professional bout, against a pro boxer with well over 50 fights. Silva’s now looking forward to what the future holds for him. A boxing match with his idol Roy Jones Jr is on the cards, but he also doesn’t rule out the possibility of a showdown with the Paul brothers.
Vitor Belfort (1-0)
Vitor Belfort is one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time. He’s a multi-promotion MMA world champion, who like Silva, is a free agent, and is looking to try his luck in the world of boxing. Like Silva, Belfort also has an extremely tough test ahead of him in Oscar De La Hoya, who was eyeing a fight with Georges St-Pierre earlier, but the UFC didn’t allow it to go through.
Belfort is still a tough test for De La Hoya, who hasn’t fought since 2008. ‘The Phenom’ is a 1-0 professional boxer, who made his debut in 2006. Could he improve his record to 2-0 against arguably one of the best boxers of all time? We’ll have to wait and see.
Valentina Shevchenko (2-0)
There’s nothing Valentina Shevchenko can’t do. From MMA to Muay Thai to kickboxing and boxing, she’s been successful in all formats of combat sports. And on top of that, she’s an excellent grappler as well.
Shevchenko made her boxing debut in 2010 in Peru, where she beat Halanna Dos Santos by unanimous decision. She then fought Nerys Rincon and TKO’d her in the fourth round to improve her boxing record to 2-0. Although she put a halt to her boxing career to pursue MMA full time, she’s got the skills to be a very successful boxer.
With all the Amanda Nunes vs Clarissa Shields talk happening, we can expect Shevchenko to be linked to Katie Taylor somewhere down the road.
Joe Duffy (7-0)
Joe Duffy was the last man to defeat Conor McGregor before the Irishman went on an impressive winning streak that saw him capture the Cage Warriors featherweight and lightweight belts and the UFC featherweight title, against Jose Aldo.
He’s also one of the few successful MMA fighters in boxing. Duffy has won all seven of his professional boxing matches, with two TKOs. In his own words, Duffy “always wondered how he would get on in boxing”. His record is self-explanatory.
Kimbo Slice (7-0)
If you are an OG of the fight game, you know who Kimbo Slice is. From his backyard fights to Bellator and UFC stints, Slice was a superstar. However, what made him truly special was his ‘fighting anytime and anywhere’ attitude, which is why he’s widely respected by MMA legends, like Jorge Masvidal.
Slice made his professional boxing debut in 2010, beating James Wade by knock out in the first 17 seconds of the fight. He amassed a 7-0 boxing record, with six knockout wins. He’s one of the most successful MMA fighters in boxing.
The Kimbo Slice era was just different. pic.twitter.com/7dhokvrUyL
— Luke (@CameraGuyLuke) April 28, 2021
Honorable Mention: Conor McGregor (0-1)
Conor McGregor’s boxing debut against Floyd Mayweather ended in a bitter fashion, as he was TKO’d in the tenth round, despite starting off well. Unlike the others mentioned above, the Irishman doesn’t have a winning boxing record, but he has $100 million in his bank, which makes him a winner in his books.
Moreover, McGregor paved the way in some way for MMA superstars to transition into boxing and earn big paydays. He’s now looking at Manny Pacquiao as his next opponent down the road.
So, here are the five most well-known and successful MMA fighters in boxing. Who’s your favourite?
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