UFC heavyweight kingpin Junior dos Santos believes he’d knock out boxing’s heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko if the two ever met. What a joke.
“I could beat that guy, man. Maybe not easy, but I could knock him out,” dos Santos said in a recent Associated Press story.
“I watch a lot of fights with Wladimir, and I see a lot of holes,” he continued.
Well, unfortunately for “Cigano”, you don’t have to watch many of his fights in order to see a lot of holes in his boxing game. There’s no denying he’s a ferocious and brutally effective knockout artist within the caged confines of the UFC and mixed martial arts. However, boxing is a completely different world. You can’t simply substitute sheer aggression and raw power for a lifetime of finally honed technique and craft.
Replace those tiny finger gloves with fully-padded boxing gloves, and put yourself in a circumstance where there’s no threat or possibility of grappling, wrestling, jiu-jitsu or Muay Thai, and dos Santos gets lit up by Wladimir Klitschko. A steady dose of thudding jabs would bust him up and keep him at bay until the right hand thundered down the pike and sent him to the canvas for good.
It’s the same old tired argument, and it’s something I’ve been writing about for years. There’s a massive misconception amongst many fans and spectators that since boxing and MMA share a few commonalities, that comparing fighters and fantasy matches between those two realms makes sense. It doesn’t. They are entirely different sports and disciplines, and great success in one does not guarantee it in another.
Don’t get me wrong, either, dos Santos would crush Klitschko in an MMA fight. But Klitschko would pick Junior apart in the squared circle, and score a concussive KO victory of his own. It’s a two-way street.
In fairness, dos Santos also gives credit to the Klitschko brothers, Wladimir and his older brother and fellow champion Vitali, calling them “amazing”. And while he says “boxing is going down”, the fact that he watches boxing speaks to his own fandom.
Oh — and one last thing. Junior dos Santos has scored 11 KO or TKO victories in his 15 MMA wins, a knockout percentage of 73%. Wladimir Klitschko has scored 50 KO or TKO victories in his 58 boxing wins, a 86% knockout rate. And that’s with the big boy gloves.
This article was first published on Yahoo Sports on October 31, 2012