Rodney Berman has floated the intriguing possibility of promoting a cross-code local fight – à la Mayweather versus McGregor – in South Africa next year.
He revealed that he is involved in talks about the possibility, although made it clear that he wouldn’t do so without approval from Boxing South Africa.
Always keen on innovation, Berman said he was driven by the growing lack of meaningful match-ups in local boxing with the bigger names often pricing themselves out of the market or smaller names not having the pulling power.
While not an overt fan of Mixed Martial Arts, he recognises the excellence of many of its athletes and is fascinated by what an MMA-versus-boxing fight might deliver locally.
He says he didn’t enjoy the Mayweather-McGregor circus, but only because of the filthy mouths on the pair rather than the novelty of the contest.
He has a local MMA personality in mind – he has such a meeting early next week – and speculates that a boxer like Ryno Liebenberg would probably love the opportunity. Liebenberg is famously dismissive of MMA fighters and would presumably jump at the chance.
Said Berman: “I’d have to get the necessary approvals, but I’d have to say that the more I think about the idea, the more I like it. Both sports have their followers and it would be no bad thing getting people talking. With the right match, between two guys who can really fight, we might be onto a winner.”
Watch this space!