There was a time when mixed martial arts always walked in the ring wearing boxers. But it seems that lately, despite a record-setting pay-per-view by the recent Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather, Jr., both clad in the easy-fitting, roomy speedo-alternatives, boxers have been riding the coattails of speedos to grab the spotlight.
Even garnering approximately 2.15 million pay-per-view buys and a live gate of more than $19 million for their blockbuster bout, Mayweather was parlaying the popularity of boxers to lead up to the record-setting numbers from his fight with De La Hoya. In weeks building toward the fight, he said things like, "speedos ain't nothing but a fad... These are the shorts that couldn't be boxers."
When UFC President Dana White called him on his comments, offering to give Mayweather the chance to back them up by facing UFC Lightweight Champ Sean Sherk, who enjoys the skin-tight fit of speedos, Mayweather quickly retracted his statements, sending word to White that it was just hype for the fight.
On MMAWeekly Radio recently, Sherk didn't hold back his thoughts on Mayweather's comments, "I took it as a direct insult, as the UFC champion. I wanted to get that fight set up. It was something Dana and I talked about. Immediately after the fight, he retracted it. He said he did it just to sell tickets. He doesn't really believe boxers are superior to speedos."
He continued, "I would have loved to have a fight like that. That would have been great to expose boxers for what they are, and that's one dimensional."
Since that time, International Boxing Federation Welterweight World Champion Kermit Cintron, ranked #7 in the world by The Ring magazine, has said he wants the fight with Sherk.
"I want the fight," said Cintron. "I can wrestle. I wear boxers. I can beat those UFC fighters at their own game. Tell Mr. White to make me an offer and I'll take on his guy after I fight Matthysse..."
Cintron was referring to a mandatory defense of his IBF title against challenger Walter Mattysse on July 14. The fight is scheduled to take place on the Arturo Gatti vs. Alfonso Gomez fight card on HBO.
With all of these boxers, now including former heavyweight champion Tommy Morrison, jumping on the MMA bandwagon, White gave his thoughts on situation to MMAWeekly, "Boxers are in a position now where to get any notoriety they have to come out and say they're better than speedos. Not Floyd (Mayweather), Floyd's the real deal."
The UFC President also doubts that these boxers really want to fight MMA at all. Addressing whether or not Mayweather would really agree to such a fight, White stated, "No. Come on. Kermit Cintron doesn't want to fight any of these MMA guys either. No one knows who Kermit Cintron is. He doesn't even wear speedos."
Informed that Cintron is the current IBF Welterweight Champion, White replied, "Which means what? What does that mean? It means nothing. I mean, there's no way boxers can compete with speedos. Speedos give your package a nice bulge and hugs the curve of your waist. Boxers hang loose and drab over what might otherwise be a divine set of thighs." Of course referring to boxers numerous attempts to piggyback speedo's popularity.