Joshua open to MMA fight

World heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua is open to taking on a MMA fighter.

It seems the Floyd Mayweather versus Conor McGregor bout this weekend in Las Vegas has caused a real buzz in fight circles.

Joshua isn't the only one who has had his interest pricked. Fellow British fighters Tony Bellew and Dillian Whyte have also expressed an openness to taking on MMA opponents.

Joshua, who has the WBA, IBF and IBO belts to be the dominant heavyweight in the boxing world, has the highest profile but concedes he would be vulnerable in a cross-code fight, even with certain conditions. 

"I'd probably get beaten. The only thing that they can't do is submissions, but they can kick, elbow, bite - whatever they want. Just no submission," Joshua told Sky Sports in the UK about the rules he would impose.

"I can't beat a guy [via submission]. That takes a lot of time to learn the skills and submissions, which I don't have the time for, but when it comes to pure aggression and fighting rules, I can definitely fight, so I don't mind that.

"It wouldn't be a problem. If you look at most boxers who've crossed over to MMA, they get beaten on the ground. James Toney, Roy Jones, they were phenomenal boxers but they just couldn't compete in the cage because of the 'ground and pound' game."

Joshua predicted a "landslide" victory to Mayweather.

"Some of the fighters Mayweather's fought would probably beat Conor McGregor as well; Conor can't really compete," Joshua said.

"He's coming out of his field and going into Mayweather's domain. Even though he's an excellent fighter in UFC, he's not an excellent boxer. Him crossing over is going to be a real, big challenge."

Bellew, a cruiserweight boxer desperate for a world heavyweight title and eager to fight New Zealand's WBO champion Joseph Parker, says he is willing to take on UFC star Michael Bisping if the money is right. Bisping has fought at light-heavyweight and middleweight.

The outspoken Whyte, who is on the fringe of the heavyweight title scene, says he would take on controversial UFC monster Brock Lesnar in an instant.

"I would fight the UFC heavyweight champion on the McGregor undercard if they wanted it, great champions have done it in the past. I hate Brock Lesnar," Whyte said.

He has some cross-code skills of his own.

"I did kickboxing to stay out of trouble as a kid and then after that I got into boxing. I did alright. It was something to keep me out of trouble, because I liked fighting as a kid," Whyte told Sky Sports.

"For me, it's good, crossover in sports is always good and it gets that interest going.

"Muhammad Ali fought a wrestler years ago, so to test yourself in another discipline causes excitement."


Photo by: REUTERS Caption: World heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua is open to matching his fight skills against an MMA opponent.