"I've seen heavyweights playing other sports who are huge compared to our
biggest heavyweights. They not only have a huge height and reach advantage, but they play like they've got heart and they look faster and more explosive, like they could really hit. If they ever decide to fight in MMA or boxing and get a good trainer, look out." --
Olympic Boxing Coach
CROSS-TRAINING: "WHAT IF" PAY-PER-VIEW EVENTS
What if high profile basketball players knew there was a special section of Fighters Online for athletes from other sports where they could customize a challenge to other athletes to fight in the off-season?
What if the Indiana Pacers' 6' 9" 270-pound Sam Perkins knew Shaquille O'Neal had a website at Fighters Online with a Page of Challengers and he decided to challenge Shaq to a three-rounder MMA fight for $5 million right after the season?
What if Shaq challenged Brock Lesnar or Randy Couture and was offered 50% of $30 million to fight either of them in a three-rounder and 75% if he won?
What if Sam Perkins, Shaq, or were able to put a fight with Brock or Randy up for bidding from promoters with minimum bids?
What if they accepted a deal for minimum bid of $15M and 60% of the pay-per-view buys, or they decided to offer two fights, first a fight between themselves and the winner could then put their fight with Brock Lesnar up for bid to casinos and other venues to host their fight for a minimum site fee bid of $20 million?
What if they negotiated with their team owners and agents to include them for a percentage of their guarantee and piece of the pay-per-view from fights after the playoffs or between seasons? Fights would add even more to their current draw at basketball games. Owners would support that.
What if their Fan Polling Page suggested that the Shaq and Sam Perkins fight would draw $100 million if they fought, and the winner then challenged Brock Lesnar or one of the other MMA heavyweights not under contract to the UFC? How much money would be "enough" to fight? Millions of fans from both sports would buy the fights on pay-per-view.
These fights would draw every basketball fan and boxing and MMA fan -- an unprecedented draw.
Several years ago, Troy "Too Big" Mandarich, a 6' 5" 310-pound offensive tackle who was a prominent first-round NFL draft choice from Michigan State, had never boxed before. He had a reputation for aggressiveness and fighting on the field. Because of his marquee value, size, speed, and agility, Troy was seriously considered as a credible opponent for Mike Tyson.
Main Events' Lou Duva and Shelly Finkel felt a Tyson-Mandarich fight would be the biggest boxing event ever. Finkel estimated Mandarich could have made between $5 and $10 million and Tyson about $15 million if they squared off. They were negotiating with him and training him as a possible Tyson opponent because of his name recognition and athletic credibility. He would draw a huge number of football fans AND boxing fans because of his size advantage and athletic ability.
The "inside story" at the time was that his gym work indicated he could take a punch and that he had a puncher's chance if he got in shape and the rounds were limited. He would have to fight him like he was in an alley -- following the adage, "you fight a boxer and you box a fighter."
He seriously considered it because of the money he was offered. The marketing features at FightAuction.com, drawing offers from all over the world, would have made that fight happen.
There are some huge, 275-lb explosive rugby players who, after several months in the gym with a good wrestler and boxing trainer, would give some marquee pro MMA and boxing heavyweights a great fight. A rugby star (who was not even a heavyweight with a size advantage) with no boxing experience started boxing in Australia. He received phenominal pay-per-view television ratings in Australia because he drew large numbers of rugby fans to his fights. Don King saw the potential of cross-pollination in sports and offered a multi-million dollar contract to Tony Mundine, the rugby star turned boxer. He is a super middleweight.
What if Tony Mundine were a heavyweight and a football or basketball star from the United States? That's a sports fan's fantasy -- and a pay-per-view bonanza.
Ali vs. Chamberlain - Money and Pride
In 1971, two great athletes with strong egos and a lot of pride, Muhammad Ali and Wilt Chamberlain, almost fought for the title. The contract was contingent upon Ali beating Joe Frazier first, which Ali did not do. After that, the financial aspects could not be worked out. The fight would have been worth millions. According to Chamberlain in his autobiography, he wanted the fight, but Ali was uncharacteristically subdued during the negotiations.
If Fighters Online's fan polling indicated a high television rating for fights between some of these prominent athletes, we would see a lot of great fights, exciting brawls between great athletes who, because of the huge amount of money offered and their pride, would accept the challenge of being "called out" for a fight. They wouldn't hide behide their contracts. If the sports writers pick it up, and the fans knew their favorite athlete had been challenged, their pride, reputation, and the enormous draw from a huge cross-section of sports fans would be enough of an incentive for them to fight.
Who knows, with the right size, natural ability, and fight plan, they might win and change the fight business -- they might even cause MMA and boxing to add a super heavyweight division.
EVERY MMA AND BOXING FAN'S FANTASY
Fight fans fantasize. Because of their insatiable appetites for exciting events, millions of fans from a number of sports would subscribe to pay-per-view events offering fights between some of the highly popular football linemen, huge strong, explosive rugby players, and power forwards and centers in basketball.
Some of the huge, explosive rugby players abroad have millions of fanatic fans. Those in the scrum have faces and ears that look like they’ve had a hundred fights. They love to fight, but don't have a marketplace to challenge for fights and receive worldwide, market driven offers. The phenomena of drawing from more than one sport is evidenced by Don King's remarkable offer to the rugby player.
A BOUTIQUE MARKETPLACE FOR OFF-SEASON FIGHTS
With a special online site to accommodate their desires to capitalize on their marquee value for a few more million, many of these athletes would welcome being "called out" for huge purses in the off-season if their contracts, the players' union, and the owners sanctioned it.
A fight after the season between highly popular athletes from rugby, the NFL and the NBA would sell pay-per-view buys far beyond the draw of many of the current heavyweight title fights because of the cross section of sports fans the athletes would draw. Some combination events put up for bid at FightAuction.com would draw every football, basketball, rugby, and boxing fan in the world.
Rugby alone has a huge international audience, and there are some huge rugby players who love to fight, can fight, and are accustomed to knocking guys out on the field.
There are hundreds of scenarios similar to this between all of the professional and minor league athletes in the world from football, basketball, and rugby. Some who just missed the draft have less marquee value, but would accept a fight in a second if they had a way of hooking up with an opponent who also had no experience in MMA or boxing, if they could receive a substantial purse by putting their fight up for bid at FightAuction.com. The matchmaking features of Fighters Online will have a special section for them.
A huge natural may surface, maybe a 6' 6" 270-pound great athlete from another sport who is a natural fighter.
There are naturals. Every coach knows that. Remember, Foreman won a Gold Medal in Mexico City with a handful (18) of amateur fights. Can you imagine a 6' 8" Foreman. Against a solid pro fighter he would have a odds-on puncher’s chance, especially with a significant size and reach advantage. He may be, like Foreman was, very good at fighting, not boxing, throwing straight punches, hooks, and uppercuts very well and very fast -- instinctively. He may be able to take a good punch and have a huge competitive heart.
He may also, because of his participation in his sport, be in pretty good shape. He may be in good enough shape to fight three 5-minute rounds. He could structure his challenge according to his conditioning. Fighters Online will be a self-matchmaking service enabling him to tailor his challenge of the athlete, time, and money.
Revenue-sharing and the appeal these fights would have to a large number of fans from a cross section of sports could be such a rich attraction streaming their fights on GreatFightsOnline.com that the opportunity for athletes from other sports to challenge and accept challenges for agreed upon purses to fight each other would be irresistable.
THE FUTURE OF THE HEAVYWEIGHT DIVISION
Some of the winners, and possibly even the losers, may discover a second professional athletic career with unprecedented earnings potential. Some winners may do so well that they will switch to fighting. This could conceivably change the face of heavyweight fighting. Many coaches have long contended that the best heavyweight prospects go into the other sports because of attractive scholarships at the college and university level.
FightOffSeason.com and GreatFightsOnline.com could change all that -- by making sure these great athletes all know they have the opportunity to pick challenges and accept fights for incredible purses and entertain a broad range of their sports fans from all over the world.
- Sponsor's Registration