BACK IN THE HEADLINES: BOXING VS. MARTIAL ARTS
The wake of the boxing bout in which Floyd Mayweather Jr. took on Conor 0F*UHJRU LV FRQWLQXLQJ WR ZDVK XS RQ WKH EHDFK HYHQ WKRXJK WKH ÀJKW took place on August 26, 2017 — more than three months before this issue of Black Belt went to print. More than anything else, it seems to be precipitating talk of other big matchups in a way the Milo Savage-Gene LeBell ÀJKW LQ DQG WKH $UW -LPPHUVRQ 5R\FH *UDFLH PDWFK LQ WKH 8)& QHYHU seemed to.
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Not long afterward, another “celebrity death match” started making headlines, and it immediately got the martial arts community talking. It all started when retired heavyweight boxer George Foreman, 68, announced in October that he was challenging aikido expert and movie star Steven Seagal, 65, to a 10-rounder in which any technique short of weapons would be allowed. When I interviewed Damon Gilbert for his feature in this issue, the subject naturally came up.
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“Exactly,” Gilbert said. “With the concussions and the long-term effects you can VHH ODWHU LQ OLIH LW·V VFDU\ μ
Not long after Gilbert and I chatted about that possible matchup, another one KLW WKH QHZV 5HWLUHG ER[HU 2VFDU 'H /D +R\D SURFODLPHG LQ 1RYHPEHU WKDW KH FRXOG NQRFN RXW 0F*UHJRU LQ WZR URXQGV 'H /D +R\D LV WZR GHFDGHV younger than those scrappy seniors, so the health concerns would be reduced, WKRXJK QRW HOLPLQDWHG ,·P SUHWW\ VXUH KRZHYHU WKDW WKH JXDUDQWHHG PLOOLRQ WKDW 0D\ZHDWKHU UHFHLYHG DQG HYHQ 0F*UHJRU ·V UHSRUWHG PLQLPXP RI million, would be more than enough to override any worries. The amounts are VR VWDJJHULQJ WKDW QR GRXEW ZH·OO EH KHDULQJ IURP RWKHU IRUPHU ÀJKWHUV ZKR DUH looking to cash in no matter the cost.