The verbal rivalry between former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey (12-1) and recently retired boxing pound for pound kingpin Floyd Mayweather has been anything but kosher. It all began when Ronda was asked if she thought herself and Floyd would ever tussle against one another in an Access Hollywood interview: “I don’t think me and him would ever fight, unless we ended up dating,” was the playful response. The same question was proposed to UFC President Dana White in an interview with Colin Cowherd, like classic Dana, he pulled no punches. “Rousey would wrag-doll Floyd,” said White.
When Mayweather was asked his thoughts on Ronda Rousey in an interview with BoxingScene.com, he admitted, “I don’t know who HE is.” (emphasis on the HE and the fact that Floyd was legitimately unaware of the sex of Rousey) The video went viral and Ronda responded in emphatic fashion.
“I wonder how Floyd feels being beaten by a woman for once, I’d like to see him act like he doesn’t know who I am now,” were the shots fired from Ronda, poking at Floyd’s history with domestic abuse while edging him in the “Fighter of the Year” ESPY award. Floyd responded, “When she can make over $300 million in 36 minutes, she can call me,” to ESPN’s Steve Levy when asked about Rousey’s comments.
Ronda took the trash talk further with TMZ while she was walking her dog, “I actually did the math and I make 2-3 times more than Floyd per second. So when he learns to read and write he can text me.”
That was then, this is now, and now is a time where Ronda is no longer a UFC Champion, she lost her gold in devastating fashion from a 2 round beat down by the hands of Holly Holm (10-0) at UFC 193. Rousey bought in to her own media hype and tried to beat Holly at her own game, boxing. Ronda failed miserably to Holm who has amassed 33 wins and 16 title defenses to her credit in the sport of boxing. It wasn’t the smartest move on Rousey’s behalf.
However instead of finishing Rousey while she is down (like Holm did) Floyd extended an olive branch to Ronda in the form of offering to teach her how to box.
Here are three reasons why Ronda should accept Floyd’s offer:
1. To Squash Their Childish Media Rivalry
Yes, it makes for great TV, headlines, cute stories etc. Having two high profile, extremely talented athletes go back and forth from one media outlet to the next does create compelling drama. It also provides for great coffee break and bar room banter, “If Floyd ever stepped foot in the cage, Ronda would take an arm home with her.” or “Floyd would jab Rousey’s face off.” But enough is enough, the rivalry has been played out and grown stale. Their feud will forever only be words in the media. Unless the pair can agree on a charity “celebrity boxing” exhibition where fans would see a former boxing champion male (who has plead guilty to battery against a woman) take on a former UFC Champion female (who has admitted to physically abusing an ex-boyfriend in her book My Fight, Your Fight.) which would work wonders for their careers as professionals….
Floyd did his job in burying the hatchet in offering to assist in a skill set that Ronda is currently lacking. Now Ronda has a chance to show that bettering herself in her profession is worth more than offering witty comments to publicly bash another’s intellect.
2. To Learn How to Box Accurately and Effectively
Of Rousey’s 12 wins, 10 have come by her bread and butter, world class Olympic Gold Medal Judo and though she has no ranking in BJJ, she has 9 finishes by way of arm-bar submission. She has only one victory by standing hand strikes, where she knocked out an overly excited Bethe Correia in 34 seconds at UFC 190. Other than that she hasn’t had to utilize standing strikes much. Holm absolutely exploited that hole in Ronda’s game, now Rousey has a chance to elevate her mixed martial artistry.
Floyd has made a career out of boxing smarter over boxing busier. In his last fight against Andre Berto, he landed 57% of his punches and in his last eight professional fights he’s averaged around 45%. Picking his shots and cruising on scorecards, Floyd is always able to out-land his oppoenents, 40% higher against Berto, 15% vs Pac-Man and 28% was the margin in his second fight with Marcos Maidana. his highest percentage connection was 59% against Juan Manuel Marquez and lowest was 26% against Miguel Cotto who could only manage 21% which brings me to reason three.
3. To Learn How to Slip and Evade Punches
In Ronda’s fight against Holm, Holly landed an unprecedented 72% of her punches, just over 7 of 10 Holm’s punches were eaten by Rousey. Not many combatants will live to hear the final bell absorbing that many blows, case in point, Ronda. This is Floyd’s specialty, embarrassing, frustrating and often humiliating his opponents and the casual fan that forked over $60+ in hopes of Maywether “getting caught”.
In Floyd’s last bout against Berto, Andre was only able to land at a connect rate of just 17%. In the heavily anticipated bout against Pacquiao, Manny was connecting at an average of 36% in his last 3 fights but was only able to land 19% against Floyd. In the second Maidana bout, Marcos had a 22% connection rate for an average of 19% punches landed in Mayweather’s last 3 combined bouts. This is a 38 year old man still only being hit 1/10 times a punch is thrown, there’s a quick secret to elongating a career in combat sports. A secret that not only Rousey can learn to hone and grow with but it can be the key element in her effort to climb back up the mountain and reclaim her throne.
There, the 3 reasons Ronda Rousey should take Floyd Mayweather up on his offer. She can grow her character and lose the overly prideful image she’s created for herself. Then she can improve on her boxing both landing and receiving less. Hopefully she doesn’t pass up this golden opportunity.
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