London - World heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua
has revealed he would be willing to take on a mixed martial arts fighter at
some point in the future.
The relative merits of the two sports are up for debate as
Ultimate Fighting Championship superstar Conor McGregor prepares to make his
boxing debut against Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas on Saturday.
McGregor's total lack of boxing experience has proved a bone
of contention for many in the build-up to the fight, but Joshua said he would
enjoy taking on an MMA fighter, albeit with conditions.
"I like fighting. I'd do whatever," the IBF and
WBA heavyweight champion told Britain's Press Association in comments published
"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 submissions.
"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'
Joshua, who will not be ringside on Saturday, believes
Mayweather will "probably" win by a "landslide".
Joshua, 27, is awaiting confirmation of his next title
defence against Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev, which is expected to take place either
in Las Vegas in November or in Cardiff in October.