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Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Mayorga moves to MMA ... uh-huh


Media manipulation is nothing new: Remember Floyd Mayweather Jr. floating the idea of fighting in an MMA bout a few years ago? Remember Floyd Mayweather Jr. actually stepping into the cage? Me neither. Now comes word that puffing pugilist Ricardo Mayorga wants to try his hand in a ring that allows kicks and submissions.

"I am a fighter by nature, I learned to fight on the streets of Nicaragua before I learned to box," Mayorga said at a press conference Monday in Miami. "For many years, I have wanted to try MMA. Now I hope to get my opportunity."

Not coincidentally, Mayorga was also there to publicize his lawsuit against Don King. The boxer alleges that a three-year deal, in which King was obligated to secure three fights per year for Mayorga, has resulted in only one offer since the contract was signed in June 2008. Without any fights in place and bound to King's promotional arm, Mayorga's legal team claims he can't earn a living and is seeking a court to declare the agreement unenforceable.

Can he sign with Shine Fights, the Florida-based promoter pushing this idea, while still under contract with King? Good luck getting an answer. In a telephone conversation I had with Mayorga and his counsel last week, his legal team could not explicitly state whether the agreement would allow for Mayorga to compete in MMA, saying only that "anything is theoretically possible." During the same Sept. 14 conversation, Mayorga himself denied having signed anything and said he wanted to focus on boxing.

Under the agreement with King, Mayorga was to be paid $400,000 for his first bout. Accepting less money to fight in an alien environment doesn't strike me as being as likely as Mayorga using MMA's steam in press circles to propel word of his lawsuit. I doubt his gloves will ever get any smaller.