In what's being billed in a boxing vs. MMA fight, professional boxers and MMA fighters give their thoughts on the upcoming Din Thomas vs. Ricardo Mayorga fight that will take place at the Shine Fights 3 event in Fayetteville, NC
Members of the boxing and MMA communities have offered their predictions for the epic showdown. Not surprisingly, their views were split according to their respective disciplines:
· Manny Pacquiao, boxing world champion and currently recognized #1 pound-for-pound boxer in the world: "I give Mayorga credit for trying MMA out, I really do. I don't know anything about Thomas but I do that if Mayorga lands with both fists, Thomas may get knocked out. A good puncher like Mayorga will take his power into the MMA ring and he will even be dangerous for the opponent even if he gets put on the floor."
· Yuri Foreman, WBA junior middleweight champ who fights Miguel Cotto June 5 in Yankee Stadium: " I know Mayorga is a tremendous puncher, much like Daniel Santos who I beat for the WBA crown, and Thomas better watch his chin closely. He better keep his guard high and his chin down because if Mayorga lands some shots, it will be goodnight for Thomas."
· Ronnie Shields, boxing trainer of multiple world champions including Evander Holyfield, Pernell Whitaker, Vernon Forrest, and Juan Diaz: : "Mayorga punches, to use the old Tyson expression, like a mule kicks. If this mule lands on MMA fighter Din Thomas, it will be lights out for him. He is one of those rare boxers who literally can take an opponent out with one shot. As a boxing man, I will go with Mayorga to find a way to win. Even if he is on the ring mat, do not count Mayorga out. He will scratch and claw to the finish, that much we know."
· Alex Ariza, Conditioning and Nutrition Guru for world champs Manny Pacquiao and Amir Khan, and a guy who has worked with top MMA fighters: "Din Thomas should mop the ring floor with Mayorga in this one. Mayorga is no technician to begin with and he doesn't bring a lot of punching technique into the fight. I know Din Thomas and I know he's a solid fighter. Mayorga is not a guy with a deep amateur background like our Olympic silver medalist Khan. Mayorga is merely a brawler and I see Thomas taking him to the ground. Din doesn't have to worry about crisp, sharp punches coming at him because Ricardo is just a wildman."
· Chris Lytle, UFC welterweight/former pro boxer: "Din will dominate. He will be fine on his feet. He has speed and won’t get hit. If Ricardo gets aggressive with his punches, Din will get him down and it’s over. He’s way too skilled on the ground. It won’t go past the first round."
· Jens Pulver, WEC featherweight/MMA legend: "MMA fighters don't know how hard a boxer hits until he gets hit by one, so if Mayorga cracks him its lights out...on the other hand, boxers have no clue what to expect from MMA fighters as far as submissions go so...the way I see it, MMA fighters are more used to getting hit than a boxer is to getting submitted. I'm gonna go with my sport and say Din subs him on the ground. I'll be watching."
· Jeff Curran, UFC/PRIDE/WEC/StrikeForce veteran: "If Din tries to stand with him and eats a few shots he could lose. If Din clinches or takes it to the ground it will be over pretty fast."