SATURDAY NEWS DIGEST 7/22: Larry Merchant says boxing fans don’t care about MMA, Alvarez says McGregor has a chance, Bellator PPV buys

By Cole Henry, MMATorch editorl

Eddie Alvarez (photo credit Adam Hunger © USA Today Sports)

Larry Merchant doesn’t think boxing fans care about MMA

Larry Merchant is not a young man. He comes from a time where MMA didn’t even exist, and people have a habit of hating change. Larry Merchant spent a lifetime covering boxing and learning about the sweet science, so why even bother learning about MMA when it came along?

In a recent interview with Fight Hub, the 86-year-old Merchant stated that he doesn’t think that boxing fans cared about MMA or the fighters involved. He says that MMA is basically nothing more than marketed street fights, though he does admit that some skill is involved. Still, though, he comes off like a man who is a bit out of touch and clearly doesn’t think much of the sport or its fans.

He claims to have never seen Conor McGregor fight and, in fact, states that he couldn’t name any more than three fighters. These are probably genuine comments because again we have a man here who really isn’t interested in learning anything new. He is happy with boxing and, because of that, he seems to almost sneer at MMA. He at some point in the interview also questions the claims that MMA does better PPV numbers than boxing and claims that attempts to compare the numbers in the past have been declined by UFC execs. Overall, it is an interesting interview mostly because it gives a glimpse into the mind of a boxing expert and his opinion on a sport that he clearly feels is threatening his own.

Eddie Alvarez might think you’re crazy…

If you don’t think that Conor McGregor can knock out Floyd Mayweather, Eddie Alvarez thinks you’re crazy, or else you just don’t know anything about fighting. Alvarez is, of course, a former opponent of the Irishman and knows firsthand just how hard he can hit. He references McGregor’s 18 knockout wins as proof that anything can happen in this fight, but does concede that McGregor will need to get it done in the first few rounds or risk suffering an embarrassing loss as the fight progresses.

Overall, the tone of Alvarez’s interview was very positive, and he complemented McGregor on more than one occasion. It’s a good thing that he isn’t holding any bitterness after that fight because he will need his full attention to beat Justin Gaethje after they coach the next season of The Ultimate Fighter.

Bellator PPV Buys

Estimates for the Bellator: NYC card are that 90,000-130,000 purchases were made which is pretty much even with the last PPV that they had in 2014. The company claims to be happy with the numbers, but with a card stacked with big-name fighters and all the hype that was behind it in New York City at Madison Square Garden, you have to figure that that company was expecting more.

NOW CHECK OUT YESTERDAY’S UPDATE: FRIDAY NEWS DIGEST 7/21: Aaron Pico experiment continues, Whitaker injury, Germaine de Randamie set to return, Jose Aldo, Chiesa

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