Best Cross-Sport Battles
Wackiest Cross-Sport Battles in History
Although Conor McGregor is a combat sports competitor, he'll definitely be out of his element when he steps into a boxing ring to fight 15-time world champion Floyd Mayweather on Aug. 26 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, and the top sportsbooks seem to recognize that there is potential for disaster in this scenario.
Bovada.lv is offering +170 odds that there will be a point deducted from a fighter during the bout, and +1200 that Mayweather will win by diqualification. BetOnline.ag takes their props even further. They are offering +1000 odds that McGregor forgets that he's not in the octagon and attempts to kick Mayweather. TopBet.eu also will give +1000 on McGregor landing a kick and +800 that he will land an elbow during the bout.
Considering the mayhem that's unfolded during other such cross-sport action, these wagers are worth considering.
Muhammad Ali-Antonio Inoki
The Greatest was also the king of the cross-sport challenges. While a proposed bout with NBA star Wilt Chamberlain never materialized, Ali took on wrestlers Kenny Jay and Buddy Wolfe, and boxed football's Lyle Alzado and hockey's Dave Semenko.
His most recalled cross-sport match was the one in 1976 with Japanese wrestling legend Inoki, because Ali was reigning world heavyweight champion. Billed as the event to determine the toughest man in the world, the fight turned into a farce. Inoki lay on his back the whole fight so Ali couldn't hit him, kicking at Ali's legs so much that the champ ended up with blood clots.
Michael Jordan Plays Baseball
What if the best player in his sport opted to give it up to play another sport in the prime of his career? Well, that's exactly what NBA star Jordan did, leaving the Chicago Bulls in 1994 to sign and play minor-league ball in the Chicago White Sox farm system.
Playing for the AA Birmingham Barons, Jordan batted .202 with three homers and returned to the Bulls the next season.
Michael Phelps vs. Shark
Wearing a special suit with a fin at the back, Phelps, the most decorated swimmer in Olympic history, contested a time trial against a great white shark.
Billed as Great Gold vs. Great White, Phelps was beaten by the Shark by two seconds. But fans groused when Phelps didn't actually race the shark side by side, but rather a computer-generated simulation of the shark.
Brock Lesnar Tries UFC
It's one thing to be a WWE champion, where the bouts are scripted, but Lesnar exposed himself to a cage match of a whole different genre when the former NCAA wrestling champ made the move to UFC.
Lesnar showed some skill, goin 5-3 in the octagon and briefly holding the UFC heavyweight title. But he was suspended after testing positive for a controlled substance and is now back in the WWE.
Battle Of The Blades
An on-ice version of Dancing With The Stars, Battle Of The Blades paired ex-NHLers, including tough guys like Tie Domi and Bob Probert, with retired figure skaters in a figure skating competition.
The show lasted four seasons on the CBC. Stanley Cup champion Craig Simpson paired with Olympic gold medallist Jamie Sale to win the first season.
Bob Feller vs. Motorcycle
There were no radar guns in his day, but there was speculation that the fastball of Hall of Fame Cleveland Indians pitcher Feller, a six-time 20-game winner, peaked at around 120 mph.
His velocity was tested against a police officer on a motorcyle travelling 86 mph. Feller's gave the rider a head start and his ball still hit the target well before the motorcyle, easily surpassing 100 mph.
Where else could you see boxing's Joe Frazier swim, baseball's Johnny Bench cycle and football's O.J. Simpson weight lift?
The Superstars was a made for TV creation of former Olympic figure skating champion Dick Button and pitted 10 world-class athletes against each other in sports other than their own. Soccer's Kyle Rote Jr. proved to be the super superstar, winning the competition three times in its first five seasons.
Battle Of The Hockey Enforcers
Hockey players fight, and fighting is part of the game, but for one day in 2005, hockey players fighting became the whole game. The brainchild of Canadian promoter Darryl Wolski, the event pitted 15 pro hockey players in one-on-one fights on the ice wearing skates and in full hockey gear.
The competition featured former NHLers Kent Carlson, Link Gaetz and Jason Simon, but the winner was career minor-leaguer Dean Mayrand.
Jesse Owens vs. Horse
No one could beat Owens at the 1936 Summer Olympics, as the American sprinter won gold medals in the long jump, 100 and 200 metres and 4-x100-metre relay.
Turning pro on Dec. 26, 1938, there was no man capable of bettering Owens, so he travelled to Cuba to sprint against a racehorse, Julio McCaw. Owens was given a 40-yard head start in the 100-yard race, and won in a time of 9.9 seconds, although in truth, the horse barely broke into a gallop, making the event more of a sham than a showdown.
Shaquille O'Neal vs. Shane Mosley
NBA superstar and seven-footer O'Neal donned boxing gloves to tangle with Mosley, a four-time world champion who fought Mayweather during his career.
O'Neal gave a good accounting of himself in the three-round bout, but Mosley was awarded a unanimous decision.More articles...
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