The lopsided victory was Avila’s fourth in a row since making the transition to boxing full time, and he didn’t need to look any further than the front row of Dallas’ American Airlines Center to see his ideal next opponent.
Ex-UFC champion Anthony Pettis happened to be in attendance on Saturday night, and Avila got an idea as he was leaving the ring.
“I called out [Anthony] Pettis — I didn’t call him out, but I mentioned his name,” Avila said on The MMA Hour. “I was like, that’s someone I would like to fight next. Before the end of the year, I would like to get in the ring with him.
“Why not? He just came off a boxing fight with Roy Jones Jr. I’ve been boxing. He’s getting into boxing. He’s a vet. He’s a f****** OG. I know he fought Jeremy Stephens, too.”
In April, Pettis scored a majority decision win over Jones in his professional boxing debut after a 1-4 run in the PFL.
While Pettis hasn’t declared his intention to fight in boxing next – or potentially a return to MMA – Avila believes it would be a great matchup. Add to that, Pettis has recently started promoting his own events, and with Avila backed by Nate Diaz’s Real Fight Inc., it only raises the stakes for that matchup.
“It would be a fun fight,” Avila said. “I know he’s got a promotion, too. The Real Fight Inc. got kicked off this weekend. S*** I think they can co-promote. The next Real Fight promotion is planning to be in Vegas. So that would be dope. Let’s get down in Vegas and let’s do it before the year ends.
“I think that would be a big fight. I think that would be an entertaining fight and I think that would be another time for me to show my skills off and represent for my team and for Real Fight Inc., all that good stuff.”
Avila has definitely enjoyed himself since the move to boxing, where he’s taken out a trio of veteran fighters in Stephens, Anthony Taylor and Paul Bamba while also scoring a victory over YouTube celebrity Dr. Mike Varshavski.
While he could easily raise his level of competition by taking on experienced boxers, Avila doesn’t really see a reason why he would sacrifice bigger fights against more established names. Just like facing Stephens, he prefers to seek out opponents that will get people interested in watching.
“I’d be down for [more experienced boxers] but it’s like why?” Avila said. “I can keep fighting guys who are well known, it’s more eyes, it’s more known. There’s no point in fighting f****** Joe Blow who’s f****** been in the Olympics since he was two years old. I want to fight guys who f****** had a good career and are well known.”
As far as the future goes, Avila is definitely keeping his sights set on boxing for the time being, though he’s not closing the door on an eventual return to MMA one day.
“I’m going to keep smoking people in boxing,” he said. “I’m trying to get the biggest fights that I can. I’ll just keep taking guys out one by one, one fight at a time. I’m not going to stop boxing. I’m going to keep boxing, and eventually when it’s time, I’m going to get back in the cage.”