Max Kellerman has been one of the most visible and respected boxing analysts in recent years, and has been a longtime presence in the sport.
The former Around the Horn host and Friday Night Fights studio man is now a commentator for HBO’s Boxing After Dark as well as HBO World Championship Boxing. Not only that, but as of last year, he replaced Skip Bayless (yes, that Skip Bayless) on ESPN’s flagship program, First Take. Hosting alongside ESPN mainstay Stephen A. Smith, Kellerman has been discussing the upcoming fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor with a very grounded perspective (even if his guests have a different view).
Kellerman appeared as a guest on the late-night hit show Desus & Mero to talk sports in general, but they got into the upcoming boxing superfight right away.
Desus Nice: As a boxing expert, does Conor McGregor have a chance against Floyd (Mayweather)?
The Kid Mero: Hell, no.
Max Kellerman: No. It’s like, you know, if they were competing in the Octagon, Floyd would have no chance. They’re in a boxing ring. Conor has a zero percent chance. Precisely zero percent. They’re in a boxing ring. Conor McGregor, there’s no universe in which he can win.
Mero: Yeah. ‘cause, that video of him sparring, people are saying like it was bullsh-t or whatever, whatever, but he looked dumb slow.
Kellerman: I mean, even the thought of it - if Conor McGregor was like a decorated amateur and they built him up, you know? He had a four-round fight, a six-round fight, this...then after fifteen fights he was like 14-1, and then fought a contender - even if he lost to the contender, right? But at least he held his own over ten rounds, it usually takes about 5 or 6 years to build a guy like that out of the amateurs. Then he would have a chance to win a round against someone half as good as Floyd Mayweather. But you’re gonna turn pro after not being in a boxing ring competitively for how many years? And fight one of the best pure boxers of all time? It doesn’t matter that he’s (Floyd) 40 or whatever. If he was 60 it wouldn’t matter.
Mero: You think Floyd can knock him out?
Kellerman: Of course. It depends on how many risks Conor wants to take. If Conor takes risks, he gets knocked out. If he plays it safe he goes the distance.
Mero: Oh, man.
Desus: You’re saying we shouldn’t pay the hundred dollars for it?
Kellerman: No! That’s a different thing. This is spectacle.
Kellerman: You just have to know what you’re buying.
Mero: Just go to your friend’s house that’ll order the shit.
Kellerman wouldn’t go so far as to ask anyone to boycott the event, but remains adamant in his assertion that McGregor has no possibility of success in this fight. There wasn’t even a need to break down the contents of the training footage or the open workout from a few days ago. Kellerman’s critique came strictly as an observation of how the boxing ecosystem develops fighters and uses a sense of scale to demonstrate how mismatched he believes the bout to be.
We’ll have to wait until August 26th to see just how correct he may be.