It’s been nearly two full years since former UFC champion Conor McGregor stepped into the boxing ring to take on Floyd Mayweather in one of the richest fights in history. McGregor ultimately lost by tenth-round TKO in what was a stunning triumph of “decorated professional boxer” over “never had a professional round of boxing prior to August 2017.”
Unsurprisingly, McGregor is of the belief that he can get the better of Floyd in a rematch in the ring. In a recent interview with the (presently under fire) self-help guru and life coach Tony Robbins, the Irishman outlined what he saw as early-round dominance against Mayweather.
“I would love another go in the boxing arena,” McGregor said (transcription via MMA Weekly). “Floyd is known for his Philly-shell defensive style of fighting. He has his right arm tucked in, or he’s orthodox so it’s the opposite, but he has one arm tucked in by his belly and one arm kept up by his ear. He uses his shoulder to deflect shots. He’s a back footed fighter, he fights on the back foot.
“That’s what I prepared for because that is all I had seen of him. My sparring partners were fighters on the back foot, fighting defensive, back against the ropes and then when I went into the fight in the early rounds, I was whooping him in the early rounds. I actually went back to my corner after the first round and said ‘this is easy’. I literally said that to my corner man, this is easy and then he had to switch up his style.”
...But then the unexpected happened. Floyd Mayweather apparently switched styles! McGregor is of the belief that Mayweather has basically only ever fought off the backfoot, looking to counter (this is absolutely fiction), and the revolutionary tactic of “moving forward” with pressure was something that Conor admitted he did not expect to see.
“Now you’ve got to respect that. That’s what a crafty veteran can do. He can switch his style,” McGregor said. “He switched it to that old Mexican boxing style. Mexican boxing style is where you put your elbows in tight and this knuckle you put it just above the forehead and connect it and walk forward with heavy pressure. He never fought like that in his entire career. He was forced to fight that way cause he was getting beaten when he was fighting his old way.
“The approach caught me off guard. I was not prepared for it. I was not used to it and he walked me down and ended up getting the stoppage. The referee I felt could have let it go, I would have liked to see the end of the round, get my breathing back, get a little more comfortable.”
I don’t think what Mayweather did was “Mexican boxing style” but it sure proved to be a puzzle that McGregor simply couldn’t solve.
McGregor, who claims to be retired from MMA and hasn’t fought since losing to lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229, has expressed interest in a rematch with Mayweather, who retired from pro boxing competition for the 157th time after he beat Conor.
“I believe I would win. Actually, there I go again with the fake humbleness — I know I would win.”
This has been your latest “Conor McGregor said stuff” update.