Conor threat to boxing’s reputation
AT 2PM tomorrow, the credibility of world boxing goes on the line.
Australia’s greatest fighter, Jeff Fenech, is concerned UFC superstar Conor McGregor could destroy it. And he’s not alone.
Boxing has nothing to gain but everything to lose in this Mayweather-McGregor super fight that will be watched by a potential world audience of 100 million fans.
If Floyd Mayweather wins and takes his undefeated record to 50, it’s what we all expected.
Yet McGregor has an excuse in that he’s a martial arts machine, not a boxer. If the UFC champion wins, boxing will be seen as the weaker of the two combat sports.
“This guy (McGregor) is so unconventional,” Fenech said.
“He’s going to put his heart and soul into it. He’ll either get knocked out or he’ll knock Floyd out.
“It’s going to be closer than we think.
“Most of the boxers Floyd have fought have been a little bit cautious. Not this guy.
“Sometimes I wonder why the bout was ever sanctioned considering one guy has never fought as a boxer. I guess money speaks all languages.”
Fenech fears the age and weight advantage will work in McGregor’s favour.
Plus the fact Mayweather hasn’t fought for two years and doesn’t appear to be taking the fight as seriously as one might expect.
In between training, he’s spent most nights this week at his new strip club in downtown Las Vegas, entertaining guests with his girls in lingerie.
Fenech expects him to win but fears a boilover.
“McGregor’s going to be really dangerous,” Fenech said, “He’s 20 pounds (9kg) bigger. He’s stronger.
“Floyd knows this guy is going to attack him. He’s trouble. And he can fight. People are thinking it can’t happen but it can.
“Buster Douglas knocked out Mike Tyson. It happens. This guy’s one punch away from beating him. He’s 12 years younger and he’s crazy.
“He’s got mad confidence and believes in himself. I’m not saying he’ll win but anything can happen.”
Other commentators agree boxing could be the biggest loser, including Showtime’s senior fight analyst Steve Farhood.
“How much is expected of Conor McGregor?” Farhood said. “If he goes in, tries to win and fails, everyone is happy. He hasn’t hurt his brand at all.”
INTRIGUING MATCH-UP: Boxer Floyd Mayweather and UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor pose as CEO of Mayweather Promotions Leonard Ellerbe (centre) looks on during a news conference at the KA Theatre at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino.