There once was a time when a boxing match between UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor and world champion boxer Floyd Mayweather was little more than mythology. Now, though still grasping to the fringes of reality, the bout has at least minor potential, depending upon who is talking and who you believe.
The latest significant figure to weigh in on the potential fight is famed boxing trainer Freddie Roach, whose charges include the likes of Manny Pacquiao and Georges St-Pierre.
While he once believed like everyone else that the fight was a pipe dream, Roach thinks it is now a real possibility.
“We’re in a different era now,” Roach said on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour. “It looks like it’s gonna happen. Everything is pointing in the right direction. I think Conor will have his hands full with a boxer like Floyd, but he’s sellable, he’s making some noise.”
What really started Roach down the road to believability was a Mayweather visit to his Wild Card gym a few months ago. Mayweather stated that he was going to fight McGregor, and urged Roach to train the Irishman if asked to do so.
“I am gonna fight him and he we can all make a lot of money,” Mayweather told Roach. “He told me he would fight him. Everything is pointing in that direction right now. At one point, I didn’t think it was possible.”
It’s certainly an uphill climb for McGregor to challenge Mayweather with little more than a puncher’s chance. Mayweather has long been considered amongst the best boxers of all time, retiring with a spotless 49-0 record.
Many of the best boxers in the world had trouble with him, let alone a mixed martial artist that has never committed full-time to the sweet science. Roach, while admiring McGregor’s skill as a striker, admitted that it would be difficult for him to get his technique up to par to be much of a threat to Mayweather, but it is combat sports, and you can never say never.
“The thing is Floyd is a great boxer. He’s really good at hitting and not getting hit and so forth. I think it would take a long time for Conor to get ready for a boxing match, a pure boxing match, but one punch can change everything.”