The deal still has to be approved by Mayweather’s camp, but one of the biggest obstacles, McGregor’s contract with UFC, seems to have been hurdled.
If the two sides agree to a deal for what would be a marquee fight, one big question remains — how would McGregor, a UFC fighter, fair in a traditional boxing match against Mayweather, an undefeated boxer?
According to boxing trainer and analyst Teddy Atlas, not very well. Atlas spoke to ESPN in May about the prospects of training McGregor to box and dumped cold water all over the potential fight.
(Conor McGregor would need five years to train to fight Mayweather, according to Atlas.John Locher/AP) When asked how he would train McGregor to fight Mayweather, Atlas said:
“First off, I wouldn’t. He has no chance in a traditional boxing match. His only chance would be with MMA rules, where he could try to bring Floyd to the mat where he could — of course — easily be the victor.
"He would need about five years — and I’m being very generous and conservative — of boxing training and experience to even entertain the thought of being competitive with any A-plus-level boxer.”
Atlas was asked again how long it would take to prepare McGregor, and he repeated, “None. Think in terms of Social Security.”
When asked again about McGregor’s chances of beating Mayweather, Atlas said, “Again, to be more definitive: none. If I were a Vegas oddsmaker, I would not list a betting line on this.”
While Atlas did acquiesce and describe how he would train McGregor, it’s clear that one of the most renowned minds in boxing thinks that there’s no chance McGregor could beat Mayweather. The styles of fighting are too different, and McGregor, after training a certain way for so many years, would have to entirely reprogram his instincts and technique.
If this fight ever does come to fruition, it may be a dull bout, regardless.
Last night was an upset of epic proportions. As a huge Rousey fan, I was devastated. However, I was more devastated by the amount of casual fans that cheered on her defeat. What struck me is how many people gleefully whooped and hollered for her loss. Not for Holm’s win, but for her destruction. Did they remember that Ronda has inspired a legion of women and girls to get into MMA? That UFC president Dana White said NO woman would ever fight in the UFC and she came along and changed all of that? That Holm wouldn’t even be in the UFC without her? That there are two women’s weight classes in the UFC because of her? That female fans finally had someone to watch and put themselves in her shoes?
Loss is inevitable in this game. No fighter is untouchable. There will always come someone to beat you. Now I am just waiting to see if she will dust herself off, get back in the ring, and show us more than she has in the past–not just wild victories, but how to recover from defeat.
That, in fact, might be more important.
I am a fan for life and I expect that we will see a phoenix from this. Rise from the ashes so we also can.