By Nick Parkinson, courtesy of The Daily Star
LENNOX LEWIS has branded Floyd Mayweather Jr’s fight with Conor McGregor “ridiculous”.
Boxing’s former pound-for-pound king Mayweather is coming out of retirement to face UFC superstar McGregor at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on August 26th in a fight that splits opinion.
But regardless of whether you love it or hate it, the light-middleweight boxing scrap will be watched by millions of people across the world.
And Mayweather-McGregor could make more money than the record $623.5m that was generated by Mayweather’s victory over Manny Pacquiao in 2014.
August’s clash not only pits the biggest trash-talking star from one combat sport against another – but also the best boxer of a generation against a novice.
Dublin-born McGregor, 28, may be one of the world’s best MMA fighters but he has never had a pro boxing fight and will come face-to-face with the best boxer over the past three decades.
American Mayweather is now 40 years old and has not boxed for nearly two years – but the five-weight world champion is still a huge betting favourite.
Ten times Conor McGregor trolled Floyd Mayweather
And ex-world heavyweight champion Lewis, who beat Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield among others in his career, says it is a mismatch.
He said: “I can’t take it serious. Mayweather is the best in his weight class, no one can touch him in boxing.
“He’s a pugilist of the highest order, so for another man from a different sport to fight him? It’s just ridiculous to me.
“You are talking about one discipline where you can use only your hands and only a few can do it.
“Every battle sport starts with your hands but they are two totally different sports.
“Floyd will stop him. He’s just too good at boxing for McGregor and McGregor is too inexperienced at boxing. He can’t use his other styles.
“I wouldn’t buy it on pay-per-view – but I would be interested in the result. To me, I know who is going to win already, so there’s no point in watching it.”
But Lewis, whose career ended in 2003, sees the appeal in the fight despite McGregor’s inexperience in the professional boxing ring.
He added: “I don’t believe it would damage boxing because it is always going to be about a man wanting to fight another man – and people will always want to know the result.
“I love Bruce Lee and the other disciplines and when he fought against other fighters, you wanted to see the differences. I can see the appeal.”
Mayweather is still the WBC’s champion emeritus and the world governing body’s president Mauricio Sulaiman is not ruling out sanctioning the fight with some sort of title – perhaps their Diamond belt – on the line.
He said: “I’m not against sanctioning it for something like the Diamond title. Of course, this is a WBC board decision but we have to celebrate that boxing is having world attention regardless.
“Mayweather retired as champion so he was awarded the champion emeritus status.
“He was great, an icon for the sport. Now he has decided to return and fight a mixed martial arts superstar so it is difficult to evaluate.”