By Keith Idec
Conor McGregor has been surprised by how most boxing fans have completely dismissed him and his chances of upsetting Floyd Mayweather Jr.
McGregor figured he’d get more credit for the boxing ability he has exhibited as one of the best stand-up fighters in UFC. He has found, however, that boxing enthusiasts generally view him as a hopelessly overmatched novice with next to no shot at beating the best boxer of this era Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
McGregor acknowledged as part of a recent conference call that being “disrespected” by boxing fans and media has inspired him during preparation for his boxing debut.
“It’s very motivating,” McGregor said. “The disrespect and disregard for my skill set is, you know, it’s like I look at people so many times and they have such a – their mind is closed. They have a closed mind to how camp’s going, or it’s a set way and there’s no other way. Well, if that was the case, we’d never have reached across the waters in search of other land. And we never [would’ve] went into space. You know what I mean?
“You’ve got to have an open mind and you’ve got to realize that there are other ways, and that there is a time and a place for every single move. You’ve got to give respect for other disciplines and other styles. Like for instance, fighting is a complex game. There is a time and a place for every single attack and every single move. It’s about finding the correct timing for it.”
The powerful southpaw has continually reminded those that think he is incapable of shocking Mayweather that he has pulled off upsets in UFC and that all it takes is one well-placed punch to alter the undefeated five-division champion’s legacy.
“When I hear the way they carry on and the disregard and the disrespect, you know, it is what it is,” McGregor said. “I use it as motivation and I look forward to going in and educating. But at the same time, I get it. You know, I’m coming in, I’m supposed to be from another sport. So again, I understand where it’s at, but I’m just looking forward to August 26th, going in and proving what I’m saying, and educating the world on what martial arts is, and giving the fans and everybody a good, solid fight, and earning my respect in this game, also.”
The 12-round, 154-pound bout between Las Vegas’ Mayweather (49-0, 26 KOs) and Ireland’s McGregor (21-3, 18 KOs in MMA) will headline Showtime Pay-Per-View’s four-fight telecast Saturday night ($99.95 in HD).
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.