While everyone and anyone is goo goo gaga about the growing likelihood that Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) superstar Conor McGregor steps inside of the boxing ring with legendary fighter Floyd Mayweather Jr. later this year, one combat enthusiast sees it from a different angle. According to Chael Sonnen, who has become one of the bigger voices around the mixed martial arts (MMA) community over the past few years, McGregor’s crossover from the Octagon to the ring would discredit the world of boxing.
“I think the fact that anybody is weighing in that there’s a contest there is such an incredible disrespect to boxing,” said Sonnen during a recent episode of his You’re Welcome podcast. “If that fight goes more than 30 seconds, it shames boxing. If it goes out of the first round, it humiliates boxing.
“If I was to tell you in any other sport, ‘Hey, we’ve got a great athlete from one field, that’s never done a sport before, and he’s gonna come on and take on the best current living guy in that sport,’ it’d be laughed at. If I told you, I’ve got a guy who’s never played basketball, sure he’s shot the ball around and been on a court and had the ball in his hand, but he’s never played a competitive game of basketball before, and we’re gonna put him up against LeBron James, it would be laughed at. ‘We’ve got a gal that’s never played tennis before, she’s fooled around with a ball in the gym, she’s gonna take on Serena Williams,’ it would be laughed at.
“The fact that there’s even an interest there - and I’m one of the people that shares the interest - but the fact that there’s even an interest there is so disrespectful to the entire sport of boxing. When that fight’s done, Conor is gonna go more than 30 seconds. He’s likely to go more than one round - he shouldn’t, but he is likely to go more than one round - and it’s going to humiliate boxing.”
Is Sonnen right? Will a McGregor appearance opposite Mayweather actually hurt boxing’s already declining image?
Whether “The Bad Guy” is right in his analysis of the impending superfight or not, he seems to think it’s definitely going to happen, posting the following via Twitter earlier this week:
Connor vs Floyd is ON!— Chael Sonnen (@ChaelSonnen) March 17, 2017
What say you, Maniacs? If “Notorious” is able to push the envelope against Mayweather and last longer than expected, is that viewed as a knock on boxing or a testament to the Irishman’s underrated boxing skills?