When he spoke to Ariel Helwani on a November edition of The MMA Hour, only a couple of weeks after Conor McGregor had dismantled Eddie Alvarez inside two rounds at UFC 205, Owen Roddy said that he considered talk of a boxing match between McGregor and Floyd Mayweather Jr. to be mere “hearsay and a bit of fun”.
Roddy wasn’t ready to rule out the possibility of the bout materialising, but revealed that discussions between he and McGregor on the topic had never turned serious or tactical.
“We never actually sat down [to talk about it],” said the man responsible for developing McGregor’s striking prowess. “If he turned around and said, ‘Right, this is going to happen, let’s do it,’ then we would have to look into it and sit down and try to crack the code. That’s when we we would do it.”
Based on a more recent interview with Roddy, however, it seems that the Dubliner has sensed a significant change in the way the cross codes super-fight is being talked about within the SBG Ireland camp, though he admitted that he isn’t privy to any real inside information regarding negotiations.
“He would mainly bring up Floyd in passing, but over the past month or two it’s started to become more serious,” Roddy told Newstalk’s Peter Carroll. “It was just chitchat before but now everything is a lot more direct.”
“Saying that, I still have no idea if this fight can ever happen, but it definitely seems to be getting closer and closer to becoming a reality.”
Few knowledgeable observers would give McGregor any chance of upsetting Mayweather if the fight did get signed. The American boxer ‘retired’ in September of 2015 with a pristine 49-0 professional record. In piecing that mark together, Floyd beat some of the best boxers of the last 20 years and rarely even came under heavy-fire.
Jose Luis Castillo gave him trouble back in 2002, he took a few rounds to adjust in the face of Zab Judah’s blinding hand-speed in 2006, Shane Mosley hurt him early on in their 2010 contest and Marcos Maidana had his moments against ‘Money May’ in 2014.
However, Mayweather always overcame those challenges in fine style.
Given the impressive nature of Mayweather’s body of work, how could anyone see an MMA fighter giving him any trouble in pure pugilism?
Roddy feels that McGregor’s power gives him some hope of causing a seismic shock, but he also believes that ‘The Notorious’ one’s greatest attribute going into the fight would be the fact that he isn’t a traditional boxer, the likes of which Mayweather has seen over and over again throughout his illustrious career.
“We all know what happens when Conor lands that left hand,” said Roddy. “It doesn’t matter who it is, if that hand lands on your chin you’re going to sleep.”
“It’s kind of like a trade off between their two skill sets. We know that Conor can knock anyone stiff, but will he be able to land a solid connection on Mayweather, a guy who is probably the greatest defensive fighter of all time?
“Everybody has found that very difficult, but Conor poses a very different threat. Any time Mayweather has taken a serious shot, it’s always been against a southpaw(Note: aforementioned orthodox fighters Mosley and Maidana would probably beg to differ.)
“Conor is obviously a southpaw and he will be coming in and attempting to hit Mayweather from angles he probably hasn’t seen before because they come from different disciplines. Conor will be a lot bigger too.
“This is going to be a tricky fight for Mayweather because it won’t be like anything he has seen before in a traditional boxing match. Conor moves in such a unique way, it would be nearly impossible for Mayweather to get someone to replicate his style, especially because none of us have ever seen Conor contest a professional boxing match before.”