Boxing

Sugar Ray Leonard believes that Conor McGregor could only stand up to Floyd Maywether if he was allowed to kick.

Sugar Ray Leonard has his say on Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor

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Legendary multi-weight champion Sugar Ray Leonard has come out in praise of Kell Brook and Errol Spence this week, before condemning the charade around Floyd Mayweather's much-hyped potential clash with Conor McGregor.

Leonard, a five-division title winner and arguably the greatest all round boxer in history, doesn't believe McGregor stands any hope of coming out of the fight with anything more than his pockets full.

Speaking in a recent interview, Leonard said: "Even though that (fight) will make a load of money. A mixed martial arts fighter has no chance in a pure boxing match against someone as good as Floyd.

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"It could only be interesting if the UFC guy was allowed to kick as  well, the way that Japanese kick-boxer did against Muhammad Ali back in the day.

"But this one will be embarrassing."

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Leonard seemed to be pining for a purer time in boxing, when the sport was about what happened in the ring, claiming that Brooke v Spence would 'remind the world what boxing should be all about'.

David Haye and Tony Bellew drew similar criticism earlier this year for similar reasons, and subsequently, Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko received widespread praise from the boxing community for their conduct before they faced off at Wembley in April.

For an old-schooler like Sugar Ray Leonard, it is hard to stomach the furore surrounding a possible McGregor-Mayweather fight, and, while it does wonders for the publicity side of things, it won't be a fight that true boxing fans will be particularly interested in.

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He also lamented a lack of depth in quality boxers in the division, which may be creating a need for outsiders like McGregor to come in to increase public interest.

"The wider public will go for it but for the hardcore boxing fans it will be a no-no.

"In our day there was a plethora of fine boxers in the welterweight division. Not just the household names but other guys who could have become famous had they been given a shot."

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With so many weight divisions to be fought in now and so many nutritionists around to help boxers maintain, gain, and lose weight, not to mention extortionate sums of money in play, perhaps Leonard is overly sentimental towards the purity of his beloved sport.

With no official confirmation of the Mayweather v McGregor fight yet either, perhaps he need not worry, but as long as hard workers like Kell Brook and Errol Spence are involved in the sport, its integrity shouldn't be in too much question.

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Topics:
Floyd Mayweather
Manny Pacquiao
David Haye
Boxing

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