We are just days away from the biggest combat sporting event in history.
UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor is set to make his professional boxing debut against the undefeated 49-0 legend Floyd Mayweather Jr., who is coming out of retirement to give fans a dream fight that has been discussed for over a year. The fight will take place live on Showtime pay-per-view (PPV) from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada this weekend (Sat. August 26, 2017). The bout will be contested at 154 pounds over a span of 12 rounds with each man wearing eight ounce gloves. Not many are giving McGregor a legitimate shot against Mayweather given that he has never competed in a professional boxing fight before.
McGregor has been taking his preparation for the bout extremely serious, bringing in sparring partners such as ex-two-weight boxing champion Paulie Malignaggi, in addition to bringing in Hall Of Fame boxing referee Joe Cortez to better learn the rules of the sport.
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Cortez recently spoke to The Mac Life to discuss his time in the McGregor camp and how the Irishman has looked during sparring. Many worry that McGregor's unfamiliarity with the rule set will cause him to throw illegal blows and get disqualified from the contest. Cortez told those fans that they can rest easy, however, as he doesn't believe fouling will play a factor in the fight for McGregor (quotes via MMA Fighting):
“Working with Conor was a great experience because here, I’m breaking in a fighter who’s an MMA fighter and I have to teach him the rules of boxing. I was pleasantly surprised to see what a great student he is. He pays close attention to everything I tell him, everything in detail, because I want him to do everything correct for the fight Saturday night.
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“So far, every session that we’ve had has been getting better and better and better. So I’m very pleased with his performance. [Conor] knows the kind of referee that I’ve been throughout the years. I’ve refereed close to 200 world championship fights, so I think he pays a lot more attention and I speak to him with a lot more details in what can go wrong if he doesn’t comply by the rules.
"So I think he’s very pleased, just as I am. Like I said, every session he gets better, he wants to learn more, he keeps asking me questions, and I tell him exactly what’s gotta be done.
“I think everything is gonna be just fine come Saturday night. The boxing community has taken a lot of interest in this fight because they’ve never seen anything like that.
"Conor has been showing that he has the confidence in himself, he definitely has the skills as far as MMA is concerned, he has the strength, he can punch. . . The boxing fans will say, Mayweather should win, but you know what I say? Anyone who has a punch, has a puncher’s chance.”
What are your thoughts on Cortez saying fouls won't be an issue for McGregor against Mayweather? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!
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