Ward says Conor McGregor shouldn’t face Mayweather in boxing match.
By Eric Baldwin: It’s not a good idea for UFC star Conor McGregor to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a boxing match, says former super middleweight champion Andre Ward. He thinks the 28-year-old McGregor should forget about that. Ward would like to see a fight between Mayweather and McGregor. However, he suspects that McGregor is just using Mayweather’s name to get attention to himself by getting fans from both sports interested in him.
By name dropping Mayweather’s name, McGregor is making himself known to fans outside of the MMA sports by entering into the boxing realm. Hopefully, McGregor doesn’t start name dropping athletes from football, tennis and golf, because it really would be a joke by then.
Mayweather and McGregor reportedly were in discussions for a fight under boxing rules, but the two of them were unable to agree. It’s a fight that would have taken place in 2016 if they had put it together. McGregor is said to have wanted a 50-50 deal, which was likely a non-starter for Mayweather. He wants nine-figure payday for his next fight. There’s no chance of Mayweather getting $100 million if McGregor is taking half of the revenue.
“I want $100m cash to fight him in boxing rules because he’s afraid of a real fight,” said McGegor via skysports.com.
McGregor defeated UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez by a 2nd round knockout last Saturday night at UFC 205. It was a mismatch, as Alvarez didn’t have any boxing skills whatsoever, and he was helpless when the two fighters were on their feet. McGregor knocked Alvarez down repeatedly before the fight was halted in round two.
“It is not a good idea at all – he needs to leave that alone,” said Ward to skysports.com. “And of course, on the flip side, if Floyd went to the Octagon, you would go with Conor McGregor.”
McGregor is a good boxer when fighting guys from his own sport, but in a real boxing match, he would be out of his class, especially against Mayweather. I don’t know if that fight would even sell. The boxing fans would see it as a circus fight, and it might hurt the sport if it turns out to be a horrible mismatch. If Mayweather doesn’t have a good undercard to go along with the fight, the fans are going to be terribly upset. It’s not fair to the fans to have mismatches like that in the main events of a pay-per-view event.
It would be one thing if McGregor took up boxing and beat some of the top contenders and champions at 147, but he’s not talking about doing that. McGregor just wants the Mayweather fight, and he wants a lot of money for it. The sad thing is the fight would likely count as a professional bout for Mayweather’s 50th win rather than it being an exhibition fight. That would be sad, because McGregor is not a boxer. He would likely be worse than any 2nd tier fighter you could find, because he’s not been brought up in a boxing gym like most fighters.
“I wouldn’t mind seeing it,” saod Ward. “I respect Conor for calling Floyd out but I think Floyd has to be careful too because a lot of that stuff is for publicity and he is just in some respects using Floyd’s name and Floyd is a legend so he has to be careful not to jump into that.”
Ward has a fight this Saturday night against IBF/WBA/WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev on HBO pay-per-view from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Ward can restart his stalled boxing career with a win over the 33-year-old Kovalev. Of course, a loss for Ward would be a huge disappointment and bad news for him, because it would mean that he would need to go in another direction.
A knockout loss for Ward would be the worst thing that could happen to him, because there aren’t other options for him that don’t present danger. The WBC champion Adonis Stevenson is arguably a harder puncher than Kovalev with more hand speed. Ward would have a lot of problems with Stevenson’s power and speed potentially. If Ward can’t handle Kovalev’s power on Saturday night, then it’s unlikely he’ll do much better against Stevenson.
Ward might need to move back down to 168 if possible. He was unbeatable at super middleweight. One reason for that was because of Ward’s size. He was big for the super middleweight division, and he used his size to maul the lighter fighters than himself. At light heavyweight, Ward might not be able to do the same thing against the likes of Kovalev, Stevenson, Artur Beterbiev, Oleksandr Gvozdyk and Joe Smith Jr. The guys hit harder at the top of the sport, and they don’t stop throwing punches.
Ward has had three easy fights since he moved up two 175, but two of those fights were against 168lb fighters of marginal skill in Alexander Brand and Paul Smith. The only good fighter that Ward has faced at light heavyweight was Sullivan Barrera, and he’s not seen as being as talented as Kovalev and the result of the top 175lb fighters.