The chances of a mega-fight between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor took a step forward on Monday when UFC president Dana White said McGregor has agreed to a deal to face Mayweather in a boxing match.
The deal still has to be approved by Mayweather’s camp, but one of the biggest obstacles, McGregor’s contract with UFC, seems to have been hurdled.
If the two sides agree to a deal for what would be a marquee fight, one big question remains – how would McGregor, a UFC fighter, fair in a traditional boxing match against Mayweather, an undefeated boxer?
According to boxing trainer and analyst Teddy Atlas, not very well. Atlas spoke to ESPN in May about the prospects of training McGregor to box and dumped cold water all over the potential fight.
When asked how he would train McGregor to fight Mayweather, Atlas said:
“First off, I wouldn’t. He has no chance in a traditional boxing match. His only chance would be with MMA rules, where he could try to bring Floyd to the mat where he could – of course – easily be the victor.
“He would need about five years – and I’m being very generous and conservative – of boxing training and experience to even entertain the thought of being competitive with any A-plus-level boxer.”
Atlas was asked again how long it would take to prepare McGregor, and he repeated, “None. Think in terms of Social Security.”
When asked again about McGregor’s chances of beating Mayweather, Atlas said, “Again, to be more definitive: none. If I were a Vegas oddsmaker, I would not list a betting line on this.”
While Atlas did acquiesce and describe how he would train McGregor, it’s clear that one of the most renowned minds in boxing thinks that there’s no chance McGregor could beat Mayweather. The styles of fighting are too different, and McGregor, after training a certain way for so many years, would have to entirely reprogram his instincts and technique.
If this fight ever does come to fruition, it may be a dull bout, regardless.