The potential Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather boxing match has been talked about from pillar to post by just about everyone. While many “insiders” have spoken at great length about it, very few are close enough to the business of boxing or the fighters themselves to truly assess how close we are to a bout taking shape.
That all changed yesterday when legendary boxing trainer Freddie Roach appeared on the MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani and was asked about the potential fight. Roach believes a fight will happen, and his source is about as good as it gets:
“Floyd actually came to my gym and told me, ‘Freddie, I heard Conor had talked to you’, and I said no he never has. But he says, ‘If he reaches out and he wants you to train him I would take that job because I am gonna fight him and we’re all gonna make a lot of money.’ So according to Mayweather, yes, he told me he would fight him and everything is pointing in that direction right now.”
Sure, we’ve heard Mayweather say it’s going to happen before. But what makes his visit to Roach so interesting, is that it wasn’t something that was publicized. It was said to Roach privately, so it wasn’t an attempt at grabbing the media’s attention or trying to garner publicity.
Roach insists that prior to Floyd’s visit, which he says was about three months ago, he thought the fight would never happen. As it turns out, a while back when Freddie was training Andrei Arlovski he had the idea about booking a match between Arlovski and one of the Klitschko brothers. He approached Ari Emanuel, who was Dana White’s agent at the time, but Ari shot the idea down saying a match like that would never happen.
But, as Roach mentioned, we’re in a different era now and things change.
So, for a trainer that has been across the ring from Mayweather on more than one occasion, how does he think Conor would do against the undefeated king of boxing?
“He is a pretty good striker, the thing is Floyd is a great boxer. He’s really good at hitting and not getting hit. I think it would take a long time for Conor to get ready for a boxing match, a pure boxing match. But you know, one punch can change everything. It’s the sport we’re in. I’m not gonna count him out completely. I think Mayweather is the favorite, yes, but I wouldn’t count anyone out. Because he throws, he throws hard and he’s not afraid to throw.”
When asked by Helwani if he would train McGregor, he mentioned that he indeed would, but that Georges St. Pierre is his priority at the moment.