Conor McGregor began Friday night as a guest at the long-awaited pro debut of Irish Olympic boxer Michael Conlan in New York. But by the end of the night, he was a full-blown part of the show.
McGregor erupted at members of the boxing media seated ringside at Madison Square Garden in the aftermath of the bout, approaching ESPN’s Dan Rafael and blowing up over the rumored mega-fight between the reigning UFC lightweight champion and (formally?) retired boxing great Floyd Mayweather Jr.
“You’re the boxing guy? I’m the boxing guy. Watch me take over boxing,” McGregor roared. “Trust me on that. No one in this boxing game knows what’s coming. Trust me on that. When I step in there, I’m going to shock the whole goddamn world. Trust me on that. Look me in the eyes. Twenty-eight years of age, confident as a motherf*cker, long, rangy, dangerous with every hand. Trust me, I’m going to stop Floyd and you’re all going to eat your words. The whole world is going to eat their words.”
The exchange took place just two days after UFC president Dana White said he “just [didn’t] see how it doesn’t happen” when asked about a potential Mayweather-McGregor fight during an interview with late-night host Conan O’Brien. The statement marked the most straightforward public support that White has given the bout, which not long ago was only considered a pipe dream.
“I do think it’s gonna happen,” White said. “I think it’s going to be a tough deal, because obviously [there are] a lot of egos involved in this deal and a lot of people, so that always makes it tougher. On the flip side, there’s so much money involved. I just don’t see how it doesn’t happen.”
Mayweather, an undefeated fighter widely considered to be one of the greatest boxers of his era, last week announced that he was coming out of retirement to fight McGregor, the biggest draw in the history of mixed martial arts and the only man to hold two UFC titles simultaneously.
Coincidentally, McGregor was in attendance Friday at Madison Square Garden, the very same venue he achieved his dual champion status last November when he effortlessly dethroned Eddie Alvarez to capture the UFC lightweight title. “The Notorious” sat ringside as his countryman Conlan scored a third-round stoppage victory over Tim Ibarra in his professional boxing debut.
And when asked afterward about the status of the Mayweather fight and a potential date, McGregor didn’t mince his words.
“We’re getting close, don’t worry about it,” McGregor said. “You’ll hear about it. I’m out of here. I am boxing.”
Catch videos of the exchanges above and below.
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