According to heavyweight great Evander Holyfield, one wild swing of Conor McGregor’s left hand could put a massive dent in the legacy of Floyd Mayweather Jr. should the former pound for pound king go through with threats of a cross-code battle.
Mayweather is contemplating a match-up with the two-weight UFC title holder in Las Vegas towards the back end of 2017 or at the beginning of 2018, an encounter that could net both men a nine-figure paycheck.
Many boxing purists have scoffed at McGregor’s chances of even being able to get near the always-elusive Mayweather, although as the ‘Money’ man heads into his 40’s, time may well be catching up to him.
McGregor, who is thirteen years Mayweather’s junior, has a hard-hitting reputation throughout his MMA career and Holyfield sees the biggest risk being taken by the American boxer, rather than the outspoken Irishman.
“I don’t think it’s just all about money. It’s the challenges that people come up with. You have to think about who has got more to risk, and Floyd has more to risk,” Holyfield exclusively told World Boxing News.
“This guy has never made the kind of money Floyd makes, so Floyd’s saying, ‘Okay, you’re giving me this kind of money so this is what I’ll do. He’s taking all the risks. He’s thinking, ‘somebody who don’t know how to box and if they clip him with one, what’s going to happen?’
“I’ll tell you what, it would tarnish everything you’ve done because McGregor has already been defeated and that’s the risk you take. But look at the money you gonna get, so you’ve just got to take that chance. Do you wanna take that chance or not?
“They are grown men and both have got reflexes, so let’s see what happens,” he added.
As things stand, Mayweather is sitting on 49-0 in his career – level with the great Rocky Marciano, meaning a sanctioned win over McGregor would leave the one-time ‘Pretty Boy’ out on his own on the magical 50 mark.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission have already informed WBN that McGregor is likely to eventually be handed a boxing license this spring, paving the way for a Pay-Per-View extravaganza to take place in the boxing capital of the world.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay