The forthcoming clash between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor has been labelled as a ‘freak show’ by the majority of media outlets and some in boxing fraternity.
McGregor will stroll into fight night knowing he will be the biggest earning boxing debutant in the sports history.
One man who is backing him all the way is a fellow Irishmen and friend Michael Conlan.
“I would say there’s jealousy involved with a guy who has never fought a professional fight in his life and could make the biggest payday than any other fighter has made apart from Floyd Mayweather,” Conlan exclusively told World Boxing News.
“Also it’s the biggest payday for a debut in the history of boxing and he’s never worked his way up in the sport to do this so people will be jealous. For me, I hope he wins and honestly do.
“I don’t care if people say it’s bad for boxing if he wins. It doesn’t matter, he’s Irish and is a friend of mine so I hope he wins and it’s great for sport in general.
“It’s the biggest sports event by bar, it’s huge everyone is going to watch it so fair play to him. I just hope he can pull it off and do the impossible,” he added.
The pair were together when Conlan made his historic debut at Madison Square Garden earlier this year in front of sold-out Arena.
There were jubilant scenes as the Irish fans came out in force to show their support. The super-bantamweight recalls how he convinced the superstar to walk to the ring with him.
“I met him in 2014 or 2015 during his Nate Diaz training camp and then we became friends. He came out with me for my debut, I kind of blagged it,” he laughed.
“We had a Belfast event and the crowd were going ballistic so I said, what if Conor McGregor came out with me at Madison Square Garden and he just looked at me and said ‘100%, definitely.’
“Fair play to him, it was brilliant. It made my debut a lot more of an event than what it was. It helped with everything. I think everything he touches, goes to gold and it doesn’t matter what he touches.
“He is the biggest star in sport, who right now is more relevant than Conor McGregor, no one, you can’t name no one. Floyd’s the better boxer but as a sports person, who is bigger? McGregor.
“But in this fight, anything can happen,” concluded Conlan.
Joe Hewlett is lead writer for World Boxing News. Follow Joe on Twitter @Hewlett95