UFC superstar Conor McGregor believes the top boxer in the game now has to move over to MMA in order to fully show his skillset as an all-round fighter.
The Irishman is fully aware a lot of boxers are keen on entering the world of UFC as cross-code talk of encounter get all the more familiar.
That obviously came to the fore when McGregor traded blows with Floyd Mayweather in 2017. A clash which remains the second biggest selling bout of all time.
Speaking at a recent press conference in Europe, McGregor agree with WBN’s choice of Pound for Pound number one and says Ukrainian world champion Vasyl Lomachenko has to give UFC a shot sooner rather than later.
“I know Ukrainian Boxing is phenomenal. It’s second to none in world sport and world boxing,” said McGregor.
“I know Vasyl Lomachenko well and I studied his fighting for years. He’s a phenomenal, phenomenal boxer. The Pound for Pound number one boxer on the planet. Today, I believe it.
“For me, you must compete in Mixed Martial Arts. There comes a point where you’ve got to try. You’re just lying to yourself if you stay in one discipline.
“It (Boxing) is not a complete fight. You’ve got to compete in Mixed Martial Arts. I would like to him see him now compete in Mixed Martial Arts competition.
“I know he has some words about more or whatever. But me going to boxing to fight Floyd would be like him going to Mixed Martial Arts to fight Henry Cejudo, who is an Olympic freestyle wrestling champion.
“I don’t even think that’s necessary, I don’t think that’s wise for him to do. But I do believe it’s time for him to venture into Mixed Martial Arts competition, personally.
“Otherwise you are just living a lie.”
Asked for his thoughts on the heavyweight division, and specifically Lomachenko’s great friend Oleksandr Usyk, McGregor added:
“I know Oleksandr Usyk well. I believe he recently fought Tony Bellew and is going up into the heavyweight division.
“He a phenomenal boxer and the heavyweight division is phenomenal at the minute,
“You’ve got Tyson Fury, one of the cleanest boxers. He’s one of the smoothest boxers in the division. You’ve got Anthony Joshua. (He’s) a freak Anthony. And Deontay Wilder – freak power.
“Who is the other guy? – Ruiz, he’s a crafty boxer. Similar to Tyson in quality of boxing. Also he’s got that knockout power. And now you’ve got Usyk going in there.
“The heavyweight division in boxing is very exciting and I’m enjoying watching it.”
Boxers who have dipped their toes into MMA include James Toney, Ray Mercer and Ricardo Mayorga.
It’s more common in the female side of the sport, with Heather Hardy, Holly Holm and Mia St. John all competing in both codes.