If there is one MMA fighter that can give the most knowledgable prediction of Conor McGregor’s chance in the boxing ring with Floyd Mayweather, it may be Joe Duffy. Not only did the Irishman beat McGregor back in their pre-UFC days, but Duffy also has a professional boxing background.
Appearing on Monday’s edition of the MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, Duffy was reserved in giving McGregor a "puncher’s chance" if the fight with Mayweather ever comes to fruition.
“I think in combat sports, there’s always a puncher’s chance,” Duffy said. “In MMA, boxing, there’s always that puncher’s chance.”
Those that believe McGregor could have more than a 0% chance at upsetting Mayweather point to the Irishman’s punching power, which he used to knock out the likes of Jose Aldo and Eddie Alvarez. But Duffy believes that Mayweather has already faced heavier punchers than McGregor.
“I feel that Floyd is probably used to getting in there with bigger hitters than Conor. Boxers, them boxers really do hit (hard),” he said.
“On the scorecards, I really feel it’s a landslide towards Floyd. He’s one of the best of all time. How he made Pacquiao look — and Pacquiao is one of the best boxers we’ve seen in a long time — I think that just proves the level he’s at. Canelo’s probably a bigger hitter than Conor, (look) how he boxed him."
Unlike Duffy, McGregor has zero professional or amateur boxing experience. Duffy believes that McGregor could turn himself into a successful boxer, but it would take years to get him to the level that he can compete with top pros, let alone all-time great Mayweather.
“It’s different. It takes a while to get into that sport, and to get up to par. I think if he pursued boxing for a long time, he could’ve done very well, definitely, but Floyd has been doing this since he was a child. I really just can’t see it going any other way.”