Conor McGregor reveals his favourite boxers ahead of ring debut
It will surprise absolutely nobody to learn that Conor McGregor has been a lifelong fan of boxing.
'The Notorious' has displayed some of the best hands in UFC history and he honed those striking skills in a boxing ring in his native Crumlin before jumping headfirst into the world of mixed martial arts by joining head coach John Kavanagh at Straight Blast Gym.
McGregor has never competed in professional boxing but, in less than two weeks, the Irishman will stand in the red corner ahead of one of the biggest fights of all time when he takes on the undefeated legend, Floyd Mayweather.
And while McGregor is promoting the fight with aplomb, using his matchless trash-talking to criticise the 49-0 boxer, that's not to say he doesn't respect Mayweather.
At a media day on Friday, the reigning UFC lightweight champion was asked to name the boxers from past and present who he would list as his personal favourites.
"Roy Jones, I like Roy Jones a lot and have been a big fan of his," McGregor started. "Muhammad Ali, of course.
"There has been a lot through the years. I mean, Floyd has been good. Floyd gets a lot of stick, in my opinion, for his style. I remember way back, when he was preparing for a fight and people were ridiculing how he hit the pads. People used to ridicule how he hit pads - 'That's not how you hit pads'. And then, all of a sudden, when his career goes and he does what he does, now everyone is mimicking his approach.
"It's kind of similar to me right now. They ridicule how I move and how I approach the game but then I go and do what I do and, all of a sudden, they mimic me.
"There have been many great boxers, Prince Naseem Hamed is another one I'm a big fan of.
"Currently today, I like Guillermo Rigondeaux and I like Vasyl Lomachenko as well. I think those two should compete."
Having recently turned down the opportunity to spar with Lomachenko, McGregor explained how he found it baffling that the Ukrainian was not pushing for the fight against the undefeated Rigondeaux.
His opponent quit on the stool https://t.co/ZZVdZKyzDt
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOE_UK) August 7, 2017
McGregor then revealed that he was not too gone on the talents of the two men involved in one of the biggest fights of 2017 - Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin.
"Who else is in today's game? 'Canelo' and Golovkin? I'm not too much of a fan of either of those guys," McGregor continued.
"I think 'Canelo' is a little bit stuck and a little bit flat on his feet. When I look at footage of him, I just see him getting peppered and he's got no feet underneath him.
"Golovkin came into this camp, I think, badly out of shape. I'm looking at him badly out of shape up in Big Bear and I just see a drained individual. So, although they're supposedly up there as well, I don't really think they are.
"But I like the lighter guys. Lomachenko and Rigondeaux is a fight that I'm eager to see.
"Floyd's young kid, Gervonta Davis, is OK. He's good as well... A good, strong kid. With maybe one or two more fights I'd like to see him right there.
"Historically, it would be Ali, Roy Jones, Prince Naseem, Chris Eubank. What about Chris Eubank Senior?
"Junior is good as well. Junior's got a good work rate and he's a confident young man who is following in his father's footsteps. But I always liked Eubank Sr. He was an unusual character and he moved in certain ways which made him almost catlike. And then he had good solid power in his shots.
"Irish boxer Bernard Dunne... I was a big Bernard Dunne fan and he brought boxing back in Ireland."