IRISH boxer Peter McDonagh has blasted fellow countryman and MMA superstar Conor McGregor and told him he should fight him first before he even talks about fighting Floyd Mayweather.
Galway born McDonagh, a three-weight Irish champion and the reigning Irish welterweight champion, doesn’t believe that McGregor is even the best fighter in Ireland and has thrown down a challenge to UFC great ‘The Notorious’ to prove he has the right to face boxing’s former pound-for-pound king.
McDonagh, known as the ‘Connemara Kid’, has been fighting pro for nearly 17 years in a roller-coaster career with a near 50-50 record in 56 fights, but a current unbeaten run of eight wins has got boxing fans’ and media to sit up and take notice.
He’s changed his nickname to the ‘Cinderella Man’ to reflect the change in his career from outsider to contender as he targets a dream world title shot and with a new found unshakable self-belief and support from the MGM in Marbella, McDonagh’s ready to prove that McGregor’s boasts are just hot air.
McDonagh said, “I started reading about McGregor wanting to fight Mayweather and I thought to myself ‘Hang on a minute, this guy hasn’t even boxed professionally or proved himself in a pro boxing ring and he wants to fight the best pound-for-pound fighter of this generation. Yet he hasn’t even proved himself to be the best fighter in Ireland.’ So I’m coming out publicly to say fight me first and see how you do and if you beat me then start shouting your mouth off for Mayweather.
“McGregor’s famous for saying ‘Who the f*** is that guy,’ but he will know very well who I am and what I’m all about as he came to National Stadium in Dublin to support his friend Dean Byrne when I fought him for the Irish welterweight title in November 2015. I beat Byrne who he was cheering for loudly at ringside and after seeing me win a hard and brutal fight I could see the look on McGregor’s face that he would not want to face me in a boxing ring.
“I respect what he’s done in the UFC and he’s a superstar in the MMA world, but I personally believe that he has no place in a boxing ring and if he comes up against even a half decent boxer he’d get beat easily. He’s making these silly statements that he’d beat Mayweather, but he would get absolutely destroyed. What I’m saying is before you go straight into a boxing ring and fight Mayweather, prove yourself against a boxer like me and if you beat me, but bearing in mind I’ve never been on my backside in my career, then you know you’ve got half a chance in there.
“I’m the Irish Champion and McGregor’s a massive name back home so let’s do the fight at Croke Park in front of 82,000 fans and give the public what they want to see. If he says he’s the people’s champion then go out and prove it and give the fans’ what they want to see, two Irishman fighting each other on the biggest stage. If he’s proud of his heritage and what he represents then he’ll be a man and take up the challenge, if he doesn’t then it shows he doesn’t care about the Irish fans and it’s all about the money.”
McDonagh next fights in on promoter Mick Hennessy’s EuroFighter show on Saturday February 11 at the Westcroft Leisure Centre, Carshalton, headlined by the European Lightweight Championship between Lenny Daws and Anthony Yigit.
An action-packed card also features Clapham light-heavyweight Kirk Garvey, Morden super-lightweight Craig Whyatt, unbeaten Wraysbury super-welterweight prospect Tony Bange and undefeated super-bantamweight talent Thomas Kindon.