MANY take a dim of view Conor McGregor’s presumptuous task, leaving behind mixed martial arts to take on boxing’s finest Floyd Mayweather this Saturday (August 26).
But the MMA world appears to take a different line on the cross-code clash, as former UFC fighter Dan Hardy told MMA Junkie.
“You’ve got to think that, up until the emergence of mixed martial arts, boxers were fighters,” Hardy said. “If you were a boxer, you were considered a fighter, but now you’re not. If you’re a boxer, you’re a boxer, but if you’re an MMA practitioner, you are a fighter.
“That’s a strong difference there, because a lot of people get into boxing for the tough guy aspect, which is kind of diminished now when there’s someone who can kick you in the leg, take you down and strangle you.”
Reflecting on McGregor’s mindset, Hardy continued, “I think he feels like he’s against boxing, because all the criticism and disrespect that’s coming toward Conor in the buildup to this fight is coming from respected people in the boxing community and people who work for Showtime.”
“I think there is some relief on the boxing side because Conor did decide to call out the biggest name in their sport,” Hardy added. “As much as the boxing community may hate Floyd Mayweather, and I’m sure hates him even more for putting boxing in this position, they’ll be relieved that he’s still the best boxer on the planet and their representative.
“If Conor happens to put him down, he’ll have done what 49 boxers have not been able to do, and that’s a massive hit to boxing in general – especially given the fact that Mayweather is the greatest defensive boxer we’ve ever seen.”