Conor McGregor brought in legendary, boxing referee Joe Cortez to officiate his sparring sessions, and now the latter’s offered some insights, on the UFC champ’s chances against Floyd Mayweather.
Even if you don’t follow boxing at all, chances are you’re now familiar with Cortez. McGregor hired the boxing Hall of Famer to referee his sparring bouts, and to help him get accustomed to boxing rules, in advance of Saturday’s bout with Mayweather. Following all the drama between retired boxer Paulie Malignaggi and McGregor, Cortez has been in the MMA news a fair bit.
“The boxing community has taken a lot of interest in this fight because they’ve never seen anything like that. Conor has been showing that he has the confidence in himself, he definitely has the skills as far as MMA is concerned, he has the strength, he can punch. . . The boxing fans will say, Mayweather should win, but you know what I say? Anyone who has a punch, has a puncher’s chance.”
A lot of people have certainly made this argument, but it is interesting to hear this coming from Cortez, who’s had an inside view of McGregor’s camp. Cortez also had this to say about the UFC lightweight champ, and whether he has any concerns, in terms of McGregor following the rules (it was recently reported that Cortez has had to take points away from McGregor in sparring, due to him committing fouls).
“[Conor] knows the kind of referee that I’ve been throughout the years. I’ve refereed close to 200 world championship fights, so I think he pays a lot more attention and I speak to him with a lot more details in what can go wrong if he doesn’t comply by the rules. So I think he’s very pleased, just as I am. Like I said, every session he gets better, he wants to learn more, he keeps asking me questions, and I tell him exactly what’s gotta be done.
“I think everything is gonna be just fine come Saturday night.”
McGregor and Mayweather are going to throw hands at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.