MANILA, Philippines – Amid fervent rumors of a potential crossover bout between unbeaten American boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr and mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Conor McGregor, long-time boxing trainer Freddie Roach revealed that he was approached to train the UFC featherweight titleholder.
In an interview with BoxingScene, the 7-time BWAA “Trainer of the Year” recipient bared that McGregor’s camp gave him a call to discuss working with him for a few sessions at the Wild Card Boxing Gym in Los Angeles, California.
“They did ask me if I’ll train him. I said, ‘Sure, bring him down.’ I’d like to see [him], meet the guy and see what he has. He seems like a nice guy,” Roach said.
Despite being contacted by the 27-year-old Irishman, Roach insisted that he has not been hired to work ahead of a rumored showdown against Mayweather.
“No [talk of Mayweather]. Just to train him (McGregor),” he said.
Roach, who has played a pivotal part in Manny Pacquiao’s rise to boxing stardom, is no stranger to the sport of MMA as he once trained Georges St-Pierre, Andrei Arlovski and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.
Asked whether he could possibly get McGregor in shape for a boxing match with Mayweather, Roach conceded that it is doubtful.
“No [I don’t know if I could do that], I don’t even know what level he’s at right now. I couldn’t say that without working with him. He seems like a good kickboxer. That’s all I’ve seen of him. But as a boxer, I’ve never seen him box,” he stated.
Both men recently fueled the buzz of the in-ring clash as Mayweather lent credibility to the talk.
“It’s really not a rumor. The fight may happen. We really don’t know, as of right now. As of right now. But do I think the fight will happen? Absolutely,” Mayweather said in an interview with Showtime’s Steve Farhood on Saturday, May 14 (Manila time).
Meanwhile, McGregor stoked speculations by sharing a mock-up fight poster with Mayweather on his Twitter feed.
MMA Vs Boxing. pic.twitter.com/qgl8tKvT5s— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) May 8, 2016
However, UFC president Dana White does not see Mayweather and McGregor fighting anytime soon and believes it is unlikely that they ever could agree to terms.
“Let me put it to you this way, Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather are in the same sport. It took how long for those two to fight? Now imagine how hard it would be to get [Mayweather and McGregor] to fight. They’re not in the same sport,” White told ESPN. – Rappler.com
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