Mike Tyson has praised Conor McGregor for lasting ten rounds in his boxing defeat to Floyd Mayweather.
McGregor is known for his hugely successful career in the UFC where he reigned as a two-weight champion, and became the most well-known name on the roster. The Irishman’s huge profile saw him land a crossover bout in the boxing ring with legend Mayweather, with whom he lasted ten rounds but was ultimately stopped in their Las Vegas duel.
Despite the defeat, McGregor considered the event a huge success given it was his first professional appearance in the boxing ring and the showdown became the second highest-selling combat sports pay-per-view of all-time. And former undisputed heavyweight champion Tyson has suggested people ignore his achievements when reviewing the fight.
“[McGregor] never really had a boxing match in his life right?” Tyson said in a recent episode of his HotBoxin’ podcast when discussing the lucrative showdown between McGregor and Mayweather. “He went 10 rounds with the greatest fighter in the last 100 years of boxing.
“He went 10 rounds, scored punches on the greatest fighter in the last 20 years — 100 years. See, people ain’t looking at it. People just wanna say ‘The Black guy beat the White guy.’ They just want to see it. But look at what he had to fight against. And look at what he did when he fought against it.”
McGregor had a bright start to the fight which brought fans in the arena on side, but he was unable to make any significant in-roads in to his rival who eased through the gears and closed the show with two rounds remaining. After winning two titles in the UFC and switching to the boxing ring, the 34-year-old’s form in the cage has slowed and he has just one win in his last four outings.
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Many believe preparations for his switch to the squared circle halted any further progress of his career in MMA, given he has now looking for redemption at 170lb when he returns this year. And UFC heavyweight Andrei Arlovski has warned the former champion that he will need to forego his boxing ambitions to breathe new life into his UFC career.
“Back in 2009 I tried to be at that time what doing right now McGregor, Silva, boxing matches,” Arlovski told SportsKeeda when assessing if McGregor can compete in both boxing and the UFC. “And back then thirteen years ago same as De La Hoya. I have one ass but I want to sit on two chairs same time. MMA and boxing; this s*** doesn’t work. I took a lesson from this and I felt, I have to focus on my MMA career. On my UFC career. Period.”