“He knows me” – Irish champion Peter McDonagh open to Conor McGregor fight

Conor McGregor was in the crowd in Dublin to see Peter McDonagh crowned Irish welterweight champion, and The Cinderella Man would be more than willing to share the ring with The Notorious.

McGregor was part of the Crumlin crowd supporting Dean Byrne in the 147lbs title clash with McDonagh last November, which the Galway boxer would win after a competitive ten rounds and claim his third Irish title.

Yesterday it emerged that two-weight UFC champion McGregor had taken out a boxing license with the California State Athletic Commission. Reactions have been mixed, with most labelling the move a publicity stunt and/or a show of defiance to the UFC for stripping him of his featherweight (145lbs) title. Others see it as the first step on the road to a fight with retired five-weight boxing star Floyd Mayweather Jr.

McDonagh [27(3)-28(2)-1] is an admirer of the mixed martial artist, and feels that a fight would make sense for both fighters – offering McGregor a shot at legitimacy, and providing the Connemara fighter with a nice pay packet

“I definitely think a fight would make sense,” McDongah told Irish-Boxing.com, “it would mean people will take him seriously.”

“I’d like to tempt him into the ring. He says he’s the people’s champ, which I think he is, he doesn’t need to do it for the money, but it can help my bank balance!”

“I am the man to beat in Ireland at welter and I would proudly fight him for the belt.* He’s was there when I beat Byrne, cheering him on, so he knows me.”

McDonagh supports the Dubliner’s return to the sweet science, and described how “I think he’s great for boxing, he’s a legend in the UFC.”

“I’ve heard lots of good reports about him sparring in boxing gyms. I respect him, he’s a top athlete, intelligent, smart dresser, and sure can fight.”

McGregor is the current UFC lightweight (155lbs) champion, and Kevin Byrne of the Irish Sun had a similar discussion with Irish light middleweight (154lbs) champion Pauly Upton.

*McGregor would, of course, have to fight in a scheduled eight rounder to be eligible to fight for the Boxing Union of Ireland Irish title.

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie