Irish welterweight champion Peter McDonagh has launched a stinging tirade against against UFC superstar Conor McGregor.
McGregor recently took out a boxing licence in California as hype surrounding a bout with five-weight boxing champion Floyd Mayweather continues to circulate.
Galway’s McDonagh [27(3)-28(2)-1] however feels that ‘The Notorious,’ a two-weight UFC champion, has “no place in a boxing ring” and has challenged him to an all-Irish bout that could serve as a prelude to any Mayweather money-spinner.
‘The Connemara Kid,’ who boxes on the Daws-Yigit undercard in Surrey on February 11th, has even earmarked Croke Park in Dublin as a potential venue for the fight.
Unhappy with McGregor’s chasing of an, admittedly unlikely, Mayweather bout, McDonagh recalled how “I started reading about McGregor wanting to fight Mayweather and I thought to myself ‘Hang on a minute, this guy hasn’t even boxed professionally or proved himself in a pro boxing ring and he wants to fight the best pound-for-pound fighter of this generation. Yet he hasn’t even proved himself to be the best fighter in Ireland.’”
“I respect what he’s done in the UFC and he’s a superstar in the MMA world, but I personally believe that he has no place in a boxing ring and if he comes up against even a half decent boxer he’d get beat easily. He’s making these silly statements that he’d beat Mayweather, but he would get absolutely destroyed.”
39 year old McDonagh reiterated his willingness to trade leather with the Dubliner in a squared circle. saying that “I’m coming out publicly to say fight me first and see how you do and if you beat me then start shouting your mouth off for Mayweather,”
“What I’m saying is before you go straight into a boxing ring and fight Mayweather, prove yourself against a boxer like me and if you beat me – but bearing in mind I’ve never been on my backside in my career – then you know you’ve got half a chance in there.”
Outlining his vision for the fight, McDonagh described how “I’m the Irish Champion and McGregor’s a massive name back home so Iet’s do the fight at Croke Park in front of 82,000 fans and give the public what they want to see. If he says he’s the people’s champion then go out and prove it and give the fans’ what they want to see, two Irishman fighting each other on the biggest stage.”
“If he’s proud of his heritage and what he represents, then he’ll be a man and take up the challenge. If he doesn’t, then it shows he doesn’t care about the Irish fans and it’s all about the money.”
Tickets for Peter McDonagh’s next fight (priced at £40 and £100) can be purchased by clicking here – or by phone on +448448440444
Joe O’Neill and Gavan Casey look ahead to 2017 in episode 1 of The Irish Boxing Show