Irish Intermediate Champion – “I see myself beating Conor”


It’s a statement you hear all the time.

‘Conor McGregor wouldn’t even win the Intermediates.’

Many are dismissive of the boxing talents of Dublin light middleweight Conor McGregor ahead of the Crumlin man’s mega money professional debut against Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas on August 26th.

Plenty of people argue that ‘The Notorious’ would struggle to beat the top amateurs on this island and some feel that he would not even win the second-highest national tournament – which is now called the Senior Championships, although still near-exclusively known as the Intermediates.

One person who holds this view is the Irish Intermediate welterweight champion himself – Conor Ivors.

McGregor fights at the T-Mobile Arena next weekend at 154lbs, and won his two UFC titles at 145lbs and 155lbs. Hypothetically, in amateur boxing he would most likely be a welterweight (152lbs).

The Tipperary 19 year old won the 69kg Intermediate title in amazing circumstances back in November, fighting through the pain barrier having been involved in a car crash on the morning of the final, and he doesn’t think that the current version of McGregor could cut it at that level.

Ivors told Irish-Boxing.com that “to be fully honest with you, from what I’ve seen, I don’t rate Conor McGregor’s boxing skills.”

“His boxing skills for a MMA fighter are immense but boxing is a completely different sport to MMA and, come the 26th of August Floyd Mayweather, will show him what boxing is all about!”

“In a 3×3 amateur contest I see myself beating Conor. The man’s sport is MMA.”

There are perhaps some misconceptions about the quality of the championships, with the name maybe indicating a lower level than reality. Tournaments regularly feature world class teenagers making their first steps into adult boxing, and it is not uncommon to see Intermediate champions challenging, if not winning, the Elite Senior championships a few months later.

For his fight camp for Mayweather, McGregor has been sparring with 2015 Intermediate champ Tiernan Bradley. Another winner at these championships, Conor Wallace, was McGregor’s chief sparring partner for the Nate Diaz rematch last year.

Describing just what Intermediate boxing is about, Ivors explained that “the level at Senior Intermediate is intense.”

“For my first year I boxed without a headgear and entered them I didn’t know what to expect. I went on to win the Seniors [Intermediate] in my first year of competing in them and now I’ll make the move to Senior Elite in which is another level above again in which I think I’m ready for!”

“But Senior Intermediate is a must if you want to go on and win a Senior Elite, it gives you that experience that is needed.”

Needless to say, Ivors does not hold out any hope for McGregor next week.

The Thurles BC teenager outlined how “my personal opinion on the fight is that Conor doesn’t lay a glove on Floyd for however long the fight lasts.”

“I think Floyd stops him if he comes out like he says he will in his latest interview with ESPN. If “Pretty Boy” Floyd Mayweather comes out and not Money Mayweather, I don’t think Conor makes it past five rounds.”

“I have major respect for Conor McGregor and what he has done with MMA but he has no chance against arguably the best fighter that ever lived!”

“It’s like asking Usain Bolt to beat Mo Farah in a long distance run – no chance.”

2017 has been a relatively quiet year so far for Ivors. Unlike most Intermediate champions, he was unable to go for the Elites due to his aforementioned accident. He is looking for a big end to the year before re-emerging on the national scene in 2018.

Ivors detailed how “2017 has been about recovery since the car crash.”

“I competed in the Haringey Box Cup, winning the first fight easily and giving my opponent a count. I was beaten in the semi final to a guy who eventually went on to win the final with a knockout inside a minute. It was another fight that me and a lot of people outside of the ring I thought I won but you have to take the good with the bad.”

“I’ll now compete in the Celtic Box Cup and try retain it for the third year in a row.”

“In October I box in a fight in London and right when I get back from London I’ll fly to the Netherlands to compete in the Eindhoven Box Cup with the Irish University Boxing team.”

“Hopefully we finish the rest of 2017 with all wins. Then 2018 we aim to win the Under 22s and Senior Elites!”

gym trition

frayne carpentry

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