WBC cruiserweight champ and MMA heavyweight star give their views on the biggest show in sport with eyes on their own cross-over bouts
TONY BELLEW has gone toe-to-toe with UFC heavyweight Jimi Manuwa over the Conor McGregor versus Floyd Mayweather fight.
Boxer Bomber – who succeeded in setting up a fight with British MMA pioneer Michael Bisping on the back of the billion-dollar August 26 show – backs the Money Man.
But South London hardman Manuwa – who has spoken with David Haye about a cross-sport local derby – has backed his fellow martial artist to upset the boxing record books.
Long-time MMA fan and Betsafe ambassador Bellew said: “Can Conor McGregor beat Floyd Mayweather in a boxing match? Not a hope in hell, in my opinion.
“It’s completely different sports.
“Our sport is being shown so little respect that people believe that this man can just come in from a completely different sport and beat the greatest fighter of our era.
“People go on about this big punch he’s got, OK, let’s just say he lands this big punch he’s got. First of all, he’s not fighting in four ounce gloves.
“Because it’s Conor McGregor and the way he speaks, the way he announces himself, the presence he’s got.
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“He’s possibly the biggest, the fastest growing sportsman in the world, that I have seen in my lifetime, I have never seen a rapid rise like it in my life.
“He’s got everybody believing that he can beat the greatest fighter of our era.
“It would be the biggest sporting achievement of any sports ever if he manages to pull this off.”
But Manuwa – who knows about shock KOs after his loss to Volkan Oezemir after 48 seconds last time out – reckons Mystic Mac’s spiteful left hand can shock the world.
The Irish UFC star has enjoyed a rapid rise to the top of his game and now stepped up and across for an assault on boxing.
But Manuwa knows behind the trash-talking persona and bravado is a relentless trainer who could reshape the sport of boxing with one shot.
He said: “It’s a fight – anything can happen. Conor’s totally focused, he’s a workaholic.
“He hits very hard, if he catches Mayweather there’s going to be problems.
“I think, if McGregor stops him early, he’ll win in the first three rounds.
“He’s fully into camp and he’s getting ready to shock the world”
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