Owen Roddy speaks to MMA journalist Peter Carroll
Every time Conor McGregor threw out Floyd Mayweather’s name over the last couple of years, it was always thought to be a bargaining tool the Irishman brandished before he would sit down at the negotiating table with UFC.
In the past week, things have become a little more serious.
Six days ago, Mayweather appeared on ESPN’s First Take and offered the UFC lightweight champion a guaranteed $15 million to take to the squared circle with him, insisting he would take his “usual” fee of $100 million from a bout with the MMA star.
Two days after Mayweather’s offer, UFC president Dana White appeared on Fox Sport’s Radio show The Herd with Colin Cowherd, where he proceeded to offer both Mayweather and McGregor $25 million to participate in a boxing match. Hours later, Mayweather laughed off the offer, labeling White “a comedian”.
It might give fans some comfort to know that McGregor’s striking coach Owen Roddy is as confused as anyone else about the situation, but he does know that his SBG teammate has a habit of achieving the impossible.
“I was like everyone else, I thought it could never happen. With the politics between boxing and MMA alone, I just didn’t think it was possible,” said former Cage Contender champion, Roddy.
“One thing I will say for Conor is, no matter how crazy the things he wants to do appear to people, he always seems to be capable of pulling it off. While I didn’t think it could happen for a long time, if he says it’s going to happen there is a huge chance it will.”
Roddy revealed that Mayweather’s name has come up in the camp on a number of occasions, but things have really gained momentum in the last couple months.
“He would mainly bring up Floyd in passing, but over the past month or two it’s started to become more serious. It was just chitchat before but now everything is a lot more direct.
“Saying that, I still have no idea if this fight can ever happen, but it definitely seems to be getting closer and closer to becoming a reality.”
The opportunity to take on the greatest boxer of a generation and the money at stake make the Mayweather fight an option that is worth exploring, as far as Roddy is concerned.
“It’s an unbelievable opportunity for him to get in and box with the greatest boxer of our generation. Conor has always said that he is the best fighter in the world when it comes to unarmed combat, and that encompasses all aspects of all unarmed combat.
“It’s not just about the opportunity for Conor. He believes he can beat absolute everyone that he faces, including Mayweather.
“Another factor is the amount of money that would be on the line. There is an astronomical amount of money to be made from this fight for both of these guys. It would be crazy.
“I think that’s the main thing for both of them. They’re both very good businessmen and I think they know the amount of money they both would make would make the fight too much of a lucrative option for them not to explore.”
The potential amount of pay-per-view buys the star-studded banner could bring in is already being debated across the pond. Currently, Mayweather versus Pacquiao, 2015’s clash dubbed ‘The Fight of the Century’, holds the record for PPV buys with 4.6 million, which generated over $400 million in revenue.
Roddy is adamant that should ‘Mayweather versus McGregor’ come to fruition it would break every record that stands in combat sports.
“I think it would be the biggest combat event ever. It would break every record that has stood in combat sports. Just imagine it. Not only would it bring in the boxing crowd, it would bring in the MMA crowd too. As well as that, there would be so much casual interest in the fight, probably more than we have ever seen before.
“For just the spectacle of it alone I would love to see it happen. It’s still hard for me to think about it actually happening, but as I said, once Conor puts his mind to something I can never doubt him.
“Honestly he has said so many things in the past that have me thinking, ‘he can’t do that’, and then he just keeps knocking down these barriers. It’s amazing to see.”
The vast majority of people believe that McGregor has no business being in the ring with Mayweather given the absence of any professional boxing experience he has. However, due to his size, his stopping power, and his unique movement, Roddy is confident that McGregor will bring a completely new challenge to the table for the pound for pound great.
“We all know what happens when Conor lands that left hand. It doesn’t matter who it is, if that hand lands on your chin you’re going to sleep.
“It’s kind of like a trade off between their two skill sets. We know that Conor can knock anyone stiff, but will he be able to land a solid connection on Mayweather, a guy who is probably the greatest defensive fighter of all time?
“Everybody has found that very difficult, but Conor poses a very different threat. Any time Mayweather has taken a serious shot, it’s always been against a southpaw.
“Conor is obviously a southpaw and he will be coming in and attempting to hit Mayweather from angles he probably hasn’t seen before because they come from different disciplines. Conor will be a lot bigger too.
“This is going to be a tricky fight for Mayweather because it won’t be like anything he has seen before in a traditional boxing match. Conor moves in such a unique way, it would be nearly impossible for Mayweather to get someone to replicate his style, especially because none of us have ever seen Conor contest a professional boxing match before.”
Roddy also highlighted that the sport of MMA could benefit massively from McGregor facing Mayweather, due to the amount of criticism MMA fighters’ striking caliber has faced from the boxing community over the years.
“I think it would be great for MMA because for years we’ve heard boxers talking about MMA fighters not being able to box for sh*t. The thing is, they’re probably right, a lot of them can’t! That being said, a lot of them can too and without a doubt, Conor can.
“If he went in and beat Mayweather, or even put on a great fight with Mayweather, it would definitely give MMA more credibility when it comes to striking.”