Conor McGregor fuels speculation of boxing switch
McGregor was named the Sportsperson of the Year on Saturday10:23 Sunday 18 December 2016, 10:23 18 Dec 2016
Conor McGregor's flirtation with the world of professional boxing is a story that refuses to go away, partially because the Irish fighter is fanning the flames of speculation himself.
The Dubliner was named the Sportsperson of the Year at the RTE Sports Awards in association with Sport Ireland, recognising his remarkable achievement in becoming the first fighter in the UFC to hold titles in two weight divisions concurrently.
McGregor was unable to attend the ceremony, but in an interview which he recorded in Los Angeles to accept the award, he hinted that taking on the boxing world was on his agenda.
Straight from the off, McGregor was clear that he was still the featherweight champion, even if the UFC had decided to strip him of the title.
"UFC lightweight and UFC featherweight champion, let's get it right," McGregor said. "Don't mind that [stripping of the title]. I'm still the two-weight world champion, make no mistake about that. They can say what they want, they can get phony belts and hand them out to people that I've already destroyed [...] officially I don't care what nobody says, I am the two-weight world champion, and that's that."
Speaking about his fight against Eddie Alvarez in New York when he claimed the lightweight title, McGregor stated that his achievement had been the culmination of his life's work to that point.
"That was the culmination of 28 years of hard work, that night was my entire life's work," McGregor said. "Every single session, every single hour hour of training that I put in was for that single moment right there. It was an unbelievable moment for myself, my team, everyone that's come up with me on this journey. The fans that have been travelling the globe with me, it was an amazing night for us all. I'm very grateful, very proud of it."
Conor McGregor talks to Clare McNamara after a year which he call the 'culmination of his life's work'. https://t.co/0AY8QPqGyu— RTÉ Sport (@RTEsport) December 17, 2016
Before his success in the UFC, McGregor had also claimed two titles in Cage Warriors, and noted that many in the MMA world didn't think that he would achieve that, let alone what he has done in the UFC, a global organisation with fighters of the highest skill level.
Paying tribute to his coaching team, McGregor highlighted that the unprecedented nature of his win in New York is not the end of the challenges that he faces, and added that taking on the boxing world next is something he is giving a lot of consideration to.
"I went and I defied that with a solid team with my coach John, a great team of people around me, and we went and we did it. We defied those odds. Every time we keep climbing; we keep raising the bar, and we keep going past it.
"I can go now and maybe conquer maybe the boxing scene, that's a very serious thought, a very serious conversation that's happening, so we'll see. I've got those wrestling guys trying to contact me as well, I've got Hollywood trying to contact me as well, I've got so many options.
The fight that has been frequently touted would be a bout against Floyd Mayweather, and while McGregor was clear that it was a possibility, he did state that he feels he could enter the boxing world without him, given his own star power.
"We'll see what happens of course. I got the boxing licence. Again, His last pay-per-view was 350,000 buys - it was a flop. The fight was a dud, his last two fights have been duds. I certainly don't need him. I could pick some local schmuck and still do big numbers, so that's where I'm at.
"Of course the Floyd fight is the one the public want to see, it's the fight that we all want to happen, but we'll see. These things take time."
As far as taking a break is concerned, McGregor did state that he was going to step away from the sport for a while, but added that 2017 was going to be an eventful one for him.
"I'm ready for anything. I did say I was going to take a break, but like a Christmas break. At least give me the holidays off!"
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