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McGregor backers: Mayweather fight is no sideshow
SINGAPORE (AP) Conor McGregor's fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. on Aug. 26 has been described by critics as a novelty and a sideshow, among other things.
McGregor's camp doesn't care what it's called, promising only that it'll be a contest.
"Keep doubting us. We love it," McGregor's agent, Audie Attar, said in an interview Friday with Sports News Television. "The human element of sport is that anything can happen."
Mayweather, who retired in 2015 after winning all his 49 professional fights as a boxer, is back in training at age 40 after accepting an offer he couldn't refuse from the mixed martial arts fighter who has never had a pro boxing fight.
"These are two world-class combat sport athletes," Attar said. "Yes they come from different disciplines. Yes there are going to be different rules, so it's going to be confined within those set of rules and we understand that. But I don't think you can take away from (McGregor's) ability, his power, his reach, his ... all these different attributes that I think he will bring to the table."
Las Vegas oddsmakers immediately made Mayweather an 11-1 favorite when the fight - scheduled for 12 rounds in Las Vegas at 154 pounds in a boxing ring and under boxing rules - was announced.
McGregor, the wildly popular UFC star, is 21-3 in UFC fights, and is coming off a win in November against Eddie Alvarez. Although he hasn't boxed professionally, McGregor did box while growing up and is known for his striking expertise.
"Floyd's been an amazing tactician in term of his quickness, his ability to get in there, his ability to elude punches," Attar said. "But I think on Aug. 26, I'm bullish on the idea that that's going to change and he is going to meet someone that is going to have the physical attributes that will potentially catch him and be that one, 49-1."
Attar said Mayweather was arguably the greatest boxer of all time, "but there's some things that he hasn't faced before and Conor brings those ... unique differentiation attributes and strategies.
"Both of their styles will cause them to engage differently than Floyd's other competitors before Conor. And in my opinion, that's going to yield a different result.
"I'm more confident on the idea that we're gonna be that one. 49 and one."
Updated June 16, 2017