Yahoo Combat Sports writer Kevin Iole sat ringside for the Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor fight on Saturday night and was impressed with the effort McGregor put forth in his boxing debut, as he told The Jim Rome Show Monday on CBS Sports Radio.
“I thought he acquitted himself very well. He lost the fight clearly,” Iole said of McGregor. “After Mayweather kind of figured him out, it was a one-sided affair, but hey, McGregor fought one of the greatest boxers of all time and in his pro debut, I thought he did at least as well, if not better, than Manny Pacquiao.”
The Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame writer believes McGregor proved the boxing naysayers wrong with his performance and could still sell pay-per-view tickets if he chose to jump in the ring again.
“It did nothing but burnish it. I think, when you look at this guy, now there’s other boxers that want to fight him,” Iole said. “I think if he fights Paulie (Malignaggi), he goes in there and he’s got a million, million and a half fight buys right there. I don’t know that that’s the wisest fight to make given that Paulie had already retired and certainly was on the downside, but that’s a fight that people will buy and people will talk about.
“I think he acquitted himself extraordinarily well in the fight and I think it was obvious. Hey, had this guy trained in boxing for a long time, he would be a factor in his weight class. He hasn’t done that and at this age, given his skill in martial arts, that he’s ever going to be able to get there. But certainly, I think he has a ton of options, and if he has a guy that he wants to fight again, I’m sure that person will want to fight him because that person will want to fight him because they know it’s going to be a big money fight.”
When asked if its likely McGregor jumps in the ring as a boxer again, Iole doesn’t think so.
“I do think it’s a one-off. I think if he boxed again, the Paulie fight is really the only one that he takes,” Iole said.
“[McGregor] has fights in the UFC that are going to make him a ton of money. If he fights Nate Diaz in that trilogy fight, that’s a huge fight. That’s going to make a ton of money. If he fights the winner of Kevin Lee and Tony Ferguson, if he fights Khabib [Nurmagomedov]. So he has fights in the UFC, nothing that’s going to make him what he made against Mayweather, but there’s no boxing match other than a rematch with Mayweather that would make him that much either. As I look at it, he’s going to focus on MMA, because that’s what he’s good at, that’s where he has trained all of his life, or most of his adult life, and I think he’s going to be in line for some massive paydays with those fights I mentioned.”
Iole also shared his thoughts on UFC light heavyweight Jon Jones’ positive test for the anabolic steroid turinabol prior to his win over Daniel Cormier at UFC 214. Iole was asked if Jones’ positive test stands, does he think it’s the last anyone sees of the 30-year-old inside an octagon.
“I believe it is, and it would be so sad if it is, because this is the greatest fighter I have ever seen,” Iole said. “I mean he’s a spectacular fighter, he is a spectacular athlete, and you don’t want to see a guy in his prime with so many good fights to go. They were going to make him fight Stipe Miocic for the heavyweight title and which would have been an unbelievable fight, and I think it’s the end of his career and that would be a shame if that happens.”