Conor McGregor could take Floyd Mayweather, says Rory McIlroy
Conor McGregor could have the beating of Floyd Mayweather in their mouthwatering Vegas bout, the Dubliner's close friend Rory McIlroy has said.
But only if the UFC champion has the edge in the early rounds, insisted golf's current number four.
"If it goes past the fifth round and McGregor hasn't been able to land a shot then he's got no chance," said McIlroy.
"It has to be within the first three or four rounds."
The Holywood golfer was speaking at a Nike event after his fourth place finish at The Open where rival Jordan Spieth eased closer to completing a grand slam, something Rory has long coveted.
The Northern Ireland man spoke of his love of boxing, his friendship with UFC superstar McGregor and how he has been inspired by Roger Federer.
"For McGregor to go from where he was in MMA, getting $1million a fight, to getting $75m or a $100m, that's massive," he told the Daily Mail.
"He has this persona but he's a humble guy who doesn't forget where he comes from. He goes to the Straight Blast Gym in Dublin and spends time with the kids. He teaches them stuff, teaches them values. There's a lot of stuff people don't see with McGregor. I hope he does well. I'm just glad he got the fight. You never know what will happen."
An Old Trafford season ticket holder, the 28-year-old said he believed boss Jose Mourinho could take his beloved Manchester United back to the summit of English football this coming season, although he believed the Champions League was just out of reach.
"Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus right now… it's just so tough," he said.
The four-time major winner also spoke of his admiration of Roger Federer and how he sacrificed game time in order to improve his tennis game.
"I've struggled with a couple of injuries over the last few years and I see Roger take six months off at the end of last year and completely forgo the clay-court season to get ready for Wimbledon.
"His preparation has been unbelievable for this year. He's come out playing like a 25-year-old, not a 35-year-old.
"He's unreal. He's very much an inspiration. I think out of anyone in sport, he conducts himself the right way. He's a classy guy. If there's anyone you want to emulate then you don't have to look any further than him."
Belfast Telegraph Digital