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McIlroy tips McGregor to give Mayweather a real scare

 

By Jonathan Bell

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 world 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 Ulsterman revealed his love of boxing, his friendship with UFC superstar McGregor and how he has been inspired by Roger Federer in an interview to promote sponsors Nike ahead of reports he has parted company with caddie JP Fitzgerald.

"For McGregor to go from where he was, getting $1million a fight, to getting $75m or $100m, that's massive," he said.

"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 values. There's a lot of stuff people don't see with McGregor. I hope he does well."

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

"He's unreal. He's very much an inspiration. I think out of anyone in sport, he conducts himself the right way," Rory said.

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