You’d be hard pressed finding many boxing trainers picking Conor McGregor to trump Floyd Mayweather on August 26th. But from the select few who give him a chance they usually follow a similar narrative: McGregor is in his prime and Mayweather is not.
Eric Kelly – one of boxing’s most notorious trainers – absolutely disagrees with said narrative.
The lads on Obviously Fight Talk had the pleasure, or should we say the experience, of having boxing coach and viral-sensation Eric Kelly on their latest episode to discuss the mega-fight between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor, or, as Kelly calls the UFC champion, “Condom” McGregor.
If you’re unfamiliar with Eric Kelly, it’s time you tuned in. Kelly grew up on the mean streets of Brooklyn in the 80’s and rose to the top of the amateur boxing world. He’s now known as one of the most notorious boxing trainers in New York City.
When asked what he made of the now-famous world press tour and the promotion behind the fight Kelly was all-praise.
“A fighter is an entertainer. It’s the entertainment industry and you have to put asses in seats,” Kelly explained.
“At the fights they sell popcorn, hotdogs, beers and sodas. The same shit they sell at the circus, the movies and at the concerts. It’s entertainment. I don’t understand why people don’t understand it’s the entertainment industry.”
Clearly having a deep understanding of prize fighting as a package and not just the sporting aspect of boxing, Kelly didn’t mince his words towards the fights naysayers – especially towards fans of the sweet science.
“Floyd Mayweather is a boxer, one of the best and then you got ‘Condom’ McGregor – a UFC fighter. Now ‘Condom’ is coming into boxing to fight Floyd.
This is not like when James Toney fought Randy Couture in a MMA fight. Right now, boxing has the upper hand,” said the one-time top amateur fighter.
“Who’s the number one athlete in this fight? Floyd Mayweather. Who’s the draw? Floyd Mayweather! Who’s the A side? Floyd Mayweather.
“So if you’re a die-hard boxing fan, and you love boxing, how the f**k can you get upset over a boxer having the upper hand throughout this whole thing and be fighting in a boxing match? After all isn’t boxing’s biggest competitor MMA/UFC?”
Despite not despising the fight as a spectacle, Kelly was quick to answer with a resounding “no” when asked if the Irishman had a chance against an all-time great in Mayweather. However, he did acknowledge that anything can happen in boxing.
“I mean a one hitter quitter can get anybody at the end of the day,” Kelly admitted. “But Floyd Mayweather has forgotten more than ‘Condom’ McGregor knows.”
The New Yorker went on to say that even a rusty Mayweather would handle the UFC lightweight king. “You can’t go from great to ordinary,” was his resounding message.
After being on the receiving end of Kelly’s famous verbal beat-downs throughout the interview, the hosts were in store for one more.
When asked about Conor being in the prime of his life and Mayweather shoving on, Kelly returned with a question of his own:
“How long as he been in the prime of his life? I’m asking you a question,” pointing to the interviewer. “I don’t want to hear ‘well’. How long has he been in the prime of his life?”
The host’s tentative answer was ‘two years’, to which Kelly slipped and countered beautifully.
“How the f**k is he in the prime of his life in the last two years when he just got tapped out last year?
The lads fired back in the heat of the debate.
“He avenged that loss,” one said, although they looked defeated and on the ropes. Kelly certainly didn’t hold back in his response.
“That decision was tighter than Floyd’s ass. He avenged that loss? When you’re in your prime you don’t lose. What kind of fool are you?”.
“Did Ali lose in his prime? Did Roy Jones lose in his prime? Did Mayweather lose in is prime? Did Tyson lose in his prime? What you mean the prime of his life.
“Did Anderson Silva lose in his prime, huh? We can go further back than that. Did Royce Gracie lose in his prime? Did Ken Shamrock lose in his prime? You don’t lose in your prime.”
It’s safe to say Eric Kelly didn’t go on the Obviously Fight Talk show to take part, he came to take over.
And probably did…
* You can watch the latest episode of Obviously Fight Talk and subscribe to their Youtube channel right here.