McGregor: 'Boxing will look amazing with its new king'
- Conor McGregor fights Floyd Mayweather Jr. Saturday
- Mayweather has undefeated pro record
One bookmaker is so sure of a Mayweather victory it’s already paid out more than $320,000 to punters who had backed the American to win Saturday’s bout in Las Vegas.
Not that McGregor is listening to the bookies or the naysayers.
“You know, I am a multiple-time, multiple-weight free fighting world champion,” McGregor told CNN’s Don Riddell in one, confident breath.
“I come from a ruthless game, a ruthless, ruthless business. Not only do I come from it, I own it.
“People can say what they want … but boxing will look amazing with its new king.”
His transformation from an apprentice plumber in the Irish capital, signing on for weekly dole payments, to the multimillionaire, worldwide superstar epitomizes the American dream.
McGregor’s journey to Las Vegas began in Crumlin, a quiet suburb on the Southside of the River Liffey which splits Dublin in half.
24/7 fighting mindset
McGregor’s mother, Margaret, perhaps predicted her son’s career before anyone else, once describing him as being “born with his fists clenched.”
“I’m always thinking about fighting,” McGregor says with a casual half smirk. “It’s just in me. I cannot stop thinking about it.
“Certain sequences, certain movements, certain ways to prepare. It’s a 24/7 mindset. That mindset has got me to where I am today.”
McGregor attributes much of his success to his background and upbringing, but also to the fierce bond he feels with his family name.
“The McGregor name is historic when it comes to combat,” he says proudly. “Way back, study my family’s name, study my family’s heritage. We were a feared clan.
“At one stage, it was punishable by death to have the surname McGregor. It’s in my blood to fight — and that’s it. It’s what my ancestors have been doing long before me,” he says, elongating the vowel in ‘long.’
The build up to the fight and international promotional tour — McGregor and Mayweather traveled to a number of North American cities and London — has been described as both a farce and a circus.
The pair traded insults at an alarming rate, with some of the comments deemed racist, others homophobic.
The one which drew most criticism was McGregor telling Mayweather to “Dance for me, boy!” when the American was shadowboxing.
“If anyone was offended, of course I apologize,” McGregor says with sincerity. “I am human at the end of the day. I didn’t … one of them was like … the word ‘boy,'” he continued, somewhat uncomfortably.
“I didn’t even know ‘boy’ was a term. Look, it’s a mad game, it’s a mad business. All I can be is apologetic if anyone was offended. I know who I am, my people know who I am.
“I hope the people watching can put themselves in my shoes and understand where I was coming from. There was no malice or anything like that meant at all.