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Does Billy Walsh Think Conor McGregor Could Make It As A Boxer?

Does Billy Walsh Think Conor McGregor Could Make It As A Boxer?
By Conor Neville Updated

The man who guided Team USA to their first Olympic medal in boxing in eight years - Mr. Billy Walsh - was interviewed by Jarlath Regan on the latest edition of the Irishman Abroad podcast. The interview goes live on Sunday.

In the interview, Regan asked Walsh his views on MMA. A fraught question. Inevitably, Conor McGregor came up. Specifically, his record as a boxer.

There has been some confusion over McGregor's amateur boxing record. It's long been parroted that he was a 'national champion' at some level. His father Tony told Severe MMA he was an All-Ireland boxing champion as a kid.

However, in the adult grade he didn't get very far. Ken Egan told us last year that he "didn't do much in the amateurs I believe, he was beaten in the intermediates so it was probably a good move to go into ultimate fighting."

Walsh is dubious about whether he would have to skill-set to box at an elite level. It all makes a nonsense of that ludicrous Mayweather-McGregor hype train.

I'm not sure because I've never seen him in a boxing setting. I know he's done some boxing and I know he had one of the Irish team as a sparring partner on his last fight. One of the kids on the Irish team was over with him as a training partner.

I'm sure he's au fait with boxing but to come into a setting of the national championships, I think it's a different level. It'd be a different level for him to come into elite championships or to go on to Olympic games or to go professional.

There's no doubt that he has the toughness and the mental strength. But I don't know whether he has the skill-set to be able to compete with the top pros or the top amateurs as a boxer only.

Walsh is full of praise for McGregor's achievements in MMA but is clear on his views on the sport. He finds it difficult to watch and rather brutal. Boxing is a world where skill and technique takes precedence over brutality.

I find it difficult to watch. I have the utmost respect for Conor McGregor. For his ability and for his talent. He's obviously put Ireland on the map in many ways, particularly in that sport. And he's a great athlete.

But I still find it difficult to watch it when people are on the ground and being hit on the back of the head. Elbows, knees, anything goes. I just find it difficult and brutal.

This is from a guy from a combat sport where we hit each other! But I do agree (that's it becoming popular) because my sons love it and stay up half the night to watch it. Maybe, I'm old-fashioned or I've come from a background of skill and technique and not so much brutality.


Read more: Was This The Greatest All-Ireland Hurling Final Of All-Time?

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