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Having boxed professionally, Joe Duffy feels Mayweather vs. McGregor will be ‘a landslide towards Floyd’

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Joe Duffy is a former professional boxer and one of only three men to defeat Conor McGregor.
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Joe Duffy is in an interesting position when it comes to the noise surrounding the rumored mega-fight between Conor McGregor and boxing great Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Not only does Duffy stand as one of just three men to ever defeat McGregor inside the cage, but he also is one of few MMA fighters with legitimate professional boxing experience, having racked up an undefeated 7-0 record inside the ring. So when he looks at what McGregor could be up against in Mayweather, Duffy can’t help but think his Irish countryman is setting himself up for defeat.

“In a combat sport, there’s always a puncher’s chance,” Duffy said Monday on The MMA Hour. “No matter what, in MMA, boxing, there’s always that puncher’s chance. I feel that Floyd is probably used to being in there with bigger hitters than Conor. Them boxers really do hit. But, down to on the scorecards, I really don’t (think Conor has a chance). I really feel it’s a landslide towards Floyd.”

Duffy’s take on the fight largely falls in line with the prevailing belief when it comes to Mayweather vs. McGregor — namely, that while McGregor could undoubtedly best Mayweather in an MMA match, a contest under boxing rules heavily favors a lopsided Mayweather win.

McGregor acknowledged that trend of thought on Saturday when he erupted in front of boxing media who were covering Michael Conlan’s pro debut in New York. McGregor confronted media members on press row in Madison Square Garden, vowing to “shock the whole goddamn world” and promising that “no one in this boxing game knows what’s coming.”

While a Mayweather-McGregor match once seemed like a pipe dream, it now very much appears to be a possibility. Last week, when asked about it on Conan, UFC president Dana White said of the fight, “I just don't see how it doesn’t happen,” citing the vast sums of money the cross-sport contest between two of combat sports’ biggest-ever draws could earn.

But training boxing as part of a multi-faceted MMA routine is very different than training boxing to actually fight professional boxers, not to mention a fight against one of the greatest boxers of this era. And having spent ample time in the ring, Duffy doesn’t think McGregor is the one who can end Mayweather’s indomitable 49-0 run.

“He’s one of the best of all-time,” Duffy said of Mayweather. “How he made (Manny) Pacquiao look, Pacquiao is one of the best boxers we’ve seen in a long time. I think that just proves the level he’s at. Canelo (Alvarez) is probably a bigger hitter than Conor, and how [Mayweather] boxed him, it’s different. It’s different.

“It takes a while to get into the sport and to get up to par, and I think if [McGregor] pursued boxing for a long time, I think he could’ve done very well in it, definitely. But Floyd’s been doing this since he was a child, and I really just can’t see it going any other way.”