Michael Conlan had one of the most publicized debuts in professional boxing when his fellow Irishman Conor McGregor walked him to the ring at Madison Square Garden on St. Patrick’s Day earlier this year.
The first Irishman to win a world boxing championship in the amateur ranks in 2015, Conlan’s controversial exit from the Olympics and subsequent post-fight interview where he blasted the judges’ performance was one of the most talked about stories from the 2016 Summer Games.
The boxing community has openly dismissed McGregor’s chances in a boxing bout with Mayweather. Two weeks ago, the McGregor’s warm-up from his open media workout was met with mockery, as David Haye and Terence Crawford both posted videos poking fun at his display.
Conlan believes that people should wait to judge McGregor on what he does in the ring, and noted that he is a “different animal,” who is capable of defying logic.
“I wouldn’t mock him on that,” Conlan told Ariel Helwani on Wednesday’s edition of The MMA Hour from Las Vegas. “We’ll see come fight night how he’s going to perform.
“Logic says that Floyd Mayweather is going to win, but it’s a different animal. Conor McGregor is a different animal. He’s defied logic so many times, like against Aldo – against everybody he’s fought.
“He’s become the double champ. If he says something he usually does it.”
The 3-0 super-bantamweight believes that the SBG man has to rough Mayweather up, set a good pace and try to land his patented left hand to be in with a chance of beating the pound-for-pound great.
“I feel he needs to put it on Floyd early,” Conlan said. “I don’t think he should try to outbox Floyd. I think he should get in there and rough him and work his ass off and try to land that big left hand on him. He needs to land clean. Floyd is the master of defense, but at the same time, Conor is very sharp, very strong and very powerful.
“Who knows? If he catches him clean he could get him and it could be lights out. I do hope so, I hope Conor goes in here and wins.”
Finally, Conlan sent a message to McGregor ahead of the biggest challenge of his career:
“Just go in there, believe in yourself. Do what you do best, upset the odds. … Upset the applecart and get that victory for Ireland.”