Former opponent Nate Diaz isn’t completely discounting Conor McGregor’s chances in a hypothetical boxing match against retired champion Floyd Mayweather Jr.
“I think it is a big publicity stunt, but my take on a boxing match between the two...I think McGregor has got a good chance to make something happen in two or three rounds,” Diaz told CSN Sports. “If anything, two or three rounds. But he’s got an amateur style where he’s only got good movement, good punches for six to eight minutes and I think that’s too amateur for Mayweather.”
Diaz knows the type of power McGregor possesses after facing the Irishman in the Octagon twice in 2016. In their first meeting at UFC 196, McGregor hunted for the early knockout with uppercuts and left hands, leaving himself spent by round two. Diaz responded by hurting the SBG Ireland representative with punches of his own before submitting his foe with a rear-naked choke 4:12 into round two.
In the rematch at UFC 202, McGregor got his revenge. While he managed to floor Diaz three times within two rounds, his pace slowed and Diaz nearly seized the momentum and ended the fight. Instead, “The Notorious” one had enough gas in the tank to win a majority decision over five rounds in one of the best bouts of last year.
Since then, McGregor captured lightweight gold with a stoppage of Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205. After that victory, talk of a showdown with Mayweather picked up. Rumors of a boxing match between the two have continued to persist in recent months, although nothing has been finalized at this point. Diaz has seen enough of McGregor to give him the slightest of chances against Mayweather should the fight ever come to fruition.
“I’m just saying he’s got a puncher’s chance -- if anything,” Diaz said. “But as far as skill and technique, he’s got an amateur style and anybody can be good for nine, six, seven minutes. Anybody. They all have a puncher’s chance. This guy [Mayweather] is ready to go round after round and he’s a hard person to get a hold of. I think it’d be a rough one [for McGregor], but who knows?”